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Until the turbulent US economy stops spiraling and starts rebounding, every dollar counts. When it comes to putting your money where your home is, I want to share some ideal ways to get started recouping the most on your investments – both today and in the future.
Your home is a system that’s really just as good as the sum of its parts. Not unlike an auto made up of interacting components, a house also needs to be in sync and tuned up for efficiency. Potential areas of concern comprise costly energy bills, uneven temperatures from room-to-room, drafts, moisture, mold, mildew, poor indoor air quality, ice dams, pest infestations, seemingly uncontrollable humidity levels, and even premature deterioration of building materials. These can all result from a breakdown in the relationship between the house systems: the actual building, heating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, and you, the occupant.
The process-of-elimination approach may wear on your nerves as you try solution after solution, investing more time, money and energy – with undue stress, without resolution.

Properly diagnosing and fixing the root cause requires a house-as-a-system approach based on building science. This is where it pays to call in a certified professional and/or accredited contracting company; these pros are trained to conduct comprehensive, whole-home assessments to find the real problems, then prescribe and prioritize improvements that make the system as a whole function at its best, turning your home into a finely tuned machine. For improved efficiency, an energy assessment is a must to spot a home’s deficiencies.
Getting More for your Money
Most home-performance retrofit projects will pay for themselves over time in reduced energy consumption and lower utility bills. But, remember, to accelerate that return on investment there are numerous incentive programs, including many funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

  • ENERGY STAR is a national flagship initiative from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which offers a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort at home while helping to protect the environment. BPI is deeply involved in the ongoing development and deployment of this key program.
  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the NC Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Again, there are some requirements for the work to be performed by BPI-credentialed professionals.
  • The Weatherization Assistance Programs enables low-income families to permanently reduce energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. During the last 32 years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program has provided services to more than 6.2 million low-income families. Many weatherization assistance programs use the services of BPI certified professionals. Check to find out if you qualify.

Armed with this newfound knowledge, make it worth your while – and dollars – to do some investigating to make your home truly high performance in all areas.

For more information contact Advanced Renovations at 704-799-3999 or visit their website at  Advanced Renovations is located at 3914 Miriam Drive, Charlotte, NC 28205.

Writing collaborated by Duane Johns (Advanced Renovations, Inc.) and Ginger Sprinkle @ nine dots branding & marketing company @ 704.998.8797

Shutting off the lights and turning off the water are simple ways to save money and “go green.” But an increasing number of homeowners are taking it a step further. When Jon Langford built his Anglo Caribbean white stucco home in Davidson two years ago, he tried to incorporate technologies that would maintain comfortable temperatures as efficiently as possible.

Throughout the 5,700-square-foot home, “We installed good quality windows with overhangs to shade direct sun exposure,” says Langford. “We also have an automated climate system zoned into several areas. It adjusts the temperature at night or while we’re away and makes it easy to heat and cool just the parts of the house that we’re using.”

But the greatest impact to Langford’s energy bills came after he reinsulated his home. After interviewing three companies, he chose EnergyOne of the Carolinas, a spray foam insulation contractor located in Charlotte. Owner Stephen Davis explains why the option is so effective. “Spray foam creates an air barrier,constructing a complete sealed home envelope, so the HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard…”

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more about the EnergyOne of the Carolinas.

Call EnergyOne of the Carolinas at 704-504-5635, visit or stop by 1038 Culp Rd., Ste.
100 in Pineville.

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but the exception to the rule just might be your home’s curb appeal. Does getting high aesthetics mean high maintenance? For example, cedar siding is a classic style common in the Carolinas and especially prized by Charlotte homeowners.

“But wood siding can cause mold, and it needs to be repainted or stained on a regular basis,” points out Austin Crawford of Norandex Building Materials Distribution in Charlotte, “and vinyl siding just can’t achieve the look.”

Building material suppliers such as Norandex are offering new technologies to provide the appearance of cedar without the maintenance. “If you want the look and feel of fresh cut cedar that doesn’t retain moisture like wood does,” continues Crawford, “Everlast Polymeric Cladding is a new composite material that’s low maintenance,
doesn’t swell and never needs painting. It’s made of natural polymers and inorganic minerals, so it’s 100 percent recyclable…”

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more about the Norandex Building Materials.

For quality and environmentally friendly exterior building products, visit or have your builder or contractor contact Norandex Building Materials at 704-377-5443

If you are looking for one of the ultimate “green” technologies to heat and cool your home, look no further than the Earth. Water furnace geothermal heating and cooling systems use the constant temperature of the Earth as an energy source to heat and cool your home. Ross and Witmer, one of Charlotte’s premier heating and cooling firms, is a pioneer in the installation of this cutting edge technology.

“Geothermal heat pumps are able to tap into the free energy source that lies right below the Earth’s surface,” said Clay Phillips, the company president. “They are similar to ordinary heat pumps but use the ground instead of outside air to provide heating, air conditioning and, in most cases, an added benefit of free hot water.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, because these systems use the Earth’s natural heat, they are among the most efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies currently available. Added Phillips, “A traditional air source heat pump may achieve 175 to 250% efficiency, but geothermal heat pumps can achieve 400 to 600% efficiency…”

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more about Ross and Witmer.

For more information, contact Ross and Witmer at 704-392-6188.

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