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Elizabeth Guinn
Engineer on a mission
Interests: All things green and energy efficient, Smarter ways to build
Recent Activity
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As an energy geek, I love my toys. I have a lot of energy saving toys like a thermal imaging camera, hygrometers, smoke sticks, home energy monitors, and a combustion analyzer to name a few. I love playing with my toys. The home energy monitor is a great toy to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2011 at Around the House
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I have been telling everyone that I don’t have any incandescent lights at my house at all. Years ago we made the switch to CFL’s and we love them. But I recently found myself changing out a light bulb and I realized that it was an incandescent and when I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2011 at Around the House
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Ever thought about buying a rain barrel? Just too nutty crunchy for you? What would the neighbors think? Buy one anyway. You can get those food grade plastic barrels several places and they are very reasonable in price. The hardware to fit them with a hose to fill your watering... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2011 at Around the House
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There are lots of ways to save energy. One way to save is to reduce the amount of water you use. Sure, you could take shorter showers or turn the water off when you are brushing your teeth, but that all takes thought and changing our habits and we all... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2011 at Around the House
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Thank goodness, our weather has broken a little lately. This wonderful, not hot, not cold, somewhere in the perfect middle temperature. This is the perfect time to head into your attic. Any other time of the year and it would be unbearable. Right now, before the temperatures climb into the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2011 at Around the House
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Since you have been using your dryer so much more now, it’s time to do a little maintenance on your dryer. While it is unplugged, go ahead and pull it out and disconnect that dryer vent. Get yourself a long handled duster like a swiffer and start at the dryer... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2011 at Around the House
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Hang a clothes line. It doesn’t have to encompass your whole yard, unless you have a really small yard. Just tie a rope from your deck to a tree. Make it just long enough for one load of wash. Nothing fancy, just a thin rope and some clothespins. Then, unplug... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2011 at Around the House
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I know if you have watched any of those “Redesign your House in a Weekend” shows on cable, you know that all designers hate ceiling fans. It seems that no matter what the homeowner says in the beginning of the show, the poor ceiling fan is the first thing to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2011 at Around the House
Add a storm door on the front of your house. Better yet add two, put the other one on the back door as well. But don’t just purchase any storm door; make sure you buy the kind with the disappearing screen. The one that I love is a full glass... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2011 at Around the House
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Does your house leak? Duct work in good shape? Got a moist crawl space? Is your insulation sufficient? Windows leak? Can’t answer all of these questions with any sense of assurance? Get a Home Energy Audit. Quit guessing about your houses operating efficiency and get some hard and fast numbers... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2011 at Around the House
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Change your light bulbs. All of them. I know if you have been reading any of my articles, you know how I feel about using incandescent light bulbs. And you are changing yours out slowly, one here and there as the old incandescent die out. This may seem like a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2011 at Around the House
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With the warm temps we have been having it is hard to believe that it is still spring but it is. One of the big to do items in the spring is spring cleaning. I don’t know who invented spring cleaning, but I love it. Not to say that I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2011 at Around the House
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Want in on one of the best secrets to lowering your energy bills? I’ll give you a hint: it’s small, either round or rectangular and hags on your wall. Give up? It’s your thermostat. If I came to your house to do an Energy Audit, after shaking your hand and... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2011 at Around the House
Elizabeth Guinn is now following Marc Rosenbaum
May 19, 2011
When I tell people that I do Home Energy Audits, the first thing they say is that are afraid to have me come and look at their house because they know it’s terrible. The second thing they tell me is that they know it’s their windows and they just can’t... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2011 at Around the House
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Air sealing and lighting are the two easiest and most cost effective ways to lower your monthly energy bill. Adding a little insulation would be next best investment. Adding insulation always seems like a daunting task, something that was done when the house was built and you can’t do anything... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2011 at Around the House
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Addressing our lighting issues was rewarding but since lighting is a small portion of what we spend, it would be more rewarding to hit one of the larger energy hogs. If we add the space heating to the space cooling figure we find that 43% of our energy bill goes... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2011 at Around the House
 So you want to start greening your house and your lifestyle, but you have idea where to start. That’s what I’m here for! To begin, we are going to get out your last Dominion Power statement and take note of how much you have been paying each month. Since... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2011 at Around the House
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Why would you want to install radiant floor heating in a house anyway? With allergies at an all time high, many people have become keenly aware of how a forced air heating system (i.e. a heat pump, etc.) moves lots of air in order to move the heat around your... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2011 at Around the House
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There has been a lot a talk in recent years about conserving energy and building houses that use less. All this has sparked some interest at your house in lowering your energy bills. Conserving energy makes sense, but just where should I start? My house isn’t that old, could it... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2011 at Around the House
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If you know me, you know how I feel about CFL’s and LED’s. I love them. I just bought a slew of LED’s for my house at Sam’s Club of all places. They have not one but five different styles to choose from right now. I could hardly wait to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2011 at Around the House
Recently I was in one of my favorite places to shop, the big box hardware store, and was absolutely amazed at the different choices of trash bags there were. I mean really how are we supposed to pick from 30 different sizes and brands. It occurred to me that many... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2011 at Around the House
What does it mean to be green? It seems that every person I talk to about green construction has a different take on what it means and how to achieve it. What I have determined is that it means being as careful and thoughtful about your choices of materials and methods of construction as you can be. For some that means using as little water as possible or eliminating storm water runoff that might pollute neighboring streams or waterways. For others it has to do with minimizing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) from the interior spaces of their homes, for still others it has to do with lowering the Carbon Footprint by reducing the dependence on electricity which comes largely from burning fossil fuels. For you it means something that I haven’t even touched on or some hybrid of the above mentioned ideas. The point is that conserving or working for change that betters the lives of you, your family, or your world is a good thing and something to strive for. What does matter is that change for the better, no matter how small or incremental, is still change in the positive direction. I like positive changes, so we have been working on some this past month. The little blue star that has been helping you choose things like better dishwashers and refrigerators for years can now help you build a better house. An Energy Star house is different from the standard home in several ways. Some ways that they differ are better insulation that exceeds minimum requirement in the Building Code, tighter building envelopes to keep unconditioned air from penetrating the house, high efficiency windows and doors, high efficiency heating and cooling equipment, and of course, Energy Star rated appliances and lighting fixtures. The best part about the Energy Star ratings system is that your home is evaluated by an independent professional to confirm that it was built to Energy Star’s high standards. Having an Energy Star rating for you home raises its resale value as well as gives you peace of mind that you have some part in making positive changes for your future and the futures of those around you. What changes are you making this year? I would love to hear. Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2011 at Around the House
Elizabeth Guinn is now following The Typepad Team
Feb 8, 2011