An Energy Audit Helper

By admin On February 26th, 2010 in Uncategorized /

TreeHugger.com posted an article about EnergySavvy, a tool that helps simplify and consolidate everything it takes to do a proper home energy audit. Its easy to use and offers real solutions based on the data you give about your home. You can even find pre-screened, qualifed contractors to help fix outstanding energy wasting issues in your home.

Take a look at the article for more details on being EnergySavvy.
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A Quick Fridge Tip…

By admin On February 17th, 2010 in Uncategorized /

Here’s a simple tip that you may have never thought of.

We all know you should be cleaning your home’s air filter, but have you considered cleaning off the coils on your refrigerator? Dust and pet hair can collect on the coils making it harder for your appliance to work efficiently. Consider getting a couple friends to help you pull your fridge away from the wall and giving it a good wipe down with a damp rag. While you’re at it, check the seals around the door of your fridge to make sure they are clean as well and no old food crumbs are causing tiny gaps in the door.

Refrigerators can account for up to 10% of your homes electricity use so it’s important to make sure they are running as efficiently as possible.

An ENERGY STAR, Star

By admin On February 10th, 2010 in Uncategorized /

OPPD’s ENERGY STAR for New Homes Program has certified and confirmed the lowest known Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) for a home in the Omaha area.

With ENERGY STAR’s HERS rating system, homes are rated on a scale of 0 to 100 for energy-efficiency. The lower the score, the better. A home must score 85 or lower to qualify for an ENERGY STAR rating.

Homes scoring 70 or lower earn ENERGY STAR’s Five-Star Plus designation. The home OPPD just certified easily qualified with a score of 40. The homebuilder is Todd Menard Construction. OPPD took a moment to talk with Todd about why he builds Energy Star Homes

Todd achieved this rating by super-insulating the home, super-air-sealing it and installing a geothermal HVAC system.*

Todd Menard Construction is one of 40 metro homebuilders that are building strictly ENERGY STAR-rated homes. As shown below, the number of such homes is growing, and the number of ENERGY STAR homes built by custom builders has more than doubled over the last two years.

ENERGY STAR-Rated Homes in OPPD’s Service Area
2006: 7
2007: 17
2008: 565 (40 from custom builders)
2009: 813 (100 from custom builders)

* A geothermal (or ground-source) heat pump is a central heating and/or cooling system that pumps heat to or from the ground. It uses the earth as a heat source (in the winter) or a heat sink (in the summer). This design takes advantage of the moderate temperatures in the ground to boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs of heating and cooling systems. It uses the earth as a heat source (in the winter) or a heat sink (in the summer). This design takes advantage of the moderate temperatures in the ground to boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs of heating and cooling systems.

New Battery Technology!

By admin On February 5th, 2010 in Uncategorized /

Batteries have always been an obstacle for new technology, giving finite life to products we would like to think should last forever. With hybrid and full electric cars, the batteries used are quite large, and quite expensive and eventually that battery will go dead. That could be a major concern if you are stuck replacing an expensive battery several years after purchasing your vehicle.

Everytime you recharge a battery, it slowly weakens components within the battery. A Japanese company claims to have discovered a method that would keep the battery from degrading as quickly, extending the life of the battery.

From Crunch Gear:

The main idea is to stabilize the electrodes and prevent the deterioration of tin, making the batteries withstand repeated charges. The batteries have a negative electrode that incorporates a tin-coated resin and accumulates lithium ions coming from the positive electrode. The positive electrode is made of silicon and tin and swells while generating the ions.

As a result, the repeated charging and discharging causes the binding between particles in the tin to weaken, but Eamex’s technology helps to effectively maintain the bonding among those particles.

As it stands current batteries are not prohibitive when considering a vehicle with some form of electric power, but if this new technology can find its way into the market, it’ll make electric vehicles an even more sensible purchase. And all of our other gadgets would hold a charge for a lot longer as well!