Decorate Your Way to Energy Savings

February 28 [Sun], 2016, 15:58
Is it possible to save home energy bills by decorating? Yes, in fact, there are a number of ways that some smart decorating can reduce your monthly heating and cooling bills. Of course, there are major construction designs that can be implemented to gain optimum energy efficiency when building a home.

What if your home is already built? Here are a few suggestions that are based on interior decorating. Some may require more financial investment while others have very little impact on your wallet. This list isn’t all inclusive, but here are some ideas that may provide cost savings and help out the planet too. Starting with the most expensive….

Put more windows on the south side of your home or enlarge the ones that you already have. It’s all about bringing the best light of the day in and this will definitely help you to retain interior heat. By selecting energy savings windows, this investment reaps a two-fold benefit.
Install radiant floor heating. This is a simple concept that has great benefits. Hot water is pumped through a series of tubes below the floor’s surface and the subsequent heating makes you feel very warm and cozy. Radiant heating can be installed beneath many types of flooring and the simple design makes for a not-too-pricey improvement.
Convert that energy sucking water heater to an on-demand unit. There are several brands now on the market and they are compatible with either electric or gas and the existing plumbing . These produce instant hot water anywhere in your home unless your home is quite large. In that case, you would need to add some type of pump to move the heated water from the unit to the far end of your home “on-demand.”
Certain floorings are better energy savers than others. Concrete is an excellent choice for interior flooring, with or without radiant heat. Concrete’s ability to absorb and retain heat makes it a great pick for energy savings. Choose acid washed, stamped or patterned concrete for design options that can dramatically update your home’s appearance.
Ceiling fans have been around for a long time now but their benefits just keep giving us cooler air in the summer and warmer air in the winter. By reversing the direction of the blades with the seasons, you gain maximum benefit from these inexpensive fixtures.
Use area rugs on hard surface flooring to prevent the loss of heat through the floor. Bright colored rugs on concrete floors are dramatic and relatively inexpensive touches.
Vinyl wallpaper and thermal paint are now on the market, but their true value should be researched carefully. Manufacturers of thermal or insulating paint have made some big claims that need to be verified because these products are expensive. They are mentioned here, not as an endorsement, but because you will see them advertised.
Paint color choices, however, can help to minimize heating costs. Remember to use lighter colors on the ceilings as they retain heat through reflection. Warmer wall colors absorb heat as well.
Don’t leave your fireplace surround naked. Use brick, ceramic tiles or other hard surface materials to trap fire heat. As the room cools down the heat from these products is released into the room.
Add a small electric heater to a room or a heat lamp in the bathroom. These quick and minimal investments warm the room you are in quickly and efficiently. Often, this will be all the heat you need while using these spaces.
Finally, cover the inside of external walls with hanging fabrics, tapestries or rugs. Place bookcases on these walls as well. While these decorating tips may be contrary to good feng shui, they provide an added insulation barrier between the outside and the inside of your home.

While decorating can be an enjoyable hobby for many, you must remember not to go spend your savings on more décor, or else this money can’t really be termed a savings!

Home on the Range – Is Wind Power Within Our Reach?

February 23 [Tue], 2016, 15:55
The cowboy rides up to the crest of a hill overlooking some of the vast acreage his ranch encompasses. He wants to take a good look at his assets. It is not cows he is looking at, but rather miles of wind turbines. Travel west of San Antonio, Texas and as you near the far west border with New Mexico, you will see miles of these white giants silhouetted against deep blue skies. When cowboys see the future and grasp it with the same enthusiasm as roping a cow, you know there must be something to it.

Large scale wind power farms have been around a long time now. Head out to some narrow canyons like those around Tehachapi, California where the Venturi effect serves to generate enough constant wind speed to keep these giants running nearly 24 hours a day. Many of these have been operating thirty years or more.

Increasingly, large land owners are realizing that raising animals for months on end for a couple of big sales each year is not the best way to realize profit, especially if they notice that breeze of at least 9 miles per hour blowing the dust everywhere. Commercial wind power operations are here to stay, but what about residential use? Isn’t it about time this technology helped the little guy with his energy costs?

There are companies that have moved into this wind market in recent years but it is worth remembering that these units are still in their infancy. There are challenges that have yet to be conquered when it comes to creating what is essentially a mini-version of those commercial turbines.

First, there is a reason these structures are at least 100 feet (30 meters) or more above the ground. At that height, winds are faster and less turbulent. Wind turbines operate best when wind speeds are smooth and steady. Most homeowners don’t want a tall pole in their yard anyway. That brings us to the next hurdle.

Where are you going to mount a wind turbine? Two issues face the homeowner. Tall poles may be unsightly but add to that the sound of a nearly continuous turning blade and the neighbors might be up in arms. While the sound from small turbines is not particularly loud, it is a constant background noise.

Some companies are opting to put these small units on rooftops but beware-standard residential roof construction is not meant to hold much weight. The addition of a vibrating motor with whirling blades could be a prime setting for catastrophe. Also, length matters when it comes to rotor blade size. Longer blades produce substantially more energy but again these add weight to the design.

One company has a three unit system, each comprised of shorter blades. These units can be mounted to a roof. It is the operations of these three units in concert which produces the maximum energy capture.

This is not to say that you can’t find a good product out there now on the market for home use but being an informed consumer is advised when it comes to generating electrical power for your home. Some form of wind energy has been harnessed by individuals for home use for centuries. The technology is there; it just needs some fine tuning to make wind power generated electricity within the reach of us all.

How to Fix a Bad Window Tinting Job on Your Car

February 22 [Mon], 2016, 14:50
Window tinting is a colored film that is applied to automobile windows in order to deflect or soften sunlight as it enters the car. Window tint shades can vary from a nearly undetectable pale blue to a nearly opaque black-out, and may be solid or graduated from top to bottom. Additionally, window tints can be applied by professionals in a shop or by you, the car owner, using a store-bought window tinting kit. On occasion, a window tint job may start peeling and/or bubbling, prompting a need for you to fix tinted windows. If that applies to you, follow these directions for how to fix a bad window-tinting job on your car.
Seek the help of a professional. This is the ideal route to take if you paid a professional to apply window tinting and the tint job is still under warranty.
Press out the bubbles.

Heat the bubbled area with a hair dryer to soften the film adhesive.
Use a credit card or small squeegee to press out the bubbles.

Re-adhere peeling parts.

Make a solution out of dish soap and water.
Wash the back of the peeling film with the soap and water solution.
Use a squeegee to smooth the film back over the window.
Allow the film to dry thoroughly.

Remove the tinting job.

Cut heavy black garbage bag to the size of your window. If 1 bag is not large enough to cover your window, you may use more than 1 bag.
Wet the outside of the window you are fixing and place the black bag against the window. The bag should cover the entire window and the water should keep it in place.
Cover the entire back seat and the inside, under-window deck with a tarp.
Spray the entirety of the inside window surface (the tinted side) liberally with ammonia.
Park the car in the sun, allowing for the window to heat up under the black garbage back, and leave it sitting for about an hour.
Starting in a corner without a defroster line, use a razor blade to peel back the film. Spray ammonia to the film as needed to keep it damp and to keep the film's adhesive from drying again. The entire film should come off in 1 piece.
If you have a steamer, you may skip the ammonia-soaking process and use the steamer to heat the tinted window and remove the film in the same way.

Solar Architecture: Passive and Active

February 18 [Thu], 2016, 15:54
Not everybody wants to buy an already built house. There are a number of consumers who would like to have their home built to specifications that reflect their lifestyle and particular taste. This is true with environmentalists as well as anybody else. These people want homes that display their commitment to green. They are quite willing to consider alternatives to standard residential architecture as a means of achieving what they want in the places where they live. The housing construction industry has matured to the point where this desire could be offered to them in building a home. The principal forms are either active or passive solar architecture.

The distinctions are subtle. Passive uses the materials and design of the house to naturally store accumulated energy from the sun, or block the rays from penetrating the structure. There is no assistance from a manufactured aid. Active, on the other hand, will use various forms of mechanized support to move absorbed solar power. Passive solar architecture will heat absorbents in the construction materials and window film will also be used to contain heat or block the sun’s rays. Active will take advantage of solar panels and solar heat pumps to get the job done. It comes down to the preference of the person footing the construction bill. Obviously, whoever is more inclined to Mother Nature alone as the heater will employ Passive designs and methods.

Both will supply desired heat. The question then boils down to cost in time and money. Passive architecture will require a positioning and structuring of the desired home that borders on being an environmentalist answer to Feng Shui. Frankly, Active design has sizable upfront costs that have to be paid. Still, there are a number of Federal and state tax incentives to defray the costs and the ROI (rate of return on investment) over the life of the house are substantial. Online calculators can help give an estimate of the overall cost of an Active soar architectural scheme. Equally helpful are estimates provided that show what the ROI can be after the cost/benefit break-even point has been successfully reached.

There is every reason to expect that solar architecture is not just a fad but a trend which will continue for a long time to come. Consumers recognize the value of solar energy into conserving and also the cost savings the realized over the life of a house. A sizable social benefit to this type of construction is the decrease in carbon emission that results. The solar architecture not only heats the whole building but also leaves a sharply reduced carbon footprint. That is sufficient justification for a green advocate to use solar architecture to build that dream house he or she wants.

A Few Advantages of Starting Your Own Window Tinting Venture From Your Home In Your Spare-Time...

February 16 [Tue], 2016, 10:18
You can learn at your own pace.

Start on a shoestring budget. You can get everything you need to start
for less than $295.

It is possible, though I can't guarantee it, to make your entire
investment back with just two or three tint jobs. I don't know of any other
business where that's possible. Do you?

You can do this in your spare-time so you don't put your job at risk.

Work from home. A shop is not necessary but you can get one if you
get too big. Check with your local government for compliance.

No outside office needed.

You will be able to work when you want.

You will have a skill that you can take anywhere you want.

All the “tools” you need will fit in a small toolbox that will easily fit in any car.

It’s a real business you can be proud of…not one of those businesses where you chase your family, friends and co-workers around.

No stupid meetings to go to at some hotel every week.

You could be eligible for huge tax deductions. (I'm not a tax consultant
nor am I giving tax advice here.)

Complete freedom to choose your own schedule, hours, and income level you desire.

Work Part-time or Full-time - If you have a full time job, work around
your schedule. You can simply schedule a small job after work or Saturday
morning to pick up easy extra cash money.

No diploma, degree or costly training required.

No age, gender or background requirements.

Great business for any man or woman in good general health.

Enjoy the satisfaction your customers express after you finish your work.

Get paid immediately at the end of every "retail job."

After seeing the many benefits of owning your own window tinting business, you might be starting to "see the light", but you might also be wondering…