How to keep your refrigerator and freezer running at maximum efficiency levels

 

We pass by our refrigerator numerous times daily as we enter and exit rooms throughout the home and also as we enter and leave our home. We open our refrigerator many times a day, also. However, we don’t often stop to consider whether or not we are running our refirgerator at a maximum efficiency level.

Did you know that at 31.6 cu. ft. french door refrigerator can hold an equivalent of 32 bags of groceries?  Good Golly!! That sounds like a lot of food. However, it is suggested that your refrigerator’s ability to keep your food fresh depends upon how jammed full it is and how many people are being fed. For instance, each adult per houshold should reserve 4 to 6 cu. ft. of storage. Whether or not this theory is correct remains to be seen.

One theory that does seem to have merit is the durability of the refrigerator’s seals. The door seal should hug snugly to the door so that no air leaks out of the unit.  Also, it is important to leave space between the refrigerator and the wall in order to allow for proper air circulation. Checking the seals and the space allotted for your fridge is a good checklist item for your routine home maintenance.

Another efficiency tip concerns your freezer. Don’t let your freezer get empty. Not only does this mean you need to go to the grocery store, but also it means your freezer will use significantly  more energy to run. The strain of keeping an empty freezer cold can actually place up to 25% more energy usage on the unit. The same applies for properly regulating the temperatures. Make sure you are keeping temps below 40 degrees for the refrigerator and 0 degrees for the freezer. Remember, however, that the colder the temps, the more energy being exerted. Keep safe temperature, but do not go crazy with the coldness!!

                                      Stainless Steel Refrigerator

                                                                                    Don’t forget, we check model and serial numbers in the Recall Chek system to see if there are any recalls on your home’s appliances at no additional cost during the home inspection service!!

Visit our website at http://www.ihihomeinspections.com to book your Atlanta home inspection today!

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To read our maintenance tips visit http://www.ahomeinspectoratlantaga.com, and

to book an inspection online visit our website http://www.ihihomeinspections.com .

We look forward to working with clients and agents during the real estate process. Experience the IHI Difference. 404-788-2581 – See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4209168/a-health-and-wellness-check-up-for-your-home#sthash.0Is3G9LY.dpuf

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Is your air conditioner energy efficient?

Heat Pump efficiency    Is your air conditioner shaded in the summer? The Atlanta Home Inspector notices natural vegetation shading (and sometimes overgowing) air conditioning units. However, just by simply providing shade to the unit, its life expectancy can rise.   The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that energy efficient landscaping can reduce temperatures around the home by up to 9 degrees.  Why not take advantage of natural insulators and shading?

Remember to trim the vegetation periodically to keep it from allowing insect and spoor growth, though. It will work best as a natural insulator and shade source when properly cared for and maintained.

 

There are also special room -darkening shades that will contain the room temperature within your home. This is another option for climate control. However, your geographic location may also play a role in your best options for keeping a cool space in the heat of summer. For dry humid regions there are special air conditioning units called evaporative units. However, in very humid climates standard heat pumps and air conditioning units can be found.

If you need the Atlanta Home Inspector to inspect your Atlanta home, Call IHI Home Inspections at 404-788-2581 or  Book your appointment online to receive a special discount http://www.ihihomeinspections.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tax credit and deduction tips for home improvement in 2012 from home inspector Atlanta GA

As home inspectors in Atlanta, when we do home inspections, clients often ask us about improvements and repairs.  When we ran across this article we thought it would be great information to share.  Especially with the new year under way.  As a homeowner you may be thinking about needed home improvements and how you’ll use your credit to fund them. While it’s important to understand your credit before making major home improvement decisions, you should also consider another kind of credit – tax credits for energy efficient home improvements.

For the past few years, the federal government has offered tax credits for certain home improvements aimed at increasing a home’s energy efficiency. While the most popular and generous tax credits, such as the one that allowed you to claim up to 30 percent of improvements such as a new roof or hot water heater, have expired, you can still get credit for other significant energy-efficient improvements.

According to EnergyStar.gov, you can claim a tax credit for 30 percent of the cost of installing a geothermal heat pump, small wind turbine or solar energy system in your home. The credit has no upper limit and applies to both existing homes and new construction, but not to rental properties. This credit is good until Dec. 31, 2016.

You can also get a credit of up to 30 percent of the cost of residential fuel cells, up to $500 per .5kW of power capacity, EnergyStar.gov says. This credit is also available until Dec. 31, 2016.

While the initial cost of these improvements may seem significant, they can dramatically decrease home energy bills in the long run.

Depending on the type of home improvement or repair you undertake, you may also be able to claim a deduction on your taxes. Before launching a significant home repair or improvement, it may pay to consult with your tax accountant to see what, if any, portion of the cost may be deductible. And, as you do home repairs throughout the year, keep receipts and discuss the improvements and possible deductions with your accountant when he or she is preparing your tax return.

Knowing ahead of time which, if any, tax credits or deductions your home improvement may qualify for can help you make a better decision about how to use credit to fund the work. Since how you use credit affects your overall credit score, knowing the cost of a project before starting it can help you better manage your credit.

If you’re unsure how a home improvement project may affect your credit score, websites like freecreditscore.com can help you understand your credit. The site offers members a Credit Score Estimator that can help you understand how big financial decisions, like applying for a home improvement loan, may affect your credit score.

To learn more about tax credits for energy efficient home improvements, visit www.EnergyStar.gov. To learn more about tax deductions, visit www.IRS.gov. You can find a list of regional tax credits, rebates and savings at energy.gov/savings.

 

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

A blanket for your house: energy-efficient, insulated siding by Home Inspector in Atlanta GA

With a growing emphasis on eco-conscious living, home inspectors in Atlanta and homeowners recognize theHome inspector atlanta ga snowy picture importance and value of having an energy-efficient home. One essential factor for saving energy and maintaining indoor air comfort is sealing the exterior of the home. Insulation and energy-efficient windows play important roles in preventing air leaks where obvious holes are present, however, one hidden area susceptible to energy leaks is the home’s framing.

“Homeowners are looking for ways to improve their home’s energy performance,” says Jery Y. Huntley, president and CEO of the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI), the trade association for manufacturers of vinyl and other polymeric siding and suppliers to the industry. “A common problem with homes today is the thermal bridging effect, which can rob a home of heat and waste energy and money.”

In thermal bridging, the studs act as a passageway for heat to escape. Most insulation helps seal wall cavities, but the wall studs on either side of the cavities are often left exposed, reducing the insulating value of the entire wall.

“Continuous wall insulation is crucial to fully seal the exterior and protect against heat loss,” says Jerry Blais, vice president of marketing for Ply Gem, a leading manufacturer of home remodeling and building products. “Insulated siding is one solution that helps reduce the impact of thermal bridging, adding a blanket of insulation over the exposed wall studs.”

Backed with polystyrene foam insulation that is integral to the panel, insulated siding can increase a wall system’s R-value, or thermal resistance. The continuous insulation the siding provides over the entire wall can contribute to reducing the energy needed to heat or cool a home.

In fact, ENERGY STAR and other programs now recognize insulated siding as a valid material to reduce thermal bridging. Therefore, insulated siding is included in the checklist of products that help homes qualify to earn the ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes label.

“The recognition of insulated siding as home insulation in energy codes and energy efficiency programs legitimizes a benefit we’ve known for some time,” says Huntley.

Beyond energy efficiency, insulated siding offers many other benefits:
* Because it is made with vinyl, insulated siding is low maintenance. It provides the look of real wood, but does not require painting or staining.

* Insulated siding is an exceptionally dry wall system, making it resistant to mold growth and deterioration due to moisture absorption.

* The foam insulation backing and wide-style clapboard design options make insulated siding an extremely durable and impact resistant cladding, while improving the exterior wall flatness for added aesthetic appeal.

Today’s vinyl siding manufacturers offer insulated siding options at various price points and in an assortment of colors. Blais recommends Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem Structure EPS for superior performance and a wide selection of coordinating designer accents and accessories, which can be found on www.mastic.com. Options such as Napco by Ply Gem American Essence or Variform by Ply Gem CSL 600 also offer classic styling in numerous colors.

If you are considering insulated siding for your next home improvement project, ask your contractor to download a free copy of Insulated Siding as Home Insulation: Guide for Users and Energy Raters, published by the VSI. Available at www.insulatedsiding.info, this guide offers information on how insulated siding contributes to building energy performance, as well as proper installation techniques.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

A blanket for your house energy efficient, insulated siding

With a growing emphasis on eco-conscious living, homeowners recognize the importance and value of having an energy-efficient home. One essential factor for saving energy and maintaining indoor air comfort is sealing the exterior of the home. Insulation and energy-efficient windows play important roles in preventing air leaks where obvious holes are present, however, one hidden area susceptible to energy leaks is the home’s framing.

“Homeowners are looking for ways to improve their home’s energy performance,” says Jery Y. Huntley, president and CEO of the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI), the trade association for manufacturers of vinyl and other polymeric siding and suppliers to the industry. “A common problem with homes today is the thermal bridging effect, which can rob a home of heat and waste energy and money.”

In thermal bridging, the studs act as a passageway for heat to escape. Most insulation helps seal wall cavities, but the wall studs on either side of the cavities are often left exposed, reducing the insulating value of the entire wall.

“Continuous wall insulation is crucial to fully seal the exterior and protect against heat loss,” says Jerry Blais, vice president of marketing for Ply Gem, a leading manufacturer of home remodeling and building products. “Insulated siding is one solution that helps reduce the impact of thermal bridging, adding a blanket of insulation over the exposed wall studs.”

Backed with polystyrene foam insulation that is integral to the panel, insulated siding can increase a wall system’s R-value, or thermal resistance. The continuous insulation the siding provides over the entire wall can contribute to reducing the energy needed to heat or cool a home.

In fact, ENERGY STAR and other programs now recognize insulated siding as a valid material to reduce thermal bridging. Therefore, insulated siding is included in the checklist of products that help homes qualify to earn the ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes label.

“The recognition of insulated siding as home insulation in energy codes and energy efficiency programs legitimizes a benefit we’ve known for some time,” says Huntley.

Beyond energy efficiency, insulated siding offers many other benefits:
* Because it is made with vinyl, insulated siding is low maintenance. It provides the look of real wood, but does not require painting or staining.

* Insulated siding is an exceptionally dry wall system, making it resistant to mold growth and deterioration due to moisture absorption.

* The foam insulation backing and wide-style clapboard design options make insulated siding an extremely durable and impact resistant cladding, while improving the exterior wall flatness for added aesthetic appeal.

Today’s vinyl siding manufacturers offer insulated siding options at various price points and in an assortment of colors. Blais recommends Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem Structure EPS for superior performance and a wide selection of coordinating designer accents and accessories, which can be found on www.mastic.com. Options such as Napco by Ply Gem American Essence or Variform by Ply Gem CSL 600 also offer classic styling in numerous colors.

If you are considering insulated siding for your next home improvement project, ask your contractor to download a free copy of Insulated Siding as Home Insulation: Guide for Users and Energy Raters, published by the VSI. Available at www.insulatedsiding.info, this guide offers information on how insulated siding contributes to building energy performance, as well as proper installation techniques.