While we are on the subject of resolutions, if you are resolved (see what I did there?) to make your home a more green and sustainable one, there’s no better time to incorporate energy-saving measures than during the cold months. Here are five simple things you can do to make your house more efficient…
#1 Install a Programmable Thermostat
The advice is usually to turn down the temperature during the winter, but wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to a warm house?Programmable thermostats let you pre-set temperatures and schedule when the furnace goes on and off. If you use them correctly you could see up to $180 in savings each year. More sophisticated devices like the Nest learn your daily routine an automatically adjust temperatures based on your habits. We got a NEST at our house a couple of years ago. I like it, even though it turns the heat on about 30 minutes too early in the morning for me. It wants the house to be of a comfortable temperature for when I get out of bed, but makes the room too warm to sleep in. Maybe some day I’ll figure out how to fix that.#2 Install Ceiling Fans
Fans move cool and hot air around your living space, allowing you to turn the temperature down in winter and raise it during summer. During the wintertime, you can reverse the fan’s direction to clockwise to keep the warm air moving down. Plus you can hang your clothes on them for a winter air dry. (Okay…that was a joke)
#3 Eliminate Air Leaks
Use a door draft stopper and caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows to cut down on the cold air coming in. I actually have the worst door ever for this. I’ve got to get someone out to fix it. We took the weatherstripping off when we had our house painted. However, the weatherstrip was installed wrong because the door jam need to be completely re-done. I just talked to a contractor today get him on the schedule to come fix that.
#4 Use Power Strips
Did you know that many of your appliances use electricity whether they are on or not?Standby power is electricity that’s being used by things like TVs, computers, appliances, and phone chargers, even when the devices are in stand-by mode or even off.
Plug electronics, chargers, and appliances into power strips and switch them off when you’re not using the devices. You could save up to $200 per year! Or you can buy outlets with a remote control that allows you to turn the whole outlet off.
#5 Change Your HVAC Filter
If you change your filters monthly, you may lower your energy bills by 5 to 15 percent. Plus stop that annoying wheezing sound they make when they get dirty.
Simply put, dirty, clogged filters make the HVAC system work harder.
The savings can be substantial if you keep your filters clean as the average household spends approximately $2,200 on heating and cooling costs every year. Getting the HVAC system regular yearly maintenance is also beneficial.
This has really been another mild Summer in the Rogue Valley. For an area that has normally seen a handful of 100+ degree days by now, they are nowhere to be seen.
This is good news to many who do not like that hot weather…plus good news to keep the forest fires down, and the rivers and lakes full.
Unfortunately, Ashland Real Estate is not as hot as it could be either. Since Summer Solstice, there have been 36 sales in Ashland. There are currently 30 pending sales to go along with that.
But there is a supply of another 195 houses still on the market. With an average of about 19 houses per month selling, that has Ashland at a 10 month supply.
So to relate that back to the weather analogy.
If the normal real estate temperature at this time of the year is pushing 100 degrees, then this year we probably are looking at temps around 85 degrees. Still fairly pleasant, but definitely not hot.
Okay, enough silly weather analogies. I’m going to go out and enjoy the pleasant 85 while we’ve got it…cause you all know that fall is right around that next corner.
P.S. Remember…if you want to look at what houses are currently on the market you have find Ashland Real Estate Listings Here.
Yay…it’s here. My favorite day of the year. Except this year it has been sadly anti-climactic. First, the long spring/winter weather kinda had this day sneak up on me.
Second, my family is going to a wedding this weekend in California and the past couple of weeks have been full of working hard to make sure that we can spend a few days with family in peace, without worrying about work at home.
Third, in past years we have had huge Summer Solstice parties. Starting with the house we had in Medford, where we held 4 day long parties with friend from San Diego, Portland, Eugene, Boise, Seattle all came to our house..pitched tents in the yard…..threw air mattresses on the floor in the extra rooms. We had activities planned…tiedye projects, games, bonfire, etc….
When we moved to our home in Ashland, the space was no longer there for the huge party at our house, and that sadly ended. But starting in the last couple of years, we found some good camping spots and started working on the revival of the Summer Solstice party.
But given the wedding plans of this year, we were not able to get it going….but I am putting all of my friends on notice right now…NEXT YEAR. I have marked my calendar for June 20-25th. Camping at a TBD location (most likely on the Rogue River).
The first Re-Annual Bogle Summer Solstice Extravaganza.
I just wanted to make one quick rant about the weather we are having in Southern Oregon this year. (And had last year too I suppose.)
What is up with the extended gray days? Is this a new weather pattern that is going to continue for the next decade? I remember back in the late 70’s when I lived in Klamath Falls that we used to get a lot of snow in the winter that stuck on the ground for a long time. Then in the next couple of decades, that all seemed to change.
It seems like there are definite cycles we get into. I might attribute it in part to our geography. Ashland seems to be at a line in the weather pattern. There is a definite difference in weather patterns starting 15 miles North, and 15 miles South. So any small change in the atmosphere may be more prominent here than in other locations.
But let me say I sincerely hope that this is the last of these long winter/spring years we have in a while. It is bad for the garden, and it seems to make everyone just a little down.
Every month we put an ad for our Ashland Property Listings in the Sneak Preview newspaper with a message. Something like “Homes are Affordable, It’s a Great Time to Buy” or “April Showings bring May Closings”…..
We try to be a little clever, or a little informative. (If they let me have the full say, we would be a whole lot sillier).
This month we joked in the office that maybe the message should be “Tired of the Weather? We can sell you house so you can move somewhere warm”. But the boss didn’t think that was the message we should send out. I think it would have made a bunch of people smile…but…..guess it was a no go.
Okay, enough of the whining. It is very green and beautiful here still, and I haven’t had to turn on the sprinkler system at my house yet. So I’ll just dose up on some more Vitamin D. Besides, it gives me more time to sit and learn how to use my new computer. Video editing, podcasting, and regular updates to my blog, website and social media sites.
P.S. Check out the new look of my website. Still needs some revisions, but it looks better than the last incarnation. www.AgentInAKilt.com
The biggest difference is the temperature…and the low temp in Bend is makes it unbearably cold to me at night in all but the summer months. The averages are only about 5 degrees difference, but look at the charts for the extremes. The exteme low on record for Ashland is -5 degrees, where in Bend the extreme low is about -25 degrees.
ASHLAND, OREGON (350304)
Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary
Period of Record : 7/ 1/1892 to 4/30/2009
|Average Max. Temperature (F)||46.4||51.9||56.6||63.0||70.3||77.8||86.8||85.9||78.6||66.8||53.5||46.2||65.3|
|Average Min. Temperature (F)||29.9||32.0||33.8||36.8||42.0||47.3||51.8||51.1||45.5||39.3||34.2||30.5||39.5|
|Average Total Precipitation (in.)||2.66||2.04||1.97||1.52||1.54||0.99||0.38||0.44||0.83||1.56||2.79||3.07||19.78|
|Average Total SnowFall (in.)||3.5||2.4||1.8||0.6||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.5||2.2||11.1|
|Average Snow Depth (in.)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
BEND, OREGON (350694)
Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary
Period of Record : 4/ 1/1901 to 4/30/2009
|Average Max. Temperature (F)||40.9||45.3||51.0||58.3||65.8||72.9||82.8||81.8||73.6||63.4||49.5||41.7||60.6|
|Average Min. Temperature (F)||21.5||24.0||26.3||29.6||35.2||40.9||45.5||44.3||38.0||32.0||27.2||22.8||32.3|
|Average Total Precipitation (in.)||1.78||1.19||0.88||0.67||0.98||0.91||0.49||0.45||0.45||0.72||1.51||1.86||11.90|
|Average Total SnowFall (in.)||10.6||5.6||3.4||1.3||0.3||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.3||3.5||8.3||33.4|
|Average Snow Depth (in.)||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
Next time on compare Oregon Weather, we will look at the difference in cloud cover between Ashland and Portland.