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Purchasing a Heat Pump: What You Should Know About New Heating Technology

The rise of fuel prices over the last decade and the movement toward more sustainable energy sources has consumers on the lookout for the most cost effective appliances and devices. Temperature regulation in houses and apartments is no different—homeowners everywhere are hoping to lower their energy costs and keep their homes at a comfortable temperature. Two of the products on the market, the heat pump and the traditional air conditioning unit, are products that consumers might be interested in comparing. Choosing one depends on the specific needs of each individual and the climate they call home.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps, despite what their name might suggest, are devices that can be used not just for heating, but also for cooling a house. There are a variety of different types of heat pumps systems available, including geothermal, ductless, absorption, and, perhaps the most common, air-source heat pumps. Just like a refrigerator, the heat pump runs on electricity, moving heat from cooler areas to warmer ones and thereby further cooling the cool space and warming the warmer space. In a heating season, for example, heat pumps will move heat from cooler outdoor units into the warm house, thus generating heat. The opposite process occurs during a cooling season, when heat from the house is pumped to the outdoors, leaving the house cooler.

Since heat pumps move heat rather than generating the heat itself, they are far more effective operationally than conventional heating or cooling appliances. In fact, frequently heat pumps are able to regulate the temperature of a space for as little as a quarter of the cost of other types of heating and cooling units.

Heat pumps, especially geothermal ones, can be rather expensive to install, but in moderate climates where the heating and cooling needs are relatively low, they eventually pay for themselves through the reduced heating and cooling costs. According to Tim Smigelski, one happy homeowner who installed a geothermal system, he gets four dollars back for every dollar he put into the system. One of the biggest advantages of such a system is that it can be used anywhere in the world, since the geothermal power source—the Earth—will never vary, unlike solar energy and energy generated by the wind.

Air Conditioning Units

Air conditioning units have been a standard of American homes for several years. In 2011, nearly 87% of homes were equipped with AC units, though efficiency and type of individual units depended greatly on household income. AC units function similarly to heat pumps, pulling hot air from the house, squeezing it through the refrigerant until it’s cold, and finally pushing the chilled air back into the house for the cooling effect. Well-maintained AC units can last for fifteen to twenty years, but since newer models are significantly more energy efficient, most owners would save money replacing units that are approaching the decade mark.

Heat Pump vs. Air Conditioner Breakdown

This infographic from Washington Energy offers a quick and easy breakdown of the differences between the overall cost and efficiency of heat pumps versus the air conditioner. Overall, air conditioning units tend to outlive heat pumps by an average of five years because the they only run part of the year, whereas a heat pump regulates the temperature year round. Installation for heat pumps is more expensive than air conditioning units, but for those living in climates where both heating and cooling are necessary, a heat pump can save the consumer a significant amount of money by replacing alternative heating systems, including gas, propane or oil furnaces, while also meeting the cooling needs an AC unit covers.



A World of Banners and Branding

As a retailer, merchant or vendor, providing a message to groups of consumer-based buyers will require some craftsmanship and imagination. It only takes seconds to secure a potential client’s interest with an image or logo that says who a business is and what they offer. Customers do make buy decisions before entering a storefront or booth just by the impression made from advertising.

As a result, it is extremely important to design the right visual branding campaigns where clients make buying decisions before engaging with a sales representative. Technology for this skill is also advancing, so businesses will need to keep up on modern trends.

Presentation for Branding Concepts

Presentation, in whole, is everything when branding an idea to potential purchasing agents, and the competitive world will require any particular branding to be noticed against others. This means that taking the right steps to have a sign or banner will not be enough. On a competitive basis, what goes on the banner or sign will make or break an advertising campaign, according to professionals at Best Displays Online.

The designs made for conveying a business message are themselves best done by professionals specializing in graphic design and new technologies that expand materials and how those materials will be used. In every step, a tremendous amount of detail is what will make one message stand higher and brighter than the rest.

What true professionals in the marketing sector of signs and banners know is that ideas take time and knowhow before they are converted onto a canvass for public display. If it only takes a few, small seconds for consumers to make up their minds when looking at your display, then every minute counts and what appears must be of the highest quality. Businesses usually have one opportunity to bring in the buyers they often seek.

Banner and Booth Technology

Banners are now being constructed with more durable materials than they were 10 years ago. They also use stands that have components to ensure a solid foundation unlikely to topple in wind or by the mishap of a person’s body weight. They can be used to erect banners and other signs in ways that allow potential clients to see a blown-up message from within the large crowd of a convention or an enormous audience in an auditorium.

Creative and Useful Branding

Science has also allowed presentations at conventions and similar events to be constructed with islands that are erected by today’s technology for the purpose of adding to the ambiance of a booth. Banner developers understand the competitive advantage of incorporating creative ways to brand a product, service or company, and small businesses will need to know this too.

Creativity in branding can now further integrate video monitors to display company items and concepts while lifelike images are easily blown up to sizes the same height as individuals viewing it. In this regard, there is little limitation to what can be done when designing the right booth that is matched with the right theme for a business venture and its accompanying campaign, according to Trade-Show-Advisor. It is also reasonably necessary for competing.

When imagination is matched with amenities like backlit canvasses, shelving space and a comfortable podium to give presentations at, branding is done today like it never has been before.


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last update: August 4, 2015


How to Choose Online Marketing Services for a Drug Rehab Center

Drug rehab centers are built with the sole purpose of serving humanity. Many of these institutions have successfully enabled innumerous drug-addicts in overcoming the menace of drug addiction and getting back to their normal lives. As a drug rehab facility, you need to stay focused to your core objectives of assisting drug rehabs with their problems.

Unfortunately, many drug rehab institutions are unable to stay committed to their cause and need to focus on their marketing efforts to ensure the financial sustainability of the organization. This not only causes you to deviate from your key strengths, but also requires you to exercise a lot of effort in an area where you may lack proficiency. For this reason, experts recommend drug rehab businesses to spearhead their operations while entrusting a reliable and reputed marketing agency with the company’s marketing objectives.

Why Online Marketing?

Rehab centers have become highly competitive in the modern times, requiring facility owners to key costs low. If you are also restricted by a low budget, you should consider online marketing as opposed to traditional marketing practices for promoting your drug rehab agency. In addition to lower costs, online marketing offers several other benefits, too.

Drug rehab centers generally operate in a well-defined geographical territory, whether you’re a Phoenix drug rehab center or a Chicago rehab facility. This allows you to define your target audience that comprises individuals living in those territories and interested in your drug rehabilitation services. Online marketing allows you to tailor your marketing efforts specifically to your niche. This directly translates into higher ROI for the marketing dollars spent.

It is also simpler to track your online marketing objectives and goals through data metrics available to business owners today. It is easier to figure out how many visitors viewed or clicked your ad or read your blog post. You can also identify the number of referrals that you received and the revenue generated from those referrals in a few clicks.

Online marketing offers a plethora of new opportunities that are just waiting to be tapped. For instance, eMarketer conducted a survey that reported mobile search all set to overtake desktop by 2015. By creating a drug rehab website that is optimized for mobile browsing, you can benefit from one such opportunity.

How to Choose Online Marketing Services for a Drug Rehab Center?

You must strive to choose a service provider who is very familiar with the marketing requirements of the drug rehab industry. Unless the right marketing channels for drug rehab centers are targeted, the marketing dollars may be put to waste. It is equally important to do the right keyword research for the drug rehab institution and target keywords that are profitable enough to be targeted by the drug rehab center.

Find out some of the institutions that the online marketing agency has worked with. Look at some of their recent marketing campaigns undertaken for specific niche establishments, such as drug rehabilitation facilities as well as the impact of those efforts.

Look for a company that has garnered positive reviews from its client-base. You can also get in touch with one or two clients of the marketing agency, and find out if the projects were handled in a professional manner and up to the expectations of the client.


4 Signs Your Lifestyle is Hurting You

Today’s average American lifestyle isn’t always the healthiest, but because it’s so normal it can be tough to spot red flags. Luckily, a little information and intention can go a long way. Once you’re aware of lifestyle risks and commonly missed symptoms, you can consciously re-adjust your views. However, this can’t be done passively, and it all starts with paying attention to yourself and your surroundings.

For example, it’s easier than ever to be made aware of product recalls, some of which can be life threatening. The recall of caramel apples at the end of the year, for example, spread like wildfire on social media and news outlets. Is your lifestyle doing more harm than good? Here are a few signs to watch out for:

1. You have chronic or recurring pain

Sometimes this is unavoidable (blame genetics), but many times it’s due to a subpar lifestyle. Constantly being hunched over a computer or poor posture in general can cause chronic back pain. Chronic knee pain can be from excess weight or improper form at the gym. Check out ValpoLife’s chiropractic tips on good posture, but also seek out your own medical help if there’s a pang constantly bothering you.

2. You have recurring headaches or dry eyes

Headaches are the number one complaint for a plethora of things, but today’s culture of too much screen time might be to blame. This is the biggest suspect if you also have dry or red eyes. Your eyes need a break from that screen, so schedule a pop up or alarm every 20 minutes as a reminder to close your eyes and let them rest. Resist “extra” time, like television or perusing Facebook on your phone, since you’re likely required to stare down a screen for work anyway.

3. You’re overweight or undertoned

Just because the average American woman is now a size 14 (and considering vanity sizing), that doesn’t make it healthy. “Average” does not equate to ideally healthy. However, it’s going to seem more and more normal, especially with the New York Daily News reporting NYC is welcoming size 14 mannequins to non-plus-sized stores. Know your body fat percentage (it’s a better gauge than BMI), and prioritize your health.

4. You can’t get by without coffee

Caffeine addiction is real, yet accepted by society. It can make your sleep hygiene out of what, cause you to be dependent, and can ultimately be a really expensive habit. No vices are “safe” ones.


4 Essential Browser Add-Ons For SEO Keywords

Any Internet marketer who is serious about success will eventually learn the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). Without proper SEO, a marketer cannot hope to achieve a high ranking in search results. According to blogger and Toprated Tips founder Samson Ogola, “The higher you rank in the SERP the better,” (SERP is an acronym for search engine results page). Consequently, search engine optimization techniques are integral to the online marketing process.

Basic SEO and Keyword Analysis

Basic SEO involves using the right keywords and key phrases strategically, so developing an understanding of how to implement keyword analysis is crucial for an Internet marketer. Analyzing keywords involves a process of discovery: A marketer must determine which words lead the most people to a site.

A good way to determine which words are most effective is to analyze competitor sites. As Point It author Tyler Tanigawa discusses in an article on the topic, a viable method for discovering online competitors is to explore the top sites in search results (by entering keywords commonly used for a particular industry). In other words, a person who owns a carpet cleaning business in Orlando, Florida, might enter the key phrase of “carpet cleaning Orlando” into a search engine search box, in order to discover the top sites that appear in the search results.

Once a person finds these online competitors, analyzing their meta keywords can be useful. By exploring the keywords that successful marketers are using, an online marketer can gain a sense of which words those marketers are utilizing to rank high in search results (thus driving Internet traffic to their sites). This is a primary aspect of keyword analysis.

How Browser Add-Ons Can Help

After an online marketer becomes familiar with basic SEO and keyword analysis, the importance of analyzing competitor sites should be fairly clear. However, implementing this kind of analysis without using the proper tools can be time-consuming and confusing. This is why countless marketers use tools such as browser add-ons to help them examine competitor sites and keywords.

KGen for Firefox

According to blogger Jayson Akers (also known as AZAkers), KGen is a “great little SEO add-on” that can help an individual determine the number of times that a phrase has been used on a page.  This handy tool also gives users the “weight” and position of keywords in relation to any page on which they are employed. Using KGen could significantly reduce the time that a person spends on competitor keyword analysis.

SEO SERP for Google

This add-on enables a user to enter a keyword and discover the positions of various sites in the search results rankings. SEO SERP functions quickly, so it can be a great timesaver. Using this tool could be invaluable for a marketer, in terms of finding who the top online competitors for a site actually are.

SEO Coolbar for Internet Explorer

The Coolbar toolbar add-on is one that marketers who prefer Internet Explorer may find infinitely helpful. It offers a variety of features, such as ranking results, so a person can analyze competitor sites. Coolbar also enables users to examine keywords in relation to search volume.

Seoptimer for Opera

This is another add-on that offers an array of functions to help with SEO. Users can also download their reports to portable document format (PDF) if they wish. They can use this tool to check items such as meta keywords and meta descriptions, in order to learn which areas require improvement to achieve higher search engine rankings.

Many businesses have found that marketing online is vital to their overall success. To generate much online traffic, a marketer must learn about SEO and keyword analysis. Using the proper tools for analysis can save a person much time and effort.

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Traveling Has Never Been Easier

Technology has impacted every aspect of life, and the tourism industry is no exception. More than half of business travelers check into their flights and hotels with their smartphones. A vast number of people seek information online about purchasing tickets and hotel reservations as well as information about activities and entertainment in their chosen destination. Travelers can get all the information they need about visas, health concerns, political climate and more without leaving home.

Technology Enhances the Travel Experience

Tourism boards and travel brands are making an effort to include technology to enhance the travel experience of consumers. Today, you can get apps that give you a complete tour of thousands of sites around the world. Many of these apps offer special information about each place with hidden gems such as restaurants and other attractions that visitors may have missed on a regular tour.

Many hotels offer iPads specifically for guests to use for ordering food, planning their travel and get transportation, and free WiFi is available in most hotels and restaurants.

Some of the reasons consumers prefer the Internet for making travel plans are:

• They can research destinations before deciding where to go

• Look for travel promotions and incentives before booking

• Make plans based on the reviews of others

How Consumers Use Information for Travel

There are many different types of travelers including business travelers, family vacation travelers, budget backpackers, luxury travelers and personal travelers. The one thing they all have in common is how they plan their trips. Most travelers use:

• The Internet as a planning tool to search for options. The travel industry knows this, so they market directly to online searchers and effectively prompt travelers to book online

• Search engines to find the cheapest flights. Today, there are travel search engines that pull information from hundreds if not thousands of travel sites and give comparative information. They can be modified for date and time of travel

• Social media to connect with others who have gone before. Not only do people put their experiences online, but the travel industry also uses social media to inform and attract customers.

• Videos and vlogs to learn about their destinations from others during the travel planning process. Travelers also upload vlogs and apps that are travel-related

• Smartphones are the device of choice for many travelers. There are SIM cards available that make it cheap and easy to use their phones internationally, and they can take photos and keep copies of documents and travel information with them always

Travel Rewards Programs

Many credit card companies offer travel miles, hotel reservation discounts, car rental discounts and restaurant discounts when people make purchases with their cards. More and more people are taking advantage of these reward programs, not only for cheaper personal travel, but also for cheaper business travel.

Technology touches every aspect of the tourism industry and as airlines and hotels become more technologically advance, they need to remember that tourism is about people having a great time, and technology should serve that aim and hot hinder it.


How Retail Has Changed Since Going Digital and How Businesses Can Adapt

With factors such as contextual relevance and constant connectivity, the world of shopping has changed since going online, opening new opportunities for forward-thinking retailers. As Google’s SVP of Ads Commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy claims, consumers no longer see a distinction between offline and online shopping. Whether they’re browsing the local mall or browsing via laptop, it’s all shopping. This competitive new reality is something smart retailers are adapting to, drawing on classic truths of retailing while embracing the growing digital world, bringing a retail revolution.


Before digital retail, people usually came in stores with little or no knowledge and often relied on salespeople to advise them on what to purchase. But now, shoppers are more accustomed to doing their own research to get the most value for every dollar they spend. They want to feel secure about the purchases they make. This shift of power brings a great opportunity for retailers; those that make use of the tools and insights from online can close the gap between smart online consumers and offline retailers. Doing so will also allow them to stand out in a competitive marketplace. When it comes to decision-making, every moment in a consumer’s journey matters. To gain an advantage in these situations, retailers need to be there when inspiration strikes consumers and as they start doing research for their online shopping.

The Mobile Factor

Back then, it took familiarity, or fortunate surprise, to find the right store and the product you’re looking for. Now, with blurring lines between online and offline, the innovative retailers are bring mobile into their offline store experience. When shoppers make an online search for a specific store or category, they expect come across a map with directions, a phone number that can easily click to make contact, or some special offers to match where they are and the time of day. To put it simply, mobile devices are driving foot traffic to stores. Adidas is a prime example of using mobile technology to win. They worked with their agency iProspect to look at how mobile clicks on their store locator links online were driving sales in the actual stores. They found that for a mobile investment of $1 million, the store locator clicks in mobile ads brought a value that generated an extra $1.6 million in sales.

The Weight of Opinions

In days past, the retail experience was an activity shared among friends and family, with word of mouth being a social force transforming new products into must-haves, also making small shops into retail empires. Now with social networks, and other ways for people to share their opinions with the world and not just a group of friends, opinions carry more weight than they did before. This is why reviews have been incorporated by companies like Google for their shopping apps and services. People share reviews for products such as dresses or the latest electronics, not to mention the stores and sites they do their shopping from.


5 Ways to Improve the Success of the Online Business Platform

Online businesses have potential to become vastly different than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. From overhead costs to work schedules, there are many ways in which it could differ from traditional businesses. It’s this aspect of separation that drives many developers to create ways to enhance the online business platform outside of what conventional means provide.

Network Virtualization

Using a virtual network allows professionals in different locations to interact with the same data in a simulated local area connection. This can be accessed from nearly any location that has Internet access allowing for an incredibly level of mobility. According to Contel Bradford, blogger for, virtualization can keep staff connected in a secure online network with access to all resources among those that need the data.

Common Tools

Although each individual may have his or her own computer system and specific software, unification can be incredibly beneficial. For example: Instead of each person using a different image editing app, a unified use of specific software can help everyone remain productive without learning multiple different applications with the same ultimate goal. This can also help prevent file incompatibilities and greater capacity for internal assistance should one employee need help from another.

Hosted IP PBX Phone Systems

As technology continues to develop, PBX phone systems no longer require physical installation. Using TCP/IP connections, the business phone system can be remotely managed while sending various business calls to corresponding smartphones. This means that the entire business telecommunication system could literally span across an entire country without the caller realizing such.

Online Project Management Tools

Project management tools offer an excellent way to collaborate with staff to ensure jobs are completed correctly and on time. According to this post, these kinds of tools as well as customer relationship management can greatly improve the functionality of the online business. In many situations, the business may not have a physical location and requires constant interaction with employees that could be located in other states. The need for a cloud-based solution is apparent in this instance as lack of communication could lead to mistakes and lost opportunities.

The Effect of the Business Website

If the entire business platform is operated from individuals from the comfort of their own homes, then the website may become an integral part of future success more so than other businesses. The site will essentially become your business location much like a brick-and-mortar building houses a retail store. The only difference is that the digital representation of virtual real estate has a far less overhead cost to consider. However, this also means that the site will need to be carefully regulated and optimized to encourage online consumers as it may become the base of operations.

With the right utilization of tools, nearly any business could become more efficient. This greatly improves the chances of survival for the company. Whether you’re an online professional or you’re opening a small Internet cafe, there is an abundance of tools available to help the success of virtually any business. Keep a vigilant eye out for applications and devices that can enhance your business platform.

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