Category Archives: Home and Garden

Green Bathroom Design for long-term functionality.

Designing a bathroom, and going green? You can save a lot of money in the long run by designing a bathroom for long-term functionality. A well-designed bathroom will result in fewer repairs and replacements. It will also keep your energy and water bills low, with the advent of new earth-friendly bathroom materials technology.

Let’s start with the most important part of the bathroom: the toilet.

Older toilets can waste literally thousands of gallons per year. At five gallons per flush, you’re literally flushing your money down the drain. A high-efficiency toilet will use just over a gallon per flush. The even newer model of toilet, the dual-flush model, uses even less.

Faucets and shower heads are also now designed in low-flow models, saving even more water, and money. If your appliances were installed before 1994, chances are they are not a low-flow design.

Leaky Faucet


How else can you design a green bathroom, other than the obvious water-saving appliances?

And How about saving energy on heat?

Invest in a solar-powered water heater. It’s a green solution that is getting more affordable to install, now that the technology behind solar powered appliances has continued to develop. Another design idea for a shower stall is to install a waste-heat recovery system. The system uses the water that goes down the drain to preheat the shower water itself.

The shower stall itself is a water-saving part of the bathroom, when you compare it to a bathtub. Using a separate shower stall, even a traditional one, limits baths and saves seven times the amount of energy.
Look at your typical bathroom cabinet, usually under your sink. It’s probably made of particleboard, which contains formaldehyde. Go with bamboo instead, which is a rapidly renewable natural source, and makes beautiful cabinetry.

What about the vanity top itself? Recycled glass countertops are sparkly, easy to clean, and can be continuously used throughout the bathroom on the walls as well, with recycled glass tiles.

You don’t have to be entirely new-fangled though – traditional ceramic and porcelain tiles are still OK.

How to Reduce Your Energy Costs with PVC Replacement Windows

Deciding to replace your current windows shouldn’t just be left to chance. You can improve the overall appearance of your home, and reduce your energy costs quite dramatically by installing right replacement windows.

These days everyone is working hard to reduce their energy costs; Homeowners buy appliances that have excellent Energy star ratings, they make sure their homes are well insulated for winter, and that their windows and doors don’t leak, letting precious warm air escape on cold winter nights.

Materials

When looking at replacement windows to reduce your energy costs it’s very important that you choose the right materials to ensure the highest level of insulation. Consider Vinyl windows as an energy-efficient and cost efficient window replacement option. Vinyl is a form of plastic better known as PVC; it is very well insulated and is completely maintenance free.

Unlike many of the other window materials, vinyl doesn’t chip or peel; it can withstand any weather and is fully insulated. Being able to get a properly fitter and well-insulated windows can help to reduce your energy costs dramatically.

Glazing

The next thing to consider is glazing; you will probably be given the choice of two, double or triple glazing. Double glazing is two panes of glass filled with gas, these are normally adequate for most climates. Triple glazing is taking it one step further and is three panes of glass filled with inert gas.

For highly efficient ratings the triple glazing is the best choice, especially if you live in a very cold climate. this type of glazing is used widely in Scandinavia, which experiences freezing winters.

Overall Energy Efficiency

When looking at vinyl windows you will be advised of two factors, the U and R factors. These probably mean absolutely nothing to you, but the U factor is the energy efficiency while the R factor is the insulation factor. Windows are not considered energy efficient unless they have a U factor of less than 0.35. Now you will be amazed to find that you can find triple glazing windows at a factor of 0.8, proving they are highly energy efficient.

Termite Identification & Control Methods

It is important for homeowners to be aware of termites, as they are the leading cause of damage to the US homes. Experts estimate that termites damage more than 600,000 homes in the United States annually. This is more than all the damage caused by tornadoes, hurricanes, wind and hail storms combined. As it turns out, termites are also a very costly problem. Each year, U.S. residents spend an estimated $5 billion to control termites, and repair termite damage. Understanding what termites are, how they cause damage, and methods to prevent and control them, can spare your home a lot of damage and save you a lot of stress and money.

termite-identification

What are termites?

A termite is an insect that has been on around on our planet for more than 250 million years. In nature, termites serve the function of cleaning the environment by breaking down rotting wood. However, if given an opportunity, they can also cause extensive damage to homes by eating away at wood and sheet rock paper in the walls, ceilings and floors of homes.

Recognizing Termite Damage

Despite the fact that termite colonies can grow quite large, it may be difficult to recognize a presence of termites in your home without professional help from a termite specialist. Some signs of termite presence include: mud tubes, termite droppings, exit or kick out holes, termite wings, bubbling or peeling paint, and wood damage itself.

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