Magnetic Refrigerators
Magnetic Refrigerators
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric have teamed up to create a revolutionary new type of refrigerator that uses magnets to create cold, also known as the magnetocaloric effect (lowering or raising the temperature of the material by changing the magnetic field).
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
The Building Technologies Office is ushering in the next generation of heat pump systems, which warm and cool your home by moving heat from one space to another. A fuel-fired, multi-function residential heat pump that can reduce primary energy consumption by 30 percent.
Clothes Dryers
Clothes Dryers
The same concept behind heat pump technologies that keep your home comfortable can also be used for another important application: drying your clothes. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric are developing a new type of clothes dryer that uses a heat pump cycle to generate hot air needed for drying.
Smarter, More Connected Homes
Smarter, More Connected Homes
We live in an increasingly connected world -- the same is true for our homes. New electronic devices and appliances can now be linked to the Internet to provide real-time data that makes it easier to understand and lower energy use.
Next-Gen Insulation
Next-Gen Insulation
Insulation is one of the most important ways to reduce your home heating and cooling costs. The Industrial Science & Technology Network is developing new foam insulation made with environmentally friendly and advanced composite materials that ensure heat doesn’t escape from the attic, walls and other areas of the home during cold winter months.
Advanced Window Controls
Advanced Window Controls
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pella Windows are working on new highly insulated windows that use sensors and microprocessors to automatically adjust shading based on the amount of available sunlight and the time of day to ensure proper lighting and comfort, saving consumers energy and money.
Reflective Roofing Materials
Reflective Roofing Materials
Cool roofs coated with materials containing specialized pigments reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than standard roofs. Expect these types of roof systems to get even “cooler” due to new fluorescent pigments developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PPG Industries that can reflect nearly four times the amount of sunlight of standard pigments.

Energy-Saving Solutions

From heating and cooling to electronics and appliances, it takes a lot of energy to power our daily lives. Our homes use 37 percent more energy today than they did in 1980. But without energy efficiency -- through technology innovation and federal energy conservation standards -- this number would be a lot higher. In fact, even though our total energy use has grown, our energy use per household is down about 10 percent, despite that our homes are larger and contain more devices.

Save Energy Systems

21 March 2019

Is Your Contractor Scamming You?

Most contractors are hardworking and trustworthy people who strive to deliver the best results for their clients. But, there are a few bad apples in the bunch that give contractors in general a bad name. This group of contractors may...

The post Is Your Contractor Scamming You? appeared first on HomeSelfe.


Most contractors are hardworking and trustworthy people who strive to deliver the best results for their clients. But, there are a few bad apples in the bunch that give contractors in general a bad name. This group of contractors may...

The post Is Your Contractor Scamming You? appeared first on HomeSelfe.

Most contractors are hardworking and trustworthy people who strive to deliver the best results for their clients. But, there are a few bad apples in the bunch that give contractors in general a bad name. This group of contractors may cheat their clients out of money or fail to comply with the terms in their contract. How will you know if you are working with one of these unreliable contractors? Look for these signs:

Asks For the Money Upfront

It’s perfectly normal for a contractor to ask you to pay some of the money upfront, but, a contractor should never ask for more than 10% of the total or $1,000, whichever is less. If a contractor is asking for a significant portion of the money upfront, it’s possible that they plans on ripping you off. They could miss deadlines, do shoddy work, or never return your phone calls again once the check has been cashed. To avoid this problem, never pay more than the recommended amount upfront.

Fails to Pull Permits

Local laws may require contractors to obtain permits before performing certain remodeling work; this is the government’s way of monitoring significant construction projects so they can enforce building safety codes. However, some contractors tell their clients that they can perform the work without a permit because the authorities will never notice.

It’s possible that a contractor will make this suggestion because they are not licensed, and therefore cannot pull the permit. A contractor may also want to avoid getting a permit so they can skirt certain safety standards when performing the work. Either way, this is a red flag that indicates your contractor is scamming you.

Contractor Scamming You

Wants a Verbal Agreement

Some contractors will tell their clients that there’s no need to create a physical contract because they have reached a verbal agreement. Agreeing to a verbal contract may sound easier than combing through a lengthy contract, but it’s not recommended to skip. If the details are not in writing, the contractor could attempt to charge you additional fees, extend deadlines, or skip certain parts of the agreed upon project. You need the terms and conditions of your working relationship in writing so you can enforce penalties, make sure the job is completed correctly, and protect your pocketbook.

Uses the Wrong Materials

Keep a close eye on the materials the contractor uses throughout the duration of the project. Double check to see if the materials on the job site match the description of those in your contract. For example, if the contract states the contractor will use 5/8-inch plywood, make sure they’re not ripping you off by using 3/8-inch plywood instead. It’s possible that this is an honest mistake, but if it happens time and time again, it’s more likely than not that you are being scammed.

If you haven’t spotted any of these warning signs, chances are there’s nothing to worry about because you’ve hired a reliable contractor. Now you can rest assured knowing that your contractor is working hard to make your remodeling dreams come true.

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