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Why Natural Refrigerants is More Eco-Friendly Alternative

Refrigerants are substances that are common in air conditioners, HVAC, refrigerators, and freezers. The natural ones are water, ammonia, carbon dioxide, and natural hydrocarbons. They have the potential to become alternatives to synthetic refrigerants like hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), and chlorofluorocarbon (CFC).

Many companies are concerned with the environmental impacts of synthetic refrigerants, and they found that organic ones are more sustainable in nature. With the current technologies developing today, many believe that the air conditioning sector will switch and convert into natural refrigerants for more eco-friendly systems. This is a must today since the use of HVAC systems is prevalent around the world.

A Background about Refrigerants

Synthetic coolants like HCFCs and CFCs have been around since 1929, and they were used in various ACs and fridges to cool a specific area. However, when they leak out of the older systems, they go to the atmosphere, and they thin out the ozone layer. Hence, they contribute largely to the global warming that everyone feels today.

CFC contains fluorine, carbon, and fluorine. For years, it has contributed significantly to the amount of inorganic chlorine in the earth’s stratosphere, where they are decomposed by ultraviolet radiation. The released chlorine in the environment is becoming active when it comes to the destruction of the ozone layer and the melting of the polar ice caps.

The HCFCs generally have a shorter lifetime while in the atmosphere because there’s added hydrogen in the mix. However, they still contribute to the adverse effects of chlorine elements with their CFC counterparts. The HFC, meanwhile, may not contain any chlorine, but their abilities to absorb the infrared radiation can become a contribution of the greenhouse effect. Learn more about HFC on this site here.

In the year 1987, it’s the Montreal Protocol that had first acknowledged and banned the use of CFCs. Many homeowners are encouraged to get newer appliances, and manufacturers are searching for other ways to give them a coolant that won’t harm the environment.

Many of the brands before are now phased out because amendments are being in place to eliminate HCFCs by 2020 and CFC production in 2010. On the other hand, the negligible impacts of HFC on the ozone layer made them viable candidates and ideal as a replacement. However, know that these too have implications in the world’s global warming, and there are calls for amendments that the use should be cut back by around 80% for the next three decades.

Potential options, as mentioned, were carbon dioxide, water, and other refrigerants as a replacement for HFCs. This industry is growing, and it’s expected that it will become a billion-dollar niche in 2027.

Metrics of Sustainability

The refrigerants are typically measured with their potential in contributing to ozone depletion and global warming. The global warming potential scales or GWP is standardizing the carbon dioxides. The value of a specific refrigerant is multiplied by the heat it would absorb by the same mass of CO2 gases in a given amount of time. The period is usually measured in a century.

It was found out that CFC has over 10,900 potential in global warming while ethane only has 6. You can view the results of HFC, water, and ammonia on many websites that offer these pieces of information in detail.

About the Hydrocarbons

Pure hydrogen compounds are now being moderately used in refrigeration systems. Know that these hydrocarbons are viable options. This is because aside from providing cooling properties, they are efficient in energy use and plentiful. When harnessed and used correctly, it was found out that they have more than 50% energy efficiency compared to synthetic ones. They are very environmentally friendly, and they have lower ranks on the GWP scale.

In the past, the hydrocarbons were primarily seen as a refrigerant in an industrial-scale of cooling. Know more about hydrocarbons on this site: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemical-engineering/hydrocarbon. However, with the current trends today, many start to look for a more environmentally friendly option in the residential setting.  

Some of the hydrocarbons used in many refrigerants include ethylene, methane, propane, pentane, isobutane, and cyclopentane. One of the primary disadvantages of using hydrocarbons is their high flammability. They can cause fire when exposed to extremely high pressures. Before, this same risk was mitigated by turning the hydrocarbons into other forms like HFC and CFC. Still, with the companies decreasing the use of such substances, being too flammable should be fixed.

Today, the use of hydrocarbons as refrigerants is under EPA guidelines. Particular pressurized levels are limited when it comes to hydrocarbons. The level of caution is essential, and for the hydrocarbons to combust, they should be mixed with a correct air proportion. The EPA has guidelines that prevent hydrocarbons from causing sparks and ensure the highest levels of safety for companies and consumers.

Guide for Homeowners: Top Tools for Your Lawn

Are you a new homeowner? While having your own home provides endless possibilities, it also requires some job to do. If you have a lawn to take care of, it becomes your responsibility right away. You have to get outside, plant flowers, bushes, and even trees, use a walk behind string trimmer, cut the grass, and kill the weeds to make it look gorgeous.

Although this is tough work from time to time, it is totally worth your efforts. An attractive lawn adds value to the house, while working outside grants you strong physical and mental health. Consider it as free-of-charge therapy sessions. You choose the way you want to decorate the lawn and can always change the design if you don’t like it.

Tools You Require

If you want to start working outside, you have to take some tools with you. There are some basic tools you may already have, and some specific ones you have to buy. Don’t worry, it is a beneficial investment since you will use these instruments for years.

1. Lawnmower

It is not the cheapest item on the list, but it is an essential one. A lawnmower is a must-have for everyone who has a lawn, no matter whether it is big or small. The grass grows so fast that you risk to run out of money by hiring a professional with his own tools. There are two types of lawnmowers, corded and cordless. Corded lawnmowers are usually powered by electricity and are less mobile. The cordless tools are mobile and powered by gas.

2. String trimmer

The spots you miss with the lawnmower can be taken care of with the string trimmer. It acts more accurately than a lawnmower and is necessary to have for owners of flowerbeds and bushes. You will be able to cut the grass under the trees and near the flowers without cutting them.

3. Leaf rake

Even if you already have a leaf blower, you may need this instrument in your collection. It is pretty affordable, does not require any additional knowledge, and its working speed depends directly on you. This tool is a classic measure against fallen leaves and old grass.

4. Soil rake

Soil rake is different from the leaf rake. It is also a hand tool with a wooden handle and spikes on the end, but it works miracles with airing the soil, evening the garden, and spreading the gravel. Make sure it is made of reliable materials.

5. Lawn spreader

You don’t have to buy a gigantic powerful machine that is attached to the tractor. All you need is a handheld spreader on durable wheels that can hold enough seeds or fertilizers for your lawn. There are lots of options on the market.

6. Snow shovel

If you live in a snowy climate, you have to buy a shovel to dig the snow. It helps to clean the road to your car. Unlike snow cleaning machines, the tool is totally environmentally friendly. Besides, it costs way cheaper.

7. Shovel

The shovel is the instrument you need to have at home. While this instrument is not new and was not significantly digitalized or even improved during the last years, you can still plant a tree, flower, or even grass with its help. The main benefit of this old-fashioned but still classy instrument is that you don’t need any electricity or power source to use it.

8. Knife for soil

You may not even know how much you need it before you decide to plant some flowers or loosen the soil. You will not be able to go through the big territory with it, but it is perfect for small activities. Soil knives can be used for getting rid of the weed with strong roots.

9. Double hand hoe

A hoe is a great option for dry soil. Consider it as a gigantic soil knife. A double hand hoe is a beneficial tool with a digger on one side and a hoe on the other. You will be able to remove weeds from the flowerbeds in no time.

10. Hand pruner

A sharp hand pruner can help to cut slim branches, shrubs, and leaves. It looks like the shears and is incredibly powerful. You will need it for your flowers as well. If you have a grapevine in your yard, this tool will be extremely handy to cut it when the time is right.

11. Lopper

If you don’t want to waste your hand pruner on the tree branches, you can buy a professional lopper. It has large blades and comfortable long handles. You will have to cut the branches once in a while to get rid of unreliable old branches.

12. Hedge shear

This tool is beneficial for hedge owners. If you don’t want to quarrel with your neighbors about the beauty of your hedge, you have to take care of it. This instrument is developed specifically for thick bushes and is simple in use. Make sure you use only sharp shear to avoid dangerous situations.

13. Hose

You can experiment with nozzle attachments using a simple hose. It is necessary for dry regions. You have to water the grass and soil to avoid over-drying. Check out the diameter of the hose and make sure it fits the tap before you order it. If you don’t want to stay outside for a long time, moving from one area to another, you can buy a sprinkler. Just make sure that the sprinkler is attached reliably to the water supply.

14. Gloves

Always wear gloves when you begin to work outside. It is a simple but important measure that provides safety to your hands. There are numerous small injuries you can avoid, including the cuts from the grass or even the wounds from spikes. Gloves cost almost nothing, but in the end, you will be able to work in your yard for as long as you want.

The Right Choice of Tools

Choosing the gardening tools is a simple and fast procedure if you know your demands. The first thing you have to think about is the size of your lawn. The second factor is the size of your budget. After that, think about the way you want to design your yard. Whether it will be a simple lawn with neatly cut grass or a masterpiece decorated with exquisite flowerbeds, you have to use reliable and proper tools for your work.

Use this list of the essential instruments to find out which tools you have to buy in the first place. You don’t need to buy all the instruments at once, since you may not need some of them for some time. Fill your shed with beneficial tools step by step and watch the progress on your own lawn. You don’t have to be a professional gardener or garden designer to achieve advanced results. All you need is to love what you do and to use the proper instruments in your work.

Essential Tips for Securing Your Property with Closed-circuit Television Cameras

Nowadays, the market offers several packaged CCTVs that are meant for self-installation from handy homeowners. But more often, deciding on the functional areas to install the appliances becomes a significant problem.

If this is becoming a big concern, having an electrician do the work will make everything right. Additionally, you would want your security cameras to cover the most vulnerable areas in your home to provide you with the needed safety.

Also, understand that security camera installation is not just about setting up the cameras, but it is also about your budget and some other factors. Here are six essential tips when hiring the right contractor to furnish your home with closed-circuit television cameras.

Optimize the Areas of Visibility 

People have different priorities when it comes to finances, property improvements, and security projects. But when it comes to security camera maintenance and installations, no rules and no minimums are tying it up with rigorous guidelines.

When you want an optimized coverage of vulnerable areas, consider and identify which parts of your vicinity need extreme safeguarding. With the help of a professional electrician, you will be able to pinpoint which sections and which parts of your house needs constant surveillance.

Some of the areas to consider during the initial inspections include:

  • The front door
  • The exterior sides including the back and side doors
  • Garage and driveway
  • Common areas including the stairway and hallway
  • Yard

Ensure Your CCTV Follows Industry Guidelines for Functionality

Strategizing on the installation of the security cameras often falls on the electrician who knows how to maximize coverage and increase its functionality.  But this does not mean that you can provide them with valuable input. Often, your suggestions are needed since you know the ins and outs of your home.

Although it’s vital to get the needed angle, particularly if you have a stationary circuit camera, there are some guidelines to consider. For example, camera installation should have a fitting height that is both out of reach of possible intruders, but close enough to capture fine details.

Outdoor security cameras should also be protected against natural elements or hidden from visible view to avoid targeting vandalism and possible damages. An experienced electrician adequately addresses all these considerations.

Find the Right Corners and Indirect Lighting Angles

Room corners provide the most significant vantage point for security camera installations. Suggest to your electrician which corners around your house has the best vantage view of the surroundings.  Typically, you would know this because it would allow you to get the best footage without compromising or degrading image quality.

Also, consider light penetration, which can wash out camera footage and image quality. Be mindful of light fixtures, bright windows, and lamps when installing inside the house. And avoid installing the circuit camera on areas that directly point towards the sun.

Based on your recommendations and the legal installation agreement, a professional installer can help you get the best out of your security camera investment. It should coincide with your comfort levels and provide you with the property surveillance that you and your family need.

Finally, getting the services of a certified electrician will get your hands off the complex processes of installing or maintaining the security system. There might be DIY options, but nothing compares to the installation quality of a knowledgeable technician.

5 Advantages of Home Automation

Technology has already brought so much comfort in our lives, and home automation is giving us even more. When it first came out in the early 2010s, the system was new and priced prohibitively that only a handful were able to afford it. But as recent developments made it more accessible, many homeowners are starting to show interest.

Home automation is done by connecting devices and electronics into a common network that can be independently and remotely controlled.  Your lights, security cameras, appliances, TVs, locks, etc. can be connected into a common network that can be controlled by a single device such as a mobile phone or tablet.

Those who are completely unfamiliar with the concept may ask: Why do all that? Here are five good answers.

1. Great surveillance features for home security

Most homeowners have home automation mainly for security purposes. Safety is your main priority when at home and more so when you are away. Security systems incorporated in mobile devices are easy to use and give you control of the situation wherever you are. Having an automated system allows you to lock the door with a tap of a finger even when you are at work. You need not worry that your kids left the door unlocked when rushing to catch the school bus. With a security system integrated with your mobile phone, you can monitor the people going in and out of your house even when you are not there.

2. Safety and convenience in managing all home devices

Another benefit you get from automation is added safety for your home and its occupants. With home automation, you can control your appliances such as the AC, stove, and lighting using your mobile device. You will not have to worry if you forgot to turn off your electric stove before you left for work. You can take care of it with a tap of a finger and not give it any more thought. 

3. Makes your home energy-efficient

Home automation helps you save on electricity by allowing you to control the lights and other appliances in your home with a single device and from anywhere with connectivity. You can set a time for the AC to turn off when the temperature is already stabilised inside.  With home automation, you can  remotely control any appliance integrated to your mobile device when they are not in use, increasing energy efficiency and lowering utility bills.

4. Home appliances run better

Having home automation allows you to enjoy your appliance at its optimum. Connecting your appliances to automation technology allows you to experience higher functionality making your appliances perform better and smarter.

5. Improve your lifestyle 

With the advanced technology attached to home automation, you may be able to get insights on how to live a healthier life. You can use this technology to monitor the length of time you spend watching tv or observe your monthly energy consumption. From this information, you can adjust to the lifestyle that suits your needs best.

The countless benefits from automation and its ease of use are attracting more homeowners. It is a highly advanced way to simplify things, which is ironic in some ways. What is even more interesting is that home automation is only at its infancy. People can expect even bigger things in the years to come.

How Faulty Plumbing and Drainage Systems Can Contribute to the Spread of Disease

Communicable diseases can spread in different ways from one person to another. In the North Shore, in Sydney, this problem can be exacerbated by the presence of a body of water that could contain pathogens, probably caused by untreated wastewater discharged into the ocean. Though only 1% of Sydney’s wastewater is discharged untreated into Vaucluse, Diamond Bay, and Diamond Bay South, it is still a risk for spreading disease.

Faulty plumbing systems at home can also be a reason for the spread of disease. Hiring a professional plumber North Shore will help you determine if your plumbing and sewerage systems are up to date.

Improper Sanitation and the Spread of Disease

Germs that cause diseases can be spread from sewage or effluent if it is not handled properly. Proper toilet hygiene is essential to prevent the spread of disease among people in your homes and community. It is also possible that pests and insects could be exposed to these pathogens and spread them through direct contact with other pets or humans. A properly-maintained sewage disposal system is essential to maintain public health. Blocked, damaged or worn out parts must be fixed as soon as possible.

Problems with Sewage and Plumbing

Effluent waste collecting in pools as a result of broken sewage pipes or an overflowing sewage lagoon contains disease-causing germs that can be spread by mosquitoes and other insects. It also contains different germs and parasites that are dangerous to humans.

Check your house for any septic tanks that are uncovered or broken, which can expose people to effluent waste. It usually has a nasty foul too. Cover them up as soon as possible.

Backed up toilets and sinks are also major concerns for health experts. This problem exposes adults and children alike to disease-causing germs. Make sure that your toilets and sinks are properly maintained to prevent blockage.

Leach drains for septic tanks that are too near water sources are also major health hazards. The liquid wastes soak through the soil into the water supply or body of water, which then is ingested by unknowing humans or animals.

Latrines or pit-toilets are a kind of toilet where the waste goes directly into the ground. These types of toilets are still used in remote areas of Australia where water is in short supply. Again, if these toilets are situated too close to dwellings, food supply, or water supply, it can be a major health hazard. Try to place any latrines as far from any house as possible. You also need to make sure that these toilets are put in enclosed buildings, at least. Having no roof will increase the chances of disease-causing bacteria spreading through the air.

Responsibility to Society

Each individual needs to make sure that he does not contribute to the spread of disease in their area. A healthy community usually means healthy families, as well. A properly-maintained sewage disposal system is vital for everyone’s safety. That is why if you see any of the signs mentioned; call a plumber from North Shore to fix the problem immediately.

Living in the North Shore is not easy, because of its proximity to water. Every person must do his part in stopping the spread of disease. We can only do so much in controlling insects and wild animals. However, we can control how our households and communities dispose of waste.

How Do You Replace a Patio Screen Panel?

When you notice damages in the patio screen panel, you will come across the need to replace it. This is a relatively easy job to do. You don’t need to call a handyman to get the job done. Instead, you can proceed with it and get the project completed on your own. All you need to have is a clear direction on how to replace the patio screen panel accordingly.

Here are the steps that you need to follow when you are trying to replace your broken patio screen panel.

Things you need to replace the patio screen panel

You need to make sure that you are equipped with appropriate tools before you can move forward and replace the patio screen panel. This is where you need to get a roll of screen, spline and a spline roller. In addition to that, you should have a utility knife, tape measure, masking tape and scissors as well. It is handy to keep a screwdriver along with you to get the job done perfectly.

How to replace the patio screen panel

Once you are equipped, you can follow the below-mentioned steps and get the replacement job done on your own.

You should begin the job by removing the screen enclosures. In here, the screen is supported on rollers, which are riding in a track. You need to lift the screen, so that it comes out from the track. Then you can pull the bottom part and lower the door. This will help you to get it to clear the top edge of frame with minimum hassle.

The next step is to remove the handle. You should remove the handle and provide unobstructed access to screen. In case if the handle is damaged, you should replace it.

You will often find splines of different lengths in each side of your frame. This is where you should use a pick or awl to catch and end and pry it up. You should make sure that you are not damaging the spline. Then you will be able to reuse it.

You should now grab the spline with the hand and pull it in the upward direction. Along with that, you can remove it. You should be following the same steps to remove the other spline as well.

Next, you should focus on removing the rollers. This is where you will need to pry the rollers from edge of door. If you have a screwdriver, you can get the job done with ease. In some of the doors, you will notice that there is a need to depress the spring clip, so that you can remove the rollers. You must carefully inspect the arrangement in your door and get the job done accordingly.

Now you have come to the stage where you are installing the new spline. You need to use a knife or scissors to cut it into appropriate lengths. The lengths must make sure that it fits perfectly well into the frame grooves. In addition to that, you need to make sure that you are getting the new spline, which is identical to the older one, in terms of the material used.

The next step is to align your replacement screen accordingly. You need to be extra careful when doing this, so that you can make sure that you are getting a perfect job done. You should lay the replacement screen on top of the door frame. Then you should align one edge of the screen along with exterior edge of the door. While doing that, you should make sure that the screen is positioned square to frame.

You should begin the replacement job from the corner. You can use the convex roller that comes along with the spline installation tool, so that you can press the screen to the groove, which is located along the edge of the door frame. You need to make sure that you are using the concave roller at all times to press spline to groove. You should also be applying a slight pressure. Then you should angle the tool to exterior of the frame. Then you can pull it tight.

Once you are done with installing the spline, you should trim the excess. This can be done with the help of a utility knife. Then you can proceed to the next stage where you are installing new rollers.

You can proceed to replace the screen panel within the door track. Once you do this, you can double check and make sure that it closes evenly.

Now you have almost come to the end of the replacement process. You just need to secure the replacement latch. If it is broken, you can buy a new one and secure it with the help of a screw.

Moving Out To New Location- Reasons to Hire Professional Cleaners

Everyone knows that moving out or moving in is a difficult job. There are lots of things involved when you are packing your things and changing your current location. Whether you are moving to a new home or a new office location, there are certain things to keep in mind for making the moving easy and hassle-free. Besides, if you are entering a new place or leaving, you should clean it.

When you are cleaning the home that you will leave will ensure that you will get back the security deposit soon after you claim for it. Or else, your house will be sold at a higher price in the market. It is quite normal that no one will like to buy a dirty home. However, if the seller sees a tidy and clean home, he will like to pay more than expected. Cleaning of the home will eventually increase the resale value of the property. Hence, if you are moving in or out of the home, you will require hiring the professional move out cleaning cleaners who will help to clean the property nicely and will reduce your stress level.

Moving-in cleaning services

Moving into the new home makes the feeling of a fresh start, a new beginning. However, there are lots of arrangements to make when you are moving to the new house like cleaning and preparing your new house with new furniture and appliances so that your living can be relaxing and comfortable. In the incident of moving, you might not put much focus on the cleaning and preparation of the new home. However, when you are hiring the professional for move-in cleaning, the team will thoroughly clean the new home before you move in to make sure that everything is clean.

When moving into a new home, you should be sure the kitchen and the bathroom are properly maintained and disinfected. There are various benefits of move-in cleaning services offered by the professionals, they are-

  1. They start with the clean sheet
  2. The team of cleaners will complete the task before you enter a new home
  3. They provide deep cleaning services
  4. They know what to clean and wash.

Various cleaning service providers are experienced and dedicated to offering the best cleaning for both commercial and residential properties. These cleaning companies offer ease to customers while they move to a new location. These experts save time and money in the process of relocation.

How to choose Move-In Cleaning services 

When you are choosing the move-in and move-out cleaning services from the professionals, these are some facilities they offer-

· For kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living room

  1. Removing the cobwebs
  2. Cleaning the inside/outside stove and the hood
  3. Cleaning inside and outside the cabinets and drawers
  4. Sweep and mop the floors
  5. Clean the light switches
  6. Cleaning the countertops
  7. Cleaning the baseboards
  8. Cleaning the entire stove and oven
  9. Cleaning the electrical outlets
  10. Clean the dishwasher inside and outside
  11. Cleaning the mirrors, vents, sinks, faucets and cobwebs
  12. Cleaning the toilets and dust wipe vents
  13. Wiping down all the horizontal surfaces
  14. Cleaning the ceiling fans, windowsills, blinds and tracks
  15. Dusting all the corners
  16. Cleaning the sliding glass doors
  17. Cleaning the corners

Benefits of choosing move-in services

If you are looking for the best way to have your new home cleaned totally is to hire the professional cleaner. Though there are various companies available in the market that offer similar types of services, the best one is that offer these services at an affordable rate. It would help if you also chose the cleaning professional by going through its online reviews, packages and the reputation of the company in the market. Do not rush; keep your mind fresh and choose the cleaning services as per your requirements. The benefits are-

  1. Fast services before you reach the place
  2. Effective cleaning services
  3. Saves time and money both

How you decide to choose the cleaning services

  1. Do you have a tight budget but want to satisfy your needs
  2. Was the home is maintained, you will need the remodel the kitchen or the bathroom.

Now, talking about the move-out cleaning services, when you are going out, leaving your existing home and move out to a new house, there are certain things to keep in mind. Though moving out is quite stressful and in addition, the cleaning is a hectic if you do not choose the professional. The move-out cleaning services help in various ways-

  1. It helps in increasing the property value
  2. Reduce your stress and tension
  3. Sell the property quickly

The professionals are expert in both move in and move out cleaning. They use the latest tools and techniques to make sure that your property is clean thoroughly, whether you are moving in or moving out.

6 DIY Ways to Make Your Home More Sustainable

Sustainability is a word on everyone’s lips. Faced with the realities of global warming and a doomy forecast for climate change there has emerged a real focus on what we, as individuals, families, and households, can do. Recycling has been the norm for some time, but more and more people are looking at what else they can do to cut down their carbon footprint. As with most changes, the place to start is at home. Without realizing it, our homes can be extremely wasteful and inefficient, which is putting a high tax on both our planet and our wallet. However, there are plenty of ways to make your home a sustainable place and believe me, the small changes do add up! Here are some ways to save some pennies and help save the Earth at the same time.

Smart Meters

A huge percentage of the energy we use at home is spent on heating our houses and apartments. It is very easy, particularly during the winter months, to leave on the central heating for much longer than is necessary. If you live in an area where the temperature drops below freezing you may find yourself leaving the heating on when you are away from home to stop the pipes from freezing. In these situations, installing a smart meter will help reduce the costs and waste usually associated with heating your home. It can be programmed to switch the heating on and off at specific times, adjust the temperature and monitor your energy usage. You can also program it remotely so that the house can heat up before you arrive home, or so you can switch the heating off from work if you've forgotten.

Appliances

First of all - do you need to have everything plugged in and on standby continuously? Unplugging our appliances and electronics when they are not in use can save an incredible amount of energy, year on year. Secondly - energy efficient (known as Energy Star) appliances are now becoming more and more prevalent in the marketplace. Usually, these are slightly more expensive, but an energy-efficient refrigerator, dishwasher, freezer or washing machine will save you money year on year and makes for a wise long-term investment. There are even energy-efficient air conditioning solutions to choose from. The initial investment seems completely justified, and you'll have peace of mind that you're helping the planet, too.

Water

Another massive drain (quite literally) on our resources is the overuse of water. There are small changes you can make, such as not running the tap while you shave or brush your teeth, and if you can bear to, flush the toilet less. Other options that are growing in popularity include low-flow showerheads and faucets and smart water meters. Another wasteful part of our homes has traditionally been out back in the garden. Depending on the climate where you live, enforced water restrictions can play a factor and vary from place to place. If you do have a garden that needs maintenance, you should take steps to further reduce water consumption by watering the lawn and plants either in the morning or evening, as the midday sun will evaporate much of it before it has taken effect. Ask some advice from a gardener or in your local garden center on just how much your lawn needs watering - it may not need as much sprinkling as you think. It’s easy to conserve water in the garden - save rainwater in a butte for use later, and consider watering with a can rather than a hose or sprinkler.

Cleaning Products

We've all got cupboards full of chemical cleaning products in our bathrooms and kitchens. Many of these products are incredibly harmful to the environment, as they get washed back down the drain into the water supply, which subsequently needs to be purified again. It's a bad cycle. Happily, almost all household cleaning requirements can be met with natural products. There are myriad buying options in any good supermarket, although these can be pricey. Better still, make some yourself! Many regular household items can be used for cleaning - use vinegar, citric acid, and bicarbonate of soda instead of toxic, caustic chemicals such as bleach. Not only do these clean effectively, but they also leave more pleasant, natural odors rather than the sickly artificial smells left by regular cleaning products. Another great tip - switch to a steam cleaner - disinfect and kill germs with just water!

Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs

A seemingly small change that pays massive dividends. Once maligned for not being as bright as their energy thirsty cousins, things have indeed changed today. Advances in technology now mean that energy-efficient light bulbs are just as bright, almost as cheap and countless times as eco-friendly as traditional bulbs. They even look great outside, giving your garden a boost. And, they need replacing much less regularly, so are better for your monthly bill and for the environment.

Insulation

Trying to make your heating system more efficient with a smart meter is all well and good, but unless your house is well insulated you won’t see or feel the real benefit. Many of our homes are literally leaking energy, so check your roof, your walls, and your windows. Attic space is a major culprit when it comes to bad insulation, as are basements in some older buildings. Once you've got your home properly insulated it will take less energy to heat, will warm up quicker, and stay warmer for longer. It's a no brainer, both for your carbon footprint and your energy bills!

Though many of the adjustments you can make in your house seem small, once combined they show that change really does start at home. We need to cut down our energy usage more than ever before, and it isn't much of a hassle to do so. The question then remains - why wait?

Ways to Design a Calming Kid’s Bedroom

Your child’s bedroom should be a haven and it should feel like the safest place on earth. Your kid is going to spend a lot of time there playing, learning, sleeping and simply growing up and you should make sure the room provides peace and safety. If you don’t think that the kid’s bedroom brings peace, and it’s time to do some redecorating. Here are some things that can help create the most calming design of a kid’s bedroom.

Provide Plenty of Light

Lighting is the first element that you need to consider when designing your kid’s bedroom. This is the most important element and you need to be careful when choosing the lighting. Make sure to avoid too warm or yellow and too cold or blue (white) lighting because these can cause anxiety or depression. So, the first choice is natural light and plenty of it. If there is a big window, provide some blinds or curtains that can easily be slid to the side when it’s daylight so your child can enjoy natural lighting. Also, consider installing dimmer switches and table lamps so your kid has several sources of light depending on their needs.

Invest in Toys

No matter how old your kid is, they will love playing with their toys, reading their books and simply having fun with their siblings and friends. However, don’t just get them any toy they want or you see. Make sure the toys are educational and appropriate for your kid’s age. Also, if your kid loves reading more, you should invest more in kid’s books, or if your kid loves singing and dancing, consider checking out musical toys at Funtastic Toy site and provide them with their favorite type of play.

What is more, in order to keep the room clean and tidy, make sure there is enough storage space for the toys. Install shelves for all the lovely books but keep them at your kid’s reach. For smaller toys, you can provide bins and baskets that can fit underneath the bed or shelves.

Change Up The Colors

When your child was really young, you probably relied on pale pink, baby blue, and soft yellows to paint the nursery. However, now that your kid is older and has probably already expressed tendencies towards some colors, why not repaint the room? Ask your kid what color do they like the best and paint the room so they can feel safe and calm in their new-looking room. However, if you don’t want to take any risks, you can always rely on soft neutrals, such as grays and taupes mixed with pastels and create a handy base for the rest of the decor. Just make sure to avoid busy patterns and high-contrast palettes in order to make the room feel peaceful rather than hectic.

Make It Cozy

Kids love cuddling so make sure their room is filled with cozy items they can use to self-sooth. Consider large stuffed animals or body pillows they can simply lounge on. Also, provide some soft blankets that are heavy so your kid can feel hugged while taking a nap. Don’t forget that pillows, rugs, and bedding should also be soft to touch, so test the material before buying. There are other tricks to make the room feel cozy, such as family photos, their favorite drawings, and a few plants, which will clean the air as well!

Your kid is probably the best thing that happened to you, so make sure to swaddle them with love and comfort. Besides the love and hugs they are going to get from you, they also need a cozy bedroom that can be a safe place for them. So, make sure to rely on calming colors and soft materials and you won’t go wrong with creating a calming design.

Creating the Perfect Gym in Your Garden

With the emergence of the green movement and the more prevalent eco-consciousness people are also increasingly starting to pay attention to their own health and well-being. Lately, it appears that more people are being careful with that they choose to put in their bodies and how they choose to treat them. The overall willingness to exercise and hit the gym also appears to be on the rise.

However, that brings forth another issue. Due to such a surge in health-conscious individuals, commercial gyms have become practically overcrowded. And the fact is that not everyone likes to fight the crowd in order to be able to squeeze in their daily workouts. That’s why home gyms have become such a popular trend.

More so than the indoor home gyms, the outdoor gyms are arguably stealing the limelight. That being said, here are some tips on creating a perfect gym in your garden.

The equipment

Before you get down to building your gym, you should first think about the equipment you want to include in it. This will determine how much space you will need to have in order to have enough room for everything. Additionally, you need to remember that certain machines, such as a stationary bike or a treadmill will elevate you slightly off the ground, so you need to account for that as well when designing your gym. Also, yoga mats and dumbbells won’t require as much room as a bench press will, so that’s another thing to consider. However, if you’re not yet sure which equipment you’d want to include in your gym, you can always find more info at Walk Jog Run before you make your final decision.

The position of the gym

The next thing you’ll need to consider is where you want to place your gym. If you’re thinking about implementing glass doors in your gym design, you probably don’t want to have them face the sunny side. The reason is that it can be a bit difficult to fully enjoy your exercise if the sunlight is constantly in your eyes. Therefore, take some time and observe how the sun travels across your yard throughout the day so that you can find the perfect place to build your gym. Keep in mind that some natural light is great to have but make sure it’s not hindering your exercising attempts.

The aesthetic appeal

Another thing you should consider is the aesthetic appeal your gym will have, both indoors and outdoors. Ideally, you should consider how your garden room will look like from the outside because it will be easily visible from the house. For instance, you can go for a more natural look and cover the exterior for your garden room with wooden panels. Also, consider bi-folding doors so that you can open the space up when the weather allows it. This way, you will let the much-needed fresh air into your gym and allow it to naturally air out.

The functionality of the space

Finally, again depending on the amount of space you have and the equipment you choose to implement you can even make your gym multifunctional. For instance, you can use it as a gym and a pool house – if you have a pool, or you can use it as a storage space for your outdoor furniture during the colder months. If you decide to make it multifunctional, however, make sure you account for all the extra space you will need before you get down to building.

Having the perfect gym right in your yard will motivate you to exercise regularly in an environment that’s completely tailored to your particular needs. The best part is that you can change out the equipment as you like and move things around and arrange them according to your personal preferences.