Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

How to Save the Most When You're the Holiday Host...

by The Cathy Russell Team


From our friends at Home Warranty of America...

Celebrating your first holiday season in your new home is a special milestone. We hope that this year is exceptionally memorable. However, all the necessary tasks such as cooking, baking, heating, lighting, and cleaning can run up your bills faster than Black Friday shopping. That's why HWA is dishing up several of the best ways to conserve your home's energy this holiday season.

1. Kill two birds with one oven. As we all know, holiday season centers around delicious, home-cooked food. Try cooking as many dishes in the oven at once - reheating and readjusting the oven zaps energy.

2. Be the dishwasher. Make the post holiday meal a time to bond over the sink. You'll save water and the energy it takes to heat it by filling sink basins with soapy water and washing and drying them yourself. If you do decide to use the dishwasher, make sure it's completely full before running so you can cut down on the number of loads you must do.

3. Manage your fireplace. The hearth is the ultimate energy saver. Make it count by turning down the thermostat to 60 degrees or lower and closing the door to that room. Just don't forget to close the flue when you're done!

4. Decorate with candles. Adorn your home and walkway with luminaries for a beautiful yuletide glow that won't run up energy bills. To ensure your luminaries are safe, be sure to weigh bags down with sand or use a battery-operated, flameless candle.

5. Appreciate the small things. Miniature holiday lights will twinkle just as long and brightly - while using about 70% less energy than the larger bulbs.

6. Speaking of lights...standard incandescent lights consume thousands of gigawatt hours each year. Avoid these energy hogs and switch to LED holiday lights, which will save you about one-fourth of that in just one season.

7. Cool it. Setting your water heater to "normal", or 120 degrees Fahrenheit, could save you over 10% in water heating costs.

8. Stay in control. Invest in a programmable thermostat, which will help moderate the temperature in your home while you're out on a shopping marathon or visiting Grandma's house. It is estimated that programmable thermostats can save you almost $200 in energy costs every year.

9. Follow the Star. Take advantage of Energy Star's "Home Energy Yardstick", where you can assess your current energy use and receive tips on how to enhance your home's energy efficiency, lower utility bills, and increase comfort. Learn more about how HWA supports eco-friendly Energy Star products here.

10. Go with the flow. A dirty air filter can slow air flow, putting more of a burden on your entire system. Replace your filter every month to save between 5 -10% on annual energy costs.

Basic Information About ‘Going Solar’

by lheraty
Sunrise in the CityThe idea of ‘going Solar’ is incredibly intriguing to most people but until we become more comfortable with understanding the technology, many of us will continue to pay utility companies the ever-growing costs for our electricity. Here are some interesting things to know about ‘going solar’:
  • You can calculate how much solar energy your home will need by simply looking at your utility bill.
  • You can choose to supplement your power needs or go “off the grid” completely.
  • Your numbers will help you determine what size PV (photovoltaic) modules you will need. Photovoltaic is the method most all solar cells use to convert sunlight to energy.
  • Night time darkness and cloudy days reduce the amount of “insolation”. Most people will opt for a battery storage system to supplement these uncontrollable sunlight reduction factors.
  • If your system generates more power than you need, many utility companies will buy any excess back.
  • All systems must be inspected by your local utility company to ensure that it is safe for their linemen. They must be guaranteed that during a power outage, your system was installed properly and that it will have no power running through the lines.
  • All in, solar panel systems can cost between $30,000 and $50,000. This is a costly up-front expense. But don’t forget that cost will be offset against what you would have paid for electricity over your lifetime, the ever-rising cost of electricity, the nice tax credits that are now available AND the improved systems that are coming down in price.

Wow! Solar Panels Can Actually Be Rented. For Free. Who Knew?

by lheraty
Tribal sun illustrationEvery homeowner has probably considered the idea of installing solar panels at one time or another. Unfortunately, when they find out that buying and installing a set of panels can cost at least ten thousand dollars, most people decide that the upfront cost is simply too high. Brilliantly, in some states there are companies that lease them to homeowners. They will install them on your property and then you are billed for the power that the panels generate. This cost is generally lower than your regular utility rate. Many customers have committed to them for environmental reasons only. As always be wise and shop around if you are considering panels, as some companies will charge you an upfront fee as a down payment. Many companies do not, and their plans will save you up to 11% on your utility bills. Other companies fall somewhere in the middle and charge an upfront fee, but that fee is considered a prepayment on the solar-power part of your monthly bill, so you will pay a bit less for power each month.

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3




Contact Information

Photo of Cathy Russell Real Estate
Cathy Russell
The Russell Company
2522 Covington St.
West Lafayette IN 47906
(765) 426-7000
(765) 335-5588
Fax: (765) 497-1003