Sealing air leaks and insulating your home helps make it more energy efficient.
Mass Save® is an energy efficiency program for Massachusetts residents that offers encouragement and financial incentives to homeowners and landlords who take steps to make their homes more energy-efficient or build new energy-efficient homes. Mass Save also works with businesses to reduce their energy use through improvements, renovations, and energy-efficient new construction. The Mass Save program is paid for by investor-owned utilities as part of the services they provide to customers.
Mass Save for Homeowners
Homeowners who participate in the Mass Save program typically get a free professional energy audit to see where their homes are using (and wasting) energy. At the conclusion of the audit, a report will detail specific improvements that will save homeowners money on their energy costs. Homeowners are . . .
Home improvements are big business, with total spending nationwide estimated at over $300 billion in 2014. Some home improvements are done out of necessity, such as replacing an old, leaky roof, but others are optional improvements intended to improve the look and function of the home.
One consideration in doing home improvement projects is the extent to which the projects will pay for themselves by either saving money on utilities or increasing the value of your home, or both. Projects with a high ROI, or return on investment, will increase the value of your home and may save enough money on your energy costs to make the cost worthwhile.
Home Improvements With The Highest ROI
The highest ROI on any home improvement overall is a steel entry door replacement. Newly installed steel doors give homeowners a significant improvement in energy efficiency by blocking both heat and cold. The cost of a new steel . . .
Having a greener home saves money and the environment at the same time.
There is a lot homeowners can do to make their homes greener, that is, to reduce what they buy new and the amount of energy they and their homes use. The internet has lots of ideas that may or may not be practical, but here are some ways you can make your home greener that don’t break the bank or hog precious resources.
Reusing Old Items
1. Upcycling for wall shelves.
Wood from old paneling, siding, or a torn-down shed can be used to make wall shelves to hold everything from dishes to books. Shelving can be useful in just about any room of the house, and it can be stained or painted to match any décor. Another upcycling trick is to bracket vintage or old . . .
Insulation makes the home more comfortable without the need for as much heating and cooling.
Home insulation gives protection against heat and cold by allowing less heat or cold to seep into the house through small cracks or because of heat absorption. Proper insulation saves homeowners money on their heating and cooling costs each year, which can help pay the cost of installing insulation in the home.
Most newer homes have insulation that was installed during the building process, but it may or may not be optimal for the home. A home energy audit can reveal whether your new or older home is adequately insulated or whether it would benefit from additional insulation. The most common areas to insulate are unfinished attic floors and other roof areas to seal off the living space, . . .
Solar panels take a long time to pay for themselves, but homeowners committed to reducing their carbon footprint may consider them worth the expense.
A home energy audit is an inspection and analysis of your home to see how it uses energy. The purpose of a home energy audit is to identify ways in which your home wastes energy and evaluate whether steps can be taken to reduce or eliminate this waste. Many companies including Moonworks offer energy audits to their customers as a free service.
Home energy audits are extensive, checking for air and gas leaks, safety problems, insulation levels, efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, appliance efficiency, and more. Not only do energy audits assess the current strengths and weaknesses of your home’s energy use, but they also use specific equipment to calculate what . . .
Alexis Schroeder is a 22-year-old fitness, finance and travel blogger. She writes about saving money while living a healthy, adventurous life.
Having a home gym can make working out and staying in shape extremely convenient, and it doesn’t take an enormous amount of room, either. Building a gym might seem costly, but the amount of money you save from transportation costs and gym memberships definitely makes it worthwhile in the long run. Simply start with the fundamentals, and you can work on getting more equipment as time goes on and/or your exercise interests evolve.
1. Weight Bench
This piece of equipment will allow an individual to do an endless amount of exercises, while maintaining proper form. A person can essentially work . . .
An energy review shows where homeowners are wasting energy.
Energy reviews, also called energy assessments or audits, are detailed examinations of how your home uses energy. Energy reviews should be done by professionals experienced in home construction and improvement, such as Moonworks. Here are some reasons you should contact Moonworks today to schedule your energy review before winter sets in.
1. Your utility bills from last winter were scary.
Home energy reviews test the places and ways (heated) air escapes from your home, so that you can take steps before the cold of winter to seal those gaps. There’s no need to pay for heat that is escaping outside.
2. You have no idea how much energy your appliances are using.
Home review professionals have specific tests to find out if a new refrigerator or water heater . . .
An outdoor living space can extend your home and give you more space.
Many homeowners are extending their usable square footage by turning a deck, patio or overhang into an outdoor living space. During warm weather months, some furniture and decorative touches can make your space the perfect place to relax or entertain guests outdoors. For cooler climates, however, winter brings challenges with the use of an outdoor living space.
When temperatures drop and ice and snow invade, sitting on the deck or patio can be the last thing on homeowners’ minds. But some simple additions can make your outdoor living space a go-to destination for your family all year round, relieving some of that boxed-in, stir-crazy feeling winter can bring.
Roofs Provide Protection From the Elements
If your outdoor living space has a roof, the . . .
Stephan Baldwin is the Director of Business Development for Assisted Living Center, a resource for senior care communities.
Creating a garden offers seniors more than a basket of fresh vegetables and herbs or a vase full of colorful, fragrant flowers; gardening can enrich the body and mind. In addition, tending a garden provides seniors with an enjoyable way to stay active while upping their home’s value.
Gardening is a popular and rewarding hobby for seniors.
Keep Safety in Mind
With careful planning, anyone can create a safe, inviting garden. To prevent falls, make sure pathways and steps are or have:
As level as possible
Free of hazards (ice, tools, hoses, tree roots, cracks, etc.)
Handrails on steps
Pointed features throughout the garden (stakes, canes, etc.)
Create an Easily Accessible Garden
To allow for wheelchair . . .
New windows can pay for themselves at least partially in savings on heating and cooling costs.
If your older home is drafty in winter and steamy in summer, there’s a way to be more comfortable all year round: buying replacement windows. At some point in the life of a window, tiny cracks and deteriorating materials begin to let in enough air from outside to noticeably affect homeowner comfort.
Replacement Window Options
There are several options in replacement windows that provide varying levels of protection from extreme weather and can save homeowners on their heating and cooling costs.
–For houses inhabited by young children, double-hung windows provide safety, since they can be opened from both the top and bottom.
–Double-pane windows have two pieces of glass with air or inert gas between them, providing better insulation from the . . .