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Tips & Resources

Getting Ready for Fall

By Tips & Resources

Autumn is invariably a prelude of falling winter temperatures but along with the colder weather the symphony of vibrant red, orange and yellow foliage, lots of pumpkins and the anticipation of the holiday season. So while the weather is still cooperating here are some simple projects to get your home ready for the cold weather season.

  1. Stock up on furnace filters, clean ducts and consider switching to a programmable thermostat. (We love “Nest”)
  2. Get the Fireplace ready, make sure that it has been cleaned in the last 2 years, cap or screen the top of to keep rodents out.
  3. Inspect the roof, gutters and downspouts
  4. Service weather specific equipment, drain the gas from lawnmowers, service the snow blower to make sure its ready for use, replace old rakes and snow shovels, clean dry and store gardening equipment.
  5. Check foundation
  6. Check smoke and carbon dioxide detectors
  7. Check the windows to make sure that they close properly
  8. Remove mosquito screens
  9. Check the calking around the windows
  10. Consider Krumpers Solar Blinds so that you can enjoy the view while reducing your heating and cooling costs by up to 41%

Tips on how to keep your home cool this summer!

By Featured, Tips & Resources

1. Reduce the cooling load by employing cost-effective conservation measures. Provide effective shade for east and west windows. When possible, delay heat-generating activities such as dish washing until evening on hot days.

2. Over most of the cooling season, keep the house closed tight during the day. Don’t let in unwanted heat and humidity. Ventilate at night either naturally or with fans.

3. You can help get rid of unwanted heat through ventilation if the temperature of the incoming air is 24C or lower. (This strategy works most effectively at night and on cooler days.) Window fans for ventilation are a good option if used properly. They should be located on the downwind side of the house facing out. A window should be open in each room. Interior doors must remain open to allow air flow.

4. Use ceiling fans to increase comfort levels at higher thermostat settings. The standard human comfort range for light clothing in the summer is between 22 C and 24C F. To extend the comfort range to 26C, you need a breeze of about 2.5 ft/sec or 1.7 mph. A sow-turning ceiling-mounted paddle fan can easily provide this air flow.

5. In hot climates, plant shade trees around the house. Don’t plant trees on the South if you want to benefit from passive solar heating in the winter.

6. If you have an older central air conditioner, consider replacing the outdoor compressor with a modern, high-efficiency unit. Make sure that it is properly matched to the indoor unit.

7. If buying a new air conditioner, be sure that it is properly sized. Get assistance from an energy auditor or air conditioning contractor.

8. Buy a high-efficiency air conditioner: for room air conditioners, the energy efficiency ratio (EER) rating should be above 10; for central air conditioners, look for a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating above 12.

9. In hot, humid climates, make sure that the air conditioner you buy will adequately get rid of high humidity. Models with variable or multi-speed blowers are generally best. Try to keep moisture sources out of the house.

10. Try not to use a dehumidifier at the same time your air conditioner is operating. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.

11. Seal all air conditioner ducts, and insulate ducts that run through unheated basements, crawl spaces, and attics.

12. Keep the thermostat set at 24 degrees C or higher if using ceiling fans. Don’t air-condition unused rooms

14. Install Krumpers Solar Blinds and reduce the heat from solar gain by more then 72%


Read more:
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/keep-house-cool-23-tips.html#ixzz2X9vN6XPS13. Maintain your air conditioners properly to maximize efficiency.


Read more:
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/keep-house-cool-23-tips.html#ixzz2X9usUiOs

A well kept secrect: Healthy Home Tax Renovation Credit for Seniors

By Press, Tips & Resources

Article Source: Ontario Ministry of Finance

The Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit is a new permanent, refundable Personal Income Tax credit to assist with the cost of permanent home modifications that improve accessibility or help a senior be more functional or mobile at home.

The credit is worth up to $1,500 each year, calculated as 15 per cent of up to $10,000 in eligible home renovation expenses that will help seniors stay safely in their homes. It can also be claimed by senior homeowners and tenants, and people who share a home with a senior relative.

Amounts claimed by couples are subject to a combined maximum of $10,000 in eligible expenses per year. Different family members in a shared home can claim the credit. However, the total amount of the eligible expenses that can be claimed, per year, by all of those family members cannot exceed $10,000.

What expenses qualify?

Some examples of eligible expenses include:

  • certain renovations to permit a first-floor occupancy or secondary suite for a senior
  • grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, tub and shower
  • handrails in corridors
  • wheelchair ramps, stair/wheelchair lifts and elevators
  • walk-in bathtubs
  • wheel-in showers
  • widening passage doors
  • lowering existing counters/cupboards
  • installing adjustable counters/cupboards
  • light switches and electrical outlets placed in accessible locations
  • door locks that are easy to operate
  • lever handles on doors and taps, instead of knobs
  • pull-out shelves under counter to enable work from a seated position
  • non-slip flooring in the bathroom
  • a hand-held shower on an adjustable rod or high-low mounting brackets
  • additional light fixtures throughout the home and exterior entrances
  • swing clear hinges on doors to widen doorways
  • creation of knee space under the basin to enable use from a seated position (and insulation of any hot-water pipes)
  • relocation of tap to front or side for easier access
  • hands-free taps
  • motion-activated lighting
  • touch-and-release drawers and cupboards
  • automatic garage door openers

Healthy Home Renovation Check

Contact Krumpers to install a new set of Krumper Solar Blinds to reduce heating and cooling bills by up to 40%.

Comparing The First Window Blinds to Coverings Today

By Articles, Tips & Resources

Have you ever given any thought to the history of what you put on your windows? The quest for light and comfort in the home has been a preoccupation of civilizations for centuries.

Even before the Egyptians, it seems that desert civilizations had methods for creating blinds that inspired many of today’s options. Many of these pre- Egyptian civilizations are believed to have simply used wetted cloth to cover their windows. By soaking the cloth, cool air was allowed in while heat and sand were kept out. The cloth concept was eventually adopted by the Romans, who wove slats into fabric sheets to give us Roman blinds. Thousands of years later, we still rely on these blinds to create a Mediterranean feel in our homes.

Window blinds are often referred to as “Venetian blinds”. However, the Venetians, who were once great traders, are thought to have imported the idea from Persia. Once the shipboard slaves were freed, they brought the blinds with them to France, where they are known to this day as les persiennes.

In 1769, British designer Edward Beran patented Venetian blinds in London and they began popping up everywhere. The St. Peter’s Church in Philadelphia was fitted with Venetian blinds in 1761 and later that decade, in 1767, thanks to clever advertising by craftsman John Webster of London, their popularity soared in the US. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Venetian blinds were widely adopted for use in ever-higher office buildings to regulate light and air.

In 1946, however, home decorating took a major turn when mass-made aluminum Venetian-style blinds hit the market. These early blinds incorporated fabric strips to control the raising, lowering, and tilting of the metal vanes. In 1985, honeycomb or cellular shades were developed, largely in response to a demand for more energy efficiency. No longer were window coverings simply a stylish addition to a room. They became a practicality that would not only provide privacy but promised to reduce that energy bill.

The evolution of space age technology allowed for the introduction and implementation of the smart home. It is this advancement in technology that propelled the static window blinds to the cutting edge.

 

For the past 5 years, Krumpers Solar Blinds has been a leader in the window covering industry, earning the “Best Blinds of 2010” award. The uniquely engineered blinds are reversible for summer/winter applications. Although both sides allow for a clear, unobstructed view, each side has a distinctive function. The summer side is solar reflective, and 72 per cent of the heat is reflected back outside.

Krumpers has also been keeping abreast of innovation and architectural trends in trapezoidal windows, skylights and odd shapes and has developed a patented in-house solution to address such variances.

It seems that the evolution of the window blind just reached a new level that is worthy of a smart home. Krumpers is keeping in mind why blinds came to be in the first place – “Covering windows to let the cool air and heat out”

10 Ways to Save Energy in the Laundry Room

By Articles, Tips & Resources

Twitter is a great place to find eco tips and articles. Browsing this morning, there was a great article by apartmenttherapy.com titled “10 Ways to Save Energy in the Laundry Room

As heating costs continue to rise, we will do anything to try to cut our heating bill. In the laundry room you most often hear advice to “wash in cold water” and “dry clothes on a rack”. It is helpful to listen to these old “wives-tails” on how to do your laundry the “green way” but there is also new technology that will help reduce energy use.

10 Ways to Save Energy in the Laundry Room (view full article)

1. Move the dryer closer to an outside wall

2. Use smooth ducts for exhaust

3. Air dry clothes when possible

4. 8 Tips to Optimize Your Dryer. “Learn how to separate clothes and select cycles that optimize drying time. You can dry full loads, but don’t overfill the dryer, stop over-drying your clothes, and separate heavy from light fabrics among other tips.”

5. Recover greywater from the washing machine. “Over the last two years, that simple switch has sent 9,720 gallons to passion fruit vines instead of the sewer, and it required only one change to her usual routine.”

6. Use an electricity free technique. “Wonderwash Portable Washing Machine & Mini Spin Dryer, “is small enough for countertop use, is easy and safe to use, and will cut down on water and electricity usage as well as save money”

7. Hot, warm or cold cycles? “Not all laundry needs to be washed in hot, or even warm water. Separate loads and be selective about which fabrics get to be washed in heated water.”

8. Wash clothes less frequently

9. Heat and moisture energy exchange. “An air to air heat and moisture exchange system could allow you to save energy on heating or cooling your home by recycling the energy you used to heat or cool it in the first place.”

10. Stop shipping water when you buy liquid detergents

#11 that is not on this list would be doing your laundry during off-peak hours. In Ontario the winter hydro off-peak hours are from 7 pm to 7 am. Rather than paying over 10 cents per kWh you are paying just over 6 cents per kWh. Just be sure that if you are doing your laundry in the evening, be sure not to leave your wet laundry in the machine. This will lead to the development of bed bugs and bacteria build-up.

Washing your clothes the “eco-way” is not only positive for the environment but your clothes will last longer! Enjoy clothes with a fresh smell and long lasting colour.

Green Renovation Ideas for Homeowners

By Tips & Resources

Kaz Flinn, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility at Scotiabank shared his insight with Home BUILDER Canada on how to continue encouraging Canadians to adopt energy efficient updates. Educating homeowners about green renovation ideas will further increase their interest to make these changes.

“A June 2011 special report from Scotiabank found that while substantial progress has been made in improving household energy efficiency, more needs to be done, especially with energy usage and pricing on the upswing. “

“Canadians are increasingly adopting energy-efficient and environmentally friendly practices in their homes, and with the breadth and depth of knowledge available to builders and renovators, there is a distinct opportunity to inform even more Canadians of their green options. “

“As experts in their field, builders and renovators can educate clients about the benefits of using sustainable materials, appliances and lighting when completing a renovation. By demonstrating the savings on household electricity and water bills, these experts can show Canadians how simple changes are smart for both the planet and the wallet. “

“Additionally, government rebates available to Canadians at the regional and federal levels are excellent incentives to choose sustainable renovation options. The comprehensive rebate guide on Scotiabank’s EcoLiving website, www.ecoliving.scotiabank.com, shows the user rebates available by city and province and by renovation project.”

Energy efficient renovations don’t need to be major. Small energy efficient updates can add to be to great savings.

Window Blinds Will Help You Outsmart The Smart Meter

By Articles, News - Print, Press, Tips & Resources

Ottawa Life Magazine published our article “Cutting Edge Technology in Window Blinds will Help You Outsmart the Smart Meter” on Friday.

We all love the sun streaming through the windows especially this time of year, when every second of sunshine is worth its bandwidth in gold.  However, windows are the weakest element in any building structure and the only element that has very little insulating value. Even the best windows on the market (3 pane, with argon and crypton gas) still allow for 50% of heat to travel through them.

Here is a simple experiment touch your wall and then touch the glass of your windows, the temperature differential will be staggering. The solution is actually very simple and has been around for the past 28 years, however only the fortunate few have been aware.

Home owners, condominium dwellers and commercial building owners have all benefited from Krumpers technology. Krumpers blinds is a gift that will give back year after year not only to your pocketbook but also to the environment.

Read the full article >>

Aging Demographic Interested in Energy Efficient Renovations

By Tips & Resources

A great article was posted by Home BUILDER Canada’s website. This article was written by Mike Martin, owner of Michael J. Martin Luxury Renovations in Ottawa.

“Provincial and municipal agencies are also offering home renovation incentives and awareness campaigns to help industry growth with such incentives toward home efficiency and environmental stewardship.”

“The demographic is changing with 1,000 retirees a day in Canada. Therefore, renovators should gear themselves toward barrier-free renovation projects. Automation and efficiency is a primary concern for this demographic, and renovators should try and educate themselves with these elements to tap into this huge market.”

“Green renovations will continue to be an important facet of any project. Demands for “Green homes” include everything from HVAC systems to building materials to product finishes. Tying in energy efficient renovations to an existing house requires much up-to-date knowledge and technical know-how to make it “one” with a home.”

It is true that retired homeowners would appreciate the benefits of energy efficient renovations.

  • Many are now on a fixed income so would appreciate a reduced energy bill
  • Making updates to the home before selling to increase the value
  • Reducing allergens in the air and thus reducing illness
  • Increasing the warmth of the house, again reducing illness

As mentioned in Mike’s statement the aging demographic is most interested in “barrier-free renovation projects” so they can remain in the comfort of their home during renovations. Krumpers Solar Blinds is one energy efficient update that doesn’t alter your lifestyle.  Toxic-free, allergen-free, and affordable!

Article Source: ArcticFoam blog (permission granted)