Parquet Flooring: Creating Everyday Versailles And Royal Ambience In Your Home

What inspires your choice of material used in flooring your home? Whether it is based upon your thirst for comfort, your budget, climate variation and lifestyle, parquet flooring can help make all these aspirations come true and much more. Parquet flooring creates a royal ambiance anywhere it used; be it your home or your office, giving it the lush, magnificence and stylishness of the famous Grand Palace of Versailles. There is more to parquet flooring other than it being an artistic interior design; it also offers warmth because they are made of woods and woods are great absorbers of heat.

oak-flooring

What is Parquet Flooring?

Firstly, parquet is a geometric mosaic of wood particles or pieces that can be systematically arranged in fashionable design and used in flooring. They come in various shapes ranging from an angular conformation to squares, lozenges and some are even curved.

Parquet flooring came into existence in the 16th century precisely in 1684 as a solution to the ruts in joists underneath the floor caused by marble flooring.

Parquet Wood Floors Vs Marble

Parquet floors have an advantage over marble floors is that they are easier to clean and preserve. It is more tedious and expensive to maintain marble floors. Parquet style flooring is also more durable than marble floors, plus the fact that parquets now exist in so many different wood types and offers an infinite possibility of designs to choose from thus creating the scenic, and magnificence of the grand Versailles Palace in your home.

There are over a thousand reasons why you should consider using parquet wood flooring in your home. The most important is that it creates a royal ambiance anywhere it is used and very comfortable to walk on without fear of abrasion, and it has also been linked with aristocracy and prestige in the past.

Other than sheer opulence, it was the best choice for flooring in the past centuries but experienced a massive loss in demand because at that time, parquet flooring was available only in one design (as a plain array of repeated, interlocking squares) and was soon displaced from the market by other flooring styles like the tiles stones, etc.

Parquet wood floors are back in vogue

Well, those days are long gone. Wipe the gloomy look off your face for I come bearing good news. Parquet wood floors are back in vogue and it now exists in a variety of styles. The choice is increased with exotic wood species like mahogany, Brazilian walnut, Teak and lots more and in different geometric patterns. The most frequently used parquet flooring patterns are the Parquet de versatiles and herringbone.  Of course, the most popular species is oak parquet, due to the fantastic properties of this outstanding wood species.

Pros and Cons of Parquet Flooring

There is a variation in the prices of parquet. The longer it is, the more the price. Lots of skills and experience is required in fixing the parquets to the floor and costs about 20$-50$ per square feet.

To minimize costs, you can opt to do it yourself. All you need to do is follow the manufacturer’s directives on how to fix them and you will be fine. You will get to realize that there is much joy and fulfillment that comes from accomplishing a task as crucial as this.

  • It is very easy to clean and preserve. You can clean the floor by using a dry mob and a damp mob occasionally or by simply using a vacuum cleaner.
  • It is very easy to repair damaged parts by simply removing the worn out part, replacing it carefully and sanding it.
  • You should endeavor to put a rug in the parts of the floor that’s in the area with much traffic.
  • Being that wood is used in parquet flooring, it is not very resistant to water, and you should take much care that you keep the floor dry at all times.

There you have it, a million reasons why parquet flooring is just the right fit for your home. Create everyday Versailles and royal ambiance in your home by opting for parquet flooring today.

Where To Start On Making Your Home More Self-Sustaining

Nowadays, many people are trying their best to be eco-friendly, energy saving, environmentally conscientious, and trying to lean towards a healthier lifestyle. There are many ways now to become more self-sufficient and giving the environment a break. By being self-sufficient, you’re decreasing your dependence on the environment, but using the earth’s natural resources to create your own sustainability. Being self-sufficient was originally how humankind lived for centuries, now we depend negatively on the earth’s resources, causing an imbalance and a negative impact on the earth.

“Self-sufficiency at home needn’t be expensive but does require constant changes in one’s habits which, whilst difficult to do initially, can ultimately be worthwhile,” comments James Durr of homebuying company in England Property Solvers.

Whether you start small by recycling or going zero waste, some people has even attempted to create completely self-sufficient homes. Below you can find out how to start making your home more self-sustaining.

What is a self-sustaining home?

Creating a self-sufficient home doesn’t mean you need to live off the grid completely, but it means creating a home that supplies its own energy, water, food and sewage. They’re considered completely autonomous and named the ultimate green living dwellings. You can either build your own self-sustaining home, or make a few changes around your existing home; anything is doable.

Benefits of a self-sufficient home

Needless to say, establishing a self-sufficient home means you reduce your carbon footprint and energy consumption that have a negative impact on the environment. You’re also living a much more financially independent and bill-free lifestyle as you’re making your own resources.

Being self-sufficient also develops and sharpens your skills, something that you can pass on to your children by allowing them to be more independent and practical.

Creating a self-sufficient home

In order to make improvements around your home to become more self-sufficient, you need to start with the simplest tasks and make your way towards the most difficult ones as you get the hang of it. Below are some ways you can start establishing a self-sufficient home:

1. Alternative energy

Save a ton of energy consumption by using alternative energy methods. Switching to renewable energy like solar power may seem a little costly at first, but it’s extremely beneficial in the long run. Since you’re creating your own energy, it will save you a lot of money by not having to pay for electricity.

You can start by installing solar panels called Photovoltaic (PV) on the roof, but make sure it’s in an area that gets undisrupted sunlight all year long. PV uses devices that generate electricity from saving up direct sunlight all day. You can also check the many other ways you can use solar energy through Beupp.com as they provide comprehensive information on alternative energy solutions.

solar-microgrid

2. Heating systems

Alternative heating options can be done through solar energy as well. Solar heating is capable of heating your water and saving energy. Water heating systems are achieved with a solar collector, insulated piping and a hot water storage tank.

A self-sufficient home is one that provides itself with its own heat, and so you can allow your home to create heat by doing it traditionally. Install a wood burning stove as it’s an excellent way to save energy and provide warmth.

3. Lighting

Even though you’re already getting your electricity from renewable energy like solar energy, but the use of passive lighting is another way to be self-sufficient throughout the day. You can remodel your window arrangement to design high windows and skylights to get as much sunlight throughout the day as you can. At night, use LED light bulbs that last longer, require less energy as well as not overheat your home.

4. Growing your own food

One of the major achievements of being self-sufficient is by growing your own organic food. Consider turning your backyard into a small greenhouse for food production or create a vegetable patch. Start small, choose your favorite herbs, fruits and vegetables and start gardening! If your home can allow it, consider having a small chicken coop for meat and egg supply as well as a cow or goat for dairy products.

sustainability-food-supply-chain

5. Water management

Although it might seem difficult to secure an independent water supply, it’s still doable. Ideally, if you’re in a remote location, digging up a well will be highly beneficial. If not, you can go the renewable way and collect rainwater to be used for many things.

Install a rainwater collecting system that leads to a filtration system to be able to drink this water, shower or use for laundry. Once this water is used once, it’s still reusable once more and that is called ‘grey water.’ Greywater is filtered once again and can be used to water your vegetable patch.

Plan for the future

Creating a self-sustaining home not only gives you the necessary skills to become practical and independent but it benefits the environment greatly. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but the rewards are more worthy. Establishing a green life will preserve the environment for future generations to come.

How Does Water Filtration Work?

The reality is that drinking water has contaminants, and that’s something you have to address to ensure the safety of your family. The good thing is you can address this by simply investing in a good water filtration system. The following will help you understand how one would work.

water-filtration-systems

Microfiltration Goes First

Okay, there are many water filtration systems out there to choose from. Some of these systems are whole-house systems you can have installed and will filter all of the water going into your home. The drawback is that these systems will have to be uninstalled if you decide to move to a new home.

Those who value portability may want to consider smaller water filtration that you can take with you wherever you go. Whatever you choose, the internal process of each water system normally starts with microfiltration. A reliable water filter system is going to have a complex filtration system with millions of pores to destroy potential contaminants like parasites, cysts, bacteria, herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals, just to name a few things.

The microscopic pores do not allow pathogens and contaminants to pass through. Those contaminants become trapped within the filter. Of course, this is the reason your filters are going to have to be replaced sooner or later. The amount of times you replace your filter depends on how often the filter is used and the construction of the filter itself.

Adsorption is Key

The second step water filters take to ensure that your water is as clean as possible is adsorption. This is a process where an ionic barrier is formed to help the microscopic porous filter work more effectively.

The truth is some contaminants are a little smaller than the tiny pores of the porous filter. These contaminants could make their way out of the first stage without this second stage. The barrier seems to be strong enough to make contaminants like submicron viruses stop in their tracks. It also helps stop iodine or chlorine, both of which are quite common in tap water.

You should remember that the metals that could be in your water such as cadmium, copper, lead, and mercury are also extracted at this point. These questionable heavy metals are extracted through an Ion exchange process, thanks to the electronically charged barrier formed within the filter. Remember that all filters are not this sophisticated, so make sure you find out if the filter you are considering removes heavy metals.

water-filters-for-home

There is no way you want to allow heavy metals to contaminate your home. A high concentration of these metals can lead to all sorts of other issues, such as organ damage. Some say that prolonged exposure to these metals could put people at risk of developing some types of cancer. Dangers like these shouldn’t plague your mind, and they don’t have to with the help of a good filter.

A Different Method

One more thing that needs to be pointed out is that good quality water filters usually use the long contact period filtration method. Okay, most water filters do what they are supposed to by relying on the water pressure in your home. In essence, the water pressure in your home pushes water through the filtration system, which is how contaminants are removed.

Technically, this type of filtration isn’t bad, and it is effective enough to give you clean water, but the long contact period filtration system takes another approach. What these types of filters do is allow water to flow through the first stage using gravity rather than pressure.

Gravity is a little slower, meaning the water has a long contact period as opposed to regular filters where the water shoots through the filter. Yes, this kind of filtration is a lot slower, but the results are much more impressive. You’d be surprised how many contaminants make it through a filtration system that relies purely on pressure. If you want to give your family the best clean water you can give, then be sure to choose a long contact period filtration system.

Now that you know how water filters work and why they are so important in living a healthy life, you can begin your search. The best thing is you won’t need to worry about buying water from the store nor will you have to pollute the earth with dozens of water bottles that you have to discard often.

Top 7 Plumbing Tips for Your Home to Save Money

The plumbing system is a critical part of your home, and you may face many difficulties with it. If you don’t take care of the problems of your plumbing system, you’ll find yourself having to deal with a  significant repair or replacement cost.

Along with the price, some emergency plumbing problems are likely to happen if you postpone regular maintenance. To help you avoid emergencies, we gathered some simple but useful plumbing tips to reduce many major plumbing problems.

1. Do not allow leaks to continue

Leaks are common plumbing problems both in residential and commercial buildings. If you don’t pay attention to leaks, it can become a severe issue, leaving you with a significant repair cost. Therefore, you have to look out for possible leaks in your piping system and also your taps and fix them immediately.

plumbing tips to save money

The thing is that if you take care of the problem at the first stages, it would be so easy that you can do it yourself. But if you postpone it, you’ll need to call a professional plumbing team such as R & Z Plumbing.

This is the best option to have them check your plumbing system every often to make sure that there is not a problem.

2. Change the old valves

Changing the old-fashioned valves is another decision that can save your money in the long run. Although replacing your valves might have a huge initial cost, it will be offset when you receive your bills.

Try to go for eco-friendly valves because they play a significant role in reducing your water consumption. Some experts estimate that it will lead to a 30% saving which is a great deal.

3. Optimize your heating system

Heating systems also play a crucial role in families’ comfort and their living costs as well. Keeping your heater optimized can lead to a significant reduction in your energy bills. Try to ask a professional plumbing system to take a look at your system every winter and make sure that it’s working efficiently.

hydrogen-boiler

Remember that with the advances in tankless water heaters, you don’t keep using tank heaters because they’re not efficient at all.

You can be sure that the money you’re spending on a modern heater will return back to you soon.

4. Insulate your pipes

Another important matter regarding your heating system is the pipe insulation. Hot water that is passing through these pipes can release a great amount of energy to the ambient and therefore waste your money.

If you want to decrease your energy bills, you’d better think of good insulation for these pipes.

You have to insulate all your hot water pipes to prevent waste of energy. Also, you can insulate cold water pipes that go to your heater to prevent the water from being colder. This way, the heater will consume less energy when warming the water.

5. Check your toilet regularly

The toilet is the most critical part of your plumbing system no matter the building, residential or commercial.

A timely service can reduce many of the imminent problems of your toilet and increase the efficiency of your plumbing system.

It’s good to replace the toilet every 10 years to make sure that it’s up-to-date. Modern toilets are great in terms of water efficiency and can help you reduce your water bills.

6. Use washing machine/dishwasher to the full

The amount of load when using washing machines and dishwashers is of great importance. If you use them at partial capacity, you’ll have to face crippling water and electricity bills.

If you have a large family, the problem is easier because you’ll probably have masses of clothes and dishes to take care of.

But if you have a small family, you need to pile up your clothes or dishes to use your machines at full capacity. You have to think of small, eco-friendly machines to make sure you’re doing your tasks efficiently without extra water and energy consumption.

7. Go for smart homes

Fortunately, with the advances in new technologies, we have many other options to increase the efficiency of our plumbing systems and reduce the water bills.

The concept of smart homes is one of the newest advances that is considered to be the future of buildings. According to an expert from Condoly, the attitudes of people in advanced countries like Canada have shifted towards smart homes.

smart-homes

The plumbing system is an integral part of smart homes. You can add them to your plumbing system and see the results.

Here are some cutting-edge items in a smart home plumbing system:

a. Smart pipes

Smart pipes are one of the newest technologies in smart homes. The Internet of Things can connect your pipes to the central computer so that you can monitor the status of your pipes.

You can detect leaks, monitor water consumption, and finally save water using smart pipes.

b. LED temperature monitors

You can use LED temperature monitors to know the temperature of your water and therefore control the amount of your energy consumption.

Conclusion

ِYour plumbing system is a key part of your home and can have a crucial role in your living costs. If you want your plumbing system to perform efficiently, you have to make sure that the system has no leak or any other issue. Of course, a regular maintenance program by a professional team can be the best choice in this regard. Bear in mind that the cost of these regular services will return by preventing more severe problems.

Simple Home Renovations That Can Improve Energy Efficiency

There is almost nothing more satisfying than a clean, fresh, and sustainable home. You may think that renovating your home is a hassle, not to mention expensive, but there are plenty of small changes that can make a home really feel like it’s yours. Something as simple as a new garage door, or a small solar panel can bring personality and life to your home while saving energy and giving you a boost of pride for your house.

1. Doors and Windows

When thinking about renovating your house, you probably think, new basement, new roofing, and much more expensive and time consuming projects. But do not write off home improvement just yet! There are plenty of small changes that can make a huge difference to the style of your home and even boost its overall value.

Doors and windows play a huge part in energy efficiency as air enters and escapes your home. This makes these options a great place to start as they add a personal flair to your home’s look as well as being environmentally friendly. Below is a short list of these green home renovations that can improve energy efficiency:

insulated-home

Garage Doors

When thinking about the outdoor curb appeal of your home, an often overlooked detail is the garage. This may seem silly but just think about how much visual space your garage door or doors take up.

A new or refurbished garage door can not only up the style and personality of your home, but can make your home more energy efficient and secure. And with companies like CSSGarageDoors there are so many styles to choose from.

Front Door

A unique front door also helps your house stand out and adds your own personal touch to your home. Keep in mind the style of your garage doors and make sure your other doors do not clash. Replacing old front doors can also save you money and energy, as air often escapes from unseen cracks in old doors and windows.

There are hundreds of style choices to choose from, and many energy efficient sustainable options too. Not only will this give your home an instant personality boost, it will raise the value of your home significantly.

Windows

While this one may be a little more on the pricey side of renovations, it is yet another example of boosting your homes personality, value, and energy efficiency. Not only can you choose from styles of windows, you can choose how you want the glass and frames to make them custom just for you and your home.

New windows will save you money on heating and air and some even keep out the noises of busy streets or noisy neighbors. Depending on the climate and place you live, these replacements could be a life saver. Lowes has an excellent selection of beautiful window and door replacements.

2. Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

While improving the overall look of your home can give you a sense of personal pride in your home, less visible but sustainable options can give you comfort and help the planet. If you want to live more sustainably but do not have the funds to build a whole new eco-friendly home, there are small changes that can boost your home’s energy efficiency and sustainability. Below is a short list of options to improve your home from the inside out.

Tankless Water Heaters

Water heaters are probably something you do not often think about when going on home energy efficiency upgrades. However, that tank that sits in your garage or basement is constantly using energy. Even when you are not using your hot water, the tank is busy working away using energy and costing you money. Switching to a tankless or on-demand water heater means that it will only be using energy when you need it.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are becoming better and better, and adding one to your homes exterior no longer seems like a dream. While there is a lot to consider before installing solar panels, they can be an amazing way to reduce energy and a great investment.

solar-powered-home

Although solar panels can last for up to 30 years, you do not need to be afraid of wasting money when you move as they can increase the value of your home significantly. You can also get a sizeable tax return for installing solar panels, so it is a great option to look at for sustainable living.

Tips to Make Your Bathroom More Energy-Efficient

The recent intense and repeated heat-waves suggest that we stop taking our environment for granted. In fact, it is now high time for us to ‘man up’ and pay attention to our environmental responsibilities so that our planet can regain its much-needed equilibrium. Today we live in an otherwise environmentally conscious era. So it is imperative that we all pay due attention to our overall energy usage.

There is sound reasoning behind this strategy. In fact, essentially lowering our overall use of energy means that we can reduce our ‘environmental footprint,’ that is, the overall impact of our energy usage on not just the environment alone, but also lessen the burden on our wallets as well, great deals on https://www.bellabathrooms.co.uk/

It is pertinent to note that the bathroom is one of the single most wasteful places in the house, in terms of prolonged energy usage.

When you take those long, warm sand luxuries showers, Flush the commode all too frequently or have plenty of dripping faucets, then all of these activities conspire and contribute towards putting a substantial dent in your wallet in the form of hefty bills, that just keep racking up at the far end of the month.

Now, the question arises how precisely, can we go about substantially reducing this almost inevitable use of such energy?

Making a few small changes is not very difficult but doing so can help you save a ton in terms of energy-related bills. Here is how:

Changing the shower head as well as sink mixer

Changing to a high-efficiency showerhead and sink mixer and faucet combo can effectively slice your shower and shave water consumption by half. As a matter of fact, newer models of faucets and showerheads can now easily provide the same sense of luxurious ‘feel’ of various other models while simultaneously using considerably less energy, in the bargain.

With the help of these models, you will not only be able to enjoy the same showers you had before but will be able to tell the difference only and only when you get your water bill at the end of the month!

Saving electricity with energy savers and solar panels

Many, if not most people are completely unaware of the fact that those extra bright lights above their sinks are actually power guzzlers, in every sense of the term. This is why it would be prudent to figure out if there are actually energy efficient light bulbs in your bathroom, or not.

The thing is that most people use at least 4 to 5 light bulbs in their bathrooms to make the place nice and bright. However, not using energy savers can be a huge waste of energy. This wastage can efficiently be curbed with energy efficient bulbs as well. It will be well worth it, since it is possible to curb energy usage by as much as 80% when using energy savers, in lieu of ordinary bulbs as such. If you want to go further into the picture, then you can also opt for solar panels to run your bathroom lights.

Curtail these really bad energies wasting habits

From using a hair dryer to an electric razor and trimmer combo, the odds are that the average house owner probably uses a lot of electrical appliances in the washroom on a more or less daily basis. If such is the case with you as well, then you should always unplug every device once you are done using it to see the huge amount of energy savings on the next monthly bill that you receive.

A rule of thumb: Even if the appliance has been powered off, it will nevertheless still continue to consume minute amounts of energy. This is why it is standard best practice to unplug the devices from the mains outlets to ensure that there is no additional drain on your power resources.

Always turn the faucet off whenever you can

One of the most harmful things you can do while being in the washroom is to keep the water running at full blast while you wash your hands and face or brush your teeth. The prudent thing to do is to turn off the water tap when you do not need all that water. Remember, should you leave the water running even as you brush your teeth, then you will almost certainly end up using between an estimated 4 to 5 gallons of water, every time you do so.

Now, just imagine that you repeat this behavior at least three times a day each and every time, you either wash your hand and face or brush your teeth. That is an estimated 12 to 15 gallons of precious water wasted just because you leave the faucet open.

Being environmentally responsible means being completely conscious of all of your bathroom related energy usage, so that you know when you should turn off the tap and save your water supply (and decrease your water bills as well, in the bargain).

Get into the shower when you open the faucet

If you are guilty of opening the shower and letting the water flow while you prepare breakfast or try to find your socks, when going for work, then this is something that you should really take care of, post haste. Apart from that, you can also get a smart meter installed so as to keep track of your energy usage.

Conclusion

In the light of the above, we can safely conclude that taking care of these small issues can lead to great benefits not just for the environment, but also decrease your power bill burden as well. So whether you are renovating your home or moving to a new house, these ideas can help you make your bathrooms more energy efficient.

How Does a Solar Pool Heater Work?

One can greatly reduce the swimming pool by installing a solar pool heater. Solar pool heaters are cost-effective whether you are using a gas or heat pump pool heaters. Individuals using solar pool heaters claim they have a low operating cost.  Most pool owners do not understand how solar pool heaters work and that that is why we have prepared this guide. Read on to learn more about how solar pool heaters work.

solar-pool-heater

Basics of Solar Pool Heater

To understand how solar pool heaters work, it is best to start looking at major components of solar pool heating systems.

  • A pump– Pumps help circulates water through the collector and filter and back to the pool.
  • A solar collector– A collector is a device through which pool water is circulated for it to be heated by solar energy.
  • A filter– Before water is pumped through the collector, it’s vital to remove any leaves, debris, and dirt present. A filter helps get rid of any occurring debris.
  • Dirty filters use a lot of power to circulate the water. In order to maintain a solar pool effectively, you need to ensure that the cartridge filter is clean. Check https://roboticpoolcleanerscompared.com/ for more tips on how to maintain filters for optimal functioning.
  • A flow control valve– when you have plans to install a solar pool heater, one requires an automatic or manual device to divert water to the solar collector.

Working of a Solar Pool Heater

Pool water is pumped to the collector. Before water gets to the collector, it goes through a filter to remove any leaves, debris, and dirt.  In the solar collector, the water is heated by the sun before it’s returned to the pool.  If you live in a hot climate area, the collector can be used to cool the pool during summer months.  This is possible if you circulate water through the collector at night.

With a flow control valve, water is diverted to the collector the moment the collector temperature is higher than that of the pool.  However, when the collector temperature is equal to the pool’s temperature, the filtered water only bypasses the collector before it’s returned to the pool.

working-solar-pool-heater

Solar pool collectors vary in type and material used depending on your climate and also how you purpose to use the collector.  Unglazed collector systems are best when you mainly use your pool when the temperature is above the freezing point.  These types of collectors do not have a glass covering (The glazing). Such collectors are made of heavy plastic treated with UV light inhibitors or heavy-duty rubbers.

Due to their inexpensive designs and parts, unglazed collectors are less expensive when compared to their glazed counterparts.  If you have an indoor pool, unglazed collectors are also effective, especially when designed to drain back to the pool when they not in use.

Tips to improve

Unglazed collectors are the best option considering they are cost-effective and easy to install.  Note the type of collector you use in your pool highly influences how effective your solar pool heater is. Now that you understand unglazed pool heaters are unmatched when it comes to performance let’s now look at how to buy the best solar pool heater.

Selecting the right collector can be a daunting task but for the best results, make sure you choose the right heater. Most people buy the right solar pool heater, which makes the whole process a waste of time and money. To correct this problem, lets us look at how one should select a solar pool heater.

How to Select the Right Solar Pool Heater?

Buying a solar pool heater can be an expensive exercise considering it might cost you between $3,000 and $4,000.  Once you install a good solar heater, it provides a payback of 7 to years depending on the quality of the solar and how it was installed among other factors.

Before you buy and install any solar heating system, make sure you look into the following

  • Evaluate your site’s solar resource – This is an important consideration bearing in mind the effectiveness of a solar pool heater depends on the amount of solar energy that reaches your pool.
  • Sizing a solar pool heater – The size of a solar pool heating system is determined by several factors.  For example, you need to consider your pool size, length of the swimming season, collector efficiency, desired pool temperature, and average regional temperatures.
  • Sitting a solar pool heating system on a collector – This is another major factor one should look at considering collectors have to be mounted on roofs or anywhere near the pool for better orientation and exposure.
  • Checking the efficiency of the solar pool heater – one should also consider how efficient a given heater is before buying by checking the heater’s thermal performance rating.  A thermal performance rating is either measured in Btu (British thermal unit) or megajoules (MJ) per square meter.
  • Comparing solar swimming pool heating system cost – Before making a purchase, one should estimate and compare the cost associated with different solar heater models.  To estimate and compare cost, one should look at the total installation cost, the number of collector panels required to heat your pool, and a collector’s thermal performance rating.
  • Building codes and costs – one should also take time to consider installation costs before buying a solar pool heater.
  • Installation and maintenance – One should also be considerate about how a solar pool heating system will be installed before buying. The installation process depends on several factors such as climate, building codes requirements, and safety issues. After installation, one should also consider how the system will be maintained considering proper maintenance; solar pool heaters can run smoothly for 5-10 years.

For best results, there are a few practices adopted when installing a solar pool heater. One of these practices involves using unglazed collectors which are cheap yet effective. Additionally, pool owners are advised to go for top-rated solar pool heaters available on sale.

Tool Required for Installation

When installing a solar pool heater, there are several tools one should use.  Most of these tools are also vital as they highly influence how a solar pool heater works.   These tools include:

  • A solar collector
  • A filter
  • A pump
  • A flow control valve

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Furnaces

Residential heating is essential to the comfort and even health of the occupants of a house during winter. The core of any heating system is the furnace, which in most homes is located somewhere outside the main house or in the basement. This is so as to keep it out of the way but also for safety purposes. Whether you are moving into a new place and have to install a new furnace or you just wish to overhaul your current one, there are considerations to make before you go to the shop.

Types of Furnaces

Broadly speaking, there are two available types of furnaces. There is the traditional furnace and the two stage furnace. The traditional furnace, also called the single stage furnace, is either full on or completely off. This is to say that when it is on, it operates at maximum heat output and there is no way to regulate that because there is no provision for medium heat.

The two stage furnace is an improvement of this. In one setting, it can run like the traditional furnace but in the other, it allows for a reduced heat output when the temperature is not very low. If puzzling over which furnace to buy between these two, consider the following advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Two-stage Furnace

A two stage furnace is considered quieter. This is because it runs at a functionality of 75-80 percent most of the time. Lower fan speed means less noise. It maintains a more constant temperature without dips and spikes. This kind of furnace also saves energy because it runs on the lower setting most of the time. Even with these advantages, it is said to have two key disadvantages:

  • High upfront costs – It was made to improve upon the traditional furnace. It is therefore comes as no surprise that it is more expensive than the traditional furnace.
  • It breaks down more often – Unlike a traditional furnace which goes off when the weather is moderate to warm, a two stage furnace keeps running at that low setting. Running almost constantly causes wear and tear and may lead to frequent breakdowns.

Advantages of Traditional Furnace

It may not be possible to regulate the level of heating with a traditional furnace. However, it is the go to furnace when working on a budget because it is cheaper. It also breaks down less often than the two stage furnace. Besides, modern single stage furnaces have been remodeled to make them energy efficient. This should go a long way to reduce heating costs.

Other factors to consider before purchasing a furnace are:

  • Type of fuel – If you have no gas connection or if it is interrupted often, you might want to go for an electric furnace instead of a gas furnace.
  • Prevailing weather – Consider where you live. If it is customary to have extremely cold winters, then the traditional furnace might be the best because you will have no need for the low heat setting.

The type of furnace you install should be determined by the heating needs of your household and those in it. Seek the help of a contractor so that they can advise on the appropriate type and even size of furnace.

Why You Should Be Investing in Solar Panels?

The future is green, and it’s more important to get on board with it than ever before. The past year has seen countless climate change related natural disasters, from the recent devastating mega-fires in California to frequent hurricanes sweeping the US and the Caribbean.

Solar panels are becoming much more accessible, for homeowners and for businesses. Traditional roof-rack solar panels can now be installed for as little as around $3,000, and are practically a no-brainer due to the energy savings you’ll make over time (you could even totally eliminate your electricity bill). Not to mention that you’ll be doing your part to help the environment in our planet’s time of need.

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Solar panels are becoming more accessible, for homeowners and businesses

If you’ve always found chunky solar panels ugly and off-putting, business magnate Elon Musk has a solution. His electric car and solar panel company Tesla has recently unveiled invisible solar roof tiles. The tiles look exactly like normal roof slates, but capture the sun’s energy without drawing attention. These tiles are paving the way to normalizing sustainable, beautiful eco-homes.

To further convince you about seriously considering installing solar panels for your home, check out our list of top reasons why solar panels will benefit your household or business.

Slash Your Energy Bills

After the initial investment of purchasing the panels and installation, the energy produced is all yours. Even if you consume more energy than your panels can produce, you’ll make drastic savings on what you are currently paying by purchasing all your electricity from the grid.

You’ll make even more amazing savings if you live in a sunny state or country – prices in Brisbane, Australia, are particularly low to purchase and install solar panels. And as the city enjoys on average 261 days of sun per year, panels there will produce more than enough energy to power homes all year round.

Energy costs are only set to rise and rise – meaning that by investing in solar panels now, you’ll never feel the strain of your electricity bills going up again. This is an especially smart idea for business owners with fluctuating income, as you can more easily predict your cashflow with fixed energy prices.

Increase the Value of Your Home

If you are open to the possibility of moving to a new house in the future, you will be able to sell your current property at an increased value by equipping it with solar panels. It’s an attractive prospect for buyers if a potential home comes with very small or no electricity bills, so you’ll be making a huge return on your investment in this way, too.

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Note: Be wary of ‘renting your roof’ to solar panel companies if you can’t afford to purchase the panels outright. You may want to ‘go green’ in any way you can, but buying panels is by far the most practical way to enjoy the benefits. The lengthy leases that come with rental panel contracts (often 25 years) have been seen to put off mortgage lenders.

It’s highly recommended that if you want to benefit from free electricity and help the environment with solar, you should save up first to increase the value of your property – not render it unsellable.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

As we said, it’s never been so important to do your bit to save our eco-system. The polar ice caps are melting faster than has ever been recorded, and the earth is suffering terrible effects. As well as hurricanes and fires, we’ve also experienced floods, earthquakes and landslides all over the world this year.

In the large scheme of things, installing solar panels doesn’t seem like it will help much, but if everyone did their part to be more eco-conscious, we could significantly reduce the strain of destructive fossil fuels on the environment. By equipping your property with solar panels, you will save money while making steps to saving the environment – a tough offer to turn down!

Utilizing green energy within your business has even better rewards. Marketing your business as eco-conscious and sustainable is a great way to attract customers and impress existing ones. In recent years, studies into consumer activity have found that sustainability is a big shopping priority, especially among the millennial generation. Corporate solar panels will increase your revenue by expanding your customer base AND saving your business’s energy bills.

So – what are you waiting for? Contact a solar energy company today, who will be more than happy to assist you on your green energy journey.

Green Home Improvements to Attract Homebuyers

People’s desire to make a smaller footprint on a vulnerable planet affects the real estate market worldwide. In part this is due to the Internet’s power to inform and inspire, and it is partly due to who is buying the most homes. Millennials have made up more than half of homebuyers over the last few years. And millennials, surveys have shown, are willing to pay more for sustainability and the greenest possible living.

They often opt for new construction with the highest eco-friendly standards, but not every buyer will purchase a new home. Some millennials are not ready to make that financial commitment, and some will not be buying in trending locations that have lots of new green construction. So to attract buyers to an existing home, green home improvements can be a big win. Not only will the homeowner be doing the right thing by the planet, but also homes can sell faster and for more.

Although making green changes to an existing home can be complicated and expensive, there are many levels of improvement that vary in cost and difficulty.

What Meets the Eye

Green home upgrades the buyer can see in an existing home make a difference. If you are upgrading, you can go more sustainable and energy-efficient in these areas:

  • Non-toxic paint: The volatile organic compounds (VOC) in some paint can damage air quality and lungs. Choose a low-VOC paint to get that fresh, neutral look buyers want.
  • Sustainable flooring: Replace worn-out floors with highly renewable bamboo, with responsibly grown and harvested hardwoods, or with natural linoleum products.
  • A cool roof: Renovate the roof with light-colored materials that reflect heat.
  • Energy-efficient appliances: Update the kitchen with appliances, and even faucets, that run on less energy and/or use less water.
  • Native plants: Refresh the landscape with plants native to the environment, that will need less specialty care products and that will support local ecology.

Energize

Green changes that make a home energy-efficient will attract buyers and also give sellers the ROI of an eco-friendly home. Because they save money, these improvements also make money and bring return on investment.

  • Update to a Smart Thermostat: A programmable thermostat ensures heating and cooling meet your needs without waste.
  • New windows: The U.S. Department of Energy reports that 25-30% of energy costs literally get sucked right out of old windows, where leaks in both directions waste resources and money. New windows also beautify a home.
  • Weather protection: If new windows are not an option, caulking and weather-stripping are also efficient.
  • Tankless water heater: Upgrade an old water heater that needs to go anyway with a tankless one, that heats water as needed. Why waste energy heating gallons of water all the time?
  • Recycled water: Systems for catching rainwater, or holding water from sinks and tubs (greywater) can save waste and money. This water can flush toilets and water gardens, among other uses.
  • Renewable energy sources: Depending on the climate, solar panels and/or wind turbines can provide energy in place of using other, non-renewing resources.

Before making eco-friendly home improvements, research is the seller’s best tool. Understand the options, costs, and benefits. An experienced real estate agent can advise on what green home improvements are most wanted and bring the best ROI in the local market. Also make sure the home is appraised by someone experienced with green features, to make sure their real value is represented in the appraisal.