Artificial Turf Is The New Green Landscaping

Artificial turf isn’t just for mini golf and football stadiums anymore! It has become the go-to product for homeowners suffering through drought or trying to reduce their water consumption. Tanner Shepard, owner of LawnPop, an Austin, TX turf installation company, says that their brand has been growing at a rapid pace. “Synthetic grass was a great option to help conserve water during the drought,” Shepard said. “Turf is very versatile, and people are getting more creative when it comes to…

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Analyzing Exterior Deck Options

When asked what is a highly desired feature outside of the house, a good number of people will first select an exterior deck or porch. Here’s why: if done well, it makes an inviting place to visit with family or friends to enjoy summer cookouts, or simply as a great place to sit back, relax, and savor the wonderful natural world outside the house. If you happen to be one of those wanting to build something like this, you are…

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6 Tips For Picking A Paint Color

Whether you are painting with green paint or “green” paint, everyone can use some help picking a paint color. There are so many to choose from, almost too many, and how do you pick the right color and shade to go with your decor? Noelle Parks, professional interior designer for Dunn-Edwards Paints, shares six expert tips on finding the right hue: 1. Choose color based on desired mood of a room From high-energy red to mellow blue, psychological responses to…

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Wireless holiday lights by Aura

More Holiday Tech — Wireless Holiday Lights

This is another article for those who simply must have the latest and greatest that technology has to offer. In this case, it is wireless holiday lights, and it will be the next great thing for 2015. Powered by Aura has developed a system that allows lighted ornaments to be powered wirelessly from a central source. The Aura Power Ring can be placed at the base or center of the tree, depending on its size (range is about 5 feet).…

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90% of US Homes Are Under Insulated, Study Says

Boosting Insulation Could Cut Energy Costs, Reduce CO2 Emissions and Increase Comfort Based on new research, the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA) estimates that roughly 90 percent of existing US single family homes are under insulated, wasting energy and money, and decreasing comfort for homeowners. “If all U.S. homes were fitted with insulation based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), residential electricity use nationwide would drop by about 5 percent and natural gas use by more than…

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Three Ways to Grow Green Things at Home

I propose that the next thing you add to your home to-do list on the weekends is the goal of growing something—anything! All the reasons and ways to grow flowers, plants, herbs, and vegetables—heck, even a tree once a year, if you can manage it—are of course too numerous to cover in one post. However, I’ll start with three benefits for both yourself and the planet.   Build a green roof! You might be wondering the purpose behind them, but…

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Building Materials, Fossil Fuels’ Ugly Cousin

We still live in a time when we do plenty things that are very harmful to our planet. It seems we’re all aware that fossil fuels like oil and coal create a considerable portion of our greenhouse gas pollution. But many people don’t understand that we also do a lot of harm to our planet with the materials we use to build and remodel our homes and buildings. If you examine some our most prominent building materials, it quickly becomes obvious…

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Ink-coated window shade saves energy

New Ink-Coated Window Shades Save Energy

A New Jersey firm has found a way to provide electronic energy-saving shading for windows at very little additional cost. Elliott Schlam, the principal of New Visual Media Group, says his firm has come up with a new take on the traditional window shade – a super-thin sheet of polymer film that’s installed inside insulating glazing units (IGUs). “All of the dynamic window technologies are basically chemically oriented,” Schlam says. “Ours is an actual physical shade that’s coated with ink.…

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3-D printing from Lowe's

Lowe’s Offers 3-D Printing Out of Any Material, Including Gold

Lowe’s Innovation Labs is now offering 3-D printing of household hardware items from a Lowe’s-owned Orchard Supply Store in Mountain View, California. While 3-D printing is becoming more commonplace, it takes a certain knowledge to program a printer to create an item. With Lowe’s new system, average homeowners are able to design and print their own ideas, no special knowledge required. Lowe’s service is meant to help customers with no knowledge of 3-D printing create something from scratch or from…

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Energy saving tips

10 Energy Saving Tips for Spring

Now that the flowers are beginning to bloom and warmer weather is on the way, there are some easy things anyone can do to save energy and money both around the house and at the office. Here are 10 energy saving tips courtesy of the Department of Energy: 1. Service your air conditioner. Easy maintenance such as routinely replacing or cleaning air filters can lower your cooling system’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Also check your air conditioner’s…

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Cellular shades

Cellular Shades Offer Shade and Save Money, Too

If you are looking to save money on your electric bill this year, cellular window shades can help insulate your home from high air conditioning and heating costs through all the seasons. Chris Lavertu, owner of San Diego Window Fashions states, “With cellular shades you will get a very attractive design that will look great and also provide excellent insulation from the heat this summer.” San Diego Window Fashions strives to offer the widest selection of energy efficient shades and…

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How Much Will Switching Light Bulbs Save You?

Thomas Edison, the man largely credited for inventing the modern incandescent light bulb as we know it, once said that “we will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles”. While I appreciate the philanthropic nature of his comment, something tells me he never would have predicted just how much it costs to power the light bulbs that illuminate our homes more than a century later. According to the US Energy Information Administration the national average per kWh is…

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A House Fire Cut One Family’s Energy Bills in Half

When an electrical fire struck their home in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Keith and Jan Giezentanner never expected the repairs they made afterwards would save them over $1000 a year on their heating and energy bills! But, with the help of Garfield Clean Energy, they were able to learn about modern, energy efficient windows and doors and state of the art heating and cooling systems. Garfield Clean Energy even showed them how to qualify for (and get!) rebates totaling almost $1500 on…

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Light Bandit

Light Bandit Brings Daylight to any Room in the House

For those of us who are deep in the dark of winter, this is a great time to think about bringing sunlight into our homes. The Light Bandit allows sunlight to be directed fiber-optically to any room in the house – even one with no windows! Like the luminous ceiling we covered back in 2010, the Light Bandit is a box that is placed or mounted in a window or skylight. Fiber optic cable is run from the box to…

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SHIELD program will increase insulting power of single pane windows

Window Films and Shades Help Cut Heat Loss

Are you a home owner who can’t afford to put in new windows quite yet? Or an apartment dweller suffering with leaky, drafty windows? According to the Daily Herald, a Chicago area paper, window shades and films can help cut heat loss significantly without spending a lot of money. 3M offers a full range of window films and claims they can reduce energy loss by up to 30%. They may also reduce sun fading of upholstery and carpeting. The bigger home…

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A Few Tips to Save On Energy Bills This Winter

Everyone can benefit from a few well-placed suggestions on how to save energy this winter. Conserving heat doesn’t mean you have to rush out and buy all new high performance windows or rip the walls out to add insulation. There are quite a few sensible things you can do that cost very little money but can reduce you heating bill significantly. Free or inexpensive things you can do. Turn Down The Thermostat: I was at Home Depot the other day…

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Holiday Lighting Tech Has Come a Long Way

Those of you who always have to be on the cutting edge, and will spare no expense to be there, will twinkle with excitement when you hear about the latest in holiday lighting technology. With 16 million color options and a smart phone app, you will have hours of entertainment (and frustration)!   RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) Lights The latest in holiday lights are called RGB lights because they have a red, green, and blue LED in each bulb.…

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