Understanding Solar Energy

Five Mistakes To Avoid While Trying To Eradicate Bed Bugs

Posted by on Apr 30th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Mistakes To Avoid While Trying To Eradicate Bed Bugs

Unless you are in a position to move to a different home and replace most of your belongings, you cannot run from bed bugs – you have to meet them head on. The best strategy for evicting these problematic parasites is to hire a professional exterminator, but it is possible to take care of the problem on your own.

However, the process is not easy, and many amateurs make costly mistakes. Avoid the following five mistakes to help rid your home and bed of these disgusting little insects.

Shifting Your Sleeping Location

While your desire to sleep in a bug-free location it is completely understandable, this will likely exacerbate your problem. If, for example, you start sleeping on your couch or in a spare bedroom, the bugs will likely follow. Instead, concentrate your efforts on eradicating the bugs from your bed and bedroom.

Discarding Linens and Mattresses Unnecessarily

It is rarely necessary to throw out your bed mattress or linens. Instead, wash your sheets, blankets and pillows in hot water to kill any bugs present. Vacuum your bed to remove as many insects as possible, then treat the mattress with a pesticide specifically designed for such use.

Using Insecticides Improperly

Several pest control sprays and powders are effective for killing bed bugs and safe to use around your family. However, many people opt for short cuts, such as using sprays designed for roaches, hornets or ants, to treat their bed bug infestation. Not only is this type of “off label” use unlikely to be effective, it may endanger your loved ones. Further, it is actually a federal crime to use pesticides or insecticides in a manner inconsistent with their labeling.

Treating the Room, But Not the Rest of the Home

Most bed bugs in your house do live in or near your bed – the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension explains that 70 percent of the bed bugs in any infestation live on the mattress, frame or box spring. However, those bed bugs lurking near floorboards or nestled into your curtains will survive your efforts, unless you target them specifically. Even if you wipe out all of the bugs on your bed, those living in other parts of the room will quickly move in and replace them.

Trying to Treat Bed Bugs in an Apartment

Because of the connected nature of apartment homes, professional exterminating services are the only way to eradicate the insects entirely. You may be able to kill all of the insects in your unit, but the bugs have probably already colonized the adjacent units, which will allow them to re-infest your home once the pesticides have dissipated. Click here to learn more about bed bug removal.

Overcoming The Challenges Facing A New Solar Install

Posted by on Apr 30th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Overcoming The Challenges Facing A New Solar Install

Several characteristics of a solar installation can reduce the potential amount of electricity it can produce. These factors include, but aren’t limited to, physical orientation of the primary mounting structure, light to electricity conversion ratio, and climate. Since there’s little to be done about the weather, focus your efforts on addressing the challenges presented by the north-south orientation of your structure and the conversion efficiency of the solar cells.

Making the Most of Less-Than-Ideal Structures

No one is going to suggest that you re-orient your home or business to align more with the path of the sun. Even so, there’s nothing forcing you to rely on a fixed mounting position. Solar trackers and motorized solar panel mounting racks, which can add between $6,000 and $7,000 to an install cost, allow the free movement of solar panels to ensure optimal alignment with the sun as it moves across the sky. As a result, efficiency and production are increased throughout daylight hours.

Though several products are available on the market, the basic assembly is relatively consistent. These trackers rely on an upright pole mount fitted with an electric motor that re-orients the panel vertically and horizontally. This ensures that the maximum surface area is being struck by incoming sunlight. Very sophisticated mounts may also have a tilt-axis to accommodate non-standard panel shapes or arrays, such as squares or composite panel assemblies.

Setting Expectations for Panel Efficiency

When choosing to add solar power to your home it’s important that you avoid the urge to jump at the lowest price point rather than shopping around for quality products. The efficiency rating of solar panels should be your top priority, as this represents just how much of the sun’s energy the panels can convert into usable electricity for your home. For consumer-grade solar panels, the peak efficiency available as of 2016 is just a bit over 20%.

While this may not seem like a high efficiency system, it’s roughly twice the efficiency rate of the first solar cells. With advances and innovations coming on a daily basis, some laboratory tests have produced cells that achieve over 40% efficiency, and new products are becoming available all the time. Keep your eyes open, do your research, and you might be shocked at what hits the market in the coming months.

Solar power spent a long time in its infancy, but so did coal and hydro-electric power. There’s currently a boom in the field of solar technology, and many ways to overcome even the most challenging aspects of your install location. For more details, check out companies like AAA Solar Source.

3 Crucial Facts You Should Know About Recycling Your Old Reading Material

Posted by on Apr 28th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Crucial Facts You Should Know About Recycling Your Old Reading Material

If you love the written word and you do not want it to needlessly take up valuable space in a landfill, it is important to learn about your options for recycling it. As part of that, you should be aware of specific guidelines that pertain to your ability to recycle your old reading material. For instance, it is usually easy to find a recycling center for your old magazines, but it can be more challenging to convert old books into a new item. You should also avoid shredding any paper that you hope to recycle. Read on to learn more about what and how you can recycle your old reading materials.

#1 – Entire Magazines Can Typically Be Recycled

One common misconception that people have relates to the ability of color images and glossy pages to be recycled. It is true that before recycling was as common and accessible as it is in many communities today, anything that was not black and white was more expensive or too difficult to recycle. Fortunately, today’s technology allows any magazine to be recycled, regardless of its age and its contents.

In addition, you do not need to prepare your old magazines for recycling. It is common for recycling centers to have technology in place that will remove staples and paper clips. However, you may want to remove them since they can also be reused or recycled.

#2 – Some Books Are Easy To Recycle . . . But Not All

When you are ready to get rid of your old hardcover books, there are important facts to consider. Specifically, not all recycling centers are willing to accept hardcover books. If they do, you may be asked to make some modifications to the books in question. One typical modification will be to simply remove the front, back, and spine of the book, in order to compensate for the challenges associated with recycling hardcovers and the glue that connects the pages to the spine and cover.

Fortunately, paperbacks can typically be recycled much more easily, and even the colored covers rarely pose a problem.

#3 – You Should Not Shred Your Old Reading Material If You Want To Recycle It

You have undoubtedly heard how important it is shred your old important papers and it is easy to assume that by shredding old magazines or newspapers, you are making things easier. The truth is that by doing so, you are limiting the future use of that paper and some recycling centers will be reluctant to accept it.

That is due to the fact that when you shred any paper, the fibers within it are shortened. Shorter fibers mean that the paper diminishes in grade from high to mixed. As a result, instead of being used for writing or printing paper after being recycled, it is now more likely to be used to make tissue paper or egg cartons.

In conclusion, you probably already know how important it is to recycle. If you keep meaning to recycle and it’s never been a good time to do so, it is a good idea to start a new path to recycling with something easy like your old reading material.  

Three Tips For Lowering Your Bussiness’s Energy Expenses

Posted by on Apr 28th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips For Lowering Your Bussiness’s Energy Expenses

Growing your new business can be a challenging task due to a need to effectively manage your enterprise’s expenses. However, it can be easy for business owners to focus solely on the operational aspects of their enterprises, which can cause them to overlook some upgrades that could help to lower the energy costs. If this is an aspect of your business that you have been overlooking, you may benefit from using the following few tips.

Invest In A Smart Thermostat

Controlling the temperature of your business’s building can be a major expense. However, it is essential for ensuring that your customers are comfortable while patronizing your establishment. To increase your control over the heating and cooling costs of your enterprise, you should consider investing in a smart thermostat. These thermostats can be programmed so that you can ensure the air conditioning and heating system is only active when your building is occupied. By setting these devices to turn off a few hours after closing and to turn back on a few hours prior to opening, you can ensure that your business is comfortable for your customers and employees while also avoiding using this system any more than necessary.

Upgrade Your Building’s Insulation

Another way of reducing your building’s energy costs is through increasing the insulation. Many buildings are under-insulated in some areas, which can allow for heat and cool air to escape. Not surprisingly, this can dramatically decrease the comfort of the building. Fortunately, upgrading your business’s insulation can be an effective way of reducing this problem.

Sadly, there are some people that may be hesitant about undertaking this project because they are concerned about the installation of the insulation being very disruptive to the enterprise. Luckily, you should be relieved to learn that spray foam insulation can be a very quick and efficient way of installing additional insulation. When this option is used, a small hole is drilled into the wall so that the foam can be injected into it. Once inside the wall, the foam will expand until the cavity is filled.

Use Light Timers

In addition to reducing the costs of heating and cooling your building, you may also need to take control over your lighting costs. It can be easy for workers to forget to turn out the lights when they leave for the day, and this can cause your enterprise to spend far more on lighting than necessary. You can eliminate this problem by investing in timers for your lights. These timers can have start and stop times set so that they will automatically turn off and on according to the needs of your business. 

Talk to a company like Efficiently Green for more ideas on how to save energy in your business.

3 Tips To Avoid Harmful Toxins When Removing Old Flooring In An Old Home

Posted by on Apr 28th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Avoid Harmful Toxins When Removing Old Flooring In An Old Home

If you live in an older home, you might be thinking about removing the existing flooring. It might be outdated and you could be looking to replace it, or you might even be thinking about removing the carpet or other existing flooring and sanding down the wood floors that are underneath. Either option can be a great way to fix up your old home, but you do have to be concerned about toxins when doing so. Below are a few ways that you can help prevent harming yourself and your family members with potential toxins.

1. Have the Floor Tested for Asbestos

First of all, if your home is older, there is a chance that there are asbestos somewhere in the flooring. Even though asbestos often aren’t considered to be harmful when they are covered up, they can become an issue when building materials are removed. This is why it’s smart to have an asbestos abatement company like Mac-Bestos Inc come out and check for this harmful substance. If it is present, you can have it professionally removed to keep yourself and your family safe.

2. Cover Your Face

You have to worry about dust, lead, mold and more when removing flooring in an older home, and breathing these things in can make you sick. This is why it’s smart to wear a mask when removing old building materials or sanding down your flooring. You can purchase a mask that will protect your mouth and nose at a home improvement store or a mass market retail store.

3. Open the Windows

Since you might be exposed to potentially harmful toxins, you should consider opening the windows and airing the home out while you are working and after the materials have been removed. This can help reduce your exposure to these toxins. Along with opening up the windows and doors, you can also use fans to help the air circulate.

As you can see, you should not avoid removing the old flooring in your home to protect yourself from toxins. However, you do have to keep yourself and the others in your household as safe as possible while tackling this type of project. If you follow these three tips, however, you should not have much to worry about while doing your project. This means that you can focus more on enjoying your project — and the results — and less on worrying about you and your family potentially being harmed.

4 Reasons To Rent A Dumpster

Posted by on Apr 6th, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Reasons To Rent A Dumpster

Most homes include one or possibly two large garage cans that are regularly emptied by the city or a waste management company. But sometimes, those garbage bags just are not big enough to hold all of your trash as well as everything else that you need to throw away. If you need to dispose of a lot of things, a dumpster rental may be the ideal solution. There are many situations where renting a dumpster can makes things easier, such as:

Selling your House

If you have lived in your home for several years and are getting ready to sell it, consider renting a dumpster before you put your house on the market. You want your home to look as clean and clutter-free as possible in order to appeal to potential buyers, and having a dumpster on site for a couple of days can make it incredibly easy to get rid of old junk that you have in the attic or basement, or belongings that you just don’t need anymore.

Doing a Renovation Project

Renovations can add a lot of value to your home, but the process can be incredibly messy. Don’t make the mistake of doing a demolition and leaving the old materials in a pile in your backyard. After your renovation is finished, you probably won’t want to load everything up and haul it to the dump. In order to simplify the process, arrange to rent a dumpster before your home improvement project starts.

Major Yard Clean Up

A major backyard cleanup can create a lot of waste and debris, and you will need a place to dispose of it. If you’re having your yard completely cleaned up, including weed removal and tree trimming, you may require a dumpster for all of the debris. Before renting a dumpster, make sure the waste management company can accept yard waste, and ask if all trimmings and debris needs to be bagged before being placed in the dumpster.

Cleaning Out the Home of a Deceased Loved One

If you are the executor of someone’s estate, the time may come where you will be responsible for cleaning out his or her house after he or she dies. This can be a long, complicated process. You will need to go through every room, closet, and drawer and then decide which items should be kept and what should be trashed. Having a dumpster onsite can make the cleaning out process much faster, and you can get rid of junk easily so you can concentrate on the items that need to be kept.