How to save electricity & cool your home at the same time

home-cooling

Photo by iStockphoto.com

It is estimated that about 20% of our energy bills is spent on cooling, especially in summer. However, we can do something to lower the spending. If we can improve energy efficiency, we’ll save electricity, lower our bills and we do our best to fight climate change. In this post, we’ll discuss how to save electricity and cool your home at the same time.

Lift a Finger to Save Electricity

  • Programmable thermostats are useful, because you can program your thermostat to work differently when there is no one at home or not. You can set it a few degrees higher if there is no one at home, so the cooling system consumes less energy. It is estimated that you can save up to $180 a year if you use it properly.
  • Another way to make your HVAC system work efficiently is to make the HVAC system’s air filter clean. It is because that a dirty filter can slow the air flow so that the system must work harder which wastes energy. We should check the filter every month and at least change it every three month.
  • Installing a ceiling fan is also helpful to reduce the use of energy. You can raise the thermostat by 2 degrees and run a ceiling fan. Up to 14 percent of the costs can be saved. If you are not under the fan, please turn it off.
  • Keeping the sun’s ray from heating our home is also another method. Therefore, pull the curtains and shades closed if you plan to go out. You also can move container plants or trees in front of windows to serve as a shade.

Spend less but Save more  Electricity

  • It is recommended to have the HVAC system serviced every year to make sure it works efficiently all the time, saving your money and energy.
  • Are you still using incandescent bulbs? Swap them and choose some efficiently lighting, such as LED bulbs. If you have outdoor landscape lights, I strongly recommend you to replace them with solar outdoor lights. If you choose Energy Star qualified lights, it means they need less energy. Compared with incandescent lighting, it produces less useless heat, which can help to reduce the cooling bills.
  • Check your air ducts on a regular basis and make them sealed, or up to 20% of air will move through the duct system, which causes the waste of energy. You can use metal tap or mastic sealant and make all the ducts insulated. These air ducts are in attics, unfinished basements, crawlspaces, and garages. Make sure you’ve checked them all.
  • Connections at register and vents are common locations that cause leaks and disconnected ductwork. Therefore, check these connections and make them well-sealed.

Other Tips for Lowering Bills

  • Appliances earned EPA’s Energy Star means they can save much energy for you, saving you much money. Therefore, when you plan to purchase an air conditioner, choose one which has earned EPA’s Energy Star. If we all choose Energy Star qualified air conditioners in the USA, 900 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions can be prevented annually. This means the emissions are the same as the emissions from 80,000 cars annually.
  • If you want to save more money, add insulation to the attic to make cool air in.
  • Up to $1.8 billion will be saved annually, if every household in the USA did this.
  • If you find some ducts you cannot reach, you can hire a contractor to do this sealing and insulating job for you. More information can be accessed on this link www.energystar.gov/homeimprovement.
  • If your air conditioning units is too old (up to 12 years old), you should replace it with a new model earned EPA’s Energy Star, because old models cannot work efficiently as the same as the new one earned EPA’s Energy Star. It is estimated up to 30% of cooling costs can be cut.

Best Outdoor Lighting Options

outdoor-lighting

When it comes to outdoor lighting, you may think they are still stick-shaped lights which are stuck in the dirt along your pathways. However, this is not the whole story. They are different from sizes, styles, colors, shapes and uses. You can do a google search to learn more or browse Pinterest to get more images. Why do we choose them as our outdoor lighting? The reasons are not out-of-the-box. They can welly decorate our new home and garden.

Why do we use outdoor lighting?

At least, there are two reasons that we need to use outdoor lighting: safety and aesthetics. If you receive a listing from your agent, I think the first thing you do is not to see the price but the way they look on the outside. Usually, agents will send you more listings. And you may do the drive to pass these houses and finally tell the agent which one is your favorite. So what this has to do with outdoor lighting?

Usually, buyers don’t have much time during the day and they will only drive by the homes at night when they are free. It is dark outdoors. If there is no outdoor lighting, they will see nothing but the darkness of the homes.

  • If buyers find a house they love, they may drive by the houses at different times of the day – including at night, because they want to see what the neighborhood looks like and whether they feel like.
  • If buyers want to visit the homes when it’s dark, a dark walk way is very dangers for the buyers and agents. What’s more, it will make a bad impression.
  • A dark house looks bad and the visitors don’t feel any welcome.
  • A house with outdoor lighting can make it stand out from others on the street.
  • Houses with well-arranged outdoor lights feel welcoming, inviting and warm.
  • A well-light home looks great and even looks more expensive.

Therefore, there are enough reasons why you should install outdoor lights. Even a single light at the front door or a few path lights along your entry paths is better than nothing at least. The truth is that you have many choices, because there are many different types lights you can have a try.

Different Types of Lighting

According to how the lights receive power, there are 2 main types: solar lighting and traditional low-voltage lighting that can be installed by the homeowners themselves. However, if you plan to install a higher voltage one, it is not recommended to install it by yourself if you are not a professional. In most cases, low-voltage and solar lighting is enough for our landscape lighting.

Variety of Fixtures and Uses

You can find suitable lighting for any purpose and fixtures for any part of your yard. If the budget is limited, at least focus on the front of your home. The first impression your guests may get is Curb appeal which may be the only one your guests don’t get impressed and don’t want to see the inside any more. So it is very important. If you can make it properly, I think they are happy to see the inside.

  • No matter what types of lighting you choose, the first thing you should light your house number. If there is a number on your mailbox, have an attractive vignette at the mail box or the start of your driveway, you’d better light them to make their look nice. Lighting up the exterior vignette is also a good decoration tips.
  • A light on each side of your front door is also a good choice; especially if you have a large doorway or a double door. An inset outdoor entry area or a porch area is also a good place to add some lighting. If your entry or doorways is too small and looks cluttered, adding one on the ceiling is a good idea.
  • Pathways are used to outline your pathway and you can put them along both sides. You can choose the appropriate style according to your style of your yard.
  • Stair lights are installed into the stair riser. When it is dark, they shine on the stair tread, making you feel warm and safe at night.
  • You also can insert lights into the walkway. The effect is perfect. For example, you can take out brick and install a rectangular light that can fit in with pavers or bricks and is safe to walk on.

Water is Important for Health

water1

Our body cannot live without water, because we need water to regulate our body temperature and transport nutrients to our tissues and organs. For example, water is helpful to transport oxygen to our cells and remove waste, protecting our organs and joints.

How to avoid Dehydration

Dehydration happens if you the water you lose is more than the water you take in. Our body is losing water all the time through respiration, urination and by sweating. The more active you are, the more water you’ll lose. If you are sedentary, you’ll lose less water than when you are active. Some medications (like caffeine pills) and alcohol may contain diuretics that can increase the amount of water the body loses. The lost water must be replaced by water in our foods and beverages we drink every day.

Many symptoms can imply the mild dehydration. For example, if you feel thirsty, obviously you must drink some water. Other symptoms, such as pains in muscles and joints, constipation and headaches, may mean the mild dehydration. If you smell a strong odor in your urine along with an amber or yellow color, it may indicate dehydration. Of course, the color of your urine is not the right indicator of dehydration, because some medicine may make your urine yellow. For example, Riboflavin (known as B2 vitamin) can make your urine yellow if you take it.

How Much Water Do We Need?

We can take in water by eating foods or drinking beverages. Generally, we can get 20% of water in our foods. The 80% of water is from the beverages we drink. Therefore, drinking enough water every day is very important to our health. How much water do we need every day? One simple way is that you can take your weight in pounds and divide the weight number in half. This method can give you approximately the number of ounces of water you need to drink every day. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you need to take in 90 ounces of water or other fluids every day.

4 ways to keep Dehydration

Water is definitely the best choice for hydration, because it is pure without any calories and added ingredients and it is cheap. I don’t recommend drinking sodas and other sweetened soft drinks, because they contain sugar which may increase your weight if you keep drinking them for a long time.

Sport drinks may be another choice, because they can keep your electrolytes in balance. This is good for recovering after a hard workout. However, they also contain added sugar and calories that you may not want.

Many people like drinking fruit and vegetable juices, because they have minerals and vitamins. However, before buying them, read the labels and don’t choose ones high in sodium.

Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea can be another choice. However, they contain caffeine which may make you feel jittery. Therefore, don’t drink them too much every day.

Is Bottled Water Safe to Drink?

bottled-waterMany people like drinking bottled water. However, there is a question: is bottled water safe to drink? Some people believe that there are some problems with bottled water and the container. In my opinion, its safety remains questionable. If manufacturers adhere to the bottled water standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, bottled water is safe enough to drink. However, as consumers, we cannot know whether the bottled water sold on the market meets these standards. We also cannot know enough information on the labels. Maybe some brands meet stands, but who knows. Therefore, safety, quality and testing is questionable.

Maybe you think the best one which maybe only tap water filtered by active carbon filter, especially in the absence of convincing lab testing. If the tap water from a raw water source (like spring water), it may be non-potable. However, many manufacturers promote their water as distilled water or UV filtered water.

If you are keeping drinking bottled water, now, I will tell you why you cannot drink it.

First, you may not know exactly contaminants could be in the prepackaged bottled water. These contaminants are as follows : heavy metals, bacteria and virus and other vital contaminants. The container is always made of plastics which have BPA problems. This is another health risk.

Bottled water may cost you much over a year. What’s worse, it is not friendly to the environment. All the plastics bottles need to take a time to decompose in landfills. In order to protect the environment, many countries have imposed a bottled water ban. Therefore, if you don’t drink bottled water, you have done something good for the environment.

Instead, people are encouraged to drink potable water and manufacturers are encouraged to use other containers (not made of plastics) to carry and transport water. These containers must be BPA-free aluminum and stainless steel water bottles which are reusable. If you use plastic bottles, make sure they are BPA-free at the least. In the long run, a steel one is better because it may cut down the on-going cost, and it is much more durable, earth-friendly and reusable.

If you have a water cooler dispenser, you may need to disinfect your water bottle. You don’t need to buy water, but refill it with tap water or filtered water from your under sink water filter (a Reverse Osmosis system). Another way is to get carbon filtered dispenser bottles which are especially designed for water cooler dispensers. This type of bottles can help to get rid of the bad smell and taste from the chlorine in the tap water.

The bottom line: If you like drinking bottled water, make sure it has been treated properly and filtered to get rid of harmful contaminants, or it is not recommended to take the risk of drinking it. However, it is not easy to know whether the bottled water you drink is safe. You can purchase a reusable aluminum or stainless steel water bottle instead, which can help you practice green living. One thing you should remember is that you must disinfect them every month.

 

Best Beard Trimmer

When it comes to men’s facial hair and bear, anyone wants to keep the facial hair and beard looking stylish and well-kept. Nowadays, many men don’t just want to shave away their facial but want to take care of their beard or mustache. In this situation, choosing one of the best beard trimmers can help you a lot. There are numerous small appliances that can help you do the job. The following Top 5 best rated beard trimmers were chosen due to their comfort, ease of use, effectiveness, efficiency and customer reviews.

Gillette Fusion Proglide Styler

Gillette-Fusion-Proglide-Styler

The Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler is not just a razor but also a good facial hair trimmer. It has two types of heads. As a razor, one head is the 5-blade fushion razor which is attached to the base. If you want to trim your facial hair, you can take off the razor head and attach other heads for trimming. As a versatile one, it deserves a try.

Wahl GroomsMan All in One Trimmer

Wahl-GroomsMan-All-in-One-TrimmerThis one may cost a little more than other models on this list. However, its versatility and quality will not let you down. This all in one lets can help you tackle an unruly beard easily and quickly. It can help you achieve what you want your beard looks like.

Braun Cruzer 6 Body Shaver

Braun-Cruzer-6-Body-ShaverThis is a motorized trimmer from Braun. You can use it to trim your hair and beard. It comes with 6 length settings which allow you to set according to your beard, from stubble to full length. A small popup trimmer is also included for more precise cuts and shaping. Its dual battery system means realizable power. Therefore, it won’t quit even if it hits heavier hair on your head or face. It is a little expensive, but it is a good enough.

Remington MB975 Rechargeable Chrome Detail Beard Groomer

Remington-MB975-Rechargeable-Chrome-Detail-Beard-GroomerWhen it comes to grooming products on the market, Remington is really a great brand because it has a long history of delivering quality grooming products. This Remington MB975 is very cheap and easy to use. What’s more, it is capable of delivering consistent results in any grooming situation. If you don’t like an expensive one, the price will amaze you.

Wahl 5537-2701 Mustache and Beard Trimmer

Wahl-5537-2701-Mustache-and-Beard-TrimmerrThe Wahl 5537-2701 is also an affordable and high quality trimmer you can rely on. This model is very precise and it is very easy to use.

 

 

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