If you’re looking for the best hot water recirculation pump that is also energy efficient, you’re in luck! These pumps not only save time and water but also help reduce your energy bills. With the latest technology and design, the best hot water recirculation pumps can bring hot water to your faucet in just a matter of seconds, without wasting gallons of water down the drain. By recirculating hot water through the plumbing system, these pumps can save you time and energy, while also reducing your carbon footprint. So, if you want to upgrade your home with an energy-efficient hot water recirculation pump, do your research and choose the best one that meets your needs and budget.
What Are Hot Water Recirculating Pumps?
Hot water pumps are a convenient solution for those tired of waiting for hot water to reach their faucets. These pumps are installed in the hot water line and help to reduce the time it takes for hot water to reach the faucet. They also reduce water wastage, as less cold water is wasted while waiting for hot water. Hot water recirculating pumps work by continuously circulating hot water through the hot water line, while a check valve prevents it from flowing back into the return plumbing line. They are an energy-efficient solution and can save homeowners money on their energy bills. The Watts 500800 is one of the best hot water recirculation pumps on the market, known for its durability and energy efficiency.
What Are the Different Types of Hot Water Recirculation Pumps?
Hot water recirculation pumps come in two types – full recirculating pumps and comfort systems. Full recirculating pumps use a dedicated hot water return line connected to the plumbing system, making them more efficient in delivering hot water quickly. Comfort systems, on the other hand, utilize the existing cold water line as the return line, making them a more budget-friendly option. They may take longer to deliver hot water, but they still provide a faster hot water delivery than the standard hot water line. These pumps are easy to install, making them an excellent choice for those who want a hot water solution without the need for professional help. Natural gas water heaters are also compatible with hot water recirculation pumps, ensuring that the pump’s energy-efficient capabilities are maximized.
What Are the Benefits of a Hot Water Recirculation System?
Hot water recirculation systems offer several benefits, including:
- Convenience: Hot water is instantly available on tap, reducing waiting time.
- Increased water savings: Recirculation systems reduce water wastage and provide nearly instant hot water for use.
- Lower utility costs: Hot water recirculation pumps can lower the cost of heating water by reducing the amount of hot water needed.
- Smart heating: Some pumps are equipped with timers, reducing unneeded heating and costs.
- Rebates: Some cities offer rebates on the purchase and installation costs of recirculating systems.
What Are the Drawbacks of a Hot Water Recirculation System?
There are several drawbacks to hot water recirculation systems, including:
- Requires a power source near the installation site
- Model limitations
- Cold climate limitations
- Requires good plumbing systems
- Rebate requirements
What to Look for in a Recirculating Pump
A crucial factor to consider when choosing a recirculating pump is the type of water heater you have. Hot water storage tanks work well with full recirculating pumps, which require a dedicated hot water return pipe. In contrast, tankless hot water heaters are better suited for comfort systems that use the existing cold water line to return unused hot water.
Another essential aspect to keep in mind is the heat loss that occurs in the hot water return pipe. The longer the pipe, the more heat loss there is, resulting in increased energy consumption. To minimize heat loss, it’s advisable to insulate the hot water return pipe.
When selecting a recirculating pump, make sure it’s easy to install, and consider its energy efficiency to keep utility bills low. Choosing an energy-efficient pump can make a significant difference in energy consumption, saving you money in the long run.
If you’re searching for a reliable water heater and excellent customer support, National Air Warehouse has got you covered! Explore our range of high-rated water heaters from reputable brands. Our experienced team is available to assist you in selecting the perfect product that matches your requirements and budget. You can contact us at 1-888-292-0874 or browse our website to learn more. With National Air Warehouse, you can shop with confidence knowing that we prioritize your satisfaction above all else.
An Overview of Natural Gas Garage Heaters
Garages are generally not as well-insulated as the rest of the home, making garage heating essential for those with a workshop, storage area, or anyone who desires a more comfortable environment when entering and exiting their vehicle. This guide will discuss natural gas garage heaters and what to consider when choosing one.
What are Garage Heaters?
Garage heaters are heating devices that help to warm indoor garages. These heaters come in two types: portable and fixed. Portable garage heaters are smaller and easy to move around, while fixed garage heaters are more efficient but larger. These heaters use three power sources, namely electric, propane, and natural gas. Natural gas and propane heaters are more cost-effective, but electric heaters require less maintenance and are smaller in size. The warm air generated by these heaters helps to provide a comfortable environment in garages. Propane tank garage heaters are more convenient for those who do not have access to natural gas. When choosing a garage heater, it is important to consider factors such as the size of the garage, the type of heater required, and the power source.
Ideal Settings for Natural Gas Garage Heaters
Natural gas garage heaters are an efficient way to warm up larger garages or workshops with higher ceilings. With the ability to produce hot air quickly, they are ideal for colder climates and homes that already have natural gas service. These heaters are typically fixed and installed by a professional, ensuring optimal safety and functionality. Natural gas is a cost-effective fuel source, making it a popular choice for those looking to save money on heating costs. If you have a larger garage and live in a colder climate, a natural gas garage heater could be the perfect solution to keeping your workspace comfortable during the winter months. It’s always important to follow manufacturer instructions and safety guidelines when using any type of heater.
Types of Gas Garage Heaters
Garage heaters can make your garage a more comfortable space, especially in cold weather conditions. Gas garage heaters come in different types based on the heating technology, including forced air gas heaters, convection gas heaters, and radiant heaters. Forced air gas heaters are designed to actively draw cold air in with a fan, while convection gas heaters warm up the air in their immediate surroundings. Radiant heaters, on the other hand, are ideal for smaller garages and can heat specific areas effectively.
Apart from gas heaters, electric garage heaters, and ventless gas garage heaters are also available. Electric garage heaters are smaller, require less maintenance, and are more portable than their gas counterparts. Ventless gas garage heaters provide heat without needing any ventilation system, making them a great option for garages without any ventilation.
Overall, when choosing a garage heater, consider your garage size, ceiling height, and heating requirements, and choose the best option from electric garage heaters, ventless gas garage heaters, or natural gas garage heaters based on your needs.
Propane vs Natural Gas: Which is Better?
When it comes to choosing between propane and natural gas as fuel sources for space heaters, availability is a crucial factor. If natural gas is available in your location, it’s generally more cost-efficient. However, each type of gas has its unique burning properties, which means that the heater must be set up or converted to use a specific fuel type. In terms of energy efficiency, both propane and natural gas are relatively efficient, with a blue flame and ventless gas garage heaters being particularly efficient options for propane. Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific needs and preferences.
Choosing a Gas Garage Heater
When selecting a gas garage heater, key factors to consider include heating capacity, safety features, a programmable thermostat, and oscillating vents for larger garages. Safety features should comprise overheating protection, auto shut-off, and a cool-touch exterior. The type of gas garage heater, such as wall heaters, portable heaters, or natural gas heaters, should be selected based on the garage’s size, insulation, and fuel availability. It’s critical to insulate your garage to keep the heat inside and reduce energy bills. Consider an energy-efficient blue flame or ventless gas garage heater, depending on the garage’s usage frequency and your preference for energy sources.
Installing a Gas Garage Heater
Both propane and natural gas garage heaters require the same installation process. Choose a location for the heater, lay down the appropriate gas pipe, and ensure the connections are secure. A thermostat is required, and for the most accurate reading, it should be placed five feet off the ground.
Looking for expert guidance in choosing the right garage heater for your space? Contact us at National Air Warehouse today at 1-888-292-0874 to receive exceptional assistance from our knowledgeable team. Whether you’re in the market for a natural gas heater, a ventless gas heater, an electric garage heater, or any other type of space heater, we have the expertise to help you make the right choice. Benefit from our years of experience in the industry and let us guide you toward the perfect garage heater solution. Don’t hesitate, to contact us today to get started.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has recently announced updated energy efficiency standards for window air conditioners, set to take effect from March 2023. These new standards aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and lower energy bills for consumers by mandating a higher minimum Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio (CEER) for window AC units. All new window air conditioners manufactured or imported into the US from 2026 will be required to meet the new minimum CEER rating. As consumers become more environmentally conscious and seek to reduce their energy consumption, it’s essential to understand how to choose an energy-efficient window air conditioner.
This article provides a comprehensive overview of the updated CEER standards, including the significance of Energy Star certification and how it relates to the updated standards. We will also explore the benefits of higher efficiency ratings and provide tips for choosing an energy-efficient window air conditioner. By making informed decisions about window AC units and other energy-efficient options such as LED light bulbs, consumers can save money and make a positive impact on the environment.
What is CEER?
The CEER rating, or Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio, is a crucial measure of a window air conditioner’s energy efficiency. By choosing a unit with a higher CEER rating, consumers can reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their utility bills. The CEER rating is displayed on the EnergyGuide label, which is mandated by the Department of Energy (DOE). It is important to note that EnergyStar-certified units typically have a higher SEER rating, indicating that they are at least 10% more efficient than the federal minimum standards. The SEER rating, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, measures the cooling output of HVAC systems over a typical cooling season.
Consumers should consider both the CEER and Energy Star ratings when shopping for a new window air conditioner to ensure they get the most energy-efficient unit for their home. By choosing a unit with a higher CEER rating, consumers can reduce their energy consumption and lower their environmental impact. Additionally, they can consider other energy-efficient options such as LED light bulbs to further reduce their energy bills. Making smart choices when it comes to home energy use can have a significant impact on both the environment and the wallet.
The New CEER Standards
The Department of Energy (DOE) is set to introduce new energy efficiency standards for window air conditioners from March 2023. The updated standards will require a higher minimum Combined Energy Efficiency Ratio (CEER) of 12.8 for smaller air conditioners with a cooling capacity of fewer than 8,000 BTU/h. The higher minimum CEER will apply to new window air conditioners manufactured or imported in the US by 2026. The new standards will help consumers save money on their energy bills and reduce carbon dioxide emissions over time. Consumers are encouraged to look for Energy Star-certified units, which typically have a higher CEER rating and are at least 10% more efficient than the federal minimum standards.
Moreover, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires a minimum SEER rating of 13 for new heat pumps, which measures the cooling and heating efficiency. These updated standards aim to improve the energy efficiency of window AC units and reduce their environmental impact. Consumers need to consider both the CEER and Energy Star ratings when purchasing a new window air conditioner to ensure they get the most energy-efficient unit for their home. By making energy-efficient choices, consumers can save money on their energy bills while also reducing their carbon footprint.
How to Choose an Energy-Saving Window Air Conditioner
The new CEER standards for room air conditioners have made it more important than ever to choose an energy-efficient window air conditioner for your home. In addition to the convenience and ease of use provided by smart window air conditioners, a higher SEER rating can lead to lower energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
Consumers who prioritize energy efficiency may want to consider a Wi-Fi-enabled window air conditioner. These units can be controlled remotely through a smartphone app, allowing for more precise temperature control and the ability to turn off the unit when not in use. Some models even have built-in sensors that adjust the cooling output based on room temperature and humidity levels.
When shopping for a new window air conditioner, there are a few key factors to consider. First, you’ll want to make sure the unit is appropriately sized for the room it will be cooling. An undersized unit will have to work harder to cool the room, while an oversized unit can waste energy and result in higher bills.
In addition to size, it’s important to consider the unit’s energy efficiency rating. Look for the CEER rating, which is displayed on the EnergyGuide label mandated by the Department of Energy (DOE). Energy Star-certified units typically have a higher CEER rating and are at least 10% more efficient than the federal minimum standards.
By making smart choices when it comes to your home’s energy use, you can make a positive impact on the environment while also enjoying significant cost savings. When purchasing a new window air conditioner, be sure to consider factors like size, energy efficiency rating, and smart features like WiFi connectivity for the best results.
The new CEER standards for window AC units will lead to greater energy efficiency and lower electricity bills for consumers, while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The adoption of these standards will make it easier for consumers to choose air conditioners that meet the higher energy efficiency standards, including Energy Star-certified models that exceed the minimum requirements. By 2026, new window air conditioners manufactured or imported into the US will need to meet the new CEER standards, resulting in significant savings for consumers and positive environmental impacts.
To make an informed decision when purchasing an energy-efficient window air conditioner, it is important to have all the necessary information at your disposal. For expert advice on the most energy-efficient models and to find the perfect unit for your home, you can contact National Air Warehouse at 888-292-0874. Their knowledgeable team can provide you with detailed information on each unit’s energy efficiency rating, features, and compatibility with your home’s existing setup. Don’t hesitate to call and take the first step towards a more energy-saving home.
A gas hot water heater is a convenient appliance to have in your home, especially during cold weather. It provides you with hot water for bathing, cleaning, and cooking. However, when it starts to malfunction, it can cause major disruptions to your daily routine. One of the best ways to avoid unexpected breakdowns is to identify and troubleshoot common issues before they escalate.
If you’re experiencing problems with your gas hot water heater, don’t panic. This article will guide you through the most common issues you might encounter and their solutions. But first, it’s important to verify that you have a gas hot water heater and not an electric one. While gas heaters use natural gas or propane to heat water, electric heaters use a heating element. This article will focus on troubleshooting gas hot water heaters.
Read on to learn how to identify and solve common gas hot water heater problems such as no hot water, insufficient hot water, strange noises, and leaks. With the right information, you can troubleshoot and fix most issues without the need for professional help.
Here are 7 common problems you may encounter with your gas hot water heater and how to solve them:
- No hot water throughout the house: If the water coming out of the tap or shower is cold, it could be due to one of several possible issues.
- Thermostat: Check if the thermostat is adjusted to the correct temperature.
- Pilot light: Check if the pilot light is on and relight it if necessary. If it still won’t work, call a professional.
- Dirty water tank: Impurities in the water supply cause sediment to build up over time, which can settle at the base of the tank, insulating the water from the heating element.
- Flush the tank and ensure there is no mineral buildup at the bottom.
- Water is lukewarm:
- Clogged tank: An unflushed tank can have a layer of sediment blocking the water from the heat source. Flush and clean the tank to ensure proper heating.
- Damaged dip tube: One common issue in water heater troubleshooting is a damaged dip tube, which can affect both traditional tank-style water heaters and tankless water heaters. The dip tube is responsible for supplying cold water to the bottom of the tank, where it is heated. If the dip tube is damaged or broken, it can allow the flow of cold water back up to the top of the tank, where it mixes with the hot water and reduces the overall temperature of the supplied water. To fix this problem, the dip tube must be replaced, which can be done by a professional plumber or a skilled DIYer. In tankless water heaters, the dip tube is not applicable, but similar issues can occur with the heating elements or flow sensors, which may require professional water heater repairs.
- No hot water in a specific part of the house: If only a specific tap or room doesn’t receive hot water, it’s likely a problem with the water supply.
- Closed valve: Make sure the hot water valve is open all the way.
- Cross-connection issues can cause problems with your hot water recirculating pumps. If you notice that cold water is getting into your hot water pipe, it could be due to a damaged mixing valve. A simple solution is to replace the shower or mixing valve to ensure that cold water is not mixing with hot water.
- Pipe deposits: The water pipes may have a mineral buildup that restricts the water flow to the hot water pipe. This commonly occurs at elbow joints or old steel pipes.
- . Ice buildup: Frozen pipes can block water flow to certain areas of the house, especially those exposed to colder temperatures.
- Check valve issue: Hot water recirculating systems can encounter a check valve issue. A broken check valve can lead to cold water mixing with the hot water pipe, causing lukewarm water issues.
Additionally, gas control valves can malfunction, resulting in a lack of hot water. It is important to check these valves regularly and perform repairs as necessary to maintain the proper functioning of the hot water system.
- Dirty or discolored water: Murky or rust-colored water is not only a headache but also a health hazard.
If you own a gas water heater, you may encounter issues such as dirty or discolored water, which can be both an inconvenience and a health hazard.
- Cloudy water is a common problem and usually indicates a buildup of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, in the hot water tank. Flushing the tank can often resolve the issue. However, if it occurs frequently, it may be due to the water supply in your area, and installing a water softener could be necessary.
- If the water appears rusty, this can indicate corrosion in the anode rod, water tank, or water pipes. If rust is visible in the stored water in the tank, it may be time to replace the hot water tank.
- To prevent these issues, it’s important to perform regular maintenance on your natural gas water heater, including checking the anode rod, flushing the tank, and inspecting the gas valves. If you encounter any problems, consult a professional to ensure your gas water heater is running safely and efficiently.
- Foul odor: A foul odor emanating from the water can also be dangerous to health.
Bad (but not sulfuric) smell: Bad odors could mean bacteria, which can multiply in the growth-inducing hot water. Flushing the tank and replacing the anode rod can minimize the chances of any anaerobic bacteria surviving.
If your heat suddenly stops working, don’t worry about catching a chill. Our team of skilled technicians is always available to help, even on holidays, 24 hours a day. Simply give us a call and we will schedule your appointment right away, ensuring your comfort is restored promptly. Call us at 888-292-0874 to speak with one of our experts and find the perfect solution for your needs.
Disaster can strike anywhere – and whether it’s a hurricane or tornado, an earthquake or a wildfire, it’s important that you know what precautions to take before returning home after you’ve evacuated.
You should never enter your home without getting the green light from local officials first. Sometimes it’s not safe yet, even when it appears to be, so wait for an “all clear” before you try venturing back into your neighborhood.
What to Check When You Return Home
Once officials say it’s safe to return to your home, you still have to be careful. When you arrive, make sure there are no immediate threats to your safety, such as:
• Cracks in your home’s foundation or roof that could cause the house to collapse
• Electrical issues, like downed power lines or shorts within your home
• Gas leaks that could signal a break in the gas line
• Water and sewage issues that can cause serious illness or death
• Air quality problems, like mold or carbon monoxide
Expert advice: Don’t bring your kids or pets when you return to inspect your home. Make sure it’s safe, and if possible, cleaned up and repaired before you bring your family with you.
Cracks in the Foundation or Roof
The first thing you should look at when returning home is your roof. Check for signs of damage from the front and back of the house before entering. If you notice any sagging or holes in the roof, be extremely cautious as it may not be stable.
Look for cracks in what you can see of the foundation, and peek inside the windows to see if there’s standing water or if ceilings are sagging – these are signs that the home’s structure is unstable and it could be dangerous for you to go inside.
If you believe it looks safe from the outside, you can head inside. (Check out this checklist to uncover storm damage before it’s too late for safety tips on inspecting your home.)
Who to Call: Contact a professional repairman, roofing specialist, contractor, or inspector to take a closer look at the damage.
Officials will warn you if there are downed power lines in your neighborhood, but in the absence of a warning, you still need to check things around your home.
You should never touch fallen electrical wires, and if there’s any standing water in your home, turn off the electrical power immediately as long as you don’t have to stand in water to do it.
Who to Call: In case of electrical issues, immediately call your local electrician for assistance.
If you smell natural gas or propane, don’t go in – even if you think it’s just that the pilot light in your stove is out or that it’s coming from elsewhere. Even a small spark, like one from your hot water heater or an electrical short, can cause an explosion.
Even if you don’t notice a smell, but you notice a hissing sound of gas escaping or see other signs of a leak: IMMEDIATELY EVACUATE the area and seek assistance.
Who to Call: Immediately contact your designated energy company, 24-hour emergency number at 1-800-400-4271, or call your local emergency response number.
Water and Sewage Problems
Check for leaks around your home immediately. Watch for soggy floors, walls and ceilings – if you see any, the home’s integrity could be compromised, and you’ll need to leave right away. (It’s common for floors, walls and ceilings to get wet after a disaster, so moisture isn’t necessarily a sign that the home is about to collapse.)
If you discover puddles or floodwater, never let it touch your skin – even if you’re outdoors and you believe the water is coming from a nearby river or stream. There are three main types of wastewater, which includes water from flooding, but you can’t always tell what you’re dealing with by looking at it:
- Clean water – Clean water isn’t necessarily clean, but it comes from a clean source like a leaky faucet or broken pipe that carries city water to your home.
- Gray water – Gray water is definitely contaminated. It comes from sources like overflowing rivers and streams, washing machine and dishwasher overflows, and other sources that contain bacteria.
- Black water – Black water can contain deadly bacteria, as well as grease, sewage and dangerous pathogens. It can come from backed up sewage drains and other sources that carry wastewater, and it can pollute rivers and streams. You should never attempt to handle black water yourself.
If water is flowing inside your home, shut it off at its source immediately – right after you turn off the electricity.
Who to Call: In case of water and sewage problems, contact your city utilities, waste management company, or your local plumber.
Air Quality Problems
Open the doors and windows as soon as you can – your home needs to air out before you can stay there for any length of time. The biggest concerns with air quality in a disaster-claimed home are:
- Mold – Assume your home has mold issues if it was flooded. Mold can be extremely dangerous to your health.
- Carbon monoxide – Carbon monoxide can kill you, so bring along a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector when you inspect your home.
If you are concerned about air quality, immediately evacuate your home and call for assistance.
Who to Call: For potential carbon monoxide, call your local HVAC specialist or fire department as soon as possible. Mold inspectors and specialists are available for any potential mold from leftover water damage.
Damage caused by damp on a wall in modern house
Pests and Animals
After a disaster, snakes, spiders and other wild animals can seek shelter in quiet, undisturbed places. Be particularly careful if your home sustained broken windows or pipes during the disaster, if walls are cracked, or if your roof sustained significant damage.
Who to Call: If you notice any wild animals, quickly contact your local animal control company. For smaller animals such as rodents and insects, exterminators are available.
Safety Tips When Inspecting Your Home
When you inspect your home, follow these safety tips:
- Pay attention to strong odors or fumes that can signal dangerous chemical mixtures.
- Don’t connect a portable generator to your home’s electrical system.
- Remove wet items from your home as soon as possible to help prevent mold growth inside.
- Follow water advisories; if officials say you must boil water before using it, make sure it stays at a rolling boil for at least one minute. If possible, use bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth.
How to Rebuild
When it’s time to rebuild or repair your home, file an insurance claim if you can. Some types of insurance (like flood insurance) aren’t mandatory everywhere – it’s a special policy that you must purchase in addition to your regular homeowners insurance policy. However, particular types of insurance may be suggested or required for particular areas. Flood insurance is recommended in areas like Miami where flooding and hurricanes occur more frequently.
You’ll have to read through your entire policy to see what’s covered and what you’re responsible for doing before you file a claim.
How to File a Home Insurance Claim
Follow these steps to file a home insurance claim with your provider:
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible after a disaster.
- Fill out claim forms immediately to avoid delays.
- Ask your insurer to send out an adjuster to inspect the damage.
- Prepare for the adjuster’s visit by listing everything that’s damaged in your home. Don’t throw away damaged items until after the adjuster sees them.
- Keep your receipts for emergency repairs. The same is true if you’re displaced – hold on to hotel receipts so you can prove how much the disaster has cost you.
When you’re cleaning up after a disaster, you may find it necessary to hire professional help – especially if you’re dealing with mold, soot and smoke damage, or sewage. If you don’t need professional help, follow these tips:
- Wear safety gear, like rubber gloves, goggles or breathing masks to protect yourself.
- Work in teams when you’re moving heavy items like sofas and beds.
- Throw away food that’s been exposed to floodwater or mud, even if it was sealed in a can or container.
- Rest when you need to – post-disaster cleanup can be a big, stressful job.
- Air out your home by opening doors and windows, and use fans to blow air out of your home.
- Throw away things you can’t clean or dry easily, like cosmetics, mattresses, paper products and heavy rugs.
- Clean all surfaces with hot water and dish detergent or bleach.
- Get rid of standing water as soon as you can to reduce the risk of illness or disease (and to minimize places for mosquitoes to thrive).
- Don’t handle hazardous materials. Call the fire department to inspect and remove them.
Like this article? You can find this article along with other high quality content on https://www.redfin.com/ a leading publisher for all things related to home buying and selling.
As far as new small business strategy is concerned, the future appears to lie firmly within the eco-friendly sphere. According to German-based Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, the global market volume for environmental technologies will exceed 20 billion euro by 2025.
The term “environmental technologies” covers a lot of territory, but it also represents a lot of opportunity. Whether you consider such a strategy sustainable in the long-term, there can be little doubt that this is one diverse and growth-oriented niche for entrepreneurs who have vision and a desire to couple business innovation and environmental responsibility.
The great advantage of launching a green business is the global nature of environmentalism, a phenomenon that’s growing by leaps and bounds, which means that entrepreneurs in this niche are entering a burgeoning market. And there’s always the personal satisfaction angle, making money doing something that contributes to preserving our environment. Yet many such ventures constitute something completely new and represent a certain financial risk.
Growing a green business may require significant financial resources, which means owners are well-advised to investigate different options, including a small business loan, small business startup loan, or a business line of credit. Each option comes with its own unique advantages.
A small business loan is government-guaranteed, which allows lenders to offer loans at low interest rates. With a line of credit, you pay interest only on the amount you borrow from your credit line. There’s also a supportive system of green business organizations that can provide support, direction and advice where financing is concerned. The Clean Economy Network, Eco Tuesday, Green Chamber of Commerce and Green Drinks are just a few examples of an environmentally focused business networking community that can help new entrepreneurs in myriad ways.
Some of the most innovative and appealing new business ideas within the eco-friendly market niche are those that impact the way people live and help them find ways to live healthier and more sustainable. Food sourcing is a major area of concern in many parts of the world and it’s been a hot issue in the U.S. for many years. People, even those who live in small apartments with no space to grow food but on the roof, stand to benefit from a business that supports the set-up and maintenance of rooftop gardens from both a physical framework and garden and seed supply standpoint.
Concerns over non-renewable energy sources have been with us for decades and helped spawn the development of alternatives such as wind and solar power. Statistics show that solar power can supply as much as 70 percent of a family’s heated water needs over the course of a year. Combined with rapid growth in the solar panel business and the likely increase in conventional energy costs, solar power would seem to represent a very attractive business model for an aggressive and forward-thinking entrepreneur.
There’s been steady growth in the gas and electric scooter business in recent years. Oppressive traffic patterns, the cost of gas and car maintenance and heightened awareness of global warming has led many to opt for a cheaper, more sustainable way of getting around. That’s been good news for scooter dealerships, which would seem to offer a promising business model for years to come.
Growing a green business takes vision and a strong sense of innovation, as well as a belief in the urgency of investing in the long-term health of the environment. It’s a great way to think globally and act locally, as the saying goes.
Just a few years ago, the term “green living” would have brought up visions of treehouse hippies gardening in the nude. But not anymore. Society seems to have finally accepted that we are responsible for the state of our planet and that it’s the only one we will ever have.
If you’re looking for ways to give back to Mother Nature, keep reading for environmentally friendly changes you can make to your home and lifestyle without sacrificing your quality of life.
If you’ve yet to make your home purchase, you’ll have more options than ever when it comes to buying a green home. The Huffington Post explains that your first priority is to determine the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling system, which is what accounts for the vast majority of your energy consumption. If you’re looking for a home with solar power, discuss with the builder what types of materials have been used in each panel’s construction.
Many utilize heavy metals, which are soldered with a lead-based solution. These can’t be recycled, and if damaged or at the end of their life cycle, may do more harm to the environment than good. Alternate forms of renewable energy include wind power and hydroelectricity. Unfortunately, these technologies remain expensive for the standard consumer. A geothermal heat pump, according to Money Talks News at CBS, utilizes geothermal heat and can help keep your home cool and comfortable without severely impacting your local environment.
One of the most important features of an environmentally sustainable home is its location in proximity to community amenities and services you’ll use. If you are truly interested in lowering your carbon footprint, consider buying a home in a walkable location. By walking or biking to and from the grocery store, park, school and work, you will not only save money, but you’ll have zero negative effect on the atmosphere. As an added bonus, these activities are great for your cardiovascular health and may help you maintain a healthy weight.
When you already own your home, there are still numerous upgrades you can make, including installing energy-efficient appliances and windows that keep the outside elements where they belong. These, however, may be cost prohibitive for the environmentally aware homeowner on a budget. Redfin asserts that there are many other home improvements that that won’t break the bank – many, in fact, are free – that you can implement yourself without bringing in an expensive contractor. These include sprucing up your landscape with native plants and performing preventative maintenance on your hot water heater each year. Even simple things such as enrolling in paperless billing, switching your halogen light bulbs to LED or CFL lights, fixing leaky faucets and using a rain barrel to collect water for irrigation can have a big impact.
Your home’s insulation can also lower your utility bills and therefore your environmental footprint. Even if you upgrade to an energy-efficient HVAC system and keep it set to 68 degrees in the winter and 72 degrees in the summer, it will still work double time if your home can’t maintain its temperature. EnergyStar.gov explains that home improvements made to a typical home might include sealing air leaks and insulating to meet 2012 International Energy Conservation Code installation requirements.
The chemicals you use to clean your home every day can also burden the environment. LiveScience explains that certain chemicals, such as VOCs, are used to enhance these products, but can actually cause impaired neurological functions. When inhaled, these and other chemicals can affect the respiratory system.
While green cleaners, which are commonly touted as top-shelf products at your local grocery store, are an environmentally friendly option, they are not without their downfalls. They can be expensive and may require more work in the form of additional scrubbing to remove heavy stains. Many also don’t kill germs. A viable alternative for most household surfaces is to use a mixture of vinegar and citric acid, which will clean, disinfect and help reduce mold spore growth.
You can avoid tracking many potentially harmful germs and bacteria into your home, which will eliminate the need for harsh cleaners, by leaving your shoes at the door and washing your hands as soon as you arrive home.
There are numerous environmental impacts of growing your own food, and they are all good, assuming you avoid harmful pesticides and insecticides. While you have access to a vast array of fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, these items have likely traveled hundreds to thousands of miles via train, plane and truck to get to your local store shelf. Local produce, either sourced from the farmers market or grown in your own backyard, eliminates much of the emissions associated with food growth. As an added benefits, adding plants to your property where there previously were none will further help offset your carbon footprint by absorbing CO2 in the air.
More ways to go green
- Create a homemade compost bin
- Shop with reusable grocery bags or make your own out of repurposed T-shirts
- Avoid bottled water
- Use cold water for doing laundry
- Turn off the lights and water when you leave a room
- Better yet, avoid flipping the light switch up and utilize natural light
- If you must drive, go the speed limit and reduce your trips to as few as possible
- Shutdown electronics when not in use – sleep mode is still uses energy
- Contact your local energy company see if you qualify for green power incentives
- Opt out of unnecessary mailings, such as credit card offers
- Reuse office papers by allowing your children to draw on the back before recycling
- Switch to digital subscriptions for your magazines and periodicals
- Organize a community swapping event
- When you dine out, eat at local restaurants that source their food locally
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees or less
- Unplug phone and computer chargers when not in use
- Craft using recycled materials
- If you have a baby, switch to cloth diapers, which can prevent thousands of pounds of added landfill mass over the course of three years
As you can see, there are a myriad of ways to go green whether you’re buying, renovating or simply trying to be more aware of the environment. Even implementing a few of these changes will have a positive impact today and for future generations.
Sustainable, Smart, and Cost Efficient? Here’s Your Guide to Smart Home Technology
Utilities can be taxing on both the environment and your wallet. Sometimes we even waste utilities when we don’t need to, which usually comes as quite a shock when the bill comes in. We scratch our heads and think, “wow, there’s no way I used 897 kilowatt-hours of electricity this month.” (The average U.S. household uses that much each month and 10,766 kWh per year.)
Fortunately, there are several in-home tech products that will save you money on your utility bills and help the environment at the same time.
How Much Electricity Do You Use Around the House?
Each month, your utility bill is calculated based on how many kilowatt-hours are consumed.
So just how far does one kilowatt-hour go?
A kilowatt-hour, which is a measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of 1,000 watts for one hour, could power ten incandescent 100-watt lightbulbs for an hour. One kwh costs about $0.12 (so leaving the lights on, despite what your mother said about turning them off to save money, isn’t as expensive as it seems). Check out this table, which lists common household appliances and how much energy they use in an average month:
Appliance average kWh used each month and average cost
||Appliance Average kWh used each month
||Average cost each month
|One LED Lightbulb
|Wireless modem and router
|One 60-watt Incandescent Lightbulb
|Washer and Dryer
|Heating and cooling
So does that mean you have to put on a sweater or take a cold shower? Not necessarily. If you know what you’re doing, you can save hundreds of kWh each month by utilizing the latest in-home technology.
Heating and Cooling
- Smart Thermostat: One of the most common smart home additions, smart thermostats are arguably the best way to save the most money. As most of your utility bills are heating and cooling, installing and using a smart thermostat can have a huge impact on your bills. Additionally, most are compatible with smart home assistants like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, or other automated assistants. Smart thermostats work by keeping temperature settings consistent. Some have sensors to keep tabs on hot and cold spots in your house, and you can program them to adjust temperatures in your home while you’re gone at work, on vacation, or sleeping, so you’re not wasting energy on climate control you don’t need.
- Motorized Shades: Another great way to money, motorized shades are often overlooked in the heating and cooling department. These shades allow you to set specific times when they should open or close. Almost all the settings can be done from an app and will work whether you’re home or not. Some of the even smarter ones can auto adjust to the temperature outside to maximize your savings. You will end up saving money by keeping the sun out when it’s hot in the day or choosing to let the light warm up your space. You can also opt for honeycomb shades, which are designed especially for insulation, but any shade or drape with the right spacing will help slash your heating costs.
Average Savings: Between $131 and $145 per year
- Smart Lights: Smart lights, like Philips Hue and LIFX, can save you cash through programming, motion detection and remote access to your lights when you’re away from home (for security during vacation purposes), but that’s not all there is to it. Smart lights are LEDs, which cost significantly less to operate than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Average Savings: Between $80 and $120 per year
Games, TVs and Other Appliances
- Surge Protectors: Certain small appliances such as video game consoles are known as drain devices. This means that even when someone isn’t using it, the device is still using energy. This is where conservation based surge protectors like the Belkin Conserve Switch Surge Protector come in! These surge protectors allow you switch things off with a remote, which prevents drain devices from wasting energy. Other types, like ThinkEco, cut down consumption when your plugged-in devices are in standby mode.
Average Savings: Between $60 and $80 per year
- Energy-efficient washers:Though there aren’t smart washers per se, energy-efficient washers are a smart way to save. Certified ENERGY STAR products can help you save on both electricity and water, so you get even more bang for your buck when you pay your utility bill water bill. Typically, an ENERGY STAR washing machine uses 25 percent less electricity than its non-eco-friendly counterparts do. Another tip to save money while washing clothes is to waste them with warm (not hot) or cold water.
Average Savings: Between $75 and $125 per year
How Much Water Does Your Household Use?
While estimates vary based on location, the average U.S. household uses about 90 gallons of water every day. Unfortunately, most of that water is wasted through toilet flushing and showers. Dishwashers, washing machines and outdoor watering also waste a large amount of water. We’ve created a chart that shows how much water common household items use and how much it costs.
||Average Gallons Used Each Time
||Average Cost Per Use
|Shower (10 Minutes) with ordinary shower head
|Shower (10 Minutes) with water-saving showerhead
|Dishwasher (non-ENERGY STAR)
|Dishwasher (ENERGY STAR)
|Toilet Flush (Regular)
|Toilet Flush (low-flow)
||Less than $.01
|Outdoor watering (30 minutes)
Other than cutting down on water consumption by investing in ENERGY STAR appliances, doing fewer loads of laundry and taking shorter showers, there are a few devices you can add to your home to drastically reduce your water consumption.
Showers and Faucets
- High-efficiency faucet aerator: Aerators are a great way to save money on water. They work by adding air to your water. This means you can keep your water pressure while cutting your water usage in half!
- Smart home water meter: While they don’t give you direct savings, smart home water meters can be a great investment. By showing you how much water you use and where it goes, you can adjust your water usage in certain areas and save money.
Average Savings: About $100 per year
- Smart toilets:Smart toilets are beneficial in two ways: they save water and they can help eliminate toilet paper waste. The EPA states that toilets labeled with WaterSense labels can reduce water usage by 20-60% and save around 13,000 gallons of water per year.
Average Savings: About $100 per year
Smart Home Security
- Smart Home Security System: A smart home security system is another way to save money, albeit indirectly. While the products themselves don’t save you money, having them can help decrease your insurance bill. Think of it like having airbags in the car – your insurer knows that you’re taking measures to mitigate risk, which means your rates are likely to go down. The latest-and-greatest security systems monitor your home’s electricity and wiring, and record activity that goes on inside and outside your house. Sometimes you can even get a claims-free credit, which offers you a discount if you haven’t made a claim in the past.
Average Savings: Up to 20% of your normal bill
Original article from Redfin
As more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, there is a higher demand for innovative technologies that empower senior citizens to live independently. One such technology is the wi-fi thermostat. Maintaining a comfortable indoor environment is essential for a healthy lifestyle, and wi-fi thermostats can make it easy for a senior to keep their home at an optimal temperature. Consider the following features of the latest wi-fi thermostats and how they can support the lifestyles of seniors who live independently:
- Accessible from a mobile device. Perhaps the most important feature of today’s wi-fi thermostats is that they are accessible from a mobile device. Instead of having to walk over to the thermostat in order to change the temperature of the house, a senior can simply tap the screen of their phone or tablet. That’s ideal for seniors who have challenges with mobility, as well as those who are often out-and-about and want to make sure they arrive home to a comfortable environment.
- Large, easy-to-read touch screens. Many of the latest wi-fi thermostats today have large, well-lit screens that are easy to read, even from a distance. That makes it easier for seniors to check the temperature and determine whether or not to change it. Plus, the majority of thermostat manufacturers have switched over to touch screens, which means that seniors no longer have to deal with tiny buttons.
- Programmable and non-programmable options. With most of the wi-fi thermostats on the market today, users can choose between programmable and non-programmable options. As a result, a wi-fi thermostat can work for seniors with a variety of different lifestyles. For instance, seniors who have a specific schedule for when they will be out of the house can program the thermostat so they won’t forget to turn it off and waste energy (and money) on heating or cooling while they are away. At the same time, those who spend most of their time at home can choose a traditional manual setting that gives them full control of the environment at every moment.
Whether you’re looking for technologies to support a parent or friend, or whether you’re a senior yourself, a wi-fi thermostat can really make a difference when it comes to the ease of heating and cooling your home. National Air Warehouse offers a wide range of wi-fi thermostats at affordable prices, and we offer free shipping, right to your home. Contact us today to learn more about our products!
Last week on the blog, we talked about the importance of choosing high quality copper refrigerant tubing insulation. Right now, one of the top choices for homeowners and home builders alike is insulation made from elastomeric foam. Elastomeric foam is an innovative material made of polymers that are simultaneously characterized by both viscosity and elasticity. Read on to learn why elastomeric foam tubing insulation is ideal for home builders.
Easing the Installation Process
For home builders, the installation process for foam tubing can sometimes be a challenge. However, the innate properties of elastomeric tubing make installation fast and easy. Here are a few reasons why most home builders prefer elastomeric foam over other types of foam insulation materials:
- Elastomeric foam is a flexible material, which makes it a lot easier to install than insulation made from stiffer foam materials. If you’ve ever spent excessive time trying to force a foam tube over a line, only to have the stiff foam crack in your hand, you know why flexible foam is ideal.
- At the same time, elastomeric foam is a tough material that is ready for on-site handling. As a home builder, you don’t want foam insulation that gets smashed upon the slightest contact with the tools in the back of your truck.
- You don’t have to worry about adding a vapor retarder. Elastomeric foam tubing has a built-in vapor barrier, which means you can skip that step in the installation process.
Ensuring Customer Satisfaction
As a home builder, customer satisfaction is one of your top priorities. Therefore, choosing high quality foam tubing insulation when setting up an HVAC system for your project just makes sense. Elastomeric foam tubing insulation, which is used to protect the copper refrigerant lines that run between the condenser and the evaporator coil of an air conditioning system, provided three key benefits for building owners:
- Preventing condensation that causes mold, which can be a major hassle for your customers to deal with.
- Reducing energy loss, which can help keep your customers’ regular energy bills low.
- Resisting ultraviolet radiation, which can ensure that your customers won’t have to deal with repairs or replacements for a long time.
For home builders, the choice is simple. With elastomeric foam tubing, you get an easy installation process and a lot of happy customers. National Air Warehouse offers elastomeric pipe insulation with both 7/8” and 3/4” diameters, and we ship free to anywhere in the United States. Contact us today to learn more about our products!