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Home Security Revolution: Unlocking the Future of the Smart Home

Posted by Christopher Carney, Guest Columnist

Jun 17, 2019 10:35:01 AM

Investing in smart home technology to aid in monitoring a home's energy consumption.

There are plenty of reasons to get smarter about saving energy, from global environmental concerns to reducing household expenses. Focusing on how to produce energy in cleaner ways is always a good thing, but reducing the amount of energy consumed by a household is even better and can foster change on a fundamental level. Investing in smart home technology to aid in monitoring a home's energy consumption is a great first step to increasing energy efficiency.

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Got ice dams? What to do and how to prevent them

Posted by Dan Thiedes, Clean Energy Resource Team

Mar 7, 2019 10:04:53 AM

Ice dams, both awe-inspiring and terrifying, are showing up on many Minnesota homes this winter thanks to heavy snowfall and extreme cold. Find out how to deal with ice dams now and prevent them in the future, which can also save you money on your heating bills.

What to do (and not do) now

One way to prevent ice dams is by removing snow from your roof. While you can try to do it yourself with a snow rake, it may be best to hire a professional snow remover, especially if it takes getting on the roof or using a ladder. Put safety first. If you have an ice dam that is already causing water damage to your interior ceilings and walls, hire a professional ice dam removal service that uses steamers.

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5 Tips to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Posted by Jenny Harrison, Guest Contributor

Nov 14, 2018 8:18:49 AM

All of us have played a part in the current global environmental crisis. Why not act now?

Scientists have been warning us about the consequences of global warming for ages—and now we are witnessing rapid, unwanted change in storm patterns, extreme temperatures and wildlife extinctions. We need to act now.

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Passive Housing: A Smarter Way of Living

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Oct 4, 2018 9:38:27 AM

Passive housing is known to produce energy savings of almost 90% on conventional homes, which is better for the environment and for your bank balance!

This slideshow from EZ Living Interiors explains Passive Housing and how it works.

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Noise is Biggest Source of Whining Neighbors

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Sep 28, 2018 1:25:03 PM

National survey of difficult neighbors identifies the place where you're most likely to encounter nightmare scenarios.

You might build a home that’s a perfect sanctuary, but you have little control over what happens around it, especially when it comes to nuisance neighbors. Whether your dwelling is urban, suburban or on a private island, if you’re human, you’re bound to be irritated by things your neighbors do. In a recent poll, we set out to identify the cities in America where neighbors roil each other most, and a laundry list of the most common complaints.

We surveyed residents from 24 of the biggest cities in America, and, inevitably, there were winners and losers. Atop the list of most annoying cities are Dallas, Miami and Austin. Cities where neighbors are least annoying include Minneapolis, Portland and Atlanta. Interestingly, climate may play a role—four of the five most annoying cities are in hot, southern climates and four of the five least annoying cities are in temperate climates further north. Maybe staying cool is part of the equation? Either way, we know Americans have a long list of specific complaints.

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Home Sweet Concrete – A New Way for Homeowners to Get Concrete for Home Projects

Posted by Green Builder Staff

May 10, 2018 10:58:01 AM

Homeowners can sit and watch fresh concrete being mixed at their homes, ready to use, in amounts from a shovel full to 10 yards.

In this age of automation and efficiency many tedious tasks have been reduced to a push of a button. This is now a reality for mixing concrete.  With the popularity of DIY projects, homeowners can now build any project without the worry of buying bags of concrete or having to mix it.  Thanks to a new company called XactCrete of Charlotte, homeowners can have a truck come to their home and mix fresh concrete on the spot, and just pour. The beauty of XactCrete is not only in their versatility, but also their cost. The more you buy, the cheaper it becomes. They produce any type concrete mix and strength with the push of a few buttons.  The company can do any size job, but specializes in "short loads" meaning they can mix any amount from a shovel full to 10 yards of concrete per load.  There is no need for precise estimating, nor the worry of making too little or too much concrete than what is needed. The truck measures down to 1/10th of a yard, and stops when needed.  The service is truly cost-effective and more economical than using bagged concrete. With so many popular concrete projects, there's no reason to hold back on tackling a DIY project with this new service.

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Protect Your Home with Solar-Powered Smart Security

Posted by Jon Snyder, Guest Columnist

May 3, 2018 9:04:57 AM

Your home is your sanctuary. It’s the place you look forward to being after a long day of work. It’s where your kids play, where you unwind with friends. And like most people, you probably still rely on analog locks on your doors and sturdy latches on your windows to deliver peace of mind. But the reality is vandals are getting smarter and smarter at finding ways into homes. The good news? Home security is also getting smarter.

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The Path to Net Zero — Creating a Sustainable Home with Solar

Posted by Troy Zdzieblowski, Guest Columnist

Mar 29, 2018 10:34:33 AM

If you're building new or remodeling, make sure you have a conversation about going "net zero" with your contractor.

Homeowners can go the extra mile to create a sustainable living space by creating a net zero building. A net zero building or home is space with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.

The World Green Building Council defines net zero as this: A highly energy-efficient building with all remaining operational energy use from renewable energy, preferably on-site but also off-site production, to achieve net zero carbon emissions annually in operation.

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Video: Workout Bikes Power This California Gym

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Mar 24, 2018 11:00:20 AM

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Window Film Offers Low-Cost Energy Upgrade

Posted by Darrell Smith, Guest Columnist

Mar 5, 2018 4:22:55 PM

Retrofitting an old window with film can save you seven times the energy per dollar as buying a brand new window.

According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), between 25-35 percent of wasted building energy is blamed on inefficient windows, and many older commercial buildings still have less efficient single pane glass windows.

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