10 Tips for Saving Energy During Cold Temperatures

Saving Energy

10 Tips for Saving Energy During Cold Temperatures

If your energy bill seems to skyrocket during the cold winter months, you are not alone. Thanks to higher fuel costs and temperatures that have reached record lows, this is a common problem that many people are dealing with.

Unfortunately, Punxsutawney Phil seems to believe that winter is far from over, meaning that your energy bills won’t be decreasing on its own anytime soon. Fortunately, there are ways you can save energy (and money), even when temperatures are at their lowest. Here are ten tips to help you get started. Continue Reading

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LED Light and Potential Impact on Energy Savings

LED Light and Potential Impact on Energy Savings

LED Lights

Most of us take for granted the ability to flip a switch and illuminate a room. What you may not realize is that electricity is a secondary form of energy. It’s produced in large part (67%) by steam turbines, driven by steam-producing boilers burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, petroleum) are non-renewable fuels that result in upwards of 78% of our world’s air pollutants.

In the past few decades, humanity has searched for better, safer and renewable energy sources to supplant our dependence on fossil fuels. And, while there have been significant improvements and discoveries with respect to renewable energy sources, we are still sorely dependent on fossil fuels to make sure the light turns on when we flip that switch. Being both a consumer of electricity and a human with choices, I believe it is my responsibility to reduce my ecological footprint.   Continue Reading

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The Time is Right for LED Bulbs

For reducing energy costs and reducing environmental impact from energy usage, there’s no easier way than replacing standard energy-wasting light bulbs with more energy-efficient products. After seeing a display at a home improvement store, I decided to do a side-by-side comparison, and believe LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are the way to go. Continue Reading

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Green Ideas: Sources for Historic Restoration and Re-Purposing in Chicago

Whether you are restoring a period home, have an affinity for the aesthetics of a certain decade, or are looking for unique materials to bring character to your living space, Chicago has some great options for finding vintage fixtures and materials. And re-using salvaged items is environmentally friendly to boot. While eBay has myriad salvage items, shipping larger pieces can be an issue, and sometimes you just need to see something with your own eyes to know if it’s right for your home. Here are some great places to start:

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Radon Testing: Why and When You Should Do It

We are very strongly urging our home inspection clients to have a radon test performed before making a final decision about whether to purchase a home. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be dangerous when it builds up inside of confined spaces. It is estimated that 20,000 people die each year due to exposure to radon, and it is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers (number two overall). 25% of homes within Chicago and 40% of those in the suburbs that have been tested have come back with results showing radon levels above EPA safety guidelines. Due to the relatively small number of homes that currently get tested, the percentage of homes with dangerous levels of radon could actually be much higher.

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Tap Water Contaminents: What You Can Do

For the health and safety of you and your family, we strongly recommend installing a whole-house water filtration system. While not cheap (the most effective models can cost $800-1,200+, plus installation and maintenance), if you can afford it, you should consider doing it. While under-sink, faucet-mount and refrigerator models work for drinking water, they won’t protect you from the chemicals your body can absorb while bathing. For an in-depth article on the dangers posed by unfiltered tap water, visit http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/27/drinking-water-with-chloramine.aspx

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