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  • Your Safety Guide: Returning Home After a Disaster

    Debri blocking road during a typhoon

     

    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.

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    Electrical Issues

     

    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. 

    Gas Leaks

     

    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.

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    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 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:

    1. Call your insurance company as soon as possible after a disaster.
    2. Fill out claim forms immediately to avoid delays.
    3. Ask your insurer to send out an adjuster to inspect the damage.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

     

    Feel free to use this image just link to www.rentvine.com

    Cleanup Tips

     

    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.

  • Green Growth Market: Starting and Growing an Eco-Friendly Business

    Going green

    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.

     

    Getting started

    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.

     

    Innovative ideas

    innovative ideas

    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.

     

    Green power

    green energy

    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.

     

    Eco-friendly transportation

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    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.

  • Ways to Go Green

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    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.

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    Buying green

    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.

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    Daily changes

    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.

    Friends_gardening

    Garden glee

    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.

    Eco Friendly Heat Pumps

    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

     

    Beige siding house exterior with covered porch and trimmed bushes in front. View of soft blue staircase with narrow walkway.

     

    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  Appliance Average kWh used each month Average cost each month
    Smartphone .08 kWh $0.01
    Tablet .9 kWh $0.11
    One LED Lightbulb 1.2 kWh $0.14
    Big-screen TV 2.5 kWh $0.30
    Wireless modem and router 7.5 kWh $0.90
    Gaming System 8.3 kWh $1.00
    One 60-watt Incandescent Lightbulb 18.3 kWh $2.20
    Desktop Computer 25.0 kWh $3.00
    Refrigerator 29.1 kWh $3.50
    Washer and Dryer 69.44 kWh $8.33
    Water Heater 416.7 kWh $50.00
    Heating and cooling 640.5 kWh $76.86

     

    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.

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    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

     

    Green-technology-that-saves-money-on-utilities

    Light Use

    • 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

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    Laundry

    • 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.

     Appliance Average Gallons Used Each Time Average Cost Per Use
    Bath 36 gallons $0.14
    Shower (10 Minutes) with ordinary shower head 50 gallons $0.20
    Shower (10 Minutes) with water-saving showerhead 20 gallons $0.08
    Dishwasher (non-ENERGY STAR) 16 gallons $0.06
    Dishwasher (ENERGY STAR) 6 gallons $0.02
    Toilet Flush (Regular) 3 gallons $0.01
    Toilet Flush (low-flow) 1.6 gallons Less than $.01
    Outdoor watering (30 minutes) 60 gallons $0.24

     

    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.

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    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

     

    Toilets

    • 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

     

  • Why Wi-Fi Thermostats Are a Great Option for Independent Seniors

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    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!

  • Why More Home Builders Are Choosing Elastomeric Foam Tubing Insulation

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    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!

  • Post-Summer Evaluation of Your Air Conditioner’s Performance

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    Now that summer is over and the weather is finally starting to cool off, it’s time to think back on your air conditioner’s performance over the last few months. One of the most important questions to ask is whether the cooling components in your AC system were sufficient to keep your house cool and comfortable all summer. If the answer is no, you may want to consider adding or replacing the cooling components in your system with a condenser with an evaporator coil.

    Understanding How a Condenser with an Evaporator Coil Can Improve Your AC System

    In an AC system, the condenser is responsible for releasing heat into the outdoor air. An evaporator coil picks up heat from the air inside your home or business, so choosing a condenser with an evaporator coil can increase the effectiveness and efficiency with which heat is removed from the building. As a result, adding or replacing a cooling component in your AC system with a condenser with evaporator coil can increase the system’s ability to keep your home or business cool during the hottest days of summer. This option is ideal for people who live in warmer climates and have AC systems that just aren’t meeting their cooling needs.

    Of course, with winter on the way, improving your AC system might not be at the forefront of your mind right now. But fall is actually an excellent time to consider adding to or replacing cooling components within your AC system. If you live in a warm climate, waiting until spring can be risky. By the time spring comes and you remember that you wanted to improve your AC system, you might end up having to endure days without air conditioning while the condenser with evaporator coil is being installed. It can be a lot easier do the job now, when the sub-standard summer performance of your air conditioner is still fresh in your mind, but you don’t have to worry that your home will get too warm for comfort during the installation process.

    Considering the Costs of a Condenser with Evaporator Coil

    When deciding whether to invest in a condenser with evaporator coil, cost can be a major consideration. For one of these options, one of the main cost determinants is the cooling capacity, which can range from 1.5 tons to 5 tons. If you are worried about the effects of a condenser with evaporator coil on your energy bill, you should also pay attention to the SEER rating. For condensers with evaporator coils, you can choose between 14 SEER and 16 SEER. A higher SEER rating is generally associated with a higher upfront cost, but choosing a 16 SEER-rated product may help you keep next summer’s energy bills lower.

     

    National Air Warehouse offers a wide range of condenser with evaporator coil options. Contact us today to find the one that is right for you!

  • BTUs for Furnaces and Air Conditioners: Is There a Difference?

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    When you buy a new furnace or air conditioner, there are lots of parameters you need to consider. The AFUE and/or SEER rating or a system can help you find a system at your desired efficiency level, and the heating capacity gives you the information you need to ensure that the unit has what it takes to keep the temperature in your home or business at a comfortable level. Heating capacity is a measure  of the amount of hot or cold air that the unit can produce, and it is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU).

    If you’re a homeowner looking to replace both your furnace and air conditioner, or if you’re a homebuilder putting in systems for a new building, you might automatically assume that the BTU you need is the same for both the furnace and the air conditioner -- but that’s not always the case. The main factor that determines your heating capacity needs is the size of the building, but other factors can lead you to choose a system that is on either the high or low end of the appropriate BTU spectrum for your building size.

    BTU Ranges for Whole-Building HVAC Systems

    If you are looking for an air conditioner or furnace to meet the cooling needs of an entire home or business, your heating capacity options vary widely. At the low end, you can buy a furnace or air conditioner with a 40K or 50K BTU. However, based on size alone, the heating capacity needs of most homes and businesses fall between 60K BTU and 100K BTU. For unusually large buildings, furnaces or air conditioners with 120K to 150K BTU may be required.

    For every building size, there is a range of appropriate BTUs, which can be determined based on a variety of factors. Aside from size, some of the things that can cause your BTU needs to differ between your air conditioner and your furnace include the following:

     

    • Location. If you live in a location that is cold for most of the year, with summer temperatures topping out around 80, you can get away with  a lower BTU for your air conditioner than your furnace. Conversely, if you live in a warm location where the temperature never drops below freezing, the amount of heat to keep your house comfortable in the winter will be lower, so your furnace may not need as high a BTU as your air conditioner.
    • Size and location of windows. East- and south-facing windows are great for keeping a building warmer in the winter, which may lower the necessary BTU. At the same time, if the windows are large and hard to cover in the summer, you may need an air conditioner with a higher BTU to keep the building comfortable in the warmer months.
    • Personal preference. Regardless of the time of year, some people prefer a cool living environment, while others would rather stay warm and toasty. If you’re in the former group, it might make more sense to choose an air conditioner on the high end of the BTU spectrum for your building size and a furnace on the low end. If you’re in the latter category, the opposite strategy may be ideal for you.

     
    No matter what you’re looking for in an HVAC system, National Air Warehouse can help you find what you need. Contact us today for more information about our products!

  • Eliminating Mold with a Germicidal Ultraviolet Air Treatment Kit

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    Over the last few months, millions of Americans have been impacted by a series of devastating hurricanes. Across the South, homes and businesses have been left without power for days or even weeks. Flooding has also been common. As a result of the heavy rains and recent flood events, many building owners are now dealing with the presence of harmful mold. Read on to learn more about a cutting-edge technology that may help you solve the problem: a germicidal ultraviolet air treatment kit.

    How Ultraviolet Light Destroys Mold and Other Microbes

    It’s been over a hundred years since scientist Niels Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering that ultraviolet light can effectively treat tuberculosis. In 1903, he earned the prize when he found that it was possible to kill the bacteria that cause tuberculosis by exposing them to ultraviolet light. Today, scientists know that ultraviolet light damages the DNA of microbes (such as bacteria and fungi), which disrupts cellular processes that are essential for life. Thus, ultraviolet light has been applied as a germicidal strategy in a wide range of industries -- including HVAC.

    Getting Rid of Mold In Your Home or Business

    Even if the flooding in your home was minimal, the slightest bit of mold exposure can lead to major problems. There are lots of myths going around about how to get rid of mold. Some of the myths you might have heard include the following:

    • MYTH: The mold will go away when the carpet dries out.
    • MYTH: You can get rid of mold by painting over it.
    • MYTH: Bleach is effective for destroying all types of mold.
    • MYTH: Mold is natural, so it’s nothing to worry about.

    In fact, even if the carpet dries out in a few days, mold can persist for weeks, months, or even years if it the situation is not addressed. And painting over it does NOTHING to fix the problem. While bleach does destroy some types of mold, there are certain species of fungi that are resistant, and it does not kill mold on porous surfaces. Moreover, bleach does nothing to address the problem of mold spores in the air. And finally, certain types of mold can cause serious health problems, so if your home or business has been exposed to mold as a result of the recent hurricanes, you should take action immediately.

    A germicidal ultraviolet air treatment kit is an excellent solution. This technology can eliminate mold spores from the air in your home or business in less than a second. Even in rooms with a high concentration of mold spores, an ultraviolet air treatment kit is highly effective.
    If you’re looking to solve a mold problem after the recent hurricane -- or prevent one in the future -- National Air Warehouse offers a top quality ultraviolet air treatment kit at an affordable price. Contact us today for more information!

  • Choosing the Right Size Air Conditioner for Your House

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    When you are purchasing an air conditioner for your home, one of the most important choices you will make is the size of the unit. On the market today, you can find air conditioners ranging from 1.5 tons to 5 tons, offered in 0.5 ton increments. But if you aren’t an expert in HVAC, the idea of measuring an air conditioner in tons can initially be confusing. After all, no air conditioner weighs a ton! So what do these numbers mean? Is a 2 ton unit better than a 1.5 ton unit? Is a 5 ton unit the best? Read on for answers to these questions and more!

    Why Air Conditioner Cooling Capacity is Measured in Tonnage

    Usually, when you hear about something being measured in tons, the figure refers to the object’s weight. But for air conditioners, the tonnage of the unit is actually of a measure of its ability to remove a certain amount of heat from the air in your house in a certain amount of time. Specifically, it refers to the unit’s ability to remove 12,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heat from the building in a single hour. Therefore, a 2 ton air conditioner can remove 24,000 BTUs of heat per hour, a 3 ton air conditioner can remove 36,000 BTUs of heat per hour, and a 4 ton air conditioner can remove 48,000 BTUs of heat per hour.

    Not All Sizes Are Created Equal

    Given that air conditioners with higher cooling capacities can remove more heat from the air per hour, you might automatically assume that a higher number is better -- but that’s not true! Choosing the right size air conditioner for your home is essential, and problems can arise if the tonnage is too high or too low.

    If the cooling capacity is too high, your air conditioner will turn on, quickly cool down the house, and then turn off. But the house will soon warm up again, initiating another short cycle. This is a highly inefficient way to keep your house cool, unnecessarily wasting energy and increasing your energy bill. Alternatively, if the cooling capacity is too low, you air conditioner will not have the power to remove all the heat from your house, so it will run constantly. Again, this is an inefficient way to keep the temperature down, and running your air conditioner all day and all night inevitably drives up your energy bill.

    When the cooling capacity of your air conditioner fits with the size of your house, it will go through a few cycles each day. Sometimes it will be on, and sometimes it will be off, but your house will always be at a comfortable temperature, and your energy bill will be under control.

     

    Fun Air Conditioner Facts

     

    Interesting Facts About Air Conditioners

     

    National Air Warehouse offers air conditioning units with a wide range of cooling capacities. Contact us today for more help finding the one that is right for your home!

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