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Smart homes

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Posted on Jul 31, 2017 in Energy

BY TOM TATE The concept of the smart home is not as new as you might expect. In the late 1980s, as a product manager for Honeywell, I got to see a real smart home. Honeywell’s smart home contained impressive automation capabilities. Lighting, security, fire monitoring, temperature control and appliance use were all automated to… Continue reading.

StormWindow

Windows of opportunity

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Posted on May 30, 2017 in Energy

Windows add a lot of character to our homes — especially old homes that still have original frames and panes. But they are also an important contributor to the efficiency and comfort of your home. Old ones can be drafty in winter and seem to let some sunny rooms overheat in summer. Replacing windows is… Continue reading.

Always-on Appliances

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Posted on May 25, 2017 in Energy

Today’s new appliances don’t just cook your food and keep it cold, wash your clothes and dishes, or offer a few hours of entertainment. These machines boast a myriad of functions that make our lives easier — but in doing so also consume more energy. While appliances have become more energy efficient as technology has… Continue reading.

Keep yourself in hot water

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Posted on Apr 25, 2017 in Energy

Today’s electric tank water heaters are all well insulated to keep the water that we’ve paid to heat stay hot until it’s needed. But with just a little bit of knowledge, there are things we can do as homeowners to keep them operating efficiently long beyond the life of their warranty. Here are things I… Continue reading.

Save energy with landscaping

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Posted on Mar 01, 2017 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless Late winter and early spring are great times to think about changes to your home’s landscape. While the goal of most lawn and garden projects is to bring beauty to your outdoor space, a well-designed project can also save energy, increase the overall value of your home and provide… Continue reading.

Can energy apps save money?

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Posted on Feb 01, 2017 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless Smartphone apps number like the stars these days, it seems. Some you might want to be aware of can help you determine how energy is used in your home and provide information that helps you choose efficiency upgrades that make the most sense for your home. Here are a… Continue reading.

refrigerators

Remodel your kitchen for efficiency

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Posted on Jan 03, 2017 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless My family is planning to remodel our kitchen in the coming months. We hope to incorporate energy efficient features to reduce our energy costs. What are some suggestions to increase our kitchen’s efficiency? Undertaking a remodeling project in any part of your home gives you the chance to make… Continue reading.

Blower door

Seal tight; ventilate right

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Posted on Nov 29, 2016 in Energy, Product Picks

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless Now that winter is here, I’d like to make my home more comfortable by keeping cold air out. I’m planning to have a contractor inspect and seal air leaks. However, a neighbor mentioned that I could seal up my home too much and cause ventilation problems. Is this true?… Continue reading.

Don’t slop those energy hogs!

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Posted on Nov 01, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless I’m trying to make my home as energy efficient as possible. I recently installed a new heat pump and water heater, and increased the amount of insulation. A home energy audit found little air leakage. However, my energy bills still seem higher than they should be. Can you point… Continue reading.

Not enough batts in your belfry?

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Posted on Sep 29, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless My neighbor added more insulation to his attic this summer. How can I tell if adding more insulation in my attic would be a good idea, too? When your home is not properly sealed and insulated, cold air sneaks in and heat escapes, making your heating system work harder… Continue reading.

Is geothermal right for you?

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Posted on Sep 01, 2016 in Energy

By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless I’m considering replacing my current heating system with a geothermal heat pump. It is comparatively pricey to other options. Would a geothermal heat pump be a good choice for me? Heating and cooling account for a large percentage of overall home energy use, so upgrading to a more efficient… Continue reading.

Manage your energy use with these handy apps

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Posted on Aug 19, 2016 in Energy

Tracking your steps, tracking your children, monitoring your banking activity or locating your parked car —these days, it seems like there is an app for everything. If you are efficiency-savvy and want to manage your energy use, there may be an app that works for you. While there are several energy use apps to choose… Continue reading.

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