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Tuesday
May132014

10 Ways To Reduce Your Cooling Costs This Summer

I love Spring! The outside temperatures aren't too high or too low. I don't use my HVAC system much at all. My goal is always to keep my home's envelope as tight as possible. The home envelope is the combination of materials that surround the interior space you live in including walls, floors, ceiling, roof, windows, and doors. The quality and integrity of your home's envelope greatly affects the comfort and cost to operate your home. A well-sealed envelope, along with the right amount of insulation, can make a real difference on your utility bills. Here are a few things that will help you:

1. Use ceiling fans to keep air circulating in your rooms.

2.  Install insulation in your attic, basement, and crawl space. 

3. Seal all leaks around doors, windows, and light switch/receptacle boxes.

4. Keep or install plastic on windows that are not rated energy efficient by energystar.gov.

5. Grill outside, instead of using your stove. If you need to use the stove, use it during the cooler times of the day.

6. Operate the clothes dryer during the cooler times of the day; morning or evening. 

7. Use insulated curtains to block sunlight in the rooms you're not using at the time. 

8. Have your AC unit serviced and your filters changed every 3 months. 

9. Use a programmable thermostat and keep the temperature consistent. 

10. Limit the times you raise your windows to let fresh air in. Don't allow anyone to have windows open when you're trying to cool your home.

If you can't do everything, do one or two. The goal is to make changes to save money and energy. Any changes you make will make a difference!

 

Friday
Nov152013

10 Easy Home Weatherization Tips

If you look at the picture above, you can see how air can leak in and out of your home. Have you every walked by a door, a window, or the fireplace and felt a draft? Well of course you have! Every time you feel that draft you're losing money. Your heat or your AC is escaping through the cracks in your home. There are several things you can do to limit the amount of energy you lose. Here are a few easy tips that will make a huge impact on lowering your energy costs.

1. Get your Heat Pump (electric) or Furnace (Gas) service by a licensed HVAC contractor annually.

2. Install weather strips all around the exterior doors to eliminate drafts.

3. Switch your ceiling fans to counterclockwise (reverse) to circulate the heat.

4. Purchase a window insulation kit and install plastic on your windows.

5. Use caulking and weather-stripping to seal the gaps around windows.

6. Make sure your attic floor and basement/crawl space ceiling have adequate insulation.

7. Insulate your water pipes to keep them from freezing and wrap your water heater with insulation.

8. Have your licensed contractor to check your duct system and seal any holes.

9. Install a programmable thermostat and set it at lower temps when you're not home.

10. Turn your water heater from the average 140 degrees down to 120 degrees to save energy.

 

Ladies, I'd rather spend my money buying more shoes than giving it to the utility companies.  Every little bit of money saved is worth it!

 

Friday
Feb182011

Let's "Whip That Hair" Out of the Sink!

Everyone has experienced a clogged sink at one point or another! And if you're like me, you wash your hair at home sometimes. And for all the mothers with girls, bless your heart, that's on a regular basis. If can be expensive to call out a professional plumber to unclog your drain. This is an easy do-it-yourself project! I put this post in the home maintenance section because it should be done regularly. I don't suggest waiting until the sink is clogged or the water is draining slow. Schedule cleaning out your drain at least monthly, if you can't do it weekly. The more often you wash hair, using a certain drain, the more often you should clean in it.

Here are different techiniques used to clear a drain:

  • Plunger: This is the most common way to unclog your sink. A toilet plunger and a sink plunger are not the same. Go to your local hardware store and request a sink plunger. You'll get better results. Plus, I don't want to use the same plunger in my sink as the toilet. You want to use a rag to clog the over-flow drain before you start. Take your plunger and move it up and down aggressively. Make sure you use gloves. What comes out won't look pretty!
  • Drain Auger (Snake): Drains snakes have been used for years. But recently they shorten them and started selling them for DIY. This is my favorite! I first saw them on TV. At first I didn't believe it was that easy. My neighbor suggested I try it; and I loved it. I don't like pusing hair and or chemicals down the drain. I like to pull out what I can and put it in the trash. You put the "snake" in the drain. Make a few turns. The hairs catches on and you can pull it out. It's nasty, but it works! Turn off the electricity to the garbage disposal if you're doing the kitchen sink!
  • Chemicals: When you use any chemicals you should always were gloves, mask, and eye protection. These chemicals are not only harsh for your skin, they're not good for your pipes. I recommend only using chemicals when you have a bad clog. This is after the "fishing" and plunging doesn't work.
  • Remove P-trap: Turn the water off first! I don't want you to forget you took the pipe apart and run water on the floor. This is the last resort for me. If you don't know how to remove the pipe and put it back; don't! Have someone on standby to help you if you get stuck. A pipe wrench is needed. The P-trap is the U-shaped part of the pipe under the sink. Take it apart using the wrench. Clean the pipe. And before you put it back you want to use "plumbers tape" on the threads of the pipe to prevent leaking. Put the pipe back on using a wrench. Get it as tight as you can. Hint: The longer the handle of the pipe wrench, the more leverage you have. And you can get it tighter.

Again, I wouldn't wait for the sink to get clogged before I clean it. You want to keep your pipes clear and clean as possible!

This post is dedicated to www.frofashionweek.com! I would like to say welcome to all the participants of Spring Fro' Fashion Week! Thank you for visiting my blog! Please stayed tuned there is more to come!

Song for today: 'Whip Your Hair' by Willow Smith