Category Archives for "Green Buildings"

Vivint Smart Home Reviews Show Angry Customers

vivint smart home reviews

Vivint Smart Home reviews reveal poor performance and awful customer service

Today, we’re going to delve into Vivint Smart Home reviews from actual customers.

Vivint is a huge player in not only home security – historically their main focus – but home automation and solar as well. Here at UnderstandSolar, we’ve reviewed just about every piece of the Vivint pie – from solar to home security to their smart thermostat. Now that we’ve reviewed their smart home offering – we’ve come to a single conclusion: With their huge growth over the last decade, it is astonishing how bad reviews of Vivint are!Continue reading

Vivint Thermostat Reviews: Element Users Sound Off

vivint thermostat reviews

With all the smart thermostats out there, Vivint customers say look elsewhere

Vivint is a big company that offers home security, automation, and even roof-top solar. If you’re interested in moving forward with them, you want to be sure that their services and products are up to snuff.  Let’s take a look at their latest thermostat – the Element – to see what makes it tick, find out what customers say by looking at Vivint thermostat reviews, and decide whether moving forward with Vivint really makes sense.Continue reading

Tiny House Kits vs. Prefabs: Which is Right for You?

tiny house kits

There’s more than one way to downsize your lifestyle

Tiny houses and their ever increasing fan base are the main feature of more than 10 reality shows in the United States. People are jumping on the micro-living bandwagon for many reasons, from environmental to financial to living style preferences. But what is the better choice: tiny house prefabs or tiny house kits?

Each option is an offering that gives future micro homeowners the chance to build the tiny home of their dreams with varying levels of involvement. Let’s go into the differences so you can decide what’s better for you.

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Do You Have Tiny Home Plans? Pros Might Not Outweigh Cons


What are the ups and downs of living in a micro home?

Would it surprise you to hear that the average size of a single-family home in the US has more than doubled over the past fifty years, even though the average family size has decreased? Maybe not. But there is a growing section of the population who have decided to live differently. Many are buying premade micro homes or using tiny home plans so they can build the dwellings themselves.

American culture is notorious for embodying the idea that ‘bigger is better’. From our XL beverages to our giant cars, we like big portions. Yet the tiny home trend has hit the housing market in a big way. These small structures have been sprouting up across the country over the past decade and there are even several reality TV shows documenting this new way to live.

But is a tiny home right for you? I’ll take you through the major pros and cons of micro home living to give those who are considering this lifestyle change a thorough rundown of going tiny.

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How you can Reduce Energy Costs and Save a Buck


Solar is great, but aren’t there other ways to save money on your electricity bills?

Well, as a matter of fact, yes, there are! Installing energy efficiency measures – like LED lightbulbs – around your home and changing a few basic habits can drastically drop your electricity bills for much less money than installing solar.

Not to say solar is bad. Consider energy efficiency as a prelude to going solar. By reducing the amount of energy you consume, you can install a smaller solar system. Energy efficiency and solar go together quite nicely!Continue reading

Energy Saving Curtains and Other Window Improvements


Energy efficiency in the home will lower energy costs.

How can energy saving curtains, awnings, and blinds make a difference in your home?

In many of the posts on this blog, we talk about solar energy, how to ensure that your solar system is performing well, and giving you tips so that you are generating as much power as possible for your needs. Just as important, however, is what happens to that energy after it has been created and used to power things in your home, such as your air conditioner or heater.

Houses are ripe with opportunities for cracks, crevices, and other openings that allow your cooled (or heated) air to escape. Even more insidious is the fact that a lot of that energy escapes right through your windows, even if they are closed!

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Is Green Building Design Making Us Sick?


The targets of green building design are laudable.

Water conservation. Energy Reduction. Lower emissions. These are key targets of any green building design and it’s what we all look to as a successful end result.

But what if the end result that we seek is actually leading to negative and unforeseen consequences?

This is exactly what many are experiencing across the globe as water and energy saving measures are becoming more adopted on a larger scale. As less water is used and building become tighter to outside air, we are finding that harmful bacteria, mold, and airborne particulates are increasing due to the stale air, trapped moisture, and non-moving water in building systems.Continue reading