Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
  • entries
    80
  • comments
    0
  • views
    33,670

About this blog

Posts from a freelance writer!

Entries in this blog

BrookeChaplan

Keeping your home tidy, neat, and clean can be facilitated by removing household junk and waste routinely rather than to keep it sitting around indefinitely. However, waste can build up quickly, so you may want to line up a few tactics for reducing much of the trash that continues to accumulate on a daily basis.

Recycle

Many communities provide free recycle bins for household use, along with free curb pickup a couple times each month. This is a great way to help protect the environment and get rid of daily throwaways so they don’t stack up in your garage or trash can. You can also recycle old clothing and unused furniture to thrift stores or consignment shops by dropping things off on the designated days. To make some extra cash, recycle worn tires, scrap metal, and collected papers at the local recycling centers.

Compost

Food scraps, coffee grounds, and biodegradable organics can be used to compost a flower garden or vegetable garden in your backyard. Gather leftovers and sort them according to various composting needs. Layer them as directed in a compost guide to enhance the fertilization and productivity of your outdoor garden areas.

Removal

For large items you want to dispose of, like a garage full of rapidly-accumulating trash that includes containers, bottles, cans, discarded electronics, broken equipment and appliances, and just about anything else that has been stacked up or boxed for pickup, check into dumpster rental for a week or two. You might be able to share the dumpster space and cost with a neighbor. In addition to daily disposables, renting a dumpster is a great time to clean out the attic, the basement, the garage, and the shed to get rid of things you will never use again. Your home will feel much more open and accessible when you eliminate all the stuff that keeps building up and being ignored or stored in places that can be used for other things of value.

Buy Less

If you are tossing away too many takeout Styrofoam or plastic containers or getting rid of shoes or clothes you’ve only worn a few times, it may be time to review your budget and start making cuts. Not only will you be able to reduce spending, but you may also be able to reduce waste along with increasing available space and storage areas.

No one likes unwanted waste sitting around the house. Consider these ways of reducing trash while enhancing your lifestyle as a bonus.

BrookeChaplan

photo-1463554050456-f2ed7d3fec09?ixlib=r

Having a home garden can be a great hobby. You can enjoy beautiful flowers and tasty vegetables throughout the year. If you’re considering trying to make your garden more green, here are four great eco-friendly tips that you can employ this year.

Install a Rain Barrel

One of the best ways to help be eco-friendly while saving yourself some green in the process is using rainwater to water your garden. By installing a simple rain barrel to collect the drainage from the gutters in your home, you can have freely accessible water to feed your garden. All you’ll need is a watering can and you’ll be set. If you don’t have access to rainwater from gutters, strategically place a few barrels around your yard to collect free falling rain.

Use Compost Soil

One of the best things you can do for your garden is to use compost soil. This natural soil is enriched with various nutrients that your average soil could be lacking. If you don’t know anybody that has a compost where you can get soil from, don’t be afraid to start your own. There are many guides on how to compost online that you can refer to in order to get started. We’re sure you’ll be super happy with your harvest when you use composted soil over regular soil.

Install Bird Feeders

This one may have you thinking a little bit, but let us explain. Birds are natural predators for grub worms, snails, and other insects that can be harmful to your plants. By installing bird feeders near your garden, these birds will act as a natural protector for your plants. This will help to reduce your need for insecticide.

Choose Your Plant Pairings Wisely

Just the process of picking out the right plants that complement each other can do wonders for reducing your need for natural growth simulators and insecticides. For example, marigolds are well-known for deterring unwanted soil-based and flying insects. They make a great pair for plant varieties that are commonly preyed by these types of insects. Hosta, also known as a plantain lily, is a nice tall plant that helps to offer shade to those plants which are shorter.

Being a more eco-friendly gardener doesn’t have to be a difficult transition. By simply learning tactics like the ones above, you’ll be well on your way to making the transition. The more eco-friendly habits that you can get used to, the more helpful you’ll be to the environment around you.

BrookeChaplan

photo-1566838616631-f2618f74a6a2?ixlib=r

Having solar panels installed at your home is a great first step towards being more energy-efficient. It can really help to cut down on your energy costs as well. Here are four of our best tips to help ensure you get the most out of your home solar panels things year.

Keep Them Clean

This can sound like a very simple feat. However, keeping up with regular maintenance can sometimes be tricky. When it comes to your solar panels, they need to remain clean to work effectively. When debris gets stuck on top of the solar panels, it can prevent them from in-taking the UV light. This will make your panels less effective at manufacturing solar energy.

Cut Down Shading Branches

For your solar panels to work at their optimal state, you need to have them in the direct sunlight. When your trees mature, the branches will grow further out, and they can create shading over the panels. You should take a look at your shrubbery every few weeks and trim any branches that are shading your panels. This will help to assure they stay effective throughout the day.

Ensure They Stay Cool

Your solar panels have semiconductors inside of them that transfer the UV rays into usable solar energy. As the semiconductors heat up, they become less efficient at their job. Therefore, it’s important to consider ways to keep your solar panels cool throughout the day. The most effective is to have at least a seven-inch cushion between your roof and the panels. This allows for proper circulation that cools down the panels throughout the daytime.

Ensure Your Batteries Are Efficient

You can do everything possible to make your solar panels as efficient as can be. However, you must consider where the energy is going. Your system doesn’t use all the solar energy as it’s created by your solar panels. Rather, your system stores unused energy in batteries. If your batteries are outdated or ineffective, it can really wreak havoc on the amount of solar energy that your system maintains for your use. You should be updating your batteries and ensuring they’re just as optimal as your system to get the most out of it.

Installing solar panels is a great first step towards being greener. Getting your system to run effectively should be one of your top concerns. The more effective your system is, the less you’ll have to spend on energy costs each month.

BrookeChaplan

Not only does caring for the environment help the planet, learning how to reduce your emissions and utilize energy more efficiently will help defray costs and wear on your trucks. A big rig has more demands on it than a standard truck. Some of the same techniques that work on smaller trucks still apply when you’re trying to make your rigs more energy efficient, though. The nature of trucking means that massive amounts of fuel and paper are used, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything to cut back. Here are some of the methods that you can employ in order to improve your fleet’s energy efficiency while they’re on the road.

photo-1540852360777-5f6fa7752aeb?ixlib=rSave the Trees

Even though the ELD mandate deadline hasn’t arrived yet, it’s still time to start having your drivers track their hours on the road on their phones instead of on paper. You can massively reduce the paper waste created by truckers by simply switching to electronic documentation. Also, you can encourage your drivers to carry a bag in their trucks to throw away paper and plastic products. These can be dropped off at gas stations and truck stops with recycling areas. Drivers should also be encouraged to bring reusable containers for your food. You’d be surprised at the amount of trash from snacks and waste products your fleet can go through in a year. You will also be eligible for tax breaks and discounts for recycling products, so it will be putting money back into your pocket as well.

Pay Attention to Mileage

Fuel prices and maintenance costs continue to climb in the industry, so finding ways to increase your fuel mileage is paramount. Selecting the right octane of fuel in order to maximize your engine’s efficiency is the first place to start. It can also help to look into the best and worst truck engines. This is what your big rigs are going to need to keep it going for all of those miles. Plan your routes in advance to maximize fuel efficiency, and have your drivers practice consistent acceleration. Braking and accelerating suddenly wastes more gas than maintaining a steady speed. And of course, keep careful tracks of fuel usage and expenses. What you find can help you determine where you can pinch to cut excess fuel usage.

Conserve electricity

All of the accessories and electricity used on engine startup can work to drain a truck’s battery. The problem with causing this level of stress to a truck battery is that it can wear down faster over time. This is definitely not good for the environment over the long run, or for your efficiency. Choose a battery that can last for as long as possible. Select a commercial battery supplier that sells top-rated brands so that you can find the right battery to keep your truck running. Try to reduce idling time and turn your trucks off when they don’t need to be running. If your routes are not too far, you can even consider integrating electric vehicles into your fleet, or another form of fuel-efficient rig.

Perform Maintenance

Keeping up with maintenance will also help to improve your fleet’s efficiency. Replacing air filters and changing the oil on a regular schedule ensures that your engines can operate at an optimal level. Regular tune-ups will need to be performed so that wear and tear doesn’t start to break down your engine’s ability to function properly over time. Make sure your drivers check the engines after each trip so that you can stay on top of any issues before they can develop into a problem.

Using some common-sense approaches will work to improve your fleet’s energy efficiency. Use these tips to help you navigate the green trucking world.

BrookeChaplan
Your home’s features and condition play a major role on the impact you make on the planet. Many people assume that they need to make huge, expensive home improvements to create a green living environment. While installing solar panels and a rainwater collection and purification system are some of the many expensive projects that you could invest in, proper home maintenance can have a beneficial impact as well. These are some of the maintenance tasks to complete regularly to create a greener home environment.

Schedule HVAC Service Regularly

Living without an HVAC service would be miserable for most people. While this system understandably uses a significant amount of energy, it may currently be using more than it needs to. For example, when the system is dirty or developing signs of damage, the equipment may run more frequently or for longer periods of time than it otherwise would. This directly wastes energy and creates pollution in the process. When you schedule regular HVAC maintenance service, the components will be clean so that the system can work efficiently. In addition, developing repair issues can be identified and addressed quickly before they become major issues.

Maintain Your Plumbing Features

Fresh water is in short supply, so water conservation is a primary concern. In some homes, hidden water leaks waste tons of water before they are identified and repaired. In other homes, a huge leak spews hundreds of gallons of water or more into the home in a very short period of time. While not all leaks can be prevented, you can take steps to prevent some of these issues. For example, you can reduce your water pressure to minimize strain on the pipes. You can also invest in a water softener and reinforce pipe joints.

Re-Seal Doors and Windows Periodically

Energy loss also occurs through damaged window and door seals. These seals tend to deteriorate rapidly, and they may need to be replaced at least once per year. By doing so, you can keep climate-controlled air in the home and help your HVAC system to work more efficiently. You may also consider installing solar film over your windows for additional benefit.

Each of these maintenance tasks should be included in your regular home care schedule. However, it is easy to overlook or delay working on them. Now that you know that they affect your property’s condition as well as your impact on the environment, you can see that these tasks deserve your regular attention.

BrookeChaplan
We all like to take pride in being environmentally-friendly. There’s just something that feels good about being kind to the environment around us. However, it’s nice when that kindness lines up with getting us some extra money as well. Here are some great ways to do your part for the environment while putting some much-needed green into your own wallet.

Scrap Metal Recycling

We’re sure you’ve all seen or heard those commercials about cash for junk cars. The truth is that you can make some good money with the help of scrap metal services. Whether you have an old car you’re looking to get rid of or other extra metal items that are just taking up space in your yard, calling a scrap metal service can help to clean up your space and score you some green as well.

Government Solar Tax Incentives

Solar panels are becoming a popular way to help save energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint. In fact, many towns are implementing solar panel incentives for those who install these systems. The federal government has been on a rally to offer tax incentives to those homeowners and business owners who upgrade their properties to run on solar power. This type of energy also supplies the power grid that you’re connected to with energy. The power company will also pay you for the units of energy that you feed into the power grid. This means a double payday for you, once from the electric company and twice for the tax break.

Reduced Gas Expenditure

When you think about air pollution, one of the first things you may think about is your car. When you drive to and from work every day, your car releases air pollution into the environment. It also costs you money in gas to do so. Instead, you can sign up with a carpool group from your work or local community. This way, you can share the cost of gas. This means that you’ll be paying out less money in your monthly gas expenditure than if you were to drive by yourself each day.

Going green doesn’t have to be a difficult task. This holds especially true when you set yourself up to receive some monetary incentive from doing so. The above are a few great ways to consider going green that will be able to put some green in your pockets. We’re sure you’ll be able to keep coming up with more little ways to change your environmental impact while cashing in.

BrookeChaplan
As temperatures warm up in the spring, you can typically expect to see your water bill creep higher. One of the most significant reasons for this is because of extra water usage for lawn care and other exterior purposes. However, there are other reasons why your water bill may be higher during these seasons. Water waste is significant and problematic in many homes in the spring and summer. A closer look reveals how you may be able to rein in your water bills and save a substantial amount of money in the months ahead.

Identify and Repair Leaky Pipes

Once freezing temperatures have abated, any pipes that have ruptured over the winter may begin leaking water. Some of these issues are immediately apparent in the home. However, if the leaks are in your sprinkler system or other exterior pipes, they can be difficult to identify. Schedule plumbing maintenance in early spring to identify and repair these issues. Plumbing maintenance is also a smart way to address toilets that run frequently, slow drips in the bathroom faucet and other issues that can contribute to water waste in the home.

Upgrade Your Sprinkler System

If your sprinkler system is older or basic, it may not be equipped with weather sensors. Advanced systems can detect rain, humidity, temperature and other factors to determine how frequently your lawn requires hydration. This prevents you from wasting water by running a sprinkler when hydration is not yet needed.

Harvest and Use Rainwater

Another effective way to reduce water waste at home and to save money in the process is to invest in a rainwater collection system. By attaching a collection feature, such as a rain barrel, to the downspout on your gutter system, rain that falls onto your roof can be captured. When you need to wash your car, water your garden by hand or use water for other similar outdoor purposes, you can use this free water rather than paying money to tap into the public water supply

When the concept of reducing your water bill originally came to mind, you may have thought about needing to make stressful and inconvenient changes in how you use water. While you could save money by cutting your time in the shower by half, you can see that there are easier ways to save water. Identify how each of these tips may apply to your home, and implement them today to enjoy immediate results.

BrookeChaplan
When spring arrives, a new growing season begins. This is a time when you expect your yard’s dormant vegetation to become rejuvenated. Unfortunately, many people are dismayed to realize that their lawn is not as green and healthy as they hoped. If your lawn is patchy, has brown spots or is showing other signs of trouble, you may use some of these tips to revive your lawn and to get the curb appeal that you desire.

Kill the Weeds

With warm spring temperatures and hydrating rain showers, weeds that were dormant all winter will sprout up quickly. Weeds will crowd out your grass. Eventually, you may have a yard full of weeds rather than healthy grass. You may also have brown or bare spots as a result. There are a few different ways to get rid of weeds. You can pull the weeds out by hand. You can also apply various products to the lawn. For example, some broadleaf weed killers will kill the weeds and not the grass. You may decide to kill all vegetation by applying various household products to the soil. This will give you a blank slate to plant new grass.

Aerate the Soil

If your lawn is looking generally unhealthy, the reason may be because of compacted soil. Soil has a tendency to become more compact over time because of various weather conditions. When it is firmly compacted, water and fresh air will not be able to reach the plant roots as easily. Professional aeration can loosen the soil and ensure that vegetation roots have access to the fresh air and water that they need for optimal health.

Plant Grass Seed or Plugs

Regardless of whether you have decided to start from scratch and use lawn installation services for a brand-new lawn or you simply want to fill in some patches of dirt, bringing new grass into your space may be necessary. To determine the right approach, consider your budget as well as the current state of your lawn. It makes sense to kill weeds and prepare the soil through aeration and even fertilization before planting new grass seed or plugs.

After you take these steps, remember that regular yard maintenance is required to nurture your lawn back to health and to maintain it in a healthy state. This includes regular mowing and edging, watering and fertilization. If you continue to struggle to achieve the beautiful curb appeal that you desire, using professional lawn care services is an excellent idea.

BrookeChaplan
Living in a beautiful historic home may be a dream come true, but this type of living experience can be stressful, expensive and inconvenient in specific ways. For example, unless the home has been recently and thoroughly renovated, it may be generating waste in various ways. This waste may result in higher expenses, environmental concerns and other issues that you understandably want to avoid as much as possible. These are some of the many steps that you may take to reduce waste in your historic home.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance Service

Maintaining a desirable climate indoors in an older home can consume much more energy than may be required in a newer home with an equivalent size. This can place a considerable amount of strain on your heating and cooling system. Over time, this additional strain may result in equipment damage that creates additional inefficiency. A smart idea is to schedule AC and heating system maintenance annually to erase signs of wear and tear for optimal efficiency. This may reduce energy bills and decrease the environmental impact.

Reseal the Doors and Windows

Regardless of whether you live in an older or a newer home, seals around doors and windows can deteriorate rapidly. In fact, most homes need new seals every year or two. If you have not resealed your home’s doors and windows recently, now may be the time to do so. In addition to eliminating unnecessary energy waste, it can help you to stay more comfortable indoors by eliminating drafts. This is a simple and affordable project that you may be able to complete on your own.

Upgrade the Insulation

Another smart way to reduce energy waste and to improve your home’s interior environment is to upgrade insulation. Over time, insulation may deteriorate. It may also become damaged by pests, exposure to water from plumbing leaks and more. Furthermore, insulation that was installed many years ago may not be as effective as new types on the market today. This is a smart, cost-effective to modernize your historic home without impacting its character at all.

The charm of a historic home resides in its layout, architectural detail and even quality materials. While you understandably want to modernize your home so that you can reduce or eliminate unnecessary waste, you do not want to impact its gorgeous design elements. Each of these tips may help you to improve your historic home dramatically. However, you should review your home to assess its specific and most pertinent needs before acting.

 


BrookeChaplan
When you think about green home living, things, like reducing energy consumption, recycling and conserving water, may come to mind. However, you cannot overlook the importance of your impact on wastewater as well. While wastewater can be treated, the treatment capabilities in different areas varies. In many cases, phosphorous, nitrates and other pollutants may remain in the treated water in small amounts. This means that the fresh water that enters your home may not be as pure and clean as you may think. By understanding and adjusting your own impact on wastewater, you may be able to do your part to reduce pollution and to lead a greener life at home.

Pollution from Runoff

The two primary impacts that may affect pollution in sewage systems from residential runoff are the amount of runoff that flows off of your property and the chemicals that are in that water. Therefore, avoiding the use of chemicals on your property is essential. This may be accomplished by using natural fertilizers rather than chemical fertilizers. You can also use natural pest control methods rather than harsh chemical products. In addition to avoiding the use of chemical products on your property, you can also use rain collection methods to harvest rainwater and use it beneficially rather than to allow it to run off of your property in large quantities.

Pollution from In-Home Waste

In-home wastewater from flushing the toilet and using the shower, tub and sink drains also should be a focal point. Wastewater treatment plants are designed to treat typical waste from these features, but some people put other things down their pipes and drains that may be more difficult for treatment plants to remove. For example, some people flush unused prescription medications down the toilet or use chemical drain cleaning products. These and other unintended uses of the wastewater system can have a harsh impact on the quality of treated water that re-enters your home later. Disposing of all waste properly and calling a plumber for assistance with clogged drains are helpful steps to improve your green lifestyle at home.

Now that you understand more about the impact that your current lifestyle may be having on the environment through wastewater, you can take proactive steps to improve in these areas. When in doubt about the impact that a certain activity may have on the public water supply, research the activity online. This can help you to make informed decisions that ultimately may promote the health of the environment.


BrookeChaplan
Now that you have decided to build your dream home, you may have taken bold steps to locate the ideal lot or acreage site to build on. The impressive natural beauty of the land may have drawn you to it and instilled a sense of peace as you walked the lot. Understandably, you want to retain these same natural features that drew you to the land. Each lot and building project are unique, but these are some of the strategies that can be used to preserve the natural features that you have fallen in love with.

Plan around Trees

There are few natural features more beautiful than a centuries-old tree that has lush, healthy branches as well as deep roots and a huge trunk. These heritage trees tell a story of their own, so you understandably want to keep them intact on your land. If space permits, consider designing your home’s layout around the trees. These trees can be a true focal point to the landscape, and they add curb appeal as well as property value. Creating a floorplan and layout that takes the preservation of heritage trees into account is a smart idea.

Build into Cliffs and Ledge

If your lot has a dominant cliff or ledge, you may be able to build right up to the rock wall or even into it in some cases. Rock boring hire is available to help you anchor your property into the rock. By doing so, your home may become a part of the natural beauty. The rock may also act as a natural protective feature, and it could promote energy efficiency. It makes sense take full advantage of cliffs and ledges when they are present on your property.

Hire an Experienced Architect

These are only a few of the many features that you may want to preserve or take advantage of in your floorplan. In some cases, such as if you have a very large estate lot with ample space to lay the home on the land, special effort may not be required to preserve coveted natural features. However, other properties may require bold or monumental efforts in order to achieve your preservation goals. Hiring an experienced architect who has a proven track record of creativity and success in this area is advantageous.

As you see, there are many creative ways to preserve your land’s treasured natural features. Identify the features that are most important to you, and speak with various contractors about the preservation options available.

BrookeChaplan
No matter your stance on global warming, everyone can agree that living “green” is a good idea. After all, it’s always good to take care of the environment and save a lot of money in the process. If you’ve gone down the green living path, you may think you’re living just about as efficiently as you can. However, if you haven’t considered your heating system, all those other green living practices could end up negated. Here are a few ways to ensure your heating system is matching the green goals of the rest of your lifestyle.

Filter Woes

Even if you have a newer heating system, a dirty filter will quickly make it largely inefficient. Dirty filters make it much harder for the system to ingest air, causing the blower motor to work harder, resulting in increased electricity usage and extra wear and tear. It’s a good idea to check your filters at least once a month to see if they need to be changed, though if you live in a dusty climate or frequently have your windows open, you may want to check your filter more frequently.

Working Hard

Before the cooler weather really sets in, it’s important to have a professional HVAC company take a look at your heating system to ensure it’s in peak operating condition. Dust and dirt can accumulate on various components throughout your system, causing it to operate less efficiently. In addition, individual components within the system may wear out or stop working altogether, requiring replacement to ensure your system works well.

Empty Spaces

If you have a central heating system, it’s important to ensure that your system is only heating the parts of your home that are actually occupied. Otherwise, you’ll be paying extra money and using extra energy to heat air that will never be enjoyed. You can direct the heat by closing the registers in unused rooms, and then keeping the doors closed to those rooms so the cooler air within them doesn’t cool down the rest of your home.

End of the Road

At some point, even the highest-quality heating systems will need to be replaced. As your system heads toward the end of its life, it will continue to become less efficient, no matter what steps you take. It’s important to have your new system installed by qualified HVAC professionals to ensure that it’s installed properly to ensure it can heat your home efficiently for many years to come. Then, once you have it installed, it’s important to follow the tips above to keep it working at its best.

Keep the Cold Out

The best way to keep your heating system from working too hard is to prevent the heat it produces from escaping your home. This is only possible through proper insulation techniques, from wall and attic insulation to proper caulking around doors and windows. When you combine proper insulation with an efficient heating system, you end up with a powerful combination that will keep you warm and comfortable while allowing you to maintain your green lifestyle.

BrookeChaplan
If you are like most people, your annual home energy cost amounts to a small fortune. However, this is seemingly a necessary expense that you have minimal control over. By taking a closer look at how you use energy at home and how this energy is generated, you may dramatically reduce energy costs on a regular basis. In fact, you may even be able to generate a profit from home energy generation rather than continue to pay expensive utility bills.

Reduce Energy Consumption Dramatically

The first step to take if you want to improve home energy consumption is to alter how it is used. You can make a few behavioral adjustments, such as by turning all lights off when they are not in use and unplugging appliances and electronics when they are not needed. You can also reduce energy consumption at home by upgrading to a new HVAC system and major appliances that have improved energy efficiency ratings. To promote HVAC system efficiency further, schedule energy-efficient door and window installation services, re-seal doors and windows and upgrade insulation throughout the walls and ceiling. These steps require a substantial financial investment, but the net impact on your finances over time may be positive.

Produce Your Own Green Energy

When you follow these steps to reduce energy consumption, you may still be responsible for regular energy bills. To potentially eliminate energy costs going forward, produce your own green energy. Solar energy panels are among the most common ideas, but there are other ideas. For example, wind and geothermal energy may be well-suited for your home as well. Because you may have already taken steps to reduce energy consumption, the home-produced energy may completely cover all of your needs at home. This can eliminate the need to pay an energy bill regularly. Your home may produce so much energy that you are able to sell energy to the local utility provider. By doing so, you can actually receive a small amount of income regularly rather than pay a monthly bill.

You could continue to struggle with high energy costs for years to come, or you can take action to address this problem directly. While it may require a large financial investment to accomplish each goal outlined here, you will notice that each small step that you take has a positive effect on energy consumption and expenses. Now is a great time to take your first steps to improve your home in these thoughtful ways.


BrookeChaplan
Staying warm throughout the cold winter months would be a serious challenge without the function of your home’s heater. As beneficial as your furnace may be at keeping the chill out of your indoor air, relying heavily on your furnace as a source of heat can create outrageous energy bills throughout the season. The good news is that there are several essential steps that you can take to reduce heating costs while still staying warm and cozy indoors.

Schedule Preventive Maintenance

In order to function as efficiently as possible, your furnace must be well-maintained. However, heavy and frequent use from last winter may have taken a toll on the equipment. Parts may be wearing out or dirty. Hoses may be loose, and other issues may be present. These may all cause the system to work harder than it otherwise would need to. Each fall, schedule service with a licensed HVAC technician. The technician can clean all heating components, replace worn out parts and otherwise restore the system to like-new condition.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Your programmable thermostat may currently be set for summer weather. When you turn the AC off and the heater on, you should adjust the programmable settings accordingly. For example, you may have the AC settings slightly higher in order to avoid draining energy in the warm weather season. If you maintain this higher setting in the winter, your heater will turn on more than necessary.

Seal Doors and Windows

Your HVAC system will also work more efficiently if the doors and windows are properly sealed. These seals are exposed to the elements year-round so they can deteriorate rapidly. Even if you cannot see moisture or sunlight through these features, do not assume that they are not damaged. Tiny leaks throughout the seals can have a major impact on energy costs. Include resealing doors and windows in your regular home maintenance schedule.

In addition to taking these steps, you may also wear an extra layer of clothes in the house or sit under a blanket on the sofa. Drinking warm tea or cocoa can also help you to feel warmer and reduce your reliance on your heater. While each of these tips may only have a modest impact on energy costs, the cumulative effect of all of them can be astounding. You can schedule HVAC service and reseal doors and windows before cold weather arrives, and you can immediately implement the other tips when you turn your heater on for the first time.


BrookeChaplan
Making green home improvements makes a lot of sense from a health, comfort and financial perspective. With an increasing emphasis on minimizing the climate crisis and making homes as healthy as possible, homeowners and builders are focusing on increasing the number of features that save energy and promote healthier living.

They Appreciate Faster

While the rate of appreciation for a home’s highly variable, all other things being equal, a green home will appreciate faster than a less energy efficient unit. There are a number of reasons for higher appreciation. Homes with higher efficiency are in greater demand, which is the primary force behind home appreciation. They also have lower energy bills, something that ranks high with many home buyers.

If you live in a neighborhood of older homes and you want to increase the value of your home, make improvements to the insulation, particularly in the attic. If the HVAC system is old, chances are your heating and cooling bills are high. Installing a new one will add value to your home and lowers your heating and cooling costs.

You and your financial consultant can explore how important faster home appreciation is. If you don’t have a consultant, you can search something like ‘NJ individual wealth management’ for your area to find one. Your home is probably your most important asset and when it increases in value faster, so does your net worth.

Green Homes Are Healthier

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important part of achieving a green home and the easiest way to achieve good IAQ is by using products that don’t emit harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These gases cause physical symptoms from mild to serious like headaches and sore throats to cancer or neurological system disorders.

There’s a long list of materials used in daily life and for home construction and remodeling that contain VOCs. Fortunately, it’s getting easier to find alternatives that keep IAQ high.

Look for remodeling products labeled as low in VOCs or are VOC-free. Some carry clean air labels, like paint and flooring products. It’s getting easier to find household products that have no to few VOCs. Look for natural cleaners, products without perfumes and candles made from beeswax or soy. Avoid anything made from paraffin.

Some Green home upgrades run at a higher cost than their less environmentally friendly counterparts, so make sure you factor that into your budget. While there is no price you can place on health, you still need to budget well to afford these upgrades. As mentioned above, a financial service provider like rmrwealth.com can be very helpful when planning and executing home improvements.

Ventilation

Homes that have high IAQ may have balanced ventilation systems that pull in as much fresh air as they exhaust. The U.S. EPA has found that indoor air can be much more polluted than the worst outdoor air. The greenest products used for ventilation are heat and energy recovery ventilators. These devices transfer the thermal energy from the outgoing air into the incoming air, which eliminates the cost of heating or cooling outdoor air.

Bottom Line

Anything you can do to make your home greener in the short and long term helps your financial and personal health. You can start by doing something as easy as changing the cleaning products you buy or as challenging as making major improvements to its structure. Whatever it is, it will better your life by making it more comfortable.


BrookeChaplan
Going green is a concept that we can all get on board with. However, it can seem difficult to know what practices to do other than your traditional recycling instead of throwing items in the trash. In today’s short article, we’re going to discuss some small eco-friendly changes you can make to your daily living that will have a large impact on the going green initiative.

Use Ecological Home Services

If you’re a homeowner, it’s likely that you use home service providers for various issues or improvements you want to make to your home. When considering who to hire, you should look into those who practice eco-friendly methods. For example, hire an ecological pest control service that only uses environmentally-friendly treatment methods. This can help to keep pesticides out of your home. It will also ensure that your family doesn’t have any negative reactions to harmful treatment pesticides that other home servicers use.

Use Canvas Bags at the Grocery Store

We’ve all seen those plastic grocery store bags blowing around in the wind as people tend to not dispose of these bags correctly. When you use canvas bags, you can help to cut done on the number of plastic grocery store bags being produced. In fact, the more people who bring their own canvas bags to the grocery store, the less plastic bags the store will order. These bags carry their own advantages as well. For example, they’re much sturdier than those plastic bags, which makes them great for carrying canned goods and other heavy items. These bags can be used for trips other than to the grocery store as well.

Use CFL Light Bulbs Instead of Incandescent

As your existing light bulbs die out, it’s time to switch them out for CFL light bulbs. These actually have two main benefits for you. The first is that they last up to 5 years longer than incandescent bulbs. Also, they utilize 70 percent less electricity when running. This is a major difference that can do wonders when it comes to your electric bill. Just imagine how much energy you could save when all the light bulbs in your home are running on 70 percent less power.

Going eco-friendly isn’t really a hard thing to do. The difficult part is just understanding the small differences you can do each and every day that translates to the biggest impact. The above are three great ways to get started on your new eco-friendly lifestyle habits.

BrookeChaplan
Commuting is a tradition that probably dates back practically to the invention of the automobile. Over the decades, though, increased population density, urban sprawl and ever-increasing vehicle ownership have increased commute times substantially. Even worse, they’ve turned commuting into a miserable, environmentally damaging slog for many people. While we all know finding alternative ways of getting to work helps the environment, there are some other benefits.

Improved Health

A daily drive to work doesn’t just seem to damage your health, it actually does damage your health in demonstrable ways. For example, it drives up your blood sugar levels, which increases your chances of developing diabetes. It also drives up your blood pressure. Higher blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

Commuting can cause chronic backaches, damage sleep quality and reduce cardiovascular health. Simply put, commuting is bad for you. Finding alternatives, such as public transit or riding a bicycle to work, helps offset these negative effects.

Reduced Risk of Accident

There are millions of automobile accidents in the US every year. While many of these accidents are comparatively minor fender-benders, some of them cause serious injuries or death. There is a direct relationship between how much time you spend driving and your chances of getting into an accident.

The less time you spend driving, the fewer chances you have of getting into an accident. As an added bonus, if you don’t get into an accident, you also don’t need to enlist the services of an automobile accident attorney.

Better Sense of Well-Being

In addition to the physical costs associated with commuting, you also face costs to your overall well-being from a daily commute. A commute can create feelings of isolation and increase your stress levels. Both of these factors can cripple your sense of well-being.

Switching from a daily drive to another mode of commuting, such as public transit, walking or biking can actually lead to an overall increase in your sense of well-being. This holds true even when other stressful events happen in your life.

While car ownership and a daily commute might well be part of American culture, it doesn’t follow that commuting is a good thing. In fact, the evidence suggests it’s terrible for your health, mental well-being and overall risk. Giving up the daily drive for public transit, walking or biking is actually good for your health, well-being, and decreases your risks.

BrookeChaplan
If you’re looking to save money and energy, small home improvements can help a lot. Choosing to upgrade your home to make it more energy efficient can help you save on your heating and cooling costs. It may even increase the value of your home. Here are the three most important updates to make to ensure your home is as energy efficient as possible.

Replace Your Appliances

This is probably a more expensive route, but ensuring your home has energy efficient appliances is a good first step. You can start by replacing your old appliances with energy efficient ones when they die. In addition to appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators, heating and cooling systems in homes that are over 15 years old may be in need of an upgrade. While you’re upgrading appliances, you may want to think about a programmable thermostat. This can allow you to regulate the temperature within your home, whether you are there or not.

Add Insulation

You’ll need to decide if the amount of insulation that’s currently in your home is acceptable for the climate you live in or for your personal needs. If your home is poorly insulated, adding an extra layer of insulation can help keep heat inside in the winter or cool down your home in the summer. All this leads to savings in your heating and cooling bills.

Replace or Repair Garage Doors

The garage is one room in your home that typically isn’t insulated very well. Rooms that are attached to or above the garage can suffer as a result. While you could add some layers of insulation to your garage, if you have garage doors that are not energy efficient, the air will enter through the cracks. This leaves the entire wall your garage doors are on without insulation. Installing or repairing garage doors to ensure they are insulated will ensure your home is more efficient, increase home value, and help regulate the temperature within your home.

Energy efficiency in your home is important in ensuring you’re comfortable and not shelling out hundreds of dollars per month in heating and cooling costs. Following these tips will ensure that hot and cold air don’t just escape your home. If you’re not sure where to start with energy efficient home improvements, be sure to consult with a professional contractor. They’ll be able to help you determine what you can do to make your home more efficient and how you should execute the upgrades.

BrookeChaplan
Installing solar panels and enjoying the benefit of free green energy is a common goal shared by many homeowners. Now that you have decided to finally move forward with this project, you may be eager to get the ball rolling. Some homeowners in your shoes have been dismayed to run into issues when installing solar panels that may have otherwise been prevented with forethought and planning. These are some of the more common solar panel installation problems that may affect your upcoming project.

A Weak Roof

Solar panels may look relatively light, but their appearance is misleading. The actual weight depends on the type of panels that you select, but many roofs have not been designed to withstand the weight of a full set of typical solar panels. You can avoid learning about this problem in the middle of a solar panel installation project by consulting with a roofing contractor ahead of time.

A Roof that Requires Replacement Soon

The solar panel installation process takes time, energy and money, so you understandably want to maximize the benefit of this effort. A typical asphalt shingle roof has a lifespan of approximately 25 years, although there is a considerable variation to this based on weather conditions, maintenance, and many other factors. Installing new solar panels on an older roof that requires replacement soon is not wise. If your roof is close to the end of its life, it makes sense to replace it before installing new panels.

Not Planning for Water Flow

When your roof was constructed, its purpose was to protect the home from exposure to the elements by creating an impermeable barrier. Its design is based on the concept that water will flow downward without hindrance. Solar panels create blockages that your roof was not designed for initially. Consulting with a roofer will help you to determine if any additional steps need to be taken to ensure the integrity of your roof.

As beneficial as solar panel installation can be for the environment and for your budget, it is not without challenges. These are a few common problems that you may run into, and you can see that they pertain to the roof. Because solar panels are mounted to the roof, it makes sense to ensure that your roof is in good condition and can tolerate this installation before beginning the project. Now is a great time to contact a licensed roofer for more information about preparatory steps that may be needed.

BrookeChaplan
Throughout a typical day, you may use several different types of electronic devices regularly. These devices will eventually wear out or break with heavy use, or they may become obsolete as new technology is introduced. While you could toss old electronics into the trash, they would sit in the landfill for centuries because of a slow rate of decomposition. With some devices, harmful pollutants may enter the environment if they are not disposed of properly. With this in mind, you need to find responsible ways to deal with electronic waste.

Research Laws and Regulations

Before you decide how to proceed, spend time reviewing local laws and regulations that may impact your decision. In some areas, specific types of waste cannot legally be tossed away. Laws may specifically dictate how these items must be dealt with, such as through an electronics recycling program. These programs may be offered through local government organizations or waste management providers in some cases.

Consider Donation

If you are retiring electronics that are still in good condition, these items may be useful to other people. The latest technological devices may be important or essential to you, but slightly older devices with moderately outdated technology may suffice for others. Therefore, donating your items to a charitable organization may be an effective and responsible way to get rid of unwanted electronics. You may even enjoy a tax benefit in exchange for your donation. In some cases, selling these items for a small profit may make sense.

Find a Recycling Station

Depending on the type of electronics that you need to get rid of today, you may be able to recycle them. For example, there are kiosks in many stores that accept used smartphones, and they may even give you a small financial benefit if you recycle your devices in this way. Laptop recycling and other similar programs are also available in some areas. If you cannot find a local program, keep in mind that there are several websites that offer these services as well. Because they accept mail-in items, these options may be suitable regardless of where you live.

Tossing your old electronics in the trash may be the most convenient way to deal with unwanted waste, but this is not the most responsible method available. Depending on the type of electronics that you need to get rid of today, consider how each of these smart tips may help you to find a responsible way to do so.

 
BrookeChaplan
Poor outdoor air quality is a serious concern because it can have both immediate and long-term effects on your health. It is easy to assume that outdoor air quality would not affect you while indoors, but this is not the case. Outdoor pollutants may enter the home through open doors and windows, smaller or larger gaps in the exterior of the home and more. These pollutants can combine with indoor pollutants to create truly unhealthy air quality in your home. By following these essential tips, you can promote healthier indoor air quality at home.

Service Your HVAC System

Your air conditioning and heating system is designed to circulate air throughout the home. By doing so, it also circulates pollutants. Over time, the components may get filthy, and this can contribute to poor indoor air quality. It may also cause energy inefficiency until you schedule heating and air conditioning repair service. In addition to keeping your HVAC system well-maintained, you should replace the air filters regularly for superior air quality.

Use an Air Purifier

Purifying your air essentially means that you are removing pollutants that ultimately may cause illness or disease. By investing in a high-quality air purifier, you can remove many potentially hazardous elements from your home’s air. Keep in mind that plants are natural air purifiers. In addition to having a purifying device, keeping at least a few houseplants in your home can have positive effects.

Keep the Windows and Doors Closed

While trace pollutants may enter your home through small gaps and fissures throughout the exterior, open doors and windows enable pollutants to stream into the home. You may think that opening doors and windows allows fresh air to enter the home, but the opposite may occur. Keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible is most beneficial for indoor air quality in many cases. Replacing seals around exterior doors and windows is also beneficial.

Because you spend many long hours at home each day, you understandably need this air to be as clean and fresh as possible. Both indoor and outdoor pollutants can be problematic, and their level can increase over time. To improve indoor air quality, it is necessary to prevent outdoor pollutants from entering the home as much as well. It is equally essential to remove pollutants through various purification methods. By taking these steps, you can promote a healthier indoor environment and potentially keep many related health issues at bay.


BrookeChaplan
In cities across the country and beyond, there is an increasing push to protect the planet from additional harm and hope that some damage can be reversed. Many cities are taking bold steps to be more environmentally-friendly in various ways, and these efforts may inspire you to make positive changes as well. These are some of the more common ways cities are becoming greener.

Water Conservation

There have been several recent news stories about smaller and larger cities around the world running low on fresh water, so water conservation is understandably a hot topic. Many cities are taking bold steps to conserve water, such as by turning water in a sewage system into sanitized, healthy drinking water. Some cities are collecting rainwater to use for landscape watering, enforcing water conservation laws and more.

Recycling Programs

Government recycling programs have been around for decades, but some cities are much more proactive in this area than they have been in the past. For example, many cities now offer curbside recycling service as well as special collection days for appliances and large items. There are recycling programs for Christmas trees and even special warehouses where old building supplies may be donated for use by others. In government buildings, employees may be required to participate in recycling programs.

Energy Reduction

Another common step that cities are taking to go green involves energy consumption. Increasingly, you will find solar panels on government buildings so that the buildings can generate at least some of the electric power that they need. City buses may likewise run on natural gas or even have electric engines. In addition to these steps, there may be a push to reduce energy consumption, such as through an investment in equipment that uses less energy.

These are only some of the many ways that cities today are going green or becoming greener than they already were. As you explore ways to go green at home, you may look at your city’s efforts for inspiration. For example, you can trade in your car for an electric or hybrid vehicle, and you could install solar panels on your home. You may increase your participation in a recycling program and decrease personal use of electricity and water. While you could make drastic changes right away, even making small improvements regularly can have a huge impact on the planet’s health over time. Look for ways that you can decrease your impact on the environment today, and take action soon.


BrookeChaplan
Many businesses today tout themselves as being green, but they are not always as eco-friendly as they could be. Green businesses have a positive edge in marketing and public relations. Some green efforts, such as installing solar panels on an office building, may offset expenses. However, there is much more involved in going green from a commercial perspective than using solar energy. Active management and regular improvements are required to run a business that is truly eco-friendly, and special attention in these specific areas is required.

The Impact of Logistics

Producing and packaging products as well as getting them to market can create a tremendous amount of pollution and produce unnecessary waste. Actively focusing your attention on improving logistics is essential. This can include investing in communications equipment from companies like altechradio.com and business software specific to your industry. For example, rather than ship your products on diesel trucks, you may use hybrid or electric trucks. This is only one of many ways that you may improve logistics to run your business in a more environmentally-friendly way.

The Production of Eco-Friendly Products

Even when you run a green company, your products may be a major source of pollution. Consider if your products produce waste when they are used by your customers or if they are bad for the environment in any other way. Perhaps they are not usually recycled and wind up in the landfill a few years later. Look for ways to improve your products so that consumers can continue to enjoy their benefits without contributing to pollution and other environmental concerns.

An Improvement in Internal Operations

To run a green company, you also should analyze your company’s regular operations and processes. Look for inefficient processes that may lead to pollution and that may easily be improved. For example, if your workers in the field normally drive around a work area in a motorized vehicle to communicate, simply investing in two-way radios can improve productivity, eliminate unnecessary pollution and conserve energy. Reviewing your current operations and processes regularly is an important first step. Finding these implements can be as easy as searching online for something like “two way radios in NYC” and shopping around locally. Keep in mind that new technologies are being unveiled regularly, and these may help you to continue to improve in this area going forward.

With numerous benefits associated with running a green business, it makes sense to continually work toward improvements in this area. While some companies are content to simply install solar panels, you can see that there are many additional steps that you can take to take your environmentally-friendly business to the next level. A smart idea is to make steady improvements over time as new opportunities become available.

BrookeChaplan
Cranking up the thermostat is one of the most common ways for people to stay warm indoors throughout the winter, but this is also one of the most expensive methods. You may not be able to afford to use your heating system as much as you would like to this winter, or you may not want to spend a fortune unnecessarily. The good news is that there are several effective ways for you to stay warmer at home without relying heavily on your furnace.

Keep Your Heater Well-Maintained

Your heater will use more energy to heat your home when it is not well-maintained. Consider those dirty or worn out components may reduce efficiency, causing your heater to work harder than necessary. Scheduling residential heating maintenance services annually is a wonderful way to improve efficiency and to save money when your heater is running.

Re-Seal Doors and Windows Annually

You may decrease the frequency with which your heater turns on by re-sealing your home’s doors and windows annually. When heated air escapes from cracks in these seals, your heater may need to run more frequently to keep your home warm. This unnecessarily increases heating-related energy costs. In addition, cool air may penetrate through these seals, and this could create draughts that can be uncomfortably chilly. Re-sealing doors and windows is an affordable project that may deliver a great financial return.

Add More Insulation to the Walls and Attic

Another idea is to supplement your home’s existing insulation with an extra layer. Some homes are built with low-quality insulation, so upgrading the insulation may have incredible benefits on energy efficiency and overall comfort in the home. If your home is older, the insulation may have deteriorated or been damaged. Adding more insulation may be essential for superior warmth indoors. Spray-in foam may be particularly effective. While this step requires a significant financial investment, the return over the years can be substantial.

You can see that relying solely on your heater to keep you warm in the winter can be expensive and may not be as effective as it could be. Each of these steps can reduce home heating costs while improving your comfort level indoors. Keep in mind that wearing warmer clothes indoors, burning a fire in the fireplace, sitting underneath a blanket and drinking warm beverages may also have a beneficial impact on your comfort throughout the winter. Consider combining all of these ideas for a comprehensive approach and exceptional results.


BrookeChaplan
Many people are increasingly concerned about the environment, and they have already taken substantial efforts to change their own lifestyle. For example, many drivers have traded in gas-guzzlers for more fuel-efficient vehicles, and buying organic, locally-sourced foods is increasingly common. You may not realize it, but the local infrastructure in your area also plays a major role in global conservation efforts. These are some of the many ways that your local infrastructure is essential to a healthy planet.

Effective Recycling Programs

Your local municipal services may include a recycling program. Some municipalities provide recycling facilities where you can drop off your items at a convenient time around your own schedule, and they may also have collection bins located around town so that you do not have to drive as far to drop off your items. Other cities have curbside pickup at your home at least once or twice per week. In some cases, participation in recycling programs is mandatory. The effectiveness of these campaigns directly links to pollution on a global scale.

Convenient Public Transportation Options

A considerable amount of pollution is generated through the use of personal vehicles. Public transportation enables local residents to get around town while minimizing the amount of pollution that is generated as a result. Some cities only offer public bus service. Others also have light rail, subways, public-use bikes, public-use motorized scooters and more. Some of these methods also may have an impact on the use of non-renewable fossil fuels as well. These public services also require the help of companies like icunj.us for engineering work that facilitates their transportation plans.

Well-Maintained Public Water System

Fresh water is in short supply in many areas, so keeping the public water supply well-maintained is essential. Consider that a small leak in a water main line may go unnoticed for many months, and this allows a considerable amount of fresh water to be lost. In addition, sewage waste must be well-contained to prevent unnecessary contamination in the environment. Trenchless sewer repair is a one way that wastewater pipes may be repaired, and this method has minimal impact on the local environment. For relevant local information, you can search something like ‘trenchless sewer repair for industrial roads in NJ’ and see what these services entail.

The health of the entire planet may seem to be a much larger issue than you have control over. However, each individual effort, as well as the localized efforts at a citywide level, can play a major role in environmental conservation. Keep in mind that you only have control over your actions, so doing your best to promote a healthy environment is essential. In addition to improving personal efforts, consider being a catalyst for change in your community.


Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0