Energy efficiency isn’t just for the winter! Here are six tips to keep you cool – and save energy – on hot summer days:
Remember that fans cool people, not rooms. There’s no doubt about it: air moving across your skin keeps you cool, whether the breeze comes from Mother Nature or an electric fan. But fans ONLY make a difference when you’re there to feel them, so turn them off when you’re not in the room.
Use your windows to gain cool air and keep out the heat. Even on the hottest days, the temperature drops when the sun does. Open your windows at night to let in cool air, but shut windows – and shades – during the day to prevent solar gain.
If you've ever sat next to a drafty, single-pane window, you've probably thought about investing in shiny new replacement windows.
There are plenty of good reasons to make that investment. If your windows are broken, covered with lead paint, won't open, or are just plain ugly, replacing them may be the right move. But don't replace your windows in hopes of saving energy - or money. When it comes to energy savings, replacement windows have a long payback period (up to 250 years!) that typically exceeds their relatively short service lifetime (15-30 years).
Last week, when the temperature here in Rockland, Maine never topped 8°, we ran out of propane at the office.
Yes. We’re painfully aware of the irony: Energy efficiency company employees huddled around individual electric heaters, willing the thermostat to creep up to somewhere near comfortable.
It’s so ridiculous that we were tempted to keep it quiet, but here’s the thing: running out of fuel isn’t just frustrating – it’s dangerous. That’s why Evergreen urges every one of you to advocate for your own heat this winter. Here are some tips:
You know about the polar vortex, right? The reason we all think 20 degrees is flip-flop weather?
Here it is, as captured by captured by NOAA's GOES-East satellite Monday morning. If you look closely, you can spot southern Florida, but the rest of the country is covered with frigid temperatures and dangerous wind chills.
Adding insult to injury (and making Maine's subzero temperatures even more dangerous), heating fuel costs have spiked. Oil costs 12-cents more per gallon than it did at this time last year, and propane prices are up 52-cents-per-gallon since the beginning of the heating season. Yikes!
Midcoast Maine got 18" of snow this week, on top of the foot-plus that fell over the weekend.
It's fluffy and beautiful and very, very likely to end up as ice dams on our old Maine houses. Those icicles are awfully pretty, but they're also awfully dangerous - to you and your home. Even if they don't crash to the ground, pull off your gutters, or cause melting water to back up and leak into your home, ice dams mean one thing: warm air is leaking into your attic and out through the roof.
That's right: you're paying good money (and burning good oil, propane, or wood) to make those ice dams.
Energy efficiency is fairly easy to define. But what does energy efficiency look like? And if you can’t see it, how can you engage with it?
That’s what Geoffrey Hay, an Associate Professor of Geo-Information Science at the University of Calgary asked the TEDx Calgary audience last summer. He’s the force behind Heat Energy Assessment Technologies, or HEAT, a free GeoWeb service that shows homeowners where their homes are wasting heat and how much it’s costing them.
“We believe that if people could see the waste heat they generate and if they knew how much it cost (financially and to the environment), that they would want to take action,” says Hay.
After falling an embarrassing 13 spots last year, Maine rallied to #16 in the ACEEE’s 2013 State Energy Scorecard, earning a “most improved” rating from the non-profit organization.
The annual report, which ranks states on the depth and breadth of their policies and programs to promote energy efficiency, attributed Maine’s rise to the Omnibus Energy Bill passed last June over Governor Paul LePage’s veto. The legislative action returned full funding to Efficiency Maine and restored Maine nearly to its previous ranking.
Energy efficiency is regularly called our cheapest, cleanest, and fastest energy source. It’s good for home comfort and safety, good for our pocketbooks, and good for the Earth – so it’s easy to agree that efficiency is a good idea. Evergreen makes it easy to plan and install cost-effective improvements that make homes more comfortable and energy efficient. (How easy? Contact us for a free consult and find out!)
If you're anything like me, it was easier to get up this morning than it has been in a while. It wasn't just the extra zzzs I caught over the weekend; yesterday's time change meant that it was already light when my alarm went off. Sure, it'll be dark before I get home tonight, but as I put on my sunglasses and cruised toward work, I was feeling pretty good about this whole end-of-Daylight-Saving-Time thing.
Until I heard this: Crime peaks during the "extra" hour of evening darkness. Apparently criminals aren't early risers, so they weren't taking advantage of last week's dark mornings, but the time change offers an opportunity many can't resist.
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