The Gadgets of ‘Unnecessary Inventions’ Solve Problems You Didn’t Know You HadLiving
Have you ever wished you could wear toilet paper rolls like jewelry?
Nov 28, 2019
How a Thermometer Can Actually Save You Money Around the HouseHome Projects
We’ve explained why you should keep a thermometer in your fridge, but temperature monitors can actually save you money in other parts of the house as well. And, honestly, who doesn’t want to save money on bills? Drafty windows and doors are often the biggest culprit when it comes to allowing air to seep in or out—a definite no-no when it comes to household energy efficiency—particularly during the sticky summer and colder winter months. Here’s a trick.
Nov 30, 2018
Drafts No More: How To Add Weatherstripping to Your DoorsHome Projects
Keep the cold out (and the heat in) with these simple tricks!
Oct 28, 2017
Tesla’s Solar Roof Is Actually Cheaper Than a Normal RoofHome Projects
Just under six months after announcing its Solar Roof, Tesla has finally put a price tag on those eco-friendly solar tiles that look like the real thing — and they’re actually really affordable. Orders are now being taken for the Tesla Solar Roof at a price of $21.85 per square foot, which is nearly 20 percent less than the cost of a normal roof — even without factoring in the energy savings.
Jul 29, 2017
5 Draft-Stopping Home Solutions that Aren’t UglyStyle
Chilly winter weather is starting to blow in, and with it comes the annual war we wage against our thermostats. If you’re tempted to turn up the heat, but are scared to open your heating bill at the end of the month, invest in one of these draft-stopping solutions that will help warm up your space, saving you money in the long run. There’s no unsightly bubble-wrapped windows here—these 5 solutions will make your home look as warm and cozy as it feels.
Dec 18, 2016
This Weekend: Don’t Let This One Thing Slip Through The CracksHome Projects
I know, I KNOW. I hate to even bring it up. But soon it will be winter, your joints and dry skin will hurt, and you’d rather cozy up in bed instead of fiddle with your drafty windows and doors. Take advantage on this transition period by prepping your home for the cold to come. You’ve totally got this! If You’re a Renter: Even if you’re not responsible for the building itself, you can still amp up your home’s efficiency and reduce your own heating bills this winter.
Sep 16, 2016
Crazy Ways to Reduce Your Heating Bill This WinterLiving
We’ve heard all the regular ways to conserve heat in your home. And hopefully by now you’ve caulked your exterior walls, covered windows with plastic, and insulated the water heater. Now, it’s time to explore these perhaps less known ways to reduce the amount you spend heating your home — without needing to keep your teeth chattering, all bundled up in a Norwegian wool sweater, with down slippers glued to your feet all winter long. (Although, no lie, all those help too.
Nov 3, 2014
You’re Doing it Wrong: When To Leave the Lights On to Save MoneyLiving
By now you know that switching off the lights when you’re not using them will save both energy and dollars on your electric bill. WRONG! Turns out, if you’re using CFL bulbs you may actually be better off leaving the lights on! Whaaaaa? Carter Oosterhouse recently shared this little tidbit on the Rachael Ray show, prompting us to check into just how CFLs actually work. Here’s the deal.
Oct 15, 2014
This is Real: Spray-On Solar PowerLiving
Ladies and gentlemen, the future is now. Solar power, which has long been an expensive and bulky, if well-intentioned, concept, is steps away from getting a pretty exciting new identity. According to Co.Exist, scientists at the University of Sheffield are turning a corner on a low-cost, more environmentally-friendly technology that would allow people to easily take advantage of solar energy.
Aug 25, 2014
Time-Saving Tip: How To Quickly Dry a Load of LaundryOrganize & Clean
Doing laundry is a time-consuming and never-ending chore. But since it is a necessary evil, the only solution is to find ways to make the job easier and faster. This summer, I seem to be doing laundry more frequently, with smaller loads, and yet those smaller loads seem to take as much time to dry as my larger loads, even when set to the same exact settings. Boggled by this reoccurring conundrum, I asked my grandmother for her sage advice.
Aug 7, 2014
How to Use an Air Conditioner Economically and Save on Your Electric BillLiving
There are plenty of ways you can get creative when it comes to staying cool and saving money.  But when the heat of summer truly hits, sometimes your best bet is cranking up the AC. Learning how to save money with your air conditioner can help you keep your cool physically and budget-wise. While it certainly costs a bit more than your usual ice fan hack, things like closing off vents and rearranging furniture are effective and still pretty easy on the wallet.
Jun 16, 2014
Secrets of an Energy Star Home: How To Make Your Home More EfficientReal Estate
I recently had the chance to tour an Energy Star rated home here in Kansas City.
Apr 2, 2014
The Bottom Line: What It Really Costs to Buy & Install a Water HeaterHome Projects
Last month we asked how much readers spent buying and installing a new water heater in their home. And you told us! We hope this information gives a basic sense of how much this new appliance costs, and how much you can expect to pay when hiring someone. Keep in mind, this is general and prices most likely vary in cities versus more rural locations, etc…Although this gives you a rough idea, you should always seek multiple quotes for any work done in your home.
Feb 20, 2014
How To Beat the Cold: Tips for Making Windows Warmer for WinterHome Projects
Keeping warm in the winter time sometimes requires extra work and some ingenuity. Thankfully, our reader community is a generous one; people regularly share helpful tips and secrets in the comments. Today, I’ve gathered just some of their great ideas on how to seal up windows and deal with drafts — so you can live as toasty (and as cheaply) at home as possible this cold season. gudnis: If you have double hung windows, head to the hardwre store and find some FELT weatherstripping.
Dec 17, 2013
Energy Saving Task Lighting in the Kitchen: 10 LED Under Cabinet LightsStyle
I recently installed under cabinet lights in the kitchen of my rental apartment, and for a relatively small investment, they have made a big impact: They provide lighting for such kitchen tasks as dish washing and food prep, and their ambient glow is a pleasant alternative to the harsh overhead lighting I relied on previously. Fluorescent, halogen and xenon are all popular choices, but if you are looking to go the energy saving route, check out these LED options below:TOP ROW1.
Jan 15, 2013
The Pros and Cons of Switching to a Tankless Water HeaterHome Projects
If the idea of constantly heating your water in a big tank sitting in your basement sounds mighty inefficient and wasteful to you, then a tankless water heater may be the right option for you. I’ve researched some of the advantages of a tankless water heater system, alongside some of the compromises that come with the compact, more energy efficient option. There are many advantages to going with a tankless water heater.
Sep 5, 2012
5 Questions for Sizing Your Rain BarrelLiving
No matter where you live, capturing rain to water landscaping or wash cars is a good way to use less potable water. However, depending on where you live, your rain water catchment system should be sized accordingly. Here are five questions to help you decide how big your rain barrel should be.If you can collect rain water from 1000 square feet of roof and a typical rainfall is one inch then a 623 gallon barrel will capture most of the typical rainfall. (1000SF x 1/12 feet = 83.
Feb 7, 2012
10 Ways to Save Energy in the Laundry RoomOrganize & Clean
Washing and drying clothes uses a lot of energy and water in a typical house. Here are 10 ways you can reduce your consumption of water and energy while doing laundry.Move the dryer closer to an outside wall The farther exhaust air has to travel from your dryer to get outside, the more energy your dryer will use on every cycle. If you can, move the dryer as close to its exhaust port as possible. Can you reduce the number of elbow bends in the exhaust pipe?
Jan 10, 2012
13 Green Gifts for Home Renovators and Fix-It-UppersStyle
Home renovation gifts probably seem a little dull, but trust me – the person on the receiving end will thank you! Tackling a project with sustainability in mind is easier when you have the right tools and gear for the job – check out our list of tried and true gift options after the jump!While some of these items may not appear “green” at first glance, a big part of responsible renovating is protecting personal health and buying quality tools that will last.
Nov 17, 2011
Hot & Steamy! Energy Efficient Cooking with Three Tier SteamersLiving
One heat source cooks three different dishes! That’s energy efficient cooking. Preparing food using three tier steamers is quick and simple. Simply load up the different levels, turn on the heat and walk away, all on one burner. It’s also extremely versatile, so cooking for one is as easy as cooking for a small group. Because it uses only one burner, this is also a great tip for small kitchens.Boil the main portion of your meal on the bottom level.
Nov 8, 2011
Renovation for Renters: 10 Ideas for the BathroomHome Projects
Most of us who rent can only daydream about bathroom renovations like installing low-flow toilets and bamboo flooring, or swapping out our 80’s-style chipped ceramic sink for one that looks like it was plucked from a Zen garden. However, there are lots of ways to make a rental bathroom brighter, greener, and more modern. Here are 10 tips to help move your rental bathroom out of The Flinstones and into The Jetsons.1. Add a free-standing storage unit.
Oct 28, 2011
Winter Is Coming: How To Weatherize Your HomeStyle
We know, we know. Just writing those words hurt our hearts. But it’s true: the first day of Fall is tomorrow, which means Winter is right around the corner. Now is the time to weatherize your home before the heat is blasting in (and probably escaping out of) your home. Did you know that the amount of heat escaping through cracks in the average house is equivalent to having an open window year round? Inadequate insulation and air leakage are the leading causes of energy waste in homes.
Sep 22, 2011
Retractable Screen Doors: Cool Your Space Without AC!Living
The United States makes up a fraction of the world’s population, and yet we consume about half the world’s energy. Most of that energy is spent on heating and cooling! Instead of habitually switching on your air conditioner, use screen doors to create cross breeze. These retractable screen doors make it easy, sliding open and close in the tightest of spaces.
Jun 23, 2011
Putting 3 Fans To The Test: Ceiling, Window, and DrumLiving
Want to cut back on your energy usage and save some money? Then skip the AC and turn on a fan. According to The New York Times, a standard window air conditioning unit uses 1,200 watts and costs 14 cents an hour to run, while a typical ceiling fan running at a medium speed operates on 30 watts an hour and costs just one penny every three hours to run. We know they save energy, but how well do they work?
Jun 16, 2011
How to Make the Most of a Crawl SpaceHome Projects
Ahh, crawl spaces – those lovely subterranean areas that often consist of dirt, cobwebs and feelings of claustrophobia. Even though we may try to avoid them, improving an existing crawl space is actually an important step in greening your home. Retrofitting these areas not only addresses energy efficiency and moisture problems, but for those living in a small home, they can also be turned into valuable storage space!
Apr 7, 2011
15 Creative Clothes Drying RacksLiving
image:a1b9dbac900965d6029baa712df3edb5cf15ddf4 w:540 s:"fit" class_name:"mt-image-center" show_pin_button:"true" show_image_credits:"true" There’s no need for a dryer with these creative and space-saving drying racks! Hang them inside or outside, over the tub or over the backyard, lower them from the ceiling or mount them on the wall. There are options sure to fit any space.
Mar 24, 2011
How To Install a Dimmer SwitchOrganize & Clean
Dimmer switches are great, not only do they provide opportunity for mood lighting and ambiance, but also save money due to reduced power usage. Almost all the lights in my home are on a dimmer switch, except for the bedrooms, where we’d actually like to have them the most.
Feb 23, 2011
Winter Tip: Reverse Your Ceiling Fan Direction and Save EnergyOrganize & Clean
When it’s the middle of winter and freezing outside, it’s probably safe to say that most of us aren’t thinking about our ceiling fans. However, running fans in the colder months can actually save up to 10% on heating costs and is as simple as flipping a switch. In the summer months, the slightly angled blades of a ceiling fan turn counterclockwise to move air down, making people feel cooler due to a concept known as the wind chill effect.
Feb 9, 2011
Cool It: 5 Refrigerators That Save Space & MoneyStyle
In small kitchens, a standard size refrigerator can take up valuable space and be an energy hog. Fortunately, many manufacturers are now making 2′ wide, counter-depth options that have plenty of space for a couple or small family. See five examples (including a comparison of annual energy usage) after the jump!While these models are narrower than a standard refrigerator, they are usually taller, giving that svelte European look.
Jan 28, 2011
Best Indoor Drying Racks: And How To Hang Your ClothesLiving
In order to curb her energy use in the winter time, Ashley English of Small Measure (who shared with us her green resolution this past December) has been making use of her indoor wooden drying rack, as she writes today in her weekly Design*Sponge column.
Jan 14, 2011
5 Green Fire Log OptionsLiving
It made me cold just watching all the news coverage on New York’s “Snowpocalypse” last week. Not that it hasn’t been cold in California (where our older homes tend to be very poorly insulated), but we can’t really make a fair comparison. No matter where you live, if you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, you are no doubt using it. I’ve found some earth-friendly fire log options for you to keep your toes warm and your conscience clear.1.
Jan 6, 2011
Quick Tip #32: How to Smooth Clothing Wrinkles Without an IronLiving
Every well-run home is teeming with tricks and shortcuts to keep it humming along. We’re sharing our best quick tips — for cleaning, organizing and repairing stuff at home — to save you time and money. Click through for today’s helpful hint, and links to tons more… Hang your garment on a hanger in an open area (shower rods and the tops of door frames work well). Fill a SPRAY BOTTLE with TAP WATER.
Jan 3, 2011
5 Ways To Recycle Your Old Digital CameraLiving
Our digital camera died the other day, and after saying our tearful goodbyes, we started to wonder what we should do with it. Throwing electronic waste in the trash or even our curbside recycling bin is a no-no. Fortunately, we found lots of other ways to recycle a digital camera.• Donate it: If the camera still works, consider giving it to a school, youth program, animal shelter, nature center, or another organization.
Oct 28, 2010
4 Eco-Friendly Roof OptionsLiving
We’ve featured a lot of roof options, but sorting out which one is best for your home can be like reading Dr. Seuss: green roof, cool roof, metal roof, solar roof… Find out the differences, disadvantages and advantages of each option, and how they can help make your building more green, after the jump.
Sep 22, 2010
Green Warmth: Radiant Floor HeatingHome Projects
Imagine a type of warm that is uniform, invisible, silent and energy efficient. No dust, no loud furnace and gushes of air, no odd high pitched squeal or clanking from a radiator &mdash just quiet, comfortable heat at your feet. Radiant floor heating offers a great efficient alternative to other mechanical systems, and rather than heating the air, it only heats you.
Mar 10, 2010
Use LEED As A Guide to Green Your BathroomHome Projects
Bathrooms are one of the sanctuaries of our homes, but unfortunately they can also be one of the most water and energy consuming and mold prone areas of the house. When looking to green your bathroom it can be helpful to look to one of building’s greenest guides, LEED. Below the jump we’ll take you through all the major points in the LEED system that can help you get a healthier and more peaceful bathroom.
Mar 3, 2010
How To Insulate Outlets &amp SwitchesOrganize & Clean
Air infiltration is one of the worst culprits of heat loss and energy consumption. Have you ever put your hand by an outlet on an exterior wall? If it wasn’t well insulated it was probably blowing in a significant amount of cold air and leaking out all your warm air! Well, insulating outlets and switch plates is just about one of the easiest and relatively cheap things you can do to eliminate heat loss without having to re-insulate your entire home.
Feb 11, 2010
Eco-Friendly &amp Stylish Alarm ClocksStyle
Beds, check. Night stands, check. Bedding, curtains and an organized closet, check. What else would make a complete bedroom? An alarm clock of course. And while they tend to make us cringe a bit, we’re thinking these eco-friendly buzzers will make waking up in the morning a little more manageable.Shown above the jump, from left to right: Woodstation Weather Display: When ‘off’ this little guy looks like a simple wood sculpture.
Jan 27, 2010
The Best Portable Space HeatersLiving
Here’s another way to save energy this winter: try using a portable space heater to heat just the room you’re in, and turn down the thermostat in the other rooms of your house. The New York Times recently tested 10 portable space heaters. Here are the Top 5:Shown above the jump, from left to right:Holmes Ultra Quiet Ceramic Heater ($82.99): At 15-inches high, this model from Holmes produced the hottest air and took only about 20 minutes to warm up the room by 10 degrees.
Jan 15, 2010
Zip-A-Way: Removable Window SealantStyle
Just the other day we were starting to think about winterizing our home for the season, when we got a great tip from one of our favorite home improvement gurus, Lou Manfredini. Lou suggested that as an alternative to covering drafty windows with plastic, caulk them with a temporary and removable sealant such as Zip-A-Way.
Nov 5, 2009
How To: Insulate with Bubble WrapLiving
We’ve blogged about a bubble wrap “stained glass window” before, but bubble wrap also works as a great insulator when it’s cold. See how to use leftover packaging to decrease your heating bill, after the jump…According to Build it Solar, bubble wrap is often used to insulate greenhouses during the winter — so why not use it at home, too!
Oct 28, 2009
14 Ways To Keep Warm Without Turning the Heat On or UpLiving
Okay granted, unlike most of my fellow Re-Nest bloggers, I live in Los Angeles. Lately, however, we’ve had quite the spell of cold and rainy weather, and the same thick plaster walls that keep my home cool in the summer now make it distinctly chilly with even the slightest drop in temperature. How to stay warm at home without resorting to blasting the heat? Here are some thoughts… Fool the eye: Sometimes warmth is a matter of perception.
Oct 16, 2009
How To: Make a Recycled Wine Bottle TorchOrganize & Clean
We’ve been looking for a little extra lighting for our deck, and we think this DIY would not only do the trick, but also make the space even better. Turning a wine bottle into a torch is bright idea and creative reuse at its best…We love how moody, modern and a little industrial this idea is. Try it out on your porch or yard for a great green tiki alternative.What You’ll Need:1.
Aug 21, 2009
Green Tour: A Future Forward Four-SquareStyle
Location: Chicago, ILSize: 3600 sq/ft >> window is located in the dining room to show off super efficient foam insulation used throughout house.
Jul 2, 2009
Green Building: What Are the Downsides to Adobe?Living
While munching on pizza the other night, conversation drifted to the topic of adobe homes. Living in our hot, dry Texas climate lends itself to homes built from mud. We went over the pros: the bricks can be made on-site with little training, they’re “cheap as dirt,” they offer natural insulation, and the nature of the building material allows much room for creativity. And that’s just what we could think of on the spot.
Apr 14, 2009
How to Keep the Fridge CleanOrganize & Clean
Since most of us probably aren’t going to go as far as to live without a fridge, we should know how to keep up with ours to make the most of its energy use and to simply live healthier. We’re guilty of letting leftovers become science experiments, but with spring cleaning just around the corner we’re going to try to start anew. Jump below for tips on how to clean out the fridge–and keep it that way.
Feb 27, 2009
DIY: Insulate Water PipesOrganize & Clean
Cost: $1.50 – $7.50 / 6ft section of insulation Time: 1-2 hours, depending on amount of pipes Uninsulated hot water pipes are like radiators, transferring the heat to the air – which is not a good thing. This makes your pipes work less efficiently, makes your hot water heater work harder, and ultimately results in an increase of energy bills.
Feb 10, 2009
Is DIY Spray Foam Insulation a Bad Idea?Living
While I’d love to stick denim insulation in my walls, it’s just not possible without ripping off all the sheet rock. So while the debate goes on for petroleum based insulation products that claim zero VOCs, R-values up to 7.4 per inch, and CFCs and Formaldehyde free, I’d argue that the one-time environmental cost would provide years of environmental savings.
Oct 24, 2008