From all of us at Guthmann Construction: HAPPY 2017!!

resolutionsA new year is a great time to make goals for yourself, your family, your career, etc.  It is also the perfect time to do something new for your home to have a better quality of life and protect your biggest investment.  Here is a list of things you can do ensure a healthy and efficient environment:

1. Save More Energy

houseSealing and insulating your ductwork can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20%, saving you $200 per year or more, according to Energy Star. You’ll make your home more comfortable, and a more-efficient system helps extend the life of your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump.

Other good habits and tips to lower the power bill:

  • Turn off lights not in use
  • Do not place lamps near a thermostat (the bulb’s heat can affect HVAC)
  • Use dimmers, timers, and motion detectors on indoor and outdoor lighting

2. Save More Water

waterCheck faucets and pipes for leaks.  Small drops from a leaky faucet can waste more than 20 gallons a day.  Also check your toilets for a leak.  A great test for this is placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank and DO NOT flush.  If the color makes its way to the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak. Most repairs are simple and inexpensive.

Other good habits and tips to lower the water bill:

  • Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
  • Turn off the faucet when you brush teeth, shave, or wash dishes
  • Insulate water pipes with with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. You’ll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.

3. Purify Indoor Air

6271970-lungs-healthyThe EPA lists indoor air quality as one of the top environmental health hazards. That’s because indoor air is full of potential contaminants, such as dust, mold spores, pollen, and viruses. The problem is at its worst during winter, when windows and doors are shut tight.

You can help eliminate harmful lung irritants in your home with these maintenance and improvement tips:

  • Maintain your HVAC system and change furnace filters regularly. Use the highest-quality filters you can afford ($10-$20) and change every month during peak heating and cooling seasons.
  • Keep humidity between 30% – 50% in the home.
  • Dust with a wet cloth (not a feather duster) and don’t forget top of fridge or ceiling fans.
  • Keep air circulating by opening windows and using ceiling fans.
  • Place an air-filtering plant in your home.
  • In fireplaces and wood stoves, burn real firewood rather than pressed wood products that may contain formaldehyde.
  • Use a portable air cleaner to help cleanse the air in single rooms.
  • Frequently launder drapery, fabric shower curtains, and bedding in water as hot as is allowed (preferably above 130º F).

Sources: Energy Star, EPA, EarthEasy