Greenhouse Gases 101: 5 Easy Prevention Tips
Earth is estimated to be roughly 4.5 billion years old. Our atmosphere has been continually evolving ever since. An extraordinary balance of elements come together allowing life to form and thrive on this planet. It’s our legacy to protect this unique planet for future generations by reducing greenhouse gases. Learn how using these efficient lighting, fan, cutting excess, driving and gardening tips can reduce this generation's carbon footprint.
What is the greenhouse effect?
A very basic definition of the greenhouse effect is when greenhouse gases form a protective layer around the Earth that captures some of the heat rays from the sun, which keeps Earth from being a frozen planet and allows for organisms to grow.
The theory of global warming is that the more greenhouse gases we release into the air the thicker the protective layer grows, capturing more heat from the sun, ergo, Earth gets continuously warmer. Many worry Earth may one day become too warm to sustain life.
10 Spring Cleaning Tips for Summer Savings
Spring is a time of growth and renewal for many plants and animals. It’s also the ideal time to prep your home for rising summer cooling and lighting costs. Use these easy-to-follow spring cleaning, organizing, and decorating tips for a cost-saving summer.
Getting your home in shape for summer is no small undertaking whether you live in a studio apartment or a sprawling five-bedroom house, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed if you don’t know where to start. Make a plan and stick to it. Use a trusted pen and paper list or a cleaning app to help you stay on task and motivated (there's something very rewarding about checking something off a to-do list).
First, make a list of all the rooms in your home including outdoor spaces. Next, list the tasks you want to accomplish. Then, list the supplies and tools necessary to complete these tasks. Stock up on supplies such as all-purpose cleaner, wood cleaner, microfiber cloths, and scrub brushes. Pick up an extendable duster or a ladder for hard-to-reach spots. Use a bucket or a carryall apron to stow supplies so everything you need is within hand’s reach.
Spring cleaning takes time because you’re dusting, scrubbing, and rearranging spaces that are not part of your weekly housework routine. Allow yourself several days or even a week to complete the task on your list. Split large tasks into small chunks to make progress and avoid burning out. Focus on one room at a time, and don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for assistance with difficult tasks.
Why Is Security Lighting Important?
Outdoor lighting adds beauty and dimension to a home. Lighting is also an integral part of an effective home security system. Outdoor security lighting discourages would-be intruders from targeting your home by increasing the risk of being caught. The best lighting design allows physical detection and facial recognition, minimizes hiding spots, and increases your sense of safety.
You don't have to light your home like a Christmas tree to feel safe. Over-illumination can draw unwanted attention to valuable items in your home or business. Here are some simple tips to help you identify potential safety and security risks, select the best security lights, and determine their placement to ensure your safety and security.
See which type of security lights work best for your home.
Andrew Coleman, a lighting designer for McKay Landscape Lighting in Omaha, NE, reveals the purpose of residential outdoor lighting is threefold. First, it must be aesthetically pleasing to the homeowners. Second, it must help the residents safely navigate the landscape and perimeter of the home, and allow them to identify obstructions and potential hazards such as a change in elevation. Third, it must provide security by discouraging trespassers. A well-lit home is less likely to be broken into, he says.
A 2007 Washington Post article found burglars search for homes that appear to be unoccupied. Lighting adds an element of surprise and establishes an occupancy pattern that deters intruders from targeting a home in the first place. Residents that use outdoor lighting as part of their security plan significantly decrease their changes of being burglarized.
The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) further explains that good security lighting anticipates potential threats and predators, and increases the means necessary to commit a crime, discouraging would-be criminals from breaking into a home. This security approach is known as target hardening. In other words, the longer it takes to plan and execute a break in, the less likely criminals are to target that home. According to the IES, home security lighting must have the following aims:
- Provide a clear view of the area; including people and objects such as fences, walls and barriers
- Allow facial recognition at a minimum distance of 30 feet
- Make tasks such as finding your keys, retrieving the mail, or walking the dog easier and safer
- Help people avoid criminal threats and/or defend themselves when a threat is perceived
- Enhance your sense of safety when spending time outdoors
How To: Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) averages most families spend roughly $1,900 a year on electricity. The bulk of that comes directly from the heating and cooling of your home. Adjusting a handful of factors will save your wallet and the environment big time. We will break these energy efficient heating and cooling tips into winter, summer and anytime categories. At the end of this article we will highlight why energy efficient heating and cooling is so important to our environment.
Keeping it Efficiently Cool in Summer
If you’re trying to beat the summer heat without beating up your electric bill or the environment, we have a great list of summer energy efficient cooling tips for you. We have compiled them in order ranging from easy-peasy to serious-lifting.
*Click the image to open a larger version.
- Lower your AC. A good rule of thumb when using your AC in the summer is to try to keep it at 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees when you leave your home. Do not turn the unit completely off unless you’re leaving for more than 24 hours. You will be saving one to three percent of your energy bill for every degree higher you set it. Consider using this tactic with energy saving ceiling fans to help keep you cool.
Let a draft flow. One main reason your home begins to heat up is the lack of air circulation. Opening the windows and doors in the early mornings or evenings, when the temperature is still low outside, will allow cool air to move through, letting your home cool itself naturally before the summer heat kicks in. Pair this technique with ceiling fans, desk fans or floor fans and you will not even need your AC on during the first part of the day.
8 LED Bulbs Leading the Way to a Bright Future
Light-emitting diode (LED) technology is advancing rapidly, leaving other energy-efficient lighting technology in the dust. Future LED bulbs will cost less, consume less energy, last longer, and do much more than illuminate your home. The LEDs of the future will be able to create lights in multiple colors, stream music, and communicate alerts and data. You do not have to wait much longer to experience this technology, here are eight LED bulbs lighting the way to a brighter, healthier and more convenient future.
The SlimStyle bulb by Philips Lighting makes transitioning from incandescent lighting to LED lighting easy and affordable. The SlimStyle LED bulb is a modern, energy-efficient alternative to any 60-watt incandescent light bulb and costs about $10 per bulb. The slim light bulb features a flat A19 design with LED lights arranged in a unique horseshoe shape for even illumination. A durable rubber coating protects the bulb from shattering. The bulb turns on instantly and emits 360 degrees of soft white light similar to that of an incandescent light bulb. The bulb can also be used with most light dimmers to create mood lighting. The SlimStyle bulb lasts about 22.8 years and saves up to $136 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. This LED bulb is suitable for lamps, pendants, and wall-mounted light fixtures.
The MiPow PlayBulb allows users to easily adjusts the lighting and play music in a room from their mobile devices. The A-Type LED light bulb has 80 LED lights that emit cool and warm shades of white light equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent light bulb. A built-in Bluetooth 4.0 speaker allows users within 30 feet to stream music directly to the PlayBulb. A dedicated smartphone app controls the light brightness and music. The app also includes four advanced settings - wake up, energy saving, night mode, and sleep mode for added convenience. The wireless, versatile device saves space and is ideal for dorm rooms, home offices and other small spaces. The MiPow PlayBulb is available for purchase for $79.