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Still stuck battling the record low temperatures? Consider this…

The U.S has been hitting record low temperatures this season! It’s definitely been a cold winter! While these cold days are awful, they are also expensive!
Here is a tip to keep your house warm for a lot cheaper using homemade paper logs!
What you’ll need:
2 gallon buckets
Drill
Shredded spa recyclable paper/grass clippings/ twigs
Piece of wood, circumference equalling the bucket
Watch the video to find out how to make the paper logs

 

 

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How to Keep Cool This Summer

The summer time comes quick after spring and quickly raises your home energy costs to keep it cool. There are multiple ways to keep yourself and the children cool in the summer and some ways help you save money also. Check out these facts to keep cool, have fun and save energy this summer.

Keep popsicles and ice cream stocked in the deep freezer for the children. You could even get creative and make cool cups or snow cones, set some chairs up outside in a nicely shaded area then enjoy.

 

Put a pool in the backyard if you do not already have one installed. Pick up a pool from the nearest supermarket take it home and follow the instructions on the box. When purchasing a swimming pool be sure to check for all of the equipment you need for easy access, keeping the pool clean and covers that may not already be included. With a large swimming pool you just have to fill her up one time and keep it covered when not in use. Don’t forget floats, a beach ball and some new summer swim wear.

 

Keep drinks in the freezer to keep hydrated when you step outside. This will keep your drink cold while you’re outside in the heat. Then for the children you can freeze some Capri Suns and cut the top off with scissors, then use a spoon to eat it like a sno cone. I enjoyed doing this as a kid.

Caulk your doors and windows. Running a bead of caulking around interior and exterior doors and windows will create a seal to minimizing air flow, keeping cool air in and hot air out. Buy high quality caulk, and it will be many years before you need to remove and replace it.

 

Reverse your ceiling fans. If you have an electric ceiling fan, you should run it clockwise in the winter to force the hotter air downward, and then counter-clockwise in the summer to pull hot air up toward the ceiling. Most ceiling fans have a reverse switch that lets you make this change.

 

Avoid cooking with the stove/oven. Gas and electric stoves throw off a lot of heat when in use. During hot summer months, cook using more a heat-efficient countertop convention oven, toaster oven or microwave. Better yet, fire up the grill and cook outdoors! Bring home some food that you can throw on the pit outside instead of cooking inside. This way you can cook with propane, wood or coal.

You can also check out this DIY video on how to create a homemade air conditioner. Hope this helps.

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Sources:

“10 Ways to Keep Your Home Cool in Summer Without Air Conditioning.” 10 Ways to Keep Your Home Cool in Summer Without Air Conditioning. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 June 2014.

 

What Makes Energy Efficient Windows Better?

Going green is becoming a must and individuals are taking the step to save energy within their homes.

Energy efficient windows are treated and constructed to maintain a comfortable temperature in a room or building, according to experts.  Unique ratings are applied to the windows to identify them and its importance. Experts say, the U-Value shows “the rate of non-solar heat flow through a window or skylight”, therefore the best option should be less than 0.5. The R-Value is opposite to the U-Value and the air leakage rating shows how tight a window is from the air.

It brings about an attractive and affordable home. In the cold seasons or homes in colder environments, it holds warm air within the house and blocks cold breeze from entering the house. The energy efficient windows are also beneficial for homes in warmer environment. The windows can be opened to allow air into the rooms without having to turn the air conditioner on. This helps save energy and thereby cost. Leakages are reduced. The windows are durable and they last longer.

If you do not have energy efficient windows yet don’t worry, it is not only for new buildings. You can fix them in your homes even though it is not a new construction. A double glazing procedure further traps air between the glass panes. This helps trap warm air within the house during the winter season. The initial construction and fixing of the energy efficient windows may be high but the long term advantages are more. The energy consumption of your home will reduce drastically and the family may retrieve all the initial cost that went into the windows. Therefore, go green and help conserve energy.

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The Truth About Energy Efficient Light Bulbs Pt. 2

The Do’s and Don’t’s of Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs. (Part 2 of 2)

For once you actually get your new CFLs, let’s go over the do’s and don’t’s of installing and handling them.

Installation Location

Remember how in Part One of this post I said that you can install CFLs almost anywhere you can install incandescents? Well, these new CFLs need some tender loving care, and some caution about where they go.

Don’t just install all old CFL into a fixture that has a dimmer switch or a three-way light (eg. a lamp that has a dim, regular and bright setting.) Your bulb will burn out quicker and and you’ll be kicking yourself.

Do read the labels and buy CFLs specifically designed for these kinds of light settings.

Eek, water! Don’t install any CFLs outside that could be exposed to rain, sprinklers or other water sources.

Do make sure that any outside CFLs are fully protected, such as inside a glass lantern under an awning by the door.

What’s this I hear about mercury?

Upon hearing that CFLs contain some mercury, you might be shaking your head and dismissing the whole CFL idea. But hear me out! The mercury levels in CFLs are very low – less than what’s inside a can of tuna. There are just a few simple precautions you should take.

It broke! What do I do? Even the best of us can have butter fingers sometimes. If you accidentally break a CFL…

Don’t vacuum it up and throw it away.

Do leave it alone for a minute or two. Turn on a fan and/or open a window to let it air out. Then clean it up with a paper towel and put it in a plastic bag. And then…

I need to dispose of my broken/burnt-out CFL!

Don’t throw it away! Whether it breaks or just burns out (which shouldn’t happen for about 10 years) don’t just toss your CFL into the trash. Because CFLs contain that small amount of mercury we talked about, if thrown out they can leak mercury into landfills and the soil. In fact, it’s illegal in many states to throw them in the trash.

Do dispose of them properly at a participating store, such as Target or Home Depot.

So there you have it! Those are the do’s and don’t’s for having CFLs in your home.

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Sources:

https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_about

http://www.earthsfriends.com/cfl-vs-incandescent

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-tech/sustainable/cfl-bulb.htm

http://www.greenlightneworleans.org/greenfacts.html

The Truth About Energy Efficient Lightbulbs

Keeping your home eco-friendly. What you need to know about energy-efficient light bulbs. (Part 1 of 2)

What are CFLs?

CFL stands for Compact Florescent Light. These are energy-efficient light bulbs that you can install into your home almost anywhere you install regular bulbs. These cool new bulbs are a great way to make your home a more eco-friendly space, while also keeping those electric bills down.

How are CFLs different from the light bulbs I already have?

You are most probably familiar with incandescent bulbs. These are the round bulbs with a little wire inside that Thomas Edison invented in 1879. Incandescent bulbs use an electrical current to heat that little wire until it glows. Unfortunately, this method causes most of the energy used to create heat, and only about 10% goes to giving off light. CFLs also use an electrical current, however instead of heating up a metal wire, it excites a combination of argon and mercury vapor, which produces ultraviolet light. This ultraviolet light stimulates a florescent coating within the tube and voila! Energy-efficient light.

Show me the math!

An easy way to see how much enery you’re saving is to compare the number of watts between incandescent bulbs and CFLs. Note: Each bulb will give off the same amount of light (lumens.) They just use a different number of watts.

9 watt CFL = 40 watt incandescent

13-15 watt CFL = 60 watt incandescent

18-20 watt CFL = 75 watt incandescent

22-27 watt CFL = 100 watt incandescent

The Pro/Con List

The Pros:

1.) They’re eco-friendly! According to the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of energy, if everyone replaced just one incandescent light bulb in their home with a CFL, we could eliminate greenhouse gases equal to 800,000 cars!

2.) Money, money, money. Because CFLs use 75% less energy than incandescents, you’re going to see that reflected big time on your electric bill.

3.) Longevity. CFLs can last anywhere between 5-10 years. Enough said!

The cons (but with a silver lining!):

1.) Money, money, money. Buying the actual CFL is usually a much more expensive venture than buying an incandescent. However, as we’ve seen, you’ll save money over time from using less energy and not having to replace burnt out bulbs every year. Additionally there are a number of programs and organizations that offer free CFLs. Google your area to see if there’s one near you.

2.) Mercury. The thought of mercury in your home can be a bit unnerving. However the levels are very low, and when certain precautions are taken, it’s nothing to worry over. (Read part two of this post to learn more!)

3.) Time. When you first get CFLs, you’ll notice that they start out dim and then brighten up within about 60 seconds. This is due to that argon-mercury-ultraviolet process, and it can be annoying at first. Once they’re fully lit however, they often appear even brighter than incandescent bulbs.

Intrigued?  Want to know more? Check in later for part 2, The Do’s and Don’t’s of Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs.

If you enjoyed this post, get email updates and exclusive content from us by subscribing below to our email list (it’s free).

Sources:

https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_about

http://www.earthsfriends.com/cfl-vs-incandescent

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-tech/sustainable/cfl-bulb.htm

http://www.greenlightneworleans.org/greenfacts.html

The Benefits Of Wind Energy

Using wind turbines to produce energy is not a new concept, below are a few benefits of residential wind energy:

Protects you from price increases

Not only are you avoiding the price increases from your local power company, you can also sell your unused energy.  If you are on the grid (connected to the power company with power lines) and your wind turbine has produced more energy than you needed, you can sell that energy to the power company.

Avoid energy shortages

Nothing is more frustrating than to lose power; but with a wind turbine you can power your home without the use of a power company.

Avoid the cost of running power lines to your home

If you are building a home in a rural area, running power lines to your residence can be very costly, and the costs will continue as you use the power.  Although, a wind turbine as an upfront cost, your power can be free or you may even make a profit.

Abundant amount of energy

This goes hand in hand with avoiding energy shortages; you will never run out of wind to power your home.

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Benefits Of Using Solar Power

Using solar power for homes seems to be the newest trend. There are many benefits to using solar power in your home. Along with environmental benefits there are personal benefits including the fact that they are easy to install, many homeowners do it themselves. Solar roof panels are the most common way to use solar power.

Anyone can use solar power, as long as they are facing the south or west. It is true though that the more sun you get, or less clouds you get, the more you will benefit from the solar panels.

Solar panels do not produce pollution, that is reason enough for many to install them. Most people choose solar to save on energy, but the biggest benefit is the fact that they don’t pollute the air that we all share. Along with not polluting our air they are renewable, we never have to worry about running out of solar energy because it is natural and never ending.

Another reason to use solar energy, a less obvious reason, is you depend less on the energy company. You don’t need them as much, and you don’t have to pay them as much. Along with saving money through your energy company there are government financial benefits that are offered for using solar panels.

A lot of jobs have been made due to the solar panel industry. Some argue that the industry takes jobs away from other fuel jobs but it has been said that more jobs are made due to new solar energy then are being taken away from other methods of energy.

Solar energy panels are very easy to install, taking little work and a few days to get up and running. Once up and running they are extremely low maintenance. There are no moving parts to the panel so they are less likely to wear out or break. You just place them in the appropriate location and let them do their job.

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Sources:

http://www.greenerideal.com/alternative-energy/0106-why-everyone-should-be-using-solar-power

http://theenergycollective.com/whirlwindsteel/247416/how-solar-power-benefits-society

Heat Your Home For Less Than One Dollar A Day

For most people, purchasing a home is the largest expense they will ever make.  So, saving money whenever you can is crucial.

What if I told you that you could heat rooms in your home for less than a dollar a day?

Journalist, Dylan Winter, created a DIY heater using only a few household items:  tea lights, a bread pan and ceramic flower pots.

Hey renters!  This is not only for homeowners!  Save money with this DIY heater!

To learn more on this DIY heater and how it works watch the video below.

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How To Go Solar

 

First, you will need to obtain the necessary permits so you don’t end up installing something that may violate local codes which could be an expensive mistake.

Consult your current utility company. If you are looking to sell some of your unused energy to the local company it is important to make them aware of your solar change.

Along with checking codes and informing your current electric company, it is also important to see if there are any tax credits, rebates or any financial incentive programs for your solar panel use.

Once you have taken those steps, it is time to pick the right solar panel for your home! There are many different brands and companies that produce solar panels. It is important to do your research in order to find the perfect one for your home. Once you have chosen the specific company and panel style that you would like installed it is time to hire the installation company.

It does not take long to install the panels. Your house should be up and running on strictly solar power in little to no time at all!

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5 Reasons To Go Solar

 

1. Solar Power Is Affordable.

The option to go solar is practically offered to everyone. There are multiple financing options available. You can choose to lease or purchase your solar panels and there are various tax incentives and grants that can help lower the cost.

2. Solar Power Saves You Money!

Solar energy is absolutely free. A home that is ran by strictly solar power will cut your electric costs from 50-100%.

3. Solar Power Can Earn You Money.

Depending on where you live and what regulations your area has implemented you might be able to sell any excess energy that is produced by your solar power system to the local utility company.

4. Solar Power Is Clean Energy.

Basic electricity use can produce harmful fossil fuels that pollute our environment. With the use of solar power nothing is harmful to the environment and fossil fuels are eliminated.

5. Solar Power Is Dependable.

A single solar panel is made to last a minimum of 20 years! Solar energy systems are highly dependable durable, and a reliable source to receive clean electricity from.

 

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