Posts Tagged ‘how to conserve electrical energy’

Save Money! Improve Your Home With Artifical Building Materials

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Believe it or not, you can build with plastic and no one will ever know! It’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between artificial materials and materials found in nature.

And artificial is so much cheaper!

Here are some of the best state-of-the-art building material look-alikes:

Fiber Cement Siding

Average price: $13,000 to replace existing siding and trim with fiber cement
Savings: 25% less than wood

Unlike vinyl siding, which comes in large sheets, this consists of individual shingles or clapboards nailed in place one at a time to closely resemble wood. Made from recycled wood fibers mixed with cement, this siding won’t rot.

home improvement fiber cement siding

Manufactured Stone

Average price: $1,700 to create an interior floor-to-ceiling wall above a fireplace
Savings: 50% less than real masonry

Get the look of real stone for a chimney, a fireplace or porch posts with these artificial rocks that are molded from concrete and then individually tinted to slightly different colors for an authentic appearance.

home improvement manufactured stone

Engineered Stone Countertops

Average price: $2,500 to $5,000 for an average kitchen countertop
Savings: Same price as granite, but needs no sealing

Made from chips of quartz pressed together with resins, the best-engineered countertops look like real stone that just happens to have an extremely uniform pattern on its surface (man cannot mimic a highly variegated look yet – maybe in a couple of years).

home improvement stone counters

Cellular PVC Trim

Average price: $120 per window or door, installed
Savings: Costs 20% more than cedar up front but lasts longer and better

Made by injecting air into vinyl chloride (a liquid form of vinyl) and then forming it into solid pieces of trim, the resulting boards get cut, nailed and even shaped into custom profiles by the same tools and techniques used for wood.

home improvement cellular pvc trim

Stamped Concrete Patios

Average price: $4,000 for a 16 x 20 patio
Savings: Half the cost of bluestone

Instead of laying individual bluestones, cobbles or bricks, a contractor can simply pour a slab of concrete and then emboss and tint its surface to make it look like any one of those far more expensive materials.

home improvement stamped concrete

Find out more about Plastic fantastic building materials at Money.Cnn.Com

Saving Money by Cutting Home Energy Losses

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Prices are going up in many of the areas that affect how you live. Significant changes are found in groceries, the price of energy and almost everything else you can think of. Maybe you can’t cut back on your insurance premiums, but you can do a lot to cut back your homehousehold [sic] energy costs. In most cases, you don’t need to spend a penny to start on the savings. Use these simple suggestions and you’ll find you can start saving money right away.

Tighten leaky faucets. A leaky faucet can waste hundreds of gallons of water each year. Worse yet, if the faucet leaks hot water you are sending a lot of money literally down the drain. The cost of heating water typically accounts for about 10-15% of household energy costs. Those little drips can add up to a big cost and they are easy to avoid.

Don’t leave your flue damper open. When you don’t have a fire going in your fireplace, make sure the damper is closed. This will keep heated air from getting lost out the chimney.

Install a showerhead with a restricted flow design. It will save water and also the energy to heat that water. You can get one for under $20. Installation is usually very easy.

In the summer, set your temperature to 78 degrees. You can save a lot by increasing the temperature to 78 from 72 degrees. Your AC is probably your home’s most energy intensive system, so even small decreases can offer big paybacks.

Lower your temperature control to 68 during the winter. You can save up to 5% on your heating bill by reducing your temperature setting from 72 to 68 degrees.

Do your laundry in cold water. About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is in heating the water. Eliminate this unnecessary cost by using cold water for the laundry. Restrict your use of warm water to when you’re doing a load of whites. Modern detergents do a pretty good job so it’s not like in the old days.

Use window treatments to regulate your home’s temperature. In the summer, close your south and west facing curtains or blinds. Keeping direct sunlight out of your home will reduce the burden on your air conditioner. It will make your rooms cooler. During the winter, do the opposite. Open your blinds and curtains on sunny days to let the sun’s rays warm your rooms. As the sun goes down, close them again to keep the warmth from escaping.

Only run the dishwasher when it’s full, so you won’t run it so often. The dishwasher accounts for about 2% of your home’s overall energy usage. Don’t ever run partial loads with it. Wait until it is as full as possible before you turn it on.

Run vent fans only when you really have to. Your bathroom’s ventilation fans can replace all the air in your home in as short a time as one hour! Letting the exhaust fans run for extended periods will suck your cool or warm air from your house and replace it with more air from outside. This will boost your cooling and heating costs significantly.

To learn about Longmont CO homes for sale, click here.

Saving Money by Cutting Home Energy Losses
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