Making Your Pool More Efficient

Most eco-minded folks can't use the terms "pool" and "efficiency" in the same sentence. Yes, pools can be resource hogs. They can require substantial amounts of water and electricity, not to mention the chemicals that are used to balance the water. However, pool owners need not let guilt take over. There are a few affordable and easy things you can do to improve efficiency.

Austin Rebate Programs

Austin has some of America’s best home energy efficiency rebate and incentive programs. Rebates up to $1,400 are available to help pay for efficient heating & cooling equipment, low-flow toilets, insulation, solar and more. The potential saving can be between 30% to 50% on energy bills. The following programs are available for homes that qualify:

Vampires in the House

You may not know it but you probably have vampires in your house. By vampire I’m referring to vampire power. This is the electricity your home electronics and appliances suck out of the power grid (and out of your wallet) when not in use. Many of the electronics around the house suck vampire power to a greater or lesser degree.

Bottled Water vs Tap Water

In a newly published article in the February 2009 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters the Pacific Institute estimates that the annual consumption of bottled water in the U.S. in 2007 required the equivalent of between 32 and 54 million barrels of oil-roughly one-third of a percent of total U.S. primary energy consumption.

Tighten Up Your Windows

If you have old and drafty aluminum frame windows, you don’t necessarily need to replace all your windows to prevent energy loss. Window replacement can cost thousands of dollars, and take 7 to 10 years to get theROI in energy savings. An affordable way to tighten up your windows is installing Magnetite covers on your existing windows.

10 Easy Ways to Beat the Inspection

Whether you’re buying or selling a house, the buyer’s home inspection tends to be the white knuckle part of the transaction. Before the home inspection buyers don’t have much control over the process, except for hiring a good Realtor and inspector. However, sellers often have a slew of options to make the home inspection go smoother.

Leaky Air Ducting

In the average home ducting is generally out of sight and completely out of mind. However, leaky ducting is now recognized as a major source of energy waste in both new and existing houses. Studies indicate that duct leakage can account for as much as 30% of total house energy loss. This is money literally blowing in the wind.

Importance of Gutters

Is your mind in the gutter? Well, it should be if you want to have a house that is in good working order. Rainwater is a natural element that can wreak havoc on a house if it’s not controlled by properly installed and maintained rain gutters. There are many misconceptions about gutters and as a result there are many mistakes homeowners are making.

Radiant Barrier Choices

If you are looking into cooling your attic with a radiant barrier, you might be overwhelmed by all the choices and varying claims to energy savings. The primary products available are: foil backed OSB decking (underside of roof), foil that is tacked on to rafters and paint. As a rule, the best radiant barrier products have a reflectivity of .9 or 90% and .1 emissivity or less.

Water Heater/Furnace Closet

If your water heater or furnace is in a closet inside your home, there are a few things you can do to make it safe. It’s crazy but for decades building practices allowed furnaces and water heaters to be inside the home. Why is this crazy? Because natural gas, combustion and potentially carbon monoxide are right inside the home.

Dryer Plug Doesn't Match Outlet

It is not uncommon for new homeowners to move in, unpack, and attempt to do their first load of laundry, but can’t get the dryer hooked up. The new homeowner is bewildered when the dryer plug doesn’t match the outlet. The new dryer has a 4 prong plug and the outlet has 3. Here’s a little background on the matter as well as some options for getting the dryer up and running.