Your Energy Savings: Energy Efficiency Lighting Facts

Everybody seems to be trying to save more and more money these days.  Whether it’s trying to stay in for dinner more often, collecting coupons for the grocery store, finding discounts on everyday needs, or generally trying to consume less, saving money is on most households agendas.  One thing that we seem to hear about more often now is saving money on utilities every month.  We’ve all heard that changing your appliances to more efficient and updated units can greatly decrease your utilities bills.  For many however, finding the money to pay for updated appliances can be out of the question because of their initial cost.  There is another, less expensive way to cut your utility bill.  That of course is lighting your home.  Many people are skeptical though, as it can be hard to really know how much you save when changing your light bulbs to more efficient, updated ones.  Here are some of the facts behind changing your lighting to help you get a grasp on how much you actually will save.

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What type of bulb is the most energy efficient?

We have all grown up and are familiar with the incandescent light bulb.  The energy sucking bulb is now obsolete and even the government is taking steps to eliminate the bulb from American households.  We are more commonly hearing about CFL bulbs and LED lights.  Which ones better?  Energy star rated light bulbs are compared based on how much light a bulb emits based on how much energy it uses.  LED lights are the most energy efficient light bulb emitting 90 to 120 lumens per 1 watt of electricity.  Compare that to the CFL’s 40-70 lumens per one watt and it is obvious that the LED is the more efficient bulb.

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Is the Price worth it?

Although LED’s are more efficient, they are also more expensive than CFL’s and many claim that the light LED’s emit is not as comfortable as CFL’s.  If this is the case, than CFL’s will work just fine and will still save you an average of $5000-$8,000 in a ten year span.  CFL’s have a lifespan of roughly ten years so you should plan on replacing them after that span of time.  LED’s are going to be about double the price of a CFL bulb.  They are a better investment with time however, given that LED’s have a lifespan of 40 to 50 years.  And given the efficiency of an LED, in ten years you should expect to save $10,000-$15,000 in ten years, and after that ten years you won’t have to worry about changing your LED light bulbs.

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DIY Home Improvement Tips: Good Habits In Your Habitat!

Everyone you know is doing their best to be friendlier to the environment, which is great. It’s about time that we started initiatives to make this planet a lot better. The great thing about promoting ways to improve our planet is that it starts from us, at home. Not only does that place the onus back on us to make the environment better instead of relying on councils, but it also helps to make our bills cheaper, which is an excellent by-product of looking after your home. In fact, there are some really simple things you can do to benefit the environment that doesn’t involve going to the recycling plant every few days, let alone get out of your bed! Okay, that’s not necessarily true, but you don’t need to leave the house!

Electricity is a big one that we all need to cut back on. The amount of energy that we waste in leaving appliances on is a big cause of our collective carbon footprint, not to mention wasted money. We use lights every day, so instead of the normal light bulbs, use a Compact Fluorescent one. It can save you up to 66% on your energy bills. Another few hints to cut back on your electricity bill includes not looking in the fridge! It sounds crazy, but by looking around the fridge to decide on your meal for the evening can cost you between $12 and $24 a year, and if you use colder water in your washing machine or set it to a lower temperature, this will save 40% less energy on your output. Also, it’s very simple, just unplug your appliances at night, and although you need to charge your phone, put it on airplane mode.

Scenic View of Landscape Against Cloudy Sky

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Going around the home itself, there are many home comforts that we can either cut corners on or just make little tweaks to improve our environment overall. For example, by adding more houseplants, we are increasing the amount of oxygen around the home, and by getting into the habit of planting in your garden, this is a good way to increase oxygen everywhere. Another one to get on board with is adding solar panels to your roof. There are many homes that have gone for this in a bid to cut back on unnecessary expenditure, and by going solar, you are placing less reliance on fossil fuels for energy and utilizing one of the greatest sources of energy in the universe, the sun! In fact, you can save 10% on your heating bill just by opening the blinds to let the sunlight in!

Chemicals are another source of problems for our environment, and they turn up everywhere, from our cleaning products to our hand creams! Instead of buying expensive cleaning sprays that can give you allergies, buy some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar or apple cider vinegar to apply to mold and dirt walls and surfaces. The acidity of the vinegar will clean it right up and the soda will give you a shiny finish on taps and silverware!  

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Home Improvement: Bringing Comfort Into Your Life

Comfort is one of the most underrated aspects to life. We don’t take enough time out of our hectic family or work schedules to settle down and enjoy the small things. We don’t often even look for comfort, do we?

The thing is – we shouldn’t have to. Some much of our lives are spent at a desk or at work and this means that our homes should be automatically comfy. It doesn’t just take a good couch or amazing bed sheets – it’s a state of mind for our homes. It’s not just about putting down a potted plant and saying job done.

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It’s not amazingly easy to add comfort to your life, but it is a simple path. To start off, keep a tidy home with regimented cleaning sessions. This could be daily sweeping and polishing followed by a deeper weekly clean and dusting. The state of your house will reflect on your state of mind and dust, dirt and hair will build up to frustrate you. Keep the house clean in the first instance to feel at home in your home!

Windows and natural light is a good way to feel comfortable in the home. Adding double glazed windows to protect your bubble from external sounds like traffic and road works. Your home shouldn’t be easily infiltrated by external noise. Windows also serve an obvious purpose to let big light into your rooms which makes them seem a lot less dull. If there are issues, natural light could be one of the answers.

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Natural light is great, but it’s only around for a portion of the day. This means that we have to provide our own methods of lighting for later sections of each day. Move away from fluorescent lighting and opt for bulbs with warm glows that work to soothe instead of cause headaches.

To be comfortable, you’ve also got to think about the temperature. Central heating is great for the winter, but fans and open windows work best in the summer if you can’t get your hands on air conditioning. Think about the floors as well. Hardwood floors are cozy, but they aren’t comfy – and when it gets cold they will bite at your naked feet! Get some nice rugs to ensure that there are patches of floor based warmth in your home.

Of course, you also need the right seating to be super comfortable and what better than an armchair to take away your blues? Of course there are plenty of other options like foam bags from SackDaddy.com! Simply go with the flow and grab the items that make you feel comfortable.

A final thought on comfort – add yourself to your home. It is yours, after all. Allow your style to reflect yourself through DIY projects and personalization. Put up photos, painting and pictures and allow your talents to shine through. Your home is your space, so let it be just that with a bit of a personal touch. Or you could just add a plant!

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Home and Living: Oops, I Forgot! Not With These Quick-Thinking Tips

We all have those oops moments when we realize that we’ve forgotten something quite important! Unfortunately, as you get older, these will happen much more often. As our brains age, it is ever so easy for things to slip out mind. These forgetful moments can range from not being too important to things that can ruin our daily plans! However, there are certain ways you can make sure that these moments don’t cause too much trouble. In this blog post, I’ve written about some of the things we all commonly forget. There are also some great tips that can help you out of the various sticky situations!

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Online Passwords

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These days, most of us use computers and mobile tablets every single day. And you will hopefully have put a password on them to protect them. You will also need passwords to access your social media accounts, emails, and any other online accounts that you may have.Ideally, you need to have a different password every time. That way, if someone finds out one password, they won’t be able to access all your accounts. Unfortunately, that means that you will have a lot of passwords to remember, which can make it ever so easy to forget them! So what do you do if you forget a password and can’t access your laptop of online accounts? There should be a link on the website you’re trying to get into to request a password reset link to be sent to you via email or SMS. Can’t get into your computer? You can always take it to a computer service store; they can usually offer password recovery services.

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Keys

There is nothing worse than getting home to find out you don’t have your front door keys with you and are locked out! Most of the time, we don’t pick them up on the way out because we have misplaced them. But you never have to worry about misplacing them again, as you can now connect your keys to your phone. That’s right! There are now key trackers available that you stick onto your keys and then connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone. That way, next time you can’t find your keys, you just need to open the tracker app, and it will tell you exactly where they are! Some scientific studies show that getting stressed once you realize you’ve lost something actually makes it harder to find them. So, next time you don’t have a clue where your keys are, take some deep breaths so that you can stay calm and find them in no time at all!

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Birthdays

Birthdays seem to come around so often, and at times it can be very difficult trying to keep up with them all. Only just realized that it’s your relative or friend’s birthday tomorrow and don’t have any time to go shopping for a gift? No problem! One way around this is to always keep a stash of birthday cards at home in a drawer. That way, you always have a card ready for birthdays. Do you often buy the birthday boy or girl a gift? Just because you’ve left things so late this year, doesn’t mean that it should be any different. You might want to find an online florist who offers next day delivery like https://www.flowerbud.com/calla-lilies. Simply order a bouquet online, and you can relax knowing that your friend or relative will receive them in twenty-four hours. Of course, if you realize that you have completely missed the birthday altogether, there are ways you can make up for it. A belated birthday gift will always go down well as it gives the receiver a chance to extend their birthday celebrations! This can be something as little as a box of their favorite chocolates to a more extravagant gesture such as taking them out for a meal in a chic restaurant. It’s probably best to go that extra mile with their belated gift, as you did forget their birthday!

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Daily Medicine

Lots of us take medicine on a daily business. This may be for a long-term health condition, such as taking beta blockers for high blood pressure. It could also be for something less life-threatening but equally important, like the contraceptive pill or an everyday vitamin supplement. Whatever tablets you may need to take, it’s important that you don’t forget. Forgetting to take even just one dose of medication could weaken its effect and leave you at risk of certain health conditions getting worse. The best way to remember about your daily dose is to set a reminder on your phone. This is especially useful for women who take the contraceptive pill, as it needs to be taken at a similar time each day. You can also buy a seven-day pill box. This is split into seven sections so that you can put in all your medication for the week ahead. You can find them on sites like http://www.rehabmart.com/category/medication_helpers.htm. Leave this somewhere visible, such as in the kitchen or on your bedside table, so that you will always see it and remember to take the tablets.

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Meal Ingredients

Started cooking and realized you don’t have a main ingredient? Yep, that’s annoying alright! If you can’t leave your kitchen to nip to the shops, you are going to have to get creative to work around the missing ingredient. There are always some alternatives that can be used in place of certain foods. For instance, did you know that lemon juice works well as a substitute for salt? And you can always use vegetable oil instead of butter. Food bloggers are really inventive when it comes to substituting ingredients, so have a search on these blogs to see if they have any suggestions. Forgot to get some meat for your meal? Why not enjoy a vegetarian version? After all, we are all now advised to have at least one meat-free day per week.

Now, I can’t quite remember what I was going to write my next blog post about…

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