3 Tips to Help Keep Your Sewer Line Cleared

A sewer back up can be one of the costliest, messiest and most stressful problems you will ever have to deal with. It is possible that raw sewage can back up into your toilet, sink and bathtub, eventually overflowing into key areas of your house. It’s admittedly a disgusting topic to talk about, but it does happen, and it is important to know how to prevent it. So, here are a few tips on how to clear a mainline blockage:

1. Clear Roots

These are the most common culprits behind sewer backups. Roots belonging to trees and shrubs seek moisture underground and can, therefore, make their way into sewer lines through cracks in the pipe. Typically, they start small but grow and eventually obstruct the line, allowing waste to build up and back up. Here are some tips on using salt to get rid of such tree roots.

  • Obtain 4 pounds of rock salt and flush it down the toilet in the evening before the family goes to bed. That will give the saltwater at least 8 hours in the sewer line. For that duration, do not use any drains in the house to avoid diluting the saltwater.
  • After 8 hours, flush the toilet again and resume use of the drains in the house.
  • Follow this practice about once or twice a month. Any tree roots in the sewer line will die from the excess of sodium, and the lines will soon be clear.

2. Clear Paper Products

These include such products as paper towels, sanitary towels and diapers that are not intended for flushing. These products aren’t like toilet paper in that they do not disintegrate easily. They can, therefore, block the sewer line and cause a backup. To prevent this from happening, they should not be flushed down the toilet but should instead be thrown in the garbage.

Sanitary towels and diapers should never be flushed down the toilet as they tend to clog the sewer line the fastest. This also includes tampons. All of these should be disposed of in a specialized garbage bin placed next to the toilet, such as the ones in public restrooms.

3. Avoid Putting Grease in Drains

Grease is another culprit that has a way of causing backups. You should avoid, as much as possible, pouring grease down a drain. This also applies to cooking oil as it often has the same effect. Some people believe that using hot water to wash grease down the drain helps. That is not true. The grease will go down the drain more easily, but it will eventually cool off further down the drain and solidify. When it does that, it will clog the drain and cause a backup.  The line will have a harder time letting water through and get clogged.

The best solution is to pour the grease into a container that is resistant to heat and let it cool off. You can then dispose of it in the garbage.

How To Make The Moving Process More Sustainable

Moving homes is an inevitable part of life for many but leaving a huge carbon footprint when you do doesn’t have to be.

While big businesses are responsible for producing the greatest amount of greenhouse emissions, the planet is ours as well, and every tiny bit of eco-friendliness goes a long way.

But choosing to move in a more eco-friendly way comes with its own questions. What kind of packaging should I use? How do you avoid producing unnecessary waste? Questions such as these are an essential part of the “eco-friendly move” discussion.

If you’re someone who’s looking for eco-friendly tips for your next move, then don’t worry. This article was written with people like you in mind! Here are some tips and tricks on how to make your move more sustainable and eco-friendly. So, let’s get started!

How To Make The Moving Process More Sustainable

 

1. Donate or sell everything you don’t need

A move is a perfect opportunity for getting rid of items you no longer need. Being selective about what you want to keep will also help make your move more manageable and the process much smoother.

Before you start packing, go through all your clothing, kitchen items, and furniture and start making piles of things you don’t want to keep.

Then instead of throwing it all away, consider selling or donating the items you think you won’t need. Craigslist and Facebook are examples of good platforms for selling used household items.

Also, if you have a bunch of old mobile devices or batteries lying around, remember to dispose of them properly because they can cause significant harm to the environment.

Best Buy (and other large electronic stores) often allow you to bring in your old electronic devices and recycle them on your behalf.

Finally, if the items you no longer need can’t be sold or donated, you can have a professional removalist company like 1300 Rubbish take care of them.

2. Use clothes and linens to wrap fragile items

Not only is this packing method zero-waste, but it’s also a very creative way of packing soft fabric items like towels, clothes, and blankets.

Wrapping ceramic plates and other breakables in linens or clothes often works as good as bubble wrap and can help you cut down on the need for unnecessary single-use packaging materials.

The best part about using soft clothes and linens as cushions? They are free, always readily available around the house, and are a great way to move more sustainably. If you are using a professional moving company, however, this might not be an option.

3. Pack items in containers you already have

You’re always going to need at least some boxes during your move. But you can significantly cut down on the total number required by thinking out of the box!

For example, instead of using moving boxes, you should try using containers you already have lying around the house to pack your items. Some household containers you could use instead of boxes include:

  • Suitcases
  • Gym bags
  • Plastic bins
  • Recyclable grocery totes
  • Drawers

Basically, if you have any item that can store other things inside, always be sure to use up that storage space before packing it. Because the more we can fit in containers we already have, the more we can prevent relying on moving boxes.

4. If you do end up needing boxes, get them used

To make your move more eco-friendly, consider packing your items in leftover or used boxes and try to keep buying new moving boxes as a final resort.

Ask around, call your friends, family members, or local retail stores to see if anyone has boxes leftover that you can reuse for your move.

During my last move, I got a bunch of boxes from my nearest grocery store at no cost. Most stores are more than happy to give them out for free.

5. Buy biodegradable supplies

Traditional packing practices involve using a myriad of eco-unfriendly items such as styrofoam packing peanuts and plastic wraps. These single-use items are often the biggest contributors to waste during a move.

Luckily, there are now tons of sustainable alternatives to traditional packing supplies. For example, instead of buying standard styrofoam packing peanuts, you can get biodegradable cornstarch peanuts instead to move more sustainably.

6. Try renting reusable moving boxes

Many moving companies offer rental services for reusable plastic boxes, which is something that you should definitely consider using.

reasons to hire local moving firm

But you might be wondering, “Isn’t plastic terrible for the environment?” Well, not in this case. Because most moving companies use storage boxes made from recycled plastic and materials and are reused many times over, reducing landfill waste from one-time use boxes.

7. Hire a green moving service

One of the easiest ways to leave a smaller carbon footprint during your move is to hire a “green” moving company that adopts sustainable practices.

Most green moving companies use vehicles that run on biodiesel or hybrid fuel instead of regular gas and can also provide you with reusable moving boxes to curb the need for cardboard boxes.

But before going with a local eco-friendly moving company, be sure to go through their website and their reviews to find out if they really do practice what they preach.

The Greener Garden: 4 Sustainable Options To Explore

Many of humans’ daily activities contribute to the decay of planet Earth. In fact, even when gardening, carbon emissions are released, which might add to the current problem of global warming. However, the good news is gardening can be done properly through various efforts and actions.

Minimizing environmental impacts should be your ultimate goal for a greener garden. If you’re wondering what sustainable practices could eliminate lesser waste in your garden, there are certain changes you can do. No matter how minor they are, these small steps can accumulate. And soon, you’d be able to fully adopt healthier and greener gardening methods. Here are some sustainable options you can explore to turn your garden greener.

sustainable options to turn your garden greener.

1. Reuse Materials That Can Be Used For Gardening

Recycling is a popular effort to make to go green. By incorporating used materials into your garden, you can do impactful initiatives to help save the environment.

For instance, you can declutter your home and find items you can repurpose into garden materials, like pots and plant vases. Whether you need upcycled stuff for your indoor hydroponic vertical farming or outdoor conventional garden beds, there are many recyclable things you might find in your garage or attic. Or you can also check out recycling shops and find materials you can repurpose for your garden needs. Who would have known your stunning flower pots were made out of recycled items?

You can refer to some online sources to learn how to make gardening materials out of buckets, clay pots, used pipes, and worn-out furniture. Just exercise your own creativity when recycling objects. Doing so may even allow you to expand your home’s individuality and explore new styles for your garden. This green trick wouldn’t only help the planet but would also allow you to enhance your creativity and resourcefulness.

2. Incorporate Native Plants

Choosing the right plants is a critical aspect of growing a sustainable garden. It’s therefore essential to incorporate native plants in it. These plants are a part of the balance of nature, which have existed in your region for many years. They’re easy to plant, grow, and maintain.

For example, one of the easiest plants to take care of is perennials that are already adapted to your climate, rainfall, and soil type. These require less maintenance, use less water, and thrive better than other plants. Of course, you can add trees and shrubs into your garden, but perennials are perfect to serve as a permanent garden display since they last all seasons long.

3. Attract Wildlife

Attracting wildlife is another helpful strategy to raise a greener garden. Garden animals, such as worms, toads, and bees, could be pretty significant as they serve different roles and purposes. For instance, frogs feed on pests like bugs, beetles, or grasshoppers, which if left lingering in your garden might cause damage to your produce or plants. Another helpful animal is earthworms, which could bring more air and water into your soil. Lastly, bees pollinate flowers, which could add to the overall beauty of your landscape and garden. You can bring more life to your garden by making it bee-friendly.

bee-friendly garden

To have a healthy garden, you need more living organisms, especially in your soil. A healthy ecosystem is formed by hundreds of thousands of microbes interacting with each other and with plant roots. One way to encourage healthy microbes forming in garden beds is to use compost and organic mulch as fertilizers.

For a garden ecosystem to be resilient, the soil ecosystem must be healthy. In the plant roots, bacteria and fungi release nutrients that are carried by worms deep into the soil. These rich nutrients would make your produce fresher and more nourished, too. When you generate more living things, it would create rich biodiversity in your garden, which would, in turn, make your garden greener.

4. Shift To Organic Gardening

Organic gardening, a method of growing fruits and vegetables without using synthetic fertilizers, is an essential part of sustainability. Using fewer chemicals in your garden is not only ecologically sound but also more cost-effective. An added benefit is that organic produce would be healthy for you and your family.

You can do small baby steps by simply adding organic compost to your soil to make it healthy and rich in nutrients. And when you need to handle pests, there are natural and organic matters you can use to help you get rid of them. In fact, there are homemade pest control remedies that could work wonders in your garden.

Conclusion

Making your garden more organic and greener is enough effort to help save the environment. In addition to being beautiful and sustainable, stewarding nature enhances the garden as a whole. Hopefully, with the tips mentioned in this article, you’d be able to grow a fruitful and biodiverse garden.

Why Should You Hire a Local Moving Company for Your Next Move?

Moving is a tedious task and can indulge a lot of stress for sure. Shouldering all the moving responsibilities to professionals can help you to get yourself free from unwanted stress. However, most people face a genuine problem while choosing a moving company. A seemingly small mistake in selecting a good mover can make your move a big failure.

Several times, people tend to choose other than local movers. They think that the giant moving companies are the best for shouldering all the moving responsibilities. However, reality speaks a lot different. Selecting a skilled and top-rated local mover has several benefits that can’t be denied.

Well, this article genuinely describes the several benefits of hiring a local moving company for your next move? So, let’s check them out to get a better level of transparencies of the topic.

why you should hire a local moving company

On-site Estimate Facility

Getting an on-site visit is really essential to get an accurate estimate of the overall moving costs. If you consider choosing a giant moving company, you may not get an on-site estimate facility. The end result can be so much disappointing for you as you may get a massive difference in the final bill.

However, choosing one of the top-rated local moving companies can be beneficial to get the on-site visit facility. The local moving companies send their experienced executive to check everything physically so that you can get an accurate estimate. This way, you can save yourself from the unplanned moving expenses if you choose to hire a local moving company.

Adequate Grip over the Location

Most of the time, the movers quote their estimates based on the distance, time, and requirements. The real problem arises if the giant moving companies have no branch at your location. Therefore, if the mover has no branch at your site, there is less chance that a giant moving company will have enough grip on the roadways. So, they can ask you for a hefty amount by just assuming your location and condition of the routes.

However, if you consider choosing a reputed local mover, you won’t face such difficulties. The local movers have enough grip over the location and roadways. So, they can handle the traffic and take shortcuts in a better way than any other corporate moving company.

Accepts Any Size of Work

One of the best benefits of choosing a local moving company is that they accept any size of work depending upon your requirements. On the contrary, the corporate moving companies may not be interested in taking smaller moving responsibilities. Usually, the giant companies deal with a flat hourly rate. So, if the moving work is a smaller one, they may not be able to shoulder the responsibilities due to the low-profit margin.

However, considering a local moving company can manage all the moving responsibilities efficiently, resulting in fewer costs.

Low-Risk Factor

Hiring a local mover can enable you to evade risks to a great extent. You might be surprised that how the risk factors are associated with hiring a local mover over a giant one? Well, the reason is very simple. When you hire a comparatively small moving company, the company will try to give you the best experience as they want to grow more with the work experience.

Additionally, under any circumstances, if you’re not happy with the services, you can visit the office of the local moving companies. However, in the matter of hiring a giant moving company, you’ll hardly get any chance to see their office to let them know your feedback.

reasons to hire local moving firm

More Dedicated and Caring Services

Well, most people think that hiring a corporate moving company will do the moving job with ease. However, this isn’t appropriate. The corporate moving companies don’t depend on a few reviews. They have a lot of good customer base. Therefore, they give more importance to get new customers and focus less on reviews. This is the reason that they often lack in providing satisfactory services to their clients.

However, the small but skilled local moving companies are more concerned about providing standard moving services as they have a minimal customer base. They always try to offer best-class services to their customers to get appreciation.

Conclusion

So, as you have gone through the whole topic, now you’re better aware as to why you should hire a local moving company over the giant one. See, we aren’t discouraging you in any manner to choose a corporate mover. However, making you understand that hiring a skilled and professional local mover can perform the moving job for you with a lot of efficiencies. So, next time when you decide to move, don’t ignore the local moving companies of your locality. They can provide superior moving services and that too with adequate efficiency.

Know Answers to 5 Questions You Need to Know Before Residential Solar System Installation

For the past few decades, the world has seen a significant shift to renewable energy sources, keeping in mind the adverse effects of environmental degradation and climate change. However, India and its government have been primarily focused on solar energy production, leading to a significant rise in solar system installation across all sectors, including industrial, commercial, and even residential.

In addition, India’s solar energy capacity grew from 35,000 megawatts in 2019 to 39,000 megawatts in 2020, giving the country international recognition for its solar power production. However, while the reason behind this major shift to solar energy has mainly been to tackle global warming and greenhouse emissions, low electricity bills have also motivated people for solar system installation in residential areas.

So, if you’re also contemplating getting a solar system for your home, here are the answers to some of the most-asked questions regarding residential solar system installation:

1. Can You Meet 100% of Your Power Requirements with A Residential Solar System Installation?

To answer the question, yes, you can meet all your power requirements by installing a solar system for your home. However, there are many factors in play that affect the solar system’s ability to meet your energy needs, including daily power consumption, sanctioned load, roof area with direct sunlight, and your state’s policies on solar system installation.

So, it is essential that you factor in all these points before you invest in a particular solar system, and it is best to consult with a professional for guidance.

2. How Much Can a Solar System Installation Save You on Power Bills?

When it comes to a residential solar system, you can easily save anywhere between 50 to 80 percent or more on electricity bills. However, while such high savings sound like a dream come true, it is important to remember that it takes time to reach that stage, as you won’t instantly see such significant savings. Regardless, you can use an online solar calculator for a clearer idea of how much you can save with a rooftop solar system in the coming years.

3. Is a Residential Solar System Installation Costly?

Even today, many people think that a solar system installation will burn a hole in their wallet, which is also what makes them give up the idea entirely. However, that is not the case, as, in recent years, the cost of solar system installations has gone down significantly, making it largely affordable. But a few external factors such as the solar system’s size, scale, and quality also affect the installation cost, so be sure to keep all these in mind.

4. How Can I Know if My Rooftop is Fit for a Solar System Installation?

Before you decide to opt for a residential solar system, it is essential to check whether your rooftop is stable, safe, and durable for installation. Doing so is crucial as panels and mounting structures are heavy, and a weak/unstable rooftop is more prone to breakage and accidents. So, make sure you get any necessary repairs before the installation of solar system, and also check if there is sufficient shadow-free space for the panels to harness energy efficiently. Make sure your roofing is done by a professional roofing company to be sure that your roof is stable, safe and durable for installation.

solar-battery

5. Where Should I Purchase a Residential Solar System From?

If you have your heart set on getting a solar system for your home, it might be time to start exploring your options. However, the very first thing you should do is look for a reputable and credible brand like Luminous that offers high-quality, efficient, and cost-effective solar systems. Even better, you get excellent after-sale services, warranties, and customer support for years to come.

So, what are you waiting for? Explore Luminous’ range of solar systems and get that solar system installation you’ve been looking forward to today!

All You Need to Know About Sustainable Wood Flooring

Updating the flooring in your home is one option if you want to make an impact without breaking the bank. It’s also going to increase its value, especially if you choose wood flooring. Design trends come and go but you’ll never go wrong with a wooden floor. An increasing number of property owners are looking for ways to be more sustainable with their home improvement projects and, when it comes to sustainable flooring, engineered wood fits the bill perfectly. If you need some help with measurements check this free square footage calculator

engineered-wood-flooring

Why Engineered Wood is a More Sustainable Choice

The process of manufacturing engineered wood flooring uses far less of the tree per plank than a solid hardwood floor. This alone makes it a more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and natural wood product. Because the process doesn’t involve and toxic glue, engineered wood flooring is also better for your health. They manufacture bamboo floors and LVTs using toxic glues which are not good because they can contaminate the air you’re breathing.

How can you tell whether the wood flooring you’re looking to buy is really sustainable, and what does sustainability actually mean? Let’s see if we can answer these questions for you.

Is There a Difference Between Sustainable and Green?

The terms “green” and “sustainable” have become marketing buzzwords but what do they mean? “Green” is a term generally used to describe any type of product that has a positive environmental value. It’s a pretty loose term and can be used to describe a product that a company has manufactured using renewable resources. If the product brand falls short in production and disposal, it doesn’t make a difference to its “green” label.

Sustainable, on the other hand, is a label with far higher standards. It should not impact the environment in any way, throughout its life cycle, from harvesting to disposal.

Buy Your Flooring From a Supplier With an Excellent Reputation

Spend any time researching engineered wood flooring before you make your choice and you’ll encounter a number of different retailers. Most of them are going to be reputable, but you have to be careful if you want to avoid the misleading and unethical ones.

If you find a retailer with a sustainable or green logo on their website, check to see what it actually means. It may be that all their products and ethical but equally, there could be just one product that fits the bill.

sustainable-wood-floor

If you can’t find the information, you need to clarify the product you want is sustainable, don’t be afraid to contact the retailer. They are obliged to make things clear.

A Glance at Environmentally Friendly Certifications

Across the globe there are around 600 environmentally friendly labels, 36 of which relate to forest products. Some of these may also indicate a product is sustainable. For the flooring industry, you need to be looking for the following:

  • GREENGOLD Gold – interior materials and products with low chemical emissions.
  • Indoor Air Advantage Gold – products comply with the strictest of indoor air quality emission standards.
  • FloorScore – products meet strict air quality requirements for indoors.
  • FSC (The Forest Stewardship Council) – promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. Together with the Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification they help guarantee wood comes from sustainable sources. This means it is replaced after harvesting and does not harm the environment and neighbouring ecosystems.

Carefully Read Product Instructions

Manufacturers customise their installation and care instructions. Follow those instructions to the letter and your perfect floor will last. This applies even if you’ve hired a professional to install your flooring. Don’t leave them to rely on their previous installation experiences. It doesn’t matter whether the flooring being installed in plank flooring, chevron flooring, herringbone, or Versailles panels.

When it comes to cleaning and taking care of your flooring, make sure you use eco-friendly products and follow the advice of the manufacturer. Don’t be tempted to use home-made cleaners that contain vinegar or other types of acidic ingredients. They will destroy the finish of your floor. Make sure these cleaning products are available for the installer to use as well. Also bear in mind that if you fail to follow the manufacturer’s instruction, the flooring will not be covered by any warranty.

If you want to respect the environment, choosing sustainable wood flooring is the best way to do it. The tips we’ve shared above will help you find the best flooring for your home.

About the Author

This article was written by Martin O’Callaghan of Wood Flooring Ireland who are have been providing the Irish market with Wood Flooring sourced from sustainable European Forests.

Everything You Should Know About Reducing Your Utility Bills

Money is a scarce resource. Don’t let monthly bills break your bank while there are numerous things you can do to minimize them. From adding attic insulation to insulating outlets, and installing programmable thermostats, you’ve countless options for reducing your utility bills.  Check out the following tips for cutting down your monthly expenses affordably and more effectively. Plus, you will learn everything utility bills.

eco-friendly-business-practices

Incorporate Attic Insulation

Most of the energy people use at their homes goes toward heating or cooling. Research shows that most of this heat escapes to the attic. Most homes lack enough insulation up there to prevent heat from getting out.

Fiberglass insulation is extremely cheap and easy to install. In fact, you can quickly install them on your own. By effectively insulating your home, you could actually save up to 20 percent on your heating, as well as, cooling costs.

But if you can’t install attic insulation yourself, you can always get help online. There are numerous DIY tutorials that can help you through the process.

Install Programmable Thermostats

By installing a programmable thermostat, you’ll be able to save up to 10 percent on your utility bills. Set your unit’s temperature to drop during winter months and raise them during the summer months when you aren’t home. You can then program the unit to return to more comfortable temperatures right before you get home.

This will go a long way in reducing your energy bills and saving you substantial amounts of money. So, what are you still waiting for? Act fast! For more information, visit http://regionalenergy.ca. 

Insulate Outlets

Did you know that outlets and light switches can be a major source of air leaks? To prevent this, consider insulating them, particularly if they’re positioned on an outside wall. There are numerous types of specialized seals and insulation materials to choose from. And they’re specifically designed for outlets, as well as, switch plates, so you don’t need to worry about fire risks.

Upgrade to Low-Flow Showerheads

Older showerhead models generally put out 5 gallons of water per minute. On the other hand, low-flow showerheads put out a mere 1.5 gallons per minute and still allow you to enjoy forceful showers.

Even more, they’re easy to install. If you want something more efficient and affordable, then go for a low-flow showerhead.  It will help conserve water and save substantial amounts of water every day.

Insulate Water Heaters

Did you know that insulating an older water heater could help you save up to 9 percent on water heating costs? Well, now you know. Insulating hot water heater jackets can prevent standby heat losses by 25 to 45 percent, allowing you to heat your water easily and more efficiently. 

Why you should install a Smart HVAC Based System

The HVAC system accounts for more than half of the energy consumed in your home. That’s why a fault system is likely to increase the overall energy consumption in homes. However, with proper maintenance, you can lower these energy bills and still have comfort in your home. So, if you are planning to install an HVAC system in your home, keep reading. Among other things, you will learn about the benefits associated with installing smart based HVAC systems in your home.

Lowers Electricity Bills

Energy bills can be annoying, especially when they skyrocket. Even more, the global energy sector is strained. That’s why energy costs keep on increasing. But does this mean letting nature take its course? No. You can do something to lower these bills. In particular, switching to a smart HVAC system can be your answer as far as reducing the energy bills in your home is concerned.

hvac-repair

According to the stats, installing smart system in your home can save you up to 20 percent in terms of energy bills. Plus, they are more efficient and reliable. They utilize smart technology that heavily uses sensors to cool or heat your interiors. Even more, these systems are great at lowering your overall carbon footprint since they are environment friendly.

Superior Temperature Variability

One of the biggest pluses of these smart HVAC systems is superior temperature variability. With a smart system, you have an HVAC that will give you the power to control tempt variability according to your needs. This means that users can cool and heat specific rooms effectively without moving from space top space. This saves time and gives you an easy time as you relax or go about your activities.

Clean Air

Another good thing about smart systems is that they give you access to smarter air. Remember, the quality of air is important when it comes to your health. And that’s where smart HVAC systems come in. With these systems, you have a solution that will reduce stuffiness as well as drafts. So, if these are the things that you are looking in an HVAC system, then go the smart way.

You Can Access Then Remotely

Smart technology gives users access to their systems from remote settings. This means that even if you are at work, you can still monitor the functioning of your system. Thus, it’s possible to set the temperature of your room from your workplace before reaching home. This not only reduces energy costs but also improves the overall efficiency.

smart-homes

Why Utility Bills Keep On Increasing

The dreaded energy bill is coming. It can be annoying. If you are unlucky, it will deflate your bank account. Of course, you can try several measures to control the energy budget. However, things may not work out, especially if you don’t pay close attention to your HVAC system. According to research, the HVAC is responsible for almost half of the energy costs in homes. Thus, if you need to bring these bills down, work on your HVAC system. It’s one of the best starting points. So, if you have been wondering why your monthly bills are steadily increasing, sit back. Here are the top reasons why your energy bills are not going down any time soon.

Age, Maintenance

Age has a big say when it comes to the performance of your HVAC system. An old system tends to be less efficient. This means that it will work more to cool or heat any space. So, if your system has served you for years, expect the bills to continue going up. Similarly, a poorly maintained HVAC system tends to be inefficient. This means that it will consume more energy and pump up energy costs. However, don’t let these factors continue draining your money.

You can install a new HVAC system and drive the bills down. If you have the cash, consider going for a smart system. It’s efficient, convenient, and highly reliable. Also, consider maintaining your system on a regular basis. Consult with your heating and cooling contractor to schedule maintenance. According to experts, it’s advisable to do it twice per year.

Operating Costs

The operating costs at a particular time can influence the amount you pay towards offsetting your energy bills. For instance, systems that were developed in the 1990s are less efficient than their modern counterparts. This can be attributed to the emergence of technological advancement. For instance, sensors have made these systems more smart and efficient. Thus, they consume less amount of energy, which plays a key role in bringing the energy bills down. Customers are advised to install the newest HVAC systems to bring the energy bills down.

Features

Features also play a key role when it comes to cutting down energy costs. Modern systems come with sophisticated features that make them more efficient. For instance, the efficiency standards of modern equipment are on an upward trajectory. This means that modern systems have superior performance and efficiency than their older counterparts.

Standard such as SEER, HSPF, as well as Annual Fuel Utilization is important in determining the efficiency of any system.  Also, energy features like variable-speed fans, heat exchange technology, as well as variable speed based compressors can make your system more efficient.

The Locality’s Climate

Your local climate can also increase or lower the amount of money you pay towards energy bills. For instance, if you are located in an extremely cold setting, you will need more energy to heat the interiors. Consequently, your energy bills will be higher. On the other hand, those located in extremely hotter environments will spend more money to cool the interiors.

Additional Factors

Also, the following additional factors play a key role when it comes to the energy bills of any home.

  • The thermostat and other control settings in your system
  • How the unit was installed
  • Maintenance levels of your system
  • The level of insulation in any home
  • Windows, doors, and other openings in your home.

The Bottom-Line

Are you looking for quick ways to reduce your energy bills? Well, there are actually several measures you can undertake to minimize your electricity costs. According to http://www.regionalenergy.ca/alberta-natural-gas-company/, these measures include insulating outlets and switches, installing a programmable thermostat, insulating your water heater, and installing a low-flow showerhead. Doing this will go a long way in reducing your utility bills and saving you junks of money.

A Guide On HVAC System Repair

HVAC maintenance and HVAC repair sometimes become necessary in certain situations. This is especially the case during hot summers. A malfunctioning unit can not only reduce comfort in the house, but also set the homeowner back large sums of money due to inefficiency.

hvac-repair

Heating Service Repair

Like with other domestic appliances, there are several things which could go wrong within a HVAC unit. Some of these problems occur more frequently than others. It’s possible to fix some issues without having to call an air conditioning expert.

If the house starts becoming unbearably hot, the first thing to check would be the thermostats. Older units can be accidentally switched from cool to off, especially when bumped into. Their digital counterparts are also affected when the battery starts losing power.

If lowering the thermostat fails to make the unit turn on, it could be due to a blown fuse or a tripped breaker. If this is reset or the fuse replaced and the problem still persists, it’s advisable to contact an electrician. Outdoor units that run constantly also tend to freeze up. This can be rectified by turning the unit off for some hours to let it thaw.

DIY AC Repair

Not many homeowners can undertake such a task on their own. This is because the expertise and equipment involved are usually advanced, which brings in the need for a trained specialist. Nevertheless, there are several things that one could check on their own to enhance the performance of their unit.

If the compressor fails to turn on, the breaker and fuse would be the components to check. A running unit that isn’t cooling could be due to low refrigerant level. This would require professional help to replenish. The condenser coils on both sides should also be checked to see if they’re dry. If this is the case, one would need to brush and vacuum them. One can do this at least twice each summer.

Hiring Expert HVAC Technicians

At best, the things that a typical homeowner can do on their own are limited. Typically, an issue will be too complex for even well-acquainted individuals to handle. Once it’s established that the hitch is outside an individual’s scope, there are several things one needs to consider before hiring an expert.

Ideally, a HVAC unit should be repaired before the summer season starts. This is because technicians get quite busy as the hot season progresses. This high demand makes it hard to schedule an appointment.

It would thus be prudent to call a furnace contractor in Brownsburg Indiana before the season starts. Typically, one is likely to land a convenient appointment time, and could even save some money. One will also be prepared for high temperatures that could occur later on in the season.

Going Green – Are Green Finance Deals Really Worth It?

Whether you are looking to go green because you are selflessly trying to help save the planet, you want to save some of your hard-earned cash, or, most likely, a combination of the two, deciding to make your lifestyle and your home more environmentally friendly does come at a cost.

Green Finance

Fortunately, lenders are now offering more cost-effective ways for you to embrace sustainability. From solar panel agreements to energy improvement mortgages to short-term loans for smaller green changes, keep reading to discover all the green finance deals on offer.

Energy Improvement Mortgages

If you are looking to make eco-friendly improvements to your home, such as more energy-efficient windows, additional insulation, or a better heating and cooling system, an energy improvement mortgage can help you to achieve your goals.

For those that already have a mortgage, you can increase your loan amount by refinancing your mortgage to cover the costs of your new upgrades. Although this will increase your monthly mortgage payments, you will recoup this over time through lower energy bills. (If you are age 62+, consider refinancing into a reverse mortgage for the same result)

In fact, by simply installing double-glazed windows in your home, you can expect to save $250-$300 per year. Given that these windows can last up to 20 years, this could save you $6000 over their life span. Furthermore, if you choose to install triple-glazed windows, you can expect further savings of between 5%-10%.

Short-term loans

If you are looking to make a series of smaller changes to your home, which do all add up to significant savings, your best bet may be to take out a short-term loan.

Cashlady offers quick cash loans that can be approved almost immediately, typically lending lower amounts that are paid back within short timeframes.

Small green upgrades that you may want to consider making include:

  • Installing LED lights that last longer and waste less energy than standard fluorescent bulbs – save up to $75 a year.
  • Fixing any inside or outside leaks – save up to $35 a year.
  • Replacing an old toilet with a WaterSense model – save $100 per year.
  • Planting shade trees – save $35-$199 a year.
  • Purchasing energy-efficient appliances. By upgrading all of your appliances, including your dishwasher, oven, fridge-freezer, and kettles to ones with a higher efficiency rating, you will use up to 40% less energy.

Solar leasing or PPAs 

Did you know that more than 75% of American households have access to third-party owned solar power?

What exactly is this?

Both solar leasing and power purchase agreements involve the solar provider in question paying for and being the rightful owner of your solar power system. They will take care of the system installation, the maintenance, and any repairs that need carrying out.

solar-leasing

Solar leasing can be advantageous, as you do not need to pay for any upfront costs to install the solar system. However, the savings you make will be less than if you purchased the solar panels outright, plus the provider is entitled to the financial incentives for going solar.

Alternatively, if you want to purchase solar panels outright, you could consider a home equity loan. Buying solar panels is not a cheap option (you can expect to pay between $10,000 and $30,000 depending on the size of your home). However, they are expected to last for at least 25 years with a less than 10-year payback on the system, meaning you could potentially enjoy 15 years of free electricity.

How to Reduce HVAC Energy Consumption at Home?

Heating and cooling account for more than 50% of home energy consumption. If you are paying a lot in the name of energy bills, your HVAC system is most likely the primary cause. It is vital to cut down on the energy consumption of utilities to save money (and energy). Energy companies such as American Power and Gas, suggest consumers and homeowners pay special attention to their HVAC system. as heating and cooling cost make up about 40% of your energy bills.

It may also be wise to consider switching to a system that operates on solar or other forms of renewable energy––Providing if it can be afforded.

Here are some ways you can reduce HVAC energy consumption:

Programmable Thermostat to The Rescue

HVAC system design can be made to consume less energy with the help of programmable thermostats.

The DOE recommends reducing room temperature to 15 degrees in winters when you are not home for 8-10 hours. Similarly, they suggest increasing the temperature by around 15 degrees in summers when you are not going to be home for half the day. This will help you save about 15% more energy annually.

The benefit that programmable thermostat gives you is that you won’t have to manually adjust the temperature every day. You can simply program it to change the temperature and save energy. It also has the added plus of operating on a timer so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on throughout the day.

Maintain The Coils Of Your AC Unit

The outdoor unit of the AC can allow dirt and debris to pass through it and gather around the coils and reduce the efficiency of the AC, as a result the unit consumes more energy to keep the room cool.

Keep your outdoor unit clean from dirt, fallen leaves, and other debris to make it work perfectly. If you believe that your outdoor unit needs cleaning, shut it off and use a vacuum to pull out all the dirt.

Inspect Air Filters 

Air filters need special attention as they can get blocked due to dirt and debris. They need to be replaced every season as damaged filters put extra pressure on the unit causing energy to be wasted.

Other than this, you should also replace the filters every now and then. This is not a very tough job and you can do it on your own.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Remove the filter and check for debris stuck in the filters.
  • Keep the filters under light to see if it’s able to pass through. If it doesn’t then you will have to wash the filters.
  • Clean the filters with a toothbrush, or another such tool first.
  • Put the filters in soapy water for a few hours, dry and see if the light passes again. If it does then you can re-apply those, otherwise, you may have to change the air filters.

The average life expectancy of air filters is about 2 to 3 months if they aren’t maintained. Otherwise, they can easily run for a year.

Out With The Old, In With The New

HVAC systems can be costly but if you have been using one for more than 10 years now then it’s time to replace it with a modern and an energy efficient HVAC system.

AC Coils of HVAC systems require regular cleanup

A Clean Way to Cool Down

You can also consult with your energy provider regarding making the switch to renewable energy services. You can also look into energy storage systems such as Tesla’s solar panels that can drastically cut your power bill and provide clean sustainable energy for your home.

The Verdict

Around 48% of US home energy consumption is directly attributable to HVAC use and heating or cooling. These are some of the most efficient ways which you can reduce the amount of energy consumed by your HVAC system.