LizzieWeakley

Members
  • Content count

    67
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About LizzieWeakley

  • Rank
    Member

Recent Profile Visitors

2,625 profile views
  1. If you have a green home, you already know that the key to green living is to make the most of your energy consumption. Did you know that having the right roof can make the biggest difference in your home’s energy usage and the size your energy bill? Much of your home’s heat loss in the winter, and source of heat in the summer is the roof. Let’s learn more about how your roof affects your green home. Dark Roofs in the Summer Did you know that darker roofs can heat up to 50 to 60 degrees hotter than the outside temperature in the summer? If you live in a warm climate, a dark colored asphalt roof can heat up to 175° if the temperature is 95° outside. This makes your cooling system work much harder and also contributes to the heat island effect if you live in a city. A lighter colored roof decreases the solar gain and heat retention of your home. If you want to same on summer cooling costs, then replacing your roof will make a difference. Winter Heating Woes While a dark roof may not be ideal in the summer, if you live in a climate that has a longer winter than summer, a dark roof will help to reduce heating cost. Dark asphalt roofs absorb more heat than metal or rubber roofs. This not only helps to provide additional heating for the home, it helps snow melt off faster too. This is especially true with a properly insulated attic. Proper Insulation Having a properly insulated roof with the right color and type of roofing material means that you can run your furnace at a lower setting, which can result in big savings for your green home. Companies like Leon Construction can help you choose the right roof for your home and replace your old roof with new materials that are more sustainable than those used in the past. If you want to improve the efficiency of your green home, then your roof is the first place that you should look. A roof that is leaky and old can cost you more in the long run than replacing your roof with one that is more cost and energy efficient. A new roof is an investment that will pay for itself in the long run through lower heating and cooling bills. Not to mention, it will also improve the value of your home.
  2. 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.
  3. The summer season is rapidly approaching, which means we will start to experience hot weather very soon. Staying cool inside your house is one of the best ways to beat the intense summer heat, but it can also lead to high energy bills. These are the four best ways to stay cool in your home this summer without spending a lot of money on energy bills. Install an Energy-Efficient Air Conditioner Purchasing and installing a new energy-efficient air conditioner may seem like a big expense, but it will actually save you money in the long run. An energy-efficient air conditioner will be able to cool your home to your desired temperature without drastically raising your monthly energy bills. An AC unit similar to the ones offered by Seliga Heating and Cooling will ensure you never have to suffer in your own home just to save a few dollars. Use Your Ceiling Fans Ceiling fans are great in the summer because they can increase your comfort level by a few degrees without using much energy. A ceiling fan is able to provide a cooling effect by circulating the air in a room. While they are not powerful enough to cool an entire room on their own, they can cut down on your usage of the air conditioner. Make sure to limit your energy consumption by turning off the ceiling fan when you leave the room. Block the Sun with Shades and Curtains If you want to keep your house cool during the summer, then you need to do everything you can to keep the sun out. You may be tempted to open the shades and curtains for some natural light, but this will only make the house hotter. Blocking the sun with shades and curtains may create a dark atmosphere, but it is a completely free way to cut down on your cooling bills. Program the Thermostat There is absolutely no reason to cool your home when you are not there. Programming the thermostat to your work schedule is a great way to cut down on your energy bills without having to sit in a hot house. The programmable thermostat will prevent the AC unit from running during the day, but it will turn back on to cool the house to your desired temperature before you return from work. Summer is a beautiful time of the year, but it also brings unbearable heat to most of the country. There is no reason to sweat in your home this summer when it so easy to avoid. Just follow these four tips and you can cool the house without ruining your budget.
  4. 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.
  5. Many homeowners are focused on improving home efficiency in various ways. Running an efficient home can ultimately save you money and even maintain or improve property value over time. You may think that you have thoroughly covered all of the bases through your property maintenance projects, but there may be one area that you have overlooked. Your home’s plumbing system impacts efficiency in several ways, and you cannot overlook this component if you want to enjoy a truly efficient, well-maintained home. By exploring the reasons why this is true, you may be able to take steps to further improve your home’s efficiency. Water Waste from Leaking Pipes Pipes can leak in older and newer homes alike. Many leaks are gushers, and you may be immediately alerted to their presence as water streams through your home. Other leaks, however, are smaller and may be more difficult to identify. For example, you may have a small leak in a pipe in your foundation or in your yard. They may be caused by poor workmanship, poor materials, the home settling naturally and more. You can request a plumbing inspection from a company like Highpoint Plumbing, a group of plumbers in Heber City, Utah to learn more about the condition of your pipes. These leaks can result in a tremendous amount of costly wasted water, and repairing them is a great way to keep your water bills as low as possible. High Humidity Levels Impacting the HVAC System When you have even a small leak or a dripping faucet, the humidity level in the home can go up. Your HVAC system is responsible for maintaining the home at an ideal temperature, but humidity can impact this dramatically. If you have a leak that is causing humidity levels to rise in the home, there is a chance that your HVAC system is not working as efficiently as it could be. When your plumber identifies and fixes small leaks in your pipes, you may notice that your HVAC system functions more efficiently. This can decrease HVAC repair needs, lower usage costs and extend the life of your HVAC system. Mold Growth Concerns Any time water and humidity levels are not controlled in the home, the issue of mold becomes a concern. Mold commonly grows in moist, darkened areas that are difficult to find. It can spread considerably in a short period of time, damaging many areas of the home without your knowledge. It also can cause moderate to serious illness or even death in you and your loved ones when exposed to mold spores. If you have been told that you had a water leak or high humidity levels, it is wise to get a professional mold test completed for your home. Mold remediation should begin immediately if you determine mold is growing in your home. The Issue of Water Quality Your home’s water heater plays a direct role in water quality in the home. Sediment and other debris in the hot water heater can enter your home’s water supply. In addition, there are times when the sewage line leaks back into the fresh water supply. Both can cause illness or worse. A plumbing inspection can reveal if this is a problem in your home. You may also spot signs of this through foul-smelling or discolored water. These are signs that plumbing repairs are urgently needed. It is easy to overlook the condition of your plumbing system as long as everything appears to be functioning as needed. However, you can see that hidden issues with your pipes, sewage line and hot water heater can cause serious issues that require urgent attention. These issues can impact your wallet in the form of extra expenses, and they can also affect your health. Consider scheduling a plumbing inspection soon to learn more about the current condition of this vital system and to make repairs as needed. By doing so, you can dramatically improve the efficiency and condition of your home.
  6. 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.
  7. Well water is not processed in the same way as a municipal water supply. Since there is no water treatment plant, you will have to take action to protect your well water. These four tips can help you to keep your well water supply clean and healthy. Avoiding Pesticides and Herbicides Although you will not be able to control what your neighbors do on their property, it is a good idea to avoid using pesticides and herbicides on yours. These chemicals can leach into the groundwater and contaminate your well water supply. Even a low quantity of these chemicals could lead to serious health consequences. If you must use an herbicide or pesticide, look for one that has been extensively tested and shown to be non-toxic. Well Maintenance and Repairs Even if the groundwater itself is clean, a malfunctioning well could introduce contaminants. Well pumps require some lubricants in order to pump in sub-freezing temperatures. Improper placement of the lubricant could cause some to contaminate the water. Bacterial, parasitic or viral growth could also occur in the water because of a pump malfunction. Be sure to schedule regular well pump maintenance and repairs. Testing Your Well Water Testing your well water is critical for your family's health and safety. The testing process should be done once every one to two years. Keep copies of the results so that you can track any changes over the course of time. Each state has different hazards that may be present in the water. Companies like the Water Systems Council offer guidance on a state by state basis so that you can determine which types of tests are needed for your location. Septic Maintenance Most people with well water also have a septic tank for the processing of waste water. Be sure that your septic tank is located away from the well, preferable downstream from it. Regular septic system maintenance is key to ensuring that none of the raw sewage is able to escape from the pipes or tanks and reach the well. Be sure to schedule a septic tank pumping service about every three years. A clean and green supply of well water is essential to your health. Keeping contaminants off of your property and scheduling regular maintenance will help to keep the well's pump and your septic system working properly. Regularly testing your water will provide you with the information you need and the peace of mind that comes from knowing your water is safe.
  8. Whether you plan to heat the house, office or warehouse, using propane is the right choice for your budget and the environment. People using propane vehicles notice the differences when they stop using petroleum and save more money on their rides, according to research by the U.S. Department of Energy. Today, people count on propane as the ideal source of clean energy in homes and buildings. Propane is Not a Hazard Propane is a colorless, odorless gas that is nontoxic. Whether it's referred to as a natural gas byproduct, liquid or fossil fuel, it is clean and produces far fewer toxins than gasoline. Propane vehicles promote clean cities by releasing fewer smog-causing particles. In your home, a propane heater does not release harmful gases into the air or cause environmental pollution. Affordable for All Households Homeowners use the Btu formula to compare the costs of heating a home with propane, electricity or natural gas. Determine the amount of power you need before you determine the cost per energy unit. Know that propane is a highly energy efficient source that works well throughout the winter. Find air, water, space and tank heaters that are all powered with propane fuel. The heaters vary in volume capacity from 100 to 1,000 gallons. Avoid the highest costs of electricity when you have a propane device in its place. There are no electrical cords, so the equipment is portable and convenient to use. The liquid propane tanks are ideal for use in mobile space heaters. Preserve the heat inside of your propane tank with a cover, which is found only through companies like Powerblanket. A Backup Source of Energy Anyone not sure about the reliability of propane should use it as a backup. During a power outage, families do not have to wait for the utility company to restore power, which is a process that could take days or weeks. Many homes have standby generators that run on propane or natural gas. The device runs automatically after it detects an outage and continues running for weeks or months later. In case you are away, certain companies have monitoring systems that allow you to monitor the status of a generator remotely. Emissions regulations have changed the ways that people look at energy. Now, more of them see propane as the clean, alternative option that works in homes and businesses. They will continue to rely on propane as an important source of heating, comfort and significant energy savings.
  9. If you own a home supplied with well water, you are in a surprisingly large company. According to the EPA, approximately 15% of Americans get their water from a private source. But with it comes responsibility. You don’t have a city service regulating your water. Taking short cuts or not knowing what you are doing could lead to bad-tasting water, or even severe illness. You can take several steps to help make sure you and your family keep drinking clean refreshing water. Research Call a local water expert or check the EPA website or a company like Water Systems Council to find out about common water contamination in your neighborhood. Wells can be a source of a variety of contaminants, some are nature-borne, and others are attributed to humans. One of the most common infiltrators is bacteria. Most of these microscopic organisms are harmless to humans, but some, such as E coli could cause serious illness. You will also want to test for water hardness, concentration of minerals, and other contaminants such as pesticides and nitrites, which in high doses, can be dangerous when consumed by infants. Know State Regulations State regulations on private wells vary. Check with your local water expert or local health department for your state’s policies or guidelines on water testing. In some states, you may need to obtain a permit for your private well. Other states require a home seller to pay for a water test and show the results to potential buyers. Your state may also require an annual testing of your well water. IF that is the case, make sure you get a complete explanation on what the results mean. Keep Test Results Keep all of your test records and any other problems or inconsistencies in your water. Check for bad taste, odd color, visible contaminants or foul smell. After a while, you will probably find patterns in your well water, making them easier to eliminate. And showing personal and professional records to a potential buyer will give you some added leverage in the negotiation. Owning your own well can be wonderfully satisfying to a home owner. If properly cleaned, well water tastes better and because you don’t have a monthly water bill, is economical. But you must follow cleaning and state guidelines. Doing so will greatly increase your odds of maintaining a well that will meet all the needs of you and your family.
  10. Creating an energy-efficient environment can benefit you in many ways. It can cut down your electric bill and provide you with the means to claim a tax break in some cases. If you have not yet transformed to living an energy-efficient life, these tips can help you get started. Have Your Insulation Checked The first and quickest way that you can be energy-efficient is by checking the insulation in your home. You contact a professional to have an inspection. If the inspection reveals poor insulation, then you know you need to tighten things up to maximize energy efficiency. Buy Energy Star Household Items The golden rule of energy efficiency is not getting too attached to one's old appliances. Look for the Energy Star logo whenever you shop for any household appliances. Examples of items that you may need to replace are items such as washing machines, clothes washers, refrigerators and the like. The Energy Star symbol is a guarantee that your new device is going to use as little energy as possible to do the job it needs to do. Renovate by Swapping Out Major Equipment You will need to conduct some major upgrades if you want to receive the tax breaks and truly get the most out of your energy efficiency potential. For example, you may want to replace your current boiler with one from a company like Nationwide Boiler. Obtain a Special Energy Measurement Sensor Many people would use less energy if they could get on-demand usage stats. Therefore, you may want to buy a gadget or device that measures the amount of energy that you are consuming on any given day. You can then manipulate the amount of energy that you use. Such devices do exist, although they are probably few and far between. Regularly Maintain Your Appliances Another way that you can ensure that you maintain an energy efficient environment is if you perform regular maintenance on your appliances. For example, you can dust your air conditioner and change the filters so it doesn't have to work harder than normal to cool the room. You can do the same with the heating system, fridge and other appliances. Have a professional come in and provide maintenance to the items that you don't quite understand. Use the previously mentioned ideas to get yourself started on an efficient path. You can apply the tips to a business or a large-scale project, as well.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. We all know we must have water in order to survive. Many people do not question the safety of the water that comes out of their tap. According to the US Geological Survey, approximately 15% of individuals use private well water for their drinking water source. But is such water safe? We will look at 3 ways to ensure your well water is safe for consumption. Pay Attention to Warning Signs Many well system owners rely upon their wells for drinking water and water for cooking and cleaning without thinking twice about whether or not the water is safe and clean to drink. There are some warning signs that should lead well water owners to consider the possibility that their well system needs to be tested. Some of those warning signs include: Bad taste or unusual smell Stains or residue in clothes or fixtures Water is not clear, it is cloudy Plumbing fixtures corrode faster than expected Family members with severe GI issues Educate Yourself on Maintaining Your Private Well Water System Many well system owners are not aware that water testing should be conducted on a regular basis and especially if any of the warning signs of possible contamination are present. If you are the owner of a private well water system, an easy place to begin to educate yourself about how to maintain a safe well is to use the resources of the Water Systems Council. This nonprofit has an excellent website where well owners can find a local resource to have their well water tested (usually through a division of the state’s department of health and environmental safety. Obtain Annual Testing Many water well owners are not aware that the Environmental Protection Agency recommends annual testing of private wells for what are called ‘indicator organisms’ as well as nitrate. The presence of the indicator organisms often predicts the presence of other dangerous organisms such as Giardia or E coli. The EPA also recommends additional testing be conducted every 5-10 years. The price of individual tests differs from state to state. If you own a private well, you want to do everything you can to ensure that your family has access to safe drinking water that is free from contaminants. Remember: pay attention to warning signs of possible contamination, educate yourself on testing and maintenance that should be conducted to ensure that your well is free from dangerous contaminants, and obtain recommended testing of your well water from a reliable local source.
  15. With the holidays officially upon us, it's easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of what truly matters this time of year. Amidst all the shopping and festivities, some of the most rewarding acts of cheer this season are performed for the good of one's community. Nothing brings a town or urban borough closer together than small but heartfelt acts of generosity, from volunteering with local shelters and charitable programs to taking extra care to keep things clean and looking their most inviting. In the latter case, here are just a few of the ways cleaning up your community can ring in the spirit of the holidays. 1. Teach Them While They're Young When our children see us taking joy in an act of kindness, they're all too happy to join in! Bundle up your little ones and make an afternoon of cleaning up the neighborhood, collecting discarded trash, shoveling drives and walkways, and making those small but effective adjustments that transform any community into a welcoming abode. 2. Flex Your Winter-Green Thumb Community gardens and parks often fall to neglect when winter hits and the snow begins to collect, which is truly a shame. By clearing paths and walkways, trimming back greenery, and even hanging lights or garlands (where permitted) outdoor public spaces can enjoy just as much holiday traffic and activity as the warmer indoors. 3. Reuse, Recycle, Rejoice You're probably well aware of just how much garbage and debris a household can accumulate over the holidays, and the overflow can eventually spill over into unwanted spaces, considerably dampening the cheer. By collecting, sorting, and properly disposing of waste before it qualifies for snow sledding, you can make way for the real attractions of the season. You should consider having a waste removal company such as Ware Disposal to help remove the garbage and debris in your area. 4. Pick Up For Those In Need Often the elderly and physically impaired aren't able to get out and give their properties a good holiday cleaning, so why not lend a hand? Offer to clear the gutters, drives, and walkways to make room for festive decorations and easier mobility, and pick up any trash that may have gone undetected. It will not only be a great help to your neighbor, but spread the best kind of holiday cheer. Whether it's sweeping an elderly neighbor's walkway or tidying up the public park, taking some time out of your busy holiday schedule to give your community a boost goes a long way to ensuring a happy, healthy season for all.