It’s never too late to prepare your home or office for the cold weather and the effect it may have on your electric costs. I hate to say it, but we’ve only felt a brush of Mother Nature’s wrath. But hopefully, it won’t be too bad… HOPEFULLY!
In any case here are some things you can do around your home or office that are easy and inexpensive to help save you some money while we recoup from the holidays. Implementing these quick tips will help create savings this season.
REDUCING YOUR HEATING COSTS-
Make sure to set the thermostat to 68°in the winter. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but dressing in layers and using blankets can help you to feel more comfortable. Also, lower the thermostat setting at night and when you’re away. Avoid sudden increases in temperature of the thermostat, instead purchase a programmable thermostat that will gradually increase the temperature. I know this may sound a little weird to some of you but, for those of you that have a central heating system do not close doors or registers in unused rooms. This will disrupt the airflow and create cold spots.
SEALING UP THOSE AIR LEAKS-
Are all the windows in your home or office closed securely?? Is the crawl space and vents closed?? Many people don’t know that a lot of their money is flowing right through the cracks and crevices that are not sealed up shut. At the same time, while you’re trying to heat yourself up, you are also heating up the outside. Windows, doors, and even electrical outlets are culprits of heat and energy loss. Another culprit in some areas is the clothes dryer. In the colder months leave in some laundry with the door closed to block the heat loss. Also as a safety precaution, keep the dryer door closed especially in homes with small children. Wrap it up or caulk it up to heat inside your home and the change in your pocket. Jingle-Jingle J
USING LESS HOT WATER-
If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to lower the temperature setting on your water heater to 120°. Most water heater heaters come programmed with a higher temperature
which will use more energy. If your water is located in the basement or garage, insulating the tank and hot water pipes will protect it from energy loss.
LIMITING THE USE OF SPACE HEATERS-
Space heaters use a significant amount of energy and can greatly increase your heating and cooling costs. A typical 1500- watt space heater used only 5 hours a day would use about 155 kWh per month – about $28. That’s ONLY five hours! WOW! If you are on a tight budget this is definitely going to sting.
ARE YOU A OWNER OF A SMALL FRIDGE OR FREEZER??
If you don’t keep your spare refrigerator or freezer full it should definitely be emptied and unplugged until it’s needed. They also need to be placed in areas that are well conditioned. You will risk it becoming inoperable since refrigerators and freezers are not designed to be kept in cold or hot areas.
HAVE YOU HAD YOUR HVAC SERVICED THIS YEAR???
Your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system may add to the problem but the real cause of your problem is drafts. Outside air is getting into your home from the air leaks in your home’s shell and ducts. Close them up! Your heating and air system works harder because of those leaks. Have your heating and air system serviced yearly and have your air ducts cleaned just as well. This not only provides you with a healthy breathing environment for you and your loved ones, it also keeps your air duct system efficiently, effectively running smoothly.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE BIGGEST FILTER IN YOUR HOME-
Did you know that the carpet in your home or office helps to promote good indoor air quality? That is if you maintain it properly. To do so, it is recommended that you vacuum your carpet 2-3 times a week at best. Make sure and schedule to have a professional carpet cleaning twice a year. Your carpet traps odors and other pollutants out of the air and out of your lungs. This will take care of pollutant buildup. If you want to maintain your home and health, take care of it. When you do it will also take care of you……..
With the early onset of spring this year, dust and pollen will leave your home in desperate need of a seasonal overhaul. Spring cleaning may not be on your mind, but we have a few tips to help make cleaning a ~~~Breeze.
Springing into Cleaning
Try to start in the smallest room or area and work your way through the rest of your home. This will not cause you any over exhaustion, especially by working through a little at a time. Before you know it, you’ve cleaned your home from top to bottom. Starting with organizing your paperwork to thoroughly cleaning your furnishings.
In no time, your home will look and smell Lemonny Freshh!!
Keeping Those Allergens at Bay
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology states that Seasonal allergies
affect over 35 million people in the United States. Outdoor air pollutants are definitely carried into your home by you, your family or your friends. These air pollutants contain pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust and hundreds of other chemicals. These pollutants are carried in by you or family members and usually end up in the carpeting of your home.
One way to stop those grimy pollutants from coming into your home is to have everyone take their shoes off at the door. I know that it’s a pain to do, but you will be extending the life of your carpet.
Which is more important? Your family and friend’s feelings OR your investment, and your family’s health.
I like the second answer myself.
People & Pets: Protecting Your Carpeting
The American Pet Products & Manufacturers Association also states that the United States is home to some 68 million dog owners and 73 million cat owners. That’s a lot of love—and a lot of carpet stains. Accidents on carpet require quick cleanup to remove bacteria and odor.
We are here to help with that!!
Keeping Your Indoor Environment Healthy
As much as 90 percent of our time is spent inside, especially during colder weather. So far, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the air inside homes is 2-5 times more polluted than the outside air. Yuck!!!
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) recommends following these tips to help you to maintain a healthy indoor environment for you and your family:
Maintain a humidity level below 60 percent. Higher humidity creates an environment for mold growth and produces allergens.
Vacuum regularly. Your carpet and fabric furniture can hold dust and particle soil, mold spores and other harmful allergens.
Have your furniture cleaned professionally once a year by an IICRC-certified firm to ensure the use of proper extraction procedures, to make certain that soil is not just redistributed, but removed.
To Keep Your Carpet Looking Its Best
Your carpet can last a very long time if it is properly maintained and cared for. The fact is…. That if you clean your carpets frequently, especially when traffic lanes first start to appear, they will last longer, look better, and protect your family’s health. Awesome!!
One more great tip during spring is to get out and enjoy the weather. The National Park Service announced their first peak bloom prediction at a press conference on the morning of March 1. They predict that the cherry blossoms will reach peak bloom between March 14 and 17, 2017. According to, the National Park Service, this is the earliest peak bloom on record since March 15, 1990.
Wow! That’s Extraordinary!
Peak bloom usually happens around the last week of March to the first week of April.
Well…. Not this year!
I wonder what will happen next……Extinct animals coming back?J
Anyway…. Get out and enjoy this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Check out the great events happening in Washington, D.C. celebrating this year’s cherry blossoms here.
Many homeowners do not know or choose not know about this unregulated industry, so I’ve gathered some information on the subject.
Misconception # 1 – “You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet.”
The answer to this is no. Dirt is an abrasive, like sand paper. Every time you step on the carpet, you grind the dirt deeper into your carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife. This most certainly causes it to wear out faster. What about constant vacuuming, you ask. Vacuuming helps, but by itself it’s simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned thoroughly, the more damage you do to it.
Misconception #2– “The only reason to clean carpet is to get out the dirt.”
The answer to this is no. Outdoor air contains pollen, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust—and hundreds of other chemicals. When you and your family members and even your pets come into your home, those pollutants are carried in on them and usually end up in your carpet.
If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems – one major source of your problem could be the pollen, fungus, pet dander, and chemicals in your carpet.
Misconception #3 – “Only one method of carpet cleaning is the best.”
The answer to this is no. There are multiple methods of cleaning approved by the IICRC – the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification. Depending on the living situation (a high-rise versus a single family home), or the level of soiling, or the methods required by your carpet warranty, or the specific needs of the occupants – it is the professional cleaning technician who is trained to choose the best method for the results you and your home require. A thorough Carpet Audit™ by an Ethical Services member will present you with all of your options, and all costs associated with the method they recommend for your carpeting. The best carpet cleaning companies are those that have been certified by the NICC -National Institute of Carpet Cleaning.
Misconception #4 – “Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpet properly.”
This is not true. Many companies/ technicians in the carpet cleaning industry are untrained. This is an unregulated industry so you must be wary of the individuals you allow to come into your home, and the chemicals they may be using.
Certification is important, as is belonging to nationally recognized associations and attending their educational courses. This shows the consumer that the company values technical training and continually updating their knowledge of the latest technology, techniques, and safest solutions. The best equipment with untrained employees behind them can lead to expensive errors and safety issues, so be certain to check for verification that the individuals you are allowing into your home are trained.
Misconception #5 – “The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.”
This is the biggest misconception of all. Some carpet cleaners advertise room cleaning around $9.95 per room, and then pressure you into paying a lot more once they get inside your home. Sadly, some carpet cleaners may even break the law by using illegal bait and switch tactics. That’s why we’re exposing the truth of the carpet cleaning industry, as a way to safeguard the public.
The only way you can make an intelligent decision is to have all of the facts you need. Insist on a complete written quote before any work is performed so that you can protect yourself. No one can clean at that price without strong- arming additional sales, so look for a company that is not advertising a price that seems too good to be true….. it always unfortunately is.
Making your own homemade pet stain removers is simple and will usually require only simple, natural ingredients that you can find in your kitchen cupboard.
This is nature’s deodorizer and is harmless for your family and the environment. It can be used in different ways depending on the surface you’re treating.
For machine-washable items, throw an entire box of baking soda into the washing machine with the affected items and run a normal load. Air-dry the laundry. If you can still smell urine, wash the items again with an enzymatic cleaner.
For carpet or upholstery that can be laundered, liberally sprinkle baking soda over the area and allow it to soak up as much moisture as possible. Vacuum remaining soda thoroughly then treat with one of the other options listed below.
After thoroughly blotting the stain and/or applying baking soda as above, mix warm water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. Then apply with a rag in a blotting fashion or with a spray bottle. Place something heavy on the stain and allow it to soak up. Repeat if necessary.
Undiluted vinegar can also be used to wash urine off of hardwood floors – wash area, rinse with warm water, and dry immediately.
After you’ve tried these remedies and you can still smell the odor, call a professional. The’ll take care of it for you.