4 Important Energy Saving Tips for the Home

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Every day, we spend a lot of energy, whether it be physical or electrical. However, it is the electrical energy that becomes the bigger problem. Unlike the energy we exert, electrical energy comes with a cost. If not taken carefully, you might end up with a huge electrical bill with nothing to pay for it! Saving energy can be a very simple thing to do, but it is also a simple thing to forget. In order to make this happen, you need to start early. Here are my tips for saving energy for the home!

Energy Saving Tips

Take your refrigerator to a cooler spot.

Refrigerators are one of the greatest inventions. It keeps your food from spoiling, keeps your water cool, and your ice cream cold. However, it can be one of the biggest energy eaters in your home. While buying an inverter refrigerator is always an option, not everyone has the money to replace the traditional home refrigerator. By placing it into a cooler spot, the refrigerator spends less energy to cool its contents!

Use LED Lights.

I know people say and recommend this every time, but it is true! LED lights can be very helpful to saving energy. They are just as bright, sometimes even brighter than traditional lights. Moreover, unlike its traditional counterparts, it is safer and lasts longer. It is also 80% more efficient than its counterparts, as it directs majority of the energy to light instead of heat.

Keep track of your appliances.

Having a lot of appliances can be handy, but it can also be very tricky. The more appliances you install in your home, the harder it is to know which ones are in use and which one consumes more energy. It is even trickier if the appliances are really important that it must stay in use! Thankfully, modern electric radiators, refrigerators, cooling units, home security systems, and the like are building around energy efficiency. Even so, you must stay vigilant. Unplug all appliances that are not in use to save energy!

Be efficient with your laundry.

Laundry machines such as dryers and washing machines are a huge life saver. They take the physical job of laundry, giving us more time in the day to do other things. However, they can also take up a lot of energy. You must be efficient with your laundry in order to save energy. Always load the washing machine to full to ensure fewer washes, and let the clothes hang out to dry instead during the hot season. While a dryer is most effective, it can also be very cost inefficient for such a simple task.

 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The Benefits of a Heat Pump

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When the temperatures start to drop, people start to think about their heating services. Nobody wants to shiver in their own homes which is why it is critical to think about HVAC needs before it gets cold. One option that people might not know about is called a heat pump. There are a few advantages of heat pumps that everyone should keep in mind.

heat pump

A Less Expensive Option

First, heat pumps Baltimore MD are one of the least expensive options on the market today. Heat pumps might be more expensive to install; however, they are far more efficient to operate. In comparison to other heat pumps that often run on combustion, many heat pumps draw their energy from the ground. This means that they are environmentally friendly and can save money.

They Require Less Maintenance

In addition, heat pumps will also save money because they require far less maintenance than systems that run on combustion. Heat pumps only need to be checked once per year. One of the major reasons why heat pumps require less maintenance is that there are fewer things that can go wrong and they are far safer than traditional combustion systems. This is one of the major reasons why heat pumps are becoming so popular.

Improved Longevity

Finally, heat pumps also tend to last longer than their combustion-based counterparts. While some people might end up replacing their heating systems in fewer than ten years, there are heat pumps out there that can last decades. This means that heat pumps can provide a reliable source of energy for years to come.

The Benefits of Heat Pumps

As people are looking for alternative ways to heat their homes, heat pumps are becoming more popular. These are a great investment for anyone who is looking to upgrade a heating system.

Working Out How Big A Mortgage You Can Afford

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Investing in a home for the first time is one of the most crucial investment choices, many of us will make in our lives, so it is something that can also cause a lot of stress. However, it does not need to be like that, and you can help remove the uncertainty and fear by doing your financial homework and consulting an independent financial consultant to receive impartial and accurate advice. Below are some of the steps that you need to take to work out how big a mortgage you can afford, allowing you to work out a manageable budget and choosing an appropriate house.

Mortgage You Can Afford

Work Out Your Income & Expenditure

The first place to start is to work out your total income, and when working out the affordability of a mortgage, it is usually the pre-tax figure that is used. However, you will need to work out all your expenses for a month, which will also help to determine how much you can afford to pay every month. You will need to consider things like local taxes, utility bills, mobile phone bills, rent, internet, and any loans or car payments that you may have recurring monthly. You will also need to estimate your food bills, and once you have worked out your total expenditure for the month, you can then subtract this from your gross income which gives you an estimate of how much extra cash you have a month. Now that you know how much you can afford to pay, it is then time to work out how big a mortgage you can get. 

Working Out The Size Of Your Available Mortgage

Many mortgage brokers such as the Mint Equity Sydney home loans specialists will be familiar with all the different rates and figures that the different lenders used, so to save yourself a lot of work you may wish to consult an expert to help you work things out and make the process simple. Most mortgage companies will use two sets of figures which are;

  • Front-End Ratio Maximum – The figure is worked out by taking dividing your annual pre-tax salary by 12, and then multiplying by the ration offered, which is typically between 28% and 36%. If you earn $72,000 per a year, divide this by 12 which gives you $6000, and then multiply this by 0.28 if the lender offers the lower term which is $1680, which would be the maximum mortgage payment you can afford. 
  • Back-End Ratio Maximum – To work out this ratio, it is similar to working out the front-end rations. Divide your salary by 12, and the subtract your other financial obligations from the amount left, which will give you the back-end ratio, or amount you can afford to pay after your other bills. 

Listen To The Experts 

There are pros and cons with all types of mortgage, so when you seek the advice of a broker, make sure that you are honest and open with the information that they require. They will then be able to assist you in not only working out how much you can afford to pay monthly but also help in getting you the best mortgage deal possible.

Flushed Cheeks for a Youthful Glow

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A month ago I have talked about welcoming the year 2020 with skin care, as we all know that beautifying starts with a great looking skin. Now, next to skin care is to get your eyebrows perfectly done, wear a good lipstick shade to emphasize your lips but do not forget to also make your cheeks go pop. Full flushed cheeks are on trend, and here are some tips on how to make this trend work for you.

flushed cheeks

 

Create a perfect glam for all occasions by using a versatile blush pallete. Rosy cheeks with red or pink tones can enhance the look of your healthy complexion and can make a youthful glow. Do not be afraid to dip into your blush pan, experiment a little to see what shade suits your face shape. Beauty experts says that the peach, coral and mauve shades are in the spotlight nowadays. However, you can choose whatever shade you want as long as it suits you. Remember, the point is to make your cheeks look fresh and radiant throughout the day.

If you are still indecisive about what shade to pick, OFRA Cosmetics, an internationally recognized name in the beauty industry and a leading manufacturer of professional skincare and makeup with 24 years of manufacturing experience has their top of the line Pro Palette Blush with cool and warm tones to choose from:

OFRA Cosmetics

Pink Lady (bright fuchsia matte)

Raisin (warm brown with slight sheen)

Rendezvous (warm reddish-brown natural sheen)

Crazy Pink (mauve lavender satin)

Coral Crush (bright coral matte)

Apricot (light peachy neutral with slight shimmer)

Winter Rose Glow (warm brown with subtle shimmer)

Candy Apple (bright cool toned pink matte)

Pink Satin (light cool pink matte)

Charm (natural peach matte)

Rose (mauve dusty rose matte)

Format (warm bronze satin)

Finding the right blush can be tricky. Powder blush is a better option if your skin is oily and it also tend to stay longer, on the other hand creams give a natural fresh flush and more translucent but not recommended for skin types which are prone to break-outs. Choose the one that works best for you.

Lastly, use a smaller brush, ideally a dome-shaped brush with densely packed bristles. This ideal brush is recommended by beauty specialists.

4 Effective Ways to Saving Water at Home

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In a previous article, I’ve written about various ways to save money in the bathroom. It has been roughly 4 months since then. Looking back at my previously written posts, I’ve realized that I didn’t write an article for saving water. Water these days are very difficult to come by; with the hotter climates, there’s a definite and rising need for colder water. As having experienced water shortage, I’ve found it to be incredibly frustrating on a hot day. Not only that, it made me realize that water is truly finite. Since then, I have been mindful of how much water I use, and how much I preserve. So, with this in mind, here are the tips I’ve done that have been incredibly effective!

Tips to Saving Water

1. Take showers instead of baths.

Showers consume less water than a bath does, and it is more convenient. You can also take lesser showers, and that would save you more time. All you need to do is turn your faucet handle, and out comes the water! Sadly, a shower just doesn’t have the same magical properties as a bath. On a stressful day, there is nothing more comforting than soaking in a warm bath. It is a good stress reliever, and leaves you feeling good. Fortunately, technology has come a long way since then.

Insignia steam showers provide some of the best steam showers today. These steam showers share the magical properties of a bath, and the convenience of a shower! Installation of these showers are often easy, and water is often recycled to save it.

2. Check all water pipes, faucets, toilets, and sinks periodically for any leaks.

While this is a no-brainer, leakage from water pipes still come as a surprise to many! After all, it’s not often that we can notice it. Once we do, we often have no idea how long it has been leaking. While leaking pipes, faucets and the like seem trivial, it has disastrous consequences. If left ignored for long periods of time, it can cause mold and flooding. The latter is the most dangerous as it can flow into your electrical sockets and cause a power outage.

Periodic maintenance of water pipes will help in saving water, and reducing water bills. Keeping an eye on the pipes as often can also help, as it allows you to preemptively fix the problem.

3. Conserve water by turning off water when not in use.

While this may seem like another no-brainer, many people often disregard this. Some, when washing their hands, often leave the water running. It also happens to people brushing their teeth, shaving, etc. Proper discipline can often be the key to saving water. We don’t know when a water shortage can start. It is better to start this habit now, rather than regretting it later!

4. Use Rainwater as substitute.

Rainwater is often pure, as chemicals it may have had is often left after evaporation. I use rainwater myself to water the plants of my garden! It can also be used to clean dog kennels and  It is very helpful as I won’t have to draw water from my faucet anymore. It is also relatively safe to drink too after boiling and filtration!

These tips have worked wonders for me, and I hope it does for you too!

Image by Henryk Niestrój from Pixabay

How to choose the right lights for your home

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When decorating your home, it is important not to leave lighting as an afterthought. The lighting can help add warmth and ambiance in a room, but it also needs to match the level of lighting needed depending on the room type, as you will for example need more light in a kitchen than bedroom. Planning ahead which lamps will give you the desired lighting, is important. For inspiration, check out the lamps from Fritz Hansen

right lights for your home
image credits: Lampemesteren.com

Layered illumination 

When it comes to choosing the lamps for your living room, it is important to think in terms of lamps that can provide different types of lighting to achieve depth and ambiance in the room. Start by installing a ceiling fixture, this should be placed more or less in the center of the room or perhaps above your couch area. This lamp will provide the necessary light. Secondly, you want to go for lamps that create interest and ambiance, you can go with soffit or valance lighting along the walls. Finally, find a decorative table lamp if there is a corner that still needs light, perhaps a reading nook since, such a place will need bright light. 

Bright kitchen lighting

Unlike the living room, the kitchen needs to have as much lighting as possible. It is still a good idea to think about layering your lights, but not so much to give ambiance, but rather to make sure there is enough light. A good option for lighting, is to install high-hats or recessed lights in the ceiling. You can even opt for this type of light above your dining room table, to avoid having to look around a hanging light to see who you are having dinner with. Installing under-cabinet lights is a great way to make sure that you will always have enough light, when you are chopping those vegetables. 

Lamps and lighting in the bedroom

Depending on your preferences, there is no ideal lighting in a bedroom. However, the minimum of lighting would be combining a ceiling fixture with bedside table lamps. If your bedroom is facing north-west additional lighting might be need, as rooms facing this way get less direct sunlight. If you do not have a walk-in closet, you should install enough light in close proximity to your wardrobe, so you can easily pick out your outfits. You can add elements of indirect lighting, if you want to add ambiance and soft and relaxing light in your bedroom. Led-strings can be modified into different decorative lights.  

Hopefully, these tips and tricks are helpful, and not least, a great reminder that lighting and lamps should be given just as much thought as the rest of the interior design. 

Beauty Starts with Skin Care

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Welcoming 2020 with a list of new set of goals is what majority of us is doing. Why not include skin care routine into your goals?

Beautifying starts with a great skin, whether you are in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or 50’s like me. Remember that it’s never too late to start getting into skin care.  Building a routine can tune up your complexion. If you’re not sure where to begin with your skin care routine, it is best advised to visit your dermatologist for consultation, rather than experimenting on beauty products which may not be suitable for your skin type and could do more harm than good.

There are a lot of skin clinics in the metro, and one of the best in town is Dermcare where I always go to in terms of facial treatments. Not only that they offer affordable solution to most skin care problems but they also have a wide range of products for all skin types. Their therapists and facialists are also well trained.

Skin Care

Here are just two of the best anti-aging facial care and treatments which my friend and I availed at Dermcare SM Fairview Branch. Thank you Ms. Vilma Melendez, Dermcare Supervisor SMF Branch for the warm accommodation

Jade Facial Rejuvenation

Jade rolling can do wonders. This type of anti-aging procedure makes use of a tool that looks like a miniature paint roller, an oblong piece of pure jade is at the end of the metal handle

This trendy skincare tool benefits are:

  • Toning and firming the facial skin to boost circulation
  • Reduces puffiness
  • Enhancing glow
  • Improving elasticity
  • Minimizing fine lines
  • Detoxifying

Diamond Power Peel

I love this noninvasive mechanical procedure. It is an effective treatment in my case. Though I am aging gracefully, lines and gray are continuously showing up.  Sessions of diamond peel removes excess oil, dirt, and dead cells on the surface of my facial skin. It improves the appearance of my fine wrinkles and more so even out a part of patchy complexion.

Diamond Peel is an effective treatment for:

  • fine scars
  • enlarged pores
  • uneven complexion/dark spots
  • non inflamed whiteheads and black heads
  • sun damage
  • acne breakout

While there isn’t any special preparation required before the treatment, it would be imperative to have your skin properly assessed and evaluated by the skin specialist for you to get the proper and suitable facial treatment.

Disclaimer: All opinions are mine based on my personal experience.

 

Home Safety Tips for Families with Toddlers

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Home safety is important at any age. However, it can be far more challenging when a member of the family is too young to understand the danger. Toddlers are curious little people. They want to explore the world. This is healthy behaviour, but it can lead to some hazardous situations.

Your home should be a safe haven for everyone in your family. While nothing can replace old fashioned supervision, we asked the team at Connect Electric Adelaide to give us some to lower your child’s risk of injury. The following tips will help you toddler-proof your home.

  • Use Outlet Protectors Everywhere – Use outlet protectors throughout your home. Any outlet that isn’t in use should be covered. This is important in playrooms, or anywhere your child frequents. However, don’t overlook spaces where your little one doesn’t usually go. They may wander in one day when you aren’t looking.
  • Secure Electronic Devices – Toddlers love to imitate the things they see mommy, daddy, sister, or brother doing. That can include plugging and unplugging electronic devices. To minimise risk, keep your devices secure. Sound systems, Blu-ray players, and other electronics can be stored in a cabinet or entertainment unit with doors.
  • Store Excess Cord Away from Play Areas – If a device has excess cord, store it neatly out of sight. You may need to tuck it behind furniture or use a tie to bundle the unused length. It will be less tempting if your child cannot see it. Organised cord is also less likely to become a tripping hazard.
  • Trim Branches Away from Power Lines – Children love to climb. Make sure branches are trimmed away from power lines in your yard. Your toddler may touch or dangle from a tree if the branches are low enough. This can be dangerous if higher boughs are too close to power lines. Your utility company may handle the job, or you can contact a professional to remove problem branches safely.
  • Replace Old or Malfunctioning Appliances – If you have old or malfunctioning appliances, update them with a newer model. Today’s products tend to have more safety features. This will help keep your toddler and everyone else in your household safe.
  • Install RCD Protection in Your Home – RCD refers to a residual current device. This tool monitors current in your home and cuts it off when it identifies abnormal changes, like current flowing through a person. It won’t completely prevent a shock, but it will lower the risk of serious injury or death.
  • Keep Bathroom & Kitchen Appliances Out of Reach – Bathroom and kitchen appliances are concerning because they are kept close to water supplies. Store these out of reach of toddlers. That includes objects like hairdryers, curling irons, and toasters. Anything that a child could pick up or knock into a sink or tub should be stored and used out of reach.

Start Teaching Toddlers the Fundamentals of Safety

Start teaching the fundamentals of safety early. Toddlers may not understand the technology, but they will eventually know when it is bad to touch something. Set rules and repeat them clearly and often. It could save your little one’s life one day.

Image by thedanw from Pixabay

A Skin Care Box Makes A Great Gift for the Holidays!

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We don’t know about you, but we are so ready for the holiday season this year. We admit it, we are certified holiday junkies. We get a weird glow in our eyes the minute we overeat on Thanksgiving Day until the day after New Year’s. During the holiday season, the one thing that stresses us out is the thought of having to come up with gifts for everyone on our list. Does that ever happen to you? If it does, we have a great idea for you. Take a minute and try the idea of giving a skincare box as a gift idea for the holidays. That way, you can get all of your shopping done on one site and make everyone on your gift list–from your mom to your best friend to your favorite niece–get holiday happy. 

skin care box

What Can I Put in a Skincare Box?

There are many options you may want to try for a skincare box you give as a gift. You may want to begin the gift box with a gift of serum. Serums such as the best vit C serum are a great way to customize your gifts for the people you love. You can choose serums that will be perfect for your favorite co-worker, or that lady at the synagogue who always helps you wrangle the children to get a seat. Vitamin C serum is great for every skin type, and every skin age. It brightens everyone’s skin, whether that skin is 20 or 80. Vitamin C serum also helps your family and friends minimize inflammation from acne or those age spots that drive people crazy. What a great serum to add to your skincare box!

You may also want to add another skincare serum that is great for every skin type, which is hyaluronic acid serum for face. We love hyaluronic acid, because it can accomplish several things. First of all, this acid is an extreme moisturizer. It can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water. Because hyaluronic acid is such an amazing water retainer, it allows your skin to look dewy and refreshed, no matter how long you’ve been out in the dry winter air. One of the best things about hyaluronic acid serum is that it works whether your skin is exceptionally dry during the winter, or exceptionally oily. Hyaluronic acid serum adds water to your complexion without adding oil, which can cause your skin to become irritated and suffer a breakout. 

Whether you are thinking about a small gift box, with a vial of vitamin C serum, or a larger box with vitamin C serum, hyaluronic acid serum, and other items, you can customize it any way you want. If you are looking for other items to add, you may want to look for a derma roller. Like the serums we talked about, the derma roller is great for any skin type, and people have been using it for decades to keep their skin in great shape. If you are looking for other ideas, why not jump online today, and have a look at all of our product ideas? We know we can make the holidays especially merry for your favorite people in the world. 

Scenarios That Require Drain CCTV

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The drain unblocking specialist uses high technology when pinpointing drain blockages, and by sending a rugged go-anywhere CCTV buggy down the drains, he can get a close-up view of the condition of the interior pipes. Of course, CCTV technology is not always required, and with that in mind, here are a few occasions when CCTV would be the best option.

Drain CCTV

  1. Stubborn Drain Blockage – The blockage could be deep in the underground section of the drainage system, and in such a case, it is wise to call in a drain cleaning company that uses CCTV technology. Not only can they identify the blockage, they can also take a good look at the overall condition of the drains, and using state of the art pipe relining, they can repair damaged sections without having to replace the piping. Pipe relining is very cost-effective and much better than digging up and replacing the damaged pipes, which would be a very costly exercise.
  2. Collapsed Sewer Pipe – This can be caused by several factors; ground movement, for example, might cause a pipe to collapse under extreme pressure, which is something you might experience with a new build, or a very old property. Another cause of a pipe collapse is invasive tree roots, which can grow through a pipe, causing it to collapse. By taking a look at the damage with a camera, the technician can decide on the best solution. If you live in the UK, 24/7 Drainage Solutions uses drain CCTV and there isn’t a problem that they can’t fix, so give them a call if you have a pipe collapse.
  3. Bad Odours Coming From The Drains – It could be that the drains are working fine, but there is a bad smell coming from the drains, and this could be due to a dead animal that is trapped in the pipe. The CCTV camera can get right down the pipes and within a short time, you would know the cause of the bad odour and the technician can take appropriate action. If you ask the technician, he would be happy to examine the entire system, and should there be any minor issues, he can fix them while he’s there. It is comforting to get a detailed report on the condition of your drains, which is something the specialist would do.

The use of CCTV when unblocking drains is invaluable and can save the homeowner a lot of money, as the technician can quickly locate the blockage without causing any damage. It is the only way to find out the condition of the drains, and this could really help you make the right decision when thinking about drain repairs.

If you have moved into a house and would like to know the status of the drains, simply search online for a drain unblocking firm and they would be happy to visit and carry out a thorough examination of your drainage system. In the event you experience a blocked drain, resist the temptation to fix it yourself, as this very often makes things worse. Call in an expert who can solve the problem with the minimum of inconvenience.

Image source: unsplash