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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

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

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

Commerical HVAC Why You Need to Optimize Your System Before Summer.JPG

 

During the warm summer season, your business may heavily rely on your commercial HVAC system for climate control. Summer months are known for high humidity levels and intense temperatures, and both of these issues can combine together to create an unbearable indoor environment unless you have cool air from your HVAC system streaming into your space. Now is the ideal time to set up maintenance service for your commercial cooling system by reaching out to a reputable HVAC service provider. By doing so, you can enjoy several important benefits throughout the summer and beyond.

Save Money on Energy Costs
Preventive HVAC maintenance is designed to clean the system’s components as well as to replace damaged or deteriorating components. Both dirty and damaged components can make your system operate less efficiently. Some aspects of the system may overcompensate to make up for damaged or dirty components resulting in the system running for longer periods of time or turning on more frequently than it otherwise would need to. This ultimately means that your system will use more energy throughout the summer months than it otherwise would need to. You can save money on energy bills by setting up preventive maintenance service.

Improve System Longevity
The last thing you want is to pay for an expensive HVAC replacement service before it is absolutely necessary. These systems can cost thousands of dollars or more to replace, and you understandably want to maximize the life of your HVAC unit. Companies like
Ragan Mechanical Inc. can perform annual system maintenance on your HVAC unit. This can help your system to function more efficiently to decrease wear and tear.

Keep Repair Issues at Bay
Through unnecessary wear and tear on your system’s components, you can keep repair issues at bay. HVAC system repair issues can result in expensive repair services. They can also lead to downtime that can interfere with the operation of your business, and this can be costly to endure. Preventive maintenance can identify developing repair issues before they cause a complete system malfunction. Furthermore, because preventive service decreases wear and tear, fewer new repair issues may develop.

Given the importance of your commercial HVAC system, it is imperative that you ensure that it is in great working order before you turn it on for the first time this summer. You can easily schedule preventive maintenance service for your system today, and you can take advantage of these fabulous benefits all summer long.

LizzieWeakley

Chilly in Winter 4 Signs You Have an Inefficient Heating System.JPG

An inefficient heating system could cost you hundreds of dollars each year, and sadly, most homeowners don’t even know they are wasting this much money because they assume as long as the heater is producing heat, it’s working 100 percent. To know if your heating system is being inefficient, here are four things you will want to look out for.

1. High Gas Consumption

Chances are your utility company allows you to view your bills from a few years ago, and if you don’t have an online account, consider creating one to be able to compare the usage from today to a year ago. If you’re noticing your bill is at least 15 to 30 percent higher, then could be a sign your system is becoming inefficient. Unless you’re raising your temperatures, there’s no reason for your bill to increase this much.

2. Your Pilot Light

When your gas furnace starts up, you will notice a pilot light if you peek through the vents. A healthy system will have a steady blue color, but if your system is inefficient, this color can change. If you notice the flame is either yellow or it’s flickering, this could be a serious problem. These colors and signs often mean your system is producing high levels of carbon monoxide, and if you suspect this is the case, you will want to turn off your furnace immediately and call a professional.

3. Too Many Calls

It’s okay to call the professionals here and there, but if you’re calling at least three to four times per year, you may be better off investing in a new system. Most systems will need an occasional repair; however, if your system has had at least four repairs north of $200, then it has probably reached the end of its life. Experts such as those at
Universal Refrigeration, will tell you it may be time to call the professionals if your system is older than 15 years.

4. Odd Noises

Pay close attention to the furnace when it boots on. Do you hear any popping or banging noises? If so, it may be a sign the furnace is on its death bed. A healthy furnace will be relatively quiet and won’t wake you up during a deep sleep.

If any of these signs apply to you, then it’s time to call a professional before your heater kicks the bucket on a 10-degree night. Investing in a new system or even having a simple repair performed could save you a lot more than you think.

LizzieWeakley

Bringing in the Heat Energy Efficient Tips For Keeping the Office Warm.JPG

 

Keep your office warm without seeing the bill skyrocket. It takes only a few, small changes to keep the heat in and keep the energy usage down. Here are several energy-efficient tips to preserve the warmth in your office.

Lower Your Thermostat a Few Degrees

You save energy with every one or two degrees you turn down. Make adjustments whenever you feel the weather change throughout the day. Maintain warm room temperatures within 60 to 70 degrees. At the end of the month, you will save at least a few dollars on your heating bill. Also, invest in a model that switches on and off automatically so that it does not run endlessly.

Invest in Tote Heaters

To store liquids and chemicals, use a tote heater that is known for its energy efficiency. Preserve the heat while keeping your liquids warm for hours. If the tote works right, you will not have to adjust the thermostat too high.

The
Powerblanket brand states that it is important to look for a safe and efficient heater. You cannot use your tote on a heater that overheats and smokes easily. Also, find a product that fits snugly around the heater and is made of a strong, long-lasting material.

Check the Filter

Replace the filter in your heater at least once a year. Dirt prevents the flow of air into the heater and decreases its efficiency. Also, maintain the furnace so that all of its parts work properly.

Look for Leaks

Keep the heat in the room by plugging up the leaks. Look for cracks and holes around the doors and windows. Consider sealing the leaks with caulk that is used in home construction.

Buy Energy Efficient Appliances

Replace your old appliances with new ones that have the Energy Star labels. Solar heaters are popular devices that keep the home powered all day at no cost. Once you start using your new machine, notice significant increases in your monthly savings. If the heating bill costs $1,000, you could cut it in half and save money for more important household needs.

There are many ways to keep your energy usage down in your office. One option is to buy a brand-new appliance that is built for convenience and energy efficiency. Another option is to keep the temperature down on the thermostat. Make as many adjustments as you need to maintain optimal warmth and comfort while you work.

LizzieWeakley

 

Air pollution in many cities is caused by emissions that are produced from automobiles. Other issues pollute the environment too, such as household waste. However, if you make a few small changes, your contributions will benefit everyone in your community.



Being and Living Green How Everyone can Help our Environment Become Squeaky Clean.JPG

 

Save Energy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that homeowners can lower carbon emissions by using less energy throughout the day. When families leave their lights on, various energy sources are used at power plants, which rely on fossil fuel. To help clean up the environment, invest in a timer that controls your lights and appliances. By using an energy management tool, your devices will shut off automatically whenever the technology senses inactivity.

Cooling and Heating Considerations

During the winter, keep the thermostat set at a low temperature. In the summer, program the thermostat so that it will raise the temperature whenever you are away from home.

If you have an advanced water heater, adjust the temperature to 120 degrees to lower the energy consumption. To conserve heat, ensure that the insulation in your home meets industry standards.

Disposal Considerations

If possible, try to avoid products that are wrapped in plastic packaging. When packaging material is produced at manufacturing facilities, the production equipment pushes toxic emissions into the air.

You can reduce environmental waste and pollution by recycling cardboard, glass, paper, plastic, and aluminum. Paints, solvents, batteries, and pesticides are highly toxic, so you must give these substances to a local waste management facility.

If you need to remove waste out of a commercial building or a large home, consider using a recycling service like
Lakeshore Recycling. Companies that offer this service deliver containers to various locations.

Drive Less

Since automobiles emit pollution in the atmosphere, you should try carpooling around the city. According to transportation experts, Americans can save about $1,000 a year by carpooling on a regular basis. When traveling short distances, a bike is the best transportation option because it doesn’t produce any harmful emissions.

Boost Your Fuel Economy

The EPA reported that if drivers improve their fuel economy by one percent, carbon dioxide emissions will reduce by one percent as well. To lower fuel consumption, do not accelerate and brake quickly on the road. Also, avoid driving at a high speed on busy freeways.

If you implement these procedures, less air pollution will generate in the environment.

LizzieWeakley

Baby it's Cold Outside How to Keep your Home Warm and Energy Efficient.JPG

When the weather cools down, the inside of homes starts heating up. At least, that's how it's supposed to be. If the only thing that seems to be getting hotter in your home is your heating bill, it might be time to take a look around and see where you can make room for more energy efficient heating.

Is Your Home Letting Heat Escape?

No matter how powerful your heating system is, your home is still cold if all that heat keeps escaping. Odds are good your home isn't as heat-efficient as you think; leaky walls, ceilings, floors, doors and windows all allow heat to escape. Caulk, foam or weather-stripping can be used, depending on location, to secure any suspected leaks.

Is Your Furnace Working Like It Should?

If you use a furnace to heat your home, make sure it's in good working repair. A faulty, dirty or old furnace isn't just a possible culprit of poor home heating, it can also be a danger to the home via fires or gas leaks. Companies like Customs Services have professional furnace repair technicians available to review the condition and safety of a furnace and provides any necessary repairs and tips to keep your furnace working well all winter long.

Are You Using Solar Heating?

The sun is an always-on source of heat that never breaks down. South-facing windows let in warm sunlight, and interior surfaces such as concrete floors and plaster or brick walls absorb the heat and gradually release it during the evenings. If such modifications aren't possible, just apply thick curtains to your windows and leave them open during the day and shut them at night. Warmth comes in and doesn't blow back out.

Are You Losing Heat from Mini-Drafts?

If you have a mail slot, a pet door or just a large gap under an exterior door, you're losing heat in mini-drafts. Line door flaps leading to the outside with thick fabric, like wool or fleece, to prevent this. Door gaps are still best handled by an old-fashioned "sausage dog", or wrapped tube of fabric that blocks the gap. It's easy to make your own with some tights and old socks, if desired.

While major modifications are one way to approach getting huge energy savings and a warmer home in winter, don't feel like you need a renovation to stay cozy. Simple tricks and awareness of how your home collects and retains heat go a long way to keeping the cold outside where it belongs.

 

LizzieWeakley
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With spring right around the corner, it is important to prepare your home for the changing weather. Every winter can damage your home in ways that you did not expect, and that is why it is so important to make your home energy-efficient.

Weather-Proof Your Garage

You lose a lot of cool air through your garage. This spring, make sure that you apply some weather stripping to the garage door and to the door between the house and the garage as well if you have a connected garage.

Get Your Air Ducts Clean

According to AAA Steam Carpet Cleaning Ltd., dust and debris can seriously impede the flow of air through your home, and when that happens, your ventilation system is working far harder than it needs to. To prevent wear and tear on your ventilation system, take a moment to think about getting the ducts cleaned out thoroughly before spring.

Change Out Your Bulbs

If you have not done so already, now is the time to trade out your old incandescent bulbs. CLFs last about ten times as long and they are around 75% more energy efficient.

Check Your Seals

Over the winter, the sealing on your doors or windows might have degraded. That means that you should walk around and check them. Reseal everything that looks like it is wearing away, as this will help you keep cool air in and warm air out.

Turn Down Your Water Temperature Settings

You do not need the water to be as warm as it was when it was winter. Turn your water down to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a great temperature for the warmer months.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

When you are someone who is invested in making sure that your home is energy efficient, consider installing a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat will prevent you from cooling an empty house, and on top of that, it will still turn on the cool air right before you get home.

Cover Your Windows

Curtains are a great way to make sure that your hot air stays out while your cool air stays in. They are especially important during the middle of the day, when the sun is at its hottest, and you will find that they are quite important when it comes to keeping yourself comfortable.

When you want to make your home more energy-efficient this spring, there are just a few things to keep track of. Consider how you want to move forward when the weather starts to warm.

LizzieWeakley

7 Ways to go the Extra Mile for a Greener and Cleaner Environment.JPG

 

Although there are many ways to go green, it can be difficult to know how to take the first step. Luckily, there are many small and large scale ways to join the movement for a cleaner environment. Read on for some inspiring ideas about how to take initiative and make the world a greener, cleaner place.

Read and Recycle

Reading is an appealing past time, but buying books can become expensive and there is also the issue of what to do with them post reading. Why not practice recycling and support your local community at the same time? Donate gently used books to your local library and shop for new reading material at your local library's used book store, or at local yard sales. If you do not have a local library, consider setting up a book swap with friends. Instead of everyone having their own magazine subscriptions, set up a magazine trading circuit as well.

Carpool

Gas is expensive and everyone driving independently puts a strain on traffic and the environment. Look into sharing a ride to work or to run errands. Not only will it ease your gas budget and release less pollutants, but it just might make your traveling experiences more enjoyable.

Eat Local

Make it a habit to shop for foods at your local farmer's market or farm stand. The food that you find there is seasonal and fresh, and has not required excess gas and transportation to reach consumers. Consider also eating at small businesses that use local food products, or join a community supported agriculture program.

Pursue an Environmental Career

If you are choosing a career or changing career paths, consider looking into
environmental law degrees. This is a way to impact the world around you by advocating for preservation of natural resources. It is a great choice for individuals interested in jobs that blend science and law.

Set Up Online Bill Payment

Junk mail is annoying and time consuming to pick up and sort through. The excess paper involved is also an environmental strain. Do yourself and the earth a big favor by streamlining and switching to an online bill payment system.

Check Window Caulking

It may seem minor, but deteriorated window caulking can allow warm and cool air to escape your home. This air release causes an increase in energy costs and unnecessary environmental demands. Use energy wisely and keep some extra money in your pocket by taking the time to check window caulking and replace it as needed.

Clean with Non Toxic Products

There is no reason to support chemical heavy cleaning product companies and further pollute the environment. Chances are, your cupboards already contain all the items you need to thoroughly clean your home. Simply check for practical items such as vinegar and baking soda, and get ready for a sparkling non-toxic living space.

Make an earth friendly resolution today and encourage friends and family members to do the same. Choose from a myriad of small and large steps that give the satisfaction of knowing you are doing something beneficial. A greener cleaner environment really is worth the extra effort involved.

LizzieWeakley

 

If you are a home owner or are looking to buy a home, you should consider the importance of having an energy efficient and family friendly home. A green home will keep your energy bills down and will be helpful for the environment. There are many green communities like the ones found at Princeton Classic Homes in Texas. Below, you can find out what they are doing to accomplish this with these seven tips.

Fluorescent lighting

Switching to fluorescent lighting in your home will cut down on your energy usage drastically. Florescent bulbs use less than 1/4th of the amount of energy that normal bulbs use. Although they are more expensive than normal light bulbs, they will last much longer unlike light bulbs that need to be replaced after extended use. They will also help you lower your monthly energy bill. After a few months, they will have paid for themselves in their energy savings.

Replace your old appliances

If you are still using appliances from the 1990’s, it is time to replace them. Old appliances have poor energy efficiency ratings and may be costing you more than you think. Inefficient appliances can be costing you thousands of dollars a year in wasted energy usage. The biggest offender of this is the refrigerator. By exchanging your old fridge for a new one, you could easily cut down on the energy you use significantly.

Keep your windows open

Use the sun to your advantage. Keep your windows open and the blinds drawn whenever the sun is out. By doing this, you will be able to cut down on the electricity used to light your house. Also, keeping your central air off in favor of a cool breeze will make a big impact on the amount of energy you use. As an added bonus, you will be able to enjoy the fresh air that will be circulating through your home by keeping your windows open.

Clean with micro fiber

Ditch the cleaning products where ever you can and use micro fiber cloths instead. Micro fiber cloths attract dirt and will allow you to clean surfaces without the use of harmful chemical sprays. Dampened microfiber cloths will be able to effectively clean most hard surfaces throughout your kitchen and bathroom including glass and wood. You can re-use these cloths after you throw them in the wash.

Grow plants indoors

Plants will help filter the air in your home. They will absorb some pollutants and expel clear air. There are many plants that are particularly good at this. Plants like spider plants, rubber plants, palms and boston ferns are all easy to care for indoors and will make a noticeable difference with the air quality in your home.

Always recycle

Recycling is important for the environment, but this goes beyond simply keeping an extra recycle bin in your home. You can take recycling to a whole new level by re-purposing items that you would otherwise throw away. Use egg cartons as jewelry organizers, save glass jars and use them as cups, or think of some of your own ideas. Anything you can find a use for instead of throwing it away will be helpful for the environment.

Switch to solar

Solar energy is becoming more popular with the new advances that are being made to it year by year. It is becoming increasingly more affordable and efficient as we continue to perfect them. Many people shy away from the idea of
switching to solar because they feel it is an all-or-nothing option. This is not the case. You can start small and use that amount of solar energy to add along with feeding off of the electricity grid. No matter what amount you can commit to, any bit will help.

 

 

LizzieWeakley

7 Reasons Why Now is an Important Time to Get Your Family Involved in Recycling.JPG

 

Recycling as a family can be beneficial and fun. Being able to teach children about the benefits of the practice instills good habits and provides a science lesson they never expected. Here are seven reasons why it is important to start recycling as a family.

We Can Cut Down on the Production of Cans

According to the charity, Wheels for Wishes, there are approximately 105,784 aluminum cans being recycled in the United States every single minute. Unfortunately, 350,000 brand new cans are produced from new aluminum every minute as well. This lends to pollution and unnecessary use of resources.

Recycled Cans Have a Quick Turnaround

As seen above, there are a large number of can produced. The recycled should be hitting a one to one ratio because there would be little to know waste because recycled cans be back shelves and filled with product in 60 days.

Disposal of Recyclable Trash for Large Families

Small and large families need a smarter and better way to dispose of recyclable waste to keep their homes and property clean, especially if they have children. Large jugs and copious amounts of cans take up space, but with the right disposal receptacles, families can stay cleaner and more organized while contributing to the environment. Getting large or specialized recycling receptacles is easier than ever now. For example, many outlets for waste disposal like Lakeshore Recycling have become environmental conscientious. These kind of businesses offer a variety of products that have made recycling easy because most cities now include separate waste hauls for recycled goods.

Families Can Decrease Air Pollution for Their Children and Grandchildren

Saving the planet for future generation is one of the things an environmentally aware family focuses on. Many different materials offer long-term environmental positives. For example, for every ton of paper recycled, air pollution decreases by 60 pounds.

Families Can Do Their Part to Improve the United States' Environmental Standing

Although the air quality might be leaps and bounds better than China, the United States is the world's number one producer of garbage, despite being just four percent of the global population. Establishing good recycling habits in the home can improve the country's standing in the world.

Recycling PET Plastic Can Decrease the Price of the Next Family Car

Recycled PET plastics go to build new parts for a variety of domestic and military vehicles. They can be turned into truck liners, fan shrouds, wheel liners and many other parts.

The Economy Has Been Rough

The Penny Hoarder is a treasure trove of information about how to find collection plants and what items yield cash. There are a lot of different items the collection plants will offer money for, such as electronics, car batteries, copper, scrap metal and aluminum. Aluminum is the most available to families and it considered the most valuable for city services to pick up. Since families have to pay the city for water, sewer and trash services, why not make the money for the bill by recycling cans at a plant instead of throwing them away?

The seven reasons listed above are packed full of useful for information and make a strong case for recycling. Doing it as a family passes a good habit on to children, and they will pass it on and expand on it. Recycling as a family will help shape a better planet for future generations.

 

LizzieWeakley

There are many benefits to making your home more energy efficient. It will save you an enormous sum of money in utility bills and will also give you the great feeling of knowing that you are doing your part to protect the environment. Here are seven cutting edge ways to make your home more energy efficient.

Install Solar Panels

Instead of counting on your power company to heat your home, you can harness the natural power of the sun with solar panels. They will substantially increase the comfort level of your home.

Switch to Florescent Light Bulbs

Many homes still use conventional incandescent light bulbs, but you can save a tremendous amount of energy by using florescent bulbs instead. Although florescent bulbs cost more at the store, they save you money in the long run by lasting several times longer than their incandescent counterparts.

Reduce Appliance Use

Cut down on the number of times that you use your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer. Only use them when you have a full load. If you have any appliances that you do not intend to use for a long period of time, disconnect them.

Install Energy Efficient Windows

Energy efficient windows are an excellent addition to any home. They will reduce drafts, cut down on condensation, improve the temperature of your home, and save you money on your electricity bills. Companies such as
Five Star Windows Inc. offer a wide selection of these types of windows for sale.

Install a High Efficiency Furnace

Conventional furnaces waste valuable energy. Like florescent bulbs, you can spend a little more now in order to save a great deal of money later. High efficiency furnaces use fewer fossil fuels, last longer, and heat your home more effectively.

Get a Low Flow Toilet

Most toilets waste water each and every time that they are flushed. Low flow toilets will save you a massive amount of money on your water bill. You will cut your home's water consumption by thousands of gallons per year.

Add Insulation

Increasing the amount of insulation in your home will trap heat inside, meaning that you won't have to use the heater in order for your home to be comfortable. The attic is an especially important place to add more insulation.

With recent advanced in appliance technology, making your home energy efficient is easier than ever. You will be amazed at how much money you can save by following these tips.

 

LizzieWeakley

5 Ways to Maximize your Indoor Air Quality.JPG

 

You might take steps to ensure the food and water you drink is clean and healthy. But what about the air you breathe in your body thousands of times per day? Are you making sure that is clean, too? Air pollution is detrimental to humans, causing respiratory diseases, asthma and other sickness. Read on to discover ways to improve your indoor air quality.

Keep Smoke Out

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in America. Thousands of toxic chemicals enter the body with one puff, and over time cause serious health risks. In turn, secondhand smoke also poses serious health risks. If you or a loved one smokes indoors, everybody who enters your home will be affected. If you or a loved one smokes outdoors, the smoke residue on your clothes will still be carried into your home and indirectly affect everybody in the home. Stopping smoking will create the most notable improvement in air quality.

Reduce Moisture

High moisture levels are perfect environments for growing mold and mildew. If left untreated, those with asthma will have symptoms flair up, and those without will become susceptible to getting asthma. Use a dehumidifier if moisture levels rise, and turn on the vent whenever taking a shower. Open windows and turn a fan on to create a breeze and circulate air. Using an air conditioner with a HEPA filter will vent out a room, reduce moisture levels and clean impurities in the air. HVAC companies like C B Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning professionals can affordably install a HEPA filter in your home.

Keep Things Clean

Leaving windows open is great for reducing moisture, but will bring in unwanted dust and air impurities that will settle on the countertops and floors. Regularly vacuum the floor with a high-powered vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. Mop kitchen and hardwood floors and wipe down counter tops. If you don’t always have time to vacuum, enforce a no shoes indoor rule. Shoes bring in a variety of dirt and germs that your home’s floors will pick up.

Get Rid of Scented Air Fresheners

Scented air fresheners release many toxic chemicals in the air. So while they may make your home smell good, they won’t do well for your health. Consider natural alternatives to reduce odors such as baking soda, and eliminate wall plug-ins and scented air sprays.

Get Chemical-Killing Plants

Certain plants will both make your home look nicer and remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, ammonia, xylene and toluene in the air. Peace Lily is a gorgeous flowering plant that removes VOCs and doesn’t require much care, but keep it out of sunlight. Chrysanthemum and Devil’s Ivey also remove VOCs, but like the sunlight. For optimal protection, get a couple different plants. Be warned, these plants are unsafe for human and animal consumption.

If poor indoor air quality is getting you down, don’t fear. Follow these five steps, and your air quality will be improved within hours. A clean home is a healthy home, and a healthy home is one you’ll want to come back to night after night. Sleep peacefully knowing you’ve done your best to make sure your family breathes easily and naturally.

LizzieWeakley
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Homeowners often find themselves in a state of shock when they get their energy bills during the summer months. When the weather starts warming up outside, it makes financial sense to make your home more energy-efficient, and when you conserve energy like this, you also do your fair share towards reducing your carbon footprint.

When you implement the following tips, you can stay cool during the summer without constantly worrying about the cost of your utility bills:

Seal Cracks

The easiest way to reduce your cooling costs is to seal your home's cracks. Typically speaking, cold air leaves your home through small cracks found between windows, doors, plumbing and electrical fixtures. These small leaks make it hard for your air conditioning unit to regulate the temperature inside of your home. Look for small cracks and holes where air may escape your home, and when you find them, seal them up with some caulk or weather-stripping.

Switch to Advanced Power Strips

Advanced power strips do much more than protect your important appliances from power surges; these "smart" strips come with distinct plug categories that turn your appliances on or off based on what the appliance in the first plug is doing. For example, this means that one of these strips will automatically turn off your DVD player and gaming console when they sense that your TV is off. These strips do all the thinking for you, and they make lowering your energy bill simple.

Use an EnergyStar Air Conditioner

Purchasing and installing an EnergyStar air conditioner saves you a significant amount of money. During the summer, one of the biggest energy drains are air conditioning units. When you buy an efficient unit, you can stay nice and cool without worrying about the bills that you'll have to pay for at the end of the month.

Set Your Fans Correctly

It's important to set your fan's rotation correctly during the summer; ceiling fans turn either clockwise or counterclockwise, and when it's warm out, you want to make sure that your fan rotates counterclockwise. This motion pushes air downwards, and it creates a cool breeze. Your air conditioner doesn't have to use as much energy to keep your home cool, and your home is more comfortable, so you can turn your thermostat up.

Check Your Insulation

It's important to check your attic during the summer; if it's properly insulated, cold air won't flow through your ceiling outside of your home. Go to your attic to make sure that everything is properly insulated. Check your attic hatch as well; lots of cold air is lost when your hatch isn't properly insulated and sealed.

There are lots of things that you can do to make your home more energy efficient. Some are more expensive than others, but in the long-run, they'll all end up saving you a boatload of money. We've given you a couple changes that deliver great results, but if you have budget or time constraints, remember that even the smallest changes will go a long way towards efficiency.

LizzieWeakley

5 Ways to Make your Community Greener and Cleaner.JPG

 

Sustainable living is becoming more popular over time. Plenty of people are trying to reduce their ecological footprint by doing things such as eating less meat, composting food waste and using reusable shopping bags. While all of these things are great, creating a greener community will increase the effects of these efforts. Here are five ways to get your community to live greener lifestyles.

Eat Local

Transporting food thousands of miles increases emission output into the air. This increases pollution, and experts tell us that this effects our climate. Purchasing local also keeps resources in the area and benefits local farmers.

Create a community garden! This is a great way to get family and children involved in a project benefiting the residents and environment.

Recycling

Everyone knows our trash output is too high. Trash sits in landfills for decades before composing, if it ever does decompose. Communities need to have multiple recycling drop off points, and have a skip bin in each location from their local waste management company.

Electronics often end up in the landfills as well. This is the improper way to dispose of old and broken electronics. Set up drop off points so residents have a safe way to get rid of these items.

Transportation

A large portion of the pollution in our air is caused by transportation. Reducing this will clean up the community. Here are some ways to help.

 

  • Organize a carpool group.

  • Have a walk-to-school program. This decreases emissions and provides exercise times for children.

  • Petition for bike lanes on the roads.

 

Encourage Political Participation

Everyone has a voice that should be heard. Creativity is one of the things needed to create greener communities. Getting involved in local politics can make these visions come to life.

This is also a great way to get the residents involved. Let them know about local butchers or farmers so they know where to purchase food products. People will participate if they know how.

Volunteering

People who volunteer their time can help create preserve and aid the land. Organize a group of people who are willing to take time and pick up litter along the roads. This is a great way to get children involved as well. Cleaning up the area and streams is beneficial to the land and animals as well.

There are so many ways to get involved in the community. The first step is spread awareness and encourage a discussion on methods to better the community.

LizzieWeakley

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Heating System Is Energy Efficient.JPG

When you want to save money while using your home’s furnace this winter, you must make sure that the climate-control equipment is operating efficiently. In some cases, you can fix a heating system on your own with a do-it-yourself repair, but alternatively, there are times when you should contact a professional heating and cooling technician. Here are five ways to make sure that a building’s heating system is operating efficiently.

 

 

Learn More from a Professional Technician

You can read a heating and cooling company’s website to learn more about furnace repair. Companies such as Logan A/C & Heat Services Inc., often have informative blogs that will help you determine why a furnace costs too much to operate. When you notice that your heating bills are increasing, read the information at the blog to troubleshoot the problems with your furnace.

 

 

Change the Furnace’s Furnace Each Month

It is essential to change a furnace’s filter once a month to have clean air, but this will also help the warm air to circulate optimally through your home. Make sure to understand the correct size of filters for your heating system. When you are shopping for filters, buy extra to have throughout the winter to avoid any trips to a home improvement store during a snowstorm.

 

 

Clean Your Home’s Venting System Every Week

In addition to mopping floors and vacuuming carpets, you should clean your home’s venting system each week. Use a dust wand to reach inside the vents to remove cobwebs and household dust that collects inside the items. You may also need to wash the vent covers to remove a buildup of debris that prevents proper airflow.

 

 

Verify that a Home’s Windows Are Closed

Walk through your home to check all of its windows are closed completely. If the windows have latches, then make sure that the items are turned in the correct direction to seal out cold drafts that can lead to a colder home. When the caulking around the window frames are degraded, use liquid caulking to fill the openings to make your home’s furnace more efficient.

 

 

Make Sure that a Home’s Vents Aren’t Blocked

It is important to uncover all of your home’s vents by removing any furniture that is in front of the items. You should also make sure that long draperies or rugs aren’t covering the vents in each room. If you have piles of clutter covering the vents on the floor or walls, then you should clean your home.

 

 

Is the Furnace Making Strange Noises?

When a furnace is making strange grinding or squealing noises, this indicates that the equipment requires lubrication or a new part. Without a fast repair, you might spend more money on your monthly heating bills because the furnace is not operating optimally. Working on a furnace’s mechanisms and components is complicated, so calling a knowledgeable technician is the best plan for fixing your home’s heating equipment.

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

5 Ways to Encourage Environmental Safety and Responsibility in Your Community.JPG

 

There's no question that the earth is important. It's where we live, work, and raise our families. Sometimes issues like pollution and environmental responsibility seem too big to address. After all, we are talking about the entire world! The best that you can do to address these issues is to begin on your local level. Check out these five ways that you can encourage environmental safety and responsibility in your community.

Education
Education is crucial to the beginning of any environmental program. You should be sure to teach your own family how to be responsible, as well as share ideas and materials with your local schools and universities. Most importantly, educate yourself on what you can do every day to make a difference.

Start or Join a Program
Education doesn't stop in schools. If your town doesn't already have a recycling program in place, be prepared to present ideas to local councils. If you starting clean-up programs seems out of reach, research programs nearby. It may be possible to make share arrangements with county recycling agencies or to cut deals with local businesses for time and funding.

Group Up
Whether you take your family to the beach or attend community festivals, take advantage of groups! The best way to help the environment is to set an example. If you see trash while you are out on a hike or on the beach, pick it up and encourage your family to follow suit. Also, ask your city council to provide both trash and recycle bins for big events. When presented with options, people will usually do the right thing.

Encourage Corporate Responsibility
You are able to make choices about where the money you earn goes. Do your best to spend your money locally and with environmentally responsible companies. You can learn more about a company's environmental programs by visiting their websites. For example, a good website for this would be
The Freo Group. By spending your money at responsible businesses, you are encouraging good behavior and setting an example for your community that can spread rapidly.

Use Your Influence
Do you own a business, head a book club, or organize extracurricular programs? Use the groups you are already a part of to spread awareness.


One person can do much more than you would think. By encouraging good environmental behavior and sharing information with others, your community can improve by leaps and bounds!

LizzieWeakley

You already know that recycling is important because it reduces landfill waste, conserves resources and prevents pollution. However, some items are easier to recycle than others. Tossing your paper, plastic and glass into separate containers is no big deal, but what about other items that aren’t so simple? Read on to learn about five things you can recycle with just a little extra effort.

Printer Cartridges

Don’t toss that printer cartridge. Many retail stores accept ink and toner cartridges for recycling so they don’t end up in landfills. You can also check the manufacturer’s website to see if they offer a mail-in recycling program. Many cartridges can also be refilled and reused by taking them to a store that offers this service or by using a home refill kit.

Food Scraps

You might be surprised to learn that food waste takes up space in landfills. Although food decomposes rapidly, it can stick around for years when sealed inside a plastic garbage bag. Return uneaten food back to the earth quickly by keeping a compost bin. You can use the compost to fertilize your garden or green up your lawn.

Batteries

Used batteries are particularly bad for the environment because they are filled with harmful chemicals like lead, mercury and cadmium. Most home recycling services don’t accept batteries, but battery recycling services can be found at many retailers. Some battery recyclers also offer a mail-in program so there’s no excuse to chuck those batteries in the trash.

Crayons

If you have children, you probably have odds and ends crayons lying around the house. Consider melting them down to make new crayons or donate them to a charity like the Crayon Initiative, which recycles used crayons into new ones for children’s hospitals.

Eyeglasses and Hearing Aids

Your old glasses or hearing aids could be a valuable gift to someone in need. Many non-profit organizations collect these devices and donate them to people who can’t afford them. Ask your optometrist or audiologist if they collect donations. Universities, churches and other organizations also sometimes hold collection drives for glasses, hearing aids and other medical devices.

Remember, if you have an item that you can’t recycle, try thinking of ways you can reuse it before you toss it. Many items that end up in landfills could have had a second life with a little effort. Another way to reduce landfill waste is to practice mindful purchasing. Don’t buy a new item if you could use something you already own instead.

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

5 Renovating Ideas to Keep Your Home Energy Efficient This Winter.JPG

The cold wind is about to start blowing outdoors, and your home will need to work hard to keep you comfortable and warm indoors. For you to stay warm your home may need to work harder than necessary, and this will inflate your energy bills. However, by making some home renovations before winter, you will save money, boost energy efficiency and add the value of your home in the long run. Listed below are some renovation ideas.

 

Get a More Energy Efficient Furnace

Upgrading to a more reliable and energy efficient furnace is an excellent idea to consider before winter. For instance, you can get a variable speed fan and a gas furnace with a modulating gas valve for consistent warmth at your entire home. This kind of unique technology offered by products such as the Trane XC95m eliminates temperature swings and moderates the energy usage of your system.

 

Change the Furnace Filter

Dirty furnace filters restrict the airflow, hence increasing energy use in your residence. By keeping the furnace clean, properly adjusted and updated, you will a save on heating expenses during winter. For best results, consider replacing or cleaning the filters once every month this winter.

 

Minimize Heat Loss from Windows

According to the Department of Energy, 10-25% of the heating bills every month can be attributed to the heat lost via the home windows. You need to replace your old windows and doors with energy efficient ones. This will prevent the heating system from working hard to manage the desired temperature. Companies such as RWC Windows, Doors & More provide quality products aimed at improving energy efficiency at an affordable cost.

 

Purchase Energy Star Products

Energy appliances use approximately 20% of energy in your home. Because of this, you need to consider buying energy star products. These products use 10-15% less energy compared to other products. This way you will save on utility bills.

 

Install New Flooring

You can easily maintain the temperature and reduce energy costs when you get the right flooring. Rugs and carpets, for instance, can trap heat, keeping your home warmer during winter. Flooring professional can provide options you can rely on to cut energy costs.

 

Consider these ideas to ensure that your home is ready for winter. Some of them might seem like major projects while others are just minor adjustments. In the end, you will realize considerable savings on energy costs.

LizzieWeakley

5 Reasons Why we Need More Energy Efficient Cars.JPG

 

The federal government is putting a lot of pressure on today’s automakers to produce fuel-saving vehicles. Modern innovations such as cylinder deactivation technology are now being used on a regular basis. Here are five reasons why we need more energy efficient vehicles.

Reduce Pollution
Environmental pollution is the top reason why fuel use needs to be minimized. Research shows that automobiles can certainly taint the air. In heavily populated metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and New York, up to 90 percent of air pollution comes from vehicle emissions. Meanwhile, China’s thick smog can actually be seen from outer space. As a result of burning gasoline and diesel, the ozone layer has become depleted.

Helps the Economy
It is no secret that fuel can be a major expense. Keep in mind that the average driver travels more than 13,000 miles a year. If you commute on a daily basis, you understand the value of reducing fuel consumption. Cities also spend a lot of tax money on refueling public transport vehicles. By purchasing less fuel, governments will have more money to spend on other things.

Less Dependence on Crude Oil
The overwhelming majority of the crude oil reserves are located in the Middle East. This means that countries such as the United States must import oil. To reduce petroleum use, the U.S. government wants the average car to return at least 45 mpg. By using engine dynamometers, automakers can fine-tune a vehicle’s efficiency without compromising any performance. Companies like
Power Test Inc. also design dynamometers to handle large engines. Trucking companies will be able to dramatically improve the fuel efficiency of their fleet.

Prevent Climate Change
Climate change is a subject that a lot of people tend to overlook. According to scientists, the amount of greenhouse gases released by vehicles has a direct influence on global climate change. Powerful hurricanes and tsunamis have been linked to the changing climate. The advancement of hybrid and electric vehicles can certainly help us to overcome this problem.

Ability to Travel without Breaking the Bank
A lot of Americans love to take road trips. However, the cost of fuel can put a major dent in a person’s budget. When more fuel-efficient vehicles start to hit the market, drivers will be able to travel more often. They can visit their family and friends for a far cheaper cost.

Engineers are working hard to improve fuel efficiency. Hopefully, we will see big improvements in the near future.

 

LizzieWeakley

5 Reasons to Take Your Home Solar This Summer.JPG

Summer is coming and the sun is shining. But the sun serves as more than just a backdrop for long summer days and vacation memories. Those same solar rays that illuminate your days at the beach and your backyard picnics can also serve to provide energy to your house. Listed below are five ways in which switching to solar energy benefits your lifestyle and your bank account.

Energy Savings

One of the greatest befits of going solar is the amount of savings incurred on monthly electricity bills. Although savings rates vary by location, most homeowners can see a savings of at least 40% or more on their monthly statements. This savings calculator gives a good estimation of potential savings by city: https://www.energysage.com/solar/calculator.

Improve Property Value

Solar panels improve not only a home’s utility bill, but also its property value. According to a study by the Lawrence Berkley National Lab, homes with solar panels generally sell at a greater price than those without. Companies like
ML Solar have the ability to create personalized design plans to maximize the potential property value increase of each individual home according to size and location.

Tax Incentives

Home owners who install solar panels are entitled to a federal tax credit under the law. Currently, The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) offers a 30 percent federal tax credit applied against the tax liability of a residential (Section 25D) property. These savings can be converted into other home improvement projects or applied to a perfect summer vacation.

Protect Your Roof

Solar panels protect your roof by adding a second layer of protection against the elements. Because the panels are slightly raised, wind and rain help to rid the roof of debris without causing damaging. Installing panels increases the overall life of your roof.

Protect the Environment

Perhaps the most important aspect of taking your home solar is the fact that you will reduce your carbon footprint. Solar homes protect the environment by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and combating greenhouse gas emissions. Solar energy reduces the toxins that pollute our air and water such as carbon and nitrogen dioxides as well as mercury and particulate dust.

Upgrading your home to solar energy is an investment in both your home and your community. With more confidence in your home, and more money in your pocket, you’ll have the ability to increase your enjoyment of your home both this summer as well as the many summers to come.

LizzieWeakley

5 Myths About Gas Prices Everyone Thinks are True.JPG

 

When the price of gas increases at the pump, there is a lot of speculation as to the reason. Over the years, people have heard several myths as to why prices rise and who is to blame. As a result, there are several misconceptions surrounding this essential commodity. The following is a list of the five most popular myths about the price of gas.

Fighting in the Middle East always causes Higher Prices

While turmoil in the Middle East seems to be a recurring news story, the fighting may have little impact on the price of gas. The fighting must affect investor sentiment about possible supply disruptions from major oil producers. If the conflict remains contained in a small non-oil producing area, trouble in the Middle East will have little effect on the price of gas.

Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will Lower Prices

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve contains approximately a 30-day supply of oil. This small amount is not enough to affect prices long-term. While releasing supply may dampen prices slightly, the added demand required to refill the strategic reserve will cause prices to rise, negating any earlier benefits.

The Administration Controls the Price of Oil

Whether the president of the United States is a Democrat or Republican, the administration does not control the price of gas. For years, one side of the aisle blamed President Bush and now the other side is singling out President Obama. While domestic energy policies can influence prices, market forces determine the price of gas long term.

Oil Companies Produce Less in the spring to cause Prices to rise in the Summer

Prices rise in the spring as inventories drop due to refiners switching from winter blends to summer blends as mandated by the EPA. Prices also rise during the summer driving season due to the increase in demand.

The American Economy Requires Cheap Gas

While inexpensive gas helps consumers save money, the American economy has continued to grow in the face of rising prices. Advanced economies in Europe and Asia have faced significantly higher gas prices than Americans. These economies have continued to grow and produce higher standards of living.

Economic factors like current supply and demand as well as investor sentiment about future changes are the main driving force behind the price of gas. When supply and demand are tight and investors believe that the situation will continue, prices rise. When the opposite occurs, the price of gas will fall.

 

Information Credit

The information from this article is credited to Fusion Resource LLC.

LizzieWeakley

5 Home Repairs in Spring and Summer for Optimal Energy Efficiency.JPG

 

As the weather turns warm and thermostats get turned down, many people will see a spike in their electric bills. Fortunately, there are a lot of options to make your house more energy-efficient. From simple steps that can be done in minutes to more intensive projects that may require hiring a professional, these tips can help lower your energy costs and make your home more environmentally friendly.

Install Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can drop the temperature of a room up to four degrees without using much electricity, but a four degree difference in your thermostat can lead to a huge difference in your electric bill. A window fan can also be used to cool a room much more efficiently than turning on the air conditioning, especially in early mornings and later evenings.

Maintain the Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner is in good condition, it will run more efficiently. Change the air filters regularly, vacuum and clean dust out of registers and vents, and clean around the exterior unit to ensure smooth airflow and not overwork the unit. It's also a good idea to have it professionally serviced once a year to troubleshoot any repairs and make sure it is running at peak condition.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

When you aren't home, don't keep the thermostat set low. If you are going to be gone at the same time every day, you can program the thermostat to raise while you are gone, then program it to lower to your preferred temperature about thirty minutes before you come home. This way you don't need to worry about re-setting your thermostat every day or forgetting to raise the temperature before you leave.

Repair or Replace Old Windows

Old windows can leak, and while the drafts in the winter are noticeable, they let a lot of warm air in in the summer, too. Caulking or weather-stripping around frames and leaky areas can help, but if your windows are old or single-paned, it may be worth it to replace them to a more efficient style of window.

Have Your Home Insulated

Insulating your home can make a huge difference in your home's energy efficiency. If your home is older, your home may be lacking insulation, or it may have lost its effectiveness. Having Reflective Optimizing Insulation installed by
Parsons Construction Group in attics can reduce energy bills drastically and make your home significantly more efficient all year and has a lifetime performance guarantee.

As the mercury creeps up, don't let your electric bill follow suit. Follow these tips to make your home more energy efficient to save money without sacrificing comfort.

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