Home Ideas and Inspiration Articles

young couple at the bank Should I Refinance to Afford an Energy Efficiency Improvement?
Energy efficiency projects come in all sizes—and the big ones often take a lot of green. For instance, if you install solar panels, high performance heating and air conditioning, or all new Low-E windows throughout your home, it could cost thousands of dollars when all is said and done. And although these projects stand to substantially impact household utility bills in Continue Reading
Autumn landscape with solar panels How the Seasons Impact Your Solar Panels
Just like the leaves on the trees, your home’s energy production changes with the seasons. In fact, certain weather conditions can have a noticeable effect on your system, decreasing efficiency by as much as 25 percent. But with the right equipment, you can keep your panels humming away all year long. Here’s what you need to know about seasonal fluctuations—and what Continue Reading
solarskin on cabin What Is a SolarSkin?
Is your roof a work of art? Sistine Solar, an offshoot of Cambridge’s MIT, thinks it should be. Recently, the startup announced a brand-new innovation in solar technology: a solar panel that can be imprinted with a custom design, known as a SolarSkin. That means any homeowners who are put off by the aesthetics of traditional solar panels may soon Continue Reading
Example of a Passive House What Are Passive House Standards?
What if you never had to turn on the heat or AC in your home? How much would you save on heating and cooling costs throughout the year? Probably quite a bit. The Department of Energy estimates that heat and air conditioning use make up almost half of the average household’s energy bills. That means that if you could survive Continue Reading
Tesla Tuscan Roof Investigating the Price of Tesla’s Solar Roof
Ever since we heard the news that Tesla and SolarCity were planning on offering their own attractive take on the solar shingle, a molded glass roofing material fitted with solar cells, we’ve been dying to hear more. A solar option that looks just like slate, terra cotta, or textured glass and generates usable energy? We were on board, to say Continue Reading
Puppy blocking its ears and looking up Pet Proof Your Home Renovation
You’ve finally scheduled the contractors, the workers are coming at 8 a.m., the blueprints are spread out, and you’re ready for a complete overhaul! As you survey the room, you may notice a scared furry face staring back at you. What will you do about your pet during your home renovation? Pets frequently run away from home during construction, so Continue Reading
Solar-assisted Prius Could Your Next Car Have a Solar Roof?
It doesn’t take much to make the leap between electric and solar power—if you purchased an EV for environmental reasons, then you know that your car is only as green as its fuel source. If that electricity source comes from coal or other nonrenewable resources, it’s not exactly all that green. Most cars spend a lot of their time in Continue Reading
Energy auditor evaluating system What Is the HERS Index and Why Does It Matter for My Home?
Want to reduce your home’s energy use? Well, then you’re probably going to want to make some improvements around your home. But which ones? And what should you focus on first? That’s where an energy evaluation can help. The first step in many residential energy overhauls is to have an energy audit performed. Professionally trained auditors assess your home’s structure Continue Reading
Ask an Expert: Diagnosing Technical Failures on Your HVAC Unit
Anyone who’s ever looked into making a minor repair on their air conditioner or furnace will tell you: HVAC units are complicated! Compressors, motors, fans, drain lines—there’s a lot going on in your home’s system. Today we talked to HVAC repairman Chris Tinney, to address the more technical side of repairs and find out more about some exciting new products Continue Reading
Loose slates on a house roof Ask an Expert: Handling Roof Damage and Maintenance
Even if you aren’t considering a roof replacement right now, sometimes the weather has other ideas in store. When storms strike, they often take their toll on your roof—and repairs can range anywhere from replacing a few shingles to an entirely new roof. Today, we talked with Magie Nunn, of New Braunfels Roof Repair and Leak Experts in New Braunfels, Continue Reading

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