Archive for January, 2014

Automatic off switch for your lights

automatic off switchWe recently stayed in a Hampton Inn in Cookeville Tennessee. This particular Hampton Inn has installed an Evolve system which controls all the lights in the room. All you have to do is place your key card in a switch just inside the entrance to the room to turn on the lights, the TV and air conditioning.

When you leave , You take your key card with you and when you remove it from the light switch it automatically turns off all the lights, the TV and the air condition system. This is an excellent energy-saving maneuver by the Hampton Inn to reduce the cost of electricity and other charges. They are able to immediately reduce their electricity charges and reduce their cost. Customers of the hotel can of course circumvent the system by asking for an extra key and leave it in this switch, while they are out for dinner etc. However overall this approach will save money for the hotel chain and keep hotel rates as well lower for customers. The money they save on energy use should more than pay for installing this system.

Automatic Off Switch – Home Application

This might be something interesting for homes to also use however it may require rewiring your house or installing special switches that connect to all of your lights and other devices in your home. There is a cost to all of these things and although you are saving energy, the question is whether you will save enough to cover the cost of the equipment. Many consumers will be able to save sufficient money simply by converting to LED bulbs vs using the older traditional incandescent lights.

LED bulbs, although they cost much more, will last for many years and use much less electricity at the same time. As a home owner I would invest in LED lights first to gain the maximum savings from reduced energy immediately and then think about automatic off switch for our lights. These automatic switches would be more for convenience than anything else since I have already gained most of the savings from converting to LED lights. In fact the difference in energy use for LED’s may in fact preclude spending money on these sophisticated auto switches. You really have to do a small business case to assess the cost vs. savings before you spend any money on automation.


Is Your Home Insured While You Are Away

Home InsuredIs your home insured while you are away on vacation? As property managers we get many calls from home owners asking if we will look after their pets such as cats dogs goldfish rabbits and many more different animals. They are very concerned about how their animal will be looked after while they are away and what kind of care we will provide to them. This in fact is the most important item for them at that time.

They are considered a member of the family and they care about their pet very much. This is definitely something that people with pets should care about. But there is much more to consider than just your pets. There is your home which is probably the single largest asset that you have.

Home Insured Validation

One of the things that we point out too many customers is that their home may not in fact be covered by their home insurance properly if your home is not monitored and checked on a regular basis. These people who are concerned about their pets will in fact probably meet all the requirements of their home insurance, however we urge everyone to check with their home insurance to find out what the requirement is to keep the home insurance valid while they are away from home on vacation or a business.

Most insurance companies are concerned about two major things. The first is break-ins of course, but the second is something that will cause far more damage and will be much more expensive and that is water damage from leaking pipes.

In the wintertime if the furnace is turned off for some reason due to power failure or failure of the furnace, the water in pipes etc. will freeze and cause a great deal of water damage. The pipes will start to leak and water can damage rugs, flooring, furniture and even your walls. Repairs can be very expensive. You may have to replace all of the flooring, most of the drywall and all of your furniture. This can get into thousands of dollars in claims. Mold from water damage must be eliminated to avoid health issues developing later on.

Insurance Company Requirements

Most insurance companies will ask that either the water be shut off, or someone visits the home every day or every second day to make sure that the furnace is in fact working with the furnace on and that there is no water leaking. They frankly do not care about pets and animals they are more concerned about whether there will be damaged for the home due to major water leaks. If you cannot turn the water off for some reason, they may require a visit every day when temperatures are below freezing.

Home Insured – Summary

This is some something that all homeowners should consider when they’re leaving on vacation. First of all check with your home insurance to find out what is required and then make arrangements for friends, family, neighbors or professional home sitting company to check your home on a regular basis for break-ins, water damage and to make sure that the furnace is working properly. If in doubt, turn the water off at the main valve where the water line enters your home.

You should also have some kind of record that shows someone has been into your home and found everything ok. This could be a report from a property management company or it could be an email from the neighbor indicating that they checked on your home and found everything to be fine. It also provides peace of mind for the home owner as well as evidence for the insurance company if you have an insurance claim.

Don’t ignore this issue while you are away. It also will provide you with peace of mind so that you can enjoy your vacation!


Tires for Your Car

Tires for Your CarPurchasing tires for your car has become much more complicated in the last few years. Not only do you need summer tires and snow tires, but there are all season tires and of course then there are speed ratings for the tires that you have, how much water they will dispel as you go down a flooded road and on and on.

Tire Services to Consider

Then there are the various services that various car dealers and tire manufacturers provide to customers, when they purchased tires. What we found was that those companies that have a national or international presence often offer the best in tire services for their customers.

They tend to have greater volume, which means they can get better prices from the manufacturer for the tires that they sell which they pass along to in some degree to their customers. In addition they can offer services to their customers which are attractive for a number of reasons.

Tires for Your Car – Price Plus Service

We happen to like Costco as the premiere company to provide tires for the car that we drive. And we will use their services to illustrate some of the reasons why they should be rated number one if they’re not already at that point.

Services such as free tire rotation, free balancing  every 12,000 km’s is a significant benefit to us. In addition Costco has stores all across the US,  Canada and Mexico, so if you’re traveling by car you can drop into any Costco and have your tires rebalanced  and rotated or fixed at no cost to you as long as you have your receipt with you.

In addition our car also takes nitrogen in the tires which stabilizes the tires and keeps them at a uniform pressure for much longer than tires filled with normal air. Not all garages have this capability and although you can top up with air if needed, the preference is to use nitrogen to avoid changes in tire pressure due to change in temperature.

Combining all of these services and the price and the ongoing maintenance provided by Costco for our tires on our car we are very satisfied with the company and we think that most customers would be interested in the services.

Now that we’ve covered these services, we suggest customers compare the services and the price provided by Costco to all other tire companies and if you can get the same at a better price go for it. Although you might pay a little bit more initially for your tires, always consider the maintenance benefits and the cost of those benefits before making a decision. If you have to pay $20 per tire to re-balance the tires and then rotate them, any savings you gained can be quickly erased.  It worked for us and we feel that we save a lot of money this way. By rotating the tires, you should get more mileage out of your tires than if you do not rotate them on a regular basis.


Advantages of Electric Cars

Advantages of Electric CarsA lot of people can see that electric cars are much more inexpensive to operate. Due to the lower cost of electricity as compared to the cost of gasoline on a per mile basis. However everyone is still scared off by the inconvenience of finding a place to recharge your vehicle. Or worse completely draining your batteries and being stranded somewhere on the side of the road. Still, the advantages of electric cars includes that it makes sense for government and industry to find a solution to make this work, because we are polluting the earth and we are over heating the planet.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of electric vehicles? What are the solutions that need to be focused on in order to remove or reduce some of the deterrents to the consumer accepting the electric vehicle as a solution.

First the Advantages of Electric Cars

The obvious one is that the electric vehicle is more efficient than gasoline powered cars even when you take into account that most of the electricity is generated from coal or oil fired plants. On a per mile cost to the consumer the electric vehicles are winning hands down at the present time. As power consumption increases with more electric vehicles on the road, the costs may increase, but then so will the costs of gasoline so there will still be a differential in favor of the electric car.

Cars with backup gasoline powered engines such as the Chevy Volt and the Toyoto Prius are ideal for electric vehicles. The gasoline engines and the brakes recharge the car’s batteries and if they run too low, then the gasoline engine takes over. The Prius works a bit differently in that in heavy demand and at higher speeds the electric motor and the gasoline engine works in tandem to power the car.

Environmentally at least locally you are not spewing pollution from a tail pipe into the air and hybrids are spewing less pollution than traditional gasoline powered cars. With the electric cars being more efficient overall, there is less pollution as well when you consider the pollution generated at the electrical coal fired plants.

Noise is much less with an electric car as well. Whether sitting at a stop light or accelerating there is virtually no noise generation at all.

In many cities across North America, hybrid and electric vehicles are allowed to drive in HOV lanes as an incentive to move to the more efficient hybrid or electric vehicles.

Next the Disadvantages

Some people are concerned that today’s electric grid cannot handle the increased use of electricity. And yes, today’s grid probably cannot. However if the demand increases in a gradual way since the penetration of electrical vehicles will be gradual as well, then the grid has time to respond with more plants and distribution networks.

There are just not enough plug in spots available to plug in your car and recharge it. Some parking lots are even afraid they will need to rewire their parking garages to accommodate these cars at some cost. Some consumers feel they are getting ripped off if a visitor plugs in their car and recharges the batteries while visiting.

Range of the current vehicles is still an issue for pure electric cars. The hybrids have their gasoline engines to fall back on. Basically you will need to charge your batteries every day and plan your trips around recharge points for the all electric vehicle. Charge time is another issue to consider. If you are charging overnight there is no problem. On the other hand if you have to wait an hour or two to recharge this can be a big chunk out of your day.

Fast charge stations cost a lot to install in your home, and 120V charging systems will take all night to recharge the batteries.

Electric vehicles are still more expensive to purchase than their gasoline powered counter parts. However as they become more popular, prices will decline through assembly line production.

Everyone is very concerned about how long the batteries will last. Usually the car will last much longer than the battery and consumers are faced with buying a new battery at considerable expense. A gasoline engine, if looked after will last the life of the car quite easily.

Also if cars are charging at night when usage is traditionally lower, then the grid is not impacted as much as everyone might at first think. Time of day rates will push more and more people to charge their cars at night as well.

The Future of Electric Vehicles is on the Horizon

At least now we know what the problems and issues are. As they are solved one by one, these all electric vehicles will become more popular and gradually over time become the mainstay of our transport solution.

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What Home Appliances Use the Most Electricity

Home Appliances Use the Most ElectricityThe question about what home appliances use the most electricity is actually a little more complex than the obvious answers. At first glance we might think that appliances such as ovens, refrigerators, freezers, clothes dryers, pool pumps, furnaces and air conditioners would use the most energy around the home. The real answer is that it depends on the actual appliance and your life style regarding how you heat your home, cool your home, conversion to energy saving devices and so on.

For example, our neighbor sets his air conditioning at 21 C or 70F all day and all evening long. His wife likes to sleep with the window open in the summer and the winter time with the corresponding energy loss that is associated with open windows. Another neighbor sets his AC at 24C or 75 F at night and even higher during the day.

Major issues for What Home Appliances Use the Most Electricity

Time of Day Energy Costs

Clothes dryers take a lot of energy and can cost a lot unless you only use then during non peak times such as in the evening and weekends. In a situation where you only dry your clothes in the evenings or on weekends, your clothes dryer may actually use even less energy than your AC system.

What about the oven? It uses a lot of energy when in use, but if you cook during non peak times or use the microwave which is very efficient, you can reduce your oven energy use significantly.

Should We Measure Real Usage or Per Event Usage

From a ranking perspective, ovens, dryers, air conditioning units and incandescent lights use a lot of energy. If you know which appliances use the most and then try to limit their use, then you can actually save and reduce total energy use. For example use the microwave whenever you can instead of the oven. Set your fridge temperature a degree or two higher. The same applies to the AC system. If you heat your home in the winter time, setting your inside temperature at 21C or 70 F will reduce your overall usage compared to someone who keeps their home at an even 24 C or 75F all day long.

There are all kinds of steps that consumers can take which will reduce their energy usage and save them a great deal of money. Use your appliances wisely even the ones that use a lot of energy, but limit their usage to reduce your overall energy foot print.

Turn up the temperature in the summer to reduce AC, turn down the temperature in the winter to reduce heating energy, use the microwave instead of the oven, turn up the temperature of the fridge and the freezer, use the clothes dryer and all appliances in non peak hours, turn your pool pump on at night and only run it for a few hours a day and so on.

We have a number of posts  on this site that provide more detail and more information on how to save energy overall. It is not always the appliance that uses the most electricity that you have to focus on!


Tesla model S software update

Tesla model S software updateThis post is about a Tesla model S software update, however first we want to talk about the fires. There have been several fires associated with the Tesla model S all electric car in 2013. Two of the fires were caused by metal debris laying on the road and hitting the battery pack when it was driven over. The metal debris punctured the battery pack causing the battery pack to short out and start a fire. In both cases the passenger and driver were fine and were able to pull the car over to stop and get out of the car before there was any problem. On a traditional car any number of problems could have occurred such as a punctured gas tank, brake lines and fuel lines could have been punctured and caused a fire or an accident. The motto regardless of what car you drive is pay attention to what is on the road and avoid it if you can without swerving or losing control of your car.

Tesla model S software update – Other Fires

The other fire was caused by an over heating a wall charger. This happened in California in a garage while the car was being charged and the wall charger became too hot and caused the fire.

Tesla has updated the software associated with charging the batteries to recognize this problem and control the charging of the batteries to reduce any possibility of fire. The new software will reduce the current by 25% if needed so it can automatically regulate the power input to the battery.

Tesla is constantly upgrading their car and making improvements as more and more drivers purchased this Tesla model S all electric car. There are currently 19,000 vehicles on the roads in North America and Europe.

According to government testing this is the safest car they’ve ever tested which is a testament to the design team at Tesla. It can only get better as Tesla fine tunes this car and continues to improve it. Their biggest roadblock is the distance you can go on a full battery and also the number of recharging stations around the country. They are building more and more all of the time.

Tesla model S software update

Recently Tesla has announced that they are going to install a protective plate under the car to protect the batteries from further incidents that could cause them to short out and start a fire. Time will tell if the combination of the software update and the metal plate will eliminate any further battery  fire possibilities.


Updating kitchen cabinets

Updating kitchen cabinetsEvery year many people embark on kitchen renovations which can cost thousands of dollars. By the time you replace the kitchen cabinets, the sink, all the appliances and the floor you’re into thousands of dollars. A friend of ours spent over $30,000 to upgrade their kitchen. The worst part, not that it really matters, we do not like it at all.

Replacing all of the appliances can be expensive enough, however at least you have brand-new state-of-the-art appliances. Replacing the sink  and the faucets falls into the same category.

Your flooring may need updating because of wear and tear and it’s great to have a brand-new floor that is current and modern.

But What About the Cabinets

However, when it comes to the kitchen cabinets unless they are falling apart this is a major renovation expense that can be avoided as long as you’re willing to put a little elbow grease into them. One way to avoid having to replace the kitchen cabinets and a major expense as well, is to paint your kitchen cabinets!

Depending on the current finish that is on your cabinets this may be a relatively easy job or it may take more work. Either way, it is much less expensive than replacing them, installing new wiring and throwing the old ones out.

The best approach is to take one of your cabinet doors into a qualified paint store and asked for their opinion as to how best to refinish your kitchen cabinets. In most cases you will need to remove the existing finish and then you will be ready to paint your kitchen cabinets.

Updating kitchen cabinets – Refinish

In our case we had white solid wood painted cabinets. The paint was a melamine finish and based on recommendations that we received from our local paint store we sanded each cabinet door lightly to roughen it up and then repainted with the white melamine finish using a foam roller.

The application of the melamine paint was quite easy and straightforward however it needed three coats with a light sanding between each coat. This particular project took several weeks to finish however our kitchen was updated for a cost of less than $100 for the cost of the paint. Compare this to many thousands of dollars for brand-new kitchen cabinets. When we say thousands, we are talking at least $20,000 or more for new kitchen cabinets. Compared to spending $100, this is a major savings!

This is a major savings opportunity for homeowners and something that almost any homeowner can do themselves. Before you fall prey to renovation experts recommending replacing expensive cabinetry because there is no money in it for them to just do a small portion of the work, consider alternate solutions like this one that are much less expensive. If you do not like it when you are finished or partly finished, you can always revert to replacing the cabinetry.

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Things You Need to Know About Home Security

Home SecurityThe business of providing home security has changed a great deal in the last few years. With the introduction of electronic devices that can communicate using your Wi-Fi system within your home and the Internet. It is now much easier for security companies to provide security services. It is also easier for homeowners to monitor their own security systems. There are lots of new services and devices on the market. If you haven’t looked already you may want to look at the new devices that are available. There is also the opportunity to reduce your overall cost for making sure that your home is secure. We have listed five ways of improving your security or reducing your costs for security around your home.

Home Security – Don’t leave Blind Areas

But first will talk about the best one of all, which will cost you very little money while providing or increasing the security of your home. Trim shrubs that hide windows and doors to provide a clear view from inside the house as well as from the street. Secondly make sure that you have lights on all doors that are on at night or will turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn or will turn on based on the motion sensor sensing something near the door. In addition you want to have timers with lights inside your home that turn on and off at similar times to your normal everyday schedule when you are away.

Home Security – Technology

The first thing you should know about home security is that there are many new players that have come on the market. From a technology perspective as well as providing security services. This may create opportunities for the homeowner to get new or better services at reduced prices. Instead of paying a thousand dollars a year for home security that is monitored, homeowners may be able to have home security provided at much lower prices. Do a service by service comparison. Select the one that not only saves you money to provide you with the comfort and security of knowing that your home is being monitored while you’re away.

Whether your security system is monitored by a third-party company or not, someone needs to make a decision to call the police when an alarm is triggered at your home. Saving $15 a month to avoid having someone monitor your home may not be the best decision if no one will be available to monitor and call the police when you’re home was broken into.

Service is also very important. The service that you get is only as good as the local contractor who is providing the service on behalf of the alarm company. If something is not working properly then the dispatch must send a contractor out to repair it. Make sure that you check reviews and comments from other customers about any company that you decide to hire.

Unscheduled Entrances!

Finally if there is an unscheduled entrance to your home , he security company you hire will call the police and they will be dispatched. They should also call your designated contact to meet the police at your home. Your contact should not be asked to enter the home until they arrive. If it is a false alarm, the police may charge a fee for responding to the false alarm.

New technology on the market has now made it possible for homeowners to purchase their own cameras. Connect them to their WiFi and have emails sent to them anytime there is motion detected in their home or anywhere the camera is pointed. This makes it possible for the homeowner to monitor their home from upstairs in their bedroom or thousands of miles away over the internet.

That’s it for the things that you need to know about home security and hiring companies that provide security services.


Apple Product Replacement Support

Apple Product Replacement SupportI own an Apple iPhone five and it is one of the best devices I’ve ever used. Not only do I use it for a phone I also use it for most of my business. I have a to do list which keeps track of all the things that I need to keep track of and when I should get them done, I also use it for my calendar, my banking, and of course updating and writing blogs like this one. I decided to write a blog about this particular subject because my iPhone five needed to be replaced and I was totally impressed with the way that Apple handled my service requirement. Their service was truly amazing.

My iPhone five is only about eight months old and unfortunately it started to have shadows on the screen. I could still use the screen without any problem but I thought that I should have it checked out by Apple. I called their telephone support line and spoke to one of their support people and described the issue that I was having.

Apple Product Replacement Support – Fantastic

Without hesitation he decided on the fly to provide me with a replacement iPhone which he arranged to have shipped by UPS to my home. It would have arrived within two business days except that there was a weekend in between and I was not home on the day that the UPS driver arrived on his first attempt to deliver.

On the third business day I received my iPhone five and proceeded to transfer everything from the old phone onto the new phone. The first step is to make sure that everything from my old phone is backed up to the iCloud. Once this is complete you can then erase everything from the old phone. You also must transfer the Sim card from the old phone for the new card. There are instructions provided to show you how to do that.

Once the new phone was turned on it needed to be upgraded to the latest iOS. After this was complete it was a simple matter to back up the new phone from the iCloud and place everything back onto my new iPhone. This was simple and straightforward and only took a few hours for everything to download.

Areas to Improve

The only wrinkle was that I needed to reenter all of my passwords for the various systems and applications that I use on my iPhone. I personally choose not to store any passwords on my iPhone to provide additional security but that is just something that is peculiar to my own way of doing things.

I was totally happy with the support and service that Apple provided to me. They even provided the box that I was to use to ship my old iPhone back to Apple along with the routing tag and shipping information.

Apple provides an excellent service and I would strongly recommend their company anytime.


Battery fire in Tesla Model S

Battery fire in Tesla Model SAll electric cars provide different accident results than the standard gasoline powered engine car. For example the Tesla model S, which is one of the best electric cars available on the market and also the most expensive has had three fires in the last several months. As with all statistics you really need to delve into the details to find out more about the problem. In this case it is not a chronic problem, rather it is a design issue that has already been updated to make the car even more safe than it already is.

Battery fire in Tesla Model S – What Started it

All the fires involve the battery pack which is slung low on the body of the car to provide increased stability in rollover situations. In fact it is extremely difficult for the Tesla model S to rollover even at extreme speeds due to the position of the battery pack. It also makes the battery pack more exposed to damage from road debris.

All of the fires involving the battery pack have been caused by the battery pack housing being punctured by road debris that could not be avoided by the driver and a fire starting as a result. In all accidents the occupants have been able to walk away from the accident or fire in this case since it really was not an accident, unhurt.

In this last accident, the car drove over a metal object, a tow hitch which was on the road and could not be avoided. The tow hitch punctured the undercarriage and specifically the battery pack which caused it to short out and start a fire.

Battery fire in Tesla Model S – Safe Car to Drive

Based on testing the Tesla model S is the safest car on the road for drivers. There are over 19,000 T model S cars on the road worldwide at the time of writing this post. The Tesla model S has earned the highest score possible in crash tests ever recorded by any vehicle that is been manufactured and on the road today. That is a pretty big endorsement for a relatively new car on the market. Improvements to protection of the battery pack will improve the safety of this car even more than what it already is.


Downsizing to one car from two cars!

Downsizing to one car from two carsDownsizing to one car from two or even three cars in a family can save you a great deal of money on your monthly bills while at the same time making it more difficult to coordinate everything that you’re doing within the family especially if you have two or even three or four drivers in the family. Yes you may spend more gas because your car is always going to be on the road, but it will still cost much less overall since there will be less insurance and maintenance to be concerned about.

Benefits of Downsizing to one car from two cars

On the plus side you save all of the expenses associated with the car. For example there’s no monthly payments, there are no maintenance and repair charges, no license fees, no insurance fees and you’re only driving one car so there’s less gasoline that you’re spending, and the big item is that the car is being devalued over the time that you own it so now is the time to sell it and recover as much money as you can.

One last point is that when you downsize to one car, you save or reduce the amount of car insurance that your pay. This can amount to $500 or more a year depending on the age of the driver, where you live, whether someone drives it to work or not and the type of car that you drive.

More coordination Required

On the negative side of downsizing to one car, is that there is much more competition for the car from multiple drivers. A lot more coordination must take place in terms of getting everybody to where they have to go. This is particularly true for families with children who are engaged in various activities, or working outside the home.

When you downsize to one car you must coordinate and make sure that you have a schedule for everyone so that you can get people to where they need to be. And if you combine trips you can actually reduce the amount of gasoline that you would have spent and used compared to having two cars on the road at the same time going in the same direction.

Another savings opportunity is the reduction in your insurance particularly if you have teenage drivers. If for example one of the drivers is designated as a driver on a car your insurance will be much higher, however if you are the sole designated driver for car and the teenagers are the secondary drivers, your insurance is going to be much lower.

The writer’s family has been driving one car for the past couple of years. Initially it was difficult and we had to really coordinate, But then we got used to it and the reduced expenses associated with having one car instead of two made up for the inconvenience that we have. Occasionally one of us will have to drop the other off and then go on do other errands etc. but this is a small price to pay compared to the amount of money that you can save by downsizing to one car only.


Snow tires: five things you need to know

Snow tiresAs the temperature begins to drop, experts will emphasize that your summer tires, or even all season tires will not be as efficient when driving in the cold and snowy icy conditions. All season tires which are  on your car for all types of seasons and conditions are not made of soft rubber in the same manner as snow tires. The snow tire is made of soft rubber and will provide better handling and better traction in snow and ice conditions. Snow tires also have better rubber grips for digging their way through deep snow. If you regularly drive in snow, don’t take a chance install snow tires on your car.

Here are five tips for installing winter Snow tires on your car:

Winter tires should be marked with a picture of a peaked mountain and a snowflake to indicate that they meet the standards for snow traction performance and have been engineered specifically for use in snow conditions. If this symbol is not present then they are not winter tires and you should not buy them. these tires will not deliver the performance of true winter tires.

Always install a set of snow tires in a set of four. This will provide better control and traction in snow conditions and icy conditions. Maintain the same tread pattern and internal construction and size. Acceleration, stopping and vibration as well as overall control will be improved with four tires that are the same.

New tires are designed to spin in one direction only. Make sure that your tires are mounted on the correct side to provide maximum gripping action in ice and snow conditions. Incorrectly mounted tires will actually provide instability and sliding out of control situations in icy and snowy conditions.

Installing tires at the rear that are also snow tires, even for front-wheel-drive cars will provide more stability so you don’t spin out in the middle-of-the-road. This is a truly scary event for most people especially when there is oncoming traffic.

Snow tires – Nitrogen Filled

Tires inflated with air will drop in air pressure as the  season gets colder. If there is a significant drop in temperature say 20 or 30°, most tires will be under inflated at that point and you may need to add air to the tires. If you have added air and, and the temperature increases you may want to check your air pressure again to make sure that the Air pressure in your tires it’s not too high. Cars with tire pressure monitoring systems will alert you to low pressures, however those consumers without TPS should check their tires on a monthly basis at a minimum

Some dealers will fill your tires with nitrogen which is much more stable as temperatures change. Regardless, check your tires pressure on a regular basis to ensure that there is sufficient air pressure in the tires at all times to maintain proper gripping action in snow and ice conditions. Although nitrogen is more stable, extreme temperatures can cause tire pressures to change. Monitor your tires pressure on a regular basis. If you have an air pressure monitoring system in your car, the alert light on your dashboard will glow when your tires are low in pressure. always make sure your tires are properly inflated.


Incandescent lightbulb ban taking effect

Incandescent lightbulbEffective January 1, 2014, lightbulb manufacturers will stop making the popular 40 and 60 watt incandescent lightbulbs. These are the most popular lightbulbs in the country.

Consumers for sometime have been able to buy halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs and high-efficiency incandescent bulbs. Most of these bulbs are significantly more expensive than the incandescent lightbulb however their energy and cost savings over the long run are substantial. If you have not already converted from using 60 or 40 W incandescent bulbs, note that the supply will run out shortly in most stores.

Manufacturers Complying with the Law

All manufacturers are compliant with this law and have no intention of continuing to manufacture incandescent bulbs of the 60 W and 40W variety. Consumers will have no choice but to make the conversion to the more expensive bulbs.

As consumers become more familiar with the energy-saving value of these new lightbulbs they will quickly convert. And incandescent bulb overs time will cost you seven dollars of energy while an LED bulb will consume two dollars of power under normal circumstances.

Prices are Declining

And the price of all of these bulbs is declining every year as they reach mass production levels. Consumers in North America have an unprecedented opportunity to reduce their electricity cost by using these new bulbs. When you can save money, why not follow the trend and get on with it.

If you do not want to replace all of your lights due to the cost, start by replacing the lights that are always on or at least on for a long time during the day or night time. Reuse the old lightbulbs as needed when other older Incandescent lightbulbs burn out. This is probably the most cost efficient approach to take so that you maximize your energy savings quickly while keeping the replacement cost of the existing lightbulbs at a minimum.  Make no mistake these new bulbs will save you money over the long run. LED bulbs are forecasted to have lifetimes of 10 to 20 years depending on the manufacturer and the materials used. This is a long time for a lightbulb to last and can make a huge difference in the cost of electricity used over that time period.

Consumers should look for discounts and coupons offered by various agencies to also help them save money when purchasing replacement bulbs. Both government and some companies are looking to persuade consumers to convert to the new bulbs so check them out and use the coupons to save you even more money.


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