Tag Archives: eco-friendly home

Cost-Saving Appliances | Day 134 | The Garden Home Challenge With P. Allen Smith

**Cost-Saving Appliances | Day 134 | The Garden Home Challenge With P. Allen Smith**



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With building an eco-friendly home, Allen’s first criteria for choosing appliances is energy efficiency. Well, having everything look great is a really close second!

In the Garden Home Challenge, planning, design and craftsmanship converge when designer and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith and his colleagues build an environmentally friendly designer home for $150,000 in 150 days on his Moss Mountain Farm in Arkansas. Check back or subscribe for new episodes to track Allen’s progress, get to know his team and see what it takes to build a beautiful home from start to finish.

Have any questions for P. Allen Smith during the Challenge? He’ll be answering your questions via regular video updates, so leave your comments and questions below!

More from Allen:

P. Allen Smith is an award-winning designer and lifestyle expert and host of two public television programs, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, P. Allen Smith’s Garden to Table and the syndicated 30-minute show P. Allen Smith Gardens. Smith is one of America’s most recognized and respected design experts, providing ideas and inspiration through multiple media venues. He is the author of the best-selling Garden Home series of books published by Clarkson Potter/Random House, including Bringing the Garden Indoors: Container, Crafts and Bouquets for Every Room and P. Allen Smith’s Seasonal Recipes from the Garden. Allen is also very active on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Allen’s Blog and YouTube as well as on the new eHow Home channel debuting January 2012. His design and lifestyle advice is featured in several national magazines. Learn more at
Hey, the air conditioning is on, but it's
not the only thing that's cooling this house. Let me show you what I mean. They say an eco-friendly house can't be built
in 150 days for $150,000, and I say it can. I'm Allen Smith, join me as I push the limits
with time, budget and creativity with the Garden Home Challenge, exclusively on eHow
Home. You know, choosing appliances can be a daunting
exercise. But in this case, it was actually easy, because
we were looking for a few things. We wanted the aesthetics to flow with what
we had going on here. With this galvanized ceiling, I wanted stainless
appliances all the way around. So that narrowed it down for me. We also wanted appliances that were Energy
Star rated. Now what I mean by that: You can find appliances
that are actually engineered where they'll use less energy. You see, energy efficiency is based on the
kilowatt hours an appliance uses throughout a year. If you get one that has been designed to be
energy efficient, what you can do is save 15 to 20 percent on the fuel or energy costs
that it takes to run this. Okay, you may say: "Appliances, 15 to 20 percent
— that's not much of a savings." But you gotta look at it from a big picture
standpoint. First of all, we've got energy efficiency
going on throughout the entire house, the way it's heated and cooled. The insulation, that adds to it. Plus, what we're using in our light fixtures
— the light bulbs themselves, energy efficient. Now the appliances, energy efficient. You see, it all adds up. And you think about the amount of energy you're
using and paying for over an entire year, you're talkin' about saving some money here. Let me give you something to think about when
you're selecting appliances: It's an aesthetic thing, a little thing, but I think it makes
a difference. For instance, you can have appliances that
are made by the same manufacturer, but the handles on them are going to be very different. So when I chose these appliances, I wanted
to make sure the handle on the refrigerator is the same as the handle on the dishwasher,
which is the same handle we see over here on the range. Then, of course, we see it up here on the
microwave. Now when it come to cleaning stainless steel,
the way to get these smudge marks off is to just use some warm soap and water. Just wipe with the grain of the stainless
steel. Yes, stainless steel has a grain — you can
see, it's running up and down here. You wanna wipe and rub in the same direction
as the grain. The other thing is, if you really want it
to shine, you can put a thin coat — again, by just wiping it on — of mineral oil. That'll give it a nice shine. Do not use a glass cleaner or Windex on your
stainless steel — that's not a good idea. If you're enjoying these tips on the house
and how it's moving along, check in with us regularly. And make sure you subscribe to eHow Home.

INHABITAT VIDEO: How to Save Money With a Programmable Thermostat

**INHABITAT VIDEO: How to Save Money With a Programmable Thermostat**



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Inhabitat how to video shows you how easy it is to save money and energy by using a digital, programmable thermostat in your house.

did you know that the average American household spends more than 2,200 dollars a year on energy bills and close to half of that is on heating and cooling you want to cut your next bill one of the most effective ways is by installing a programmable thermostat you've probably heard about these useful gadgets before but they can be a little intimidating for homeowners who have never used one luckily the truth is they're probably much less complicated on your DVR and once you've got the hang of it they can save you up to a hundred and eighty dollars a year unlike a regular thermostat which pretty much keeps your house at the same temperature until you manually turn it up or down a programmable thermostat can be preset and customized to regulate your houses temperature according to your schedule there are times when it doesn't make sense for you to pay to heat or cool your home like when you're at work or on vacation or times when you don't need as much heating and cooling like when you're asleep you can tell your programmable thermostat with your schedule is like so that it can control your home's temperature and optimize energy efficiency based on those times it's kind of like that old as seen on tv slogan just set it and forget it and let your programmable thermostat do the work and the thinking for you so now that you're convinced and you know you want a programmable thermostat let's go over how to choose one that's right for you different models can range in price from twenty dollars to over two hundred dollars exciting how fancy of a system you want is up to you one easy way to narrow it down decide between a five dash two day a 5 11 day or a seven day the five-match to model is great for families that keep a five-day workweek and a two-day weekend but if you need a little more flexibility because you have different schedules on Saturday and Sunday the 511 model is a great choice finally if your schedules really really erratic then the seven day will let you program a different schedule for every single day of the week no matter which one you pick if you choose a Wi-Fi enabled model you'll have the ability to program your thermostat from any location including from your phone your laptop or your mobile device purchasing a programmable thermostat is the first step but in order to really maximize the savings you can achieve the key is to create a program that really works with your schedule most programmable thermostats come with pre-programmed settings based on the hours that a typical family might keep but not everyone is the same maybe you prefer to go to bed at 2am and wake up at 11am you can teach your thermostat to keep the same hours you do just by adjusting the pre-programmed times once you've decided on your schedule you can adjust your setbacks and your setups if you're not familiar with those terms a setback is the number of degrees that your thermostat drops the temperature at certain times good day to save energy and a setup is just the opposite for example in the winter you can make it so that your thermostat automatically knows to cut the heat after you leave for work you can create a program and adjust it based on your comfort level until you get it right now that you've got the basics let's talk about one of the cool features that the latest Wi-Fi enabled thermostats offer the ability to control your thermostat from work on the run or even while on vacation let's say you're stuck at work and you know you won't be home for a few hours with a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat you can make sure you don't waste money by controlling your houses temperature with your smart phone or a computer with a Wi-Fi thermostat you never have to worry about whether you left your heat on before you left for work or worse yet if you left your air conditioner running before you left vacation most Wi-Fi enabled thermostats have their own desktop programs or apps that allow you to control your home's temperature using your iPad phone or computer having access to your thermostat via your computer is great but what if you're at the supermarket we're sitting on the beach many Wi-Fi enabled thermostats have their own apps that allow you to receive high low temperature alerts and control your heating and cooling right from your phone an added bonus you can control your heat or AC right from bed on those luxurious mornings you actually get to sleep in now that we've dropped some programmable thermostat knowledge on you we hope you'll be a courage to go out and get one and start saving money and energy today the planet and your wallet cool thank you