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Diamond Certified Experts: Residential Solar Energy Basics

Posted on September 13, 2016 by James Florence

Not long ago, solar power was a fringe technology whose viability as a widespread energy source remained in question. Flash forward a couple of decades to today, where solar panels can be seen mounted on rooftops and hillsides throughout the Bay Area and beyond. However, while Bay Area residents have become well-acquainted with the concept of solar power, many still don’t know how to incorporate this revolutionary technology into their own lives. To learn more, we’ve asked seven Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to shed some light on the basics of residential solar energy.

 

Determining whether solar energy is worthwhile for you

Everyone knows solar power works, but the question on most homeowners’ minds is whether it will work for them. Read more

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Posted in: Diamond Certified Experts, Solar Energy
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Darker, Cooler, Stronger: The Versatile Benefits of Window Tint

Posted on May 12, 2016 by James Florence

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “window tint”? If you’re like most people, you probably envision the blacked-out windows of a flashy sports car. However, this stereotypical association does little justice to the many practical benefits of and uses for window tint (also known as window film). Whether applied in a vehicle, residential home or commercial establishment, window tint is an economical way to enhance interior comfort, protection and performance.

Automotive Applications
While often done simply for looks, tinting a car’s windows offers several practical benefits, starting with improved visibility. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers
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Swim ‘n’ Save: How to Splash the Cost of Running Your Pool

Posted on April 12, 2016 by James Florence

While children anxiously await the coming of summer, there are others who are less enthusiastic about it—and no, we’re not just talking about their parents. Motorists, for example, know all too well the “pain at the pump” that sets in as gas prices make their seasonal ascent. Likewise, if you’re a swimming pool owner, you experience a similar summertime phenomenon—only, instead of the fuel pump, your pool pump is the source of pain. Let’s face it: swimming pools are enjoyable, but they aren’t cheap to maintain. In fact, it’s been estimated that homes with swimming pools use almost 50 percent more electricity than those without. Read more

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The Hidden Workhorses: 5 Green Products You Should be Using in Your Home Remodel

Posted on March 15, 2016 by Jennifer Chan

Ready to remodel and interested in sustainability? Of course, you should implement well-known Green building solutions such as using sustainable countertop materials and energy-efficient appliances. But according to Don Knapp, a spokesperson for Build it Green, there are many lesser-known Green materials you can utilize to make your remodeling project more environmentally-friendly. Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Consumers, Home Tips
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Green Building: Eight Ways to Make Your Home Improvement Project Environmentally-Friendly

Posted on March 08, 2016 by Jennifer Chan

Last fall, we published a long piece about how to make different types of Bay Area homes more energy efficient (download the free e-book here). This month, we’ve distilled the wisdom offered in that post and added a few more Green tips in honor of March, the greenest of months. Enjoy!

1. Implement a whole-house solution
Richard Hiteshew of A-1 Guaranteed Heating & Air, Inc. says people who want to “Green up” their homes should “reduce before they produce.” Read more

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Posted in: Uncategorized, Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Landscaping Tips
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Home, Smart Home: Integration, Automation and the Future of Domestic Living

Posted on February 09, 2016 by James Florence

Thirty years ago, if you conducted a survey about what technological advancements people expected to see in 2016, answers would have likely included flying cars, computer-controlled homes and colonization of other planets. Well…at least one of these futuristic forecasts has come to pass: home automation. The “smart home” is here, and it’s revolutionizing the mode of modern domestic life.

But what exactly is a smart home? According to Micah Brown, owner of Avid Home Theater, a smart home is defined by two key terms: integration (multiple systems are tied together into a single control system) and automation (the systems are programmed to function autonomously of the user). Read more

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Choosing Appliances for a Kitchen Remodel

Posted on January 19, 2016 by James Florence

When planning to remodel their kitchens, many homeowners focus on improving aspects such as visual aesthetics and functional utility. However, a kitchen remodel also provides a great opportunity to improve energy efficiency, primarily through updating appliances like refrigerators and ovens with new, environmentally-friendly models. By minimizing energy consumption, updating your kitchen appliances will reduce both your carbon footprint and monthly power bills, which is a true win-win situation. Here are some things to look for when selecting new appliances: Read more

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