Monthly Archives January 2000

What Your Taos Realtor Needs to Know

The excitement begins with the decision to purchase your first home and continues to grow, because owning your first home is the attainment of a major goal in most people’s lives. It can also be overwhelming at times confusing. The best way to alleviate the confusion and make the process go as smoothly as possible is to hire a Realtor that understands your goals.
To gain this understanding, communication is the key to the process. Your Taos Realtor is not psychic so you should expect to have a conversation to communicate your needs and goals so your Taos Realtor can find a suitable home. This should be completed before beginning the house hunting.

First think in terms of your long term plans.

Before purchasing the home you should have some idea of your long term goals...

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Taos Wind Power – Green Energy

To meet the electricity needs of a power company, a number of large wind turbines (50 kilowatts up to 2 megawatts) can be built close together to form a wind plant. Several power providers today use wind plants to supply power to their customers.

Wind turbines operate on a simple principle. The energy in the wind turns two or three propeller-like blades around a rotor. The rotor is connected to the main shaft, which spins a generator. The blades act much like airplane wings. When the wind blows, a pocket of low-pressure air forms on the downwind side of the blade. The low-pressure air pocket then pulls the blade toward it, causing the rotor to turn. This is called lift...

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Buy Green Electricity

The electricity industry is changing. At least 50% of customers have the option to purchase renewable electricity directly from their power supplier, and all customers have the option of purchasing RECs. Such power is sometimes referred to as “green power” or “clean power.”

In most states, you can buy clean power through one or more of the following programs:

  • Green pricing

    Customers pay a small premium in exchange for electricity generated by clean energy sources.

  • Competitive electricity markets

    Customers choose to have their electricity produced by an independent clean power generator, instead of buying it from the power provider assigned to your area.

  • Green certificates

    Customers buy the environmental attributes of the electricity that a clean power generator is feeding into our na...

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Taos Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An audit will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time. During the audit, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy. Audits also determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems. An audit may also show you ways to conserve hot water and electricity. You can perform a simple energy audit yourself, or have a professional energy auditor carry out a more thorough audit.

A professional auditor uses a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of a structure...

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Space Heating

Heating and cooling account for about 56% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes. A wide variety of technologies are available for heating and cooling your home, and they achieve a wide range of efficiencies in converting their energy sources into useful heat or cool air for your home. In addition, many heating and cooling systems have certain supporting equipment in common, such as thermostats and ducts, which provide opportunities for saving energy.

When looking for ways to save energy in your home, be sure to think about not only improving your existing heating and cooling system, but also consider the energy efficiency of the supporting equipment and the possibility of either adding supplementary sources of heating or cooling or si...

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Tankless Coil and Indirect Hot Water Heaters

Tankless coil and indirect water heaters use a home's space heating system to heat water. They're part of what's called integrated or combination water and space heating systems.
Tankless coil water heater. The heater is box-shaped, and has two pipes sticking out one end: one a cold water inlet, and one a hot water outlet. These pipes lead into the heater to a cylindrical coil called a heat exchanger. Long tubes surrounding the heat exchanger are labeled the heated water jacket. At the bottom of the box is a row of small flames, called the boiler heat source.

A tankless coil water heater uses a heating coil or heat exchanger installed in a main furnace or boiler. Whenever a hot water faucet is turned on, the water flows through the heat exchanger. These water heaters provide hot water on demand without a tank, like a demand water heater, but because they rely on the furnace or boiler to heat the water directly, tankless coil water heaters work most efficiently during cold months when the heating system is used regularly. That's why they can be an inefficient choice for many homes, especially for those in warmer climates.

Indirect water heater, in which a boiler with an oil burner provides heat to the water storage tank through the coiled heat exchanger inside the storage tank. The water storage tank also has a drain at the bottom of the tank, pipes for the cold water inlet and hot water outlet on top of the tank, and a temperature/pressure relief valve on top of the tank.

Indirect water heaters offer a more eff...

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Insulating an Existing Taos Home

Unless your home was specially constructed for energy efficiency, you can usually reduce your energy bills by adding more insulation. Many older homes have less insulation than homes built today, but adding insulation to a newer home may also pay for itself within a few years.

To determine whether you should add insulation, you first need to find out how much insulation you already have in your home and where.

A qualified home energy auditor will include an insulation check as a routine part of a whole-house energy audit. An energy audit will also help identify areas of your home that are in need of air sealing. (Before you insulate, you should make sure that your home is properly air sealed.)

If you don't want an energy audit, you need to find out the following:

  • Where your home is, isn'...
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Taos Home Insulation

Properly insulating your Taos home will not only help reduce your heating and cooling costs but also make your home more comfortable. Here you'll find the following information:

  • How Insulation Works
  • Adding Insulation to an Existing House
  • Selecting Insulation for New Home Construction
  • Where to Insulate
  • Types of Insulation
  • How to make insulation in your home more effective with air sealing and moisture control.
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Taos Home Air Sealing

Air leakage, or infiltration, occurs when outside air enters a house uncontrollably through cracks and openings. Properly air sealing such cracks and openings in your home can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs, improve building durability, and create a healthier indoor environment.

It is unwise to rely on air leakage for ventilation because it can't be controlled. During cold or windy weather, too much air may enter the house. When it's warmer and less windy, not enough air may enter. Air infiltration also can contribute to problems with moisture control. Moldy and dusty air can enter a leaky house through such areas as attics or foundations. This air in the house could cause health problems.

The recommended strategy in both new and old homes is to reduce air leakage as much...

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