Is The Air In Your Home Healthy?

How can the air  inside our homes be so bad for us? Over the years, buildings have been made  more airtight to conserve energy. Unfortunately, when air is trapped inside the  home, so are the pollutants. EPA studies have found that pollutant levels  inside the home can be two to five times higher than outdoors. After some  activities, indoor air pollution levels can be 100 times higher than outdoors.

How do you know  if the air inside your home is dangerous to your health? Many indoor air  pollutants cannot be detected by our senses. The symptoms they produce can be  vague and sometimes similar, making it hard to attribute the symptoms to a  specific cause. Some symptoms may not show up until years later, making it more  difficult to determine the source. Common symptoms of exposure to indoor air  pollutants include headaches, tiredness, dizziness, nausea, itchy nose, and  scratchy throat. These symptoms may be mistaken for flu symptoms. More serious  effects of breathing polluted indoor air are asthma, other breathing disorders, and cancer.

Sources  of pollutants can be found throughout the home. The good news is that everyone  can reduce indoor air pollution.

Learn how to Reduce Your Risks

 

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Savings,

JouleFool

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Nice post by Selvey Heating Blog

Selvey Heating Blog

Programmable thermostats automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings, allowing you to save energy while you’re away or sleeping.

They:    

  • are more convenient and accurate than manual thermostats and improve your home’s comfort
  • contain no mercury
  • save energy and save money on utility bills — when used properly, about $150/year
  • are better for the environment, since using less energy helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy production

Programmable thermostats earn the ENERGY STAR by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the government. These units save energy by offering 4 convenient, pre-programmed temperature settings — settings that try to anticipate when it’s convenient for you to scale back on heating or cooling.

If you are like many homeowners and work outside the home during the day and have a different schedule on the weekend, a programmable thermostat can offer many benefits, and the return on your investment is usually…

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JouleFool’s 1st 10 Days of Solar Power Production

The numbers from JouleFool’s  first ten days of going Solar are in.  We’re on pace to produce   675 Kw-hours this month.   Looking at last years usage of 400Kw-hrs, we’ll be a net producer this month.

 

SolarCity was a great company to work with in getting our system designed and panels installed.  If you are interested in Solar, get a quote here from SolarCity

Happy Savings,

JouleFool

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High Efficiency Furnace Buying Guide

Time to change out your furnace? Look for a high efficiency furnance!
How much does it cost to replace an old furnace with a new, high-efficiency model? That depends upon the circumstances. If the new unit can be connected to existing ductwork and an exhaust flue, it should run from about $3,000 to $4,500, installed. The higher the efficiency of the furnace, the higher the price. But keep in mind: Though high-efficiency models represent about $500 to $1,000 more in material costs than mid-efficiency units, they pay you back with energy savings and qualify for tax credits. The payback period depends on the price of the system, local energy costs, your climate, and the difference in efficiency between the old and new furnace.
http://www.hometips.com/buying-guides/high-efficiency-furnaces.html#how-much-does-a-furnace-cost?

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JouleFool Headquarters is now on Solar Power

JouleFool Headquarters is now on Solar Power! We just flipped the inverter switch to ON! http://ow.ly/i/10SVm

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Sherlock Homes – The Air Leak Detective

You may already know where some air leakage occurs in your home, such as an under-the-door draft, but you’ll need to find the less obvious gaps to properly air seal your home.

For a thorough and accurate measurement of air leakage in your home, hire a qualified technician to conduct an energy assessment, particularly a blower door test. A blower door test, which depressurizes a home, can reveal the location of many leaks. A complete energy assessment will also help determine areas in your home that need more insulation.

Without a blower door test, there are ways to find some air leaks yourself.

Visual Inspection

On the outside of your house, inspect all areas where two different building materials meet, including:

  • All exterior corners
  • Outdoor water faucets
  • Where siding and chimneys meet
  • Areas where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or siding meet.

Inside your home, inspect around the following areas for any cracks and gaps that could cause air leaks:

  • Electrical outlets
  • Switch plates
  • Door and window frames
  • Electrical and gas service entrances
  • Baseboards
  • Weather stripping around doors
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Attic hatches
  • Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.
  • Cable TV and phone lines
  • Where dryer vents pass through walls
  • Vents and fans.

Also look for gaps around pipes and wires, foundation seals, and mail slots. Check to see if the caulking and weather stripping are applied properly, leaving no gaps or cracks, and are in good condition. Check the exterior caulking around doors and windows, and see whether exterior storm doors and primary doors seal tightly.

Inspect windows and doors for air leaks. See if you can rattle them, since movement means possible air leaks. If you can see daylight around a door or window frame, then the door or window leaks. You can usually seal these leaks by caulking or weatherstripping them. Check the storm windows to see if they fit and are not broken.

For more information on detecting air leaks,visit: http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/detecting-air-leaks

Happy Savings,

JouleFool

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The Joy of Caulking

Caulk is a flexible material used to seal air leaks through cracks, gaps, or joints less than 1-quarter-inch wide between stationary building components and materials. For components that move — doors and operable windows, for example — weatherstripping is the appropriate material.

Before caulking air leaks in an existing home, you will need to detect the leaks and assess your ventilation needs to ensure adequate indoor air quality. In addition to sealing air leaks, caulking can also prevent water damage inside and outside of the home when applied around faucets, ceiling fixtures, water pipes, drains, bathtubs, and other plumbing fixtures.

For common caulking types and tips and tricks, Visit:  http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/caulking

Happy Savings,

JouleFool

 

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