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Archive for December, 2012

ImageWith the holiday season comes more than colder weather — there are the parties, the baking, the fixing of family dinners, and, in some cases, the stringing of holiday lights. It’s also a time of year when home energy use can spike, leading to a very large January electricity bill.

This year, do what you can to conserve energy through the holidays and the New Year. Try following these simple tips.

Go LED 
If you string lights outside of your home, try LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lighting. LED lights use 86% less electricity than comparable incandescent lights and have numerous safety advantages. For example, LED lights are shatterproof, present no fire hazard, and, because they emit almost no heat, are safe to the touch.

Reduce Your Home Thermostat
When you home is filled with people, or the ovens are working overtime, or both, the temperature can rise by several degrees. Rather than opening a window or leaving a door ajar, consider lowering your home’s thermostat, or turning off the heat altogether. Each degree “colder” that you set you set your thermostat decreases your home’s energy usage up to 3 percent.

Plan Your Meal
Holiday meals are often prepared in advance of dinner and then reheated or warmed to be ready for company. This leads to running the oven, microwave or stove-top multiple times for each served dish. When possible, prepare foods at the same time and warm in the oven at the same time. In running your appliances less, you will save on energy costs.

Use Your Dishwasher At Capacity
Some dishes require hand-washing. For everything else, use a dishwasher. Dishwashers use less water than is required to wash and rinse plates, utensils and pots and pans by hand. They can also use up to 50% less energy than is required to heat the water you’ll need to wash your dishes manually.

The holiday season can be full of excesses. Don’t let your energy bill be one of them.

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You’ve always dreamed of having a swimming pool in your house like the celebrities on MTV Cribs, but you probably didn’t imagine it in your basement, caused by a broken pipe.

Let’s take a quick trip back to middle school science class. When water freezes, it expands. When that happens in your pipes, your pipes can burst. Interestingly enough, it’s actually not the formation of ice or radial expansion of ice in the pipe that causes the breakage. Rather, a complete ice blockage will cause a buildup of water pressure downstream. It’s that buildup of thousands of pounds of pressure that ultimately causes a pipe to burst.

Now, fast-forward to adult life. Your pipes burst on a cold winter night. That can translate to major property damage and major wallet damage. In fact, frozen or broken water pipes are second only to hurricanes in terms of the cost and the number of homes damaged across the country (Insurance Information Network of California). Here’s what you can do:

1) Locate your water shut-off valve and know how to use it in case pipes freeze and break. To locate the valve, find your outside water line; this usually flows directly from the water meter to a location inside of your house.

2) If your pipes are in cabinets (e.g. under a sink), it’s a good idea to keep interior cupboard doors open during cold spells to let the warm air circulate around the pipes. This is especially important if the water pipes are adjacent to an exterior wall. 

3) When temperatures drop below 20 degrees F overnight, let a faucet drip. This provides relief from the pressure that builds up. When both hot and cold lines serve a spigot, make sure each one contributes to the drip.

4) If you turn on a faucet and no water comes out, your pipe is likely frozen. Keep the faucet open, because the pipe will still need pressure relief. Call a plumber to get advice on how to safely thaw a pipe or for help with fixing the problem.

5) DO NOT try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame. This will damage the pipe and may even start a fire. Rather, use an electric hair dryer or portable space heater.

6) If you go out of town, leave your thermostat set to at least 55 degrees.

Thanks to brightnest

 

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Christmas Decoration: Giant balloon marbles...

christmas surprise

decor ideas

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