Monday, August 27, 2012

Greener Home Quiz

Take our short Greener Home Quiz!

1) What's the best way to cut down on air leaks in your home?

A) Add more insulation
B) Caulking and sealing

If you said B, you are right! Air leaks can increase your heating and cooling bill by 10 percent.
Caulking and sealing them can cut down on your carbon footprint by 865 pounds or 392 kilograms per year.

2) What's the optimal temperature for your water heater?

A) 49 degrees C
B) 60 degrees C
C) 71 degrees C
D) 82 degrees C

If you said 49 degrees C, you are right! Lowering your water temperature prevents scalds and reduces carbon emissions by almost 480 pounds or 218 kilograms.

3) How often should you check your air conditioner and furnace filters?

A) Monthly  B) When it gets warm or cold enough to turn them on  C) Annually  D) Every other year

If you said A, you are correct! Checking air conditioners monthly to be sure they are clean improves the efficiency of your heating and air conditioning systems and can save anywhere from 5 to 15 percent of your heating and cooling bill.

True or False:
Raising or lowering your thermostat a degree or two doesn't have that much impact on your heating bill?

If you said false, you are right again! Make it easy to save energy this way by installing a programmable thermostat from House Smart Home Improvements.

What in your home uses the most water?

A) Washing machine  B) Dishwasher  C) Sink  D) Toilet

Believe it or not, the toilet is the biggest water user here. Flushing generally accounts for more than one third of  home water use. However, new and improved high efficiency toilets can cut down a toilet's water use by 60 percent over older models. If you have an older model, there are ways to dramatically cut down on their water use.

This information was taken partly from National Geographic's Green Guide.

For more environmental tests, visit

Leave your comments here! Visit House Smart Home Improvements Today.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How Can I Go Green Around My Home?

Here are 15 Easy Ways to Go Green Around Your Home!

 A common problem that people face when deciding whether or not to go green is the feeling of discouragement. We often hear about Al Gore and Ed Begley and all of the eco friendly changes they have made, and it can be pretty overwhelming because we don't all have the kind of money that they do. The good news is that you don't have to install solar panels in your entire home in order togo green. Even a few changes will make a tremendous difference.

Here is a list of 10 easy ways you can make a difference for future generations!

1. Make sure your computer and other office machines like printers are set to sleep mode after a short period of non-use time. (For these options on PC just right-click on the desk-top; on Mac click the little apple icon at top left for options).

2. Buy a Laptop. Laptops use 50 percent of the energy used by a desktop computer when plugged in. When running on batteries they use almost nothing!

3. If you have an older-style toilet with a large tank, fill a one-quart plastic bottle with water and submerge in each toilet tank. You will save thousands of gallons of water a year.

4. Make sure to fix any dripping, leaking taps in your bathroom or any other area in your house to avoid water waste.

5. Take short showers. Showers can consume up to one-fifth of in-home water usage.

6. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. This can also apply to shaving. Try using a sink full of water instead.

7. Buy a long lasting environmentally friendly shower curtain - don't buy a shower curtain that is made of plastic. Buy one that is machine washable and durable.

8. Use a strainer on all drains to catch debris and prevent drain clogs. If you do get a clog, use a metal snake to work the clog loose, not toxic drain cleaners.

9. You can separate your waste materials when re-modeling your home, and have them recycled.

10. Before you throw away your empty latex paint cans, leave the top off and allow the remaining paint to dry completely. Latex paint is not hazardous once it is solidified.

11. Clean refrigerator gaskets and vacuum the condenser coils twice a year. Your refrigerator will operate more efficiently and use less electricity.

12. Wrap your water heater in an insulating  jacket if it is located in an unheated space such as a basement or garage.

13. Use a toaster oven for small jobs. It will use a third to half as much energy as a full-size oven.

14. Arrange furniture to take advantage of natural light from windows. Place desks and reading chairs next to windows to cut down on the need and use of lamps and electricity during the day.

15. Switch to fluorescent bulbs in areas where extended lighting is required. Fluorescent lights last up to ten times as longer than incandescent bulbs  and therefore cost one-third as much to operate.

At House Smart Home Improvements we care about the environment. House Smart Home Improvements, serving the lower mainland in BC, provides you with professional installation of energy-star windows, doors, furnaces, heat pumps and more

Call today to discuss ways to make home improvements that will have an impact on your environment for future generations. Call us now at: 604-585-2020