Have you ever been snuggled up in your bed on a winter night only to realize you forgot to turn the heat down? Or left for work and not remembered to turn the thermostat up in the summer to save on air-conditioning expenses? If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably done one or both of those things at some point, and the result is higher energy costs. Fortunately, technology has brought a simple solution to help you better control your home’s temperature and contain energy costs, all through your smartphone.
Program Different Temps for Different Days, Times
Image via Flickr by designmilk
Programmable, Wi-Fi-based thermostats not only allow you to customize your home’s temperature for different times of day, they also enable you to customize those temperatures for different days of the week. For example, say you have your smartphone-controlled HVAC system set to adjust to 80 degrees during the summer at 7:30 a.m. on Monday when you leave for work. If you’re off on Saturday and Sunday, Monday’s scheduled temperature probably wouldn’t work for the daytime on the weekends.
But with a seven-, five-plus-two-, or five-plus-one-plus-one-day model, you can customize different temperature settings for each day of the week, the weekend only, or Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Your thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature to keep you comfortable and your energy costs minimal no matter what your routine is for that particular day.
A Thermostat That’s Smart Enough to Learn
With some smart thermostats, you might not even have to program them to choose the temperature you want at any given time. “Learning” thermostats require you to use them for a week manually, and they automatically learn your patterns and preferences as the time and seasons change. For example, say you turn down the heat every night around bedtime. Your thermostat notes this pattern and automatically adjusts to keep your home warm in the afternoon and evening and cooler around your normal bedtime. You never have to remember to fiddle with the temperature again.
Control Your Home’s Temperature from Anywhere
Smartphone-controlled HVAC systems allow you to monitor and adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere. You simply download the app that corresponds with your thermostat to change the settings no matter where you are. Whether you’re too cozy in your bed to get up to change the temperature or at work and forgot to turn the air-conditioning down before you left, all you’ll need is your smartphone.
One of the major selling points of smartphone-operated thermostats is that they can be retrofitted to almost any existing HVAC system. You don’t have to worry about the expense of replacing your entire systems as long as you have an Air Control Heating and Cooling Inc. trained technician install your Wi-Fi-based thermostat. Having an experienced technician install your thermostat is the best way to achieve optimal results and maximum savings.
Technology has evolved to the point that we can see what’s in the fridge, check up on the family dog while away, and see who’s at the door, all through our smartphones. So why not invest in a smartphone-controlled thermostat to keep your family comfortable and your energy bill low?
When its time start that backyard construction, you should always take the time to do a little research and planning before you dig. From finding a good cable locator to verifying zoning laws, there are steps you should be taking before the shovel hits the dirt.
Zoning and Permits
This is one pre-dig step you really need to take as soon as you have plans in hand. It really only applies to larger projects, like adding a new shed or other building, building a sizable deck or adding a pond. Pulling up sod to make a flower garden isn’t going to need anyone’s permission.
Before you start, get a few drawings and measurements together and visit your local municipal or council office. If everything is fine, you get some peace of mind and can progress with your project. If it turns out that zoning prohibits your construction or that you need certain permits, now you can adjust your plans before things get complicated later. It may be as simple as reducing your shed size by a foot, or moving that retaining wall a few inches farther from the property line.
If you can’t change your plans, you will have to deal with the required permits which will likely involve a fee and the submission of some drawings. They can guide you through the process.
Once the paperwork is under control, you’ll need to start checking on your project site for underground obstacles. This means finding out where pipes and cables may be running under your property. Never assume that’s it’s a safe spot, or that you will just be careful and deal with it when you hit something. Cracking a gas line or cutting an electrical cable is a real hazard that can result in a lot of damage or injury.
Talk to your local utility companies (phone, power, water) and tell them that you are planning a construction project and have to find out where underground lines are. Most utilities have a specific “call before you dig” service that is intended to help you out at no cost. In many states, like New York, it is actually legally required that you call their free service before you dig.
For a little added security, you can also find a company that uses underground radar to check for objects beneath the surface. Utility cables are only one potential risk, and older homes that have had multiple owners over the years can have a lot of things going on in the yard that have nothing to do with official services. A utility company isn’t going to know that a previous owner had run a few pipes out into the yard for a homemade irrigation system or that they had buried some wire to add lights to an old shed.
Actually taking a look can be the best approach rather than just relying on someone else’s official records. This type of service can also help you find natural obstacles, like large pieces of stone, that could hamper your work.
When seeking out new windows and doors, there are a number of things that you need to look at to be assured that you’re making the right choice. First of all, efficiency standards have come a long way over the last couple of decades and green housing, environmentally-conscious design, and top-notch engineering are much more available and affordable than they used to be. Architects and interior designers now look specifically to passive homes and advancements in greener technology to get ideas about how to balance minimalistic, beautiful pieces with highly functional, minimal waste design. It’s totally possible to get the best of both worlds when you look for companies like Golden Windows Limited, who make the most of the natural resources surrounding you! Here’s a two-step program to get you started.
Get rid of all the things you won’t be using in your newly renovated, greener, more efficient home! Taking things to your local thrift store, selling them at a garage sale or simply making sure that nothing that consumes excess energy in your home is thrown out is a great way to start over. Examples include inefficient light-bulbs, appliances that don’t function anymore, faucets or showerheads that drip or waste too much water, and chemical cleaners that are terrible to breathe in and pollute local drains and water systems. These little things make a difference because they all add up, but the sturdiest bits of your home may need replacement too. Old windows and doors, for example, may seem like a chore to get rid of, but they’re probably costing you a fortune in energy bills every month. It’s far worse to hold onto fixtures that are literally sucking your hard-earned dollars out of the house than to invest in a renovation from a reputable place such as Golden Windows, which will pay for itself in a few months.
Be picky about how you’re going to inhabit your new, greener lifestyle! Don’t pick up the first thing you hear about clean living and run with it; take a little time to do some research and really figure out what you’re going to be willing to do on a daily basis. Lots of people commit to grand schemes such as composting, veganism, and waste-free living without really thinking about whether that is going to be personally sustainable for them. It’s much better to take a step that doesn’t require that much of a shift in your life first and see how you feel than to dive in wholeheartedly but get tired and ditch all your efforts after a couple of weeks. Keep in mind that greener products are usually a little more expensive than others because they’re meant to last, made with more care over a longer a period of time, and generally meet certain national standards to ensure that you’re getting what you pay for. Window renovations are great because they’re a professionally-executed, one-time fix that makes an incredible difference right away.
Plus, when you buy from a green company that makes efforts to reduce waste in their factory processes, partners with other local Canadian organizations, and distributes locally to reduce emissions, like Golden Windows, you can be sure that you’re going to get a great warranty that covers you for as long as the windows are supposed to last.
When you are trying to make your home your own, there are a number of things that you might want to try in order to do this. There are many options for tiny changes that you can make which include glass door knobs being added to furniture in your home, as these can really breathe some light into your room. Other options like crystal door knobs are great, and really give you the chance to make your house a home. If you are looking for ideas about how to add your own touches to your house, this could be the perfect place to start.
Think about soft furnishings
If you don’t have the money to completely change the way that your home is decorated, then you may find that accessories are the things to invest in. Items such as cushions and throws can be perfect, because they can add a little bit of interest into your room, and can also fit in with whatever colour scheme you happen to have chosen. By making the most of these items, you can really make a difference to the way that your home looks without having to spend a huge amount of money doing so.
Consider your lighting options
The way that you light a room can have a huge impact on the mood, and for this reason if you are looking to make a change in your home, then thinking about altering the way that you light it can be great. Changing where you place your lamps can have a good effect on your ambiance, or even switching your bulbs to something that provides lighting that is a little bit softer or brighter than before. You also have the option of having dimmer switches installed, as this can allow you to have control over your lighting levels all day long, no matter what you require.
Add small splashes of colour to your furniture
If you have furniture such as wardrobes or drawers in your home, then purchasing new knobs for them could be one of the best choices that you could make. Although these are only small items, the splash of colour that they provide you with could be exactly what you need in order to make you room shine, and this means that it is well worth taking a look at what is available. Often, you will find that it is the simplest and smallest of items that really makes a difference in your home in the long term.
Generally, you should find that you are able to change the way that your home feels without a huge amount of money or effort. This is great if you have decided that you would like a change, but aren’t too sure about how you are going to go about making it happen. Over time, making small gradual changes will have a massive effect, and your home is certain to look as good as new in no time at all.
When things need doing around your home, whether it is to do with metal guttering or guttering accessories, you may decide that you would like to try and do them yourself. However, DIY may not always be as simple as you might think, and as a result of this it may actually cost you more money than hiring somebody to do the job would have. With this being the case, you may be interested in the reasons for this – and this blog will provide you with some of these reasons.
Your skills may not be perfected
Unless you’ve had specific training in the DIY that you’re trying to do, chances are you won’t be able to do a job that would be as good as the professionals who would come in to work for you. This means that the jobs that you have done might not last as long, and therefore you will need to repeat the task a few months or years down the line. If you hire a professional to do the work, you can be sure that they have been well trained to do what they have been hired for, meaning that you can rest assured that a great job will be done.
You have no warranty with DIY
When you do a job yourself, you have no insurance if anything should go wrong further down the line. If you have asked for a professional to complete work for you, however, you will find that they offer you a certain length of warranty, meaning that if something should go wrong within that time you don’t need to worry about paying any more money to put it right. Put simply, the price that you pay at the beginning is all that you need to worry about in order to enjoy the work that has been done in your home, and this means that there is less worry about things that might go wrong in the future.
Hiring professionals will save you time
Although you may know how to do certain aspects of DIY, if you have not been trained in the specific methods, you won’t be able to complete the jobs as quickly as professionals may be able to. For this reason, you could find that you waste a lot of time – and any spare time that you have is incredibly valuable, and could easily be spent on other things. With a professional in charge of the work that needs to be done around your home, you will be able to stop thinking about it, and concentrate on more important things in your life.
Ultimately, although you may think that DIY is the savvy option to choose, this may not be the case all of the time. You might find that hiring a professional is the best option for you when it comes to being able to save money and get a good quality job done, so this could be worth it for you in the long term.