How to Conserve Energy In Your Home

As our carbon “footprint” begins to resemble a full-out, “Earth Angel”-style print, it’s no surprise that eco-friendly construction practices have skyrocketed over the course of the last decade. More and more homes and commercial buildings are undergoing “green” renovations and upgrade projects to cut costs, conserve energy, and ultimately increase the probability that we’re actually here in fifty years.

Going green rarely requires a colossal budget or extensive time. With Summer in full effect, now is the perfect time to tackle that remodeling project you have put off for the last few years and an excellent opportunity to save some cash in the process!

The word “renovation” generally triggers the three E’s: extensive, exhaustive and expensive. We’re here to show you that a “greenovation” is actually fairly simple and straightforward.

 

Upgrade To A Programmable Thermostat

For good reason, these devices have become the norm for most new homes. Since they have to be adjusted by hand, manual thermostats are an incredibly inefficient. Alternatively, automatic counterparts feature a number of pre-set configurations, allowing homeowners to fully customize the temperature output of their heating and cooling system. It is more expensive to keep a home at 72 degrees than it is to adjust the temperature according to your schedule.

Swap Out Energy-Hogging Light Bulbs

Conventional incandescents may be bright, but they are not light (on the wallet)! Replace the old lights in your home with a new set of CFL or LEDs, and expect savings up to $60 per bulb (that’s the equivalent of $10,000 at Taco Bell). To give you an idea of their efficiency, LED-lighting technology lasts 25 times as long and consumes 80% less energy than regular 60-watt bulbs!

Double-Check Your Windows And Doors

You should always check these for potential intruders, but in this case, it’s actually what might leave your home that matters. Windows and doors can be a major source of heat loss. This is why more people opt for energy efficient windows and doors. By considerably lowering energy costs, they represent substantial savings while providing comfort to your home. Not to mention, you’ll sleep better at night knowing that you’ve provided amazing benefits to this beautiful, healing planet.

Don’t Let The Water Run

We’re not talking about the type Drake exhibits on the microphone; we’re talking about your toilet. Did you know that conventional toilets consume up to 3.5 gallons of water per flush? PER flush? Thankfully, you can save a few hundred gallons per month by converting to a low flow model? (PER month) Water conservation is a vitally important aspect of green living, and this is an excellent place to start. Since the sole purpose of toilets and drains is to flush away waste, there is no need to use any more than is necessary. Install a high-efficiency toilet and watch that utility bill drop (down low)!

Concluding Remarks

When you go to buy new appliances, always choose an Energy Star model. Manufacturers are required to meet strict industry standards in order to have their products qualify, so customers who purchase them reap the benefits. Savings run up to 50% and that is definitely no small measure. Dishwashers, refrigerators, water heaters, washers, dryers, and much more are available via ENERGY STAR. The more you use, the more you save.

Lastly, you may also want to schedule an energy audit to assess your home’s current energy-efficiency. Local utility companies typically offer these to residents free of charge!

Cleaning Aftermath: Post-Renovation Disaster Management

The Cleaning Aftermath

If you’re having your apartment or house renovated then you really should start thinking about cleaning your place, post-renovation, which is when the real work begins! Builders and renovators are not professional cleaners. Thus, after they’re finished installing your new kitchen or fixing your bathroom, all that dust floats from room to room. It gets stuck on every surface, leaving no orifice behind! Unfortunately, for situations as heavy as this, a simple sweep or quick mop of the floor just won’t do.

The best solution is to invest in hiring seasoned, professional cleaners (like Maid Sailors), which will save you a lot of time, trouble, and potentially, injury. But, for those brave souls who choose to go it alone, we’ve drafted these tips on how to eradicate all of that dust and grime from your newly renovated living space!

Post-Renovation Disaster Management

  • Anticipate the storm. First off, there’s nothing like preparation and taking extra precautions to make sure dust doesn’t damage any of your electrical appliances or furniture. Do this by covering all your home items with plastic sheeting and/or bags and make sure they are well sealed with duct tape.Another very useful tip: keep windows open during renovations. This will allow a lot of dust and stray particles to venture out into the wild (versus settling in your living room). Most people don’t bother with preparation and begin the cleaning process after the builders have completed renovations. Don’t end up like most people. If you do a little preparation, you will avoid costly mistakes!
  • Dealing with floor dust. The last builder just walked out of your door and left you the delightful early Christmas present of a white, dusty floor. However, before you reach for that broom, think again! Sweeping dust usually means you’re just transporting it somewhere else, so why waste your precious time and energy? Sweeping is only a good idea if there are larger pieces of debris on the floor.First, in order to avoid suffocation, make sure the room is well ventilated. Next, use your vacuum cleaner to pick up the initial first-round of that stubborn dust. You’ll notice that after all of your cleaning and clearance efforts, there will still be some stubborn dust remnants. Finish the job by mopping your floor quickly, ultimately ridding your floors of that pesky dust. Extra credit goes to those who use a strong domestic cleaning product; while you’ll notice smudges on your floor at first, these will subside after a quick second coat.
  • Dealing with more dust. Now it’s important when cleaning to remember that builders’ dust doesn’t just limit itself to landing on your floor! It gets trapped on skirting boards, windowsills, shelves and just about any other surface in your living space. Ultimately, you can use a damp cloth. Pick it all up and really get into those tight corners.

Remember, if all of this sounds like too much work and you don’t have time to effectively prepare you can hire professional cleaners who will get the job done and leave your counters sparkling. In any case, remember that patience is paramount to a successful builder. If you rush it you won’t do a very good job. It’s important to be as thorough. After all, it is your home!