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Found 87 results

  1. When you program your thermostat, you reasonably expect the thermostat to maintain the entire home at the desired temperature without hassle at all times. In many homes, however, there may be a significant temperature differential from room to room. This can cause a thermostat to work overtime, which can result in skyrocketing energy bills. If you are having trouble with your home’s thermostat, the problem may not actually be related to this device. Instead, it may be related to various other features throughout the home. Upgrade Your Home’s Windows Residential windows are no longer made out of a single thin pane of glass. Instead, they are usually at least double-paned with an insulating gas layer between the panes. They also may have an additional coating to further promote energy efficiency. If you notice draughts in your home, it may be a sign that your windows need to be replaced. Through professional window and glass service from a company like Valley Glass Utility, you can upgrade to new higher-quality windows that offer improved insulating benefits. Seal Doors and Windows Annually The type of windows that are installed in your home is not the only factor that can cause draughts and uneven temperatures in the home. When doors and windows are not well-sealed, they can allow external air to flow into the home. The thermostat may seemingly not work efficiently when this happens because it will struggle to maintain the desired temperature while the window and door seals work against it. Resealing the doors and windows is a smart way to save money on electricity related to heating and cooling the home. Improve Insulation External air can also penetrate into the home through the walls. Insulation is typically installed between the exterior walls to act as a buffer, but fiberglass insulation can deteriorate, be damaged by pests or simply slouch down in the wall. Fiberglass insulation may need to be replaced periodically. You may also consider using spray-in foam insulation. This type of insulation is more resistant to some types of damage that fiberglass insulation is prone to. It is easy to assume that climate control issues in the home are caused by a faulty thermostat, but you can see that there are many other factors that play a role in how effectively the thermostat can do its job. A smart idea is to inspect each of these factors closely and consider getting a professional opinion to determine if upgrades or replacements would help you to save money on energy costs going forward.
  2. Though there is a continuing argument surrounding global warning, many people understand that it is a very real issue. As a result, they’re doing what they can to save the environment. Even though you might not feel like what you can do matters in the grand scheme of things, it really does. Consider these four ways you can change your home habits for the sake of the environment. Purify the Air According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollution is one of the main environmental dangers in the world. This is why air purification is so important. You can take small steps towards purifying the air within your home. Start by purchasing a few plants. Develop a green thumb, and place plants in every thousand square feet of the home as plants are natural air purifiers. Open the windows of your home each day for 15 minutes at a time. This allows air to circulate throughout the entire home. It’s also a great idea to purchase an air purifier. Use Homemade or Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products You can easily switch all of your current cleaning products for each eco-friendly products. Sure, there might be a cost difference. However, your health and the environment are worth it. If you’re not ready to make that jump and purchase higher-priced cleaning products, you can make them yourself. Lemons, baking soda and other natural ingredients are excellent for cleaning different household items. In fact, many of these natural ingredients are more effective than the ones with tons of toxins in them. Go Paperless It’s safe to say that most billing companies will allow you the option to go paperless. Utilize that option. Get rid of junk mail, bills and other papers that pile up in your home. With the usage of your smartphones, tablets and laptops, you really don’t need to use paper. Plus, too many trees get cut down to provide the paper that’ll be used and thrown away within days. Consider How You’re Dumping When it’s time to relocate, it’s customary for most people to do garage sales to get rid of as many items as possible. It’s a time of decluttering. When you’re doing spring cleaning haul in your home, it’s also easy to dump things arbitrarily. However, it might be better to utilize the services of a company that can pick up whatever you’re getting rid of. Instead of dumping everything in the garbage, companies that make skip bins will pick up the waste and discard it in an eco-friendly fashion. As you can see, it’s pretty easy to get started with changing your home habits for the sake of the environment. As you remain committed to the process, it’ll eventually feel like second nature. Plus, you’ll be helping Mother Nature as well.
  3. Energy efficiency should be your primary goal in preparation for the winter months. You will need all the interior warmth you can get during the cold months. Aside from keeping you and your family members warm during winter, it can equally save the environment. Furthermore, energy efficiency can save your pocket from pointless leakage by reducing energy cost, especially during the winter months. Energy efficiency effort does not have to involve heavy machinery and installations; those simple things that may seem not to matter can go a long way in saving your home, your pocket and the environment. Seal your attic This is the first thing to do to improve the energy efficiency in your home. Air sealing of your attic can help keep the air outside from entering the house and also prevent the air inside from getting out. Aside from air sealing the attic, you can also carry out the same process on your walls and ceilings. You can use either stripping or caulking to ensure that the windows and doors are sealed properly. Consequently, air leak and cold drafts will be prevented and the air within the home will be kept warm during the cold months of winter. The attic sealing you have done above is not only useful during the winter; it can equally keep the cool air in the home interior from escaping, as well as prevent the warm air from the exterior from gaining entrance into the home interior. Window revamping Heat loss can equally occur through the window, which is the reason why window revamping can increase the warmth in the home during the winter months. You may need to replace the aluminum frames on the window with a vinyl frame. The aluminum frame can allow heat to escape from the home, unlike vinyl frames that can keep the heat boxed up in the interior. Additionally, you can install multiple window panes. An excellent example of this is the double or triple-paned windows filled with argon gas. It is equally effective in keeping the warm hair trapped within the interior; this is because the argon can function as an effective insulator. Furthermore, you can tint the windows to make further the home interior feel warm. Tinted windows may not look especially attractive, but they can fulfill the intended purpose. If you do not like the idea of defacing your front windows, you can restrict the tainting to your back windows. Opening the blinds too can make the home interior feel warmer than before. Opening the blind during the summer can let in some sunlight, which can get heat trapped in the home interior. You can even switch off the light while allowing the natural light from the sun to lit up the interior What about energy Star-rated replacement? It has proved to be one of the most cost-effective and energy-efficient options to keep the home warm during the winter months. Many of the strategies described above are simple things you can do by yourself. However, you can contact Plumber & Heating Engineers to help out with any of the processes. Replace old appliances Replacing the old appliances in your home can equally make the place feel warmer than before. For one, you can replace your bathroom fitters to new ones if they are already rusty. Studies have shown that old appliances are not as energy-efficient as new appliances aside from saving energy; this can equally lower your electricity bill a great deal. Aside from your bathroom fitters, you should also consider changing other items in the home like the furnace, water heater, dryer, and washer, as well as any other kitchen appliance that has become too old. If you want to change bathroom fitters in Bishops Stortford, make sure you properly research the various features and models and go for one that is energy efficient among them so that you can get top value for your money. You should look out for those appliances labeled as "Energy Star Certified"; they can be trusted for energy efficiency. Many of the plumbers and heating engineers operating in Bishops can equally be trusted for direction on which brand to buy. Keep your water heater warm always Make sure the water heater is kept warm between the range of 120 and 140 degrees. The latest brands of water heaters can turn the temperature down to 140 if the temperature is adjusted beyond that by the end user. The hot water line should be insulated to ensure they do not cool off too quickly after initial use. Also, you should install-on-demand hot water circulating loops. Conclusion The points mentioned above are just perfect for keeping the home interior warm and making it energy efficient. You can contact any of the plumbers & heating engineers out there for helpful guidance or aid if you ever face any challenge while carrying out any of the process described above.
  4. Transforming your home into a green home is a lofty and admirable goal. By achieving this goal, you may decrease your carbon footprint on a regular basis, and you may save a tremendous amount of money on energy costs. The good news is that this goal is attainable, and you can walk through these tips at your own pace to gradually improve your home’s impact on the environment. Upgrade Your Appliances It makes sense to use your outdated appliances for as long as possible. After all, there is some waste associated with making an upgrade before it is necessary. All of your appliances, however, may drain energy unnecessarily. Older appliances may consume much more energy than newer appliances. Now is a great time to assess the condition of your appliances and to explore replacement options. Remember that you can always donate functional appliances to keep them out of a landfill. Use Recycled Materials during a Renovation When you renovate your home, you understandably will generate a considerable amount of waste. Some of this waste must be tossed out, and using skip bins is a convenient way to contain and remove the waste. Some materials, however, may be recycled on-site or donated to others for their own projects. Always look for ways to reuse materials before tossing them in a waste bin. Update Windows and Doors If your home’s windows and doors are older, there is a good chance that they are not as energy efficient as they could be. Replacing windows and doors with features that offer more insulation may help you to conserve a tremendous amount of energy. If you determine that now is not the time to update your home in this way, consider resealing the doors and windows annually. Add More Insulation Insulation in your walls and ceiling will not last forever. It can deteriorate with age, or it may be damaged by pests. Fiberglass insulation can also sink down into the walls so that it does not offer full protection. From time to time, you may need to replace insulation or supplement existing insulation. Choose Green Energy In many areas, homeowners can choose which provider they want to use for energy. They may also be able to choose the exact type of energy that they want to use, such as pure solar energy or half solar energy and half wind energy. If this is not an option for you, you can install solar panels or wind energy features on your property. You can see that it may cost you a small fortune to make your home as environmentally-friendly as possible. Remember that you can progress through these steps at your own pace as time and funds allow.
  5. Taking care of the environment is something that all people are responsible for. For many people, one of the best things that they could do would be to start being more environmentally friendly at home. There are several things, in particular, the average homeowner could do to be more environmentally friendly at their home and help to improve the environment as a whole. Conscious of Waste Removal One of the most effective things that someone could do to be more environmentally friendly is to be conscious of their waste removal. Many people try to recycle on a regular basis but still have a lot of room for improvement. Through the use of skip bins, recycling bins, and other products, most people could find ways to improve their recycling habits. Home Automation One great upgrade that you could make would be to invest in a home automation system. When you have a home automation system in your home, there are many different controls that can help to make you more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Home automation systems frequently include smart thermostats that are designed to help predict your patterns and reduce energy bills. Furthermore, they can be used to turn off lights in rooms that are not used, which will also help to reduce energy usage. Avoid Plastic The amount of plastic used in the world today is very concerning as it is taking up landfill space at an alarming rate. For you to do your part at home, you should try to avoid plastic as much as possible. By switching to paper or canvas as much as possible, you can do a little to help the environment. Water Usage One of the biggest concerns that the world is facing today is an overall water shortage. Today, you may live in an area that has access to clean water. However, there are many places around the world that do not have access to clean water on a daily basis. Because of this, you need to be conscious about how much water you are using to ensure your local water supply remains high and to also find ways to give more water back to areas where it is in need. Overall, there are many different things that people could do to be more environmentally friendly in their home. In general, it is important to find ways to be better for the environment that also works with your lifestyle. This will help to keep you motivated and focused on doing right by the environment.
  6. Owning your own home comes with plenty of responsibilities, not the least of which is ensuring that your home has as small of an impact on the environment as possible. This sounds great in principle, however, in practice, this can be a difficult goal to achieve. Here are a few tips to beginning a “green” lifestyle while still maintaining the lifestyle you currently enjoy. Upgrade Your Home on Time Your appliances and HVAC system use the majority of energy in your home. That’s why it’s so important to replace them using energy-efficient models when the old units break down. That’s the key, though. You need to wait until the old units are no longer operable before replacing them with new models. Sure, new models are likely to use less energy, however, the energy required to produce the new model and dispose of the old one will far outweigh any energy savings you gain through early replacement. Recycle It All Recycling is, of course, a great way to ensure that the materials you don’t need anymore do not fill up the landfill. What’s crucial with recycling, however, is to truly consider how to recycle all that you can, not just those materials that are “easy,” such as cardboard, glass, and aluminum. One category that can be more difficult is electronics. Since they contain so many precious metals as well as harmful materials, proper electronics recycling is absolutely crucial. Utilize a company such as Ranch Town Recycling Center Inc. that is trusted and works to keep all waste produced in the United States instead of shipping it off to contaminate another country. A Note about Pets Pets, for people of any age, can be wonderful to release stress, build responsibility, and provide many years of enjoyment. If you’re seeking to live “green,” however, the environmental cost of owning a pet must be considered. Whether it’s a dog whose food puts a big stress on food supplies and shipping resources or fish whose tank accessories are operating 24/7, pets can do more than their fair share of harm to the environment. Taking steps like buying locally-made dog food or utilizing a fish tank that can cycle itself without electricity are good ways to lessen the environmental impact of your pet while still retaining all the benefits of owning one. Turn off Those Lights Though we all know the importance of turning off lights when we leave a room, it’s a habit few of us actually practice. If you find yourself consistently unable to remember to flip the switch, consider investing in some automatic light switches that turn off after a period of inactivity in a room. These work especially great in areas that people don’t frequent, such as a bathroom or a basement, but where lights are still frequently left on. Reach out Though the impact of the steps you take in your own home is certainly important, the biggest change happens when others take notice of the changes you’re making and seek to make some changes themselves. Be open with those who ask and have the information handy to help them make changes in their own lives, as well. The cumulative effect of many people making changes will truly make a big impact on making the world a better place.
  7. Trying to be as environmentally-friendly as possible is something that most homeowners want to do. Some are doing it because it ends up saving them money while others worry about the kind of effect they are having on this earth. The following are five tips for eco-conscious people moving into a new home. Good Appliances It is important that you replace some of the appliances in your home. You need to make sure you install eco-friendly appliances that will not drain your electricity or will not use so much water. You do not have to switch all your appliances at once, but start as soon as possible. Water Management Homes can waste a lot of water due to mismanagement. You can take steps to ensure your home manages water in a few ways; for example, you can install automatic sprinklers. These should be set to wet your grass at night or early in the morning to avoid heat, which evaporates water and ends up wasting it. It might also be a good idea to think about using drought-resistant plant life to reduce water use. Recycling Is Key Sometimes, it is overlooked but it is important that you contract rubbish collectors as soon as you move into your new home. The right company can ensure your home recycles early on by providing containers such as skip bins for your needs. The waste removal company should be able to tell you what happens to your trash and recyclables if you are wondering. Get Educated You need to take steps to learn about living eco-consciously. There are a few things that you can learn so that you can be more eco-friendly like composting some of your trash, which can be used to feed lawns or gardens. Taking steps to becoming knowledgeable in everything eco-friendly should make things easier for you. Consider an Inspection It is important that you have your home inspected as often as possible. You probably already went through an inspection before purchasing your new home but that does not mean there haven’t been any changes. What you want to pay attention to are leaks, which could be wasting water or cracks or window seal issues. These problems could make it harder for your AC to work, which ends up using more energy and that is not what you want. Hopefully, some of these tips make it easier for you to live as eco-conscious as you can. Be sure to talk to other eco-friendly homeowners to see if there are other steps you can take.
  8. Energy efficiency is one of the smartest contributions you can make to your household budget and to the future of our planet. If you adopt just one single eco-friendly strategy listed herein, Mother Nature and your wallet will certainly thank you. Some of the strategies may require you to make an initial investment that will eventually pay for itself in terms of savings. With this in mind, here are four strategies to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Switch to LED or CFL Light Bulbs Compact fluorescent lamps and LED light bulbs are between 35 to 65 percent more efficient than their traditional counterparts. Depending on your lighting usage patterns and the number of illuminated spaces in your house, you could save between $40 and $60 per year with LED bulbs. Keep in mind that keeping lights on during the daytime will result in higher electricity bills. Choose Smart Ways to Conserve Water Municipal utilities are forced to apply a substantial amount of energy to pump drinking water to your house. At a time when major cities such as Cape Town in South Africa are suffering major water shortages, you should do your best to conserve water at home. Three tips to get started: install low-flow shower heads and faucets, wash only full loads of laundry, and turn off water that you’re not using when you shower or brush your teeth. Bury Your Electric Cables Exposed and aerial electrical cables are at a higher risk of becoming damaged. A smarter and more energy-efficient way of organizing electrical wires and cables is to bury them. Underground wiring installation minimize the risk of power failure due to damage to electrical cables during extreme weather conditions. This is something to be done by a trained professional, however, like those from Motor Shop Electrical Construction Co. Modernize Your HVAC System If you live in a warm region, chances are that your air conditioning unit is the most expensive line item in your monthly electricity bill. For this reason, you should invest in a smart thermostat and an overall upgrade. This does not mean that you will have to replace your compressor. Depending on the age and condition of your A/C unit, a seasonal tune-up may be all you need to make it energy-efficient. In the end, you should strive to adopt the four strategies listed above and conduct further research on household energy efficiency. Learning more about this subject may prompt to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle that can holistically improve your health.
  9. If your family is like many, there is a good chance that you waste a lot of electricity in your home. Luckily, there are several things that you can do to reduce your energy consumption. Follow these steps if you’re interested in doing so. Turn Your Home into a Smart Home First of all, if you haven’t yet implemented smart home automation in your home, then now is a good time to do so. Along with making your home more comfortable and intuitive for your family, this can help you conserve energy. For example, a programmable thermostat can help you avoid wasting energy with your HVAC system, and being able to turn off lights that were left on from a touch of your smartphone can help you conserve energy as well. Plus, as an added bonus, adding smart home components to your home can help you increase its value and make it much more appealing to potential buyers if you choose to put your home on the market later on. Invest in the Best Window Coverings One simple and affordable change that you can make is to invest in the best window coverings possible for your home. Look for those that are designed to filter out sunlight, since this can help you dramatically reduce your heating bills. It can also help you make your home more comfortable, prevent glares and protect your furnishings and flooring from fading. Plus, there are tons of modern and attractive styles, so buying new window coverings is a great way to update your home’s decor at the same time. Change out Your Light Bulbs If you haven’t yet switched out all of your household light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs, now is the time to do so. This is an affordable project to tackle, and it’s something you can do yourself. Swap out Household Appliances If you’re ready to make an investment, consider swapping out your household appliances. Older refrigerators, washing machines and other appliances use a lot more energy than newer models. Some, like washing machines and dishwashers, also waste water. Buying new, eco-friendly appliances can help you save on energy and help the environment. As you can see, there are a few things that you can do if you would like to control how much energy you use at home. Then, you can lower the amount that you pay for your electricity bill each month, and you can feel good in knowing that your family has taken steps to reduce its impact on the environment
  10. When you put your home on the real estate market, you hope for a fast sale at the price you desire. Many factors affect the price of a home and it’s ability to sell quickly, such as hire a mortgage company to help you with your home loans, but you can take proactive steps to attract buyers by ensuring it looks its best, both inside and out. Many sellers take great pains to repair and paint the inside of the home but neglect the small improvements on the outside that can make a big difference in securing a buyer. Here are five tips for improving your yard that prospective buyers will appreciate. – Trim Back Overgrown Foliage Mature trees and shrubs may have become so overgrown that it detracts from the overall appearance of your home. Take some time to assess your landscaping to see how it affects the look of your home. Trim back tree branches that are hanging over the roof or obstructing windows. Remove broken or weak branches to improve the tree’s shape. Thin out shrubs to make them look neater. A well-maintained property will help you to achieve a fast sale and a favorable appraisal, so a mortgage company will be happy to lend to your buyer. – Add Yard Lights Lighting your entryway attractively or highlighting unusual plants can add a distinctive touch that makes your property stand out from the rest. Lights near the back door can also provide a look at security and safety. A variety of new types of outdoor lighting is available that is easy to connect and that can be utilized in a number of ways. – Design an Inviting Entryway with Plants A curved bed with colorful flowers can make a big difference in how the entrance to your home looks and feels. A small ornamental tree near the front steps can also help to improve the look of your front entrance. If you have a porch, put up a few hanging baskets with colorful flowers. These small touches can help to attract potential buyers to your property. – Reseed or Sod Your Lawn Many lawns have bare or worn areas that could use a bit of rejuvenation. Generally, this may occur along spaces that see a great deal of use or under the shade of trees. Do some reseeding of the lawn in open areas. You may want to use sod in shady areas, where grass may be difficult to grow. – Put Tools and Toys in Storage Lawn equipment and outdoor toys left in yard areas tend to create a messy appearance that can devalue your property. Collect all unused items left in yard areas and organize them neatly in your garage, basement or in an attractive storage shed in a discreet corner of the property. These changes will help you to present your home in the best possible light. A neat and tidy yard reflects the care you give to the rest of the property. Buyers look for homeowners who maintain their properties both inside and out. These tips can help to ensure that prospective buyers get a good first impression of your home.
  11. Being conscious of the environment is an important responsibility that everyone shares. Those that are looking to be greener and more conscious of their impact on the environment should start their efforts at home. There are four important tips that someone could follow that would help anyone to be more environmentally friendly at home and reduce their carbon footprint. Recycle One great way to be greener at home is to set up a regular wastewater filtration system. All families and homeowners can make a big difference if they make even simple changes to their recycling habits. As opposed to throwing all of your waste into the garbage, taking time to separate and organize the recyclables and putting them into the appropriate bins will be helpful. Furthermore, people should always look to use reusable bottles and plates as opposed to using items that will be thrown away after one use. Water Usage When you are looking to be more green and efficient at home, it is also important that you watch your water usage. Access to clean drinking water is quickly becoming problematic for people all over the world. All people, regardless of where they live, need to find ways to reduce water usage. Some of the best ways to do this can include taking shorter showers, being more efficient when watering the lawn, and simply being conscientious of water use. Home Automation and Smart Technology Another way that you can help to reduce your carbon footprint at home is by using smart appliances and home automation systems. Smart thermostats, smart power strips, and smart light switches can all be used to learn your behaviors and change settings when a certain room is not in use. Through a home automation system, you will also be able to change the thermostat in your home, turn lights and appliances on and off, and control other parts of your home that can help to reduce your overall energy usage. Purchase Efficient Appliances One of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to purchase more efficient appliances. Energy efficient refrigerators, air conditioners, furnaces, hot water heaters, and other appliances can all be used to drastically reduce your energy and water usage. While taking steps to help improve the environment is important, there are additional benefits that come with making greener decisions. Those that make certain investments and upgrades to their home could qualify for federal tax credits and will also see a reduction in their energy bills.
  12. Sustainability starts in the home. But are you doing everything you can to create an eco-friendly house? There are many ways you can make your house greener and more energy efficient. Use these tips to learn how to save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Insulate Your Home How well insulated is your home? Many homes do not have insulation in the basement or attic. This is where most of the unwanted air flow enters your home. Because of this, cold air will enter your home in the winter and warm air in the summer. This means your heating and air conditioning will need to work twice as hard to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. To lower your heating and cooling costs and stop wasting energy, install additional insulation in your home. Make Sure Everything Is Running at High Efficiency Check your appliances and ensure they are working as efficiently as they can. If your appliances and home fixtures are not working as efficiently as they should, you will be spending more on your energy bills. For example, a low-efficiency furnace will require more energy to heat your home. Call a professional furnace repair company, like Logan A/C & Heat Services Inc., to inspect your furnace and fix anything that needs to be fixed. The same goes for all of your large appliances like your refrigerator and washing machine. Additionally, when it comes time to replace any appliances, make sure you choose ones that are energy efficient. You can tell because they will have the Energy Star logo on the tags. Turn off the Lights Your parents might have been onto something whenever they yelled at you to turn off the lights. Anytime you leave a room, remember to turn off the lights. Doing so can save a lot of electricity and thus lower your bills. The last thing you want is to waste energy on things that nobody is even using. Switch to Green Energy Sources There’s never been a better time to upgrade your home to green sources of energy. Consider installing solar panels on your roof to power the house. This is a fantastic way to make your house eco-friendlier and save on energy costs. Plus, you may even be able to get a tax break after installing the solar panels. There are tons of ways you can make your home greener. In doing so, you can save yourself some cash and save the environment, too.
  13. Being environmentally conscious is becoming an increasingly popular idea, and there are many steps that homeowners can take to aid in this objective. Homes are a major contributor concerning energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, and many other factors that have a direct effect on the environment. As a homeowner, there are a variety of actions that you can take to make your home have a positive impact on the environment, and here are four tips to do so. Conserve Water Water is a critical resource that is used for a variety of purposes, and conserving it is highly important. There are many steps that you can take to reduce your water usage, including taking shorter showers, installing more efficient nozzles, and eliminating excess water usage in your yard. Be Energy Efficient Homes consume a large amount of energy, but there are many simple steps to reducing your consumption. One of the biggest ways is to replace your lightbulbs with LEDs. These bulbs have a very long product life, reducing the need to purchase replacements. They also are highly efficient and reduce electricity usage. Another way to decrease energy consumption is to unplug items that aren’t in use because, even if they aren’t in use, the outlet is still pulling power and using electricity. Compost and Recycle Composting is a great way to reduce waste and reuse various products from in and around your home, including grass clippings, leaves, food products, and others. These items can be added to a composter, and after they break down, they can be used as fertilizer for your yard or garden. Recycling is another great way to reduce waste, and recycled items can often just be placed in a separate bin and can be picked up just like trash. Soil Stabilization Soil stabilization offered by businesses like T. Luckey Sons, Inc. and similar companies is often overlooked as a green option. If, however, the soil beneath the foundation under your house is damaged it can cause damage to your house and the environment through erosion and organic degradation. This issue is easy to get under control through the use of soil grouting and other stabilizing solutions, and addressing issues early can reduce larger problems in the future. As resources are becoming increasingly scarcer and more information is coming to light about the importance of protecting the environment, it is important for everyone to contribute however they are able to. As a homeowner, there are many different steps that can be taken to help reduce your environmental footprint.
  14. While we likely won’t see a world in which every home is solar powered, trash is turned into fertilizer, and everyone grows their own produce, there are a number of things that you do at home to be a little greener. Going green once meant you simply recycled all your trash bags and conserved water when brushing your teeth, but today there are so many more things you can do. If you want to do your part to make your home environment more green, check out these environmentally friendly living tips to help you reduce your carbon footprint from the inside out. Conserve Energy Energy conservation is one of the first steps you can take toward going green, and today it’s easier than ever to implement these energy-saving practices. Here are just a few ways you can start reducing your energy consumption. • Switch your light bulbs. – Incandescent lightbulbs use up to 75 percent more electricity than compact fluorescent bulbs. Switch all of your existing bulbs to fluorescent bulbs and save energy (and money). • Turn the lights off. – Another great way to save energy is making sure lights get turned off when not in use. If you and your family forget to do this, then consider either installing automatic light sensors or timers on your lights to regulate when lights are turned off. • Unplug unused appliances. – Even when not in use, your appliances and other electronics are using electricity. Conserve energy by unplugging unused appliances and electronics, including your television, computer, lights, toaster, and other items. • Install an alarm system with energy efficiency options. – We have all left a light on at home, or even left the heat running when we were going to be gone for the day or even for several days. This is one of the biggest drains on energy, so help yourself and the environment out by installing an alarm system that will help you manage your energy. NorthStar alarm reviews show great options that allow you remotely power off appliances, control your lighting, and monitor and manage your home energy usage. Improve the Air Quality Another way you can go green at home is by improving the air quality around you. This measure is one few people think about, but is just as effective as other options. • Grow indoor plants. – Plants function as natural filters for the air, removing harmful pollutants and even odors. Fill your home with natural air cleaners including spider plants, palm trees, and Boston ferns. • Install a carbon monoxide detector. – If you heating unit is emitting carbon monoxide, it is polluting your home and the environment, which can even be deadly. Prevent this type of pollution by installing a carbon monoxide detector available from your local hardware store. Reduce Toxins Make an effort to reduce the toxins you use and bring into your home. While this effort isn’t always easy, there are many more options today than ever before. • Get rid of toxic chemical cleaners. – Start with the cleaners you use throughout your home. Ditch toxic chemical cleaners, and choose more natural options instead. There are many varieties available today, but you can also make your own with regular household products like vinegar and baking soda. • Reuse cleaning cloths. – Instead of using paper towels and other disposable items to clean, opt for reusable cloths you can toss in the wash. You’ll cut down on waste and save some money at the same time. Doing your part to go green at home makes a big difference, and it’s not that hard to do. Start on your path today to a greener home environment with these simple tips.
  15. When it comes to saving energy, you can consider your whole home as a system with the potential for better performance in many areas. Lower power consumption basically comes down to insulation and improved efficiency. Here are five steps to making your home more energy efficient. Your House’s Envelope Be certain that your walls and attic are thoroughly insulated. The less energy you’re losing, the less you have to generate. Rolls of insulation may do for an unfinished attic, but use blown-in insulation to add a little extra to exterior walls. If you’re due for roof repair or replacement, inquire with local roofing companies like Cloise & Mike Construction Inc about some modern options designed to provide better insulation from the top down. Upgrade Windows Most temperature loss comes through thin window panes. If the windows are old and have small gaps, they could be the biggest energy-wasters in your home. Be sure that your window frames are sealed with caulk or weather-stripping. If budget allows, you should upgrade to energy-efficient modern products that provide a better seal and much better protection. Be sure to look for EnergyStar products. Install Awnings Think about the windows in your home that admit the most sunlight. You can buy and attach awnings over these windows to block out the sun in the hot weather, and roll them back to admit sun when it gets cool out. You’ll find awnings in any number of sizes, colors, and styles to suit your home’s exterior. Some must be hand-cranked into position, but you can also find motorized products that make it easy to extend or retract the awnings. Maintain Your HVAC If your heating, ventilation, and AC unit is more than 10 years old, consider an upgrade to more energy-efficient models. Be sure your HVAC is scaled accurately to your home’s interior volume, as inadequate systems will work harder while over-sized systems will waste energy. At the least, have your HVAC units checked yearly to see that they’re in good order. Clean or replace filters as needed, and be sure to have your ducts checked to remove any accumulation of debris constricting air flow. Improve Your Hot Water Heater If you have an old water heater, you might want to consider upgrading it to a more efficient EnergyStar model. Keep the water temperature no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure that the lines coming into the home are insulated to reduced heat loss. You should also consider adding some loose insulation around the heater itself. To minimize your hot water use, consider adding low-flow, aerated faucets and showers. If you really want to save energy you should consider upgrading to technologies like smart lighting systems or solar panels. But don’t forget that the most important way to conserve energy is to stop being wasteful.
  16. Making your home more energy efficient can reduce your carbon footprint. There are some simple changes that you can make to be more efficient in your home. For a larger impact, use these solutions to make your home more green. Energy Star Appliances Appliances are scored on their annual anticipated energy usage. The Energy Star Program is run by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA looks at all models that are on the market and determines their total energy consumption. It is a completely unbiased analysis designed to aid the consumer in making a purchasing decision. Consider replacing your older appliances with ones that have a higher rating. Not only will you be helping to reduce carbon emissions, but you will be saving money on your electric bill. New Windows Older windows allow more air leakage than newer models. This is especially true if your home has single pane windows. Even windows that have aluminum frames and older vinyl windows can become less efficient over time. This is due to the seals on the windows breaking down with exposure to the elements. Not all windows are created equal. New windows are rated for certain climates. There are even varieties available that offer triple pane windows. This reduces the amount of air lost and helps with noise control. Upgrade Your Heating or Cooling System Even with routine maintenance on your AC or furnace, the parts can break with the passage of time. It may be time to consider upgrading to a more energy efficient model, like those you might get from a provider such as Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc. Something to take into consideration is the amount of usage of your system. You need to size your unit correctly based on the amount of square footage in your home. Sometimes it may even be prudent to oversize your unit if it sees heavy usage. This will allow the unit to run less while maintaining the desired temperature. Install Solar Panels For the most extreme solution for going green, solar panels are it. This is not a solution for everyone. It can be costly. There are government rebates that can be utilized to help offset the expense. Your home also needs to have a certain amount of roof square footage and sunlight exposure. With the installation of solar panels, your home can generate its own electricity. The surplus can then be sold back to the power company. This can also help to offset the major upfront expense for the installation of the solar panels. Energy efficiency in your home can be a huge expense. There are programs that can help with mitigating the cost. Consider these solutions for making your home more environmentally friendly.
  17. When you look at the windows in your home, you might see everything from streaks to fingerprints. You can get window cleaners at retail stores that will clean the glass. Another option is to make your own cleaner with products that you probably already have in your home to clean your windows without spending a lot of money. Vinegar and Water A simple DIY cleaner uses white vinegar and water. Combine two cups of water with half a cup of vinegar in a bucket. You can add a squeeze or two of lemon if you want the mixture scented. Use a sponge or cloth to wipe the cleaner on the windows. Rinse with water, and wipe the windows dry with a clean cloth. Apple cider vinegar can also be used and offers a better smell than white vinegar. Rubbing Alcohol If you want to remove a large number of streaks of prints from the windows, then combine rubbing alcohol with warm water. A cup of each liquid is enough to clean the windows. You can use a cloth or even newspaper that you roll into a ball to clean the windows. Sometimes your windows can get so badly stained that seemingly no amount of effort will clean them, or the glass may have scrapes or cracks that are unfixable. In these cases, Valley Glass Utility or a similar provider in your particular locale can help you install completely new windows. Baking Soda Combine about three teaspoons of baking soda with a cup of water and a cup of vinegar in a bucket. The baking soda will offer an added component that will help to lift the dirt from the windows. It’s important to clean the windows with the solution as soon as you add the baking soda so that it works on the surface instead of letting it linger in the bucket. Corn Starch If you don’t want to use products that have a strong scent, then combine cornstarch with about a teaspoon of vinegar instead of a larger amount and two cups of water. This will create a paste that you rub on the windows. Let the paste sit for about 10 minutes before wiping the windows clean with water and a cloth. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to clean your home. Use a few products from your cabinets to make glass cleaner that will leave your windows sparkling. Large amounts can be made at one time and kept in a spray bottle to use later.
  18. Being energy efficient does also include saving an extra cash by cutting down energy use other than just those in need of protecting the environment. During winter seasons, a lot of energy goes to waste when maintaining the warmth of the house. Curbing expenses regarding efficient use of power at your home during winter require the following steps. House Insulation Air sealing, attics, and walls should get enhanced with additional insulations materials to ensure that walls, windows, and air vents remain appropriately taped up. Insulations guarantee that warm air stay inside and cold air outside hence less energy used to warm the interior environment. Warm air from the house remains held up from escaping out, and correspondingly, cold air from outside stay prevented from getting in. Therefore, there exists a barrier separating the cold exterior environment from a warm interior air. Replace Previous Home Equipment Old domestic devices have less energy-efficient models compared to modern and fresh ones which have a lower energy use. Making a replacement or advanced repairs to these pieces of equipment will lower electrical bills hence energy efficiency technologies. The experienced personnel at companies like A & E Heating and AC Inc. are always available and can get to your home and repair the appliances you have ensuring increased energy efficiency at home during winter. Installing Solar Panels Solar systems help to reduce the energy costs extensively as it enables you to generate your electrical energy. With this method, home energy gets utilized efficiently during winter hence prevent energy losses. In this case, solar energy replaces power from a usual source as it has total potential in performing a similar function of energy production. Use of Appliances Economically When new domestic devices get home, they come with a user manual which guides you when using these energy using gadgets. You should familiarize yourself with proper operation techniques of these gadgets. Additionally, you should reduce their energy costs by minimal use, for example, heating systems should at all times stay used efficiently. Also, they should be switched off when not in use or unplugged completely. As a result, energy used remain lower similarly to expenses. Energy usage typically increases during winter when warming up the air. Any heating uses energy which at last remains compensated for at any quantity use. Efficient use of power lowers the costs payable resulting into extra savings, especially during winter. Henceforth, to enhance efficient energy use during winter at homes, adopt the techniques mentioned above to the latter.
  19. A good well is a priceless part of off-the-grid living, and maintaining one can be surprisingly easy. However, first-time well owners may find that there is a bit of a learning curve. Unfortunately, mistakes can be costly if they damage the well or cause contamination. Here are three simple ways to avoid those troubles and keep your well running smoothly. Keep An Eye On The Calendar Regular water testing is an important part of maintaining a healthy well. In most places, an annual test for bacteria and other contaminants is enough. Check with your local health department when working out a maintenance schedule, however, because some areas may have specific risks that require more frequent testing. During this annual check, it’s also a good idea to give your system a routine flush with chlorine as a preventative measure, as well as checking the flow rate to make sure your system is working as well as possible. Watch For Changes Most of the time, wells run just fine with just a little preventative maintenance. However, even properly maintained wells can develop contamination issues for reasons ranging from failing equipment to flooding from major storms. If you notice any changes in your water quality, schedule another water test immediately, and consider drinking bottled water while you wait for the results. These changes can include cloudy or discolored water, new odors or a strange taste. Changes in the rate of the water flow can also be a sign of trouble. Pumps may become sluggish or inefficient before they break down completely, or a broken pipe may be causing you to lose water pressure without totally disabling the system. Know When To Call The Professionals The average homeowner can handle some minor maintenance, but for most issues it’s best to call in qualified professionals, like those at Taylor Heating Inc. Wells are more complicated than they seem, so a problem that would be minor and easy to fix for an experienced technician may turn into a major headache for a homeowner. Inexperienced people also may accidentally introduce dangerous bacteria into the system while doing something as simple as removing the well cap. Wells are a major investment, so it’s important to take the time to keep yours running smoothly. Preventative maintenance may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. By scheduling routine testing and treatments, addressing any potential problems and finding qualified professionals to work with, your well can last a lifetime.
  20. Image Source: Pexels The fall season is sometimes the best time of the year to make your home energy efficient. You usually don't need to use the air conditioner or the heating system as much as you do in the summer and winter. The season gives you an opportunity to explore the home to look for any cracks under the doors or near the windows that need to be sealed and any issues with the heating system that need to be repaired. Seal Air Escapes Walk around the home to see if there are any areas where the heat or air might escape. Common areas are underneath doors, around windows and even through electrical sockets. It won't cost a lot of money to seal these areas that allow cold air into the home while you're trying to keep the house heated. Consider using plastic on the windows and on screens in the doors to keep cold air from entering the home. If you can keep air from invading, then you won't need to use the heating system as often, which will save you money. Check The Electrical System Before you turn on the heating system, you need to check the filters and the vents. A professional company, like Universal Refrigeration, can come to the home to examine the electrical components of the heating or cooling system to ensure that they are working properly. You might want to remove the air conditioners from the windows as these can allow cold air to enter the home through the cracks that might be around the unit as it sits in the window. If your heating unit needs to be replaced, you need to find one that is energy efficient as this can save a significant amount of money on your utility bill. Keep It Cool If you're someone who doesn't need to stay hot in the fall or winter, turn the thermostat down a few degrees instead of keeping it set at a higher temperature. Before going to bed and if you leave the home for long periods are the best times to turn the thermostat down so that it's not running as much when no one is in the home. A programmable thermostat is an option if you want to install something that will automatically adjust at a certain time or at a certain temperature. Keeping your home at the right temperature can take some work. You want to ensure that it's comfortable without spending a lot of money at the same time. After examining the home, you can often make adjustments that will save you money and keep everyone warm or cool during the year.
  21. As the world becomes more educated on the importance of sustainability, more people are trying to implement the knowledge into everyday living by recycling, saving water and eco-friendly buildings. One of the most recent sustainable solutions in the construction industry is using cool metal roofing which is basically a roof designed to reflect and re-emit back sunlight and heat instead of absorbing it like other roofing materials. How Cool Roofs are Made Cool metal roofs are made from tin, aluminum, steel or copper and then covered with a highly reflective white paint, sheet covering or reflective shingles. A cool roof can stay around 55 degrees Fahrenheit during summer while ordinary roof goes as high as 150 degrees Fahrenheit reducing your energy bill by 40%. Companies like Wespol have been at the forefront of installing sustainable roofing solutions and insulation for commercial, industrial and residential buildings. 1. They Do Not Absorb Heat Unlike other roofing materials, cool roofs reflect sunlight and re-emit the heat back into the atmosphere immediately instead of absorbing it. This means that even on the hottest day, the building under that roof will remain cool and there will be no need to use an air conditioner or other cooling gadgets. The coating used in the best cool roofing can reflect and re-emit up to 90% solar radiation away from your building. 2. Prevent Urban Heat Island Effect Once the heat has been absorbed by the building and the roof, it has to be emitted slowly into the air overnight and this causes a heat island effect which means the entire area will feel hot and more power will be needed to cool. However, there is no heat absorbed by a building when you have cool roofing so the effect will be prevented. 3. Reduce Peak Energy Use Peak electricity demand happens when a lot of buildings are used too much power to cool or heat and it causes power outages. Cool roofs can prevent pea energy use and preserve your backup generator. Other Benefits of Cool Roofs Metal is very tough and durable so you will get unmatched longevity. Metal roofs can withstand the worst of Mother Nature. Metal roofs are fire-resistant and impervious to pests. Metal is highly sustainable because it can be recycled severally. Metal roofing is a great cost-saving investment that will not only benefit your household but the environment as well. It is a green home product with Energy Star and LEED Ratings so you know the benefits are real.
  22. Image Source: Pexels Decluttering your home can be a cathartic process, but many people don’t notice just how much waste they really have until they start going through each of their rooms. You could end up dealing with dozens of bags of electronics, batteries, lawn chemicals, cleaning supplies, and other items that are hazardous to the environment. As you are planning this project, you should think about some ways that you can clean up and straighten your home without sending too many items to the landfill. Search For Valuables Before you consider any other options, you might first want to sift through all of your items and see if there is anything worth selling. Even if you donate or recycle most of your belongings, there could be a few pieces that are actually quite valuable. Old smartphones, consoles, video games, movies, books, and computers can easily be sold online or to local dealers. Some companies even send you prepaid packages to ship your electronics to them. Donate Another great option is to offer your unused belongings to a local donation center, like Action Donation Services. In addition to household items, many of these organizations accept cars, motorcycles, RVs, boats, and other vehicles. Depending on where you live and which organizations you go through, you might even be able to use your donations as a tax write-off. Some companies also allow you to choose which non-profit is going to benefit from your donations. Find A Hazardous Disposal Center Many homeowners don’t realize that it is actually illegal to throw away certain household items. Even though most trash companies carefully inspect and sort all of the refuse that they receive, you could be fined if they notice any dangerous or toxic materials. Some of the materials that need to be kept out of the trash include batteries, prescription drugs, certain electronics, paint, motor oil, tires, and lawn chemicals. Plan A Garage Sale A large percentage of your items won’t be worth much money, but that doesn’t mean they need to go to the landfill. Scheduling a garage sale is a simple way to get rid of quite a few things in a short period of time. If you want to attract more visitors to your yard sale, then you should consider having a multi-family sale with some of your friends and neighbors. Most local magazines and newspapers offer free or affordable ad space as well. Cleaning your home doesn’t need to be an exhausting project that results in hundreds of pounds of waste being sent to your landfill. You most likely live near dozens of different organizations that will help you get rid of your possessions in an eco-friendly manner. At the very least, you must make sure that all of the hazardous materials in your home are disposed of in a safe and legal manner.
  23. Over the past decade, people have gone from freely using resources to eventually coming to the realization that it is critical to work to conserve resources. With more and more information about the planet's dwindling resources and the increasingly frightening findings about the effects of climate change, most eco-conscious people commit to working toward finding new ways to make their property more environmentally friendly. “As you look around your own property, trying to think of ways to make a meaningful contribution to protecting the planet and trying to help its recovery, you will find plenty of ways to pitch in on the efforts while adding value to your property. Take a look at some of the ways we believe create a win for you and the planet.” - Brentwood Home - Natural Home Suppliers Wrap It All Up With Insulation One of the most effective, and often overlooked, improvements you can make to an aging home is to either add or replace insulation in your home. Don't forget to address window insulation issues by changing their insulation to double glazing. Take care of areas that feature wall and cavity loft space, which is where the outer wall is made of block or brick while the interior wall features concrete block or breeze block. When you fully insulate your home, you will reduce your winter heating bill, therefore reducing your yearly costs and helping reduce your energy usage. As a bonus, home buyers like you will appreciate buying a home that features quality insulation. Harness the Sun's Power With Solar Energy While a more initial expensive entry in our list, solar power pays off in less obvious ways at first, and it definitely pays off over time. Install solar panels on your home's roof to attract the sun's energy, capture it and use it for our property's individual energy supply. You will love the immediate energy savings while boosting your property value for future home buyers. An added bonus for installing solar panels includes, depending on your state, potential solar rebates and tax credits. It's Raining, It's Pouring, So Catch That Essential Resource and Use It If you live in a climate outside of the desert, chances are good that you see plenty of rainfall each year. You hear it streaming through your home's gutters, which flows away, not making any real impact. For a small cost, you can install water catchers to capture and rainwater, which you can store for later use in your garden or flowerbed, or you can simply use it to water houseplants. This small addition provides solid savings and is a wonderful feature future home buyers will appreciate.
  24. If you're concerned about the environment, you know that everyone who conserves power is cutting down on all overall demand. That reduces pressure on local ecosystems or adding to pollution and global warming. Options like solar power may be outside your budget, but there are simple ways to conserve electricity. Here are some things you can do. Reduce Phantom Load This is power that some devices use even when they're turned off. Digital displays, status lights, and similar indicators are still drawing power 24 hours a day. While this seems minor, you may have multiple devices around the home, such as TVs, computer equipment, kitchen gadgets, and more. That can add up to significant energy use. Plug items that aren't constantly needed into outlet strips that you can turn on or off when not in use. Energy-Efficient Appliances When it's time to replace major appliances, look for more energy-efficient models. Most will have ENERGY STAR labels that indicate how much power use is involved and how much you can expect to pay for it. In the meantime, you can maximize efficiency by not using appliances needlessly. Hang up the laundry outside on a sunny day instead of turning on the dryer, and avoid running partial loads in the dishwasher or washing machine. Modern Lighting The old incandescent bulbs are extreme energy-wasters. Most of that produces heat, not light, so they're also a safety risk. Modern LED lights use 75 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer. Instead of swapping bulbs, you can also find a variety of LED fixtures that can be connected straight to your home wiring to provide efficient, safe light where you need it for years to come. Use Fans Over-using AC is a primary power drain as the summer comes on. Establish a temperature toward the higher end of the comfort zone for your family. Dress appropriately for the heat even indoors, and use fans throughout the house to keep the air moving and cool you naturally through evaporation of sweat. Keep plenty of cold water on hand, and turn down the AC as soon as it's dark. Check Your Wiring Old wiring or improper DIY additions or improvements can lead to electrical "leaks" that are costing you money. Turn off everything in the house, including breakers for things like hot water heaters that don't have switches. If your electrical meter continues to climb, you have a wiring problem. Significant use could mean several problems. Call in an experienced electrician from a company like Beckstoffer-Welsh Inc to diagnose and correct the issue. Power conservation requires some planning and a little self-sacrifice. But if you can reduce your bills and preserve the environment, it's worth it.
  25. Today, more people are incorporating green designs and technologies into their homes, and for very good reasons. It provides a safer environment for your family, saves on energy costs, and helps to cut back on contaminants that wind up in the environment. Here are some ways to make sure your home isn't a part of the problem. 1. Energy Audits An energy audit can tell you where and how your electricity is being wasted, whether it's poor insulation or inefficient appliances. Better energy efficiency means less demand and less environmental damage from utility companies, not to mention saving you money. You can get an auditor fairly cheaply, perhaps even from your own electric company. Savings over the long term will more than justify any cost. 2. Maintain Your Heating and Cooling System If your HVAC system hasn't been inspected or replaced in years, it may be wasting energy. Old systems won't run as efficiently as newer models. Even if it's new, verify that it's properly sized for your living space. Inadequate systems have to work harder, while oversized systems draw more power than you need. Also be sure to replace filters, inspect for gaps, and clean ducts periodically so the air flow isn't impeded. 3. Have a Strategy If you don't have any kind of green policy at all in your home, you may be doing more damage than you ever realized. There are a lot of green ideas you can use even on a limited budget. Start recycling, using new energy-efficient lightbulbs, and get in the habit of conserving water and electricity. You could compost yard waste to avoid buying and using chemical-laced fertilizers. At your next home remodel, plan on using recycled or green products. 4. Fresh Water Conserving fresh water is also important to the community and life in general. If you're connected to municipal water lines, water quality is your local government's responsibility. But if you have your own well, it's important that the water is tested periodically by a company like Water Systems Council. Contaminants can be introduced through seepage and rain runoff from the surrounding soil, which may include chemicals like pesticides or industrial byproducts, as well as natural pollutants like radon, nitrates, arsenic, and animal waste. If you have a well as your water source, it's essential to ensure that the water is safe and clean. Every home needs maintenance and the occasional update. If you want to minimize any damage to the environment, try making green practices a part of your lifestyle.