Our Home's Energy Audit: Results and Recommendations

by Bruno Bornsztein

Our Home's Energy Audit: Results and Recommendations

We like to think of homes as impermeable. After all, that’s why we have them; to keep the rain, wind, and cold out. Not to mention insects, small animals, and pollen clouds.

But the truth is, your home’s shell is a membrane. It breathes, just like you do. (That’s a good thing!) Every home does it. The important question is not if your home leaks, but how much.

To figure out if our new house had an appropriate level of breathability, we...

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The biggest energy hog in your house....your refrigerator.

by DIY Maven

The biggest energy hog in your house....your refrigerator.

According to National Geographic's Green Guide, our refrigerators are probably the biggest energy hogs in our homes. What to do? Well, if a new refrigerator is in our future, it's best to shop for an Energy Star rated refrigerator, which use at LEAST 20% less energy than federal standards. The most energy efficent refrigerator on the market right now is the Sun Frost RF-12, pictured below. It is a whopping 51% more efficient and federal...

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Vitamin F: How to Enhance Your Life With Flowers.

by DIY Maven

created on: 11/24/08

Author and interior and floral designer Jayme Barrett has teamed with the Society of American Florists to explore flowers’ ability to heal our emotional energy. So important can flowers be to our spiritual well being, Jayme has dubbed them ‘Vitamin F’. The notion is simple enough when you think about it: Like food and drink, flowers give us energy–per major university studies–so securing them a conceptual spot on the food pyramid seems...

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Make Your Own Power Bars

by Mod Home Ec Teacher

created on: 08/04/08

My husband tries to bake his version of a Power Bar using GrapeNuts and peanut butter.  Do you know how hard GrapeNuts are to chew even BEFORE you bake all the moisture out of them? Let me tell you, after they cool they're as hard to chew as, say, a piece of wood.  To save my pearly new dental veneers, I'm going to copy this recipe and tape it to our pantry door.  KC at PracticalHacks has provided the power bar recipe to save you money and give...

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Find the right CFL color for you!

by DIY Maven

Find the right CFL color for you!

Switching over to CFL light bulbs can be a bit startling. First there’s the cost. You just have to remind yourself that they’re going to last A LOT longer than regular incandescent bulbs and use less energy to get over that one. Next is the color. When CFLs first came out, they emitted a fairly harsh blue light. Luckily, now there are a variety of CFLs on the market including ones that produce a softer, more incandescent light.

Kelvin Ratings...

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Turn Green: 15 Ways to Reduce your Eco-Footprint.

by Chris Gardner

Turn Green: 15 Ways to Reduce your Eco-Footprint.
You might not be too big, but your environmental impact might not be as small. It's becoming hip to measure your resource consumption as your "ecological footprint". Wikipedia claims, "Ecological footprint (EF) analysis attempts to measure human demand on nature. It compares human consumption of natural resources with planet Earth's ecological capacity to regenerate them. It is an estimate of the amount of biologically productive land and sea...

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How To Install a Programmable Thermostat (and Save Loads of Energy and Money).

by Chris Gardner

A programmable thermostat cost only $40, and they’re terribly convenient. It’ll ease your lifestyle and your ecological footprint. Your home can be nice and toasty when you wake up, but cooler when your snuggly beneath the covers. Recently, I was asked to help install a programmable thermostat in a neighbor’s home, so here’s some photos and a brief how-to.

Need some motivation? Click here for ten great reasons to install a programmable model.

How To Install a Programmable Thermostat (and Save Loads of Energy and Money).

Ingre...

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The Top Ten Reasons to Install a Programmable Thermostat.

by Chris Gardner

Seriously, folks, you've gotten get one of these...even if you rent, it's an easy project that you can switch out when you leave, and take it with you. Save money and the environment with this easy DIY project.

The Top Ten Reasons to Install a Programmable Thermostat.
1. Programmable models are way more convenient and accurate than manual models.

2. Most thermostats contain two programs: one each for the weekdays and week days. Many contain three programs (for weekdays, Saturday, and Sunday) and some even...

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Five Easy DIY Home Projects Under $50 (Almost)

by Chris Gardner

"Wendy Bounds, author of The Wall Street Journal's home improvement column, Did It Myself, has five simple projects you can do yourself, most of which will cost less than $50. Bounds says if she can do these projects, anyone can. 'You can definitely do all of these by yourself, using the Internet if you get stuck, ' Bounds said."

 

Five Easy DIY Home Projects Under $50 (Almost)
 

 

  • Fix Wall Flaws                                             $3-10
  • Tidy Up...

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25 Cheap Ways to Keep Your House Cooler.

by Chris Gardner
"Sure, go ahead and turn that thermostat up to 80. You'll be sweaty and still shelling out a bundle -- unless you take other steps to make summer heat more bearable and reduce stress on your air conditioner.
Most of these cost little or nothing. Thank the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Savers program, which provides most of these tips (and more) on its own Web site."
25 Cheap Ways to Keep Your House Cooler.
 
The finance geniuses from Sympatico offer low-investment tips for keeping the...

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Corn Fed Furnaces

by DIY Maven

Corn Fed Furnaces

Sometimes, in exploring alternative energies, one must look back to look forward. Case in point: The biomass stove. It all started with Ben Franklin, who invented the iron furnace stove. Then, in 1973, Mike Haefner tweaked Ben’s baby and created the first certified biomass fuel stove. The improvement lay in the fact that Mike’s creation burned biomass.

Magnum T40 Leg Unit

Question #1

What’s biomass? Biomass itself is the process of turning trees and plant material...

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