Green Remodeling in your Bathroom, Kitchen and Utility Room

Energy-efficient homes are here and they are gaining in popularity, as the values of modern life shift toward eco-friendliness. The necessity for clean energy and sustainable living began to hit home as we are witnessing the severe depletion of fossil fuels. Being energy-efficient is not only a contribution to a better future, it is also a relief for your wallet. Have a look at our overview of tips on how to increase your home’s energy efficiency and how to reduce expenses. You can contact GGR Energy + Remodelling for some more customized green remodeling consultancy on how you can increase the comfort of your home and save at the same time.

Energy efficiency in the bathroom

It boils down to reducing the amount of water used. This lowers your water bills, but in a way, it reduces the electricity needed to move water. If you are using less water, less electricity needs to be produced to move the water to and from your house.

  • Change the shower valves – This move can reduce the amount of water you use to shower by half or more. And the best thing is that with new valves the water pressure won’t suffer, unlike before. So, you’ll use considerably less water without noticing it.
  • Efficient toilets – Dual-flush toilets are those with options for flushing less and more water. They have almost become the standard in newer homes. If you don’t have this toilet, you can install a flush convertor. Another option is a low-flush toilet which use 60 percent less water per flush than the old ones made in the 1980s. Another quick solution is using a tank displacement bag in the cistern which can reduce the water usage by nearly 20 percent.
  • Economical lighting – Bathrooms tend to be overly lit. You can reduce the number of lights in your vanity cabinet or replace them with LEDs. This will drastically impact the electricity bill.

Making the kitchen more energy-efficient

With the dishwasher, water heater, stove and refrigerator, your kitchen is a place of major energy consumption. But, small changes go a long way.

  • Efficient dishwasher – Modern dishwashers are usually quite efficient and consume an amount of energy similar to hand washing. But, how do you dry your dishes? Heated dry will waste a lot of energy that could be saved if you simply open your dishwasher and let the dishes drip dry. Also, check how long the wash cycle is. Try making it shorter without affecting the cleanliness. With some experimenting, you should hit the optimum duration. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full and to avoid streaks, be careful how you stack the dishes. Scrape them of leftovers and stack them facing inwards to ensure they are sprayed directly.
  • Efficient stove – Stove, and the oven especially, use most energy in your kitchen. If you are not a keen cook, you might want to consider getting a convection oven which can satisfy your needs, and simultaneously cut your electricity bills. If you have a stove top with drip pans, keeping them clean will reduce the necessary amount of electricity for your cooking. Getting the right coils for your stove top is also wise. And finally, pressure cookers will shorten the cooking time substantially.

Energy-efficient utility room

  • Washing machines – The least you can do is wash your laundry on cold settings. This will do just fine and it will shave off some additional costs on your electricity bill. If you are thinking of buying a new washing machine, give some serious thought to smart ones. They have sophisticated electronic systems that help you maximize the efficiency of every load.
  • Dryer – Living in a warm climate diminishes the need for a dryer. Why not buy a drying rack? They cost next to nothing, your home will not be heated by the dryer and you will pay less for electricity every month. Plus, your clothes won’t have static electricity, nor will they be as crumpled. If this is too difficult or you don’t have enough space, make your dryer more efficient by maintaining the lint trap, the vent and the sensor in clean condition.

Winter Olympics Go Green

For the Winter Olympics this year in Sochi, Russia pledged to go green. As part of the country’s bid to host the 2014 event, they committed to green building standards and promised not to create landfills as part of a “zero waste” policy. With a $51 billion budget — the biggest in Olympic history — the task to create the greenest Olympics yet seemed rather feasible. Using our many years of experience in green construction, we put Sochi to the test by evaluating how green they have actually gone.

 

Among Sochi’s plans for going green were LED lighting, thin-film photovoltaic cells, germicidal paint, air purification and decontamination systems, autonomous lighting points, and low emission glazing. According to the Sochi 2014 website, Russia promised to use “renewable sources of energy, waste minimization and recycling, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as sustainable water and energy use” in about 200 of their Olympic venues. A number of thermal and hydroelectric power stations were to be renovated as well. All of this was backed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation, in addition to three of Russia’s opposing political parties.

 

These steps toward a greener Winter Olympics are encouraging and should serve as an example for future Olympics to come, but as is to be expected with any major production, something is bound to go wrong. At the Sochi Winter Olympics, a lot of things haven’t gone quite as well as expected due to missing funds and mishaps at the opening ceremony. Unfortunately, illegal landfills have also reportedly been used to dump construction waste and there have been thousands of acres of deforestation, wetlands damage, and a reduction in biodiversity. Despite these environmental complaints, Emmanuelle Moreau, the head of media relations for the IOC, explains that Sochi 2014 is the first Olympic games to reduce the carbon footprint of athletes and attendees and it’s the first international sports event in Russia to even consider sustainability and the environment.

While Sochi’s push to go green at the 2014 Winter Olympics didn’t fulfill 100% of it’s requirements, it’s a start. The recognition and awareness for a greener alternative to such large scaled events is crucial. There is no question there is still a lot to be done in the future, but at GGR Energy, we are glad to be at the forefront of green construction and energy conservation. You don’t need to host the major countries in the most notable sporting event in order to go green, go for the gold and start with your home!

Tips to Better Insulate your Home (and Wallet)!

Wallheating_pipes_on_bast_fiber_insulationAdding home insulation to an existing home will also increase sound control. Insulation creates a sound barrier, keeping unwanted sounds out and protecting your privacy by keeping the sounds from inside your home from being audible outside. Insulating your home also creates a moisture barrier, keeping unwanted moisture out of your house. Adding insulation to your home is a great way to increase the comfort of your living environment.

This will protect all of your possessions indoors and create a much more comfortable living environment inside. Another benefit of home insulation is keeping environmental pollutants and allergens out of your home. Home insulation creates an added barrier between you and the outside world, keeping your home environment regulated, healthy and comfortable.

Savings: Insulating your home also has cost benefits to you as homeowner. With added insulation your home will become much more energy efficient. Insulation will keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This will reduce the amount of heating and cooling appliances you need to use to keep your home comfortable. Because of this, home insulation will reduce your energy bills and the costs of cooling and heating your home.

Environmental Benefits: Another benefit of insulating your home is a reduced environmental impact. With an insulated home you will be using less energy for heating and cooling your home. This will reduce your carbon footprint, and also reduce the amount of chemicals released into the environment from air conditioning units.

Hire an Expert:  GGREnergy specializes in home insulation and other methods of green home remodeling that increase your comfort, benefit your health, reduce your energy bills and lessen your home’s environmental impact. Through our home performance audit, get green analysis and get green performance remodel, among our other services, we provide the expertise and experience you need to get the green home and comfort you and your family deserve.

Green Solutions to Everyday Living

Tips to Saving on Water Bills

water GGREnergy strives to provide solutions to saving on energy bills, and finding greener solutions to everyday living. Check out this tip guide for how to save on water this holiday season.

Water saving is great way to not only save water, but will also save you a lot of money over time. There are numerous ways to save water that do not take much extra time or effort and will save you much more money than you put down on any upgrades that use less water.

Whether you want to begin using less water inside or outside of your home, there are many ways to do so. Water is a precious thing and even costs more than a soda nowadays. Unfortunately, we use up more natural fresh water each year than the earth can produce resulting in recycling water and filtering it in water treatment plants and using it again. Water saving is good for your wallet, the environment and the earth itself.

Household Water Saving

  • When doing laundry, it is best and most efficient to wash full loads of clothes so that you do not overuse water with a small load. (If you are buying a new washer, try to purchase a water saving model)
  • If you are lucky enough to be building your new home, try to shorten up the distance between the showers, sinks and the water heater to avoid waiting for the water to heat up which results in a lot of wasted water. (If you are not building a new home, try your best to insulate your hot water pipes wherever it is possible)

-Bathroom Water Saving

  • Taking showers rather than baths are a great and easy way to save water. According to nationalgeographic.com, filling up a bathtub takes nearly 70 gallons of water!
  • If you have an older model toilet, you can save water by placing a brick or similar item in the tank to take up space and require less water per flush.
  • It is crucial to check on a regular basis for any leaks in your bathroom sink, toilet or shower and fix them right away when spotted. This can save you a lot of money as well.

-Kitchen Water Saving

  • When using the dishwasher, only turn it on for full loads. (If you are buying a new dishwasher, purchase a water saving one)
  • Most dishwashers are very efficient nowadays and do not require you to rinse the dishes before putting them in. This is also a great for water saving.
  • Check for leaks frequently and fix as soon as you can to avoid water and money loss.

 

Tips to Help Lower Your Energy Bill

Proper Insulation Tips to Help Lower Your Energy Bill

20081217-green-energyWhether you are a DIY (do it yourself) or a CAP (call a professional) homeowner, these tips on how to properly insulate your home will guide you in the right direction or help you hire the best professional.

Properly installing home insulation takes more than minor construction skills; there is a science behind turning your home into a healthy, comfortable, energy-efficient environment. Improperly installed insulation can result in health issues due to mold issues and inferior air quality inside your home. Making this one of those projects where bringing in a professional may actually save you time and money in the long run.

How to Properly Install Insulation

Ted’s energy tips  warn of the dangers of improper insulation and offers detailed tips on how to do the job right. If you decide to do the job yourself, read Ted’s tips on his site in detail at least 3 times before you begin. If you decide to hire a professional, be sure they are trained in all aspects of building science.

  1. Air seal and reduce moisture in the attic before insulating to avoid condensation, mold, and wood rot.
  2. Disconnect humidifiers in properly insulated homes. Moisture will always find a place to go; usually up to the attic. This can damage the roof.
  3.  Know your insulation products. All insulation products are not created equal. The material used in the attic, will not work in the basement for example. Using the wrong insulation will result in moisture issues and may not be compliant with building code regulations.
  4. Shut the refrigerator door. Picture your house like a refrigerator. When the door is closed, it completely closes in the cold air and keeps out the warm air. If the door is left ajar, this concept goes, well, out the door. The same principle applies to your home. The more complex the design of your home the harder it will be to insulate it correctly to avoid gaps and ensure continuous protection.
  5. Packing it in. Ted often says “a house can never be too tight.” But even Ted admits this can be a huge mistake if fresh air and humidity are not taken into account and provided. Fresh air circulating throughout the home is a must to maintain a healthy atmosphere for your family.

Unless you are a contractor by trade and trained in the fine art of insulation installation, hiring a professional would be the wise choice. GGR Energy has been improving the energy efficiency, comfort, and safety of San Diego homes since 2008. Our project managers and home performance advisers are trained to incorporate building science into every project to ensure the job meets the highest standards.


Whole Home Insulation Benefits

The Benefits of Whole Home Insulation

home insulationInsulation is any material that is used within the walls of a building to either keep in heat, soundproof, increase fire resistance or minimize vibration impact. When people think of home insulation, the first image that probably comes to mind is a bunch of pink foam in the attic. This is typically the cheapest way to insulate your home, and it’s most common in older homes. Whole home insulation – insulation within your walls, ceilings, and floors – is common these days, and there are very real benefits that come along with it.

Homes that are properly insulated use about 30 to 50% less energy than homes that are not insulated. Insulation within the walls, ceilings, and even floors of your home will maintain an internal environment and temperature that are affected less by the outside environment and temperature. As a result, insulation will keep your home warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer. Thus, you don’t have to use your heater or air conditioning as much. This energy conservation translates directly into saving money, especially considering the fact that heating and cooling account for about 40% of your home’s energy usage.

Aside from comfort and energy, there is also the added benefit of noise reduction. Insulation will not only minimize the sound coming in from outside, but it will also reduce noise transfer between rooms by absorbing and/or deflecting the sound waves. This will further increase the comfort and privacy of your home, which can have advantages that extend beyond your own family living comfortably in your home. An added incentive to consider for installing whole home insulation is the fact that it will increase your home’s market value. From a buyer’s perspective, an already insulated home is worth paying a little more for, and from a realtor’s perspective, this means a higher market value for your home.

Of course, there are many different kinds of home insulation materials to consider, including fiberglass, mineral-fiber, cellulose thermal, vermiculite, rigid foam, and urethane. Choosing the right material depends on you and your home’s need. Luckily, at GGR Energy we can help make this process easy and comfortable.

The Benefits of HVAC

How HVAC can Benefit you

HVACHeating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) has numerous benefits not only for your home or business, but your wallet as well. HVAC technology is designed for creating indoor comfort, whether it be your home, business or even you car. Most importantly though, HVAC is extremely efficient in larger industrial buildings with multiple offices like skyscrapers and temperature controlled areas like aquariums where the temperature must either be kept cool, or warm depending on the animal. The main thing to think about when purchasing or upgrading your HVAC system is energy efficiency, as it can and will save you a lot of money over time.

Installing a HVAC system in your home or business can truly change the environment from being simply miserable sometimes to being comfortable at the touch of a button. When it is 95 degrees outside with over 90% humidity and inside your home or business it is close to 90 degrees with the humidity it can be an awful feeling for you and your customers. Having an HVAC system can not only make your living or business areas more comfortable, but keep your family or customers happy. The main function of HVAC is to provide comfort with quality indoor air. The hidden benefits of HVAC are just as important as the obvious one. HVAC provides ventilation throughout ensuring that every room is how you want it. Using room air distribution, HVAC can not only deliver air to multiple rooms, but remove air as well when it is needed. People often function and work much better when they are comfortable and having HVAC will ensure that your family or employees are in a proper environment.

Besides making your home or business much more comfortable during extreme weather changes like high hot temperatures or low freezing temperatures, installing an energy efficient HVAC system will save you and your business money, especially if you know it will be running constantly. With the new energy efficient systems, the more they work the more money you save. Comparing last year’s monthly bills to the same month’s bill with the energy efficient HVAC, customers often save between 30-40% on the bill. Not including any kind of aid you can qualify for by choosing to go green and use energy efficient technology that is environmentally safer as well. Each state will often have state incentives for those who use renewable or energy efficient sources.

If your current HVAC system is over ten years old, you are considering one for your home or office or simply wanting to upgrade to an energy efficient HVAC system Get Green Remodeling (GGR) has a solution for you that will not only save you money, but help the environment as well. Contact us for a free consultation or more information.

What is HVAC?

The Facts on HVAC

hvacHVAC might sound like an obscure or strange word, but in reality it’s nothing too fancy, and it’s something that everyone is familiar with in this day and age. In fact, all it really stands for is Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.

When considering remodeling, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of HVAC, because it greatly affects the design of any building and its energy usage.

Heating

In most houses and buildings, central heating is used as the primary method of heat distribution. This means there is a boiler, furnace, or heat pump in a certain room that is responsible for distributing heat to the rest of the rooms. Heat is typically transferred by convection in these systems, meaning via liquid or gas.

Unfortunately, to heat enough of the convector for transfer to the air of the entire building, it requires a lot of energy, which will typically come from gas or electricity.

Geothermal heat pumps are gaining a lot of popularity, however, because they utilize the temperature of the earth, which means a 30 to 40% lower energy cost and a minimized effect on the environment.

Ventilation

Ventilation involves the changing of air in any space to control for temperature, moisture, gases, and other unwanted particles. In larger buildings, mechanical ventilation is necessary in order to maintain appropriate indoor air quality. It typically requires the use of fans and/or central air handling units for very large spaces. A more eco-friendly and cost-effective option is natural ventilation by means of windows and/or trickle vents, which let rising warm air escape and cooler air enter through lower openings.

Air Conditioning

The simple definition of air conditioning is the removal of heat from a space. The refrigerant of the air conditioning unit begins in a gaseous state and is pumped to a high pressure and temperature by a compressor. It is then converted to a liquid when it loses its heat to the outside and cools via a heat exchanger or condensing coil. The refrigerant in its liquid form then reaches another heat exchanger where it evaporates. As it evaporates, it absorbs heat from inside, thus cooling the room or building. While air conditioning can be rather expensive and energy-inefficient, solar energy, geothermal heat pumps, and fans can be used to keep temperatures down while being mindful of the environment and your energy bill.

How Can We Help?

At GGR Energy, “green building” is what we do. Whether you want a lower energy bill or you just want to be environmentally conscious, we can help you design and construct the right home or building for your needs, and it all starts with the proper heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

Why you Should Go Solar in the Summer

Benefits of Going Solar in Summer

solarThere are many benefits to installing a solar power system to your home. It is a good thing to do at any time, but can be especially beneficial during the Summer months. Solar energy will save you money, reduce summer time blackouts and care for the environment and the future generations.

Save Money

One of the most significant benefits of going solar is saving money. You will dramatically reduce and possibly eliminate your current electrical bill. This is good for the present but also for the future. Switching to solar energy protects you and your family from the annual rising costs of electricity. It is predicted that monthly electric costs double approximately every 10 years, and with the current state of the energy economy, this rate could accelerate even faster. Save money for you and your family by going solar this summer!

Reduce Energy Use

Summer time months are notorious for rolling black outs because of all the air conditioner use. By going solar you will benefit not only your home but your city’s power grid by not contributing to the summer time air conditioner energy drain. By adding a solar system to your home you will no longer use as much, if any, of the city power and this will help the functioning of the whole system. In the Summer months there is abundant sunshine so your solar energy system will be plenty full to power all of your summer time energy needs. In the event of a city black out, your home will not be affected because you will have your own energy source.

Help the Environment

The best benefit of going solar is the benefit to the environment! By changing your power system to solar power you will reduce your carbon footprint and the pollution in the environment. This will help keep the air clean, reduce greenhouse gasses and positively impact the environment now and for future generations.

There are many more benefits to going solar in the Summer. Not only will it save you money, reduce energy use and help the environment, but it will also increase the value of your home! Contact GGR to help you harness the natural energy of the abundant summer time sun and switch to a solar energy system for your home.

The Benefits of Home Insulation

Insulating Your Home Secures Energy Savings From The Outside In

 There are many benefits of home insulation. Insulating your home will add to your comfort, create a healthier home environment, reduce your energy bills and have a positive environmental impact.

 Comfort of Home Insulation

The inside guide of home insulation.

The inside guide of home insulation.

Adding insulation to your home is a great way to increase the comfort of your living environment. Adding home insulation to an existing home will regulate the temperature, making your living environment more enjoyable, especially in places of extreme weather.

Adding home insulation to an existing home will also increase sound control. Insulation creates a sound barrier, keeping unwanted sounds out and protecting your privacy by keeping the sounds from inside your home from being audible outside. Insulating your home also creates a moisture barrier, keeping unwanted moisture out of your house.

This will protect all of your possessions indoors and create a much more comfortable living environment inside. Another benefit of home insulation is keeping environmental pollutants and allergens out of your home. Home insulation creates an added barrier between you and the outside world, keeping your home environment regulated, healthy and comfortable.

 Cost Benefits of Insulating Your Home

Insulating your home also has cost benefits to you as homeowner. With added insulation your home will become much more energy efficient. Insulation will keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This will reduce the amount of heating and cooling appliances you need to use to keep your home comfortable. Because of this, home insulation will reduce your energy bills and the costs of cooling and heating your home.

 Environmental Benefits of Home Insulation

Another benefit of insulating your home is a reduced environmental impact. With an insulated home you will be using less energy for heating and cooling your home. This will reduce your carbon footprint, and also reduce the amount of chemicals released into the environment from air conditioning units.

 At Get Green Remodeling, we specialize in home insulation and other methods of green home remodeling that increase your comfort, benefit your health, reduce your energy bills and lessen your home’s environmental impact. Through our home performance audit, get green analysis and get green performance remodel, among our other services, we provide the expertise and experience you need to get the green home and comfort you and your family deserve.