3 Ways To Start Saving Money And Energy

Are you looking for a way to save money and possibly even conserve energy at the same time? Your current bills may be too high. If you are tired of spending more than you can afford on certain bills, there are several ways to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pockets while using less energy than usual.

1. Use Weather Strips on Doors and Windows

Do you often feel air coming in through your windows or underneath your front door? If there is even the tiniest gap underneath the door or between the glass and the frame of the window, cool or hot air can start seeping into the home, making it colder inside your home during winter months and hotter during the summer months.

If you feel too hot or too cold, you may set your air conditioner to a lower temperature or set your heater to a higher temperature, but that will ultimately waste more energy and cost you more money. A simple solution to this problem is to buy weather strips for both the windows and doors and then carefully install them. You can buy adhesive to get the strips to stick to your windows and doors with ease.

2. Invest in Solar Panels for Your Home

Choosing to go solar has the potential to help you save thousands of dollars each year on heating and cooling costs. Solar energy comes right from the sun. Because this form of energy relies directly on a natural resource, it is a much healthier alternative for the environment, and it will likely make your energy bills more affordable.

If you are going to use solar energy, you will need to invest in solar panels. The professionals can install them directly on the roof of your home. Once the solar panel installation is completed, you can begin reaping the benefits of solar energy. While you will need to make an investment to get these panels installed, you may be eligible for tax rebates and credits because you have chosen an eco-friendly energy source. Most importantly, you will start saving money over a period of time, and that makes the investment worth it.

3. Lower the Temperature on Your Water Heater

When you turn the hot water on to take a shower or wash the dishes, does it often become way too hot? You may have accidentally burned your hands before because the water was scorching. If so, you can save energy and prevent something like that from happening by simply lowering the temperature down on your water heater. Even if it only helps you save a small percentage on your bills each month, the money you save will accumulate over time.

There are many ways to save both money and energy. You can add weather strips to doors and windows, have solar panels installed and even set your water heater to a lower temperature. Keep track of your savings by taking a look at old bills and comparing them to the new ones over the span of several months.

Learn More

Is There A Mouse In Your House? Four Ways To Identify A Mouse Infestation

Mice can be pesky visitors in your home. They can cause damage to your walls and floors, and they can carry diseases. Knowing the signs that you have a mouse problem will help you to know when to call mice removal experts to deal with the issue. Here are some telltale signs that there may be mice in your home.

Odor

Mice have a distinctive musky odor that sets them apart from other rodents, such as rats and squirrels. If you have a mouse infestation, you may notice the odor emanating from your walls, attic or other areas that mice may choose to nest. You may also notice the smell of urine in your home if you have a significant mouse population. If you detect either of these odors, consider placing a call to your exterminator for an inspection to identify the problem.

Nocturnal Noises

Mice are nocturnal creatures, so you won’t likely notice any activity during the day. At night, however, you may hear scratches, squealing and scurrying throughout your home. These rodents can move quickly, so you may hear sounds of the mice zipping from one end of a room to the next. You’ll likely hear these noises overhead, coming from your home’s upper floors or attic. If you hear any of these sounds, consult with an extermination expert. These noises are characteristic of mice, but they may also indicate an issue with other types of rodents, such as squirrels.

Nests

Mouse nests have a distinctive appearance that make them easy to identify. Mice create nests with any fibrous materials they can find, such as shredded paper, insulation or plastic. They are shaped like round balls, which the mice sleep in during the day. The mice will typically build their nests in places that are relatively undisturbed, including an attic, basement or unused rooms in your home. You may find them in the back of a kitchen cabinet where they can find easy access to food.

Damage To Your Home

Mice will gnaw their way through walls to gain entrance to your home, and they can chew books, boxes and other materials in your home to build their nests. They may also chew through electrical wiring or electronic appliances, which can result in electrical shorts and damage to your home and appliances. Be sure to contact your exterminator at the first sign of damage to prevent significant costs for repairs and item replacement.

Mice removal experts have a variety of ways to remove the mice and other rodents from your home. Use this list to help you determine if you have an infestation, and seek help as soon as possible to remove these pesky visitors from your living space. Contact a business, such as Environmental Services Pest Control, for assistance.   

Learn More

Understanding Your Water Filter Options

If you want to treat the water for your home or business, then you have a couple of options to choose from. One such treatment method is the water deionization filter. Water deionization filters are very popular and you should consider their benefits so that you can make a more educated decision about your water supply.

What does a water deionization filter do?

Like most other filtration systems, deionization filters remove some unwanted components from the water. In the case of deionization, small charged molecules are filtered out of the water. The key thing to understand here is that the molecules in question are very small, and too small for most other methods to catch. Therefore, deionization filters work well in conjunction with other filters that target larger molecules. A combined filtration system can pretty much cover all the bases and keep your water safe, healthy, and tasty.

How does a water deionization filter work?

In simple terms, other filters may just run the water through a sheet of material that has holes small enough to let water through, yet too small to let large particulates through. Deionization filters work via a slightly different principle that is somewhat analogous to how magnets work. Small particles in water tend to have charges on them, either positive or negative. By exploiting the natural attraction between positive and negative charges, a system can be created that essentially magnetically pulls ions from the water.

Deionization filters run the water through several large groups of beads. Some groups of beads are positively charged, while other groups are negatively charged. The general idea is that the positively charged beads will pull negatively charged ions from the water, while negatively charged beads will do the same to positively charged ions.

After running through a gauntlet of such beads, the water should be mostly free of small, charged ions.

How do you know if your filter needs maintenance?

Deionization filters require maintenance fairly frequently, but it is also easy to tell if such maintenance is necessary. Many beads will actually change color after they have been spent, which will give you a clear warning sign that a replacement is in order.

You can also reduce the strain on your deionization filter by only running filtered water through it. In other words, you want to run your water through other filters that focus on large particulates before sending that water to be deionized.

Learn More

Grease From Human Waste And Sewer Cleaning: How Professional Plumbers Handle A Gross Job

Some of the fat that humans consume ends up in their waste. You can usually tell when your own diet is high in fat because the high fat and high grease content makes your feces float. When you flush all of that high-fat content waste down the sewer stack or into your septic tank, it begins to separate. The fat and grease collect, building up along the sewer pipe walls and on the sides of septic tanks like plaque in human arteries. It smells most foul, and can eventually choke off the flow of sewage completely. To perform a proper sewer cleaning, plumbers handle this gross job in one of the following ways.

Grinding and Scraping

Using rotary rooting tools, plumbers run the entire length of the plumbing lines out to the city sewer system or scrape the interior of your septic tank. They may spend several minutes grinding and scraping away from the hard deposits of fecal grease and fat before pulverizing it into smaller particles and flushing the system entirely. They wear a lot of protective equipment in the process, since the odors are so overwhelming that only a completely “nose-blind” person can do this job and not faint.

Blasting

Using hot water (which melts the fats and liquefies the fecal grease) and a pressure washer, the plumber blasts the collected masses inside the pipes or septic system. He then washes out the septic system or flushes out the pipes, sending the deposits onward to the nearest water treatment facility. For this sewer cleaning technique, the plumber is usually dressed in head-to-toe gear to prevent against back splatters, odors and potential infectious diseases found in the fecal matter.

Power Flushing

Power flushing resorts to creating a vacuum and then flushing a lot of water into the created void. It creates enough water pressure to push any loose fecal grease and fats out of the pipes and/or the septic system. Anything that is left behind and still causing problems for sewer water flow or septic functioning is taken care of with either blasting or grinding and scraping techniques.

Attempting Your Own Sewer Cleaning at Home

It is not recommended, nay, highly discouraged for you to perform your own sewer cleanings. However, if you insist on doing the job, be sure to get lots of protective equipment, including goggles, a full disposable jumpsuit, gloves and shoe or boot covers. You are just as susceptible to bacteria, parasites  and viral infections as the professionals are. Additionally, you will need to rent a majority of these tools to keep the DIY costs down and complete the sewer cleaning successfully. 

Learn More

A Guide To Dealing With Hazardous Waste

If you are dealing with hazardous waste in your home or business, it is vitally important that you recognize the best ways to get rid of it. Doing this will reduce your exposure to harmful substances, while also preventing the environment from being harmed. In this regard, read the pieces of information in the following sections, so that your hazardous waste management efforts are up to par and beneficial. 

Find A Trustworthy Means Of Collection

Before you think about getting rid of the hazardous waste in your building, you need to figure out the best company to hand them over to. This can come in the form of regular pickups, similar to how you get rid of recycling and other forms of solid waste. Typically, the companies will provide you with containers and bags marked appropriately, so that you are better able to separate and get rid of the hazardous waste in your building. These businesses will typically collect for you on specific days, or allow you to drop off the hazardous waste on your own. There are also typically some hazardous waste satellite sites that you can reach out to in order to make sure your waste is properly cared for. 

Consider Some Storage Tips

One of the cardinal sins you should stay away from is putting hazardous waste inside of containers that are also used for food. This can have devastating results, which is why it is best to use clearly labeled accounts. Make sure to also never combine hazardous waste with any other forms of waste, because there may be materials that create combustible reactions that can create serious problems and put your entire building at risk. 

Learn The Classification Of Product You Are Dealing With

Depending on the type of hazardous waste you’re looking to store or dispose, there are some key ideas to keep in mind. For instance, hazardous products are typically either poisonous, flammable, toxic or otherwise dangerous to come in contact with. Prior to inviting these products into your building, look into non-hazardous, organic means of getting the same job done. In terms of electronics or batteries, you should touch base with the manufacturer or with a company that can help you out with the right means of disposal. Further, never dispose of any hazardous material down your toilet, sink or other drain, since it will adversely affect the environment and local water supply. 

Use this advice, so that your hazardous waste management efforts are productive. 

Learn More

Finders, Not Keepers: What To Do If You Happen Upon Medical Sharps Out In The Open

When you go for a walk in your neighborhood, it’s not uncommon to see the odd soda can or wadded up tissue lying around, waiting for a street sweeper. But what if you happen upon something more sinister, like a used needle? Your best bet is to contact a professional, be that a health care provider, local health department, police or fire station. Many communities even have special programs for turning in such items. They will be able to give you the best information about how to dispose of or turn in the item, especially if it’s a sharp (needle, razor, syringe, e.g.).

There’s always a chance, however, that you might find such an object out in the middle of nowhere where you either don’t have your phone or don’t have any cell phone reception. Here are some tips if you ever find yourself in this situation:

Pick-up Artist

DO NOT pick up the object in question with your bare hands. This may sound obvious, but in the heat of the moment a person might be willing to pick up an item so they can throw it away quickly or so that a child doesn’t pick it up first.

Instead, use a “barrier” item to pick up the needle. Wadded up tissues, paper towels, plastic bags — anything that puts a lot of space between your bare hands and the business end of what you found is a good thing. If you want to get more creative, pick up a couple of pencil-sized, sturdy sticks and practice your chopstick skills.

It’s in the Can

Once you have picked up the needle, you want to put it in a sturdy container, such as a small box or coffee can, something that can handle the plunger end as well as the needle. Don’t put it in a plastic bag or wrap it in tissue; the needle will only poke through. Then you need to hang onto it until you get back to civilization once more.

**Under no circumstances should you try to break or bend the needle to render it safe. You are far more likely to injure yourself and expose yourself to bacterial or viral infections.

Passing the Torch

Okay, so you’re headed home and have reached the outskirts of town. The first thing you come across is a garbage can or dumpster. Should you chuck your little treasure? No. Sharps should never be disposed of in a public dumpster or regular garbage can, since they pose a health threat to anyone who has to manually handle the garbage later. Your better bet is to call your local health or police department and find out where the nearest drop-off location is. That way you can be sure the needle will be properly disposed of by professionals.

Needles and, for that matter, any medical waste in general should be treated with the utmost respect. Follow the guidelines above, and you will greatly reduce your risk of exposure. For more information, contact a company like TransChem Environmental.

Learn More

Getting Home Electricity From A Solar Panel System: Why It Is A Worthy Investment

Have you ever considered becoming independent with your electricity source? Investing in a solar panel system will give you the opportunity to enjoy electricity without paying for it, which means fewer expenses to run your household. Below, learn all you need to know about a solar panel system to determine if it is right for you.

What Makes a Solar Panel System a Worthy Investment?

A solar panel system is worthy because it runs off nothing more than sunlight after getting installed. Basically, your roof will be covered in panels that contain photovoltaic cells. The cells are a vital aspect of the solar panel system because they are able to produce electricity from the photons coming from sunlight. Electrons and atoms are separated when photons make contact with the solar panels, which leads to the electrons providing your home with electricity. The panels will have to be wired to your home before it will work.

Connecting the solar panels to the wiring in your house is done via the metal conductive plates. Wiring the panels to the interior of your house will allow you to receive a steady flow of electricity, just as if you were getting it from an electric company. The electrons captured in the panels go from the panels directly to the interior of your house.

If you don’t want your roof covered in solar panels because it detracts from the beauty, you can also get a ground mounted system. The ground mounted system consists of a big panel to power your home. You can keep the panel hidden in an area that is not easy to see. Just make sure it has direct contact with the sun.

How Much Does a Solar Panel System Cost on Average?

The price for your solar panel system will depend on how efficient you want it to be. If you want electrical independence, you will need a system that has enough watts to power up everything in your home. Total dependency on solar panels for your electrical needs will cost around $35,000 plus, which is for a 5 kW system. A low efficiency system can cost $10,000 plus.

Getting your electricity from nature is great because you won’t have to pay another electric bill after the solar panels are in place. Get in touch with a solar panel expert to get the installation procedure started! For more information, contact a company like DFW Solar Electric.

Learn More