Ways You Can Protect Your Local Birds At Home

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Want to make your home a little greener and support conservation? Us too! Always. One part of the world that sometimes we don’t always consider are our feathered friends, birds. They are in need of protection like so many other species and are occasionally or sometimes often threatened with survival of their kind.

Each and every one of us can do a little bit to protect them, and the rewards are a magical space full of beautiful colors of life and lightness. Birds! Here’s how you can create a space they love.


We Can All Take Care Of Birds At Home, Here’s How

There are a lot of ways that we can take care of birds in our landscaping and homes, but the main thing is to make it a peaceful and plentiful space for them. By the way, there are also great ways to protect bees and butterflies such as sticking to planting native grasses and flowers in your yard and away from areas that pets can get to.

Back to the birds, here are some ways that everyone can make sure to keep birds in mind who need our protection when it comes to simple ideas for the home:

  • Add fresh, clean water to your yard in various different places
  • Keep food in quiet areas in various feeders where birds will feel safe (as they are vulnerable when eating)
  • Add shrubs, hedges or bushes to your yard (these add privacy and safety zones for birds)
  • Place birdhouses in strategic locations to allow for nesting (ps, check out this amazing collection)


Bird Conservation Helps the Local Ecosystem

Birds are essential to the local ecosystem and as with all species of the planet, their natural habitat is continuously diminishing and lowering in quality. Conservation is therefore essential. Have you seen this video from Google Earth showing development globally? It’s affecting the bird population everywhere. If you can implement the steps in your own home to provide a haven for them, you will actually be adding to the natural spaces they have available. If we all did it together… whoa!


Plus, They Are A Stress-Reliever And Wonderful Addition to Your Home

Hummingbirds and birds of all species stopping to get a drink outside your window, or hanging out as you lounge on the patio, it’s a great feeling of peacefulness. Birds add wonder and appeal to your outdoor spaces if you have created a calm enough zen where they like to hang out. And, if they have enough supplies to make it a watering hole and snack spot, you can help provide them a safe haven.

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Our awesome client with broker Kimberly McAleenan (left) presenting the donation

Inspired by the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (A Note From Us)

Through rigorous scientific monitoring of birds throughout the annual cycle, the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is able to help protect native bird species across the Rockies, Great Plains, Mexico and beyond. They achieve this through partnership and education. As a partner, Conscious Real Estate was able to see how impactful this organization is on the environment and bird species in our area.

As a conscious real estate agency, we donate 10% from each home purchase to a nonprofit of our clients’ choice. As a result, we get introduced to so many unique and important causes like this one. It was awesome getting to learn about bird conservation and being about to integrate some practices at home is such a great takeaway. Thank you guys! – Conscious Real Estate

Conscious Real Estate Donates to Re: Vision

Despite its urban locale, Westwood, a southwest Denver neighborhood has long been economically neglected.

A thriving community with over 80 percent of its residents identifying as Latino, Westwood is known for its Mexican fare, Asian market, pho options, parks, bike paths and incredible public art murals.

Josiah Lopez, Artist

Yet 30 percent of Westwood families live in poverty and before Re:Vision began its programming, even more families were affected by the compounding factor of Westwood’s status as a “food desert.”

“In the U.S., over 23.5 million people live in food deserts, areas where food is neither affordable nor accessible.” – Re:Vision

When access is limited to quality and healthy food choices due to distance or cost, it causes problems unseen to the casual observer. For example, according to Re:Vision’s latest statistics, 67 percent of Westwood residents are risking obesity and diet-related illnesses. Correspondingly, the health impact affects lifespan. A Westwood resident’s lifespan, on average, is “12 years shorter than surrounding Denver neighborhoods.”

Example of a food desert with limited access to health or fresh foods.

Seeing a problem only getting worse, Re:Vision founders have created a system of community leaders, education programs, backyard gardens and a partnership with the Westwood Food Co-op. The results show that a small group of people can make change when they do it together. At Conscious Real Estate, we’re proud to have contributed to the cause of gaining access to healthy food in one of our favorite neighborhoods in Denver.

Thanks to the generosity of our clients who choose which charity to donate to after every sale, we have been introduced to Re:Vision and encourage you to make a donation if your passion is positive local community growth and wellness.


Allison Parks, left, Owner & Founder of Conscious Real Estate with generous Re:Vision client donor


Re:Vision is a nonprofit that operates several programs that benefit the Westwood neighborhood:

Re:Farm Program

This program encourages and supports local community men and women training to be a Re:Vision Promotora, or resident leader.

The Promotoras then assist Westwood families in growing their own food in household yards. The bounty? In 2016, Re:Farm’s backyard gardens grew over 55,000 pounds of organic produce. (Yes!) Another shocking fact: Over 90 percent of the backyard garden program participants earn less than $15,000 a year. The amount of food grown at home for these families can keep them out of complete abject poverty and help reduce child hunger. Here’s a map of the over 400 households Re:Vision has helped create backyard gardens for.

Also within the Re:Farm program, Re:Vision has created a three day a week pop-up market, El Mercadito, which allows the purchase of fresh, organic produce. Bonus: They accept SNAP.

The Westwood Food Co-Op completes the Re:Farm program. The local grocery store is community-owned and seeks to help with Westwood’s status as a food desert.

For more info:




Re:Vision helps communities thrive by creating spaces and resources for residents to make change and improve their neighborhood.

Community leaders are trained as Promotoras, a concept common in Latino communities where a community leader offers themselves to the public as a liaison for problems and solutions. Promotoras teach nutrition classes, help families cultivate gardens and keep track of the overall wellness of their community.

Part of the success of the Promotora program has been the creation and utilization of La Cocina, a kitchen space with commercial equipment to accommodate cooking classes and family events up to 12 people.  


Re: Own

We know well here at Conscious Real Estate how challenging the real estate marketing is right now in Denver. As part of the Re:Own program, Promotoras advocate and assist families faced with displacement due to the current housing market pressures. The Westwood Food Co-op also helps to provide ownership in business and aid in neighborhood employment.

Overall, Re:Vision is making huge strides in increasing the quality of life for people living in Westwood. We love supporting local causes that are making clear strides towards a better whole.


About the Author | Conscious Real Estate 

Are you a giver? Consider recommending us to a friend or co-worker who might be thinking about buying a home in Denver. Not only do we help you with the sometimes stressful process, but your favorite cause will get a donation to continue their programming as well as a lot of great karma love. Click here to send us a referral or a heads up to an amazing nonprofit we should know about.


  • The Team at Conscious Real Estate
















For more info on Re:Vision and to make a donation:


Plants That Thrive in Hot, Arid Climates (Welcome to Colorado!)


Water is a precious resource, we all know that for a fact. In Colorado, you will typically see either long periods of dryness, or downpour after downpour.

If you’re used to some of the more delicate flower breeds like petunias, you will likely be in for a surprise when you find out that no matter the amount of sprinkling, watering and raining, your gorgeous flowers have shriveled up to the point of no return.

Let’s avoid that for you this year (or if you are new or planning to move to Denver soon), and go over how to garden in Colorado. Which plants will endure?

There are many plants that thrive from little to no water and come up every year, leaving you with little to do each summer but enjoy the fruits of your labor (from last year!).

Here is a comprehensive list of some of our favorite Colorado-loving perennials and a little about each one to make your garden a success this year:

  • Dianthus


Dianthus flowers are fragrant and come in several color varieties including pink, red and white. They have notched petals and are beautiful for cutting and arranging in a vase. They are even deer resistant.

The best time to plant Dianthus is in the Spring or Fall about 6 – 12 inches apart. After the first frost, cut the stems to about 1 – 2 inches above ground. Stake the stems when they first begin to grow as these can be very tall plants.

Dianthus multiply easily, so every 3 – 4 years, you can take the plants, divide them up and replant them for even more coverage.

  • Rocky Mountain Penstemon


Rocky Mountain Penstemon.JPG


This plant is a relative of the evergreen and appears as a small bush with purple flowers. It grows best in drained soil (think: dry) and can handle high altitudes and plenty of direct, brutal sun.

Rocky Mountain Penstemons also attract bumblebees, making your garden an attractive spot for them to pollinate and maintain an insect ecosystem, which is great for the environment and creates a safe haven for them.

The purple flowers are exquisite. Tall and straights, they bloom consistently and add height to your landscaping. They are also native to the region, providing a stable and natural addition to the area’s flora.

  • Liatris


Liatris varieties are one of the easiest plants to grow in the Colorado area. They are able to withstand the blazing sun without much water, for long periods of time.

They are a prairie wildflower that grows somewhat in the shape of a small bush with leaves and greens at the bottom and pinkish/purple “paintbrush” appearing blooms.

Liatris can grow from 1 – 5 feet tall depending on how close they are to other plants or obstructions and how much (or too much) nutrients they receive, so to get to their full growth, plant your seeds a bit further apart, at about 12 – 15 inches.

  • Rocky Mountain Columbine

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It’s not surprising that the Colorado State Flower, the Rocky Mountain Columbine, would make this list. It has been a favorite of Colorado residents for over a century, voted into “statehood recognition status” in 1891 by local school children.

While most plants on this list can grow in full sun in arid conditions, the Columbine is just slightly more delicate and should be planted in partial shade. They are a hardy perennial, however, so they can withstand more sun and less water than the average flower.

Fertilization is a good idea for Columbines and can help them be most vibrant. And, make sure you do not overwater as they thrive in well-drained soil.

Columbines are resistant to insects and diseases and will grow all season long, making them a perfect staple to your Colorado garden.

  • Poppy Mallow

Poppy Mallow.jpg


Poppies are beautiful plants that come in a variety of colors, including the most well-known orange colored variety. In Colorado, you will find orange and a magenta variety, among others with speciality growers and seasoned landscapers.

Poppy Mallows (and poppies in general) require a different method of planting than many other flower varieties. The best time to plant the seeds is in the fall, or even in the winter. Winter? Yes. Poppies need a period of “stratification” or “period of exposure to cold” before they will germinate. Make sure you plant in bright, bright sun as they absolutely love it.

They do have a short bloom season, so these are often planted with other annuals and perennials for variety in color once the poppy blooms have faded. They are a great accent and do very well in Colorado climates, coming back year after year to make your garden the envy of your new neighborhood.

Want more? Check out these local resources.

Now that you know to avoid the tempting displays at the local shopping centers, make sure to check out a local gardener for these and many more Colorado-happy varieties of plants. A great idea is to create a Pinterest board of the flowers that do well here and bring your phone to the market. Show the pictures and names and get the info you need from experienced “bloomers.”

Another way is to check out this guide from 5280 (one of our local Denver magazines). It goes into not only the perennial flowers mentioned here, but also great annuals that do well, vegetables that will make it, and herbs that will season your dishes and grow naturally well in our local conditions.

And, if that’s not enough, geek out on Plant Select’s comprehensive “e-guide” here that breaks it all down for you.

Ready to start planting the seeds in your Colorado move?

Contact us here to get sent free listings exactly in your price range, neighborhood, style and size. It’s so easy and better than browsing because these days, you can’t really trust what’s online commercially, but you can trust the National Association of Realtors, which has the only truly up-to-date listings in the area. The Association stands behind honesty and accountability in real estate and it’s the only system we us. Just click here to send us a note on what you’re looking for and we’ll get you all set up.


Why Bike Tours Are A Great Way To Explore Denver Homes For Sale

The title pretty much says it all, but if you need more reasons, read on…

1)  Riding a bicycle will make you calmer, happier, and more clear-headed. 

Most of my buyers get stressed out when they are looking for homes. They are making a major life decision. The market is aggressive. So many decisions to make! Exercise is always a fantastic stress reliever and when you’re making a big decision, you want to be relaxed, feeling good, and maybe even have a little wind blowing through your hair.

2)  You will see more of the neighborhood on a bicycle than you will in a car.

I prove this to myself EVERY SINGLE TIME I ride my bicycle around my own neighborhood – I always notice something while riding my bicycle that I have never noticed before. So, when you’re deciding which area you would like to live in, wouldn’t you get a better sense of the neighborhood if you can experience more of it?  For better or worse, if you’re riding a bicycle, you will see it, you will hear it, and you will smell it – I promise!

3)  It’s eco-friendly.

We don’t have to waste gas on a bicycle and contribute to emissions.  Furthermore, we don’t have to worry about parking!  Many popular neighborhoods in Denver are tough to find parking, so let’s focus on the house and not where we should put the car.

4)  It’s fun.

Buying a house can be fun! Some stressful moments may come up and I coddle my clients through such times, but I also think it’s great to add in fun moments. Whoever said that being an adult can’t be fun was just doing it wrong!

If you’re interested in having a realtor that will tour Denver homes for sale with you, give me (Allison Parks) a call at 303-908-9873 or email allison@theconsciousgroup.com. I’m happy to drive as well, but I’m just trying to make real estate awesome! Whether you tour homes via bike or car with Conscious Real Estate, we always contribute 10% of our commission to the nonprofit of your choice after closing. conscious-bike-tours

5 Culprits That Waste Energy in Your Home


An old microwave isolated on white

Heating and Cooling

Given how much money Americans spend to heat and cool their homes—in 2013, approximately $2,177 per family—it makes sense to invest in high-efficiency HVAC equipment that features a variable-speed air handler. A variable-speed air handler is essentially a “smart” fan. It runs nearly continuously at lower speeds to allow heated/cooled air to circulate evenly throughout the house. In the summer, the air handler removes humidity more efficiently because the fan runs almost nonstop at lower speeds.

According to the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), furnace fans/air handlers consume 12 percent of the average household’s total electricity. An HVAC system with a variable-speed air handler allows your furnace and a/c to run at more than just one speed (high). Instead, it can run at a variety of speeds, using just enough electricity to power the fan to meet shifting heating/cooling needs.

Set-Top Boxes

Many electronics that appear to be off are, in fact, always on—a deceptive aspect of smart devices. Invest in Energy Star-qualified electronics when you upgrade your cable box, or buy a smart TV to cap the amount of electricity the devices consume in standby mode.


Charging systems for cameras and phones draw phantom energy, too—they’re constantly drawing small amounts of juice unless you unplug them. You can reduce your home’s collective electricity draw by purchasing environmentally friendly charging platforms and power cords that automatically shut down when the device is fully powered. Or just be obsessive about unplugging them.

Gaming Devices

You wouldn’t want to sacrifice your PlayStation or Xbox to secure energy savings. And you don’t have to—just be smarter about turning them off. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that a person could spend up to $100 more per year on electricity by forgetting to turn off consoles (compared with leaving them on 24/7). Set your system to power-saving mode. Newer models now automatically shift into power-saving mode after a certain period of time.

Old Appliances

Standard home appliances continue to use power even when you’re not using them. One example is the microwave, or any appliance that features a digital display. Even if you’re not heating food, the power display uses energy 24/7. Avoid the nuisance of repeatedly unplugging appliances and having to reset the digital clocks by investing in energy-saving appliances that bear the Energy Star seal.

6 Reasons Why Backyard Chicken Keeping is Awesome


1)  Chickens Lay Eggs.  Not just any eggs, but the most flavorful eggs you will ever eat.  The recent health benefits  from the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient date suggests that eggs from hens on a pasture may contain: 1⁄3 less cholesterol, 1⁄4 less saturated fat,  2⁄3 more Vitamin A, 2 times more Omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene.

2)  Chickens don’t require a great deal of space.  One should allow for 4 square feet of space per hen in their house and 10 square feet of space in an outdoor run.

3)  Chickens are easy to care for.  Chickens need food and water and safe exercise space.  It takes a few minutes to feed them, collect eggs and clean up bedding.

4)  Chickens are fun and educational for children.  Children can experience firsthand where food comes from and learn how to be responsible with care and feeding.

5)  Chickens produce manure, which is an ideal fertilizer for flower and vegetable gardens.  Chicken manure provides more nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to plants than horse or cow manure.  Note:  chicken manure is too strong to be used raw on your flowers or vegetables, but it can be composted and converted to “black gold”.

6)  Chickens are an all-in-one yard service, resolving most insect and weed problems. If you have a section of yard with problems – forget the pesticide and let them scratch it up. Within a couple of days, it’s tilled and ready for planting.

Local ordinances for urban chicken farming in Colorado vary considerably.  Currently, backyard chickens are allowed in Alamosa, Arvada, Boulder, Denver, Colorado, Springs, Greeley, Longmont, and most recently, Aurora.  You will need to investigate in your city to determine local ordinances.  There is a $50 fee for urban chicken farming in Denver.  You may only have chickens and hens; no roosters.

Talk with your neighbors and make sure they are comfortable with your backyard flock.  Make sure your chickens have a safe coop, as many Colorado areas have predators, such as foxes, raccoons, and coyotes.  Without a protective roof, they could even be prey for hawks.

Conscious Real Estate Partners with Elephant Energy


I love helping people create their homes and I love giving back.  Not only does it keep me happy, (YES, contributing a consistent portion of my income makes me HAPPY), I receive constant inspiration from witnessing the problems of our world and seeing the creative changes that nonprofits enact in our local and global community.  Elephant Energy is such an organization who has sought to implement creative solutions to problems they have identified in the world.

Over 1.3 billion people in the world have no access to electricity. Elephant Energy works to solve this problem by empowering local entrepreneurs to supply affordable, clean, and practical energy technologies to their communities. With operations in Namibia, Africa and on the Navajo Nation in the United States (under the name Eagle Energy), their technologies help reduce household expenditures and health risks associated with traditional lighting and enable children to study after dark, businesses to stay open later, and people to stay connected to news and their families.  So, what does this look like in practice?


Meme Felicia smiles, cooking fresh cuts of meat and preparing chips in Oshikango market. She adds another cut of beef to the grill. Customers wait in line and point to the pieces of meat they want, and grab a piece of tripe to chew on while they wait for Felicia to prepare their order. Felicia serves up a plate full of food to a hungry customer, and he pays his bill and begins feasting.

What’s strange about this scene? Its hours after dark. A month ago, Meme Felicia would close her business at sunset because she didn’t have access to light.

Meme Felicia has prepared and sold food in Oshikango market for 4 years. There was no electricity at her business location, so she used candles to keep her business lit. The candles were placed above her so she could illuminate her working area, but wax from the candles would drip on the meat and customers complained. Even with the use of the candles, she would close her business around sunset because the candles could not provide enough light to operate during the night.

Last month, Felicia attended a solar light demonstration in Oshikango hosted by Elephant Energy. At the demonstration, Felicia learned about Elephant Energy’s solar product offerings, including the popular Sun King Pro. As the name suggests, Sun King Pro is powered by the sun. During the day, the Sun King Pro soaks up energy from the sun, and at night, it provides light and also charges cellphones. To those without light at night, it also provides an opportunity to extend activities after dark. And since all of Elephant Energy’s solar products come with a 1-year warranty, including the Sun King Pro, quality is guaranteed. “It didn’t take long for me to decide that this solar light would help my business,” said Felicia. She purchased the Sun King Pro from Elephant Energy a few days later.

She’s now been using the Sun King Pro for a month and in that month, she’s seen dramatic positive changes in her business. Because she no longer uses candles, she saves money on candle costs. The meat she sells is now wax-free and customers compliment her on the quality of the product. Felicia now graciously offers free cellphone-charging services for neighboring business owners. But most importantly, because her business area is now illuminated by the Sun King Pro’s light, she has been able to extend her operating hours so she can sell food to hungry customers hours after the sun has set. “Thanks to my new solar light and extended hours, I have tripled my daily profits,” Felicia exclaims.

I’m inspired.  You are too?  To learn more about Elephant Energy, take a look at their website.  Follow Elephant Energy on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.  Or DONATE.

Remember, Conscious Real Estate contributes 10% of all commissions to the nonprofit of our clients’ choice and we would love to give a boatload of money to Elephant Energy.  So, give us a call at 303-908-9873 when you buy or sell your next home, tell your friends, tell your mom.  We are ready to make some change in the world!

5 Products to Save Money on Your Energy Bill

Energy saving lamp with green seedling on white

1)  To uncover insulation-poor spots in your home that leak heat in the chilly winter months, a spot infrared thermometer will be your new best friend.  Aim this $30 gadget at a bit of wall or ceiling to locate cold patches that could use extra insulation or caulking.  Before these were around, you would have to call a professional to perform an energy audit on your home (which could cost hundreds of dollars), but now you can take matters into your own hands.

2)  Your electricity bill probably jumps in the summer months due to air conditioning. What you may not have considered is how effective ceiling fans are as an alternative to the AC. Unlike regular fans, their raised and central position allows them to circulate air and cool an entire room, and a typical ceiling fan uses about the same amount of power as a 100-watt incandescent light bulb. Even if you already have an AC for unbearably hot days, you can also purchase an Energy Star-rated ceiling fan, for energy savings all year round.

3)   Low-e (low-emissivity) windows are windows where the glass has been treated with a special metallic coating that allows them to be more insulating, therefore, much more energy-efficient, reducing the amount of mechanical heating and cooling that you need. In order to improve the thermal efficiency of the window, a thin layer of coating is applied to the glass’ surface, resulting in glass that cuts back the amount of UV and infrared radiation that is able to shine into your home in the hot summer months, and also allowing less radiant heat to escape through your windows during the winter months. Many low-e windows are Energy Star qualified and can lower your monthly electricity bill up to 15%. Almost every window size and shape today comes in a low-e version and these products can also make your home more comfortable in the winter by keep drafts at bay and keep your furniture from fading due to sunlight since they reflect the long-wave light rays that carry UV.

4)  Large windows are considered a plus for their ability to help light your home, but they do have a downside – they allow heat to escape in the winter, while excess heat builds up in the summer from solar radiation. Excess solar radiation in the summer drastically increases your need for AC, and by default, cranks up the numbers on your monthly electricity bill. Installing Low-e windows is one viable option to prevent excess solar heat gain, but if you’re looking for a less resource-intensive fix, cellular shades are relatively inexpensive and you can install them yourself. Also called honeycomb blinds, cellular shades are made up of two layers of fabric that are joined together at the seams so that when the shade is pulled down, excess solar radiation is shut out, and pockets of air are created to insulate your room. The soft, double-layered fabric keeps too much heat from coming in while still allowing daylight. They also help keep your space warm by preventing heat from escaping through your windows on chilly winter nights.

5)   Energy-saving products don’t have to be high-tech or costly. Case in point: draft guards are as elementary as they are effective. Draft protectors slip right under your doors and (as their name implies) prevent air from passing under them, ensuring that you’re only paying to heat or cool the rooms that you intend to.

6 Tips For Making an Older Home More Energy-Efficient


Many of us who live in central Denver live in a little slice of history – our Victorians, Denver squares, Tudors, Craftsman bungalows, the occasional 1920’s Spanish-style – (sigh…) I adore these homes, mine was built in 1899, but they tend to not be so energy-efficient.

Here are 6 tips to make your older home more energy efficient:

1.    Owner of older home should make sure attic spaces are properly insulated. This can have a tremendous impact on a home’s energy-efficiency, and significantly reduce heating and cooling costs. There are many blow-in spray foam options:  insulating an attic can be a fairly easy project, and many home improvement stores rent the necessary equipment, including insulation blowers.  It is also easy to simply use roll-out insulation.

2.    Replace old windows and doors and choose new, energy efficient options.  Since this is expensive, adding storm shutters and clear plastic coating to windows can help an old home be more efficient.  For homeowners who can’t afford to replace doors and windows, adding window stripping and caulk is a good idea.

3.    Insulate the hot water heater and associated pipes, and keep the thermostat set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, consider a tankless water-heating unit. This is an upfront investment, which saves money in the long-term, because they only heat water when it’s needed.

4.    Enact home heating zones. This means strategizing to heat a home based on usage. For example, heat the downstairs of an old home during the day, and the upstairs at night.

5.    If an old home has old appliances, it may be worthwhile to invest in newer energy saving models. While there are some things owners of older homes can’t control without big remodeling investments, this is a less expensive alternative.

6.    Just because a home is old doesn’t mean it can’t take advantage of new technology, like home automation systems. A home automation system can allow owners of older homes to control the systems located within, even remotely, including the thermostat.

If you are interested in purchasing or selling a historic Denver home, Conscious Real Estate adores working with all types of old houses. Call Allison Parks at 303-908-9873 or email allison@theconsciousgroup.com.

Should I Get a Home Energy Audit?

illustration of green house on half earth with colorful butterflies

If you would like to implement energy-efficient upgrades on your home, but don’t know where to start, a home energy audit is a great place to begin.  Many of these upgrades not only make your home more efficient, but will make your home more comfortable and healthy.  If you find your home is too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, or if you know your bills are too high for the size of your home, you should definitely consider an energy audit.  Also, homes with green features are quickly rising in popularity and sell faster and closer to asking price.

Certified Energy Auditors use various tests and tools to produce a detailed diagnosis and specific solutions to make your home more efficient and healthy.  Auditors will do a visual inspection of your home to find leaks in doors and windows and to check your insulation levels.  Blower door and infrared camera diagnostic tools can measure the air leaks from inside your home.

Energy auditors seek to find improvements that are specific to your home, as every home and region are different.  For instance, a home in a more humid region should take caution before sealing leaks, as this could cause a potential humidity build up.

Colorado residents are eligible for rebates from Xcel energy for energy-effiicient upgrades.  Also, customers using Xcel energy are provided with a list of Certified Energy Auditors.  Please note:  auditors on this list are registered with Xcel, but are not necessarily recommended, so consumers are encouraged to conduct their own research before choosing an auditor.

Groundwork Denver, a nonprofit whose mission is to bring about the sustained improvement of the physical environment and promote health and well-being also have BPI-certified energy specialists to investigate your appliances, furnace and insulation to identify and prioritize energy-saving improvements. They then provide education and resources on how to implement those improvements, connections to other resources (weatherization funding, home rehabilitation programs, rebates and local contractors), and a summary report of findings and recommendations.

Just by identifying simple changes, audits can save you $5 to $300 a year on energy bills.  This energy audit will cost $150, and for another $50, they can implement minor upgrades during the audit.