Efficient Home Energy - Cut Down Your Energy Bills

In our homes, we rely on electricity to power our lights, appliances, and electronics and to provide our homes with hot water, heat, and air conditioning. As we use more electricity in our homes, our electric bills rise. In these tough times, any energy saving tips would be of great help in cutting down expenses and energy bills.

In my search on ways to save energy, I found Microsoft Hohm. It is a beta application that uses the advanced analytics licensed from Lawrence Berkeley Labs as well as the home energy simulation calculator devised by the Department of Energy, and incorporates over 200 variables in its estimations. I signed up for a FREE account and with just a few clicks, I started to learn many ways on how to reduce my home energy and save on my energy bills. It provided me suggestions and energy-saving habits to improve my home’s energy efficiency based on my current home profile.

There are several ways to reduce electricity use in your home and save on energy bills. You can reduce it by aiming your attention on how you use electricity in your home appliances and electronics, lighting, electric space heating and cooling systems, and electric water heater. If you wish to learn how you can reduce your home energy usage and start saving today, sign up with Hohm and they will provide you with a home energy report and Energy saving recommendations tailored to your home for free.

Home Appliances and Electronics
Use Energy-Efficient Appliances and Home Electronics. Look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels when buying appliances and home electronics. Products with ENERGY STAR meet the strict energy efficiency criteria established by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EnergyGuide labels provide an estimate of the product's energy consumption or energy efficiency and show the highest and lowest energy consumption or efficiency estimates of similar appliance models.

You can reduce your use of lighting energy by using energy-efficient products and taking advantage of the natural lights from the windows and skylights. If you are using incandescent bulbs, replace them with either compact fluorescent light (CFL) or LED lighting. Fluorescent and LED lamps last several times longer than ordinary incandescent bulbs, which save you the time and expense of replacing bulbs when they burn out.

Electric space heating and cooling
When looking for ways to save energy in your home, be sure to use energy-efficient electric systems and operate them efficiently. Incorporate passive solar design concepts into your home and properly insulate and air seal your home. Windows that are tightly constructed and filled with insulating gases can make a big contribution to your home's energy efficiency and reduce your heating and cooling bill. You may also use an energy-efficient heating system that does not utilize electricity.

Electric water heating
Lower the temperature setting on your water heater. Lowering the temperature setting of your water heater reduces water heating costs. You can save between 3%–5% in energy costs for every 10ºF reduction in water temperature. For even more savings, turn the thermostat down to the lowest setting or completely turn off the water heater if you plan to be out for at least 3 days. Refer to your water heater owner's manual for instructions on how to operate the thermostat before making any changes.

My Top Ten Entrecard Droppers For February 2010

In the Philippines, the month of March is a time for saying goodbye to the schoolyear. One of the highlights is the graduation ceremony and recognition day. Today, for the very first time, I am giving recognition to my Top Ten Entrecard Droppers for the last 30 days.

Thank you so much for the visits and the drops.

Dropper# of drops
My Sweet Haven22
Lakbay Philippines20
Videos 4 U19
A Flightsim Blog17
Soft And Easy Does It17
Beyond Left Field14
Fledgling Blogger14
Life With Roxxymetal13
Home Improvement Tips13

Don't worry if you were not among this list. March is recognition day and I will be posting my other visitors here soon.

You may also be interested with Mary's Top Ten Things To Do While on Maternity Leave.

Owning a Pet is Good for Our Health

Would you like to take me as your pet?

Everyone has a real need to nurture something or someone. For people who have few companions, animals provide family and friendship, something to care for and to be recognized by. Pets provide love and affection, as well as supply a sense of security and protection.

Aside from the emotional benefits, pets also bring physical health benefits to pet owners. Taking care of a pet encourages action. Pets need to be walked, fed, groomed and given fresh water. They also need lots of playing and petting. Walking the dog out a few times a day can benefit the cardiovascular system and keep joints flexible. Consistently doing these kind of simple exercise enable pet owners to carry out the normal activities of daily living.

Experts say, if a person suffers from heart disease or stress, a cuddle a day may keep the doctor away. However, if hugs are hard to come by, the next best thing may be a dog or a cat in the lap.

Family Vacation - Journey to Happiness

Are you thinking of having a family vacation with this car?

A family vacation should be relaxing. It should be something that rejuvenates and exhilarates a person. With a little preparation and some creativity, you can plan an affordable family trip everyone will enjoy.

Family vacation is easy with a Ford Explorer. Before hitting the road, make sure that your car is in proper working condition. It can help you avoid an unnecessary detour to an auto repair shop. If, for any reason, you meet car problems like a blown head gasket, bring your car to a reliable auto repair shop. If you happen to be in California, this list of Los Angeles auto repair shops may help you solve your problem.

Regardless of where your final destination is, remember that the most important thing on a family vacation is to have fun and get there safely.

Decision Making - Baby or Work?

I am now facing the greatest challenge as a mother (I think). I have to make a choice between leaving my work to personally take care of my baby or keeping my work and let other people I do not even know do my job as a mother. How I wish I could have both. If only I could have my present job at home, taking care of my baby would not be a great concern anymore.

Our last two nannies, Rose and Julita, were a nightmare. My baby got sick two weeks after Rose started to (mis)handle him. Whenever we come home from work, there were plenty of mosquito bites on my baby's skin. Luckily, he did not get the most dreaded Dengue Fever. A month later, when she collected her first salary, she did not come back after she asked to go out with her mother. She sent her boyfriend to get her clothes and personal belongings. What a face! Far worse is Julita. In just as short as five days, my baby had a fever. A neighbor told us, Julita leaves the house an hour or so, after we leave for work, comes back at noon to get her lunch and the baby's food and leaves again. She would always stay at a neighbor's house. My older children told us one day that the nanny lets the baby stay under the sun with only an umbrella for protection. They even went to a far apartment outside the subdivision!

Now, I have decided not to let others do my job as a mother. I could not allow anyone to harm my baby anymore! If I were to weigh the consequences, I would better leave work and stay home (and work online) with my baby. However, my husband tells me to think a million times about it. If I leave work, a bigger part of our financial stream will be lost. He told me to ask some advice from our boss. The problem is I do not know how to do it, or how to start! I do not want to make a wrong decision and let my family suffer the consequences but I could not also leave the care of my baby to a person I cannot trust.

Overcome Dementia

Our minds often are cluttered with lists of things to do, challenges in the home or workplace, relationship issues, and many more. To keep memory loss at bay, remember to make healthy food choices, do regular exercise and stay active.

Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. These contain antioxidants called flavonoids that protect and nourish brain cells. Flavonoids can reduce damage to the brain and improve cognitive impairment. Although recent research supports that an intake of flavonoid-rich foods plays a vital role in reducing the risk of developing dementia, researchers feel more studies are required to make any sort of nutritional recommendation.

Exercise your mind. Keep the mind healthy by learning new things. If you continue to challenge yourself, your brain continues to grow. Challenging the brain with mental exercises can maintain and stimulate increased cognitive ability.

Reduce stress. Stress contributes to memory lapses. Regular moderate exercise, like walking, benefits the brain as well as the entire body.

Be socially active. Nurture family and friend connections and maintain an active social lifestyle.

Weekends Are Fun!

Weekends are fun! It should be! This is the only chance that we spend the time together with my kids. We always see to it that we spend quality time with them however little it could be.

My kids love to sing. Maybe they got it from their father. I love music but I do not love to sing. (I will just keep the reasons for myself.) However, I really love to listen to good music. Music lifts my spirit when I am down and beats with me when I am happy.

We only have a few music selections at home. My kids would always ask to have this song or that song. I do not even know the songs exist until they would request for one! Well, that is basic generation gap. Luckily, there is the internet. The net has always been my partner at work and at home especially when they have assignments and school projects. Now, whenever they would ask for a song, I could readily download them from the Internet! MP3 Search Engine has a great number of music ready for download. Getting a copy is as easy as counting one, two three but we should always scan the files first. We do not know Mr. Bug is there. When my kids knew where I get the copies, they would request for more and never-ending song requests follow.

After the Long Wait

At last, the long wait is over. Last February 21, 2010 at about 11:00 am our little angel, Walter Jared was finally baptized in San Roque Parish (Poblacion, Cordova Cebu) and now he is a full-bloodied Christian.

My husband and I were actually planning this event last September 2009 but due to financial constraints, we had postponed it many times. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all who attended and who became part of this important chapter of our child's life.

To all our family and friends who were always there to support us, morally, spiritually and financially, a million thanks to you all!