SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY


In addition to the discomfort it creates in your home, high indoor humidity can lead to harmful microbial growth. Microbial growth - often referred to as mildew or mold as a catch-all - is a family of fungi that can destroy parts of your home and cause health problems. In its early stages, it may appear only as mildew, which can simply be wiped away and cleaned, but if the conditions causi… Read more

We spend 90% of our time indoors, which can be a scary prospect when you consider that the pollution inside your home is typically 2-5x worse than the air outdoors. This “indoor air quality” can cause or contribute to asthma, headaches, dry eyes, nose and throat issues, nasal congestion, nausea, and fatigue. 40% of asthma episodes are caused by triggers in the home, which can include dust mites, pollen, mold, carbon monoxide, excessive carbon dioxide, and other chemical fumes. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency consistently ranks indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to public health. Read more

We spend 90% of our time indoors, which can be a scary prospect when you consider that the pollution inside your home is typically 2-5x worse than the air outdoors. This “indoor air quality” can cause or contribute to asthma, headaches, dry eyes, nose and throat issues, nasal congestion, nausea, and fatigue. 40% of asthma episodes are caused by triggers in the home, which can include dust mites, pollen, mold, carbon monoxide, excessive carbon dioxide, and other chemical fumes. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency consistently ranks indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental risks to public health. Read more

School’s out for a long, hot, humid summer. But as you crank up your AC to beat the heat, there are myriad ways you can make sure your cooling bills don’t rise with the mercury. Before beginning your energy efficiency improvements, make sure to take stock of your home’s energy use with DIY energy assessment resources online (we recommend virginiaenergysense.org), or get a professional asse… Read more

Going solar is a big decision, one that has big potential to greatly reduce your utility costs and your greenhouse gas emissions. Maybe you’re just starting to explore a solar photovoltaic system for your home, or maybe you feel ready to take the plunge. Here are some factors to consider to get solar ready. Read more

The National Association of REALTORS recently published their annual Sustainability Report.  The survey question and answer which really caught my eye was the one that asked agents about their comfort level when discussing home performance with their clients: 60% of agents were either uncomfortable or not sure how they felt about this topic. Read more

You may be among the many homeowners who ignore their attic except for the quick trip to retrieve holiday decorations once a year, but ignoring your attic comes at a price through wasted energy and money. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that as much as 85% of the conditioned air lost in a house passes through the attic. Boosting attic insulation and air sealing can lower heat… Read more

The Energy Information Administration reports that natural gas fuels 50% of Virginia's net electricity generation, making safe and efficient use of natural gas appliances a concern for many residents. If you have a gas stove, water heater or furnace there are basic safety tips that every homeowner needs to be aware of. Read more

Have you made improvements to your home that impact its energy use, indoor air quality, or comfort? Did you install a new HVAC system? Perhaps insulate and air seal your attic or crawlspace? Was your home built to a standard better than code to begin with? If so, congratulations! You may very well be the proud owner of a high-performing home.  Read more

By annual presidential proclamation, October is Energy Awareness Month. The Federal Energy Management Program is supporting Energy Awareness Month this year with a plan and resources for federal agencies to raise awareness of energy-and water-saving possibilities in their buildings and operations. Read more

When you think of October, maybe pumpkins, sweaters, and Halloween come to mind. For those of us who work in sustainability, we also know that it’s Energy Awareness Month (some use the “A” for Action). That awareness starts with knowing WHAT the best technologies and certifications are, but it also includes the HOW: how they are installed and, ultimately, how efficiently they function. Read more

Domestic water heating costs the average household up to $700 per year. What if you could slash that cost by 60%? Compared to a standard electric storage water heater, a heat pump water heater uses 2-3 times less energy, saving thousands in utility costs over the life of the water heater. Read more

Every locality grapples with its own collection of natural and human caused challenges (and potentially disasters). While most people don’t often think about the connection between property values and water runoff, flooding, heat waves, fires, hurricanes, drought, new power and gas lines, density, open space, access to public transportation, and air quality – I can tell you that the Nation… Read more

In an age where HGTV and shows like it are gaining record viewership, many buyers of existing homes have a list of remodeling ideas in mind for their newly purchased home. Updating the kitchen or bathroom, landscaping the yard, adding window treatments, finishing an attic or room over a garage – these popular remodeling projects can really improve the livability of the home. Read more

Replacing the filter in your air conditioning and/or heating system is one of the best and easiest things you can do to keep it working effectively and efficiently. The filter keeps particles (some visible and some not) from getting into the fan and motor. A dirty filter will reduce airflow which causes the system to run less efficiently and can lead to equipment damage, both of which cost… Read more

The ENERGY STAR ®  label is one of the most trusted brands in America – it ranks alongside the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association for consumer trust. Nationally, it has almost 90% name recognition and has been shown to reliably influence consumer purchasing behavior. Read more

Going solar is a big decision, one that has big potential to greatly reduce your utility costs and your greenhouse gas emissions. Maybe you’re just starting to explore a solar photovoltaic system for your home, or maybe you feel ready to take the plunge. Here are some factors to consider to get solar ready. Read more

We’re moving into spring and no doubt there are conversations going on in homes and apartments everywhere regarding buying and selling property. Did you know that according the National Association of Realtors “comfort” is the most desired feature for buyers? What exactly is “comfort” in a home and how do we achieve it? Read more

Being a renter doesn’t mean giving up on energy efficiency. If you rent, you may pay your energy bills directly or they may be factored into the monthly rent. Either way, implementing these simple ideas will save energy and make your home more comfortable. If you pay the electricity bill, you’ll see some cost savings there too. If your landlord pays the utility bill, you can still enjoy th… Read more

As cozy as they are, fireplaces typically remove more heat from a house than they contribute, sending up to eight percent of heat pump or furnace-warmed air up and out the chimney. But you don’t have to abandon your wood-burning ambiance--try these solutions that can improve the efficiency of your fireplace. Read more

Many homeowners in older homes experience energy loss with old single pane windows, and outright window replacement can be costly and out of reach for some homeowners. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve the performance of existing windows at a far lower cost than replacement. Weatherizing windows focuses on stopping cold drafts and improving insulation. Read more

 If you own a high-performing home, you could be missing out on 5% in "hidden" home value if your home is not properly priced and marketed. This 5% premium is the average value-add Pearl found in our peer-reviewed study of Pearl Certified homes, authored by an independent appraiser. Finding the right agent to help you sell your home could mean thousands of extra dollars in your pocket. Read more

In the winter, space heating is the main energy consumer in the home. However, homeowners can follow these energy efficiency tips to help stop the infiltration of cold air and the loss of heat through cracks and openings in the home. Read more

In the winter, space heating is the main energy consumer in the home. However, homeowners can follow these energy efficiency tips to help stop the infiltration of cold air and the loss of heat through cracks and openings in the home. Read more

Whether you’re reading this from the comfort of your “forever home” or while perusing listings on the hunt for your new or next home, chances are you’re inside. The same place where you cook meals, read books with your kids, watch TV, and sleep for -- ideally -- many hours a night. Read more

If you are thinking about making changes to your landscape this fall, consider a landscape design that helps to conserve your home’s energy. In homes, heat losses or gains can happen through (1) direct sunlight through windows, (2) the infiltration of wind-driven air, and (3) the conduction of heat through the home’s exterior surfaces  -- walls, floors, and roof. Read more

The 2017 Blue Ridge Area Homebuilders Association Parade of Homes takes place this weekend and next, and this year you’ll find Pearl Certified homes on the tour with both Stony Point and Dominion Custom Homes. Given the attention focused on new homes, we took the opportunity to chat with John Semmelhack of Think Little Home Energy in Charlottesville about the latest and greatest in energy … Read more

Did you know that approximately half of your annual utility bill comes from heating and cooling your home? Fortunately, in the spring and fall, you generally don’t have to heat or cool your home, so your overall utility bills will be lower compared to the summer and winter months. During these “shoulder seasons,” consider examining where the rest of your energy use comes from -- that porti… Read more

We recently bought our first house here in Charlottesville, and while every home buyer is unique I noticed that lots of the features on our wish list mirrored larger industry trends. Read more

Mold is a type of fungus that can destroy parts of your home and can cause health problems. Some common areas in homes where mold could grow include: windows, drains, crawl spaces, basements, areas that had previous water leaks or flooding, and areas around moisture-generating appliances (e.g., dishwashers, dryers, or refrigerators). Read more

A key part of any real estate transaction is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). For sellers it’s the foundational start for marketing their home, as its data feeds popular consumer sites like Zillow and Realtor.com. For buyers it’s where to find accurate information on a home and its features. Read more

Did you know that energy is needed to filter and treat the water we consume and then pump it into our homes and businesses? Additionally, energy is needed to heat water for cooking, bathing, and washing. Consequently, when we conserve water we also conserve energy. Read more

You don’t have to look far in Central Virginia these days to find a home with solar panels on the roof. The plummeting price of panels has coincided with a plethora of financing options and a growing awareness of climate change and clean energy solutions, making the economic and environmental case for solar a win-win for many homeowners. Read more

REAL ESTATE FEATURED LISTINGS

In an age where HGTV and shows like it are gaining record viewership, many buyers of existing homes have a list of remodeling ideas in mind for their newly purchased home. Updating the kitchen or bathroom, landscaping the yard, adding window treatments, finishing an attic or room over a garage – these popular remodeling projects can really improve the livability of the home. Read more

Replacing the filter in your air conditioning and/or heating system is one of the best and easiest things you can do to keep it working effectively and efficiently. The filter keeps particles (some visible and some not) from getting into the fan and motor. A dirty filter will reduce airflow which causes the system to run less efficiently and can lead to equipment damage, both of which cost… Read more

The ENERGY STAR ®  label is one of the most trusted brands in America – it ranks alongside the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association for consumer trust. Nationally, it has almost 90% name recognition and has been shown to reliably influence consumer purchasing behavior. Read more

Going solar is a big decision, one that has big potential to greatly reduce your utility costs and your greenhouse gas emissions. Maybe you’re just starting to explore a solar photovoltaic system for your home, or maybe you feel ready to take the plunge. Here are some factors to consider to get solar ready. Read more

We’re moving into spring and no doubt there are conversations going on in homes and apartments everywhere regarding buying and selling property. Did you know that according the National Association of Realtors “comfort” is the most desired feature for buyers? What exactly is “comfort” in a home and how do we achieve it? Read more

Being a renter doesn’t mean giving up on energy efficiency. If you rent, you may pay your energy bills directly or they may be factored into the monthly rent. Either way, implementing these simple ideas will save energy and make your home more comfortable. If you pay the electricity bill, you’ll see some cost savings there too. If your landlord pays the utility bill, you can still enjoy th… Read more

As cozy as they are, fireplaces typically remove more heat from a house than they contribute, sending up to eight percent of heat pump or furnace-warmed air up and out the chimney. But you don’t have to abandon your wood-burning ambiance--try these solutions that can improve the efficiency of your fireplace. Read more

REAL ESTATE FEATURED LISTINGS

Many homeowners in older homes experience energy loss with old single pane windows, and outright window replacement can be costly and out of reach for some homeowners. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve the performance of existing windows at a far lower cost than replacement. Weatherizing windows focuses on stopping cold drafts and improving insulation. Read more

 If you own a high-performing home, you could be missing out on 5% in "hidden" home value if your home is not properly priced and marketed. This 5% premium is the average value-add Pearl found in our peer-reviewed study of Pearl Certified homes, authored by an independent appraiser. Finding the right agent to help you sell your home could mean thousands of extra dollars in your pocket. Read more

In the winter, space heating is the main energy consumer in the home. However, homeowners can follow these energy efficiency tips to help stop the infiltration of cold air and the loss of heat through cracks and openings in the home. Read more

In the winter, space heating is the main energy consumer in the home. However, homeowners can follow these energy efficiency tips to help stop the infiltration of cold air and the loss of heat through cracks and openings in the home. Read more

Whether you’re reading this from the comfort of your “forever home” or while perusing listings on the hunt for your new or next home, chances are you’re inside. The same place where you cook meals, read books with your kids, watch TV, and sleep for -- ideally -- many hours a night. Read more

If you are thinking about making changes to your landscape this fall, consider a landscape design that helps to conserve your home’s energy. In homes, heat losses or gains can happen through (1) direct sunlight through windows, (2) the infiltration of wind-driven air, and (3) the conduction of heat through the home’s exterior surfaces  -- walls, floors, and roof. Read more

The 2017 Blue Ridge Area Homebuilders Association Parade of Homes takes place this weekend and next, and this year you’ll find Pearl Certified homes on the tour with both Stony Point and Dominion Custom Homes. Given the attention focused on new homes, we took the opportunity to chat with John Semmelhack of Think Little Home Energy in Charlottesville about the latest and greatest in energy … Read more

Did you know that approximately half of your annual utility bill comes from heating and cooling your home? Fortunately, in the spring and fall, you generally don’t have to heat or cool your home, so your overall utility bills will be lower compared to the summer and winter months. During these “shoulder seasons,” consider examining where the rest of your energy use comes from -- that porti… Read more

We recently bought our first house here in Charlottesville, and while every home buyer is unique I noticed that lots of the features on our wish list mirrored larger industry trends. Read more

Mold is a type of fungus that can destroy parts of your home and can cause health problems. Some common areas in homes where mold could grow include: windows, drains, crawl spaces, basements, areas that had previous water leaks or flooding, and areas around moisture-generating appliances (e.g., dishwashers, dryers, or refrigerators). Read more

A key part of any real estate transaction is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). For sellers it’s the foundational start for marketing their home, as its data feeds popular consumer sites like Zillow and Realtor.com. For buyers it’s where to find accurate information on a home and its features. Read more

Did you know that energy is needed to filter and treat the water we consume and then pump it into our homes and businesses? Additionally, energy is needed to heat water for cooking, bathing, and washing. Consequently, when we conserve water we also conserve energy. Read more