Most people don’t know how easy it is to make their homes run on less energy, and here at InterNACHI, we want to change that. Drastic reductions in heating, cooling and electricity costs can be accomplished through very simple changes, most of which homeowners can do themselves. Of course, for homeowners who want to take advantage of the most up-to-date knowledge and systems in home energy efficiency, InterNACHI energy auditors can perform in-depth testing to find the best energy solutions for your particular home.
Why make your home more energy efficient? Here are a few good reasons:
Federal, state, utility and local jurisdictions’ financial incentives, such as tax breaks, are very advantageous for homeowners in most parts of the U.S.
It saves money. It costs less to power a home that has been converted to be more energy-efficient.
It increases the comfort level indoors.
It reduces our impact on climate change. Many scientists now believe that excessive energy consumption contributes significantly to global warming.
It reduces pollution. Conventional power production introduces pollutants that find their way into the air, soil and water supplies.
1. Find better ways to heat and cool your house.
As much as half of the energy used in homes goes toward heating and cooling. The following are a few ways that energy bills can be reduced through adjustments to the heating and cooling systems:
Install a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans can be used in place of air conditioners, which require a large amount of energy.
Periodically replace air filters in air conditioners and heaters.
Set thermostats to an appropriate temperature. Specifically, they should be turned down at night and when no one is home. In most homes, about 2% of the heating bill will be saved for each degree that the thermostat is lowered for at least eight hours each day. Turning down the thermostat from 75° F to 70° F, for example, saves about 10% on heating costs.
Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat saves money by allowing heating and cooling appliances to be automatically turned down during times that no one is home and at night. Programmable thermostats contain no mercury and, in some climate zones, can save up to $150 per year in energy costs.
Install a wood stove or a pellet stove. These are more efficient sources of heat than furnaces.
At night, curtains drawn over windows will better insulate the room.
2. Install a tankless water heater.
Demand-type water heaters (tankless or instantaneous) provide hot water only as it is needed. They don’t produce the standby energy losses associated with traditional storage water heaters, which will save on energy costs. Tankless water heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. A gas burner or an electric element heats the water. As a result, demand water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don’t need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water.
3. Replace incandescent lights.
The average household dedicates 11% of its energy budget to lighting. Traditional incandescent lights convert approximately only 10% of the energy they consume into light, while the rest becomes heat. The use of new lighting technologies, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), can reduce the energy use required by lighting by 50% to 75%. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time that lights are on but not being used. Here are some facts about CFLs and LEDs:
CFLs use 75% less energy and last about 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
LEDs last even longer than CFLs and consume less energy.
LEDs have no moving parts and, unlike CFLs, they contain no mercury.
4. Seal and insulate your home.
Sealing and insulating your home is one of the most cost-effective ways to make a home more comfortable and energy-efficient, and you can do it yourself. A tightly sealed home can improve comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility bills. An InterNACHI energy auditor can assess leakage in the building envelope and recommend fixes that will dramatically increase comfort and energy savings.
The following are some common places where leakage may occur:
around pipes and wires;
wall- or window-mounted air conditioners;
inadequate weatherstripping around doors;
window frames; and
Because hot air rises, air leaks are most likely to occur in the attic. Homeowners can perform a variety of repairs and maintenance to their attics that save them money on cooling and heating, such as:
Plug the large holes. Locations in the attic where leakage is most likely to be the greatest are where walls meet the attic floor, behind and under attic knee walls, and in dropped-ceiling areas.
Seal the small holes. You can easily do this by looking for areas where the insulation is darkened. Darkened insulation is a result of dusty interior air being filtered by insulation before leaking through small holes in the building envelope. In cold weather, you may see frosty areas in the insulation caused by warm, moist air condensing and then freezing as it hits the cold attic air. In warmer weather, you’ll find water staining in these same areas. Use expanding foam or caulk to seal the openings around plumbing vent pipes and electrical wires. Cover the areas with insulation after the caulk is dry.
Seal up the attic access panel with weatherstripping. You can cut a piece of fiberglass or rigid foamboard insulation in the same size as the attic hatch and glue it to the back of the attic access panel. If you have pull-down attic stairs or an attic door, these should be sealed in a similar manner.
5. Install efficient showerheads and toilets.
The following systems can be installed to conserve water usage in homes:
low-flow showerheads. They are available in different flow rates, and some have a pause button which shuts off the water while the bather lathers up;
low-flow toilets. Toilets consume 30% to 40% of the total water used in homes, making them the biggest water users. Replacing an older 3.5-gallon toilet with a modern, low-flow 1.6-gallon toilet can reduce usage an average of 2 gallons-per-flush (GPF), saving 12,000 gallons of water per year. Low-flow toilets usually have “1.6 GPF” marked on the bowl behind the seat or inside the tank;
vacuum-assist toilets. This type of toilet has a vacuum chamber that uses a siphon action to suck air from the trap beneath the bowl, allowing it to quickly fill with water to clear waste. Vacuum-assist toilets are relatively quiet; and
dual-flush toilets. Dual-flush toilets have been used in Europe and Australia for years and are now gaining in popularity in the U.S. Dual-flush toilets let you choose between a 1-gallon (or less) flush for liquid waste, and a 1.6-gallon flush for solid waste. Dual-flush 1.6-GPF toilets reduce water consumption by an additional 30%.
6. Use appliances and electronics responsibly.
Appliances and electronics account for about 20% of household energy bills in a typical U.S. home. The following are tips that will reduce the required energy of electronics and appliances:
Refrigerators and freezers should not be located near the stove, dishwasher or heat vents, or exposed to direct sunlight. Exposure to warm areas will force them to use more energy to remain cool.
Computers should be shut off when not in use. If unattended computers must be left on, their monitors should be shut off. According to some studies, computers account for approximately 3% of all energy consumption in the United States.
Use efficient ENERGY STAR-rated appliances and electronics. These devices, approved by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Program, include TVs, home theater systems, DVD players, CD players, receivers, speakers, and more. According to the EPA, if just 10% of homes used energy-efficient appliances, it would reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of 1.7 million acres of trees.
Chargers, such as those used for laptops and cell phones, consume energy when they are plugged in. When they are not connected to electronics, chargers should be unplugged.
Laptop computers consume considerably less electricity than desktop computers.
7. Install daylighting as an alternative to electrical lighting.
Daylighting is the practice of using natural light to illuminate the home’s interior. It can be achieved using the following approaches:
skylights. It’s important that they be double-pane or they may not be cost-effective. Flashing skylights correctly is key to avoiding leaks;
light shelves. Light shelves are passive devices designed to bounce light deep into a building. They may be interior or exterior. Light shelves can introduce light into a space up to 2½ times the distance from the floor to the top of the window, and advanced light shelves may introduce four times that amount;
clerestory windows. Clerestory windows are short, wide windows set high on the wall. Protected from the summer sun by the roof overhang, they allow winter sun to shine through for natural lighting and warmth; and
light tubes. Light tubes use a special lens designed to amplify low-level light and reduce light intensity from the midday sun. Sunlight is channeled through a tube coated with a highly reflective material, and then enters the living space through a diffuser designed to distribute light evenly.
8. Insulate windows and doors.
About one-third of the home’s total heat loss usually occurs through windows and doors. The following are ways to reduce energy lost through windows and doors:
Seal all window edges and cracks with rope caulk. This is the cheapest and simplest option.
Windows can be weatherstripped with a special lining that is inserted between the window and the frame. For doors, apply weatherstripping around the whole perimeter to ensure a tight seal when they’re closed. Install quality door sweeps on the bottom of the doors, if they aren’t already in place.
Install storm windows at windows with only single panes. A removable glass frame can be installed over an existing window.
If existing windows have rotted or damaged wood, cracked glass, missing putty, poorly fitting sashes, or locks that don’t work, they should be repaired or replaced.
9. Cook smart.
An enormous amount of energy is wasted while cooking. The following recommendations and statistics illustrate less wasteful ways of cooking:
Convection ovens are more efficient that conventional ovens. They use fans to force hot air to circulate more evenly, thereby allowing food to be cooked at a lower temperature. Convection ovens use approximately 20% less electricity than conventional ovens.
Microwave ovens consume approximately 80% less energy than conventional ovens.
Pans should be placed on the matching size heating element or flame.
Using lids on pots and pans will heat food more quickly than cooking in uncovered pots and pans.
Pressure cookers reduce cooking time dramatically.
When using conventional ovens, food should be placed on the top rack. The top rack is hotter and will cook food faster.
10. Change the way you do laundry.
Do not use the medium setting on your washer. Wait until you have a full load of clothes, as the medium setting saves less than half of the water and energy used for a full load.
Avoid using high-temperature settings when clothes are not very soiled. Water that is 140° F uses far more energy than 103° F for the warm-water setting, but 140° F isn’t that much more effective for getting clothes clean.
Clean the lint trap every time before you use the dryer. Not only is excess lint a fire hazard, but it will prolong the amount of time required for your clothes to dry.
If possible, air-dry your clothes on lines and racks.
Spin-dry or wring clothes out before putting them into a dryer.
Homeowners who take the initiative to make these changes usually discover that the energy savings are more than worth the effort. InterNACHI home inspectors can make this process much easier because they can perform a more comprehensive assessment of energy-savings potential than the average homeowner can.
Tags: Unusual Findings
http://www.homeinspectioncarolina.com Chatlotte home inspector Preston Sandlin was recently on WBT 1110 AM “Your Real Estate Today” show talking about infrared thermal imaging an how it works. Preston is a regular on Your Real Estate Today show hosted by Paul Jamison of Jamison Realty in Matthews NC Real Estate Done Different. Tune in Saturdays at 2:00 and learn all about real estate or call in if you have a question. http://www.charlottenchomeinspector.com
Tags: Charlotte home inspection testimonials · Energy Saving · Home Buying
Charlotte Home Inspector Scott Walker was inspecting a home on Saw Mill Rd on Friday when he saw something a little unusual under the insulation. He pulled it back an low an behold there was a snake there. The snake was not happy about his space being invaded and struck at Scott. Fortunately the inspection was completed neither Scott nor the snake were harmed. If you are moving to Charlotte Nc and are in need of a home inspection call Home Inspection Carolina at (704) 542-6575 http://www.homeinspectioncarolina.com
Tags: Crawlspace Issues · Crazy Things · Safety Hazards · Unusual Findings
If you would like to extend the life of your water heater you should flush your water heater every 6 months. Spring is a perfect time to do this. Check out our video on exacty how to do this. If you have any questions please call Home Inspection Carolina at 704-542-6575 or visit their website at http://www.homeinspectioncarolina.com
Tags: Home Maintenance · Maintenance · Preparing Your Home for the Inspection
Its’s Spring and its time to do a little Spring Maintenance. One important thing not to forget is your AC condensor unit. In this video Home Inspection Carolina will show you how to maintain you AC unit to prolong its life.
Tags: Unusual Findings
home inspector gives money to A Child's Plac
Charlotte home inspector Preston Sandlin wants to make a difference. Inspired by Tom’s Shoes he likes to pick a charity every other month to donate a portion of their inspections at his company; Home Inspection Carolina. He decided to give to A Child’s Place at the grand opening of Century 21 Torrington.
A Child’s Place (ACP) works to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education. ACP began in 1989 when a group of women were walking through the cemetery in downtown Charlotte and noticed a group of kids playing. When asked why the kids were not in school the children explained that they were not allowed to enroll in school without a permanent address. The group of women began offering school for this group of 27 children in a one room schoolhouse provided by First Presbyterian Church with a teacher from CMS. In 1989, the McKinney-Vento Act was passed protecting the educational rights of homeless children ensuring they are provided the necessities they need to regularly attend school. Since that first class of 27 ACP client children we have grown to help 2,656 homeless children during the 2012-13 school year.
Homeless children are living in unstable living conditions that include shelters, motels, doubled-up with others and cars. Because of the instability they experience, these children are:
Hungry twice as often as other children;
Sick four times more often;
Two to three grade levels behind and twice as likely to repeat a grade; and
Experience emotional and behavioral problems three times more than their housed peers
The national graduation rate for homeless children is below 25%.
Sources: National Center on Family Homelessness
ACP works to remove these barriers for our client children to attain their education and make school the most stable part of their lives. We provide educational and emotional support services as well as medical referrals to keep our client children healthy and in the classroom.
Most of our client families are the working poor. For them, homelessness is not a way of life; it’s a time in their lives. By minimizing the impact of this difficult time on the children and their academic growth, ACP contributes to their likelihood of breaking the cycle of poverty.
Stability and education are key solutions to solve the homeless problem here in Charlotte. The relationship between education and income is one of the best-documented in economics: those with more education make more money. For every year a child progresses through school, the likelihood of being poor and homeless as an adult decreases.
Source: A Child’s Place Client data, 2010-2011; Levin, H., Belfield, C., Muennig, P. and Rouse, C. (2007), The Costs and Benefits of an Excellent Education for All of American’s Children.New York, NY:Columbia University.
We can pay now or pay later. It costs ACP $985 per year to serve a homeless child. Compare that to $62,000 for that same child to be in our juvenile justice system or $39,000 to be incarcerated as an adult or for the costs of substance abuse treatment or government assistance later. Helping these children now not only fulfills their hopes and dreams; it creates better citizens and employees for our community.
In the 2011-12 school year, 97% of A Child’s Place students were promoted to the next grade (compare to 64% nationally) and 81% read on grade level (compare to 48% nationally and 68% of Charlotte-Mecklenburg School students).
Source: A Child’s Place client data, 2011-2012; National Center on Family Homelessness
Tags: Unusual Findings
I saw an interview with Tom’s Shoe’s Blake Mycoskie about the purpose of his business. Blake started Tom’s shoes (which stands for Tomorrow’s Shoes but it wouldn’t fit on the shoe.) as vehicle to provide shoes for poor kids in 3rd world countries so they could go to school. The interviewer asked Blake what he wanted his legacy to be. He said that he hoped that “giving” or “helping” would become part of business and maybe a part of their marketing plan. We can’t depend on the government to solve our problems. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. It struck a chord with me. Now one may say that’s wrong that a company would make “giving” as a part of their marketing plan. Really? What if every company decided to make giving as a part of the marketing plan? That would be awesome. The world would be a better place.
I decided that I wanted to do something like that in my business. We pick a charity every other month to contribute to. We give a percentage out of every inspection that month to that charity that month. We have given to Susan G Komen Race for the Cure, Habitat for Humanity, The Heartest Yard, Pearls of Hope and several realtor charities. We beleave in trying to provide our clients with a quality home inspection but we believe in trying to make the world a better place. We believe in leaving this place a little better place than you found it.
Preston Sandlin of Home Inspection Carolina in Charlotte NC has been on HGTV My First Sale. He has also been interviewed by Fox News and is a regular on “Your Real Estate Today” on WBT radio program. He has also taught home inspection continuing education classes for realtors. He has been performing, teaching and consulting home inspections for over 15 years. Home Inspection Carolina has over 10 home inspectors and over a 100 years of combined experience in home inspection and construction. They perform home inspections, termite inspections, Radon testing, and infrared scanning in Charlotte, Gastonia, Waxhaw, Monroe, Matthews, Concord, Huntersville, Denver and many surrounding areas. Call Home Inspection Carolina and let them put their experience to work for you.
Tags: Unusual Findings
February 20th, 2014 · Comments Off
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Things have gone pretty bad lately. Climate change has ravaged innocent lives. Life-threatening diseases caused by bad nutrition and ill circumstance have been on the rise. It is as if this world is becoming a scary place to live. It is even hard to assume a bright future for everyone when it is gravely infected with the bugaboos that plague every generation. But never lose hope. Fatal ailments can be prevented when you shun yourself from high-caloric foodstuff. You may not include kosher meals in your everyday diet but having some every once in a while can give you tons of good advantage.
Kosher diet is not a fad. This is a lifestyle of most Orthodox Jews who decided to adhere closely to the dietary laws of their religion. Pork and shellfish are off the list. They are only permitted to eat beef and poultry. Just imagine how much calorie you can trim down ditching pork and embracing this type of diet.
This dietary restriction is not only good for your health. This a perfect solution to animal cruelty, too. The Jewish laws have clearly outlined a humane process of slaughtering farm-raised livestock and emphasized which animals can be brought the kitchen. You might lead a different lifestyle but there is nothing wrong trying this sometimes.
If you love to experiment in the kitchen, there are several recipes you can find in blogs, cookbooks and magazines. You can even try to discover your own way of preparing if you want a unique recipe. Just make sure you have the necessary ingredients.
But if you do not have a talent in culinary, stop figuring out what recipe to work on. There are great restaurants with a wide variety of kosher foods. Walk around. There must be one in your area. Call some friends and enjoy the meal together.
Kosher meal is a lot healthier than ordinary diet. It is carefully screened. Even vegetables and fruits are thoroughly checked especially lettuce and cabbage. There is really nothing to worry about when you are thinking of pigging out but the price. A special menu can be pretty expensive and you can look for cheaper options.
Restaurants serving such food are accredited and certified. Hence, they undergo random screenings for the foods they serve and their way of preparing them. A representative from a regulatory agency will either dine as a regular customer or check as what a normal inspector does.
Bacterial outbreak is a common area of concern in usual slaughterhouses. But with the strict standards of the Orthodox Jewish church, consumers can be sure they are free from foodborne outbreaks. Authorities established definite rules to follow. Anyone caught defying these will have their license confiscated. Or worse, they will be deterred from operation.
Kosher meals are safe from allergies. These can even miraculously heal diabetic patients considering their low sugar content. But of course, that can only be possible when consumed on a daily basis. So if you want to lead a healthier life, try this diet and you will see how lithe and nimble you become.
When you want to find delicious kosher meals, visit our home pages here today. You can see details about products and ingredients at http://www.myownmeals.com/kosher/ now.
Tags: Unusual Findings
Looking for an entirely furnished Plug n Play work place in a IT Park in Hyderabad? Would you like a place with word class facilities and amenities for you and your employees? In case your fact is yes, Sanali Group can cater and supply your needs for an a workplace you wanted in their world class Software Parks says Noor Haq.
Sanali Group has office spaces for lease. The spaces at Sanali Infopark Banjara Hills are actually ready for occupancy as the ones at Sanali IT Spazio at Madhapur continue to be under construction and will also be opened soon. Work spaces in these IT parks are ranging from 15,000 sq . ft . around 300,000 feet square.
Office Space Features offers fully furnished Plug n Play Software offices spaces in Hyderabad. Work receives furniture and fixtures. They have work station, Cabins, Conference Rooms, Meeting Rooms, Cafeteria, Networked, Connected to High speed Internet, False Ceiling with Lighting, Air conditioned, Power backup, UPS etc. It’s got uninterrupted energy. Washroom and pantry facilities are also provided within this space.
Work spaces have a unique training/conference room using its own projector. The offices are elegantly designed and so are top notch. These offices are fantastic for international companies.
For your common amenities, the dwelling has its own reception facility and fully furnished hall. Additionally, it has an ample parking for you and the employees. Sanali Group, a construction company in India led to the infrastructure revolution in the nation to deal with the country’s economic growth. As such, they have started building residential areas and apartments, stores, and IT parks. Remax Constructions will be the flagship company of Sanali Group. This company is known in India since the leading construction company inside the Hi-tech city of Hyderabad. It’s got already constructed impressive commercial and residential units in Hyderabad. Sanali Group has been creating fascinating structures that everybody would surely love. Aside from its impeccable, artistic and pristine works, Remax guarantees that most their projects are made comfortable and safe.Choosing a fantastic Space to your BusinessWhen searching for an office building space to your business, consider the one who would fit the bill and preferences, a supplier that would address your company needs which help you accomplish your company goals and directions. Select one which you imagine you can stay with while you grow and expand your small business. Go with a place that will supply a healthy working place for your people. It must be an area that you and your people would enjoy staying while employed in it. Also, find the space that you will be proud to showcase on your clients and business partners.
Sanali Group is currently allowing you to receive the dream office you wanted. Sanali Group Noor Haq Software Parks provides finest and elegant space in Hyderabad that you’d surely are proud of. Understand that your workplace could say a great deal relating to your business so you’ve got to select the one that will fit the bill. Choose just the perfect for yourself, for your business as well as your workers. Get the business done with Sanali Group.
Tags: Unusual Findings