Tagged : Energy Efficiency

There are currently 34 blog entries matching this tag.

Green homes are great for the environment and will save you money over time. The EPA has identified components that qualify buildings as green to help in the process of finding Santa Cruz real estate that is environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

The cost of running a home can add up over time, but buying a home that is properly insulated, made out of sustainable materials and reduces waste provides many benefits to the homeowner.

 Energy Efficiency - According to the EPA, as of December 2012, buildings account for 68% of total energy consumption Green homes can reduce these two numbers with energy efficient appliances, well-sealed, double-glazed windows, and good insulation. Using alternative energy sources, such as solar panels, will also

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With all of the last-minute holiday craziness — hosting parties, baking cookies, fixing a great family dinner — it is easy to run up the energy bill.  After purchasing presents and giving gifts, the last thing you want to deal with is outrageous electricity fees come January.  So, avoid a high bill this holiday season with these simple tips for conserving energy in your Santa Cruz home.

• Go LED.  This year you should invest in LED lights for the outside of your Santa Cruz home.  They are shatterproof, present no fire hazard, and are safe to touch.  Also, purchase an automatic timer, so that you do not accidently leave lights on all night, which definitely adds up if it happens repeatedly.

• Lower the thermostat.  Your house will stay very warm when

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When you look at all the recent improvements in green technology, it is easier than ever before to transform your Santa Cruz home into a green home. If your home is a green energy home, you will use renewable sources for your power, hot water, security and heating. Numerous methods exist to transform your traditional home into that of a green home.

The first step you can implement around your home is that of solar power. In your green home, you can implement a solar heating system to provide heat and help store enough water for usage. Using solar panels can help convert the rays from the sun and turn them into power. If you were to purchase these items and have them installed by a specialist, it could end up costing you a significant amount of money.

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If so, you could ask for more money when it comes time to sell. In California, a green certified home carries a price premium of 9% over a conventional home. With energy prices increasing, along with awareness of environmental issues, green buildings are the wave of the future no matter where you live.

If your Santa Cruz home has many of the following features, it might make sense for you to look into getting it certified as a green building.

• Oriented to optimize passive solar
• Highly energy-efficient windows
• ENERGY STAR appliances
• Water Sense fixtures
• High indoor air quality
• High-efficiency HVAC
• Well insulated
• High percentage of local materials

There are national certification programs such as the National Green Building Program, which

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1. Plug up any holes. Use foam and caulking to seal any cracks where drafts or summer heat are getting into your Santa Cruz home.

2. Close blinds.  Close your drapes and blinds during the day to keep the sun and heat from getting in. This will cool the house down naturally and take the strain off the central air conditioning unit.

3. Clean filters. Clean or replace your a/c filters once a month to allow proper airflow through the system.

4. Install a Programmable Thermostat. Install a programmable thermostat to keep utility costs down by raising the temperature a few degrees during the day while no one is home, and lowering it just before family returns.

5. Unplug electronic devices. Either unplug electronic devices when not in use or turn

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Homeowners and homebuyers want to save money on utility bills and also want to make their Santa Cruz home better for the environment.

Whether you’re prepping your Santa Cruz home before putting it up for sale or you just want to make a few changes so your home is more environmentally friendly, here are 11 ideas to choose from:

1. Put in CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs or LED bulbs that conserve energy: CFLs use a quarter of the electricity as regular bulbs.
2. Upgrade your existing windows: Replace them with high-performance, insulated windows.
3. Use green, non-toxic organic, VOC-free paint: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are found in paint and harm the air we breathe.
4. Remove your old non-green carpeting: Carpeting can emit allergens and

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Love it or hate it, winter is here. If you’re having a hard time appreciating that fact, there are some things you can do to make your Santa Cruz home more comfortable this winter, without running up your heat bill. Here are some to try:

• Check and lock windows. Even if you think your windows are shut, go around and check each one to make sure it’s snug - and lock it.

• Use ceiling fans. Consider adding ceiling fans to every room; they truly make a difference. Set them spinning in the correct direction to pull air up this winter so they displace warm air at the ceiling and send it down the walls. Set on the lowest speed, a ceiling fan evens out indoor temperature without creating drafts.

• Invest in insulated window treatments. Stop the costly

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Here is a painless way to reduce your energy use and your heating bill: Set your thermostat to go down 5 to 10 degrees while you’re gone all day and while you sleep at night. This could reduce your heating bill by 15% without compromising comfort.

Programmable thermostats cost anywhere from $30 to $150, so they quickly pay for themselves. By programming your thermostat to return to  your comfort level before you arrive home or get up in the morning, your Santa Cruz home will be just as comfortable as what you’re used to, and you’ll reduce your carbon footprint.

Here is how easy it is to install a programmable thermostat:

• Turn off the circuit breaker for the thermostat. Since you will be handling wiring, you must cut off the electricity going to

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Now that winter is here, you may want to invest in new, energy-efficient window treatments that will make your Santa Cruz home more comfortable and attractive. Here are some options to consider.

Insulated Drapes

To make the most of this option:

• Install a cornice over the top of the drapes to hide hardware and keep cold air encased around the window while drapes are closed at night.

• Make sure drapes reach to the floor or the windowsill to form an enclosed box around the window.

• Allow drapes to overlap in the middle by several inches.

• Use heavy, insulated drapes with a separate liner to trap a layer of insulating air.

Roman Shades

These are a nice option if you have beautiful woodwork and don’t want it hidden by heavy

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If you’ve been thinking about replacing windows, doors,  roofing, insulation, the heating and cooling system and/or hot water heater in your Santa Cruz home, don’t delay!

You can qualify for the energy-efficiency tax credit by installing eligible energy-efficient products, but only until the end of 2011. For most upgrades, the credit is equal to 10 percent of the equipment cost (labor is usually not included), with a cap of $500. Remember, a tax credit is much better than a mere deduction because a tax credit is subtracted from the taxes you owe.

In addition, here are other benefits you’ll reap from a green renovation.

• Your home will be quieter. With tight new windows and doors, or added insulation, you won’t hear what the neighbors are doing,

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