Tag Archives: energy audit

Keep your home healthy and safe with Malcarne this year!

It’s a brand-new year, and while winter’s clutches won’t loosen for a few months, at least time should slow down significantly from the holiday frenzy. It’s now the season to catch up on responsibilities left on hold for the holidays, work on those resolutions made on January 1, and, most importantly, recover from all those Christmas expenses.

It’s also a great time to take inventory of the shape of your home, find a solution to cut expenses from utilities you use every day, and get your home to work as hard as you do.

During the holidays, it’s easy to ignore the cold draft seeping in through the front door, or the frigid temperature that always seems to rule the first floor. With parties, responsibilities and shopping claiming your free moments, these things naturally fell to the wayside. But now, as temperatures continue to plummet, there’re fewer distractions from the gaps, cracks and holes letting the outside in.

And that’s where we can help your home get a leg up in 2018: Taking account of where your house falls short of efficiency can actually help you pay off those holiday bills in the long run. Tightening up your home’s utility usage is not an impossible task, especially with Malcarne Contracting lighting the way to the best new products and materials to help keep your home and family both healthy and safe.

And Malcarne’s so much more than insulation and air sealing: Knowing that your house is in it’s best shape is likely the best after-Christmas gift to give to yourself and your family. As equipment experts, we can inspect your home’s current heating system, making sure it’s working to full capacity.

Curious about what’s new in the world of heating and cooling, especially when it comes to alternative sources of energy? We take health – of people and planet – seriously: We’ve pledged to make good-for-everyone energy options more accessible to our neighbors, helping to create avenues to get off fossil fuels. We’ve got the goods on solar panels and renewable energy that can transform your home from the inside out.

Still, with the piles of responsibilities you haven’t dived into since before December, the thought of another to-do list is probably making you as stressed out as your holiday gift inventory did just last month. We get it. Our job is to lift that burden: We treat your house as individually as each of our customers, designing a plan that will make “cozy” your home’s best adjective.

It’s a resolution you can easily keep – all year long.

Share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

A Little Extra Room for the Holidays

Whether you’ve been planning for eleven months or feel like the season sneaks up on you each year, it’s officially time for the holidays, and the roller coaster of gatherings, food and frenzy of activities won’t likely stop until the clock strikes midnight on January 2.

And while, with all the hustle and bustle, it may not be the best time of year to consider a major home renovation, there are still ways Malcarne Contracting can get your house holiday-ready with minimal disruption to your packed planner.

The bounty in the basement

It seems to be the nature of the holidays, especially Thanksgiving: Your “intimate gathering” of another family or two has grown to epic proportions, and the thought of everyone’s feet tramping through your already cramped quarters isn’t getting you in the holiday spirit. In the midst of this time of year, with impending snow and less light, building out or up isn’t really an option – but a golden opportunity may lie just beneath your shoes.

This year, it’s time to consider making your basement better – not just a space where you exile the kids and toys, but a comfortable room where everyone will want gather. Instead of guests cramming into the kitchen or needing to pull your lawn chairs into the living room, a finished basement means a comfortable alternative for party space or for out-of-town guests to crash. If you’re not hosting this year, the extra square footage can still come in handy: Maybe it’s finally time to unwrap that “man cave” or media room you’ve been putting off for years.

Best of all, you’re looking at minimal disruption to your home as you plan and prep for the busiest time of the year: It’s more cost-effective than new construction, and you won’t be without key rooms in your home such as bathrooms or kitchens, so there’s no inconvenience of a time of relocation.

Save money, keep comfy

When your house is jammed with people, it may not matter that the thermometer barely reads 20 degrees. Still, by ensuring that your home is properly sealed, you can use even less of that bought heat this year. A quick, free visit from Malcarne can show you where your home is leaking the heat you’re turning up on frost-covered mornings – and keep it inside instead.

This year, it’s time to permanently say goodbye to cramped, overheated kitchens or chilly, damp basements. When your house finally becomes the definition of the word “cozy,” you can make your home the holiday hangout – or the best winter retreat from the stress of the season.

Share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

An Investment with Instant Dividends

While September has been relatively kind to us this year, with more days featuring open windows and balmy breezes than the need to curl up in a warm blanket, October is usually our warning call: Winter’s coming – and Malcarne Contracting’s ready to help you be prepared for future frosty weather.

Now is the time to check on your heating equipment, before waking up to ice on your lawn. It’s critical to maintain your heating system – to have it serviced regularly and change filters – to keep it running at its best. Wondering if your equipment needs a tune up? One call to Malcarne can have you ready to fight back when those glacial temperatures finally arrive.

Investing in something new

But what if a tune up’s not going to cut it this year?

This fall, you may find yourself in the place where your heating system is ready to call it quits, whether it’s at the end of its life or simply is costing you more to run than to replace. In this case, your old system may be doing you a favor: Malcarne Contracting can connect your home with equipment that costs you less to operate.

Bottom line? Your investment in a new heating system can actually pay for itself with the money you save in monthly heating costs. It’s a purchase that literally puts cash back in your pocket.

A financial opportunity – and more

It’s also a prospect that can affect more than just your home. Choosing to switch from a fossil-fuel-burning heating system to a cleaner earth-friendly system is also an investment in the health of our planet.

Yes, bottom line, stepping away from fossil fuels will save you money, but there’s also a bigger profit margin on this one. By choosing another heating option, we also get to be shareholders in the future of our planet. We’ve only got one – let’s not experiment with it too much.

It’s truly a win-win-win: We’re taking care of our resources, our futures and our wallets, all with one phone call to Malcarne.

Seasonal surplus specials

When you’re talking about a yield this good, there’s no time like the present to dive in. In fact, Malcarne’s offering seasonal specials for our customers to get you comfortable and prepared for what’s right around the corner. Curious about what it would mean for you to step away from fossil fuels? We’d love to walk you through the process to making your house cleaner and more energy efficient – and working harder to stack up the savings.

Before fall’s cold fingers wrap around your home – and have you reaching for blankets number two and three – give us a call.

Share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Check your list twice – and put home comfort and energy-efficiency at the top!

Whether your Christmas list is longer than the five-year-olds who recite their inventory of wants on Santa’s lap, or you’re looking to simplify and pare down in 2017, there’s one thing almost every homeowner has in common: This year, you can make your house a little more joyful by upping the comfort factor in each and every room.

While the word “cozy” calls to mind fleece blankets and a roaring blaze in the fireplace, no one wants to spend all winter wearing every article of clothing the closet has to offer just to keep the chill off. Now that winter’s grasp is firmly on the Hudson Valley for the season, it’s time to take a good look at what your house could use for Christmas this year.

If a complete renovation during the holidays makes you cringe more than a slice of month-old fruitcake, fear not: Basic, small changes can make a huge difference in the energy-efficiency of your home – and keep you cozy, whether it’s a blizzard or balmy outdoors.

Here’s a list of tried-and-true tactics Malcarne Contracting uses every time we make a home better-functioning and more comfortable for our customers:

  • By sealing up gaps, cracks and holes in an attic and basement, we can dramatically increase your home’s warmth factor.
  • Old heating systems don’t work as well and cost more in monthly bills than energy-efficient models: Malcarne can let you know what’s out there in terms of available systems – including newer ductless heating systems – what’s reliable, and what makes the most sense for your home.
  • Energy efficiency doesn’t mean just changing a larger item like a heating system: You can cut costs on energy bills by upgrading smaller things, from light bulbs to appliances.
  • So much comes down to one word: insulation. Simply having the right insulation – like that cozy fleece blankie – means your heat stays in and the cold winter winds stay out.
  • Santa doesn’t leave one-size-fits-all presents under the tree, and we couldn’t agree more when it comes to houses! Malcarne Contracting visits and evaluates each home as a separate entity, making sure you get what your home really needs to fix its weak spots and truly make it more snug and energy-efficient.

So make a list of your cold rooms and your high energy bills, and don’t check it twice: Instead, call Malcarne Contracting. By making your home run more efficiently and feel more comfortable, you’ll receive a gift that gives all year long.

Share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

A more comfortable home? It’s a resolution you can keep.

We all go through it: January rolls around, and we make lists of resolutions that we struggle to keep past the first week of the year. But good intentions aside, a new year is a perfect time to say sayonara to the holiday craziness, to recover from parties and gift-wrapping, and to regroup back to a more peaceful pace.

Plus, now that schedules have returned to a somewhat manageable level, it may be time to hit “play” on the home tasks that have been paused from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Maybe it’s planning that addition that will finally give you space to host the holidays next year, or rethinking the attic’s lack of insulation that makes your home heating bills go – literally – through the roof.

For Brenda Sramek, Hyde Park homeowner since 1999, 2014 was the final New Years that she decided to live with flaws that made her home and budget uncomfortable. “Since I purchased my house, it has always been chilly in the winter,” she said. “I got used to wearing layers of clothing in the winter and dealing with it. I was tired of living like that.”

Sramek’s solution? Call in the experts: Malcarne Contracting. “I agreed to have an energy audit with Malcarne and was not surprised at the results,” she said. “It took me a year to decide to have the work done, for no other reason than wondering if the scope of the work would really work.”

According to owner Joseph Malcarne, that’s a great question to ask: Do these energy-saving changes actually save money and make your home more comfortable to live in? The answer’s absolutely yes – if they’re done correctly. With a professionally done energy audit, not only does Malcarne let you know up-front how much the job will cost, but how much you’re projected to pocket each year once energy-saving changes are made.

In October of 2014, Sramek’s home was specially insulated and caulked from attic to basement, and advanced energy panels were installed on her basement windows. “After each work item was completed, I noticed a difference in how often the heat would come on and how long it stayed warm in the house,” she said. “Once the wood tongue-and-groove cathedral ceiling was insulated, it made a huge difference. The room was much quieter – a nice surprise – and so much warmer.”

But Sramek’s love of her home is more than a feeling: It also boils down to black-and-white savings. In 2014-2015, she used 28.5 percent less fuel to heat her home – better than the 25 percent that Malcarne calculated she’d save – and that winter was colder than the previous one. “With all the work being done in the basement, especially sealing up the ductwork, I wondered if the basement would be cold since the leaky ducts were heating the basement,” she said. “It is now toasty and warm – and the basement is heated only by the heat radiating from the exhaust pipe from the furnace.”

Now that the blur of holiday concerts, shopping and gatherings is through, it’s a great time to start 2016 on the right foot. For your home, there’s no better way to do that than with a makeover that can actually help you fulfill your resolution to save more of your hard-earned cash – without pressure from someone who’s looking to make a quick buck.

“I would absolutely recommend Malcarne for the energy-saving work,” said Sramek. “When I had questions, they were answered promptly and professionally. If I had concerns or minor issues, they were resolved quickly, no questions asked. Everyone I had contact with at Malcarne is down-to-earth and a pleasure to work with. Most importantly, I trusted them.”

Share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Will An Energy Audit Really Help?

With its array of fiery colors, cool breezes and the promise of the holidays, fall is a season many look forward to. Still, that doesn’t mean you want it, or its frigid cousin winter, inside your home. Those falling autumn leaves are beautiful, but the icy breezes behind them can mean drafty hallways and high energy bills.

That’s where Malcarne Contracting comes in. With an energy audit – an inspection and analysis of your home geared toward making it more comfortable and energy-efficient – the winterizing wizards at Malcarne can help you keep the cold outside weather out, where it belongs.

So, why should you consider an energy audit to make your home more efficient?

It’s free.

Besides the potential to save you big bucks on your heating bill, the best thing about an energy audit may be the price: For those with a yearly household income of less than $175,000, the audit is free; if your income is more, it’s offered at a reduced cost.

It can make your home safer and healthier.

While saving you money is a top priority at Malcarne, so is the health and safety of you and those you care about. We want your home to be sound in every way, which is why our audits check for gas leaks, monitor combustion appliances such as boilers, water heaters, and gas ovens and comb through your house to be sure that, when it is sealed up and energy-efficient, any problems will be erased, not exacerbated.

It will show you exactly where your home needs help.

Whether it’s a lack of insulation, old appliances, or the need for updated light fixtures, an energy audit can pinpoint precisely where your energy losses are – which means you can correct the problem the first time. The floors, walls, ceilings, windows and doors are all evaluated and checked for gaps, cracks and holes that often let cold winter drafts in. Whether it’s your heating and cooling systems, your water heater or even your fridge, everything that uses energy will be under the microscope – concretely pinpointing where you can reduce your cost.

It helps you budget those much-needed improvements.

Even though the audit’s free, the major question may still be how to pay for the improvements it suggests. Every component from the energy audit – from health and safety issues to insulation to appliance ideas – is recorded in a detailed, organized report, giving you each suggested improvement, its cost, and how much it should save you on separate line items. Malcarne’s experts walk you through how much each job costs, and how much it will potentially save you. Whether you start with one project or tackle the entire list, you’ll save money and become more energy-efficient.

Best of all, getting on the path of keeping the outside out – where it should be – can be easier than you think: It all starts with a phone call to Malcarne. We’ll get you scheduled for an energy audit at your home, at your convenience. That one appointment delivers all the critical information about your home that can keep you safe, comfortable and saving, for years to come.

Share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter

Do Energy Improvements Really Work?

It’s a new year, which means a fresh start and new goals and resolutions to keep. But while losing weight, eating right or planning that much-needed getaway may be near the top of your list, it may also be time to put your energy bills on a diet. Don’t touch that thermostat: Energy-efficient improvements by Malcarne Contracting can transform your home, lowering your energy costs while keeping you comfortable at the same time.

When the means to implement energy-improvement measures began in the early 2000s, it wasn’t popular: With oil prices around $1 a gallon, heating your home with traditional sources wasn’t that expensive. These days, though, with oil skyrocketing close to $4 a gallon, and in some places more, even skeptics may consider an energy-efficient option.

Still, while a lot of people are interested in energy improvements, many have the same question: Does this stuff really work? With our free energy audit, the experts at Malcarne invite you to experience first-hand just how much these improvements change the feel of your home and make a difference in your bills.
And yet, don’t only take our word for it: We are lucky to have many amazing clients whose homes are proof that energy-efficient upgrades make both environmental and financial sense.

Stephen Mac Nish, Pleasant Valley: Solar
As a retired energy engineer with a background in energy law and 30 years of experience working with energy efficiency programs and utility rate regulation, Stephen Mac Nish knew how important talking to Joseph Malcarne would be in 2010. The first challenge Joseph gave him? Cut the home’s annual energy use – before even attempting any solar upgrades.

“Among other things, we discovered that the whole house fan that we had put in a number of years earlier to be used in the summer as an alternative to air conditioning actually used more energy than our recently installed new air conditioner,” Stephen said. “We replaced the fan with a new unit that provided the same comfort level while using between 70 and 140 watts.” When they were ready to install the solar PV system in 2012, the Mac Nishes had already reduced their annual usage on their 1973 total-electric home by 4,000 kWh.

And the financial savings kept growing: Of the total $40,000 cost of the system, $23,000 was covered by a NYSERDA grant and State and Federal tax credits, while their monthly electric bill shrank from $135 to $60. “While that looks like a payback that approaches 20 years, consider that the unit price of electricity in our area has increased by almost 50 percent over the last seven years,” said Stephen.

Plus, the Mac Nishes got a little bit more than they bargained for, even on top of the savings: “Our [solar] system is a bit unusual in that it is a ground mount system rather than the more prevalent roof mounted arrays,” he said. “The thing that most impressed the various inspectors who came out to certify the installation was the elegance of the assembled array structure.”

Brian Binetti, Stanfordville: Insulation & Energy-Efficient Upgrades
For Brian Binetti, going energy-efficient came as a kind of happy accident: “I thought I needed a new furnace, and I was looking to go solar thermal,” he said. “That led me to having an energy audit of my home. I discovered the NYSERDA on-bill recovery program through Malcarne, which made a lot of the energy upgrades I wanted to do very affordable and easy.”

This past September, Brian’s home was transformed after Malcarne sealed the basement with foam insulation; sealed doors, windows and sources of air leaks; changed lights over to energy-reducing LEDs; and converted showerheads and faucets to low-flow, energy-saving alternatives.
“I can noticeably feel that the house is retaining the heat better as it gets colder,” Brian said. “I’ve already noticed that my electric bills have gone down equal to or more than the cost of the monthly payment. I’m definitely using less oil.”
Plus, he said, Malcarne’s team of experts, who assess the energy usage of your house and recommend upgrades accordingly, is what sets the company apart: “I worked with Mike at Malcarne, who’s a great guy,” said Brian. “He explains everything well, and the list of upgrades is clear without hidden costs. The on-bill recovery requires nothing out of pocket, so I was able to do most of the energy upgrades I wanted without feeling the sting of the overall cost.”

Sandra Orr & James Rangitsch, Poughkeepsie: Insulation & Solar
For Sandra Orr and James Rangitsch, both saving money on energy bills and using renewable energy resources were key when they chose Malcarne Contracting to tackle their home’s energy challenges. In April of 2007, the couple’s basement was insulated after Malcarne completed an energy audit on their home. Then, two years ago, Malcarne insulated and air-sealed their attic, improved the structural requirements in their attic by installing a weight-bearing beam, added solar panels for electric and hot water, and upgraded electric service to include a connection to a back-up generator.

Since then, they’ve seen substantial saving on their energy bill – while their home’s value has only gone up. Said Sandra, “we believe it is smart to invest in solar energy for not only the monetary benefits and increase in real estate value, but for the infinite resource of energy that the sun can provide, even in the winter when it is lowest on the horizon.”

Share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twitter