If you’re like most people, you have been doing arts and crafts, of some kind, since you were a child. Do you remember how satisfying it is to make something and show it off? That’s why, if you haven’t recently, arts and crafts make a great hobby. Here are some ways that you can make arts and crafts a hobby again.
Work on arts and crafts with your children. This can be a great way for you to teach them what you know, but it is also a great way for you to learn new things together. By spending time together on arts and crafts, you are going to be building memories and a stronger relationship.
Incorporate recycling into your arts and crafts activities. No matter what you are into, from ceramics to oil paints, there are many ways to involve using objects and supplies that you would have otherwise thrown away. Save paper, tinfoil, aluminum, cardboard and more and stash it away for your next project.
Concentrate on just one thing. You may want to take on more than one project at a time. This is why projects don’t get completed. Before starting one project, finish the other one. Doing so will increase your chances of actually finishing each one.
Do not make the mistake of believing that you have to pay a lot of money for arts and craft supplies. Try using old scrap materials you have at home for your next project. Things like old cloth, bottle caps and paper bags have all been used to create masterpieces.
Now that you have read the above tips, arts and crafts should be something you can get into. You have ideas, now all you need is to make a little time for this hobby. Arts and crafts is a wonderful way for you to create something and show everyone your creativity, so get started!
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The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system uses a significant amount of energy in the average home. Making a few smart adjustments can make a noticeable difference in your energy bills and reduce carbon emissions.
Keep your HVAC system working efficiently by performing routine maintenance. Also, regularly check to ensure it’s free of obstructions such as overgrowth and debris.
1. Turn Down The Thermostat
Keeping your home at the right temperature can save you a lot of energy, money, and emissions. Heating typically accounts for up to half of a home’s energy costs, and thermostat settings are one of the biggest factors in how much energy you use. According to ENERGY STAR, the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly temperatures are 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer.
Depending on your preferences and how often you are at home, experiment with your thermostat to find the best settings. Make sure to not change the temperature too often, however, as frequent fluctuations can cause your system to work harder. Instead, try to reduce your temperature setting by a few degrees at night and during the day when you’re away from home.
Another way to reduce your energy consumption is to improve the insulation in your home. Inadequate insulation will allow heated or cooled air to escape, so making sure it’s up to par will help your HVAC system run more efficiently. It’s also important to keep heat-producing appliances, such as televisions and lamps, away from the thermostat to prevent the added heat from fooling your system into thinking it has to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Additionally, using ceiling or box fans can be an effective way to cool a room while saving on energy costs. The way they work is simple – hot air rises, while cooler air sinks to the ground, and your fans can push the cool air back down, eliminating the need for your HVAC system to run as frequently. For the best results, be sure to turn your fans off when you leave a room.
2. Turn Off Lights
A home’s lighting system consumes a lot of energy. It’s also important to keep lights off when not in use. This helps to reduce the strain on HVAC systems and lower energy consumption.
Another way to reduce HVAC energy consumption is to keep air vents clear of debris and overgrowth. This could include removing any limbs or overgrowth from outdoor units, and regularly cleaning out the gutters to remove leaves and debris. This helps to prevent moisture from clogging the unit and creating damage, which can cause it to overheat and use more energy in cooling the home.
A HVAC technician can also help with energy savings by ensuring the ducts are well sealed and not leaking. Leaking ducts waste a lot of energy in heating and cooling the attic, basement, and any gaps in the walls. This can be costly for homeowners and cause unnecessary wear and tear on their systems.
It is also important to change the air filter regularly. A dirty air filter forces your system to work harder, which causes it to use more energy and raise your utility bills over time. It’s also a good idea to cool the building at non-peak hours, since power companies charge more during peak demand.
One of the best ways to improve HVAC energy efficiency is to add a UV light to the unit. These lights scrub the air in the ducts and kill mold, mildew, and other microorganisms. This makes the ducts less likely to clog and allows the air to flow more easily. This can save you money on your energy bill, and it will make the air in your home healthier and more comfortable.
3. Turn Off Appliances
Even when they’re turned off, many appliances, like your television and cable box, computers, laptops, monitors, game consoles, coffee makers, toaster ovens, and microwaves consume electricity, often in a sleep or standby power mode. These devices, also known as energy vampires, can zap between 9% and 16% of your home’s total energy usage. Unplugging these appliances when not in use will help reduce your electricity bills and carbon footprint.
You can further cut your home’s energy consumption by reducing its overall size, installing insulation in walls, attics, and basements and sealing leaks around doors and windows. Insulation can save you up to 15% on your energy bills.
Another way to reduce your HVAC system’s energy consumption is by changing your air filters on a regular basis. Dirty air filters force your HVAC system to work harder and consume more energy to cool the house.
Lastly, you can lower your energy consumption by making sure that your HVAC unit is not exposed to excessive sunlight. Exposure to sunlight can cause your HVAC unit to overheat, requiring it to use more energy to cool the house. Placing it in a shaded area will prevent this from happening, and you should also keep the unit free of fallen debris and moisture that can harbor bacteria.
Finally, you can also lower your energy consumption by cooling your building earlier in the day, before peak demand charges kick in. Peak demand is highest in the afternoon, and air conditioning costs more at this time due to everyone turning their systems on. By allowing your building to cool down before the heat of the day sets in, you can significantly lower your energy consumption and reduce your carbon footprint.
4. Close Curtains
The curtains in a home aren’t just decorative or functional; they can also help reduce energy costs by preventing the escape of warm air. It’s estimated that as much as a third of all heat loss from homes occurs through windows and doors, which can result in skyrocketing energy bills.
During hot summer days, closing curtains can prevent sunlight from heating the house and force the HVAC system to work harder to keep the interior temperature cool. Similarly, in winter, opening the curtains can allow even the slightest amount of sunlight to naturally warm the room, reducing the need for the HVAC system to operate.
Installing curtains that are specially designed to help save energy can make a significant impact on energy efficiency. For instance, “energy efficient curtains are made of thick fabric that blocks out drafts and helps retain treated air,” says Green Energy Efficient Homes. “They are hung close to the window and overlapped in the middle to create an airtight seal.”
You can further increase your energy savings by keeping your curtains clean and free of dust and debris. Additionally, it’s important to check that furniture or other objects aren’t blocking the air vents or ducts in the home. Lastly, it’s a good idea to periodically clear any obstructions around your outdoor units such as leaves, overgrowth and debris that could hinder the unit’s operation.
Many homeowners may think that lowering their energy bills will require major home improvement projects. However, small things such as changing the filters in your HVAC systems can have a large impact on energy efficiency. It’s important to keep your filters clean, as dirty ones force the system to work harder and use more energy to stay comfortable. Investing in proper insulation and upgrading your door and window weather stripping can also help improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and reduce energy costs.
5. Use Fans
Heating, ventilating and air conditioning account for about half of the energy usage in homes and buildings. Luckily, small changes in HVAC system operation and maintenance can make a big difference in electricity costs.
Using fans in the summer to circulate cool air helps reduce energy consumption, but only when they are used correctly. In warm weather, fans should be set to run counterclockwise to create a cooling downdraft, which lowers indoor temperatures without lowering the thermostat setting. In the winter, reversing the fan to a clockwise direction helps redistribute warm air that has risen near the ceiling.
It’s important to use the right-sized fan for a room. A fan that is too large will pull unnecessary air, making the HVAC system work harder to cool the space.
Regularly checking for and cleaning the air filter is an easy way to help cut energy costs. The air filter captures dust and other particles, preventing them from being recirculated into the home’s living space. If the air filter is clogged with debris, the HVAC system will have to work hard to reach the thermostat setting, leading to increased operating costs over time.
Inspecting and replacing the rubber weather stripping around doors and windows can help prevent warm air from escaping your home. This will reduce energy bills over time and help maintain an even temperature throughout the house.
Hiring an experienced HVAC professional to perform routine maintenance on your system can save you money in the long run. Dirty coils, clogged filters, and refrigerant leaks can all increase your energy consumption and raise utility bills. When your HVAC system is in top shape, it works more efficiently, so it uses less energy to achieve the same results.