RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

10 Energy-Saving Tips for Your Home

October 26, 2015 2:48 am

Did you know the average American family spends at least $2,000 a year on home utility bills? You can cut down your own expenses significantly by adopting energy-saving methods and implementing a few eco-friendly products. The experts at Power Home Remodeling Group, one of the nation’s largest exterior home remodelers, recommend starting with:

1. Smart Appliances – For new installs or replacements, look for energy-efficient appliances and building products with ENERGY STAR labels. These products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

2. High-Tech Thermostats – Consider investing in a high-tech programmable thermostat, like the Nest Learning Thermostat, that learns from homeowner activity, programs itself automatically and helps save energy when no one is home.

3. Filter Swaps – A dirty air filter can make your heating and cooling systems work harder and use more energy. Be sure to regularly change the filter on your air conditioning and heating unit.

4. Intelligent Power Strips – Purchase an intelligent power strip geared toward saving more energy, like the Modlet. This device plugs into your wall outlet and connects to your computer or smartphone, allowing you to monitor how much energy your electronics and appliances are using when they're plugged in.

5. Recycled Water – Aside from inspecting your sprinkler system for leaks, consider collecting rainwater to water your landscape. Enhance your curb appeal in the process and purchase a rain collection system that can be camouflaged as a decorative piece on your lawn, such as a barrel, charcoal rocks or a flowerpot.

6. Low-E Windows – Replace single-glazed windows with low thermal emissivity windows to reduce heat transfer and keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Windows and doors should also be regularly checked to make sure they're properly sealed to avoid heat from escaping.

7. Light-Colored Roofs – Choose a light-colored roof or add a ridge vent to decrease heat transferred to the attic. At the very least, consider adding insulation to the attic to lower temperatures.

8. Dual-Flush Toilets – According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, toilets consume up to 30 percent of a home's average water use. Replace your toilets with dual-flush alternatives to save water and money.

9. LED Light Bulbs – Replace CFL lights with LED lights, as they use less energy and last five times longer. You might also consider custom-made hardware that allows you to adjust your lights from your phone. Carnes Audio is one of many vendors that install these types of controlled systems.

10. Fans – Add ceiling or portable fans to your home to help circulate air and cut down on air conditioner use.

Source: Power Home Remodeling Group

Published with permission from RISMedia.


4 Ways to Green Your Next Home Improvement Project

October 26, 2015 2:48 am

(BPT) – Got home improvement on your to-do list? Consider going green for your next project – it’s easier than you think!

Rent instead of buy. Some projects may call for equipment you don't have. Rather than buy new, consider renting the tools you need. According to the American Rental Association (, renting is a green alternative to buying because it helps cut down the consumption of energy and materials and pollution associated with producing, delivering and selling new tools. Renting is also less expensive than purchasing, especially when using a specialized item you may not use again, and can help you avoid the hassle of storing tools between projects.

Seek salvaged materials. Before you visit your local home improvement store or lumber yard, ask yourself if you can complete your project with reclaimed materials.

Building a patio? Recycled bricks or pavers will do the job just as well as new, cost less and impart unique character you often can’t get from new materials. Installing hardwood flooring? Wood flooring reclaimed from an old warehouse or barn not only reduces the amount of construction materials in landfills, but also gives your floor an authentically rustic touch.

Reuse from your own home. Often times, you have items in your own home that can be purposed for a home improvement project.  Look for opportunities to reuse items you already have on hand. You'll reduce waste, save money on waste removal fees and spare the expense of buying new building materials.

The front walk might need to be redone with level pavers, but the old ones could be reused for a backyard fire pit. Lumber from that fence you took down could be turned into decorative seating on your deck. A pedestal sink left over from a bathroom remodel could make an ornamental birdbath for the garden.

Keep recycling in mind. Sometimes construction leftovers just can't be reused, but that doesn't necessarily mean they can't be recycled. As you're working on your project, look for opportunities to recycle what you can't use. And if you do have to buy new materials, choose ones that could potentially be recycled some day in the future.

Published with permission from RISMedia.