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5 Ways to Lower Your Cooling Costs

Posted on July 20, 2017 by James Florence

A central air conditioner can be priceless on a hot summer day, but the cost of running it certainly isn’t. While having a well-maintained, energy-efficient system will help keep your cooling bills in check, another smart step is finding ways to keep your home naturally cooler, which reduces the need to run your system in the first place. Here are five measures to consider:

1. Install a whole house fan. On summer mornings and evenings, it’s not unusual for the temperature outside the home to be cooler than on the inside. In this instance, running the air conditioner can feel like a waste of energy. If only there was a way to get that cool outdoor air into the home… Read more

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Posted in: Home Tips, Home Improvement
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The Benefits of a Variable-Speed Air Conditioner

Posted on July 18, 2017 by James Florence

Imagine if your car only drove at one speed, regardless of whether you were in town or on the freeway, or if your stereo only had a single volume setting that couldn’t be adjusted. Sounds awful, right? Well, when it comes to your air conditioner, you may be dealing with an equivalent situation. In fact, the air conditioners found in many Bay Area homes only have one setting: full blast. Not surprisingly, these relics of cooling technology aren’t exactly the epitome of energy efficiency.

Fortunately, there’s a better option available: the variable-speed air conditioner. Unlike its single-speed predecessors, a variable-speed unit is able to incrementally adjust its power output in conjunction with changing climate conditions—and that’s just the beginning. Read more

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Posted in: Home Tips
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Let the Sun Shine In: The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Window Washer

Posted on May 02, 2017 by James Florence

It’s May, which means the rainy season is finally over and Bay Area residents can look forward to clear, sunny skies for the foreseeable future. However, if your home’s windows are still caked with residue from the winter deluge, you won’t get the full effect of that soul-recharging solar radiance. Before you grab the Windex, consider a better option: hiring a professional window washing company. Here are a few reasons to leave your panes to the pros.

Superior tools and techniques
Window cleaning seems like something anyone can do, but few people actually know how to do it correctly. First, most homeowners lack the right tools, opting for paper towels, rags or newspapers to do the job. Read more

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Industry Spotlight: Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association

Posted on March 30, 2017 by Suzanne Carroll

PHCC logoThe Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) promotes the advancement and education of plumbing and HVAC professionals and advocates for improvements in public health and environmental safety. Since its founding in 1883, the PHCC has assisted in establishing an apprenticeship system, worked with lawmakers to enact sanitation regulations, helped develop improvements in plumbing fixtures and created educational programs to keep its members up-to-date on industry advancements. The association’s goal is to “become so relevant that PHCC contractors are the best choice for professionalism, reliable products and knowledgeable service.” Read more

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Posted in: Industry Organization Spotlight
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Video: Financing Your Solar Installation with PACE

Posted on September 15, 2016 by James Florence

Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips about residential solar. One tip mentioned a recent financing program available to California homeowners called Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE. To learn more about PACE and its benefits, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Randy Zechman of Clean Solar, Inc.

To learn more about solar power and other topics, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org. Read more

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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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Low-Impact Floors, Part 2: Recycled Flooring Options

Posted on September 06, 2016 by James Florence

In the previous installment of our “Low-Impact Floors” series, we talked about flooring made from sustainably sourced materials. In this second half, we’ll cover an even more eco-friendly option: recycled flooring. If sustainable flooring ensures that harvesting and manufacturing are performed in an ecologically sound manner, recycled flooring takes things a step further by eschewing the consumption of new materials in favor of reusing existing ones. Here are a few of the top recycled flooring options: Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Tips
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