Disclaimer: The Energy column provides general information to help you manage your energy costs. Some electric cooperatives may not offer all the programs mentioned in this column. By Bob Geswein, guest columnist With spring comes a natural desire to remodel our homes or perhaps even build a new abode. Often during this time of year,… Continue reading.
By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessen If replacing your furnace seems to be on the near horizon, especially with colder weather a calendar page away, you might wonder what might be some economical options. For most of us, heating and cooling accounts for the largest part of our household energy use. An electric air-source heat… Continue reading.
BY TOM TATE The concept of the smart home is not as new as you might expect. In the late 1980s, as a product manager for Honeywell, I got to see a real smart home. Honeywell’s smart home contained impressive automation capabilities. Lighting, security, fire monitoring, temperature control and appliance use were all automated to… Continue reading.
When looking for a new car, most folks at least glance at the estimated fuel efficiency on the window sticker. Finding out the estimated energy costs for a new home is also important, but those numbers may be trickier to find. The type of energy — electricity and propane or gas — used in the… Continue reading.
Windows add a lot of character to our homes — especially old homes that still have original frames and panes. But they are also an important contributor to the efficiency and comfort of your home. Old ones can be drafty in winter and seem to let some sunny rooms overheat in summer. Replacing windows is… Continue reading.
Today’s new appliances don’t just cook your food and keep it cold, wash your clothes and dishes, or offer a few hours of entertainment. These machines boast a myriad of functions that make our lives easier — but in doing so also consume more energy. While appliances have become more energy efficient as technology has… Continue reading.
Today’s electric tank water heaters are all well insulated to keep the water that we’ve paid to heat stay hot until it’s needed. But with just a little bit of knowledge, there are things we can do as homeowners to keep them operating efficiently long beyond the life of their warranty. Here are things I… Continue reading.
By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless Late winter and early spring are great times to think about changes to your home’s landscape. While the goal of most lawn and garden projects is to bring beauty to your outdoor space, a well-designed project can also save energy, increase the overall value of your home and provide… Continue reading.
By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless Smartphone apps number like the stars these days, it seems. Some you might want to be aware of can help you determine how energy is used in your home and provide information that helps you choose efficiency upgrades that make the most sense for your home. Here are a… Continue reading.
By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless My family is planning to remodel our kitchen in the coming months. We hope to incorporate energy efficient features to reduce our energy costs. What are some suggestions to increase our kitchen’s efficiency? Undertaking a remodeling project in any part of your home gives you the chance to make… Continue reading.
By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless Now that winter is here, I’d like to make my home more comfortable by keeping cold air out. I’m planning to have a contractor inspect and seal air leaks. However, a neighbor mentioned that I could seal up my home too much and cause ventilation problems. Is this true?… Continue reading.
By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless I’m trying to make my home as energy efficient as possible. I recently installed a new heat pump and water heater, and increased the amount of insulation. A home energy audit found little air leakage. However, my energy bills still seem higher than they should be. Can you point… Continue reading.
By Patrick Keegan and Amy Wheeless My neighbor added more insulation to his attic this summer. How can I tell if adding more insulation in my attic would be a good idea, too? When your home is not properly sealed and insulated, cold air sneaks in and heat escapes, making your heating system work harder… Continue reading.