Energy:

Keep Your Home Cosy with Strategic Heating and Cooling

Every homeowner struggles to find the best ways to heat and cool a home without a incurring a high price tag. Running a standard central furnace and air conditioning system on a constant basis costs significant money while contributing to noise levels and pollution.

Alternative heating and cooling strategies are possible for any home, based on your resources and willingness to put in the effort.

Plant some trees

If you have the yard space, add deciduous trees on the south side of your home. When they lose their leaves in the fall and winter, low-lying sunlight can pour into the structure and warm it naturally.

Come spring and summer, dense foliage develops to block the sunlight and create a cool space across the property. You may even want to consider trees along the east or west side to control the sunrise and sunset sunlight that hits your home.

Ceiling fan science

Ceiling fans used to be absolutely necessary features in homes well before air conditioning became commonplace. But this simple cooling mechanism still works in homes today and will save you money.

Fans create a wind chill within the room, encouraging your skin to wick any moisture from the surface and cooling you. Activate the blades to spin counterclockwise, which pushes air directly down onto you.

Employ the clockwise rotation in the winter to pull warm air down from the ceiling as you heat the room slightly with natural air movement.

Outdoor sunshades

Simple removable sunshades and awnings can make a big temperature difference in your home. Install these shades on the west, east, or south side of the home.

Evaluate the hottest part of the day for your home and place the shading item there. You may want several shades for extremely hot days.

Whenever you reduce the amount of sunlight that strikes your home, less heat accumulates indoors. Cooling costs may drop substantially after you install an inexpensive sunshade.

Ductless system option

A home without a duct system cannot use a traditional central air system without significant cost and extra remodeling work. According to Washington Energy Services, ductless systems that use a heat pump are perfectly adapted to work in homes as long as outdoor and indoor components have the appropriate space.

These systems work much like a traditional split system: They use refrigerant to convert hot air into cool air and vice versa. Ductless systems take up little space, which makes them perfect for smaller homes that lack existing ductwork.

Attic care

The attic is often overlooked when it comes to heating and cooling, but this space traps hot and cold air throughout the year. Think about insulating your attic and adding ventilation ducts to control the attic temperature.

Any hot or cold air trapped above the residence contributes to an uncomfortable living space. Insulation regulates the attic temperature, making the rest of the home more comfortable without extra air conditioning or heating costs.

Beautify your home while intelligently increasing its heating and cooling abilities. If you use strategic sunshade locations and shady trees, your home doesn’t have to be expensive to maintain comfortably.

Think logically about the sun’s angle across your home to heat the space in the winter and cool it in summer.

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Gadget Galaxy: The Average Household

It may be shocking to realize how many gadgets the average household uses. From computers to cell phones, consumers continue to incorporate more and more gadgets into their lifestyles, resulting in considerable waste from one perspective or another. According to online averages found in the link above, households typically have at least one computer, two televisions, three rechargeable electronic devices, and spend around $100 annually on them during times when they’re not being directly used. This leaves consumers scratching their heads at ways to save on energy at home and contemplating whether or not unplugging can noticeably improve electricity bills.

Gadget Efficiency

One recognizable logo is the Energy Star product label. Gadgets earn the Energy Star credential when they are deemed to successfully deliver necessary features to consumers, in addition to providing increased energy efficiency. Energy Star products include audio or video electronics, cordless phones, cable boxes, televisions, computers, displays and everything from appliances to building products. Computers are a good example, these machines use a lot of energy so investing in models that utilize less electricity overall may be a smart move however, consumers are then left with a decision to either spend more up-front to replace existing technology, or work with what they have to improve their current gadget efficiency as it stands.

Improving Electricity Bills

The good news is, that improving upon electricity bills is easily doable and can be achieved either through replacing old devices or improving the way that devices are managed when not in use. Literally unplugging devices minimizes energy waste considerably and diminishes “phantom load” that households routinely pay for without even noticing. Taking control of this situation not only saves consumers dollars every month, it helps gadgets last longer too. The best way to improve electricity bills is by:

Grouping similar electronics together on power strips that can be “turned-off” when not in use;

Physically “unplugging” anything not in use, such as lights;

Manually turning off monitors or assigning sleep-mode at the 20-minute mark, in lieu of screen-savers;

Unplugging any chargers when not connected to a device; and

Purchasing Energy Star products whenever possible.

Taking the average household from an infinite gadget galaxy to a resourceful, conscientious one, can become automatic with the right resources and routine in place. Recognizing that total household energy consumption is allocated routinely to inactive video games means considering that equipment like docking stations, DVD players and even digital photo-frames can also make energy expenses higher than they truly need to be. Approaching the topics of energy consumption, electricity costs and being thoughtful about which gadgets are actually worthwhile can help households pare down and save money, if only to buy the next latest-greatest gadgets. Since technology will continue to provide us with more features, greater gadget-capacity and intriguing ways to manage life day-in and day-out, it is unimaginable to surpass the temptation of acquiring better instead of more products. The upside to gadgets and paying for them, is that they allow humans to be efficient, be connected and be smart when it comes to running their households.

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last update: October 31, 2014

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How to Use Today’s Technology to Search for a Home

You’ve built up your nest egg, secured a great credit score (or at least a decent one), and now you’re ready to purchase a new home. But dont make the mistake of calling the real estate agents just yet. There are a few things you need to know first that could save you a lot of time and money and get you the exact house you desire. gmap

There always seems to be at least one deal-breaker with every open house you visit. It’s either not in the right neighborhood, or it lacks sufficient charm. Don’t be discouraged. Now that you are actually ready to look for a home, you can use technology to find the house of your dreams. Here’s how.

Google Maps

According to the Kleer Team website, Google Maps is a great way to locate prospects for your new home. You can zoom in or out on an area to get an idea of the surrounding streets.

The map even shows you geographical features that are close by. Switching to the street view shows real images of what could be your new street. This gives you a great idea of what the neighborhood is like before you waste any time with an agent.

Mobile apps

In an article titled Real Estate’s Love/Hate Relationship with Technology, the author explains that mobile apps can help you make better, informed decisions when it comes to buying real estate. It’s easier to identify comparable houses in the area using mobile apps than by any other means.

With a click of the button, you can see if the three bedroom/two bathroom house you’re interested in is worth the same as another one down the street. If it’s way more, then pass it up.

Google Earth

This can also make the real estate market more friendly. According to this Slide Share, real estate agents can leverage Google Earth to showcase properties to the entire globe.

When you live far from where you want to buy, you can still survey a neighborhood to see if it’s the right place for you. Much like using the street view of Google Maps, you can scout what the neighbors’ houses look like and make sure your candidate isn’t too close to the main road.

Jott.com

When you are ready to begin looking at homes in person, there are technologies available to help you search. According to one blogger’s top ten list of technology tools, Jott.com is a service that enables you to send email notes to yourself, and texts to contacts, or add calendar events … all through voice activation.

That means you can stay organized while getting whipped around from property to property. Instead of trying keep all the ideas in your head or frantically writing them down on sheets of paper they give you, you can just say them into your phone and have all the information stored in one place.

So when you’re in the market for a new home, don’t forget to put your fingers to work on that keyboard of yours. You’ll have a better chance finding the right home.

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Use Technology for a Greener Home

Are you a tech geek who has a soft spot for doing your part to green up Mother Earth? There are countless ways to use more sustainable technology in the home, but they’re not all necessarily marketed as “green technology.”

Maybe you’re keeping an eye out for new appliances that have Energy Star ratings, but there’s more than one way to lighten your carbon footprint while preserving the heft of your wallet. Routine home upgrades can make a big difference on your budget and conservation efforts.

For example, did you know that ductless heat pumps are a great way to cut your energy usage by as much as 50 percent? Instead of relying on a traditional backup system that wastes precious energy, this one lets you personalize it by going with a 100-percent ductless system … or cherry picking which areas of your home to use it.

As an added bonus, you can even score a rebate and/or tax break when you install this system. However, there are further technological advances to consider.

Control freak

You can look at smart thermostats, but you should recognize that they’re not all created equally. Go with a designer model such as Nest Labs, which the iPod designers dreamed up, to control the temperature of your home based on your lifestyle and schedule.

Its sleek, contemporary, and stainless-steel approaches make it a form of home décor in its own right. Dependent on cloud computing and sensors, Nest monitors your habits to optimize your home heating. It’s been estimated that you can shave 30 percent off your energy bill with this model.

The right power adaptor is an easy and affordable installation that costs less than $200 and saves homeowners up to 13 percent each year. A reputable company like Green Plug offers a solid model that promises better connectivity between home devices that require power and the energy supply.

Once a device like that busy coffee brewer has the power it needs, the power line is automatically shut off.

The automated home

Home automation isn’t just a drool-worthy addition, it’s also a great way to save money. Consider automated lights that work around your schedule and “know” when a room is empty.

They cost less than $200 per light switch, but can save you a lot of cash depending on how forgetful you (or the kids) are about the lights. In the winter months, when people stay in and the days are shorter, automating your lights can be a great way to double up on those heating conservation efforts.

Use technology for a fatter bank account, to score tax benefits, and to boost your home’s value. Who knew home updates could be so easy?

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Nanotechnology Advances In Skin-Whitening Products

Today’s best skin-whitening products rely upon natural, non-toxic ingredients while taking advantage of the latest research and technology. Glutathione, or gamma-glutamylcysteinylglycine (GSH), helps to lighten, whiten, and restore skin from the inside out. skin-whitening-complexion

That’s one of the reasons the latest skin-care advances for mature skin rely on this tiny protein molecule formed from three amino acids: gamma glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine.

Oxidation and oxidative stress

Researchers and physicians often talk about free radicals and oxidative stress which cause the body to work less well. As oxidative “rust” happens, the body’s cells lose glutathione, a powerful healing and protective agent.

Low glutathione levels are associated with diseases such as cataracts, cancer, atherosclerosis, and many others. Research indicates glutathione will defend the body against oxidation and exogenous toxins, including pesticides, benzenes, and pesticide compounds.

These attackers wreak havoc on the skin — which is visible for the world to see — and important, on unseen vital organs and processes. Today, researchers continue to study how increasing glutathione levels can support the immune system, digestive tract, and organs.

Of course, the skin is the body’s largest organ!

Skin-lightening innovations

There’s a lot of talk these days about glutathione’s usefulness as a safe and natural skin-whitening ingredient. Physicians and researchers know that glutathione stores diminish in the body with age.

Some physicians, including researcher Rob Keller, M.D. and his team, believe that higher glutathione levels help the body to fight a host of diseases associated with aging.

Medical scientists believe that glutathione may also help to reduce wrinkles, creases, and skin discoloration while improving skin texture. Regular use of glutathione aids the skin’s ability to hold moisture and thereby reduces its dry appearance or enlarged pores. Moist skin is more supple and feels better, too.

According to authors M. Varinia Michalun and ‎Joseph DiNardo, (Skin Care and Cosmetics Ingredient Dictionary, 2014) glutathione actually inactivates the enzyme associated with melanin pigmentation (tyrosinase). It works to stop new hyper-pigmentation as it “depigments” the skin.

Glutathione also boosts the skin’s oxygen levels and intracellular metabolism while reducing redness associated with inflammation. Some forms of the glutathione molecule perform extra duty by helping the body make Vitamin D.

Another natural remedy to the rescue

Because glutathione is considered a “master antioxidant,” the latest, safest skin-whitening treatments include natural glutathione. Sun damage, or free radical damage in the body, can cause changes in skin color over time, and supplemental glutathione may help the body to remedy this damage.

Flawless Beauty and Skin is one of the retailers that offers the latest skin-whitener technologies and skin-whitening products to the global marketplace.

Always go for safety first

It’s important to note that some skin whiteners or lightening agents offered by foreign retailers may contain heavy metals such as mercury. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), companies in Thailand, Pakistan, China, the Philippines, Lebanon, Mexico, and even in the U.S. have recently manufactured and sold skin lighteners containing mercury.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety confirms these products are usually less expensive and easily purchased from Internet sellers.

 

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The Emergence of LinkedIn as the Recruiter’s Favorite Tool

LINKEDIN-2

LinkedIn has dramatically changed the landscape of recruiting services in the past few years. This site created a whole new way to find the right candidates in the shortest amount of time.

Previously, companies and recruiters depended on sites such as Dice, Monster, and CareerBuilder to find qualified workers. The drawback with this approach was that recruiters could use only the information gleaned from the resume supplied by the candidate.

It’s not necessarily possible for HR professionals to know whether the resume is current or not. Many candidates update their profiles only when they decide to pursue new jobs.

What’s different about LinkedIn

LinkedIn provided a platform for working professionals to combine social networking with a living version of their resume. It enabled them to network with other professionals around the world.

LinkedIn allows professionals to keep in touch with colleagues from previous employers and to study potential future employers. The benefit of retaining and growing your professional network is obvious in an interconnected world.

Everyone is more likely to keep his or her profile current on LinkedIn, because it’s always visible to the person’s professional network. LinkedIn also allows members to request professional recommendations from peers, bosses, and professional contacts.

Recommendations are a great way for recruiters and future employers to assess the candidate’s strengths and skills. LinkedIn also allows recruiters to contact a member directly to match job openings.

A game-changer for recruiters

LinkedIn offers services to recruiters via the Hiring Solutions platform. Hiring Solutions consists of LinkedIn Recruiter, LinkedIn Job Postings, LinkedIn Employment Branding, and the LinkedIn Talent Pipeline.

• LinkedIn Recruiter provides recruiters access to a massive database of more than 300 million members around the globe.

• LinkedIn Job Postings allows recruiters to buy targeted ads, which are displayed to the targeted demographic.

• LinkedIn Employment Branding is a service that allows companies to create their own career portal on LinkedIn, with job postings, company benefits, and other company news.

• LinkedIn Talent Pipeline allows recruiters to monitor and track potential candidates with skills that match a company’s job openings.

LinkedIn also offers automated features to “source” candidates more effectively. Employers can cut down the amount of time needed to find new candidates.

They don’t need to maintain an in-house database of potential candidates anymore. Instead, companies can tap into a single, global source of candidates at any time. LinkedIn is changing the structure of the $130 billion recruiting industry with its innovative Hiring Solutions.

The most compelling reasons to recruit via LinkedIn

• Recent expansion into new markets such as China

• Easy access to a searchable database of professionals

• LinkedIn profiles are much more accurate than those on other social media sites

• It takes candidates less than a minute to review and apply for new jobs

• LinkedIn supports ads targeted toward top level executives in selected companies

• LinkedIn offers the InMail feature so recruiters may communicate directly with potential candidates

LinkedIn continues to transform the recruiting industry. It appears to have more room to grow and recruiters see several compelling reasons to go with LinkedIn.

Life:

4 Technological Advances That Have Transformed Home Improvement

Any homeowner or Pinterest user is probably aware that there are dozens of ways, both large and small, a home or apartment can be improved or revamped. Whether you’re giving your home a makeover to add value as you prepare to sell, or you just want to create some extra comfort and luxury for yourself and your family, remodeling has never been easier.

We largely have recent technological advances to thank for this. People might not readily think about the ways technology affects various industries and their daily activities, but they’ve played an undeniable role.

Here are four pieces of technology that have helped amateur and professional home improvement wizards with their projects.

1. The iPhone

In addition to the hundreds of apps that are available to help you do your home improvement projects, the iPhone also comes standard with a built-in level. Whether you’re putting up some new shelves, trying to get a framed picture hung just right, or want to make sure the bookcase you’re building isn’t going to be crooked, iPhone users can simply use their phone. How cool is that?

2. Instant Messenger

People who are doing home improvement projects to add value to their residence can now turn to a greeter or real estate agent live on most housing websites to consult him or her about which projects will be most productivel.

You can even ask the instant messenger assistant for suggestions on where to go to finish your project on a budget.

3. Green energy power strips

Vampire energy” has been mentioned in the media a lot. This refers to power that’s drawn from your outlets by appliances and electronic devices that are plugged in, but not currently turned on.

Homeowners who want to reduce their electric bill and make their home more environmentally friendly without the hassle of installing solar panels can switch out their regular power strips for higher-tech options that will reduce the amount of power lost to vampire energy.

4. Removable adhesive

Anyone who’s ever moved into a dorm room knows about Command strips and temporary adhesive for hooks. Increasingly, removable adhesive has been incorporated into other great products that are just as useful for home improvement projects, such as picture mountings, decals, and reusable/removable dry erase message boards.

5. Motion sensor technology

Motion sensor technology is one form of technology that can be incorporated into any home to make it greener, safer, and more efficient to live in. Whether it’s seen in motion sensor faucets, or turns up in an outdoor porch light, motion sensor technology is a great way to reduce energy costs in a home or apartment complex.

Technology has been at the forefront of making home improvement projects easier and faster for decades. With today’s advances, updating the look of your home or tackling a more complex project such as making your residence more energy-efficient or increasing its market value has never been easier.

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Trashy Tech Talk: How Technology Is Improving Waste Removal

People in metro regions across the United States are experiencing some subtle changes to their surroundings that may or may not be evident to the average passerby. They have to do with options in waste disposal.

Back when the American Dream was firmly in place behind the white picket fences of the suburbs, trash disposal consisted of tying up the family trash bags and leaving them on the curb for the garbage collectors — er, sanitation engineers — to come and remove. There weren’t very many rules and regulations about how, when, where, and what to throw away.

But necessity is the mother of legislation as well as invention. As our awareness of the larger effects of trash disposal has increased, so have our efforts to maximize the efficiency of addressing this need. Even technological advances have come into play, in seemingly small ways that have had a massive impact.

Automated trash collection

Many neighborhoods and cities have a regulated “trash day/night” on which the residents are asked to place their waste at curbside for pickup the following day. However, more populated areas such as colleges and apartment complexes now have an automated trash collection system in operation.

These systems not only help to accommodate the larger volume of waste that’s generated in these areas, but they also reduce the costs of manpower, fuel/energy, and time required to remove the trash.

Homeland Security regulations that govern waste disposal

When we think of the agenda of the Department of Homeland Security, trash disposal might not be one of the things that comes immediately to mind. However, after enduring and studying a series of security emergencies, American regulators have noted the need for a system that will ensure a clean and efficient way to deal with trash cleanup and disposal.

With a now highly regulated hierarchy of how and where trash disposal should take place following a Homeland Security emergency situation, as well as rules that address high-traffic public trash disposal receptacle options, it appears that we have come to realize as a nation that proper waste disposal and cleanup is an important element of maintaining the our national security.

Solar-powered trash compactors

A relatively recent innovation that’s being seen more and more in downtown urban areas is trash compactors on public streets. City waste disposal systems such as Philadelphia’s, which use “Big Belly Trash Cans” have supported a remarkably successful program that reduces the amount of litter on the streets while saving the city millions on trash removal costs.

The City of Brotherly Love has gone a step further and made these high-tech trash bins more environmentally friendly with the installation of solar energy cells to power these compactors.

Too often, we pay more attention to reducing the waste we make than we do to how to dispose of the garbage we generate in a safe and secure fashion. But with the technological innovations we’ve seen in recent decades, we’re finding ways to improve both our awareness of trash creation and the efficiency of our disposal options.

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