Home Improvement Articles
Save Money With Tankless Water Heaters
by Harvey Juric
Hot water heating accounts for about 20% (or more) of the average North American household's annual energy costs. With energy prices rising day by day it is becoming important to take a closer look at where the money is going.
The average yearly cost for a conventional gas or electric storage hot water heater is approximately $500 for a 1300sq.ft. 4 member family home. It lowers or increases depending on how many people live in the house and on their particular water usage habits.
Conventional hot water heaters store water and maintain the water temperature to the temperature setting on the tank - usually between 120º and 140º F. That means keeping water hot even when you do not need it - while you are at work; while you are sleeping; while you are away on holidays.
These standby losses represent 15% to 25% of a household's annual water heating costs.
Another thing that annoys all of us, is waiting for the water to heat up because someone took a bath before us. The storage tank water heaters only have a limited amount of hot water. After that is gone you have to wait for the tank to get heated again.
Throughout the rest of the world, where energy costs have consistently been higher than in North America, different methods of heating water are common.
Enter Tankless Hot Water Heaters. They began appearing in the United States and Canada about 25 years ago but have been used in Europe for the last 50 years.
Unlike "conventional" tank water heaters, tankless water heaters heat water only as it is used, or on demand. Opening a hot water faucet ignites the powerful burners and the computer monitors the water temperature and adjusts the burners according to the need. High demand, high heat. Low demand, low heat.
Because the efficiency rate of tankless water heaters is about 20% higher, averaging around 90% and going up to 96% and there is no stand by losses, savings on your energy bills are evident.
Some models even have the capacity to heat the house at the same time. With these tankless water heaters, which are connected either to radiant floor heat or to a heating coil in your furnace (air handler), you can bring high efficiency space heating capacities to every home.
Just imagine a contraption the size of your kitchen cabinet, heating your home and giving you an endless supply of potable hot water. You do not need a separate furnace and a separate hot water heater.
Some models can be mounted on the exterior of a home, freeing up valuable floor and closet space on the inside. The unit can be placed in a recessed box, flush-mounted and painted or textured to match the exterior of the home.
Tankless water heaters can also be used for supplementary heat, such as a booster to a solar hot water system, or snow melting systems, or to meet all your hot water needs.
The major players include: Takagi, Rheem, Noritz, Rinnai and up and coming Luna Baxi.
We would suggest researching different makes and models in order to make the right choice for your particular needs and circumstances.
Do you use hot water mostly in the mornings and evenings and frequently run out of hot water in the middle of a shower? With a tankless water heating system you can overcome the shortages of tank water heaters. The tankless water heater never runs out of hot water, you can take 3 hour shovers!
Harvey Juric, is a veteran custom home builder in Southern Ontario. He shares his ideas on modern custom building and renovating on the following web sites: http://Luxury-Home.ca, http://Ontario-Home-Builder.com, http://Repairing-Building-Contractor.com and http://Insulated-Concrete.com
A healthy lawn is a huge part of a beautiful landscape and a home's curb appeal. Whether you have a cool-season lawn or a warm-season lawn, new sod or established turf one thing is certain, with up to 1,000 grass plants per square foot of lawn fertilization is a must!
There are two ways to fertilize and achieve a green healthy lawn and beautiful landscape plants. You can do it yourself or you can hire a professional landscape contractor to prescribe a maintenance program. Regardless of what you choose there are some things you should keep in mind when using fertilizers.
You should start by measuring the square footage of your lawn to determine the amount of fertilizer you will need. You should begin your fertilization program in the fall in order to promote healthy root growth. There are 3 basic ingredients in a well balanced fertilizer. Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are required to promote thick, dense grass that will resist disease and weeds. The label on the fertilizer bag will tell what percentages of these 3 basic ingredients are in the fertilizer. Example would be 20-10-5 which contains 20% nitrogen, 10% phosphate and 5% potassium, the remaining percentage is carriers such as sand. Your soil contains these nutrients naturally but during construction much of the nutrient rich soils are removed or disturbed and over the years the soil nutrients in landscaping around a home becomes depleted.
Experts recommend fertilizing your lawn two to four times a year depending on your climate, the type of grass you have and your landscape/lawn expectations.
- Early Spring
- Early Summer
- Late Summer
- Late Fall
For established lawns in Colorado, it is best to use the
N value to determine what fertilizer to buy. For Blue grass/Ryegrass, a common Colorado grass, a recommended amount is ½ pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn in March and May and 1 pound in August and October. Read the instructions on the fertilizer bag for other types of grass.
The main thing to remember is, over-fertilization or misapplication does not help your lawn or landscape plants and can be very harmful to the surrounding environment. Careless application of fertilizers can cause pollution in streams, lakes, ponds and groundwater.
Other Tips to Remember:
- Nitrogen is what stimulates growth and greens up your lawn. The nitrogen content in your fertilizer will determine how often you will have to mow.
- Mow often with a sharp mower blade at a height of 2 to 3 inches leaving the grass clippings to mulch, providing extra nutrients equivalent to 1 to 2 fertilizer applications per year
- Consider Xeriscape or low maintenance landscape plants to decrease the need for fertilizers and watering
- Sweep over-sprayed fertilizers off sidewalks and driveways back into your yard and clean your spreader and equipment in your yard
- Lightly water your lawn and landscaping directly after fertilizing
- Avoid fertilizing on windy days or when heavy rains are expected, as this will wash away much of your fertilizer
Find a Professional Landscape Contractor in Denver and surrounding areas NOW
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by Good Deal Street, LLC
Good Deal Street is an ecologically minded company. We know that contrary to popular belief, bats are not blind and do not try to become tangled in hair.Bats are not related to rodents! In fact, fruit bats may soon be reclassified as primates.Bats are the only flying mammals in the world. Flying squirrels do not fly, they glide!Seventy percent of all bats eat insects, about 30% eat fruit, pollen and nectar. Of the world's 800+ species, only three are vampire bats, limited mostly to Latin America.Vampire bats do not attack humans; they are very small and generally drink the blood of animals.Bats are virtually disease free. Less than one-half of one percent of bats contract rabies. Nevertheless, a grounded bat should never be handled because it may bite in self-defense. Call a wildlife rehabilitator or an animal organization for help.Bats are vital to the ecosystem! Fruit bats bring us over 450 commercial products, including 80 medicines.Bats in the US eat millions of tons of insects annually. Alarmingly, bats are disappearing worldwide. They are now considered the most endangered land mammal in North America.
Good deal Street, LLC