Things to consider when finishing a basement:
- How does the investment of a basement finish impact the value of my home?
- What are the latest interior color trends?
- Does turning the head of my bed to the north change the way I sleep?
We like to keep you informed on anything from real estate values to feng shui.
Some No Cost Energy Saving Ideas
During the summer turn your air conditioner down in the evening and off while you are on vacation. In the winter you can turn the thermostat down to 60° at bedtime or while you are away for an extended period of time. These two habits can contribute to saving energy and potentially save you as much as 20% on your heating and cooling cost.
Turn your water heater down, a recommended temperature that will address most uses in the home is 120°
Do-it yourself Web based Energy Audit
There are a number of sites that offer energy calculators such as:
Home Energy Saver: hes.lbl.gov/consumer
Energy Star and some others offer both quick and detailed assessments www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_find_es_products
These are just two of the many resources available to consumers on the web at no cost.
Low Cost Energy Saving Ideas
Caulk and weather-strip the seals around your windows and doors. This small investment in time and money can have a big pay off, air leakage can account for one third of the total heat loss in an average home. Not only will you save energy and money, you may also save some time dusting. For a great step by step How to Caulk and Weather-strip information sheet go to www.blueflame.org/datasheets/caulking.html.
For very little cost you can insulate the hot and cold water pipes that extend out from your water heater, in addition you may want to consider a water heater blanket. The insulation and blanket can be purchased at most homebuilding centers or hardware stores.
A programmable thermostat is an inexpensive way to ensure that the thermostat is turned down automatically.
There are other energy saving ideas that can have a big impact that are more costly so they may have to be addressed one at a time or when some remodeling is done or an appliance reaches end of life. There are government programs and tax credits associated with some of these to help with the cost. Here is a list of just a few:
- Seal and insulate ducts
- Insulating your home
- Energy Star qualified appliances
- Energy Star qualified windows and doors
For more information on saving money and energy visit
- U.S. Department of Energy, Tips on Saving Energy and Money at Home: www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/save_energy.html
For information on rebates and tax credits visit:
- Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency: www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency: www.dsireusa.org/