June 2014 Posts

Save Money With A Home Energy Audit

With the rising costs of living and the amount each household spends on energy, it’s no wonder that homeowners are consistently looking for ways to reduce their energy costs whilst still enjoying the full benefits of their energy usage. While there are many ways to go about this, you might want to start with a home energy audit. A simple audit will identify key problem areas within your home and provide you and your family with numerous benefits.

Save Money With A Home Energy Audit

Here are the top reasons to stop delaying and get a home energy audit today:

Cut Down on Your Energy Bills

If you’re getting increasingly worried about your energy bills, an energy audit is what you need. An audit helps you identify areas of your home where you’re losing energy without knowing it.

While there are ways to perform a home energy audit yourself, the best person for the job is a certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor. They’ll take a look at your home and spot anywhere you have leakages, energy losses, and inefficiencies, and recommend working solutions that will help you cut down on your energy usage.

Makes Your Home More Comfortable

From your audits, you’ll be able to learn the different methods and differences between effective cooling and heating methods that are guaranteed to transform your home and turn it into a comfortable place for you to stay.

If the temperature in your home is usually excessively hot or cold, then you need to find a way to make the temperature just right. A home energy audit will largely help you achieve this.

Will Expose Possible Contaminants and Toxic Microbes

You know how they say kids shouldn’t play under the sink? It’s for good reason. The sink typically houses loads of toxins and contaminants. This is not surprising seeing as it is the storage space for bleach, cleaning agents and worse still, a breeding ground for mold, microbes and contaminants.

Most people don’t know this and end up unintentionally exposing their kids to these harmful things. A home audit will help you spot all these so you can take the appropriate steps necessary to create a healthy home environment. Equally important is the fact that you’ll be able to find out how healthy the air in your home is.

Exposes Problems in the Ducts

More often than not, homeowners don’t know that there’s a melted pipe, a faulty air duct, a weakened joint or a potentially dangerous pipe in the home. An energy audit will help you spot and identify all these. If you think your home isn’t as airy as it should be or suspect that an air duct is not functioning properly, an audit will help you identify and rectify that.

Reveals Causes of Poor Heating

If you’re having problems with your heating or the heating in the home isn’t functioning as well as it should and you cannot seem to spot the problem, the best way to find out what the possible cause is without spending a lot of cash is by simply carrying out an audit. Its not only a proven way to ensure that you find the cause of the problem, but it’ll also offer a longer lasting solution to the problem.

Helps Save the Environment

If you’re an environmentally conscious individual, doing an energy audit will help you cut back on your carbon emission, thus allowing you leave minimal carbon footprints.

This article was written by Brian Levesque. As a first time homeowner, Brian has slowly but surely learning the ropes of having a house of his own. From costly electric bills to lawn maintenance, he’s endured it all and has also compiled a list of tips and tricks to make his life easier. Through his writing he aspires to help others take control of their homes and live more comfortably.

When he isn’t tinkering around the house, Brian writes professionally for BobHeinmillerSolar.com. To learn more about Brian, check out his Google+.

3 Advantages For Harnessing Sun Power In Your Home

The sun has so much power, that it is a little hard to believe that humans still rely so much on non-solar sources of energy. Solar power is one of the fastest-growing movements in the world, and once the panels are installed the price of sunshine is free.

Using solar power offers one of the most dramatic reductions to your carbon footprint. That is because when you use solar power, it reduces how much you rely on nonrenewable resources, like electricity that runs through power lines.

3 Advantages For Harnessing Sun Power In Your Home

Why Your Family Should Go Solar at Home

Reducing your carbon footprint is one of the most important benefits of going solar, because it benefits the entire earth. Here are some of the other advantages your family will enjoy once they begin harnessing the power of the sun.

  • Lower Electric Bills

The cost of utility bills are on the rise. Installing solar panels is a one-time fee that has almost zero cost for maintenance or upkeep. Additionally, those in the United States may get tax breaks to help with installation costs.

  • Solar Power Is Clean Energy

Sun power is not only clean, but it is also infinitely renewable. It does not emit any fumes, greenhouse gases, or carbon emissions. There is no more eco-friendly form of energy on the planet.

  • Low to No Maintenance

Once solar panels are installed, they have next to no requirements regarding maintenance. They are self-sustaining, and will continue to harness the power of the sun for an estimated 25 years.

Solar power via panels installed on the roof of your home or in your yard might make your family seem out of place. Once your neighbors learn all the advantages you enjoy from sun power, you will be the envy of the entire neighborhood.

There are so many reasons why your family should go solar. These levels range from something personal that affects an individual, to something larger that befits everyone on the entire planet. The real benefits happen, however, when everyone works together.

Different Ways You Can Use Solar Power at Home

Many people avoid using solar power because they mistakenly assume that it will require them to go completely off the grid. This is not true. There are plenty of small things you can do that will add up to big results, such as big savings on your electric bill.

For example, solar charging stations for electronics, solar powered lights outside your home, and solar covers to heat hot tubs or swimming pools are easy ways to harness the sun’s energy. It just takes a quick look around your home to find out how you can transition to sun power.

Should you decide to go off the grid, there is a wide range of options for homeowners. Many of these are easy for a homeowner to install, and save up sun power in a bank of deep-cell batteries that are later converted to AC power to power up your household.

Rick Mercado is a successful writer and online marketer. He spends his days behind the laptop, researching sites like http://www.go-green-solar-energy.com for facts that he uses in the articles he writes. His favorite ways to stay green include outdoor activities like kayaking and hiking.

Where Does Your Electricity Really Come From?

It isn’t likely that many people pay much attention to the electrical grid around us and all that goes into powering our world. The lone exception is when that power is interrupted and we find ourselves in a dark room with none of the luxuries we’ve grown accustomed to. Each of us pass by many different instruments that power our homes and likely never notice their work.

Where exactly does that power originate from and from what source? How does it get from it’s origin to your home?  It doesn’t take a degree in electrical engineering to find these answers but it does require you to take notice of the complex grid around you. Hopefully after learning what goes into bringing power to your home and you’ll gain an appreciation for the tireless and often thankless work of the local power companies.

Where Does Your Electricity Really Come From

Power Sources

Over the last decade energy consumption has increased at an extreme pace and with that alternative power sources have come to the forefront of consumer concerns. Power sources can be grouped into two categories, renewable and non-renewable sources. The three main sources of non-renewable energy that electricity comes from are coal, natural gas, and thermonuclear fission.

Even in today’s ever increasing energy consciousness, these non-renewable energy sources still account for 50-70% of our overall consumption. Major renewable sources include solar power, wind power, tidal power, biomass sources, and geothermal energy. All of the energy sources listed are what is known as primary energy sources. That means they cannot be produced but must be available in nature.

It is because of this there are increased efforts to use renewable energy sources so as not to deplete the Earth’s non renewable energy sources.

How the Grid Works

With a better understanding of what is used to produce the electricity you use in your home, understanding how that electricity gets to your home is next. As you might guess the electrical grid starts at a power plant and in that plant is a spinning electrical generator. What spins that generator are the sources discussed earlier based on your areas available resources.

When the power leaves the generator, it will make it’s way to a transmission substation at the plant. The substation amps up the power from the thousands of volts to the hundreds of thousands to prepare for long distance travel. The electricity leaves on high voltage transmission lines that consist of 3 live wires and one or more ground wires designed to attract lightning.

Of course we can’t send hundreds of thousands of volts into each home. The electricity is “stepped down” from transmission grids to distribution grids by power substations. Regulator banks outside of neighborhoods and subdivisions step down the power once again to roughly 7,200 volts. The last step down occurs at a transformer box either at the pole or underground that brings the voltage to 240 volts.

This provides the appropriate power to operate the 240 or 120 volt appliance commonly found in homes.

To Conclude

The grid in the United States is divided into 3 geographical areas. The Eastern Interconnection runs along the east coast with it’s more powerful lines stretching to the Rocky Mountains. The Western Interconnection stretches from those same Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Finally in attempt to further prove that Texas is in fact their own country, the state has the Texas Interconnection to deliver it’s power.

With the size of Texas, it’s own section of the grid is necessary to deliver the power needed across the large area. Wherever you reside the grid works in the same way. The only difference being what source is used to convert primary energy to electricity. It’s an ever evolving system of networks that each power company works with to ensure your home is almost never without electricity.

However when an outage does occur, we as consumers should be a little more understanding of the time it takes to get the power back on. While the idea of electricity seems simple today, there is still a great deal that goes into powering the country.

Josh McCarthy is from Orlando, Florida. He is a finance major at the University of Central Florida and enjoys trading stock options. He enjoys all athletics and is trying to make money for an engagement ring. Josh is also a professional content writer for www.BobHeinmiller.com.

5 Things That You Must Not Miss Out On When Purchasing Mobile Phone Signal Boosters

Mobile phones offer to be one of the most important gadgets in our lives today. Most of us carry our mobile phones all the time with us. These gadgets range from high-end smartphones to simple cell phones, depending on what you use your device for.

Smartphones are generally used by people who want their phones to deliver almost everything that a computer or a tab would do. Some of the features of an ideal smartphone include calling, texting, accessing the internet, documentation, watching videos, reading eBooks, listening to music and a host of other activities.

5 Things That You Must Not Miss Out On When Purchasing Mobile Phone Signal Boosters

Why mobile phone signal boosters?

Now whether you use a smartphone, a tab with cellular features or a simple mobile phone, your mobile phone’s carrier should offer you good signal strength for you to use your device in the best possible way.

However, poor signal strength often turns out to be a reason for bad call quality, call drop and internet connection failure. In such cases, mobile phone signal boosters can be a great option to go for.

Before you decide on purchasing a mobile phone signal booster, here are a few points that you must look into.

Is it really a problem with signal strength?

Before you start looking for the mobile phone signal boosters, find out if it is really a problem with the signal strength and if the device you plan you buy can really help you. Sometimes it is not a problem with the weak signal. You mobile phone or the phone battery may need repairs or changing to solve your issues.

Coverage area issues

Some carriers may specify areas in which they have absolutely no signal coverage whatsoever.

Under such circumstances a signal booster may not really work. There is no signal to boost in the first place. So before you purchase such a booster device, check if your carrier is really offering you coverage in your location.

Portable and stationary requirements

Before you purchase the device, try and understand whether you need a portable device that you can carry in a car or a van or a stationary device that you can install in your apartment or house. If you are mostly on the move and face signal problems on the road, you may want to go for the portable mobile phone signal boosters.

Safe for your device

Always ensure that your mobile phone does not get damaged when you try and use it with the device you purchase to boost the mobile signals. Some boosters require you to fix a part of it with the mobile phone. Refrain from using such devices, especially if you own an expensive smartphone or a cellular tab.

Quality product from a reliable store

If you ultimately decide on purchasing a mobile phone signal booster, make sure you go for a good quality product from a reliable store like CellPhoneBooster.co.uk. Dealing with a reliable store ensures that you get a good product for the money you spend that will show you the correct results every time you use the device.

Janice is a blogger and a gadget freak. Janice points out 5 things that you must look into when purchasing mobile phone signal boosters to get rid of weak signals.

Why Your Business Should Conduct An OSHA On-site Consultation

There are those who believe OSHA is a research organization with a focus on protecting the ocean and it’s inhabitants. To be fair, growing up on the east coast, this author might have once believed this too.

While OSHA does involve the protection of a population, it isn’t endangered ocean wildlife; it’s all of us employees. OSHA’s mission statement is “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” As an organization, they have been fighting for better working conditions since 1970.

Educating employers is also a key focus in their mission statement and in 2012 roughly 30,000 businesses took advantage of a free consultation.

Why Your Business Should Conduct An OSHA On-site Consultation

What is an OSHA consultation?

Free consultations, put in place primarily for small business owners can be requested at any time. They are conducted by state agencies or universities who are brought in to work with employers. While the cost of the consultation is free, the benefits are far reaching so it’s a wonder why every small business doesn’t take advantage of the program.

Fear is likely the overriding reason why owners fail to schedule a consultation. Fears about what will happen if the consultation reveals anything damaging and fines are levied. These fears are misplaced however, as no citations are issued or penalties proposed. As a business owner, you are only responsible for correcting any serious job safety hazards before the actual visit.

Serious hazard is a broad term but applies to any condition where there is “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.”

The benefits to an OSHA consultation

The benefits of a consultation can be felt by all levels of your business, from your employees to your managers, as well as you the owner and the overall health of your business.

Benefits to your employees

  • Teach them to recognize hazards and remove them.
  • Protects them from injury and illness.
  • Prevents loss of life.

Benefits to your managers

  • Allows them to be better at their jobs by having a better defense and action plan.
  • Increase productivity and quality of work.
  • Know exactly what is required to remain compliant.

Benefits to the owner and business

  • Gives better understanding of costs associated with unsafe working conditions leading to accidents.
  • Healthier bottom line by decreasing costs associated with workers compensation, lost workdays and productivity, and better understanding of how to safely operate equipment.

It’s hard to argue that the free OSHA consultation is valuable to small businesses. The benefits described above are more than enough reason to schedule a visit for your business. There is another added benefit to a successful OSHA consultation, enrollment into the organizations SHARP program. SHARP stands for Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program with admission granted to those businesses that show exemplary injury and illness prevention.

Upon admission to SHARP your business worksite will be exempt from OSHA inspections for as long as your certification is valid. This eliminates interruption to your business which should increase productivity. Far better to be prepared for a scheduled consultation to gain the benefits of the visit and SHARP certification then to have your business halted and cited/penalized for unsafe conditions.

Brian Levesque is a professional bog writer who works for eCompliance. Brian is a skilled blogger with a keen attention to detail. When he isn’t blogging, Brian enjoys listening to music and trying new foods.