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Eco-Friendly Homes with Solar Panels

Climate change is a huge topic lately and the main motivation for finding alternative energy sources. Everyone including those who are not climate conscious is interested in finding ways of making their homes more energy efficient by using alternative sources of energy.  One of the now mainstream ways of achieving energy efficiency is solar energy. More people are installing solar panels at home as a renewable source of energy to not only protect the environment but also save some money.

Solar-Panels-on-Roof

The solar energy from the sun is clean, abundant and free. Solar panels transform the sunlight directly into electricity using photovoltaic cells. These cells are assembled together into panels. The cost of solar panels has significantly gone down over the years increasing access to more people.

What is the advantage of installing solar panels for homeowners?

Solar panels harness the energy from the sun providing clean and renewable solar power.  The majority of homeowners would like to take advantage of the free energy of the sun.

The initial cost of installing solar panels is massive, however, it will provide an unlimited supply of clean energy for your home during its entire lifespan.

Installing solar panels will make your home energy independent reducing dependence on the traditional power grid. This will reduce dependence on traditional electricity will cut the energy bills at home significantly

During blackouts and power disruptions on the main grid power, solar panels will continue to provide an uninterrupted supply of electricity.

Solar panels are durable and normally have a guaranteed 25 to 30-year warranty by the installer. They are easy to maintain because they have few movable parts and are strong against extreme weather. That means unlimited electricity supply for many years to come at no cost.

Solar panels provide electricity to people living in areas that are connected to the main power grid helping them to power their homes and stay connected.

Homeowners who install solar panels increase the value of their homes by more than 20% since potential buyers are willing to pay more for a home that energy independent. After all, who would want to save money every month from reduced energy bills?

Homeowners can now earn some money from the surplus electricity they generate from their solar systems by connecting to the main grid and receiving energy credits. You may also get tax credits from the local authorities for your solar panel installation.

How does installing solar panel benefit the environment?

The growing popularity of solar panels is largely attributed to the environmental concerns. The world has given much focus and priority to preserving the environment and combating climate change. Solar energy is clean, it does not produce any harmful emissions such carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide that destroys the environment.

If more homeowners would switch to solar energy the reliance on fossil fuels to generate electricity would drastically reduce. Therefore increased adoption of solar energy will lower the carbon footprint significantly.

 

How do you go about installing solar panels?

The cost of installing solar panels to your home makes solar energy a huge investment for homeowners. It is recommended that solar panel installation should be done by certified solar installation experts.

Nonetheless, some DIY homeowners in an attempt to cut costs decide to do the solar installation project on their own. There are DIY kits provided nowadays to guide homeowners in doing their own solar panel installations. If you lack the necessary skills in electrical wiring and installation then perhaps it best you hire a professional solar panel installation contractor.

The contractor can assist you in obtaining the requisite building permits. To prevent accidents or electrocution the solar panels must be installed professionally according to the regulations. If you want to receive tax credits from your solar installation make sure it is installed by a certified installer that is recognized by the local authorities. A DIY installation may affect your warranty as well.

Maintain your pool with these eco-friendly tips

What most families consider as great fun during summer, is spending time in the pool. However, few find pool cleaning and maintenance to be much fun. Bacteria and microorganisms present in dirty pool water can lead to infections. Using chemicals will disinfect the water, however, may create a harsh environment for swimming hurting both the skin and eyes.pool-maintenance
Cleaning your pool with fewer chemicals creates a healthy environment for swimming and the water supply. These eco-friendly pool maintenance and cleaning tips will limit the use of chemicals and effort needed in keeping the pool water clean, environmentally friendly and most of all fun.
• Daily Morning Maintenance
Make it a routine to clean the pool early in the morning on a daily basis. At this time, the weather is most of the times serene and the water clear. You can get the correct impression of the condition of the water at this time.
• Use a Pool Cover
A pool cover is the pool’s best line of defense when it is not in use. It lowers the rate of evaporation of water and chemicals, prevents dust, pollen, leaves, twigs and other debris from entering the pool. It helps reduce the use of chemicals and level of maintenance of the pool. The pool cover also helps retain the warmth of your pool.
• Skim your Pool each Morning
Catch bugs, leaves and other debris that collect at night by skimming your pool each morning. The skimmer basket must also be emptied. Give the walls a thorough scrubbing at least once each week. Save time by making use of robots to clean the pool bottom.
• Use the Filtration System
When the pool is not in use run the filtration system for water to circulate efficiently without interference. Frequently replace the paper cartridge pump filters. Make the filters more durable by washing them using pressure and soaking them in bleach or vinegar. Follow the recommendations of the manufacturer to back flush the sand filter system.
• Metal Trap Sand Filter
Use a metal trap sand filter to fill the pool at the beginning of the season to get rid of heavy metals from water. It helps limit the dependence on chemicals to get rid of dissolved manganese and iron from water. According to this  Winnipeg pool renovations contractor they may be more costly but the long term effect is reduced chemicals and time of maintenance.
• Salt Water Chlorination
The system for salt water chlorination requires a huge initial investment however in the long run it saves money and is environmentally friendly. The system uses electrolysis to generate chlorine by breaking down salt in the water. As the pool owner, you will need to add salt to maintain a good pH level and the ratio of salt to water.

Eco-friendly Kitchen Design Ideas

One of the most frequently used section of the house is the kitchen, it has become the new living room. The volume of traffic in the kitchen is one of the highest amongst the rooms in the home. To protect the environment, it is critical to ensure that the kitchen has an environmentally friendly design together with an eco-friendly construction that does not contribute to increasing the carbon footprint.

The following are some of the innovative kitchen interior design ideas that will make food preparation eco-friendly:

  • Take advantage of Natural Light

The design of your kitchen should take full advantage of natural light and minimize the use of artificial light. Ensure the work area has enough natural light filtration by incorporating large windows into the design. Your interior designer can offer a free 3d kitchen design to visualize the amount of natural light from the windows. For artificial use energy saving LED lights for kitchens or the (CFL) Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs.

  • Recycle Actively

The process of recycling is one of the most critical aspects of eco-friendly living and should be actively done. Designing a kitchen with specific areas for waste materials is the key to recycling. The waste can be organized into the garbage, composting and recycling containers to be handled efficiently. For instance, plastic, glass, and paper waste products should be separated for recycling. You can include such recyclable materials for your ornamental and DIY projects.

  • Green Appliances

To ensure that your kitchen design is completely eco-friendly ensure you use eco-friendly appliances. These appliances include food processors, dishwashers, microwave ovens, refrigerators, blenders, and cookers etc. that are both cost and energy efficient. For instance, when it comes to choosing a dishwasher select an energy efficient one that has the quick wash & dry air feature that saves energy. Buy the latest energy efficient appliances like fridges with improved technology.

  • Eco-friendly Flooring

The materials you choose for kitchen flooring should be from sustainable or renewable materials. Such flooring materials include cork, bamboo, and linoleum. Cork which comes from the bark of trees is a sustainable flooring material which can be harvested continually since tree barks will grow back. For a more attractive and vibrant kitchen, you can choose bamboo flooring. For a cooler kitchen environment, you can select natural wood flooring.

  • Counter-tops

Countertops made from recycled materials are the most eco-friendly. There are a variety recycled materials countertop designs to select from. They are not only more affordable but also long lasting.

  • Eco-Friendly Cabinets

The cabinets should be made from environmentally materials to match the floor and countertops. They could be remodeled to fit in with the main kitchen design. Wood is another excellent choice for cabinets and bamboo is great because it is a high quality and sustainable choice for making cabinets.

In the overall kitchen design, you must try to use as much eco-friendly or natural materials as possible. It would be more appropriate to source for locally available materials rather than importation which would increase the carbon footprint. Finally ensure that your kitchen is based on reuse, reduce and recycle as the principle of achieving an eco-friendly environment.

Eco-Friendly Roof Alternatives

There is variety of roofing material options for homeowners nowadays. The most affordable roofing option is asphalt shingle, a petroleum-based roofing material. However, the disadvantage with asphalt shingle is that it is difficult to recycle and has a negative impact on the environment. It may be cheap, but it does not provide real value.

For homeowners who have a passion for protecting the environment there a variety of environmentally friendly roofing options. Compared to the conventional shingles, these eco-friendly options are more durable, reliable and require less maintenance.

Recycled Roofing Materials

Recycled materials such as steel, aluminum, rubber and plastic have become popular roofing alternatives. They can be manufactured to resemble wood shingles or slate. Recycled roofs encourage environmental conservation and minimize the filling of landfills with waste.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is an ideal alternative for wooden shingles instead of fresh cedar shingles and shakes that are made from diminishing virgin forest western cedar. Salvaged wood from mills, barns, old bridges etc. can be given a fresh life.

Metal

Metal roofs are the most affordable eco-friendly roofing options today. Metals roofs are durable and last long. They are made from recycled materials and they can be recycled as well after being replaced. Metal roofs can be used in rainwater harvesting and collection of snowmelt for both home and garden use.

Slate and Clay Tile

These are among the oldest and most attractive and durable roofing styles. They are available in a variety of beautiful selections. The most durable roofing material available today is slate. Most of them have warranties for a period of up to one century. Slate is more durable than clay tiles, but many homeowners will still be outlived by the clay tiles roofing. The structure and support required to withstand the weight of the two roofing materials make them very expensive. They may not be the ideal roofing selection for every roof, but they can transform a home into the most attractive architectural masterpiece with no negatives effects on the environment.

Just like other eco-friendly materials, eco-friendly roofing options may not be the cheapest alternative, however, they still remain the best. They may be pricey, but they are more durable and will outlive the cheaper options by 2 to 3 times. According to Owen Enterprises Naperville roofers, eco-friendly roofs are energy efficient, promote environmental conservation which contributes to the sustainability of our planet.

What to Look For In a Green House Cleaning Service

What to Look For In a House Cleaning Service

When looking for a home cleaning service provider, it is important to be on the lookout for several key characteristics. This is an industry that has very many participants and you need to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff. Make a note of these traits, and why they should be made a priority. More information can be found on the Cleaning Services Chicago website.

Care and Consideration

When opening up your home to a service provider, you need to know that they will take as much care of your items as you would. A careless provider who breaks or scratches things will add to your costs and make you fearful of hiring them again. It is worse when they damage something of great sentimental value or that is irreplaceable. Establishing the track record of the provider with previous clients is a good way to judge how considerately they will handle your property.

Flexibility and Timeliness

Each person has his or her own schedule to adhere to. When hiring a cleaning service, you need to know they can accommodate you on your terms. Whether it is in the early mornings or just weekends, they should be able to work around your schedule. Once you agree on the timing and frequency of the service, it is also important that they are timely. They should arrive and leave as promised so as not to interfere with whatever else you have planned. This behavior should also be consistent throughout the term of your association.

Efficiency and Reliability

Whether you are supplying the cleaning products or not, the cost will eventually be applied to your bills. It is important that the people you hire are professional enough to make adequate use of your cleaning supplies without being wasteful. Green cleaning products are not only cheaper, they are also a healthier choice. If they are bringing in equipment, like carpet cleaners, then they should work properly and be suited to the task at hand. Let the not use the wrong products that may cause damage to your property.

Security and Honesty

Always ask about background checks. Much of the time, even if you are home, you will be leaving the cleaner to do their job without supervision. This means you have to reasonably trust they will not steal or commit some other crime in your absence. Make sure the provider you choose has a strict hiring policy that includes looking into the background of new hires. The cleaner should also always perform the full list of agreed upon services without skimping.

If you're in the Charlotte NC area click here to check out a cleaning service that I've used before and trust.

Home Water Conservation- Protecting the Environment

Saving the amount of water we use at home is a great way of contributing significantly to protecting the environment. It helps conserve our water sources and reduce carbon pollution. Treatment of waste water uses a lot of energy and increases the carbon pollution. By conserving water at home, we reduce the demand for more water and reducing the pressure on the already scarce water sources.

There are very few places on this planet that are water secure. Therefore, water efficiency is a great concern for everyone and not only for people living in dry areas. Fresh water sources are disappearing because of the increase in population and global warming effects. It is possible to save household water without affecting normal life at home. By improving plumbing efficiency and using water-efficient appliances we can reduce water saving by more than 30% and reduce bills.

The following are some of the ways you can save water at home:

Eliminate Leaks
Untitled-2Ensuring that all the plumbing is intact and the appliances utilizing water have no leaks. Replace the old toilets with the new and more water efficient ones, check sprinklers, steady faucet drips for any signs of leaks.

The old toilets used to waste a lot of water with every flush, by installing new toilets you could save up to 30,000 gallons of water every year. The same applies to the old clothes washers that are water inefficient. Replace them with the newer clothes washers that have ENERGY STAR qualifications. Wash more clothes with less water and reduce water bills.

Efficient Water Use

Save water used for irrigation by planting plants that are suitable for the climate in your area. Drought resistant plants use less water and can be great for landscaping as well. This is great for areas that are very dry and need lots of water for irrigating landscapes. Plants should only be watered when necessary to conserve water use. Irrigation controllers should be constantly monitored to ensure more water is saved. Controlling irrigation using humidity sensors will help save water depending on the climate.

Brushing your teeth while the tap is running wastes over 5 liters of water every minute. Always turn off the tap when you brush your teeth. Save more water every time you flush the toilet by placing a cistern device in your toilet.

Shower with less water by reducing the time you spend in the shower. Wait to wash all the clothes in the washing machines instead of washing few clothes more often. The same applies to the dishwasher.

Fix Taps

Dripping taps waste thousands of liters of water every year fixing them would be a huge water saving. Avoid using hosepipes that waste thousands of liters and save water by using watering cans. Protect plants from evaporation by mulching and save irrigation water.

Leaving the tap running to get cold water actually wastes water, therefore, keep some cold water in the refrigerator to drink.
If you do not have a water meter then you could consider installing one to monitor your water usage. Never forget that saving water is saving lives!

Go Green Install Solar Panels on Your Roof

Homeowners are being conscious about becoming energy efficient. As we continue to witness the adverse effects of global warming it has become apparent that we have to make changes at home to contribute to lowering the carbon footprint. The aim is not only to conserve the environment but save money as well. Solar energy, a clean and renewable energy source is lowering energy bills for homes and helping in protecting the environment.

Energy Savings

Orbis-Group-Solar-Panels1Installing solar panels on your roof is a massive investment that eventually pays back through energy savings. Solar panels trap the energy from the sun and converts it into electrical energy without affecting the eco-system.

Solar power can be applied in heating and air conditions homes as well as powering other electrical appliances with significant cost savings. Solar provides several benefits for the environment by reducing reliance on non-renewable energy sources that pollute the environment
and increase the carbon footprint.

Increase in Home Resale Value

Homes that have installed solar panels actually increase in value by over 20% which is great for resale. The homes with solar panels installed become self-sufficient in terms of energy and can get home heating and air conditioning all year round at very minimal costs. Governments now provide homes with solar with tax credits and allow people to sell surplus solar energy.

Use Qualified Electricians

Solar panels are not just plugged in, installing the panels is a technically sophisticated task that requires qualified electricians. You may be required to get certification to able to personally install solar panels on your roof. The wiring work and contribution to the grid requires a qualified electrician because high-voltage is normally involved. You will be at risk f electrocution if you make a mistake, for safety reasons find a qualified electrician.

The benefits of installing solar are immense and saves your energy budget and protects the environment!

Ditch Conventional cleaning for Green cleaning!

I am sure you have heard of green cleaning, but you have had your doubts whether it is a better alternative to conventional cleaning. Well, find out every reason you need why you need to start green cleaning today not only to safeguard the health of your family at home but to contribute to a cleaner and greener world.

Home Safety

Conventional cleaning products are hazardous chemicals and are labeled as such. Therefore, these products are not very safe to use or have around the home. Imagine the sort of risk you pose to your children or pets when you use such products. It is poison and every day there are emergencies connected to household cleaning products. On the hand, green cleaning products are much safer and will not harm anyone.

Health Protection

imagesGreen cleaning products will give the peace of mind that your family or pets are not vulnerable in any way. Conventional cleaning products lead to all manner of health complications such as allergic reactions, rashes, coughs, sneezing, migraines etc. So many families have witnessed a decrease or elimination of such ailments once they stopped using toxic cleaning products. The conventional cleaning products and their hazardous effects can lead to even more serious health conditions such as cancer given their carcinogenic nature. Green cleaning products, on the other hand, are natural and will promote good health.

Cleaner Air in the Home

Conventional cleaning products carry dangerous pollutants and will contaminate the air quality in the house. Breathing in such dangerous pollutants can lead to serious damage to your health which could affect major organs such as your lungs, kidneys, livers or even your brain. These hazardous chemicals will remain in the air long after you have finished using them. But you can now breath easy by switching to the most healthy alternative, green cleaning!

Protect the Environment

As someone who is passionate about conserving the environment, you want to use products that do not harm the environment. Green cleaning products are the safest alternative when it comes to cleaning products. They are derived from natural ingredients that are non-toxic and have no impact on the carbon footprint. Conventional cleaning products harm the environment because they contain toxic and non-biodegradable compounds that seriously harm the environment.

Affordable and Economical

Green cleaning products save you money because they can be used to clean everything around the home. The natural products used to make green cleaning products are readily available and hence cheaper than conventional products.

Simple Cleaning

You do not need to have a variety of toxic cleaning products for different purpose green cleaning products are all purpose. For instance, you can clean toilets, remove molds, clean windows using vinegar without ever switching products. Green cleaning products will never harm you or your clothes like bleach!

Charity

Green cleaning product manufacturers have big hearts and not only give back to the environment but also contributing other worthy causes like education globally. When buy green cleaning products you are definitely making the world a better place.

Hire a Green Cleaning Service

Many house cleaning services offer green cleaning options. If you’re not going to do-it-yourself then consider hiring a cleaning company that has a commitment to the environment. Most cleaning companies will give you the option, but some, like this Denver CO house cleaning company are so committed to green cleaning that they only offer these products.

Check the Ingredients

Green cleaning products have all their ingredients indicated on the labels, unlike conventional cleaning products that sometimes do not reveal the toxic ingredients they use.

Become a Green Role Model

By using green cleaning products around the home your family, especially your children and other relatives and friends will follow after you now or later in their lives. This is not only great for the health of those around but for the survival of our planet’s eco-system.

Home-Made Products

When it comes to green cleaning products you can also get creative and develop some of your own products using natural ingredients available locally. You not only save money, but you also get a more effective and healthy cleaning product!