8 Great Ways To Beat The Heat With No Air Conditioner

There’s nothing better than air conditioning to beat the summer heat, right? Well… not exactly. Air conditioning is one of the biggest culprits of your high energy costs, especially in the south. Estimates put our collective annual electric bill at about $200 per home, per household just to cool you down! And that’s in the … Read more

What is Compost? Home Composting 101

Compost Bin

What is Compost?

Compost is one of nature’s best mulches and easy way to add nutrients to your soil. Wouldn’t you like to have that beautiful garden or grow your own organic food? Since compost improves soil structure, texture and increases the soil’s water holding capacity, why buy and waste money on any commercial products or chemical fertilizers, if you can make all natural compost free…
Home Composting 101 – How to make your own compost?
It’s very easy,  free, and good for environment. You can use your kitchen scraps, organic or yard waste, and reduce your household waste away from garbage can by 30 […]

Water Heater Inspection Guidelines | Home Inspector Tips

Water Heater Inspection Guidelines
The following water heater inspection guide covers 3 types of the most popular water heater installations:

Gas, natural draft, tank water heaters utilizing galvanized steel vent pipe
Gas, power vent equipped, tank water heaters utilizing PVC vent pipe
Electric water heaters

There might be some minor discrepancies between jurisdictions which will in most (probably not all) cases concern seismic areas water heater installations. I’ll cover it within this water heater inspection manual but I would highly recommend to obtain a water heater installation permit from your local building department (usually required) and verify plumbing code requirements in your particular area.
Water heater […]

Room Humidity and House Humidifier Energy Savings

Controlling humidity levels in your home can increase your energy savings

Control room humidity with a humidifier to achieve best energy savings
Energy savings in your home can be improved by controlling room humidity levels and using two types of humidifiers. There are whole house humidifiers that attach to the forced air heating system or portable units and can condition smaller portions of your property.
Both groups of humidifiers will help increasing room humidity but waste energy and/or water at the same time; some significantly, others considerably less.
However, if used properly, good quality whole house humidifiers will make you feel warmer in colder months, thus allowing you to lower the thermostat temperature settings, and saving […]

Air Circulation in Homes with No Air Return on Second Floor

Air circulation in homes - single, central air return register installed on the ceiling

Air circulation in two story homes
Air circulation in homes which are older and / or in poorly designed newer ones equipped with a central, forced air system might be compromised because they do not have an air return port installed on the second floor. It doesn’t matter how much you run the air conditioning system during the summer – that second floor will always stay much hotter than the first.

During the winter it becomes difficult to keep the property warm without proper air circulation as well. In both situations, the forced air system is wasting huge amounts of energy to keep […]

Garage Safety | How to Really Make Your Garage Safer

Garage Safety

While checking the news this morning I stumbled upon this short article listing a few garage safety issues by U.S. Home Safety Council. To explore a little more their garage safety suggestions I followed a link to their website and looked at much longer list. I have to tell you that I’m disappointed after reading it.
While working as a home inspector I‘ve evaluated close to 5000 properties and majority of them with car garages. In most cases there were serious, even life threatening garage safety issues involved, and yet, 3 of them have not been included in that list, part […]

How to Use Thermostat Fan ON – OFF Feature

Picture of the thermostat fan ON-OFF switch

Thermostat fan ON – OFF

Use forced air heating and / or AC thermostat fan ON – OFF feature to your advantage and help your HVAC forced air system perform most efficiently.
Utilizing thermostat fan ON – OFF feature will probably be more beneficial for multi-level homes equipped with just one HVAC unit and little to no air return ports assigned for each room (ie. two air returns on a two story residence / one per floor only).
HVAC systems designed with a single air return port, usually installed in the center of the house or in the center of each floor, are often […]

Recommended Thermostat Settings For Energy Savings

Recommended thermostat settings savings

Recommended thermostat settings  and thermostat location

Before I explain recommended thermostat settings for energy savings I’d like to point out the best and the worst thermostat locations.
To maximize home energy savings and ensure the most efficient operation of your HVAC system, thermostat location should be chosen on an inside wall in a frequently occupied area of the house or the apartment.
Additionally, thermostat location should be at least 18″ (46cm) from any of the house’s outside walls, and approximately 5′ (1.5m) above the floor surface in a location with freely circulating air of an average temperature.
Thermostat locations you should avoid!
The recommended thermostat settings […]

Hot Water Heating Maintenance: Interior Fall Maintenance

Hot water heating maintenance - circulating hot water boiler

Hot Water Heating Maintenance
Hot water heating maintenance procedures should be an important task on your interior fall maintenance list.
Hot water heating maintenance – bleeding hot water radiators once or twice a season
Bleeding your radiators means releasing any air trapped in them. This hot water heating maintenance process improves your hot water heating efficiency instantly. Hot water can flow into every part of the radiator, so it does a better job of warming your room.
In order to figure out your hot water heating system’s radiators performance, turn up the thermostat a few degrees above the room temperature, make sure that all […]