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Helping to make our society more green and energy independent one blog post at a time

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LizzieWeakley

5 Cooling Tips to Keep Your Home Comfortable and Energy-Efficient This Summer.JPG

The dog days of summer are almost upon you. This means that you need to find creative ways to survive those hot days and nights. Make your home your refuge by employing some of these strategies.

 

Invest in Fans

The whole purpose behind fans is to circulate the air around your home. You have two options when it comes to investing in fans for your home. Window fans are a good option for you to cool your home down over night. You can either vent out hot air or bring in cooler air. Another solution is to install ceiling fans around your home to make the room feel a little cooler.

 

Seal out Drafts

There are lots of ways that hot air settles in your home. Once it’s there, it can be difficult to remove. The best solution is to prevent as much hot air as possible from getting inside. Add insulation into areas of your home that are lacking. Upgrade your windows or at the very least, seal them up against the intrusion of the outside air.

 

Windows Provide Free Air Conditioning

Opening your windows up at night is another great way to bring down the temperature in your home. You may want to look into a locking mechanism that will allow you to leave your windows open all night safely. Close the windows in the morning so that you can trap the cooler air inside your home. Another way to block out the heat is to use your curtains to limit the amount of solar radiation that enters your home during the day.

 

Service Your AC Unit

An air conditioning unit that hasn’t been serviced in a while may not be operating at peak efficiency. This could be costing you a significant amount of money on your electric bill each month. Look into companies like HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric. They can make sure that your ac is up to par for the summer heat.

 

Get Ahead of the Heat

The cumulative effect of day after day of heat in your home makes it harder to keep cool. Program your thermostat at a moderate temperature so that you can avoid these spikes. Your unit only has to work harder when it needs to drastically cool your home down.

 

Sleeping in a hot house is uncomfortable. If you have kids, this may become impossible. Use these tips to help you have a cooler, more efficient home this summer.

LizzieWeakley

The Industrial Workplace 5 Ways to Make it More Energy-Efficient.JPG

Making an industrial workplace more energy efficient can seem like an impossible task. Don’t get overwhelmed. There are things you can do to ensure your workplace is as energy efficient as possible.

Consider Your Heating and Cooling Source

If you’re heating and cooling your industrial workspace, you could be wasting a lot of energy. Unless it absolutely needs to be heated or cooled, you should make sure you are using as little energy as possible on the heating and cooling. If you absolutely need to have your space climate controlled, you should consider using a system that is more energy efficient.

Try a New Transformer

If you don’t have an industrial transformer, your industrial workplace is not as efficient as it could be. You need to make sure the transformer is designed for the things you need and that has to be a part of what you use to make it the best it can be. You also need to consider where it is and how much of a load there is on it. Even industrial transformers might get overloaded if you don’t have the right size.

Upgrade Your Equipment

The equipment you use in your industrial workplace can have a huge impact on the energy in the workplace. It’s important to be sure you’re using the right equipment that has the most energy efficiency. No matter what you plan on using, you can get better efficiency if you have the best equipment possible.

Get Employees Involved

In an industrial workplace, employees doing things can make a huge difference. By getting employees involved, you can help them make the right choices to lower their energy usage. You may also even be able to reward them for the best energy usage options if you want.

Take Very Small Steps

Small steps can make a huge difference for people who are in an industrial space that is big. It’s a good idea to take small steps to help your workplace save energy and get more options from the efficiency. There are things you can do—like getting automatic restroom lights—that will save energy in your building. Small steps can make a world of difference.

While there are many things you can do to help increase the efficiency of your industrial workplace, using all these steps will make it the best it can be. It’s a good idea to try different things to see which works for your efficiency.

LizzieWeakley

The Warehouse Business How to Keep Operations Energy-Efficient.JPG

The warehouse is a very important element of the supply chain for nearly any company that produces a tangible product. However, a lot of money can also be lost with how businesses maintain their warehouses. Part of this loss comes from a lack of energy efficiency. This inefficiency can also have a negative impact on the environment. With this in mind, below are some strategies you can use to keep your warehouse operations more energy efficient.

Update Warehouse Lighting

One of the biggest expenses and energy wasters for warehouses is lighting. Heating and lighting together account for 64 percent of energy use in most warehouses. Investigate different strategies for bringing lighting costs down. Implement more cost efficient choices like LED and T5 lighting. Also add motion sensors so lighting is only activated when it’s needed. If your warehouse is automated, you may not need to run the lights at all.

 

Update Warehouse Heating

Heating costs also take up a large portion of warehouse expense. Old furnaces and boilers do not run very well. They expend a lot of energy to heat a huge space like a warehouse very slowly. You should consider updating to a more energy efficient choice such as a fire tube steam boiler. Such a boiler can provide more energy efficiency compared to other boiler designs thanks to the use of many small tubes that provide more surface area to be heated for the same amount of boiler volume.

 

Check Windows and Doors

Temperature control is a big expense for warehouses. If a warehouse is not kept at a specific temperature, it may result in the spoilage of the goods stored within. Energy use for heat and air conditioning to maintain those temperatures in such a big space can be substantial. One way to lower the burden of your heating and cooling system is to check windows and doors in the warehouse to see if there are any gaps allowing cool or warm air to escape. Installing things like weather stripping may fix the problem.

 

Overall, you may not be aware of all the many different ways your warehouse is wasting energy. This can impact the environment as well as your bottom line. Make sure to perform efficiency audits on a routine basis to assess if there are any steps you can take to increase your warehouse’s energy efficiency. You may be oblivious to some of the lead causes of your warehouse’s energy inefficiency.

LizzieWeakley

Efficient DIY, How to Install Solar Panels on Your Home.jpegSolar panel installation is becoming a major sensation among some of the smartest property owners out there. If you’re a property owner who is serious about minimizing energy expenses and doing great things for the environment in general, then you’re without a doubt a strong candidate for residential solar panel installation.

Think in Detail About Your Roof

If you want to install home solar panels without a hitch, you need to think things through carefully in advance. Determine whether your roof can accommodate solar panels in the first place. Roofs that are usually under the shade may not be the best fits for these panels. If you realize that your roof isn’t optimal for solar panel installation, you may want to learn about community options that may be accessible in your area.

Get Your Property Ready for the Installation Process

It’s critical to get your property 100 percent ready for the installation process. Think about residential enhancements that can cater to your designated power system and solar panels. Contact a professional to schedule an in-depth roofing system evaluation. It’s vital to ensure that your roofing system can manage any and all upcoming load requirements. Analyze home renovation ideas that may be on the horizon for you, too.

Determine the Solar Type That’s Optimal for Your Property

People can pick between a couple of key solar panel choices. These are thermal and photovoltaic paths. Both technologies work differently. Thermal employs sunlight for air and water heating applications. Photovoltaic, on the other hand, employs groups of cells as a means of transforming sunlight and making it electrical. If you employ significant amounts of energy for residential heating applications, thermal technology may be ideal for your lifestyle. That’s because it may pay off particularly rapidly.

Search for Capable and Seasoned Installation Professionals

It’s crucial to seek professional assistance from experienced, knowledgeable and dependable solar panel installation experts. Look for businesses that are equipped with all necessary certifications and licenses. Look for businesses that have choice track records in your area, too. Never give your time to a solar panel installation company that doesn’t make you feel completely comfortable. Request helpful references from recent installation customers.

Solar panel installation can give you a future that’s all about energy efficiency. If you want to install solar panels in a reliable and effective manner, however, you need to recruit suitable professionals for the job. Rock-solid installation work is paramount.

LizzieWeakley

pexels-photo-325702.jpeg?auto=compress&c

Earth Day is a reminder that our environment is threatened and we should get inspired to do something about it. There are still the over-optimistic types who insist that it’s a lot of fuss about nothing, or that science will find the answers. If you really care about the Earth, or people for that matter, you know we can’t afford to stand around and hope for the best. Here are five major environmental threats and what you do about them.

Global Warming

Overall temperatures around the world have been on the rise for years now. While the measurement in degrees is small, it still means melting icecaps, rising seas, erratic weather, and the ultimate destruction of many species. The main culprit seems to be greenhouse gases. You can do your part by taking steps to conserve energy and fuels to lower production of these gases.

Deforestation

Trees across the world’s forests play an essential part in taking contaminants out of the air. The world’s forests and jungles are disappearing at an alarming rate as more trees are cut down to provide agricultural land, paper products, and timbers for building. Start using reclaimed wood or sustainable materials like bamboo and recycled cardboard and paper. It’s also a good idea to support any efforts to plant new trees.

Pollution

Vehicle and industrial fumes permeate our air and drift around the world, while our own trash seeps into the soil as land contamination. In some urban centers like Mexico City and L.A., the air can even be dangerous to breathe on bad smog days. Support efforts to introduce cleaner emission standards. Promote recycling programs at home and at work to reduce the amount of garbage.

Losing Biodiversity

Every species in the world plays a part in its own ecosystem. But many of them are dying off, which can disrupt entire food chains. Vanishing creatures like common bees are important to agriculture. Some of the major causes are loss of natural habitats and the use of pesticides. Do your part to support wildlife conservation efforts, organic solutions, and reforestation.

Dead Zones at Sea

Pollution and over-fishing are also having an alarming impact on our oceans. Species are vanishing there, too. Along our coasts, there are numerous regions where there isn’t enough oxygen left in the water to support life.

The biggest contributor to this is run-off from chemical fertilizers and hydrocarbons. To help, you can take an active role in opposing the use of these compounds, and volunteering for clean-up whenever chemical or oil spills threaten our shores.

Another troubling factor is the soaring human population on our planet. More people add up to more garbage and more demand on the environment. That also makes it more important that all of us do our part to protect it

LizzieWeakley

Summer Home Improvement 5 Ways to Create Renewable Energy.JPG

You can install a few key items in your home in order to create more renewable energy sources. Some of these things you may already have seen around your own neighborhood. Others are a little more suited to living farther out in your community. Here are some of the ways that you can create renewable energy at your own home.

Solar Panels

Installing solar panels is one of the more common means for homeowners to become energy independent. There are even tax rebates that make this option more affordable for the average installation project. Look into using electrical contractors so that you can get the job done right.

Solar Shingles

A newer take on the solar panel solution is with solar shingle options. These shingles are more reflective in nature than the standard shingles. They function in a similar capacity as their solar panel counterparts. The only distinction is the appearance on your home.

Wind Turbine Possibilities

You may live in an area that would allow you to install a wind turbine system. In some areas of the country, windmill farms are common. This works better on slightly hilly terrain or other high wind areas. The power generated by these windmills can be used to power not only your home, but a whole city.

Geothermal Applications

The implications of geothermal power could revolutionize how you heat or cool your home. A pump is installed that will circulate the air temperature from the earth itself into your home. This works because the temperature in the earth is fairly consistent year round. The pumps also use less energy than standard pumping systems. This makes them more reliable and longer lasting.

Hydropower Generation

In some areas of the country, hydropower is more readily available. You don’t have to live next to a large river in order to harness some of the benefits of hydropower. A water wheel is another way that you can generate a little bit of extra electricity. Micro hydropower is a new take on this process. Groundwater can be used to aid in the generation of renewable energy.

You have to consider your geography as well as the climate to find a source of renewable energy that will provide the most benefit for your home. Investing in any one of these options may more than pay for itself over time. Do some research so that you can find the right home improvement project this summer for a more sustainable future.

LizzieWeakley

Make Your Neighborhood Green 5 Ways You Can Help Clean up Your Community.JPG

 

Is your community a little bit of a mess and want to give back by cleaning it up? Fortunately, there are a wide variety of ways you can work to make your neighborhood green again. Here are a few ways you can clean up your local community, from picking up litter to cleaning up after pets.

Pick up Litter

One of the best ways you can make your neighborhood green again is to pick up litter. Over time, litter tends to start growing on the sidewalks and pathways of your town. However, you can take some time to pick up litter on the weekends to clean up your community. Consider assembling a small team to pick up litter during the weekend to clean up your community more efficiently.

Start a Community Garden

Another way you can make your neighborhood green again is to start a community garden. Talk to your friends and family about planting fresh vegetables and fruits in a garden in your community. Plus, this community will help build lasting friendships, while contributing to a greener community.

Recycle

If you don’t want to pick up litter or start a community garden, consider starting to recycle trash in your home. By using skips, you can ensure that your trash gets reused through recycling. Although recycling might seem like a hassle, recycling waste in your home can lower your carbon emissions and promote a healthier way of tossing trash out. Not to mention, it will help your community as well.

Talk to Your Neighbors

You should talk to your neighbors to keep your neighborhood green. By conversing with your neighbors, you can promote living healthier among your community. Hopefully, with their help, your neighborhood can stay healthier and live greener as a community.

Clean up after Pets

Another way you can keep your community clean is to clean up after pets. Not only does this mean your pets, but others as well. Animal feces can be dangerous to the environment, and other animals as well. By cleaning up pet feces in your community, you can ensure it says green and healthy for everyone in it.

 

There are a number of ways you can work to make your community green again. From picking up litter to cleaning up after pets, here are just a few ways you can clean up your community. Hopefully, with the help of the tips above, you can work to keep your community clean, once and for all.

LizzieWeakley

Home Makeover How to Give Your Home an Updated and Energy-Efficient Aesthetic.JPG

There are lots of reasons that updating your home may be the right move to make right now. You can even have your upgrades decrease the overall energy usage of your home. Energy efficient items have come a long way when it comes to looks and the technology utilized. Doing these upgrades can improve the appearance of your home and save you some money in the process.

Change Your Roofing Material

If you roof is looking a little ratty around the edges, replace it with a newer version. A metal roof may be the right solution for you. This long lasting type of material is made to withstand the ages. It also makes it easier for the snow to slide off. You could also replace your roof with cool shingles that reflect a large portion of the sun’s rays away from your home.

Increase Window Efficiency

As windows age they start to lose some of their insulating properties. Look into window repair so that you can improve the energy efficiency and the appearance of your old windows. For older single pane windows, change them out with a two or three pane solution. This will reduce the amount of drafts and noise that enters your home on a daily basis. You have a variety of styles to choose from when it comes to replacing your windows.

Replace Worn out Appliances

Old appliances tend to waste a lot of energy. You may have noticed that your refrigerator is running almost constantly. Replace it with a more energy efficient model. New appliances also have the perk of being more attractive than your old ones. This could be the first step to getting you started on your minor kitchen remodel.

Install New Light Fixtures

Changing out the light fixtures in your home can improve the style of any room. Replace those old bulbs with ones that are LED. They consume less energy than the incandescent or fluorescent varieties. Another benefit is that they can last longer so that you won’t have to replace them so often.

Even if you have a relatively new home, you may be able to gain some benefit by performing an energy audit. This can give you a jumping off point for any upgrades that may need to be performed around your house. Being more energy conscious doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice style. There are lots of energy efficient options that can improve the appearance of your home.

LizzieWeakley

The Green Business How Companies Can Help Clean up the Environment.JPG

Two of the biggest threats to the world today are global warming and pollution. If these threats are to be averted, action is required from all sectors of civilization. The business world certainly shoulder’s a large portion of this responsibility. Just because you own a business does not mean your impact on the environment has to be cumulatively negative. Below are a few ways companies can help to clean up the environment.

 

Convert to Paperless

One of the biggest impacts businesses have on the environment is the amount of paper they waste. Offices in the United States use a whopping 12.1 trillion pieces of paper every year. That much paper requires scores of trees to be cleared. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Anything that can be printed out can be replicated as digital files. Certainly consider going paperless at all levels of your company.

 

Recycle As Much As Possible

Many companies create an inordinate amount of waste during the production processes used to create the products they sell to consumers. This waste goes on to be buried in landfills and presents a long term threat to the environment and even the safety of human beings through contamination to underground water supplies. While it may seem like a cliché, you should try to recycle as much as possible. Obtain skip bins for recycling and research exactly how much of your waste can be shipped off to a recycling center.

 

Purchase Carbon Offsets

In some cases, it’s unrealistic for companies to have no impact on the environment due to the production processes needed to create their product or service. However, it is still possible for those companies to take action to help offset that negative impact. For the amount of carbon you release into the atmosphere, your company can invest in an equal amount of carbon emissions reduction in another location. This way, your own negative impact is negated.

 

Organize a Carpool

Another way companies negatively affect the environment is indirectly through all the carbon that must be released into the atmosphere to allow employees to commute to and from work. Consider organizing a carpool program for your employees. It can lower your employees’ impact on air quality significantly.

 

Businesses are responsible for a good amount of the pollution on earth. They have a huge responsibility to help solve problems like pollution and global warming. Make sure your company is doing its part to solve these serious problems.

LizzieWeakley

Smart Home 5 Features to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient This Summer.JPG

Keeping your home cool during the summer can be challenging and costly during heat waves. All of that summer heat tends to build up inside your home and make it feel like an oven. You can employ some simple techniques to make your home more comfortable this summer. Another benefit is that you can also make your home more energy efficient.

Service Your HVAC

Your HVAC unit is like any other appliance in your home. If it isn’t cared for properly, it can start to experience problems. Consider using a company like Custom Comfort to give your HVAC unit a checkup. This will ensure that your AC can function in the most energy efficient manner possible when you do decide to use it.

Set Your Thermostat

Allowing your home to become too warm can make your AC less efficient. This is because it has to work that much harder to cool your house down to the proper temperature. Set your thermostat to a more consistent temperature. This will prevent your AC from having to work double time.

Replace Drafty Windows

Warm air leaking into your home can cause the temperature to start to rise. Those drafty windows are letting in a lot of hot air during the summer months. Replace them with more energy efficient models so that you can cut down on the air exchange in your home.

Beef up the Insulation

Add insulation into the attic, crawlspace, and above the garage of your home. You may want to consider adding insulation into your walls if you have an older home. This will increase the overall energy efficiency of your house. You may be surprised at how comfortable your home can be when it’s properly insulated.

Use Natural Cooling Methods

One of the more overlooked solutions to increasing the energy efficiency of your home is to use free methods of cooling it. Open up those new windows at night to let in cool air and release the warm air. You may want to use a window fan to facilitate the air exchange. A fan is much more cost effective than running the AC.

 

There are other ways that you can make your home more energy efficient. Painting it a lighter color or replacing the roof with a lighter shingle also help. Adding landscaping that provides a little bit of cover is another solution. You may want to use several methods so that you can reap the most energy efficiency.

LizzieWeakley

Community Cleanup How to Safely Recycle Scrap Metal.JPG

If you are renovating your house, getting rid of an appliance or otherwise have come into possession of scrap metal, it is important to dispose of it safely. It is also important that you know how to store it safely to reduce the odds of anyone getting hurt while it is in your possession. What are some tips to follow when recycling scrap metal?

 

Wear Safety Equipment When Carrying It

Copper wire, metal from a gutter or any other type of scrap metal could come with sharp edges. Should those edges come into contact with bare skin, it could result in a significant laceration. Therefore, be sure to wear gloves, clothing that doesn’t leave exposed skin and goggles.

 

Make Sure It Isn’t Electrically Charged

Certain types of metal can retain an electric charge, which could lead to anything from a minor electric shock to complete electrocution. Therefore, check to see that any metal coming off of a house or that is located near a power line does not have a charge prior to picking it up. This can be done by using a voltmeter or similar tool that you may have in your garage.

 

Store It in a Bin that Children Can’t Climb Into

Scrap metal should always be stored in a secure location before sending it to the junkyard. In addition to keeping the metal out of the reach of pets and children, it also makes it easier to keep your yard clear of junk. Depending on where you live, you could be the victim of scrap metal theft if it is left in the open.

 

Call a Professional to Have the Metal Hauled Away

Visiting websites such as http://www.bigdaddyscrap.com can put you in touch with a professional who can haul way your copper, aluminum or other scrap metal. This may be ideal for those who don’t have access to a truck or who otherwise can’t bring it to a junkyard themselves. Those who opt to go this route can get still get paid for the material that they give to a scrap metal collecting company.

 

In large enough quantities, scrap metal can be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. Furthermore, homeowners or other property owners can clear away material that they can’t otherwise use. This helps the community because it means that homes or buildings in the area are less of an eyesore, which can improve property values in a given neighborhood or business district.

LizzieWeakley

Stay Cool 5 Ways to Enjoy Energy Efficiency This Summer.JPG

The heat of the summer can start to get you down. You may be relying on your air conditioning to see you through it. This can start to add up for your monthly expenses. Here are some ways that you can stay cool and minimize your electric bill.

 

Eliminate Unnecessary Heat Generation

Cook your food during the cooler parts of the day. Running your oven can heat up your whole house. Either prepare your food ahead of time or invest in cool food options during those really hot days. Do your laundry at night so that you aren’t generating any more heat than is necessary.

 

Service Your Air Conditioner

Have your air conditioner serviced on a yearly basis. Companies like Alabama Climate Control will be able to get your unit in top operating condition. Another thing to keep it running efficiently is to change out the filters each month. An air conditioner that is more efficient can save on the overall energy consumption.

 

Program Your Thermostat

Set your thermostat so that your home doesn’t get too warm. This can cause your unit to be less efficient if it has to work overtime to bring your home down to temperature. You can save some money by setting it to a point that isn’t too cool. Having a programmable thermostat can also make your home more energy efficient.

 

Use Window Treatments to Advantage

Block out those rays from the sun. They will only cause your home to heat up quickly. Open up your windows once the sun has gone down for the day to use some natural air conditioning. Using your windows at night can dramatically reduce your electric bill from the air conditioning.

 

Circulate the Air

Fans are a great way to circulate the cooler air in your home. The point is to keep you comfortable without having to employ more costly measures. Set up window fans so that you can more quickly cool your home at night. Trap that cooler air inside so that your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard during the day.

 

You can enjoy a cooler home that doesn’t eat into your budget just by trying out a few simple things. Be mindful of how much heat you generate in your home each day. Plan ahead accordingly to take the outside temperature into consideration. Use nighttime cooling to enable your home to get back down to the right temperature so that you can stay cool.

LizzieWeakley

The Warehouse Environment How to Make Sure Your Facility Has Clean Air Circulation.JPG

 

The four most basic necessities of sustaining human life are clean air, water and food, sunlight, and shelter. While, here in the highly-developed United States, people use many more things on a regular basis, these four necessities are always present.

 

Fortunately, the United States is known as having generally clean air, with most cities having objectively clean air, ranked as “Good” by the Real-Time Air Quality Index. In and around workplaces, particularly indoor workplaces, air quality typically isn’t as clean. Here are a few ways to improve and maintain air quality in your warehouse environment.

 

Implementing a Sally Port near Loading Docks

Exhaust fumes from vehicles, especially big, powerful vehicles like 18-wheelers, are undeniably harmful to the human body. Even though most loading docks are open to the outdoors, fumes wafting inside dirty air quality.

 

Sally ports, a term most commonly associated with rooms used to inboard criminals from police vehicles, are intermediaries that cut out practically all vehicle exhaust from entering warehouses.

Although constructing them might be expensive and time-consuming, not to mention disruptive to business, using sally ports when loading and unloading shipments can effectively maintain high air quality.

 

Forklifts Are to Blame for Bad Air Quality

Virtually every warehouse on planet Earth is home to at least one forklift. However, due to businesses’ inherent desire to cut costs, forklifts typically feature poor or no exhaust filters. Besides, forklifts are notoriously non-green, anyways. Many air filters for forklifts are available. Considering that being friendly towards the environment is “in,” and more popular than ever before, businesses like Kruman Equipment Company have filtration systems to help with the exhaust.

 

Manufacturing Sometimes Is Associated with Dust

Whenever objects are cut, sawed, or otherwise split into pieces, tiny particles are prone to dispersing throughout the air. Most often, such objects are cut indoors. Ceramic, when its tiny airborne particles are breathed, can cause serious damage to human lungs. That’s why tile saws utilize water—to prevent the spread of such particles.

 

Consider containing your warehouse’s particular byproducts in a similar fashion. Filters, vacuums, and closed-off cutting areas are each effective means of promoting clean air quality. Modular factory offices are widely available, and are unarguably the most effective means of keeping particles out of the air.

Ultimately, employees power businesses. Without being able to hire others, businesses’ output levels would be notoriously small. Keeping employees healthy should, and generally is, high on organizations’ list of priorities.

LizzieWeakley

5 Ways to Enjoy Energy Efficient Air Conditioning This Summer.JPG

In the summer, air conditioning is essential in creating a comfortable indoor environment for you and your family. When it’s hot and humid outside, you can crank up your home’s air conditioning to stay cool. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), however, heating and cooling accounts for nearly half of the average U.S. Home’s energy usage. Thankfully, you can stay cool this summer without spending a fortune on energy bills by following some simple steps.

Change the Air Filter

One of the easiest ways to keep your home’s air conditioning working efficiently is to change the filter every 60 to 90 days. The filter is designed to catch dust and dirt while still allowing air to pass through. As this debris accumulates, however, it can restrict the flow of air and force your system to work harder.

Check Condenser Coil

The condenser coil is responsible for extracting heat from inside your home. When it’s clogged, the system won’t be able to run efficiently, thus raising your home’s energy usage. While you can often remove superficial dirt and debris by spraying your system’s condenser coil with a garden hose, you’ll need the services of a professional HVAC company like Alabama Climate Control to clean a severely clogged coil.

Inspect Ducts

When was the last time that you inspected the ducts in your air conditioning system? If they are damaged with visible holes or tears, cooled air will escape and reduce the overall efficiency of your system. Another problem with ducts is a lack of insulation. A healthy air conditioning system should have well-insulated ducts to minimize loss of thermal energy.

Programming Your Thermostat

You can also save money on cooling costs this summer by programming your thermostat. If there’s no one occupying your home during the day, for example, you can set the temperature higher to save energy. And when family members return in the evening, you can set the temperature lower to create a comfortable environment.

Don’t Block Vents

Finally, check the air vents in your home to ensure they aren’t blocked. A large sofa or dresser can restrict airflow and reduce your system’s efficiency. All vents should be accessible and unobstructed for maximum performance.

You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for low utility bills this summer. The five tips described here can improve the efficiency of your home’s air conditioning.

LizzieWeakley

The green and clean.jpg

All over the country, people are looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly and encourage others to be a part of the process. Here are some of the best ways you can work together with your neighborhood to become a green and clean community!

 

Carpool

Did you know that U.S. Car owners spend about $900 a month on car expenses alone? Starting a neighborhood carpool can save you and your community money, and lessen the carbon footprint of the neighborhood. If there are kids in your neighborhood going to the same school, a weekly carpool where parents alternate days taking the children is a great place to start.

 

Organize a Community Clean Up

Cleaning up debris around the neighborhood is a great way to get everyone to work together to restore and freshen up the area. Over recent years, the recycling industry has adopted new methods of recycling that are more sustainable. For example, Green Bins is a recycling company that supplies people with eco-friendly options for removing waste.

 

Eat Local

Locate your local farmer’s markets and tell your neighbors about them. They usually happen once a week and tend to be on the weekends, so load everyone up in one car and head out to support your local businesses. This is not only good for the local economy, it will encourage everyone around you to eat more healthily.

 

Start a Community Compost Pile

Composting is a natural way of recycling food waste and can give your community garden a boost of nutrients. Gardeners call it “Black Gold”. To start a compost pile, find a large container to store your food waste. It will break down and can be given to gardeners in the community to help treat their soil.

 

Recycle Properly

Most of us know that you should recycle but don’t know exactly how to recycle properly. Organizing a get together with your neighborhood on waste management and recycling can help get everyone involved in creating a more sustainable community.

 

Getting the community together to share ideas on sustainable living is not only good for the planet, it is good for enhancing human connection. With all the time spent indoors and with technology it is easier now than ever to become disconnected from each other. Working together as a community can build a support network in which everyone is helping to contribute to a better and more fulfilling future.

LizzieWeakley

How Going Solar Can Make Your Home More Energy Efficient.JPG

The benefits of going solar are pretty incredible. You can make your home a lot more energy efficient by simply making use of solar panels. Here’s how it works, and why you’ll want to consider getting them put up on your own house.

How They Work

First, the solar panels will need to be placed over your roof. Then, you can sit back and expect them to do all of the work for you. It’s that simple.

The sun will provide the panels with the light they need. This will be the same light that you and your family make use of daily inside of your home. Solar panels do a remarkable job of acquiring sunlight, even on overcast days when the sky is full of clouds. As a matter of fact, the sun’s rays don’t have to directly rest over the panels. The light will still be absorbed by them. This is another great aspect of solar power that’s of considerable interest to websites like SolarPanelStore.com.

You Can Save Money

Going solar is inevitably going to save you a lot of your hard-earned money in the long run. Why’s that? You’ll no longer be relying on your old energy for light. That’s right. This means your energy bills will be a thing of the past.

Maybe you want to have your friends over to watch an important football or basketball game. You’ll be paying for the electricity that’s being used to broadcast the game on your television, and you’re planning to buy pizza and wings for the event, too. You’ll even have to spend extra gas money to pick up a friend, who lives a little too far away.

Using solar power won’t cost you anything, so you can feel free to turn on your lights and leave them on all night if your party ends up lasting that long. Saving a little money here and there may not seem like a big deal now, but even small expenses truly do add up over time. Also, you’ll have the option to spend that money you saved on something a little more exciting than energy.

These days, it can be particularly difficult to make enough money to provide for both your needs and your wants. That being said, you need to make sure that you aren’t paying for any expense that isn’t absolutely necessary. Energy is one of them, so you should consider switching over to solar power as soon as possible. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

LizzieWeakley

Community Cleanup 5 Ways You Can Help Keep the Environment Green and Clean.JPG

We too often think of the environment as someone else’s problem—automobile manufacturers, oil refineries, and power plants, for example. But we each have a personal responsibility to help keep Mother Nature healthy and happy. We as individuals can contribute to a green, clean environment in more ways than you might expect.

The Last Straw

Did you know plastic straws are one of the most widespread environmental hazards? According to the article “Straws: Why They Seriously Suck,” more than 500 million straws are used daily in the U.S. Alone. They’re not biodegradable, and they can’t be recycled. But you can stop using them at home and/or switch to reusable straws. Carry reusable straws in your glove compartment and forgo the plastic in your next chocolate shake!

Stash Your Trash

The fact that how and where you dispose of your trash matters is an environmental no-brainer. You no doubt dispose of everything from paper to yard waste to bald tires. Dispose of those items the right way, recycling any- and everything you can via environmentally aware service providers like Tri-State Disposal. Many of these vendors will even supply dumpsters to safely dispose of large hauls.

Single out Single Use

Single-use items like sandwich bags and disposable razors represent a huge problem for the environment. You can reduce that problem by a) reusing single-use items, or B) not using them at all. There are, after all, so many sustainable alternatives: cloth shopping bags, ceramic go cups. You can even buy reusable sandwich wraps.

Douse the Old Wood Stove

Wood stoves generate carcinogenic particulate matter that can harm not only your family, but the whole neighborhood. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services lists wood stove smoke as a public health hazard and significant pollutant. The solution? Replace your old stove with an EPA-certified, clean-burning, efficient wood stove designed for complete combustion.

Add Your Plants

On the positive side, you can add to the planet’s environmental health by plugging in trees and native plants. Not only are they pretty, but they help clean the air. Plus, native plants—i.e., those native to your particular area—conserve water and benefit local wildlife.

 

The bottom line is that the environment in which we live is important. It is not just for the health of the area, but for our own personal health as well. We are all responsible to protect and keep the environment clean as much as possible.

LizzieWeakley

Power Monitoring Solutions How to Make Sure Your Business Stays Energy Efficient.JPG

When it comes to energy efficiency, it can really affect how successful your business is. If you require a lot of heavy equipment, he costs for maintaining them can add up quickly. This can cause you to have to take out extra capital to pay for it, tying up your potential investments. This means you could lose out on opportunities to grow quickly. To avoid this, make sure you’re monitoring your power and keeping your company energy efficient the right solutions.

Dual Phase Converters

When you have heavy duty industrial machinery, you need a way for it to convert its power. A single phase converter doesn’t do as much as a dual phase, meaning you overload the system and grid more. It also becomes more difficult to monitor. By having dual phase power you can have one phase providing electricity while the other measures the change in power distribution and efficiency.

Switchboards

In your control room, you can achieve a lot for your energy efficiency by having a quality monitoring station. Part of this station should include switchboards. Not only do they let you switch different machines on and off, but also send those signals to a central monitoring device.

Flexible Transformers

Having the right transformers can have a big impact on how energy efficient your business is. Items like Rogowski coils offered by Aim Dynamics are an example of coils that allow you to place your equipment anywhere that you need to while enjoy power savings. While the monthly number may seem small in the beginning, transformers can offer advantages that add up over time.

Window Monitoring

Your windows and doors are some of the biggest leaks of energy efficiency that you are going to have in your company’s offices and factories. Place monitoring solutions on them such as Nest that allow you to see how efficient they are. Consider replacing them for more efficient versions if necessary.

Temperature Control

Today’s brick and mortar businesses require a lot more power than they used to. This can be a disadvantage if you are a smaller company just starting out. It can also be difficult to deal with if you would prefer to have other items to invest in for your company’s growth. Free up additional time, resources, and funds spent on traditional power monitoring by looking into the tactics described above. It could be a major positive turning point for you and your business.

LizzieWeakley

4 Reasons Your Office Should Be Using Green Cleaning Supplies.JPG

The world is changing and becoming aware of toxins and chemicals that are harmful to their health. This is one reason the health revolution seems to be sticking. People are opting for natural or homemade cleaning solutions that contain ingredients they can read. This change is not only happening at home because businesses are now opting for green cleaning solutions for some of the following reasons.

 

For Those with Chemical Sensitivity

Some people are allergic to certain chemicals and break out in hives or experience other uncomfortable symptoms when toxic chemicals are used around them. Employers are doing their best to accommodate these people. Customers will be more inclined to go to a establishment that cares about their customers. Employees will also feel the same, which will help with employee retention.

 

Boost Public Image

More people are caring about the environment, and many know that toxic, man-made chemicals can harm the environment. Letting customers know that you use a janitorial service like Peerless Building Maintenance that uses products with the green seal will help boost your credibility in the community and with potential patrons. The green seal ensures that the products used to clean up your space do not harm the environment, which can also boost word-of-mouth.

 

Can Be an Affordable Option

Many business owners might assume that opting for green cleaning solutions means they will have to spend a lot of money, but that may not be the case. Since the products are made with natural ingredients, it is possible that some of the cleaning solutions will be relatively cheap. For example, the cleaning power behind plain old vinegar is well-known, and it is a cheap solution that won’t take a huge bite out of your budget.

 

Boost Productivity

Many are discovering that scents like lavender and peppermint have a calming effect on people. The essential oils commonly used in natural cleaning products are known to help people clear their minds, which will allow your employees and yourself to work in a healthful environment. There is no doubt that this natural boost will likely improve productivity. This is good for workers, but it is also good for customers as they will be greeted by and helped by happier employees.

 

These reasons should help encourage you to move toward greener cleaning options. You will be helping the environment and future generations, but you will also be helping customers and employees. This step may even boost revenue. Talk to a cleaning specialist to see what natural options are available to you.

LizzieWeakley

How to Run an Energy-Efficient Warehouse Business.JPG

Simple cell phones and incandescent light bulbs are being replaced this century. If you run a warehouse business, keep track of the new energy-efficient trends that are appearing. Review several components that will help you to create a more energy-efficient warehouse.

Led Lighting

LED lighting is the most energy efficient type on the market. In the beginning, people used fluorescent lights to illuminate their buildings, but decades later, they found out that LED lights are cooler, brighter and longer lasting. LED T8 tubes are standard in warehouses and other commercial buildings. Find a wide range of product styles from companies like LED Lighting Wholesale Inc.

Repairs and Maintenance

Maintain your warehouse equipment regularly and repair the machines that are not working. Repair malfunctioning parts without having to replace the entire machine. To avoid repairs in the first place, set up a regular maintenance plan every month or year.

Equipment Shutdowns

Turn off the lights or any machine that you are not using. Too many home and business owners leave their machines running all night when no one is using them for hours. Cut your energy bills in half by using motion detection devices, also known as occupancy sensors, that switch off the equipment automatically.

Door Seals

Hot or cool air that escapes from a room is a major contributor to energy loss. Air exfiltration cannot be avoided in a typical building where the doors are constantly opened and closed. Door seals prevent more air from being lost than necessary.

Look for openings near the doors and along the walls. Also look for hidden openings in the ceiling and behind machines. Tell workers not to leave doors or windows open when the HVAC system is running.

Energy Audits

The most overlooked step to conserve energy is to run audits. You cannot increase the energy efficiency in your warehouse if you don’t know how much energy you’re saving. An audit, done by a professional, outlines the differences between taking energy-saving steps and not taking them. Some online audit tools are available, but you get a more comprehensive plan with an onsite audit.

Warehouses are complex places where people work and do not just store inventory. Every day, you manage the lighting, ventilation and temperature settings and pay a huge bill at the end of the month. It’s necessary that you find ways to save energy for the main purpose of running a more affordable and efficient warehouse.

LizzieWeakley

Natural Plants, 4 Tips for Starting an Organic Garden.jpegIf you’re looking to start your own garden, there’s a good chance that you want to grow your plants organically without using artificial pesticides or fertilizers.

Organic gardening, however, comes with its own set of challenges that can make it a difficult task for beginners. Here are four expert tips to help you start your own organic garden.

Start Small

Many novice gardeners get ambitious and try to handle a large plot very early on, but it’s best to begin with a small area of land. To start, try growing in an area 50 to 100 square feet wide per member of your family.

This may not seem like much, but you can grow plenty of plants in a small area if you plant densely and care for your plants properly. Beginning gardeners who start with a large plot often end up feeling overwhelmed and quitting, so start small to ease yourself into organic gardening.

Use Quality Soil

If you’re determined to grow your plants organically, it’s important that you use high-quality organic soil. The best way to do this is to incorporate a few inches of compost into the top layers of soil.

Making your own compost is easy so long as you stay dedicated to composting all the natural food products you consume, and quality compost can do wonders for your soil quality and help keep your plants healthy.

Use Organic Fertilizer

Quality fertilizer increases your soil health and crop yields, and even if you decide to grow your garden organically, there are a variety of organic fertilizers available from places like Nature Safe. Reliable organic fertilizer formulas will provide excellent nutrition to your plants and help them grow faster without relying on chemicals or other artificial substances.

Buy Plants When Starting Out

Even if you plan to eventually start your own plants indoors, it’s best to buy most of your plants when starting out, as growing your own plants can be tricky for beginners. You can usually get starter vegetable plants for 25 cents to $3 per plant, which makes buying plants cheaper in many cases than starting your own plants, especially when you consider all the materials needed to use your own plants to start.

By utilizing these four tips, even novice gardeners can start their own organic garden. Gardening can be a fun and rewarding hobby, especially when you know that you’re growing your plants without any artificial chemicals that may be harmful to you, your plants and the environment.

Just remember to start small, buy your plants when starting out and use sufficient compost and fertilizer, and you’ll have a beautiful organic garden in no time.

LizzieWeakley

How to Choose the Highest-Efficiency Vehicle for Your Habits.jpg

With vehicle emissions a hot topic and budgets strained by the cost of gas, fuel economy has become increasingly important. Many car buyers wonder how to find a fuel-efficient vehicle that suits their needs. Here is a process for finding a fuel-saving vehicle and still getting what you need out of your next vehicle purchase.

Choose a Suitable Vehicle

To make the most fuel-efficient choice, consider what the smallest vehicle is that suits your needs, advises Energywise. A compact car can offer great fuel economy, but if you work out in the country, chances are you need a pickup, and if you have several kids to haul to soccer practice, you may need a van or small SUV.

Once you determine what type of vehicle you really need (sedan, compact, SUV, pickup) look at what the smallest vehicles are in that category.

Consider Hybrids and Electric Cars

Electric cars give you the best efficiency. But when driving long distances, charging becomes an issue. Also, the cost of electric cars may be out of your price range.

Hybrids are great because they solve a lot of the issue with charging, but they can be cost prohibitive. If they are in your price range and will work for you in a suitable vehicle, electric and hybrid vehicles offer incredible fuel economy.

Fuel Efficiency

Once you have determined the type of vehicle you want, look for the best fuel economy in its class. Remember: not all cars have better fuel economy just because they are smaller. The fuel-economy ratings indicate what you can expect under average conditions.

Fuel efficiency ratings are an average because environmental factors, such as hills and mountains, high or low temperatures, and altitude affect fuel economy.

Driving habits also play a big role. Drivers who routinely exceed the speed limit, are prone to hard braking and aggressive acceleration, and who put off maintenance—like oil changes and refilling the tires—always end up with fuel economy much lower than their vehicles average.

Get Rid of a Junker

The fastest way to become more fuel efficient is to get out of an old car and into a new, fuel-efficient model. Older cars don’t have today’s technology, so their fuel ratings (when they were new) are much lower than today’s options.

Also, as the parts in older cars wear out, their fuel economy slips because the cars have to work harder to maintain the same performance level.

Oftentimes, the best way to get rid of an old car is to sell it for cash to a self-serve used auto parts shop that tows your car from home, such as U Pull & Pay.

With carbon emission awareness on the rise and gas often costing an arm and a leg, finding the right fuel-efficient vehicle helps the environment and your pocketbook.

LizzieWeakley

Home Energy Efficiency 4 Ways to Keep Your Home Green This Winter.JPG

Depending on where you live, winter months will make for the coldest part of the year. This is why you should take measures to ensure that you and your family are warm and comfortable during this season. However, in a world where environmental conservation has become an important topic, you may want to consider ways of keeping your home green. Even as you look for ways to heat your home, it is vital that they help to conserve energy and have minimal negative impact on the environment.

 

Proper Maintenance of Your Heating System

Proper maintenance of your furnace and HVAC system will go a long way in making sure that they run efficiently. This will not only help in lowering your energy bills but also give you the assurance that your home will be warm and comfortable in winter. For the best repair and maintenance services, you should consider working with a company such as Bryant Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical & Plumbing. Such experts will not only inspect and repair your heating system but also the plumbing and electrical systems in your home. In this way, you will not have to worry about making the repairs during the cold season.

 

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a programmable thermostat is an eco-friendly way of keeping your home warm in winter. This thermostat will allow you to enter a high and low temperature. Whenever you are not at home and temperatures in your home fall below the lower temperature, the thermostat will turn on your heating system. Once temperatures reach the maximum you had set, the unit will turn off. This way, you will have your furnace running constantly while making significant savings on your energy bill.

 

Green Solutions for Heating Your Home

Instead of depending on electricity as the sole source of energy for heating your home, you should consider investing in renewable sources of energy. Some of the options you can explore include geothermal heating, solar energy and masonry heating. These green solutions will be efficient in helping to create a comfortable environment in your home.

 

Insulate Your Home

Making your home energy-efficient will require that you ensure that heat is not lost during this cold season. Installing window covers, sealing insulation gaps, closing off unused rooms and insulating your attic will lower your energy costs. This is because you will prevent air leaks in your home, reducing the amount of work that your furnace has to do in an effort to keep the space warm.

 

There are many more sustainable ways to keep your home green in winter. For instance, regular roof inspections and repairs will help to keep your home warm in winter.

LizzieWeakley

Use Well Water 3 Strategies For Keeping It In Top Shape.jpeg

If you depend on a well for your water supply, you will be responsible for taking the specialized measures that will help to keep your water safe and continuously available for cooking, washing, drinking and other purposes. Your well requires a number of preventative measures to ensure it will provide sanitary water. Here are 3 strategies to help your well system maintain good operation.

1—Avoid Contamination From Toxic Substances

Property owners should take special care to ensure that chemical substances that could contaminate water not be used around well areas. Avoid the use of pesticides, fertilizers, motor oils and paint chemicals around well sites. Make sure well covers are in good repair. If you notice changes in water clarity, odor or taste, contact a well services company to investigate the problem.

2—Use Caution When Maintaining Lawn Areas Around Wells

You always use care when doing routine lawn maintenance around well sites. Careless use of mowers can lead to cracks in the well casing, which can introduce bacteria into the well and may require expensive professional repair. Your well cover should be above ground level, and the ground should slope away from the well to ensure proper drainage. Avoid piling leaves, snow or other materials around the well.

3—Have Your Well Checked Periodically

A checkup is as important for your well as it is for any piece of equipment you use on a daily basis. Any preventative maintenance you do will help to prevent more expensive problems in the future. A reliable water well servicing contractor, like those at Mike's Drilling, can help you with common well problems like broken pumps etc. Don’t try to do well repairs yourself. You may inadvertently introduce bacteria into the well, creating a health hazard for your family. Call in well professionals to ensure repairs are done safely and appropriately.

Your well is a critical home system that requires your careful attention to ensure that it continues to provide clean, healthy water for your family’s use. Many people are not familiar with well maintenance before they purchase a home with a well, so educating yourself on the maintenance needs of this important piece of equipment is a duty every homeowner should undertake immediately. Your local well services company can help you understand the routine needs of your well system. Follow their detailed advice, and you will enjoy untroubled use of your well for many years to come.

LizzieWeakley

Winter HVAC How to Keep Your Home Energy Effcient During Winter.JPG

Being energy efficient does also include saving an extra cash by cutting down energy use other than just those in need of protecting the environment. During winter seasons, a lot of energy goes to waste when maintaining the warmth of the house. Curbing expenses regarding efficient use of power at your home during winter require the following steps.

House Insulation

Air sealing, attics, and walls should get enhanced with additional insulations materials to ensure that walls, windows, and air vents remain appropriately taped up. Insulations guarantee that warm air stay inside and cold air outside hence less energy used to warm the interior environment. Warm air from the house remains held up from escaping out, and correspondingly, cold air from outside stay prevented from getting in. Therefore, there exists a barrier separating the cold exterior environment from a warm interior air.

Replace Previous Home Equipment

Old domestic devices have less energy-efficient models compared to modern and fresh ones which have a lower energy use. Making a replacement or advanced repairs to these pieces of equipment will lower electrical bills hence energy efficiency technologies. The experienced personnel at companies like A & E Heating and AC Inc. are always available and can get to your home and repair the appliances you have ensuring increased energy efficiency at home during winter.

Installing Solar Panels

Solar systems help to reduce the energy costs extensively as it enables you to generate your electrical energy. With this method, home energy gets utilized efficiently during winter hence prevent energy losses. In this case, solar energy replaces power from a usual source as it has total potential in performing a similar function of energy production.

Use of Appliances Economically

When new domestic devices get home, they come with a user manual which guides you when using these energy using gadgets. You should familiarize yourself with proper operation techniques of these gadgets. Additionally, you should reduce their energy costs by minimal use, for example, heating systems should at all times stay used efficiently. Also, they should be switched off when not in use or unplugged completely. As a result, energy used remain lower similarly to expenses.

Energy usage typically increases during winter when warming up the air. Any heating uses energy which at last remains compensated for at any quantity use. Efficient use of power lowers the costs payable resulting into extra savings, especially during winter. Henceforth, to enhance efficient energy use during winter at homes, adopt the techniques mentioned above to the latter.

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