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Tag Archive | "efficiency"

Make your water work harder this year

_Car-Road-trip-tire-tips2(NAPS)—Many homeowners looking to maximize the efficiency of their outdoor water use turn to drip irrigation systems as a solution for keeping weeds, diseases, garden pests, scorching heat and high water bills at bay. Drip irrigation systems are easily set up by even a novice gardener and will deliver an immediate water savings as they place the exact amount of water slowly and evenly at the plant’s roots—where it’s needed most.

Here are some drip basics to help you save water:

1. Start by estimating the water needs of your plants. Knowledgeable and helpful staff at a garden center can assist you in determining just how much water your plants need to be healthy. Different plants will have different requirements depending on their variety and the conditions of your yard, such as sun exposure and soil type.

2. Drip systems can either be incorporated into an existing automatic sprinkler system or through a manual connection to an outdoor hose faucet. A manual hose-end connection can also be easily automated by using a battery-operated timer such as the Rain Bird Electronic Garden Hose Watering Timer.

3. For optimum performance, keep your water pressure under control with a pressure regulator. These simple devices keep your water pressure in the ideal range of within 20 to 50 psi. Drip systems are most efficient when operating at the correct pressure.

4. Include a filter in your system to prevent clogging. Drip uses smaller diameter openings than traditional sprinklers, so tiny bits of dirt and debris may clog your system if you don’t use a filter. The good news is that filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

A well-designed drip irrigation system will lose practically no water to runoff, deep percolation or evaporation. Steady, consistent watering can also lower plant stress, which leads to healthier and happier plants while lowering your water bill.

Rain Bird, a global leader in irrigation technology, offers an online step-by-step guide to drip irrigation in addition to interactive demos and a drip calculation program to help homeowners and contractors design and schedule drip irrigation systems correctly. You can check it out at www.rain bird.com.



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Cold weather offers perfect opportunity to work on these projects

(ARA) – Although spring and summer are typically the seasons we focus on home improvement projects, there’s no reason to put off projects or planning throughout colder months. If anything, it’s the perfect way to spend time while hibernating indoors. From winterizing windows to laying new flooring, there are plenty of ways to keep improving your home year round.
When the seasons change, one of the best things a homeowner can do is an energy audit. Though it’s nice to keep the windows open all summer, drafty doors and windows can amount to hundreds of dollars wasted on home heating costs during winter. An energy audit will help you find and fix problem areas, letting you save money for other projects.
During an energy audit, a contractor may use blower door tests to measure the air tightness of your home, infrared scanners to pinpoint heat leaks or even a simple walk-through to find places to improve your home’s efficiency. Once problem spots have been identified, hanging plastic sheeting, caulking gaps and further insulating areas will translate to big savings on home heating costs.
While auditing the heat efficiency of each room of your house, keep an eye out for the quick fixes and small projects often put aside during the summer months. Though it is great to get outside and build a deck or retaining wall, big projects often overshadow simple tasks such as fixing outlets and sealing cracks. Use winter as time to knock the little things off the list.
For those who can’t wait to get started, there are plenty of projects that can completely change your home without removing walls or installing an addition.
Introducing new color to a space will help fine-tune an interior’s design or even completely reinvent a room. Winter is the perfect time to modernize your home’s feel with new window treatments, lighting or flooring. New flooring will add both color and character to a room, and is easy to install during any season. Lumber Liquidators offers contemporary and timeless patterns for hardwood floors like Dream Home Plymouth Plank or Bellawood Brazilian Redwood, which can be installed year round.
Because winter may limit a homeowner’s ability to complete some projects, it’s a great time to plan for spring and summer home improvement projects. There are online tools such as the Home Renovator Suite from BobVila.com and Lumber Liquidators’ Room Designer that allow homeowners to easily pull together their dream homes.
After all your projects, big or small, are completed, use the colder months to set a schedule for spring cleaning and home improvement. Setting an agenda will help you avoid having to rush through the summer to get projects done, and ensure you have the time to enjoy the rewards of your hard work.

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