Century 21 North East - Norton Group RE



Posted by Century 21 North East - Norton Group RE on 10/13/2019

If youíre looking to save more energy and money around your home, perhaps one of the first places that you should look is your plugs. Take a look around your rooms and see what outlets are being used. If every outlet is full of plugs, you may have some adjustments to make. 


There are so many things in our homes that require plugs including TVís, microwaves, toasters, clocks, refrigerators, phone chargers, and more. 


Anything that is always plugged in actually adds to your electric bill whether youíre using it or not. This is known as phantom power usage. Even when a device isnít turned on, itís still using energy.


You donít want to go around your home and unplug everything, only to plug it back in when you need to use it. Use this handy guide to discover what you should unplug and what you can leave plugged in your home in order to save some energy and some money. 


What To Unplug


Small Appliances


Large appliances in your kitchen would be impractical to constantly plug in and unplug. Smaller appliances, however, are much easier to manage. These include toasters, coffee makers, food processors, and microwaves. The small digital clocks on many of these devices, for example, are constantly using energy. Do you really need the function? If you donít need to know the time, you should just unplug it and save your home some energy usage. 


Chargers


We need to charge just about all of our devices including laptops, iPads, phones, and even electric toothbrushes. these items donít need to be plugged in all the time. Once a device is charged fully, be sure to unplug it. Itís only wasting energy otherwise!  


Computers


Unplug your computer each and every night. Screen savers and sleep modes donít actually save much power from being used while your computer is plugged in. Itís a good idea to keep your computer unplugged for safety reasons as well. A strike of lighting hitting, for example, can cause your entire system to fry.


Keep These Items Plugged In


There are certain items that you can leave plugged in at your home without worry. These items include:


  • Power strips
  • Nondigital items
  • Items without clock or LCD displays




Power strips are particularly useful for items like entertainment centers and computer setups. Flipping the switch to the off position on the power strip helps to stop the phantom power usage. The convenient thing is that you wonít need to plug and unplug everything in individually, and youíll still save power. 


Saving energy and money is easy when you have the right strategies put in place.





Posted by Century 21 North East - Norton Group RE on 5/7/2017

One of the first places we think to cut back on to conserve energy and save money is electricity. However, there are a lot of everyday habits we often overlook that not only keep more money in our wallets in the long run but are also cheap to do! Below are a few cheap and easy habits you can make a part of your everyday routine that lower your electricity usage in the home: Start with the basics†- Iím sure youíre all too familiar with this one from when you were a child, or perhaps you say them to your own child: turn off the lights when the room is not in use. You can take this a step further by unplugging an appliance or device when it is not in use. Electronics can actually use electricity even when powered down but still plugged in. An easy way to to do this is by plugging your items into a power strip so that when they are not in use you can simply flip off their power supply with one easy motion. Bright idea - CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs use less energy to provide light than traditional incandescent bulbs. This is because incandescent bulbs need to first heat up the filament which becomes so hot it glows white and thus provides light. CFLís produces significantly less heat and thatís what makes it much more effective than traditional bulbs. So while opting for CFL bulbs is a pricier purchase up front over incandescent ones you will save money over time as they not only save energy but have a longer lifespan as well. Summertime Saving - When itís warm out opting to hang dry clothes instead of putting them in the dryer can save in the long run. Most of the energy used when washing clothes is actually used from the electric dryer. Skipping the air conditioner, a big energy hog, in favor of fans is another great way to cut your electric bill and conserve energy. Wintertime Saving - Turning down the thermostat by two degrees from your desired temperature can make such a big difference over the colder months. Remember to dress warmly during the cold months, even inside, and you can keep your home at a lower temperature while saving electricity and conserving energy. Further lowering the thermostat while you are out of the home will also save you in the long run. Adding insulation around water pipes, and even your hot water heater if itís an older model, will help save on the energy it takes to heat up your hot water. Whether you implement one of these ideas or all of them you will be making an impact on the environment, and your wallet, by conserving energy and therefore lowering your carbon footprint. And when you can do both at the same time on the cheap, thatís something to feel good about!




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Posted by Century 21 North East - Norton Group RE on 11/27/2016

Now more than ever itís important to take personal steps to decrease your carbon footprint on the earth. As world leaders make plans to decrease carbon emissions worldwide, the threat of climate change can seem distant and far away. However, we are already seeing the beginning of the devastating effects it will have on the earth and humanity alike.

One of the ways that homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint is to turn to alternate forms of energy production, like wind and solar power. In this article, weíll discuss residential solar power, its benefits to you as a homeowner, and the different options you have available.

Why go solar?

Aside from the vitally important environmental aspect we mentioned above, rooftop solar is becoming increasingly beneficial to homeowners. Not only are many homeowners seeing their electricity bills cut in half, but leasing programs make installing panels a zero-liability issue for homeowners worried about damage to the panels or to their roof.

Solar technology is constantly improving. In the very near future, consumers will be able to move entirely off the grid when it comes to producing electricity for their home.

Teslaís Elon Musk recently announced a fully integrated solar rooftop that he claims will be as affordable if not cheaper than a regular roof. The bonus? The power that Teslaís roofs produce will be able to be stored in an integrated battery.

Aesthetics

Homeowners are often worried about the way their homes will look with solar panels on them, which is a valid concern. Fortunately, new technology has made solar more visually appealing than ever. Soon, homeowners will have the option of choosing between different styles of solar roofs that look like regular shingles.

Alternatively, if you donít want the solar panels at your home at all, there are currently companies that allow homeowners to utilize off-site solar panels for their home. This is ideal if your home isnít in a position to receive much sunlight, or if you just donít want to have to deal with the panels being on your property at all.

Thinking ahead

When considering solar, you also have the future to consider. Not just of the planet, but of your wallet. Solar is an investment. If you plan on paying off your solar panels within 10 years, you could end up with years of free electricity, which adds up.

Similarly, many solar programs offer a guarantee that your rates wonít go up or they will rise slower than standard utility companies. So, even if you canít afford to buy your solar system outright, you can still invest in the long term.

Helping the economy

Fossil fuel defenders often claim the loss of jobs associated with the increase of the renewable energy industries. At the same time, jobs to manufacture, sell, install, and repair solar and wind power are skyrocketing.

Regardless of which option you choose, reducing your carbon footprint is doing your small part to help the environment for your children and grandchildren. And, it can save you a lot of money in the long run too.





Posted by Century 21 North East - Norton Group RE on 7/10/2016

The warmer weather is here. If you don't have air conditioning or just want to save money by not turning it on as often there are lots of ways to keep cool. So before you turn on the air or get overheated here are some tips on how to cool down your home as well as some tips for cooling yourself.   1. Keep the blinds shut Keep the heat out by closing your blinds, curtains and windows during the day. This will block the sun's heat. Keep everything shut until night falls and its cool enough to open the windows. 2. Open the windows After nightfall open the windows to allow the cool night air to blow throughout house. 3. Use a fan Place ceiling fans and window fans in upstairs rooms to draw off the heat and push the heat outdoors. Set up fans to suck up the cooler air from the floor below, and blow the hot air upwards towards the ceiling. 4. Create your own air conditioner Believe it or not you can make your own air conditioner.†Place a metal bowl of ice in front of a fan, and adjust the fan so that the air is blowing over the ice. 5. Avoid adding heat Don't add heat to your home especially during the day. Wait until the evening to take a hot shower, wash dishes and clothes or turn on the oven.





Posted by Century 21 North East - Norton Group RE on 8/3/2014

Odds are, you don't give your electrical outlets and switches much thought beyond safety and an occasional surge protector purchase. †However, many new kinds of switches and outlets are now on the market, any one of which could be a major boost to your home's convenience and ambiance, and could even make your home a little more fun to be in. USB Outlets - Many of our cell-phones, laptops, tablets, and other personal electronic devices utilize a USB port for charging purposes. †With the addition of an outlet with a built-in USB port, the days of trying to find room to charge your electronic devices is over. †No more unplugging items in order to charge your phone or laptop. †If you choose to wire this new outlet yourself, you're only looking at spending $20-$40 dollars per outlet. Programmable outlets and light switches - Not only are these outlets and switches a great way to manage your home's power usage, they are also quite affordable. †These types of outlets safely turn off power after a certain amount of time, and most come equipped with a built-in surge protector. Programmable light switches work in the same fashion, which makes them ideal for kid's rooms. †Both of these will run an average of $25-$50, depending on the features. Hands-free light switches - These have been around for a while now, but while the idea isn't new, the technology has improved greatly. †Some come with body-heat detection, motion sensors, AND a time delay, which fixes the earlier issue of the lights shutting off once they didn't detect movement. The infrared light switches are paired best with smaller rooms, but sound-triggered switches (remember The Clapper?) work very well in large rooms. †For versatility, look for a unit that offers multiple lights settings. †Also, be sure that spontaneous noises, such as a loud TV or crying baby, won't accidentally trigger the lights to shut off. †These switches start at $20 dollars for simple sound-trigger options to as much as $200 for the infrared models. LED touch panel lighting - LED touch panels allow you to simply touch a panel to turn on a light, or a stroke of a finger to adjust the amount of light in a room. †Not only do these varieties make your home look sharper, they also save a lot in utility costs. †While these have been enjoyed in Europe for some time now, American manufacturers are starting to take a keen interest in developing these technologies here. †These can be ordered online for about $70-$100 per panel, and are starting to catch on here in the states. †The price will eventually become more affordable once domestic manufacturers start churning them out.