How to Finance Your Home Renovation With GadCapital Installment Loans

You want to keep your house in the best condition because it’s your castle. However, improving your home is not always cheap, especially if you completely remodel the space. Installment loans can be incredibly beneficial in these circumstances.

For you to decide whether or not to apply, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about installment loans, including how they can be used to finance home improvements. We will also advise on choosing the best installment loan for your requirements. No matter where you are in the renovation process—whether you are just starting to plan your project or already in the middle—you will find this guide helpful.

how to finance your home improvement project

How to choose the best contractor for your home improvement project?

  • After obtaining pre-approval for a loan, the next step is to locate a contractor.
  • If you are unsure of where to start, here are some suggestions:
  • Consult with friends and family: Inquire with your friends and family about reputable local contractors.
  • Obtain several estimates: Once you’ve determined which businesses are of interest to you, obtain multiple quotes before making a final decision.

There are numerous benefits to utilizing the installment loan service provided by GADCapital. Installment loans from GADCapital can be a great option if you want to finance an expensive home improvement project but do not have the time or funds to invest in a lengthy one.

Installation of a new kitchen or bathroom, wall painting, and deck construction are popular home improvement projects.

Regardless of the renovation you intend to undertake; an installment loan can be a useful funding source. Simply compare the total cost of each loan before deciding which is the best option.

How can you pay for a project to improve your home?

If you want to make changes to your home, you may need to borrow money. There are several choices, and each has its pros and cons. Here is a quick look at a few of the most common ways:

One of the easiest ways to pay for a small home improvement project is to use a credit card. It could get pricey if you don’t pay attention to interest rates and fees.

With a home equity loan, you may be able to borrow money against the value of your home if it has equity. In general, the interest rates on home equity loans are lower than those on credit cards, but the time it takes to pay them back is often longer.

Personal loans are another way to pay for home repairs or improvements. They can be used for anything and usually have lower interest rates than credit cards. The downside is that they might need something as collateral, like a car or savings account.

Installment loans are a type of loan that is paid back in fixed payments at regular intervals. They can be used for many things, like making home improvements. Installment loans are a good way to pay for a big renovation project because their interest rates are usually lower than those of credit cards and personal loans.

Now that you have a general idea of how to get money let’s look at installment loans in more depth.

How can installment loans be used to help finance home renovations?

An installment loan requires regular, predetermined payments to repay it. The loan term can last anywhere from a few months to several years, and it is customary to make payments every month. Financing home improvement initiatives is just one of the many uses for installment loans.

You should make a few adjustments when considering an installment loan for your home renovation. These are what they are:

  1. The interest rate: Unlike credit cards and personal loans, installment loans typically have lower interest rates. They are, therefore, a great option for financing a sizable remodeling project.
  2. How long the repayment period will last: When compared to a personal loan or credit card, an installment loan typically has a much longer repayment period. This will give you more time to pay back the loan, but it will also lengthen the period over which you must pay interest.
  3. The costs: Some installment loans come with origination fees and other fees. Make an exhaustive comparison of the total costs of each loan option before deciding which one is best for you.

Now that you know the basics of installment loans let’s look at how they can be used to help finance the home improvements you want to make. Home improvement projects can be expensive and time-consuming, but you can easily and quickly get the money you need with an installment loan from GADCapital.com. Work on home improvements can be time- and money-consuming.

Before applying for an installment loan, make sure you can afford the monthly payments because the repayment period is typically longer than that of a credit card or personal loan.

Where is pre-approval for installment loans for your home improvement project available?

When you’ve decided that an installment loan is the best way to finance your home improvement project, the next step is to apply for one and get pre-approved.

Obtaining loan pre-approval has several advantages, including the following:

  • You’ll know how much money you’ll be able to borrow: Using this information, you can calculate the portion of your renovation that can be financed with a loan.
  • You can expect the interest rate to fall: Interest rates on loans with pre-approved installments are typically lower than those on unsecured loans.
  • You will have more bargaining power if you: When negotiating the financing of your home improvement project with a contractor, having a pre-approved loan gives you more negotiating power.
  • You must submit a loan application and certain documentation, such as proof of income and employment history, to obtain pre-approval for an installment loan. This will enable the lender to determine your loan eligibility. Depending on the lender, the process could take a few days or weeks.

How do you create a project plan and stick to your budgetary restrictions?

Once you have chosen a contractor to work with and have received preliminary financing approval, it is time to develop a project plan. This will help you stay on track and keep you from spending more than you had planned.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Making a list of everything you want to accomplish will help you decide what to tackle first when it comes to your renovation projects.
  • Obtain several quotes: After compiling a list of your projects, contact several contractors for estimates. With this, you can compare prices and find the best offer.
  • Establish a budget: It’s time to make a budget for the project once you’ve got the quotes for your home renovation. When creating your budget, remember to account for the cost of labor, materials, and any required permits.
  • Maintain your financial plan: Once a budget has been created, it must be followed strictly. One way to achieve this is to set up a payment schedule with your contractor. This will help you stay on track and keep you from spending more than you had planned.

If you spend time and effort planning and researching the project in advance, an installment loan is a viable option for financing home improvements.

Make an exhaustive comparison of the total costs of each loan option before deciding which one is best for you.

If you intend to carry out a home improvement project, an installment loan might be a good option for financing it. Remember that an installment loan typically has a longer repayment period than a personal loan. As a result, before selecting the option that is best for you, it is crucial to compare the total cost of the loan.

The Impact of Clogged Air Filters On HVAC Energy Consumption

As soon as the chill begins to set in with fall, the need for indoor heating starts to push electricity bills up significantly with each passing month. This continues until winter finally arrives and skyrockets electricity bills to ridiculous amounts. This is pretty much what happens in summer too if you happen to live in Texas, Florida or any of the other hot states.

In both situations though, it’s the HVAC system that consumes all the energy, which is not exactly unexpected. What most of us don’t realize is that it’s most likely those clogged air filters that are making the HVAC waste more energy than it should need. Let’s talk about the impact of clogged air filters on HVAC energy consumption

How Do Clogged Filters Affect Your HVAC System?

Before we can discuss how clogged filters affect electricity bills, it is important to understand how clogged filters affect HVAC units in the first place.

The role of an air filter is simple enough; it stops as much of the air impurities as possible from entering and circulating in the indoor environment. After a while, all that dirt, dust, debris, etc., that the filter prevented from getting in begins to congeal together, slowly closing off the airways.

Once the accumulated gunk becomes heavy enough, the HVAC system has to work extra hard to push air past these narrow airways. This is where the problem lies, as a number of negative effects from the increased exertion and dirty filters are seen.

The Effects of Extra Load on HVAC Units

Given that an HVAC system isn’t equipped to handle all that extra load on a regular basis, a number of negative impacts are seen as a result of clogged air filters.

  • The unit begins to consume more power, to be able to push air past the dirty air filters
  • The increased power consumption becomes evident, as energy bills surge in direct proportion
  • Excess load decreases the potential lifetime of an HVAC unit
  • The heat exchange mechanism can overheat and short-circuit
  • The cooling coil may freeze in absence of sufficient airflow for dissipating condensation during summer
  • Breakdowns become more common, further adding to the maintenance expenses
  • Both the heating and cooling capacities of the unit suffers; slower and less effective heating/cooling
  • Since the air is pushed through the gunk with force, it circulates all the dispersed pollutants throughout the house

How to Know When Your HVAC System Needs a Filter Change?

Some of the signs are pretty obvious, but you should act before they become too obvious and your unit breaks down in the middle of January! It can get a little costly to change air filters on a regular basis for sure, so try to get them from discountfilterstore.com.

Go through the following and it should provide a decent guide towards detecting the need for a HVAC filter change before the problems get too serious.

  • It has been more than three months since your last filter change
  • The filters are starting to look grey or develop spots
  • Increase in indoor dust accumulation
  • Increase in allergic reactions such as sneezing, skin rashes, etc.
  • Heating/cooling seems to be taking a lot longer than expected
  • Heating/cooling isn’t as effective as before

Air filters serve the vital function of keeping the indoor environment fresh and healthy for everyone, but those same filters can also become the cause for health and financial problems unless they are changed in time. As long as you keep track of the change cycle though, none of what we discussed should be a cause for concern.

Why You Should Buy a Home Weather Station

With the huge innovation and advancement in home technology, weather stations have become a popular purchase and are something that many homeowners are incorporating in their homes. There are numerous reasons why people are opting for these devices, and the huge array of options available, picking the right one is easier than ever as you can cut out a lot of the work by reading these reviews by Temperaturesensei.

Although there are many people who already have weather stations in their homes, there are still some who are uncertain about this technology and do not know whether they should incorporate it or not. In this post, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about home weather stations, including the benefits.

What is a Weather Station

A weather station is a relatively small gadget that has various tools that enable it to discern the surrounding weather. It is equipped with an array of temperature monitors and sensors, which give you information about the climate around you and the environment that you might be in. Not long ago, this was technology that was primarily utilized in meteorological departments to gather weather data.

However, innovation in technology has led to the creation of smaller versions while maintaining the same functionality. These gadgets are designed to give localized information regarding the weather conditions around the house or nearby areas. They have proven to be pretty accurate and very efficient in proving the readings you want.

Applications of a Weather Station

These devices have an array of uses that have made them quite popular. Professionally, weather stations are utilized to garner data and provide weather information of a certain area. However, home weather stations take a more practical approach and provide information that you would need.

For instance, a home weather station can give you information on the temperature so that you can dress accordingly. If you’re planning a BBQ party on the weekend, you can use the device to know whether the weather will be conducive that day. There are numerous applications of these gadgets and all can help you be better prepared for any kind of weather condition.

Benefits of Home Weather Station

With the numerous uses of these devices, there are many benefits associated with them. If you are on the fence about purchasing one, then it would help to know the advantages of home weather stations.

1. Accurate Readings

Chances are the meteorological department is located far from your house. In such a case, the weather predictions you get may not be the most precise. That’s because the weather in that region may not be the same as where you reside. This is where home weather stations become more advantageous. These gadgets provide the exact details regarding the temperature of where you live. That’s because the readings are centered around your residence.

2. Real-Time Data

This is probably the reason why most people are opting for the home weather station. The ability to get real-time information makes this device worth the purchase. In the past, people used to rely on weather reports on the news for predictions or reports from the meteorological departments. Well, you no longer have to depend on these sources and get your own precise data on the weather much faster, thus allowing to make plans in a more convenient manner.

3. Real-Time Alerts

The weather changes every time and it can take an unexpected turn that’s not ideal, especially in regions that are prone to hurricanes and storms. Owning a weather station can help you and your loved ones in such situations, stay safe when weather changes are detected. With real-time data and alerts, you will be informed about the weather all the time, thus helping you stay safer.

4. Share Data

Home weather stations can ideally run on multiple devices simultaneously, meaning every family member can be able to use them. This makes it easy to share information regarding weather conditions, thus helping everyone stay up to date and prepared. This is again extremely helpful in regions that experience harsh weather conditions and need to warn each other.

5. Ease of Use

Home weather stations are designed with ease of use and efficiency in mind. They are meant to provide precise weather information in a simple way. If you’re looking for a gadget that’s easy to read and does not bombard you with jargon, then a home weather station is the answer. It is a simple and efficient gadget that’s easy to use even for older people. It is also easy to install, which adds to the advantages.

6. Creates a Smarter Home

Smart homes are the in thing today. Installing a home weather station is certainly a great way to make your home more efficient. The devices were designed with the needs of people who need instant information about the weather in mind and they do a great job at satisfying those needs. If you are looking to create a smarter home that will be efficient for years to come, then this something that you should incorporate today.

7. Precise Forecasting

Knowing the current weather conditions around your residence is just not enough. There are times when you want to know about the weather forecast for the next several days. Well, these gadgets are designed to deliver just that. A weather station can help you prepare better for the weather in the next few days and help you plan your activities better.

8. Helps in Home Maintenance

Protecting your home from weather damage is imperative, particularly if you reside in places that experience drastic weather changes and harsh conditions. Heat, rain and snow can cause substantial damage to your home, causing you to spend thousands of dollars on repairs and replacements. A simple weather station can help you better maintain your house throughout the seasons and even safeguard your house from weather damage.

Tips for Buying a Home Weather Station

To enjoy the benefits of a home weather station, you need to choose the right device. When it comes to picking one, there are two primary things to consider; the sensors and the price.

When purchasing a home weather station, do not lean towards the cheapest in order to save a little money. The more you spend on a device, the more reliable and accurate it will be. Cheaper models are less precise with data, and this defeats the purpose of owning one.

An ideal weather station should have a thermometer for temperature measurement, a barometer for atmospheric pressure, anemometer for wind speed and direction, humidity sensor for humidity levels and rain gauge for rainfall and precipitation.

The Ultimate Guide To Convert Your Home Into A Smart Home

With more and more brands and companies launching a variety of different smart lighting systems, speakers, sensors, it is easier than ever to convert your home into a smart home. If you have no prior experience in creating a smart home, it can be a confusing task to choose the right kind of devices. Moreover, you might not even know the solutions available to convert your home into a smart home. That is why it is vital to first understand how to transform your home into a smart home.

If you’re worried about the expenses, there are many ways in which you can create a smart home within your budget. It will allow you to control the various aspects of your home without having to spend a significant amount of money.

Moreover, the products available these days are becoming more and more affordable. As a result, it is easier to build a smart home. We will today list a step-by-step guide which will allow you to convert your home into a smart home.

1. Smart lighting

Lighting systems are the best way to control the appearance of your home. Moreover, when you opt for a smart lighting system, you can easily control the ambiance of the house with the help of a Wi-Fi connection. Most of them offer a mobile application through which, you can efficiently manage the entire lighting system. Every light on the lighting system connects to the central hub.

Therefore, controlling it is easier than ever. When you’re looking at the individual bulbs which you can buy and integrate with the Wi-Fi connection at home, you can opt for the ones from TP-Link and LIFX. These products are not only compatible with the Wi-Fi connection, but many of them work along with Bluetooth as well.

Some of the other well-known companies who sell such smart bulbs include Philips Hue, Sengled Element. These, however, can be controlled by Zigbee signals which in turn work along with the Wi-Fi signal. Ultimately, A router can control them. You can manage these with the help of the app on your smartphone. The app will work on any Android-based device. As a result, programming the light according to the theme selected in the app is not a problem at all.

In case, you want to automate your existing lighting system you can change the switches and replaced them with smart switches and cameras. You can use smartphone applications to control them. Some of the companies which sell the smart switches are TP-LINK, Ecobee, Leviton, etc. these switches are directly controllable through Wi-Fi. It will not require a central hub.

That is why; you can save a significant amount of money by going for the switches. If you want a centralized system, you can go with Noon Home’s system. It is comparatively expensive, but it allows you to have complete control over the lighting system. Thus, when it comes to smart lighting, there are a wide variety of options available.

2. Smart speakers

Smart speakers play a significant role in a smart-home. You can control the various functions of the house using the voice commands. As a result, they work as an assistant to control every aspect of your home. You can go with the Google home speaker or the Amazon Echo speaker. The choice is entirely up to you. If you want a single speaker to control the various options, you can go with Amazon Echo speaker.

On the other hand, if you’re going to create a series of such points in your home, you can go with the Google home series. Google series works on the fact that you can install multiple speakers throughout your home and one in each room to control every aspect of your home. That is why, if you want to create a network of smart devices, Google home is the perfect option for you.

smart-speakers

Google home is controlled using Google assistant. Amazon Echo devices are controlled using Amazon Alexa. Even Lenovo sells quick display series which work using Google home.

Lenovo is not alone, which is integrating these devices along with its offerings. Various other device manufacturers are doing the same. That is why, when you want to incorporate the smart speakers in your home, it is easier to do so. You can create the entire ecosystem of smart devices and control TVs, lights, thermostats, and a variety of other functions of your home with the help of these speakers.

3. Smart thermostats

Climate control systems in our home consume the maximum amount of energy. Moreover, when the weather is at extremes, they make sure that the ambiance in your home is entirely comfortable. You can go a step further and save even more energy with the help of smart thermostats. These ensure that you can easily control the ambiance of your home. These thermostats have a predictive system which means that they can set the temperature of the house conveniently and on their own.

When you look at the basic working of these thermostats, they require you to set up sensors everywhere in your home. They control the temperature precisely in the part of the house where you are present. They also keep the rest of the home like the passageways at a comfortable temperature. However, precise control is in the area in which the individuals are present. HVAC companies recommend pairing your system with smart vents for optimal efficiency. Hence, there is a significant amount of energy saving.Thus, when you want to control the temperature of your home efficiently, smart thermostats are the perfect option.

eco-friendly-business-practices

4. Home Security Cameras

When converting your home into a smart one, it is also essential to make it more secure. The smart-homes are easy to secure as they rely on sensors and devices rather than individuals. It is even more affordable as compared to hiring security guards. The best tool which you have got to handle the security of your home in a smarter way is the smart camera. With the help of the smart CCTV camera, it is easier to monitor your home.

Moreover, when there is any unusual activity in your home, you can get alert easily. Also, the smart cameras which we are speaking about are not just helpful for detecting intrusions or burglary, but also can help you in monitoring your children and pets. They are multipurpose which means that you can use them for the application which you prefer.

Some of the options which you have when it comes to smart cameras are:

  • Ring
  • Netatmo
  • Maximum

The advantage of smart cameras is that they incorporate lights and a variety of different motion sensors into the security system. They also integrate the doorbell so that you can easily monitor the entry and exit points of your home. You can communicate with the individuals at the entrance and exit points without having to open the door at all. You can do so remotely as well. As a result, you can control the access to your home remotely or from your smartphone without any problem. Video doorbells are very popular these days not only for security reasons but also for smart features.

The motion sensors ensure that you get an alert whenever there is unusual activity in the monitored area. As a result, you always get alerts about any intrusion or unfriendly individuals even before they enter your home. The smart cameras are easy to install and do not require any unique fixtures which ensures that you can make the security of your home smarter by merely installing these cameras and connecting them with the Wi-Fi system.

5. Smart audio systems

The multi-room audio systems ensure that you can get that you get entertainment in every room. There are options to choose from like:

  • Sonos
  • Yamaha
  • HEOS

These are self-contained speakers. You can keep them in every room and connect them with the Wi-Fi. They will help you to stream the music. Moreover, they can stream music from a variety of different services like Spotify. You can also select the tracks through your smartphone.

The difference between the speakers and something like Amazon Echo or Google home systems is that these speakers have a much better audio quality. They are not just for listening to commands, but actually up the entertainment quotient. Moreover, they can be integrated with TV and enhance your music watching experience. You can control them with the help of the tablet or the smartphone without any problem.

When speaking about something like Sonos, it works with the help of Amazon Alexa digital assistant. As a result, you can integrate it into your smartphone without any problem. Thus, when looking up the entertainment question and make your entertainment devices smarter, these are the speakers which you should choose.

6. Smart sensors

The sensors play the role of eyes and ears in any smart-home system. Without sensors, it will be challenging to control the functions of a smart-home. The smart sensors ensure that they detect motion inside and outside the home. Inside the house, they correct the climate control system to make the ambiance more habitable. Also, they can switch on and off the lights depending on whether a room is vacant or not. Hence, it becomes easier for you to automate the climate control system.

Additionally, some of the sensors are used for smoke detection as well. The smoke detection sensors alert the smartphone numbers which you input as well. You can authorize a contact to get an alert with the help of the smart sensors. As a result, whenever there is a problem at your home, the authorized contacts will get an instant alert as well. When those contacts get a warning, they can act accordingly and arrange for the emergency services to reach your home as well. The sensors are not just available for fire detection.

There are the sensors which monitor the air quality of your home as well. These sensors, especially monitor the carbon monoxide levels. Accordingly, it instructs the climate control system to filter the air or the air purifier to activate. The more the number of sensors the more precisely each smart device can operate.

Also, there are smart smoke alarms available. The Nest Protect is such a smoke alarm system. It has emergency lights as well to show you the way out. Moreover, it sends an alert to your contacts as well. When it comes to sensors, they can accomplish a wide variety of factors. It is wise to use such sensors in your home to make your home smarter and safer.

7. Smart irrigation system

Technology is available to automate every system of your home. That is why, if you’re worried about manually doing the lawn and garden irrigation, you don’t need to worry anymore. The smart irrigation systems can automatically detect the moisture in your lawn or your garden. As a result, they can use the irrigation devices to ensure that you can water the garden or backyard. They also take into account the type of plants which you have.

Moreover, if you do not want to automate them, you can control them through your app. You can install duplicators or sprinkle indicators. When you manage them with the help of the app, they will start and stop according to your commands. As a result, without having to control the irrigation devices manually, you can efficiently manage your garden or your lawn. When you do that, you can be sure that the plants or the garden will always be in proper condition.

The advantage of smartphone app control is that even when traveling, you can water your lawn as well as your garden without any problem. It will ensure that you don’t need to hire anyone else to take care of the lawn or garden irrigation.

Final Words

So, when it comes to converting your home into a smart home, these are the seven steps which you need to follow. Each of the above steps deals with a different system. With the help of these seven smart home systems, it is easier than ever to automate various aspects of your home. According to VIP Realty, homes will also sell faster and for more money.

You can control them from your mobile application as well which will ensure that you can customize each element of your home remotely. In the process, you can also save a significant amount of resources and utilities. With smart systems becoming more and more affordable, now there is no reason why you should not convert your home into a smart home.

8 Ways To Make Your Property More Energy Efficient

There are many ways to make your property more energy efficient regardless of your budget. If you have more money to spend, then you can invest in some renovation work that will help you to reduce energy expenses. However, suppose your budget is on the lower side. In that case, you can purchase some features that are small and inexpensive but can have a massive impact on your final bill. But keep in mind that you should carry out extensive research for each energy-saving solution you would like to try. That will help you to determine what your final savings will be and which solutions are not ideal for your property.

How To Make Your Property More Energy Efficient

1. Get A Quality Roof That Will Keep All The Heat Inside

A quality roof is a key to every safe and energy-efficient property. Companies such as ClearAmber Shop offer roofing sheets made of various materials, such as corrugated roofing sheets or plastic roof sheets that will help you to keep all the heat inside the building. As a result, there will not be any heat leaking outside, and you will stop cold air from flowing inside.

Like this, heating will need a shorter time to make the interior warm, and you will use much less gas or electricity, depending on the radiators you have. Cutting down your gas and electricity usage will make the building more efficient and lower your energy bills at the same time.

2. Close Off Any Gaps In The Construction

Filling any gaps in your construction, also called draught proofing, will stop any cold air from flowing into the building. You can find these gaps anywhere around windows, doors, exposed piping, fittings, floorboards or loft hatches. You should also pay attention to any cracks in the walls. However, there are several easy ways how you can fix the issue. You can use silicone sealant to hold water away. Or there are other options such as self-adhesive foam strips, flexible fillers or shaped rubber or plastic.

For any larger gaps, you should consider trying expanding polyurethane foam which expands while drying and then sets hard. This way, you will be able to have the heating on for a shorter time during the colder months and save on energy expenses.

3. Use Smart Meter To Stay On Track With Your Electricity Usage

Having a smart meter will allow you to see how much electricity you use in real-time. This way, you will be able to identify your weaknesses. From there, you can plan what you will do to make your home more energy efficient. The smart meter will also allow you to set a timer for your heating. This way, the heating will be on only for a specific part of the day.

Energy-Saving Tips for Small Businesses

During the colder months, it can be tempting to leave the heating on for a bit longer. However, if you push turning the heating off further and further, you will need to pay more than you would like to. The timer will help you to make sure that you do not have your heating on for too long. Regulating the time will allow you to control your energy usage, and you will save money on your bills.

4. Wall Insulation Can Help You Cut Your Energy Bills In The Long Run

Wall insulation can be a costly procedure. However, it will become a worthwhile investment in the long run. Of course, the overall price depends on whether you want to have cavity, internal or external wall insulation. Then, you need to take into account the size of the property, as each type of wall insulation has a different price per square meter.

Each insulation has a different process and finish. However, they all have one purpose in common. They help you to ensure that there is no heat escaping through the walls and keep your energy usage balanced. This way, your building will be more energy efficient and will allow you to save the expenses on the bills every year.

5. Keep Your Home Warm With Floor Insulation

Just like with walls, many homes have problems with heat escaping from the room through the floor. There are different kinds of floor insulation, and you need to know which floor you have in order to pick the right solution for your property. You usually do not need to put floor insulation into rooms that are located upstairs.

But suppose a room is located above a space that is not heated, like, for example, a garage. In that case, you should consider floor insulation as a solution to make the building more energy efficient. You also need to remember that your building may have more than one type of flooring. Then, you will need to inquire about more kinds of floor insulation.

6. Consider If Solar Panels Are The Right Solution For You

It is no secret that solar panels are expensive and require a lot of space. However, if you have the financial means and enough space, then they will become one of the most effective features on your way to a more energy-efficient building. You should also carry out extensive research in order to find out if solar panels are a suitable solution for your building.

solar energy diy

If your research brings good news, then you will be able to generate your own renewable electricity. But there is one more obstacle that could ruin your plans for solar panel installation. If the building is in an area that is often covered in the shade, then it would not be the best investment for your property.

7. Include Energy Efficient Fittings In Your Property

Including energy-efficient fittings in your property can be a more affordable way to reduce your energy usage. For instance, you can place LED light bulbs throughout the property. Like this, you will save a significant amount of electricity, and they last up to 10 times longer than regular light bulbs. You can also invest in water-saving shower heads. These features regulate the amount of water you are using and can help you to cut down your expenses.

For the same purpose, you should consider purchasing low-flow taps that will help you to reduce the water usage in sinks. On top of that, you can also invest in low-flush toilets that will help you to regulate the flow of water even further. Such solutions can be affordable and easy to install. This way, you will reduce your energy usage significantly and stay within your budget.

8. Switch Off Devices When You Are Not Using Them

By switching off devices when you are not using them, you can save around £55 a year. In the long run, this can become a significant amount of money that you could use on some of the different needs of your property. You can turn the devices off at the plug. These days, most modern appliances are set in a way that will not upset their programming if turned off.

To make your job easier, you can also get a smart plug that will help you to turn off the devices all at once. Suppose you are not sure about any of your appliances and their settings. In that case, we recommend you check the manufacturer’s manual and follow the instructions.

3 Things to Consider When Using Drum Heaters

For people in the colder parts of the world, temperatures can become an issue. Sometimes, you might need to keep your liquids, water or fuel at the normal room temperature. The main use of drum heaters is that they work as storages that keep their content at a certain temperature.

Barrel heaters are especially needed if their content loses its nature and benefits due to a drop or a rise in the temperature. Barrel heater is a cheap solution for maintaining high energy without paying for its cost, in addition you are reducing the pollution since the energy is being recycled within the system. So, what do you need to consider when you are using drum heaters? That is what we are going to tackle.

1. Harsh weather

Harsh environmental conditions, especially the low temperature of the cold months, might push the need to use a heater for your drums to avoid causing them any damages to keep them in ultimate condition.

Buying good drum heater jackets will keep you away from breaking the bank just to save your desired content. They don’t only keep your drums at the required temperature, they also save and lower the viscosity of the fluids so you wouldn’t need to replace them as often and more importantly, they protect them from freezing in harsh cold environment conditions.

2. Energy saving

Electrical insulated heating jackets offer more protection from cold or freezing due to the extra layer of insulation they have. With heat loss kept at minimum, the heating jackets offer more energy saving options which make their power consumption drop automatically, this also translates to cost of operation drop. What’s even more positive about these jackets is that they are normally designed to cover the whole containers, thus you are more likely to be saved from any energy loss.

Using some types of barrel heaters that do not cover the whole drum might waste energy as they naturally get hot. Due to thermodynamics basics, the heat will start dissipating from the higher-temperature surface to the cold atmosphere. That is why when using the right type of heater for your needs, make sure that it will cover the whole container you have so you don’t waste any energy.

3. Saving space = saving energy

An extra step to save money and time is to place your drums in a closed space. Open spaces make it harder to maintain your drums at desired temperatures. Putting your drums and barrels in an enclosed space will ensure that no energy is wasted to the atmosphere and manage heat escape.

Choose the one that works best for you

When you are first buying the heater, it is always a good step to buy one that is flexible. Drum heaters are really simple on the design side, however, using one that does not fit may create more of a problem than it solves. Buying a good drum heater that is adjustable or can fit any type of container you have, is always a smart idea to save you from the headache and wasting your money.

5 Unique Features of Engineered Wood Floors

Choosing the best flooring for your dream home is not an easy task. There are a wide variety of flooring options available in the market, and it is sometimes frustrating to select the right type of flooring. Engineered wood flooring is a cost-effective and eco-friendly flooring option to add a touch of elegance to your new home. Read more about the unique features of engineered wood flooring below:

1. Engineered wood is eco-friendly

With increasing focus on green lifestyle, homeowners are looking for eco-friendly hard flooring to make their homes truly green and environmentally-friendly. The appearance of engineered wood flooring is almost the same as that of solid wood flooring but the manufacturing processes are quite different.

Engineered wood flooring is made up of a thin veneer on top of a less-expensive plywood. This distinctive style of manufacturing not only helps in conservation of natural wood, but also makes the flooring both cheaper and stronger. A new industry trend is to replace plywood with recycled wood fiber mixed with stone dust which provides additional dimensional stability.

2. Ease in installation

Engineered wood flooring offers installation advantage as it is easier and cost-effective to install than traditional hardwood floors. The wide range of engineered wood floor installation methods include stapling or nailing, fold-and-lock, or glue. The ease in installation makes it ideal for both DIY and professional installation.

Engineered wood floors are milled with tongue and groove (T&G) construction in which the planks are fitted together, like puzzle pieces, with each row held down by the row next to it. Tongue and groove milling allow the floors to be stapled or nailed down, glued, and sometimes floated. The versatility of engineered wood can be gauged from the fact that it can be directly installed over a concrete subfloor or on top of old hardwood floors.

3. Better resistance to moisture

Engineered wood is more capable of fighting moisture than conventional wood floors, primarily due to its dimensional stability which prevents warps and other deformities when it comes into contact with water. The relatively stable structure of engineered wood is provided by the cross-wise layers of plywood fibers which is in contrast to parallel fibers of hardwood.

The moisture-resistant nature of engineered floors makes it well-suited for moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and basements. The ability to withstand moisture means engineered wood is more durable than conventional hardwood floors.

4. More resistant to temperature changes

Compared to traditional hardwood floors, engineered wood floors have better capabilities to resist temperature changes. The multiple-ply plank design facilitates its expansion without compromising on its structural strength and stability.

The hardwood and plywood layers are bonded together under heat and pressure which negates the natural tendency of hardwoods to expand, contract, warp, or cup when exposed to temperature changes in certain areas, like utility rooms.

5. Amazing range of styles, grades and finishes

Engineered wood floors can adapt to your lifestyle as well as your budget. It is available in a wide array of styles, like oak and maple, and diverse range of multiple finishes including matte, semi-gloss, and high-gloss. You have the option to go for cost-efficient tough, lacquered floor or to choose the top-quality oiled version. You also have the liberty to choose a rustic or a time worn appearance, depending on your preferences.

Conclusion

Engineered wood floors is a cost-efficient, durable, versatile and eco-friendly alternative to traditional flooring options, like hardwood, laminate and parquet flooring. Its ability to withstand moisture and temperature changes makes it well-suited for all kinds of residential and commercial buildings.

The easy installation and hassle-free maintenance of engineered wood flooring makes it attractive for an amateur DIY buff as well as for a professional interior decorator. To sum up, engineered wood floors are a logical and green alternative to provide elegance and creativity to your new home.

7 Energy Efficiency Innovations That Can Help Homeowners

Domestic energy efficiency has advanced a long way over the last few decades. Despite our overall energy consumption increasing by just over a third since 1980, on average our homes consume around 10% less overall. How can this be the case when we have so many more electrical appliances? Back in 1980, not many homes had more than a single TV, and computers and mobile phones were essentially non-existent. Yet somehow they used more electricity!

The answer to this question comes down to one simple principle. Energy efficiency. Government regulations and technical advances led by the private sector have resulted in appliances that are simply more sustainable. Throw in a better public understanding of the importance of reducing carbon emissions, and also the use of money expert comparison sites to track the expense of powering a home, and it the picture becomes a little clearer.

Expect to see this trend become ever more prevalent in the near future, as sustainability has become a huge industry that continues to rapidly expand.

Here’s a selection of the most recent energy efficiency innovations that are already helping homeowners save money that we can expect to become common place over the coming years.

1. Smart Homes

At first glance, you may wonder what the point is in buying a new domestic appliance that is advertised as ‘internet connected/ready’. After all, who is going to need a web compatible refrigerator or air conditioning unit? It is increasingly common for newly released appliances to boast this feature because in the coming years, our homes are going to be much more connected than at present. Being able to monitor and control energy expenditure remotely via smartphone is a tech that is already with us – but these are still the early days.

The next big step forward is going to be the implementation of wireless sensors throughout the home. These will connect all the appliances in the home to a centralized control panel which will automatically instruct how they interact with the energy supply.

For instance, appliances not in use, but on ‘standby’ mode will be entirely disconnected from the power supply when nobody is at home. Heating and air conditioning use will be precisely measured according to the ambient temperature. Just these two examples – and there are many more in the pipeline – are set to shave a considerable amount of household energy consumption in the very near future.

2. Next Generation Home Insulation

The US Industrial Science & Technology Network takes the approach that heating and cooling costs can best be reduced by simply developing superior insulation. While still at the development stage, these are promised to be far more efficient at preventing heat from escaping.

As may be expected, they are also going to be environmentally sound and most likely comprised of recycled foam materials. Should these be proven to work, there is a very good chance they will become the industry norm for new build and redeveloped housing in the years to come.

home-insulation

3. Reflective Roofing Materials

While insulation is ideal for maintaining an ambient temperature what about those who live in warmer climes? Everyone knows how expensive it is to run air conditioning 24 hours a day, but there have been considerable recent advances in reflective rooftop materials. Currently, these work by using special pigments that are coated onto the roof in order to reflect sunlight and heat.

The next generation in development will use fluorescent pigments that look likely to be up to four times more efficient. So for those who reside in areas where effective air conditioning is essential around the year, these new materials may well be an absolute godsend.

4. Magnetocaloric Refrigerators

A fridge powered by magnets? Close, but not quite. Refrigeration technology has barely changed or advanced since they were first introduced. Modern fridges still rely on vapor compression, which unfortunately requires chemical coolants that are notoriously bad for the environment.

Next generation models are going to be able to make use of water-based coolants that make use of the magnetocaloric effect. In layperson’s terms, this is the use of magnets to alter the magnetic field which can provide an extremely energy efficient cooling effect. Expect this to become commonplace in the coming years, thanks to their potential in enormously reducing energy expenditure and carbon emissions.

5. Much More Efficient Heat Pumps

Considerable progress has been made by the US Building Technologies Office in developing heat pumps that essentially move heat throughout the home. There are three models in design that promise to considerably reduce expenditure on heating while also significantly reduce carbon emissions. Standard gas boilers/furnaces are notoriously expensive and inefficient.

  • A low-cost gas-based heating pump could massively increase efficiency and result in lowering heating costs by a staggering 45%.
  • Multiple function fuel based pumps designed for domestic use can still save an estimated 30% with the added bonus of also providing more efficient water heating.
  • Natural gas based heating pumps connected with air conditioners aim to use a very low emission boiler to cater for all domestic needs regardless of the season. Of all three options, this is the most complete package and the one most likely to become widespread in the coming years.

These styles of heat pumps are also going to be used to significantly reduce the energy used by clothes drying machines. General Electric has been already near completing their first gas pump compatible dryer. This is intended to reduce the energy consumption of perhaps the least efficient appliance in the home by up to 60%.

heating-radiator

6. Even Better LED Lighting

Energy saving lighting may have become the accepted norm in many households, and the good news is that it is set to become even better. At present these are up to 85% more efficient than old fashioned incandescent bulbs, but the next generation – scheduled for a few years time – promise to double their efficiency. An improvement up to 230 lumens (from the current 115) is forecast.

8% of all electricity consumption in the USA are due to lighting homes and businesses. Having that figure will make for a huge national saving and reduction of energy costs across the board.

LED-lighting-workplace

7. Advanced Window Insulation

While still in development this may not sound like a huge advance, but could well result in enormous net energy savings down the line. Using microprocessors and sensors to measure sunlight and radiant heat, these are going to automatically provide shading to assist with providing ideal natural lighting and also assist with heating. Expect these to be integrated with the general smart home system outlined above in due course.

Final Thoughts

So there we have seven of the most exciting and interesting energy efficiency innovations that we can expect to see in the home over the coming years. While some are already in production while others are just passing the prototype phase, the future is looking positive in terms of reducing emissions and better managing energy consumption.

Energy efficiency is here to stay and these developments will likely only be the tip of the iceberg compared to what we can look forward to over coming decades.

5 Energy-Saving Measures for Homeowners

There are many easy ways to save money and electricity every month around your home. And as you will see from the following examples, they don’t all require you to downgrade your lifestyle or make major sacrifices in your everyday life. Some of these energy-saving measures will apply more during hot times of the year or cold times, but most will serve you well all year long.

save energy concept

And keep in mind that many of these energy-saving tips can apply just as well to businesses trying to save money as they do to homeowners.

1. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances

Your major household appliances use up a lot of electricity year-round, so when it comes time to repair or replace one of them, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient model. Many manufacturers make refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges, washing machines and dryers that meet or exceed EnergyStar guidelines and can save you hundreds of dollars per year in lower energy bills.

2. Eliminate Electricity “Leaks”

Most homeowners are aware of water leaks in their homes such as leaky faucets, cracked garden hoses and poorly sealed pipe fittings in the walls. But your home could also be leaking electricity every day.

A lot of electricity gets wasted needlessly due to so-called “energy leaks”. These could include appliances that draw power 24/7, even when not in use. Other energy leaks could be simple things like leaving the lights turned on in empty rooms or falling asleep with the television on.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to reduce energy leaks without putting a drain on your lifestyle, such as using power strips, timers and motion sensors to cut off these devices when nobody is using them.

3. Improve Your Home’s Insulation

Another factor that drives up your monthly electric bill is the hot or cold air outside making its way into your home. There are two main ways to address this:

  1. Seal your doors and windows
  2. Put in better insulation

If your doors or windows are old and have cracks or holes, then go ahead and get those replaced. Double-paned glass windows and sliding doors can add an extra layer of protection to regulate your internal temperature.

home-insulation

If there are any gaps around the perimeter or frame of your doors and windows, then replacing the weatherstripping should seal those off easily. This is actually good DIY project for beginners that will only cost you a few bucks and a few minutes per door/window.

Replacing your insulation can be a big job and will likely require some professional help, not only to get the job done right, but also to ensure compliance with all building codes and regulations. The main question for you to discuss with your chosen contractor will be to decide what type of insulation will work best for your needs and your budget. Common materials include natural fibers, plastics, foam, minerals and fiberglass insulation.

When hiring a contractor, be sure they include air-sealing services in the estimate, since leaks, gaps and cracks in the walls, ceilings and floors should be done prior to putting in the insulation. Some insulation types, such as fiberglass insulation, are installed using techniques that literally blow the materials into place and do an excellent job of sealing off leaks.

4. Properly Use and Maintain Your HVAC System

Your heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system can also make or break your power bill every month, especially during the winter or summer seasons. These heating and cooling systems are comprised of many motors and moving parts which are subject to wear and tear and will require ongoing maintenance.

While your HVAC system is designed to last for several years, some individual components can become worn out and create inefficiencies which overload the entire system, wasting energy and causing additional damage. So you do need to be diligent in maintaining or repairing these systems as needed. Many HVAC repair companies in your area offer free inspections of heaters, air conditioners and centralized ventilation systems, so take advantage of those when they are available.

hvac-maintenance

5. Use Green Building Materials

When constructing a new home or adding on to your existing property, using green building materials can also help you save money on construction costs. Here are some examples of commonly-used green building materials:

  • Recycled steel and wood
  • Reclaimed doors, windows and lumber
  • Plant-based polyurethane foam
  • Bamboo
  • Wool

While you might not see much difference on your own personal utility bill, using building supplies made from recycled or reclaimed materials can save money on construction costs. And you can also save a lot of energy and resources on a larger scale – at the community level and eventually global level. Plus, many reclaimed material just a nice aesthetic to your home.

Saving energy at home can be easy, and with a little creativity and investment you don’t necessarily have to make any radical changes to your lifestyle either. Pick one or two of these energy-saving tips for homeowners and put them to use today.

These Telltale Signs Will Show Buyers Just How Old Your House Is!

Although we absolutely love our homes, there will be a day where we have to pack our belongings and find a new place to hang our hats. Homeowners who have older homes may experience a bit more of a challenge getting that “sold” sign because buyers aren’t too keen on buying a house that looks like it’s from the 70s and can become a money pit sooner than later.

Below is the list of common signs that will show prospective home buyers just how old your house is so if you have an older home, here are a few updated design tips for getting your home ready to sell:

1. Old appliances

One of the biggest tips from top agents we’ve come across is to update your appliances! Buyers do not want outdated appliances and that includes any appliances that aren’t stainless steel. Buyers love the look of the sleek metal and it just gives the kitchen a modern appeal.

stainless-steel-kitchen

2. Loud paint and/or wallpaper

Paint colors and wallpaper is a personal choice, but if you’re going to sell, you will appeal to a much broader base if you’re giving them a neutral base. Neutral colors will allow the buyers to envision their belongings in the home, rather than being put off because their traditional dining set would look odd in a deep purple dining room.

3. Brass hardware

When you walk into a home, you can tell it’s age by the color of the fixtures. Shiny brass or silver hardware and door knobs are fine and well, but polished nickel, matte black, and oil rubbed bronze are best.

4. Old windows

Older windows not only date the home, but they are also a drain on energy! Buyers want windows that are energy efficienttriple-pane glass windows are preferable as they are the most energy efficient, but they can be costly, ranging between $500 to $1,085 per window.

5. Popcorn ceilings

Whoever thought popcorn ceilings were a cool feature to have in a house must have been really into texture. Smooth ceilings are much more preferable simply because they look cleaner. If you have popcorn ceilings, you can remove it fairly easily, except it will be a big mess. Fortunately, you can hire a contractor to do the work and cleanup!

popcorn-ceiling-old-house

6. Tile or laminate countertops

When you bought your home, you probably didn’t mind tile or laminate countertops, but buyers aren’t going to be so charmed. Instead, buyers prefer granite, marble, concrete or custom epoxy countertops.

7. Wood paneling

Wood paneling was popular in the 70s and it makes your home look dark, old, and severely dated. You can remove the paneling, install drywall, and slap on a fresh coat of paint and you’d be amazed by how much more welcoming your home will feel!

8. Carpet in the bathroom

Water and carpeting are mortal enemies and carpeting has absolutely no place in the bathroom. Buyers know this and will avoid houses with this feature, unless they were already planning on renovating the bathroom. If you don’t want to keep your fingers crossed you’ll have a buyer who’s going to renovate, you can roll up your sleeves (or hire a contractor) to rip up the carpet and lay down new flooring, such as tile, vinyl flooring, or wood.

bathroom-carpet

It can be hard to go through your house and see the areas where buyers may not appreciate. You may have loved the countertops you installed 10 years ago, or your ivory washer and dryer have never let you down… But buyers want homes that are updated, modern, and have as little fixing up to do as possible. If you do even a few of these changes and you may see the start to offers roll in.