How to Save on your Monthly or Annual Energy Bill

You can save money on your energy bills by adjusting the thermostat of your water heater and refrigerator; and not put hot food inside the refrigerator.

Our monthly or annual energy bills tend to fluctuate, which can be rather bothersome. We often hear how the cost of energy is going to rise and we worry because we need to save money. This article will help you save as much money as you can on energy bills.  With the help or advice of your plumber, you can follow these tips each month to help you save money in the long run.

Get your home a solar powered heating system and you will help yourself as well as the environment.
Get your home a solar powered heating system and you will help yourself as well as the environment.




Bathroom plumbing

Water heaters

The first place you need to start with is your bathroom. Careful use of the water heater can save you up to 10% on your monthly energy bill. A two kilowatt heater working one hour will spend two kilowatt hours, which amounts to 150 kilowatt hours per month, if working two and a half hours per day.

To save some hot water, all you need to do is set the thermostat on the heater between 50 and 60 degrees Celsius. Then, instead of taking a bath, take a shower. That way you save considerable amounts of hot water and electricity. Don’t forget to check for fouling from time to time as it also increases consumption.

Solar panels

One of the best ways to save hot water and electricity is to switch to solar panels. The solar systems with solar vacuum collectors and other elements for solar accumulation of energy are a clean energy system and an ideal solution for any household. The biggest advantage, of course, being huge savings on your energy bills.

The world is experiencing an energy crisis and an acute contamination of the Earth’s environment. This has led us to think twice about our energy consumption and to consider using solar energy as a way to solve the problem. So don’t waste any more time and get your home a solar powered heating system. You will help yourself as well as the environment.

Washing machines

A washing machine uses one to two kilowatt hours, and it usually works for three hours. By turning it on every other day, you spend 45 to 90 kilowatt hours per month. If you want to save energy on washing machines, turn them on after midnight and use shorter washing programs. This will also save you 10%.

Kitchen

Your fridge and stove can save you 6%, respectively. Set the thermostat in the fridge to 3 or 5 degrees Celsius. Avoid placing hot pots inside the fridge and always use lids. Clean the fridge on a regular basis.

As far as the stove is concerned, the gas burners, or other electric heating elements on your stove will use 1.5 to 1.8 kilowatt hours per one hour. The heaters inside the oven use 2 to 4 kilowatt hours. The pot you are using to cook should be the same size as the burner. Don’t forget to cover the pots during cooking.

If you are using the oven, don’t set the thermostat to the maximum and avoid opening the oven door. Each time you open it, you decrease the temperature by 15 degrees Celsius.

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solar water heater image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

 

Solar Water Heating, a Family Friendly Home Improvement

An affordable and efficient way of making your home heating system more efficient to reduce your heating bill is by installing the solar water heating.

Living in the climate in which you do not need any heating is the most efficient and least expensive way of dealing with the heating system and all the problems it carries along. However, if you are not that privileged and you must think every winter about your heating bills and alternative ways of heating, then you need do think through all the possible options of reducing the consumption and price of heating.

Put all the figures on the paper and see if your energy expenditure requires solar panels in the first place.
Put all the figures on the paper and see if your energy expenditure requires solar panels in the first place.

If you live in a town or a city, the heating system you are attached onto is usually the central heating system, where each building and its flats are equipped with radiators and that way receive the energy for heating. Long-distance heating systems have proven to be the most practical option for those who live in buildings of blocks of flats. Having a flat in a block of flats usually means that it is not the most practical way installing solar water heaters there, because blocks of flats are usually isolated from the sun and they do not get enough sunlight. However, living in a house is completely different. Houses are usually situated in clearer areas and they get more energy from the sun.

One of the most affordable and efficient ways of making your home heating system more efficient is by installing the solar water heating. The water that we use when having a bath or washing up is usually heated in an electric water heater. Those water heaters are connected to the circuit system and they also spend energy, this time electric energy for making the cold water warm or hot. Installing solar panels onto the house roof and connect the solar water heating system with the electric circuit is a practical and affordable option for reducing your electric energy bills.

The solar heating panels use only the energy that comes directly from the sun and they can help you reduce the overall monthly cost of heating in general. The panels are connected with the water supplying system and their pumps send the water from the tank that is placed under the roof to the tubes on the roof when they are alerted by electric sensors that the sun rays are strong enough to start heating the water, which is then, when enough heated, sent into the regular electric water heater. On the other hand, when the weather is cold and there is a possibility that the tubes will freeze down, the water is retreated from the roof panels to the water storage tank in the house.

This hot water system represents a little bit more expensive initial investment, since the normal panels that require professional installation do cost between 4,000 and 8,000 dollars, depending on the size of the panels you want to install. Before making the final decision, it is a wise thing that you call professional solar installers who understand the whole process and who have enough experience with it to come to your place and estimate where you should put your solar panels and how much it will cost you.

Put all the figures on the paper and see if your energy expenditure requires solar panels in the first place. If you are a single pensioner or a 24/7 office worker, then it is not the most urgent investment in your life. On the other hand, if you have a family and several children, it might get quite messy when it comes to shower and bath issues. In that case, solar water heating panels will be perfect for your house. If it happens that the water from the roof panels is not heated enough, it can be additionally heated in the traditional electric-heater manner. Every solar water tank has the plug in for the electric circuit, which can provide the additional energy.

DIY Solar Power Made Easy

Expanding Usable Space With Lean To Shed Plans

Look at lean to shed plans as a smart storage option. By using an outer wall to your house as the main wall for your shed, it is easy to install

Even in the most organized household, storage space is often at a premium. DIY shelves, bins and boxes are used to manage the products and materials that are used occasionally, but not often enough to have their own niche in the hierarchy of easily accessible storage areas. Garden and yard maintenance tools and supplies often fit into this category, so when the volume of what needs to be stored becomes greater than the amount of square footage available, it’s probably time to evaluate lean to shed plans as a smart storage option.

The main wall of a classic lean to shed plan already exists as the outer wall of your house, your garage or another structure on the property.
The main wall of a classic lean to shed plan already exists as the outer wall of your house, your garage or another structure on the property.

The design for the sheds in the modern era has evolved from the days of the frontier when boards were slapped up against a sod cabin to make a little more room to house the farm tools. Contemporary versions of the sturdy design are visually attractive, and while they offer a very practical approach to storage needs, they also can serve as supplements to the overall architectural design.

Depending on the planned use of your new shed, you may also want to install a window or two in order to have natural light in the space. By positioning the lean to next to an existing structure, you should have easy access to an electrical outlet or wiring that allows you to install a light fixture that will illuminate the space so that you can easily see what is stored. The paint you use on the shed’s exterior walls, and the roofing material you use, will help integrate the shed with the overall look and design of your home or whichever structure you use to provide the fourth wall of the shed.




Materials and Equipment

One of the reasons the shed plans are popular is because they are simple and easy to install. The main wall of a classic plan already exists as the outer wall of your house, your garage or another structure on the property. That leaves only three walls and a roof that you need to erect. The shed will also need a good, sturdy door that gives you access to the interior and that you can lock to protect the shed’s contents.

When you evaluate lean to shed plans, consider the availability of the materials you need to use to bring this project to completion. In most areas, the timber for construction, tools and supplies are readily available at home improvement stores, internet marketing affiliates and lumber yards. In many cases, the wood can be cut to size onsite before you bring it home to assemble. Doors with casings are available, and all you need to do is haul them home in a vehicle or trailer large enough to accommodate the size of the feature.

Flooring material may be plain gravel for the most simple type, but for many plans you will need to use concrete. Ready mix concrete or quikrete will do. Depending on the size of the shed, you can mix cement by hand in a small tub or in a larger concrete mixer that can be rented by the day. While you are at the hardware or tool store , make sure you have the standard tools of the trade — a hammer, a drill, a screwdriver, and a leveling device.

Finishing Touches

The roof on your shed may be a simple assembly of asphalt shingles, wood shingles or slate to match the exterior decor of the house or structure to which it is attached. Your next step is to paint the shed with the same color as the house, or in a subtle, complementary color that will blend in with the overall visual appeal of the land. Add a few shrubs around the shed to create a transition with existing landscaping.

The Shelving Store

 

 

How the World Would Be Without a Handyman

Handymen are the most underappreciated professionals in the world today. Most of us would be lost without them and our efficient worlds would come to a standstill.

How the world would be without a handyman is a scary thought.  We define a handyman as somebody who can fix almost everything with his hands and knows exactly the tools and the equipment needed.  Many of us do not have this talent.  One should have a handyman’s number in his contact list. He definitely is the first person you would like to see in a house emergency.

A pressure hose is needed to prevent hours of sweeping, scrubbing and getting into hard corners. Research is needed to find the best place to rent the pressure hose, and then how to use it. With a lot of trouble, your patio or driveway will look almost brand new.
A pressure hose is needed to prevent hours of sweeping, scrubbing and getting into hard corners. Research is needed to find the best place to rent the pressure hose, and then how to use it. With a lot of trouble, your patio or driveway will look almost brand new.

 

Can we imagine a world without these men in blue crisp overalls? If they were not around, many of the things that need to be done will be left undone and if they are done, it is not done correctly. Most of us don’t realize the worth of something until they are not there. Let’s go on a scary trip into an imaginary world, where there are no handymen that come to our rescue.

  • Hanging mirrors and paintings – If you know how to hang a mirror, you know how involved it can get.  Are you aware of which tools you will need and what hardware to buy? Do you have time to do it, or is this a project that will not be done for weeks or months? Even if you find time to hang it, are you sure it will stay and not eventually fall off? When hanging a painting, a mirror or a heavy object on your wall, will you will have to do it yourself.




  • Cleaning – Spring cleaning, after there is a snow storm or a bad session of rain, you need to get up and clean your driveway or your patio or the roof yourself.  A pressure hose is needed to prevent hours of sweeping, scrubbing and getting into hard corners.  Research is needed to find the best place to rent the pressure hose,  and then how to use it.  With a lot of trouble, your patio or driveway will look almost brand new.
  • Gardening – There are bushes and many more chores to clean the backyard.  You need take out time and do it yourself on your day off.
  • Carpentry – You want some new shelves in your study or repair the garage door. In this world devoid of handymen you will have to do it yourself. If you want to erect a club house or a shed, you’ll have to do it yourself.
  • Plumbing-  The hot water pipe bust at six am on a Sunday. You have obligations either at church or getting together with family. They will have to wait. You will have to fix the plumbing.
  • Roofing – It was really windy last night and the roof shingles got displaced and the rain is coming inside the attic. You need to put up buckets to catch the rain. You will need to watch a YouTube video to fix it days after the rain, so it will be dry.

The list is long. The message is loud and clear by now. We can’t do without handymen.  Here are more things handymen can do.

  • They clean the clutter in the garage for us.
  • They mow the lawn for us. • The paint our houses pretty both inside and out.
  • Clean the pool and get it ready for the summers
  • Fix and install our air conditioners
  • Clean our carpets and rugs

There are too many to list.  Handymen are very much needed.

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handymen image used with permission