The Reel Deal for These Three Mowers

If you have a lawn, you have several options to keep it neat this Spring, but the human-powered reel mower is probably one of more environmentally friendly ways to go about it.  These things have anywhere from 4-7 blades, 14-20-inch widths, and varying weights, depending on the build of the chosen model.  But what’s the best reel mower for your yard?  It depends on your situation, though Mowers Direct picked these models based on retail pricing, recent sales history, customer reviews, and company insight.

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By |April 16th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Technology|8 Comments

Nest Thermostat Gets a Software Upgrade

The launch of the Nest Learning Thermostat back in October 2011 created a ton of interest in residential thermostats, and the gadget’s been installed in all sorts of green homes (including the C6 Prefab).  Today, Nest Labs announced improvements to the new display with an automatic software update that will be pushed to all thermostat owners.

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By |April 5th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Gadgets|1 Comment

50/10 Houses Aim for a Green Sweet Spot

When a large or expensive home is presented on this site, it’s common to get an adverse response from readers requesting that we feature smaller and more affordable homes.  Today, I’m going to take that opportunity to share something called the 50/10 House developed by Cellar Ridge Custom Homes and m.o.daby design in Oregon.

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By |April 3rd, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Single Family|9 Comments

Active House Migrates to the United States

It’s time to welcome a new green building protocol with the arrival of the Active House specification in the United States.  The specification gets a big test with this home, called Active House USA, which will be the first Active House in the country when finished.  It’s designed by Jeff Day & Associates and will be built by Hibbs Homes and Verdatek Solutions in St. Louis to test the new specification in a mixed climate.  Here’s a little more about Active House and this 2,500 square foot home.

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By |March 30th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Single Family|1 Comment

SolarCity Expands with Home Energy Loans

California-based SolarCity started out with solar and gradually expanded to energy efficiency services.  Now, with more than 5,000 efficiency projects completed or underway, the company wants to help the typical U.S. family save some of about $1,900 that’s spent every year on home utility bills.  The company just announced a plan to make energy-efficiency improvements more accessible with a new Home Energy Loan.

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By |March 28th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, News|1 Comment

Craftsman Style Home Gets a Gold Award

This is the Far Reach House and Gold Award winner in the 2012 EnergyValue Housing Awards by the NAHB Research Center.  The program honors builders and remodelers who incorporate energy efficiency in the design, construction, and marketing of their homes, and this home was built in Olympia, Washington by Scott Homes with some high-performance features to go with a traditional design.

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By |March 17th, 2012|Energy Efficiency, Single Family|2 Comments