5 Tips to Saving Money on Heating and Air Conditioning

air conditioner

Heating and air conditioning equipment in your house can account for as much as half of your energy costs. And high prices are not the only thing to be concerned about. If you are environmentally conscious, then cutting down on the energy consumption will reduce the greenhouse gases that come about as a result of production of heat for our houses.

Let’s consider some tips on how we can lower energy costs on heating and air conditioning:

1-Lock out the heat during summer months

When the temperatures rise, it’s always a good idea to keep the windows, doors and blinders shut. This will help keep the heat outside and the cool air inside the house. This means that the AC will not run at high capacity, neither will it run for a long time. You can save a significant portion of the energy costs by the end of the month.

Closing the blinds also offers insulation to the windows, which traps in air, preventing it from escaping. If you have a fan, this is even more energy efficient than the air conditioner as it uses a fraction of the electricity and can lower the temperatures by 10 degrees.

2-Open the windows during cold weather

You can also take advantage of the warm sun during winter months. Whenever you get the opportunity to let in the sun’s rays, you will not have to run the heating system. Not only will you be able to save up on the monthly bills but you will also reduce the greenhouse gases as well.

When it’s finally night time, you can close the curtains and windows to trap the heat that has accumulated during the day.

3-Avoid continuously changing the thermostat settings

thermostat

If your thermostat is not programmable, the only option you have is to regularly adjust the temperature settings. This process wastes a lot of energy and will cause your bills to rise. Your best bet is a programmable thermostat that allows you to use less heat during the days when there is nobody in the house.

Using smart thermostats means that energy consumption remains efficient even when there is no one at home. Otherwise, you may have high temperatures inside your house simply due to the fact that there is no one to regulate them.

4-Only heat the rooms that you are using

You do not have to heat up every space and crevice. Focus instead on the rooms that are used most often such as the living room, the kitchen and the bedrooms. The same case applies to air conditioning. This equipment will run best on the right type of refrigerant. Take a look at bluonenergy.com website to learn more.

5-Ensure there are no leaks

Heat can either escape or get in through spaces in the doors and windows. Ensure that they are in the best condition. This will save you from having to use the air conditioner in full capacity or increasing heating, which translates to lower energy costs.You can start by inspecting the window and door seals to see if they are in top form or if they need to be replaced.

 

 

 
 
 
 

Relocating for Less

moving day It’s that time again, and you are about to make your next house move, or if it’s your first time, your very first home move. This is often a stressful and chaotic time and it’s essential to plan and budget your move. It’s essential to plan before you begin your move, not the day before or the actual day of the move.

First of all, what budget have you got to work with? An estimate is better than nothing, but if you know how much you can spend, you can also plan where you can spend it. So get pen and paper out and jot down an approximate budget; this can be adjusted as the plan evolves.

Every room you pack up and move will have different types of furniture or items that might be delicate or expensive. Separate your plan into a room-by-room itinerary. Your bulky furniture will take up space, so packing these items together is a good idea.

Items like your TV and electronic equipment will need to be treated as delicate, or else you might well blow your whole budget on a new plasma screen (try to avoid doing that). Smaller items and clothes are usually the easiest thing to pack, but it’s always useful to use this time to sort of things that aren’t needed. Clutter isn’t something you should take with you to your new home, so get rid of it now. You’ll thank yourself later.

Think about the day of the move when you purchase the boxes you plan to use. Cardboard boxes are cheap but they are also flimsy, and have little to no protection from knocks and scrapes. Purchase some sturdy plastic containers. They come in a variety of sizes and can be reused for additional storage, and they often fit into one-another, helping to secure your possessions when you relocate. Label everything as they are packed away. Why? Because it becomes a nightmare trying to unpack. It’s always better to put in the niggly work now, rather than ripping open every box or container later when you are trying to locate the kettle.

Now it’s time to think more about the day of the move. Are you able to move from your current home to your new property on the same day as the move? If yes then you are fine in this respect, but if there’s a delay, then you need consider some sort of storage, so please take this into account. If there is any delay in moving from one property to another there are various options available for self storage. It might help to get everything packed away if you are considering doing any paint work or remodeling at your new place.

 

Your plan should be coming together nicely.  Now from plan to action: the big day has arrived. There are a few options to consider. You can hire a van and move everything our self, you can hire a packing and Removal Company to relocate you in London or your new city, or, you can pack everything into your car and make multiple trips. Budget all of these out and get the actual costs. Insurance is essential, so you’ll need to have this in your budget. Remember the plasma screen? Trust me; you don’t want to have to buy a new TV.

Move in the bulky furniture first. It is the most difficult to maneuver and you won’t want anything getting in your way.  Then move in the expensive things. Some TVs and electrical equipment will need additional brackets so have your power drill ready. Then get the rest in. You might have the luxury of leaving these things in boxes.

However you choose to pack and move to your new home, please ensure you plan as much as possible before you start the actual move. It might sound boring – to be honest it is – but it will save a lot of frustration and grey hairs later. Give yourself plenty of time and start at least a month before you plan to move. Know what is in store, know your budget, and you’ll be able to spend wisely. Make sure you get a good level of insurance for your possessions. The more you do now, the less stress later.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Vacations are About the Laughs

family camping When I think about vacations as a child I do not remember how much money we spent or lavish hotel where we stayed. Instead I remember the things that went wrong and how funny it was to us. It seems like a holiday could not go past without something going wrong. Even as an adult I look back on those moments and am thankful that my parents were able to turn what could have been a disaster into something funny and memorable for us kids. To illustrate my point here are a couple of the stories that we laugh at today:

Two Dogs, Three People, One Tent

I remember one vacation in which my brother, my mother, our two dogs and I went camping. This was a last minute trip and we were ill prepared. With little to go on but our three man tent, an extension cord and a small fan we camped out in the woods of Texas in the middle of summer. To say it was hot and humid is an understatement. You have never felt humid until you have felt South Texas in August. Anyway, we set up our tent just as the sun was going down. We also had a small television with a built in VCR along for the ride. We all settled in to watch a horror movie (a bad choice for a dark night) and fell asleep soon after. Of course, three man tents really only sleep two so we were snuggled in very close with the dogs panting at our heels. The roots of the tree dug into our back as we discovered we were lying on an incline and slowly squishing towards the side of the tent. Then in the middle of the night as the quiet hoots of owls and chirping of crickets faded to an eerie silence we head the howling cry of an animal and the ferocious barking of a large dog in the not too far distance. After a few minutes of this raucous there was a gunshot and then silence. We all sat up and looked at each other as the night sounds began again. Who was shot? The dog or the animal? We were not going to stick around to find out. As soon as it got light out we had the tent packed away and were ready to move on to a nice, safe hotel.

Attack of the Mosquitoes

Another camping adventure gone wrong on that trip happened in Florida. A lovely park on a beach island turned sour when night fell. We stayed in the back of the minivan we drove to avoid having to put up tents. However we covered the windows with mesh netting to keep out mosquitoes and get circulation. One night it seemed like the mosquitoes would not stop coming. We swatted and killed until the roof of the van was splattered with black and red. I was near tears and wondered how they kept getting in. It was then that my mother discovered we had left the back vent open on the window and as soon as we shut it we were okay again. Then it was the journey to the bathroom that got us. As we crept through the darkness with our flashlights, snakes slithered out of our way, warming themselves on the stone paths. The bathroom itself was covered in Daddy Long Legs and spider webs. Needless to say I learned to hold it while we were there.

Family vacations do not have to be perfect to give kids great memories. Sometimes it is about treasuring the things that go wrong as well. I remember all these stories that have been told and retold in my family with many laughs. We enjoy remembering our misadventures ad relish the time we have to spend together. Make your own memories and do not worry about making everything perfect. It is the mistakes that make things really memorable.

Author Bio:

This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from housekeeping.org. She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @ gmail.com.