For all the intelligent home buyers and sellers I’ve had the privilege of serving, more of them are asking about features that deliver more comfort and save them money on their energy bills.

For those of you out there really serious about that, Northern Virginia now has Charley Juris and his Energy House Solutions Center in Alexandria (photo, right).

Charley is a successful homebuilder whose next “career” is all about helping people re-engineer their homes to save a lot of money by significantly reducing their energy costs. We’re not just talking about insulation and solar panels. Charley is as “green” as they come. But the “green” stands as much for the money he can help you save as well as steps he can help you take to boost your sustainability.

The Energy House Solutions Center, located just off the Beltway in Alexandria, brings together proven suppliers of just about everything you need to lower your electricity and/or natural gas costs; and he does it within the confines of your remodeling project(s) and your budget(s). Every practical option available to homeowners in Northern Virginia and the Greater DC area is featured in this store

I spent a wonderful Saturday afternoon recently with Charley at the Grand Opening of his Energy House (see storefront). And my husband Jim attends many of his “Meetups” which bring together interested homeowners. He’s the real deal. Check out his wife Kristine’s business too: “My Urban Garden.”

Depending on your budget and time frame, below are just two the options you can learn a lot more about from Charley. But first, he all but requires a comprehensive assessment of all the energy systems in your house beginning with the relatively simple things that make many homes so energy Inefficient such as your insulation and duct work.

I’m getting ahead of Charley (photo). Check out his Solutions Center or give me a call at 703-593-9432 and permit me to introduce you to him.

  • Ductless mini splits. These are stand-alone heating and cooling systems perfect for hot and/or cold spots in your home.  Charley says they are the rage in Europe and now are making inroads in the U.S.
  • Geothermal heat pumps. These systems draw on the inherent year-around temperature (about 57 degrees) about 4 feet below your lawn or driveway. Charley and his geothermal colleagues would design and dig a “ground loop” which collects the earth’s heat in the winter and cool temps in the summer. You’d be surprised how constant the temps are only a few feet down. To do it most economically, you need a good swath of your yard for a lateral loop, but a vertical loop can work too.