What are your goals for 2012? Is it to find ways to save money? Is it to find ways to conserve energy, and be kinder to our planet?
While people approach conservation from a many different angles, one of the easiest ways to make a difference both to our planet and to your pocket book is to focus in on what you use every day. Water is our main resource; something we consume every day. From flushing the toilet, to taking showers, to washing clothes and dishes, to using it to cook, water is something we simply can’t live without. And because a lot of what we use runs through our home’s water heater, your water heater is one of the first places to start.
If you are in the market for a new water heater, of course you can shop for an energy efficient model. However, until that time, here are a few things you can do to make your current water heater more energy efficient.
1. Lower the thermostat - One easy way to save energy is to require less. If you lower the temperature on your heater’s thermostat, your water heater will run and heat up water at a slower level. Setting the temperature to 120 degrees will keep the water hot enough for most purposes. Read more
When you step into a steaming hot shower or sink into a tub of bubbles, you are enjoying one of the benefits of having a water heater. You probably do not think about your water heater – unless it stops working. However, learning how your water heater works will help you to better maintain its operation.
A properly maintained water heater has a longer lifespan than one that is neglected. Instead of having to invest in a new water heater every few years, you can save your money for other things.
Water heaters, whether they are gas, propane or electric, are constructed in the same, basic manner. Your water heater consists of a water tank within the outer metal wall. This water tank holds a certain amount of water, usually from 30 to 50 gallons. Read more
Everyone wants a lush, green lawn – one that is the envy of the neighborhood. Garden lovers want the biggest, most colorful fruits and vegetables on their tables. To achieve this, it takes time and effort and, in many cases, a little boost to Mother Nature.
For many people, green lawns and healthy gardens equate to fertilization. So they head to the store and buy several types of fertilizer – a different type depending on the season. Yet while the concept of fertilizer is good – its food and nourishment – the type you choose may do more harm then good.
Improper use of fertilizer can lead to two things:
- water contamination
- water dependent plants
While one improperly fertilized yard isn’t likely to damage the local water supply, hundreds of yards can cause significant damage. The runoff from an improperly fertilized yard carries the chemicals to area ponds, lakes and rivers, causing contamination. Read more
This Saturday, we’ll be celebrating World Toilet Day.
Toilets are probably the last thing on your mind as you head through your busy day. And its probably not something you discuss with your friends as you get together for a great meal and a bottle of wine.
Toilets are something we’ve come to rely on and rarely think about here in America. Yet throughout the world, 2.6 billion people, or 40 percent of the world’s population, do not have access to adequate sanitation.
Without access to an adequate sanitation system, people resort to using their environment as their toilets: open fields, roadsides, buckets, rivers and streams. All of this leads to water borne diseases such as acute diarrhea, cholera and dysentery, and the eventual outcome is death.
All because they don’t have a system in place that is easily available throughout the rest of the world. Read more
Have you ever thought about the quality of water you drink every day? How about the water used for cooking at your local restaurant? Or the water you swim in down at the local pool or lake?
The quality of your water is important for a variety of reasons. If your local lake has fresh water and is kept clean, not only will it look nicer, it will attract more people, which leads to increased tourism.
Learning how to help improve the quality of your water provides you with a way to make your local water supply better. The following list contains ten things that negatively impact your water quality. See what you can do to cut down on these things.
1. Mowing too often – Too much mowing of your lawn leads to additional runoff. Too much runoff in the area rivers and streams causes erosion. Set the blades higher when you cut your lawn, which will help you reduce the amount of water it needs to prevent burning. By reducing the number of times you mow, you allow your lawn to be more natural. The extra leaves, twigs and grass absorb rainfall and reduce runoff.
2. Neglecting your septic tank – An improperly maintained septic tank leads to possible water contamination. Always keep your septic tank maintained. Read more
Is your to-do list growing weekly? Are the handyman jobs around your home piling up?
Many do it yourselfers decide to tackle their lists, heading off for a Saturday morning at the hardware store, only to get further discouraged and put the projects off even longer.
While some jobs can be put off indefinitely – installing the new showerhead really won’t matter one way or the other if its finished in a timely manner. Other problems if left unattended can turn into disasters – a cracked pipe.
If you’re thinking about tackling a DIY project this weekend, there are easy ways to avoid the most common plumbing mistakes.
1. The “Just Get By” Approach
Whether you are putting a new fixture onto your bathroom sink, unclogging a drain, or repairing the toilet, getting lazy and fixing something to “just get by” will lead to mistakes you’ll quickly regret. By using the wrong sized equipment, piping that is the wrong diameter, or using something on hand just to avoid another trip to the store, you could end up with a leaky mess in a short period of time. Read more
Americans are constantly reminded of the importance of going green to save our planet. The grocery store carries “green” cleaning products and consumable goods. Companies promote their eco-friendly ways, and everyone talks about the negative effects of global warming.
You have probably made changes in your home to help the environment. You might be using those green cleaning products. Maybe you are the type that takes reusable bags with you to the store. Amid all your green efforts, did you know that your choice of paper products could also help the cause? Read more
When your sewer backs up, it can leave a horrendous mess for you to clean up. The sewage that enters your home and/or your yard can contain harmful bacteria. It is a mess that must be dealt with and it must be dealt with in a timely manner. The longer you leave sewage to sit, the more risk you are taking with your health and the health of your family. Knowing how to clean up after your sewer backs up can help prevent any potential problems.
Put on safety equipment before cleaning up the sewage. This can include rubber gloves, rubber boots, rubber coat, and a face shield. It is important to protect your body from the accidental splash of sewage.
Make sure all of the utilities to your home are shut off if the sewage has backed up into your home. This includes gas and electricity. Appliances and outlets could be affected by the sewage, so have your local providers turn the utilities off until the problem is resolved.
Remove any standing water with a pump or a wet/dry vacuum. Once the water is gone, you can begin sorting items into two piles – keep and toss. Your “keep” pile is for items that can be cleaned and used again. The “toss” pile is for items that must go to the garbage, such as carpeting and toys. Read more
When you drain your kitchen sink of dirty dishwater, flush your toilet, or take a shower, you are making good use of your plumbing.
You may never think about how your plumbing works until the day that it does not work. As long as everything drains and flushes properly, your plumbing is probably the last thing on your mind.
Yet if you’ve ever had a curiosity for how things work, our modern day plumbing is definitely a thing to marvel. Imagine where we would be without it.
Your plumbing includes all of the pipes and necessary fixtures that are needed to remove wastewater from your home. Your home’s plumbing will include pipes, joints and valves. Your pipes can be made from a variety of materials, including copper and PVC. Joints are the areas where two pieces of pipe are connected, such as at a bend. Valves are used to control the flow of water – for instance, if you have a leak under your kitchen sink, you can use the valve to shut the water off for repairs. Read more