As the winners of the 2010 My Green Home Giveaway, Maggie and Tyler O’Connor’s home won the opportunity to undergo significant home improvements provided by My Green Birmingham and Alabama Power. The changes made to the O’Conners’ house were specifically geared toward meeting higher environmental standards, and aimed to increase the overall efficiency of their home.
Since the completion of the 2010 Green Home Giveaway makeover, Maggie O’Connor says her family’s quality of life has been greatly enhanced. She explains that her family’s overall energy consumption has greatly decreased, and contributes that result to many of the green changes made to her home. In particular, she notes the installation of two new energy efficient doors, provided by Energy Guard, as having made significant improvements to the home’s energy efficiency. “We are much more comfortable in our home,” explains Maggie. “Unlike our old doors, these (new doors) lock properly, and keep outside air out.” Simple changes such as swapping out old, inefficient doors, have helped the O’Connors to decrease their overall energy bills by approximately 30 percent on total KWH usage.
The O’Connors now also benefit from the convenience of an Eco-bee thermostat, which allows them to digitally regulate their home’s temperature from any location-inside the home or out. Maggie likes the practicality of being able to program it from her phone or computer.
“If we leave on vacation and forget to adjust the air, we can adjust it from anywhere.”
Along with several of the other products installed in their home that are geared toward reducing energy costs, the O’Connors credit the Eco-bee thermostat with making a huge difference in their power bills.
“Since the improvements were completed and a new heat pump was installed, the O’Connors have seen an average of 20 to 25 percent reduction in their energy usage – some months even more,” said Jill Sills with Alabama Power. “That translates into savings for them of more than $600 a year. These are great results!”
In fact, according to Jill Sills of Alabama Power, in February of 2011, the O’Connors consumed a mere 2077 KWH compared to 4916 KWH in 2010. Using the average rates of 2011, Sills says the O’Connors savings were close to $300 for that particular month. “These are great results.”
The results of the Green Home Giveaway provided the O’Connors with more than just Eco changes to their home. The experience as a whole has enabled the O’Connors to become more familiar with local businesses and services that strive to recognize their impact on the environment. “We now know of (greener products like) Mythic paint, the joys of low-flow water fixtures, and the skills of companies like Eco-Three, (which) can help you identify and amend energy inefficiencies in your home.” By installing components such as low-flow water fixtures throughout the home, the O’Connors are pleased to see a 25 percent decrease in their monthly water bills.
Overall, the changes made during the Green Home Giveaway have led to the development of many positive experiences for the O’Connors. “We don’t feel as wasteful since we have reduced the amount of energy our home was using every day,” says Maggie, who also notes the vast improvements in her home’s air quality.
Although many homeowners may not be in a position to all at once make the same green home improvements provided for the O’Conners, becoming more familiar with the diversity of green products and services available in your community is a great place to start. Additionally, there are many DIY green improvements that most people can begin implementing today. Maggie recommends practical solutions such as, “installing LED lights in recessed fixtures, caulking around windows or other gaps in your home, installing vents and fans in your bathrooms to move moisture out quickly, and keeping your air ducts and vents clean.” By making these and other simple changes to your home, you are working to create a more Eco-friendly home environment, as well as increasing your home’s overall efficiency.
For more information on how to enter your home for a chance to win a green home makeover, check out the 2012 Green Home Giveaway Details page!
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