Five Tips for a Green Home

Eco-friendly. Carbon footprint. Global warming. Energy-efficient. These catch phrases have become part of our lexicon as we’ve become more aware of our impact on the environment and our role in protecting it. As a homeowner, there are some simple, inexpensive steps you can take to make your home energy-efficient. Get started on the road to being “green” with these five tips:

Change Your Light Bulbs

By replacing just five incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, you can save $100 per year on electric bills while using up to 75 percent less energy and removing greenhouse gases from the environment.

Buy ENERGY STAR® Appliances

ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances, such as refrigerators, washers and air conditioners, meet a higher level of energy efficiency set by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy than standard models. According to ENERGY STAR, if just one in 10 homes used ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances, the impact could be compared to planting 1.7 million new acres of trees. And, switching to these appliances is not only good for the environment, but easy on your pocketbook. Although these appliances may costs more, you can reduce your energy bill by $80 per year.

Seal Up

Cracks and air leaks represent cash seeping from your doors and windows. Get rid of air leaks in doors, windows and other areas by caulking gaps and cracks. This will help decrease your heating and air conditioning bill. But make sure you use silicone sealants. Acrylic caulk tends to shrink, while silicone sealants are waterproof and won’t shrink or crack, creating less waste.

Use Less Water

Did you know that roughly 60 percent of a home’s water consumption takes place in the bathroom, according to the California Urban Water Conservation Council? The largest culprit is the toilet, which accounts for 27 percent of your household supply every year. By installing low-flow toilets, showerheads and faucets, you can save thousands of gallons of water each year. In addition, replace leaky fixtures. That slow-dripping faucet can waste as much as 2,400 gallons of water per year.

Adjust the Thermostat

When adjusting your home’s thermostat, the rule of thumb should be: turn up the dial in the summer and down in the winter. Lowering the temperature by just one degree will reduce your electrical costs. And if you use a programmable thermostat, you can program your air-conditioning and heating systems to reduce output while no one is at home or at night while you sleep. Ceiling fans are also helpful in circulating the air to keep the room cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Going green doesn’t have to be overwhelming or costly. By making just a few small changes within your home, you can help decrease energy consumption and help make the world a “greener” place.

Springtime Pests

Loving the warm spring weather Atlanta has been experiencing lately? So have the bugs! After one of the warmest winters in Georgia’s history, insects like termites and kudzu bugs (those stinky beetles that resemble lady bugs) are already proving to be as much of a pest as that yellow haze of pollen covering Atlanta. Warm temperatures all winter allowed insects to remain active and means their populations are likely to be larger than normal this spring and summer.  This also means pests like termites are swarming earlier.

Wondering exactly what kind of creepy crawly pest is crawling across your patio or camping on your window screen? University of Florida researchers released a handy app a few years ago called iPest that can be downloaded to your iPhone or iPad from your app store for $1.99. It’s a great tool that can help homeowners identify and educate themselves on common pests in or around your home.

There are simple things you can do to combat the pests you find invading your yard or home this spring. Spread a bait material insecticide around fire ant mounds. The ants will eat the poison and share it throughout the colony. Make sure there is no opportunity for water to collect around your home. Mosquitoes love standing water for breeding, so clean your gutters and make sure any water that collects around your home during a spring shower home (in flower pots, bird baths, etc.) can drain properly. You can also find helpful information on everything from pests to pollen on Northwest Exterminating’s blog.

 

Prudential Realty Awards Petersen Partners with Top Award for 2011

The Petersen Partners team was recognized at the annual Prudential Real Estate National Sales Convention, held from March 11-13 in Orlando, Florida. Prudential Realty awarded Petersen Partners with the Chairman’s Circle Platinum award, placing them in the top 1% of all Prudential Agents worldwide.

This is the 10th year the Petersen Partners team has earned the Chairman’s Circle award. It is a prestigious award given to the finest and most committed professionals that matches the mission of the Petersen Partners team to deliver experience and professionalism their clients can trust. Dan Petersen credits it as a group effort owed to the support of many, saying “We would like to thank our family, friends, clients (current and past) for all the referrals and trusting in our team to handle your real estate transactions. We could not have achieved this without you all! Jill and I would also like to thank our team members who help us carry out our mission of providing superior real estate services for all of our clients.”

Petersen Partners have over 12 years experience serving metro Atlanta home buyers and sellers and are seeing increased activity in the Atlanta real estate market. What sets the team apart is their knowledge of and deep personal commitment to the communities they serve. To learn more about the Petersen Partners team, Prudential Georgia Realty, or to search for properties for sale, visit www.PetersenPartners.com.