The Greener Home

The Greener Home

Going Green can mean many things. For some people, it means purchasing products that are biodegradable or that are manufactured from recycled materials. For others it means trading in that gas-guzzler for a hybrid automobile . Still for others, it means making your home more energy efficient , which is the primary focus of this web page. Energy efficiency means replacing older appliances or adding systems to your home that reduce your energy consumption and your utility bills. It can also mean using the power of the sun, to generate electricity, to heat your pool, or to add natural light to darker areas of your home.

Greening your home has some real advantages. Aside form the fact that it's good for your health and the environment, going green can also save you money. By purchasing energy efficient appliances and systems, you can reduce your utility bills and realize a significant return on your investment. Also, by installing energy efficient products and systems in your home, you may be eligible for a number of rebates that are offered through your utility company, as well as the state and federal governments.

Green and eco-friendly homes in Orange County, CA. If you are interested in purchasing or leasing a home with green or energy-efficient features, just call me and I will create a custom MLS search for you. This search can include homes with energy saving devices such as whole house attic fans, energy star appliances and cooling, solar panels, solar pool heating, etc. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has been steadily increasing the capability to search for homes with eco-friendly features. I will be happy to use these new search capabilities to search for a home with green features for you!


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Whole house fan

Its hot in Orange County!
Orange County gets hot in the summer, especially in the inland county areas. Running central air conditioning is an expensive, energy wasting solution. One way to help is with a whole hose attic fan . These systems help cool and ventilate your home, while  using less energy and saving you money. To give you an idea on how these systems work, consider the temperature imbalances in your home late on a summer day. The outside air is usually cool in the late afternoon and evening. The lower level of your home is also much cooler than the upper level, which is often uncomfortably hot. The air in the attic gets even hotter; sometimes as much as 20 to 30 degrees hotter that your home's second level. This imbalance is created because in our newer, super-insulated homes, heat rises and is trapped, just like in a green house! Poor air circulation in our homes also means that means that opening windows does little to remove the trapped heat.

But what if you could easily bring the entire home to the cooler temperature of the outside air? You can with a whole house fan . These work by simple physics. By creating a powerful (but nearly unnoticeable) suction in the upper level of the home, cool, outside air is drawn in and circulates quickly through the lower and upper levels of your home. The hot air is forced out of the home through the attic vents and gables. Within a very short time, the temperature in your entire home is equalized to the temperature of the outside air. In addition to efficient, low cost cooling, the whole house attic fan system has the added benefit of ventilating the home. This helps to reduce mold, mildew, bacteria, odors, and moisture, which become trapped by our super-insulated homes and contribute to the phenomenon known as sick building syndrome .

Quiet Cool fan system

Quiet cool fan

There are many types of whole house attic fans available, but one of the main drawbacks of lower priced models is noise. The typical system consists of a single, large fan, which is mounted to the ceiling in a common area. Because the fan is large and sits above the grill, the system can be unpleasantly noisy. The system I recommend (and recently installed in my own home) is by Quiet Cool . These systems use a smaller fan mounted on the end of a long, insulated duct, resulting in very quiet operation. The video below demonstrates the Quiet Cool system and how it works.


If you are interested about learning more about a Quiet Cool whole house fan installation in Orange County, CA, or if you would like have one of these systems professionally installed in your home, I recommend that you contact Direct Electric Company at (951) 965-1014 or at www.DirectElectricCo.com .

( Please let them know that you read about their product on www.ronforhomes.com ! )

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Solar powered attic fan

A solar powered attic fan has a different function than a whole house fan (above). The purpose of these fans is to remove trapped heat from the attic during the peak of the day. These units can supplement a whole house fan or they may be used alone. Because of the greenhouse effect, the temperature in your attic can be as much as 20 to 50 degrees higher than the rest of your home. This heat radiates back into the house, raising the cost of cooling. Unlike a whole house attic fan which is typically used in the morning or late in the day to bring cool air into the home, the solar powered attic fan is used to exhaust hot air from the attic during the hottest part of the day. This helps equalize the temperature of the attic and cool the home. It does this at no cost, since it is entirely solar powered!

Roof mounted attic fan

Unlike whole house fans, which are installed inside the home and in the attic, Solar powered attic fans are mounted on the outside of the building using a hole in the roof, Other models are designed to fit over an existing gable or dormer vent in the attic. The solar panel to power the unit is then mounted on the roof where it can pick up the most sunlight. While these units are primarily used to help ventilate the attic, they are also useful for helping to cool down an overly warm garage or storage facility. Most units come as either 10-watt or 20-watt models, with the later capable of moving more air.

Gable mounted solar attic fan

Roof mounted attic fan with on-board solar panel

A gable mounted fan with external solar panel

The following video by US Sunlight Corp demonstrates the solar powered attic fan

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