Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Crowds at Home Show Attracted by Energy-Conserving Ideas

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The economy may be on the upswing, but it was clear at Saturday’s North Central Florida Home Show in Gainesville that whatever additional cash people may have in their pockets, they don’t want to spend it on heating and cooling their homes.

Vendors selling energy-saving materials from reflective insulation to solar panels were popular stops at the show …

“Energy saving is No. 1. Our house is 2,600 square feet with two different A/C units. We want to reduce the electric bills, which are $600 a month in the summer,” said Gainesville’s Mark Menjivar. “I’ve always been hip to new things that come out. I’ve done the math — if I get a loan for solar panels, I’m replacing the high cost of energy with what I’ll be spending on the loan, but after two or three years paying off that loan, I’m paying zero for energy.”

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120310/ARTICLES/120319975

Japan’s Fukushima Disaster Creates Opportunity for Alternative Energy

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

As thousands of Japanese protest against the nuclear power industry in Tokyo, it may be time to consider investing in the alternative energy sector.

Thousands of Japanese citizens took to the streets on Monday in Tokyo, calling on the government to reduce the country’s use of nuclear power. The protests are the latest reaction to the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which happened after much of northeast coastal Japan was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami earlier this year on March 11.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan recently revealed in an interview with Kyodo News that the situation looked so bleak shortly after nuclear disaster struck the Fukushima Number One nuclear power plant that 30 million residents of the Tokyo metropolitan area faced evacuation, according to the worst case scenario in a report he received in the early days of the unfolding nuclear crisis.

http://www.minyanville.com/businessmarkets/articles/nuclear-industry-fukushima-disaster-japan-nuclear/9/19/2011/id/36954

Ask Angie: Overlaying New Roof

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

We need a new roof. A builder suggested overlaying over the existing layer of shingles. Is it wise to do this? My concern is how would we know about any underlying damage? I would appreciate any input about the pros and cons of this method.

In general, it is not good practice to overlay a traditional asphalt shingle roof versus a complete tear off and replacement for the very reason you stated: you can’t examine the decking to determine if there is any damage that needs repaired. If you don’t take your roof down to the sheathing, you will never know if you have proper underlayment, or are experiencing sheathing rot, or ice or water damage.

That said, overlaying asphalt shingles with a metal roof could be an option, provided there is no underlying damage. Metal roofs offer energy savings but do cost more upfront than traditional asphalt shingles. They also last longer and stand up to foul weather better than shingles. No matter what type of roof you choose, make sure you tell your roofer to fix any underlying problems you have before installing any new roof.

http://www.bnd.com/2011/09/12/1856700/ask-angie-overlaying-new-roof.html

Alternative Energy Update and Appliance Efficiencies

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Discussions about federal regulations on Energy Star ratings and energy efficient products continue and homeowners need to keep a pulse on the changes. The latest issue of Consumer Reports looks to help shoppers make the best decisions for their needs and possibly save some cash. Consumer Reports recent tests revealed some of the best appliances, electronics, and heating and cooling equipment are also among the most efficient. There are a number of home-energy retrofits, that if done right, can quickly pay for themselves. But not all efficiency promises pan out.

“You don’t have to sacrifice performance, comfort, or convenience to save energy and money, providing you know what to look for,” said Celia Kuperszmid-Lehrman, deputy home editor at Consumer Reports. “Our tests have found many models of efficiency among a variety of appliances, but shoppers should beware that there are also products whose energy-saving claims are mostly hype.”

http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/48919/

Maintenance Will Prolong Life of a Roof

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Roofs play a key role in protecting you and the interior of your home from outside weather conditions, primarily moisture. Roofs also provide protection from the sun. In fact, if designed correctly, roof overhangs can protect the building’s exterior walls from moisture and sun.

Most roofs last many years if properly installed and maintained. Maintenance includes cleaning the leaves and debris from the roof’s valleys and gutters. Debris in the valleys can cause water to wick under the shingles and cause damage to the interior of the roof.

Clogged rain gutters can cause water to flow back under the shingles on the eaves and cause damage, whatever the roofing material may be including composition shingle, wood shake, tile or metal. While seasonal changes in the weather are considered one of the most destructive forces, the best way to preserve your roof is make sure the attic is properly insulated, vented and to stay off it.

Concerns regarding moisture, standing water, durability and appearance are dependent on the type of roofing materials used …

http://www.lfpress.com/homes/2011/08/11/18540146.html