Category Archives: For Your Information

Cut Your Energy Bills With These Tips

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Cut Your Energy Bills With These Tips

One of the many things that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on society is a rise in energy bills. After all, we are all spending a lot more time at home, so it is only natural that we will consume a lot more energy.

A study carried out in 2009 found that as a nation, the United States was wasting over $130 billion a year on energy. Energy and money that escapes through our roof, through the inefficient seals around our windows, through cracks and holes in the walls, and appliances and lights left switched on or in standby mode. More than ten years later and a massive increase in the technology that we use on a day to day basis and you can imagine how much that amount has probably jumped up by since then.

The one good thing, however, is that our energy consumption is something we have power over, so we can take measures to reduce it. Here, we will look at some ways you can cut back on your bills:

Tackle your temperature:

Depending on the season, the cooling down or heating up of your home does not only bring you comfort during the day but may be the only thing that gives you a pleasant and restful night of sleep.

In the colder months, endeavor to keep the temperature between 18-20 ° C. Any degree higher than this will add up to 10% to your bill. Test the auto timers on your heater, too. By raising your heating time by one hour a day, you can save up to ninety hours of heating costs over the winter.

Once the warmer months have come back, strive to keep your air conditioner above 24 ° C. Any degree lower will add 10% to your electricity bill. Make sure your house is sealed well so that they work efficiently and keep all of the heat or the cool air in.

Increase your insulation:

Think about why you wear a hat in the winter. It is because your head is where you lose most of your heat. The same goes for your home – your roof is the head of your home. By making sure your attic space has the very best insulation possible from somewhere like https://www.insulatekansascity.com/attic-insulation/, you can reduce the amount of heat lost from your house and save you plenty of cash, particularly over the winter months.

Audit your appliances:

Old, outdated appliances can be power-hungry and can really add to your energy bill. If you have older air conditioning units, a flue gas heating system, or hot water system, you might want to think about an upgrade. Sure, it costs an outlay of money initially but, in the long term, it will really end up saving you.

Cutting your energy bills does not need to involve anything dramatic or necessarily expensive. A few minor tweaks to your lifestyle here and there and making sure everything is working efficiently is enough to save you hundreds of dollars every year – global pandemic or not.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

5 Top Tips To Help You Stay Safe On The Road

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5 Top Tips To Help You Stay Safe On The Road

Whether you’ve just passed your driving test or you’ve been driving for several years, it’s vital that you stay as safe as possible when on the road. Driving is something that you should take very seriously. Therefore, you should make sure that you’re not doing anything that will risk either your safety or the safety of those around you.

So to ensure that you’re on the right path (or road!), here are the five top tips that you can use while driving:

Avoid Any Distractions:

When in control of your vehicle, you need to make sure that your full attention is on the road. It’s good to turn the radio down (or off), try not to get distracted when you have passengers with you, and to avoid texting while driving, etc.

You don’t want to find yourself in an accident because you were distracted while driving. There are so many implications that could come from this, from physical injuries that prevent you from secure employment to life-threatening conditions. So make sure that you avoid these from the get-go.

Check the Weather:

Before you head out on the road, it’s a good idea to check the local weather report. Rain and snow can cause dangerous driving conditions. So being prepared is vital in these situations. If you have to go out, you need to do it carefully – but if it’s not essential, it might be worth staying at home.

Keep Your Vehicle Maintained:

Another top tip is to make sure that your vehicle is maintained throughout the year. This isn’t just meant in the sense that you should check your oil and fuel regularly (an essential thing to do if you use it every day – for example, if you’re a delivery driver), but that you take it to a local repair shop if you notice anything wrong with it. Driving when there is a problem with it will only be hazardous and end in disaster.

Don’t Rush Yourself:

You should never feel pressured while driving – you must feel calm and collected. If you feel rushed, you might be tempted to speed or your mind won’t be fully focused – two things that can be very dangerous. Give yourself plenty of time when you’re driving anywhere so you don’t get last minute road rage.

Be in the Right Frame of Mind:

Following on from the above, it’s vital that you’re in the right frame of mind when you’re heading out on a drive. For example, if you’re upset or angry for any reason, it might not be the best idea to go on a long drive. Similarly, if you’re under the influence or hungover, you’ll be putting yourself in danger by getting in the vehicle. The latter is also illegal – so avoid doing this.

So, there you go! These are five top tips that will help you to stay safe while on the road, as well as those around you or riding in your car. Buckle up and hit the road!

Featured Image By: Cleyton Ewerton from Pexels

Taking Advantage Of The Internet In Self-Isolation

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Taking Advantage Of The Internet In Self-Isolation

Hello! Thank god for the internet while we’re all hunkered down at home, amiright? Personally, I would be going crazy without my access to social media and all of the entertainment streaming services that Johnny and I have. The internet is a wonderful tool to help fight the boredom blues and, amidst the stay at home orders, it is now being used for a lot more than aimlessly scrolling through Facebook. Bored? Try some of the following:

Take A Class:

Right now, there are so many free courses being offered online from reputable colleges to teachers hosting Zoom lectures. I have even seen that Yale is offering free admission to their course entitled “Happiness” or something of the like. I, myself, have been participating in an online American Sign Language class being taught via Zoom and have been having a blast. It feels great to learn something new and you can’t beat free!

Tour A Museum:

In the mood to travel? How about taking a virtual trip to one of the many museums offering tours online. Play some classical music, enjoy a glass of wine, and get a taste of the finer things as you admire art from around the world. Take a look and get inspired and then, who knows? Maybe you’ll be creating your own masterpieces afterwards.

Watch A Play:

Many theaters and opera houses are offering online streaming of their shows. I have seen advertising from everything from theaters in New York City to the Paris Opera House virtually opening their doors to the bored general public. I would love to watch a few operas in my free time and I am interested in checking out a viewing of the Phantom Of The Opera which I have seen advertised all over Facebook. So cool!

Connect With Friends:

Who says getting online has to be all about learning? Of course, connecting with friends is a given on social media. But, how about scheduling a chat over Zoom? You could play trivia, watch a show all together, have a paint night, or participate in a happy hour drink. Yes, it’s fun to catch up but actually doing an activity together will be a nice reminder of old times and could be a new weekly tradition to look forward to until real life meetings can happen.

Start A Club:

If you are trying to connect with like minded individuals, try hosting a virtual club. You could form a group based around anything from books and writing to movies and art. Schedule a weekly Zoom meeting to discuss the latest few chapters or the cliffhanger in the TV series you’re watching together. Intelligent conversations always perk me up when being plopped in front of the TV is the norm and everyone can benefit from that!

So many resources have made the internet even better than it already is during the coronavirus panic and these ideas are sure to entertain during those times when it feels like there is “nothing to do”. Enjoy!

Have you been doing anything similar to the tips above? How have you been using the internet to your advantage right now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Top Four Ways To Protect Yourself From The Wider Effects Of Coronavirus

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Top Four Ways To Protect Yourself From The Wider Effects Of Coronavirus

Coronavirus is sweeping the globe, and it doesn’t matter who you are, it affects you. There is a lot of advice out there for the obvious ways to protect yourself and how to deal with symptoms, but what about all of the other things coronavirus is responsible for? Check out our list of the top four ways to protect yourself from the broader effects of coronavirus:

Claiming what you’re eligible for:

Whether this is through work or the government, make sure you know precisely what is out there and whether you can claim for it or not. If you are eligible, claim! Don’t hold yourself back because you think someone else might need it more, or because you don’t want to be a burden. If you’re entitled to it, ask for it.

Disability insurance:

Disability insurance can be a great way of covering yourself throughout a pandemic, like coronavirus. Coronavirus (or COVID-19) is included in some disability insurance policies. Go through your paperwork and ensure your provider will cover you. Some kinds of insurance policies will cover you through the death of a loved one. Out of all the deaths caused by coronavirus, 1% is of people under 50. If you have to take care of someone seriously ill or go into isolation or quarantine, this can create a need to claim on your insurance.

Mental health:

It’s not just your household’s physical health that you need to look after. Being in quarantine or on lock down has a massive impact on your mental health. It can cause depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as creating frustration and irritability. If you’re cooped up with family, roommates, or even just pets, you’re likely to get cross with someone eventually. Trying out calming techniques like meditation and mindfulness can really help. It’s also worth encouraging discussion of your emotions as a family. Frequently remind your household that everyone is tense because of lock down, and if someone does snap, everyone else should try not to take it too personally.

Balance your consumption of the news:

Following the news has never been more critical. You need to know what the government is currently advising and what the latest updates are, but you don’t need to know every last detail if this upsets you. Obsessing over the news won’t help you, but locking yourself in a bubble is not the way to cope, either. Limit yourself to checking a reputable news source once or twice a day — coronavirus news doesn’t move much faster than that anyway.

Avoid sources that are not major news providers or your government. It’s best to stay well away from the speculation on social media. If it keeps appearing on your dash, block the keywords or tags, or unfollow whoever is posting it. Use social media to stay in touch with friends, family, and colleagues, and to pass the time in a fun and pleasant way.

Stay safe and follow these four tips to get through the coronavirus pandemic.

Featured Image By: congerdesign

Quarantine Team Guest Bloggers Wanted

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Quarantine Team Guest Bloggers Wanted

Hello! Looking for something to do to kill an hour or two in self-isolation? How about guest blogging on lifewithlilred? In this Quarantine Team Guest Bloggers Series you can share all of your entertainment tips, must reads, must watch, must eat recipes as well as any quarantine chic MOTDs or OOTDs. I’m also not picky, so if you have an idea – run it by me at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com

Your post will be the featured article on my page for the day and I’m looking forward to seeing what all of you come up with! Much love. -Sarah

Are Your Drains Healthy? Here Are The Signs They’re Not!

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Are Your Drains Healthy? Here Are The Signs They’re Not!

If there is one thing that can cause upset for your property, it’s drain issues. There are a lot of jobs around the house that you can do yourself, from fixing a busted fuse to changing a light bulb. However, there are just some jobs that require a little help from the professionals.

Plumbing and drain issues are some of the worst for a house. They cause a level of disruption that you can’t fathom until it happens to you! It’s hard enough to figure out what the problem might be, but fixing it? That’s a whole other ball game! If you need sewer line repair, you need to call the professionals. If you need to replace the drains, that’s another job you can’t do alone.

So, you need to know the signs of the drains being unhealthy, and we’ve got a list of the most common signs for you below:

Stinky Pipes:

Everyone notices the smell of a dead drain. The food rot, the rotting plants – they don’t smell great! Dirty water that stagnates has a foul odor, and you will notice it right away. The worst thing is that the smell will make its way through the house – not what you want! This is where you want to have your drains snaked and thoroughly cleaned. It’s also so important to dispose of the grease and fat from your pans properly. Don’t throw old grease down the drain – it’ll stink!

Slow Toilet Drainage:

We’ve all been there at least once: we flush the toilet, and we watch the water rise up before it drains. Except for this time, the water level isn’t changing, and nothing is flushing…oops! The worst is when this happens in someone else’s house! However, a plunger should work here, and that will help the waste to drain correctly. If you’re still having issues, then that’s when you call the plumbers!

Gurgling Drains:

Your drains should never be singing to you. Pipes and fixtures are designed to be silent, so you need to think about what could be causing the bubbles. Dirt and grease build-up is one reason, but you really need the water to drain down slowly. Clean drains don’t speak, and you need to ask the professionals to use a long wire to let go of all the built-up muck.

Dreadful Damp:

A drain or pipe that has collapsed or cracked can cause damp within your property. The damage that the drain causes will disrupt the flowing water, causing damp in the walls of the home. So, you need to avoid penetrating wet rot and learn to spot the damp signs in the house. When you notice it, try to figure out the source of the wet and call in the professionals to help. The last thing that you want is to deal with substantial damp patches all over the house.

Drains are supposed to be quiet, clean, and smell nice. If yours are playing up, call in the right professionals, and don’t wait around!

Featured Image By: Pexels

3 Things To Check Before Selling Your Home

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3 Things To Check Before Selling Your Home

It’s time to move on, and you want to find somewhere new to live. Obviously, there are lots of different elements of selling a home, and plenty of things to think about. Preparation is key as it can help you get the most out of your sale, bagging you a pretty handy profit to go towards your new dream home.

Let’s not waste time looking at the obvious things and instead turn your attention to some of the more hidden elements of your home that need checking presale. Here are a few things you should definitely spend some extra time looking at and preparing before selling your house:

Furnace:

Every home has a furnace, but how old is yours? If it’s over ten years old – which it might be, then it’s no longer working at peak efficiency. In fact, it will probably only be working at 60%, meaning you lose 40% of the energy created. Do you think this is an attractive prospect for buyers? Here’s a hint, it’s not! So, you may need to find a furnace repair service to touch this bad boy up before you sell your home. It’ll mean you can list your house for a higher value, and you will also have fewer complaints from any prospective buyers.

Windows:

Okay, you’re not technically looking at the windows themselves, but more the sealant around the edges of your windows. This can peel away over time and look quite bad. It also likely leads to drafts of air coming through, which is not good for the energy efficiency of your home. If a viewer sees your nasty window sealant, then they may be put off. Or, they will hit you with a low bid as they argue they’ll probably need to replace the windows. You can avoid this by replacing the sealant to give your windows a more modern look. There’s nothing for buyers to worry about and you make your home look more appealing.

Grout:

For those that don’t know, grout is the little space between tiles. Why does this need checking? One word; mold. Grout is very prone to turning horrible and black with mold. This usually only happens in wall tiles in your bathroom or kitchen. Water can be trapped and absorbed into the grout, which then leads to mold formations. It’s incredibly off-putting and will lower the value of your home if people see it. So, before selling your house, make sure you check the grout between your tiles and clean them if required. Hopefully, you don’t need to do anything as cleaning mold from grout is a tough task.

You should already be carrying out lots of different checks and preparations throughout your home. The three things on this list are things that a lot of you probably wouldn’t think about checking. So, consider them secret ways to boost your sale price! Unless your home is either relatively new or in phenomenal condition, you’ll likely see issues with these things and need to fix them before selling.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

5 Ways To Look After Your Glasses

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5 Ways To Look After Your Glasses

If you’re looking for ways to look after your glasses but you’re unsure where to start, then don’t worry, you have definitely come to the right place. Whether you’ve just ordered your first-ever pair of glasses or you’ve been wearing them for years, you need to make sure to protect them. Luckily, there are lots of ways in which you can do that. From investing in insurance to keeping them in a case, the more you’re doing to protect your glasses the better. With that in mind, here are 5 ways to look after your glasses: 

Buy High-Quality Glasses:

One of the best things you can do when it comes to looking after your glasses is that you buy high-quality glasses to begin with. Although they will cost more, buying glasses that are durable and sturdy will be less likely to get damaged. If you’re on a budget and you need to buy a pair that is slightly cheaper, make sure you’re doing as much research as you can when it comes to durability. For a guide to the best glasses brands to buy, you can visit this site here. 

Invest In Insurance:

If you’re worried about breaking your glasses and whether or not you’ll have the money to buy a new pair should they get broken, you may want to invest in insurance. Although you will have to pay a monthly sum towards your insurance, it will save you from having to pay a large amount should they break. For tips and tricks when it comes to finding insurance for your belongings, you can visit this site here. 

Keep Them In A Case:

Another great way to look after your glasses is to keep them in a case when you’re not wearing them. Although this might not be often, ensuring you’re always putting your glasses in a case will reduce your risk of damaging them or losing them. If you’re putting them into your bag, you should always use a case to avoid scratches on your glasses lenses

Take Care Of Them:

It goes without saying that you should be doing everything you can to take care of your lenses. From cleaning them at night to keeping them in a safe place, the more you’re doing to care for them the less likely it is they’re going to get damaged. 

Replace Them Every Two Years:

Finally, you need to be sure you’re replacing your glasses at least every two years. Although you can replace them before that, two years is the suggested amount of time to have your prescription checked again. If you’re experiencing difficulties, you should go before. 

Keep all things in 20/20 vision by taking the best care of your glasses that you can!

Featured Image By: Free-Photos from Pixabay

Home Alarm Security Options

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Home Alarm Security Options

Home security is of huge importance today. Below, we are going to take a look at some effective home security suggestions to keep you and yours safe:

Monitored burglar alarms:

A monitored burglar alarm is one of the most effective security methods available from alarm companies today. You can have complete peace of mind that your home is protected at all times, no matter if you are away on holiday or you simply spend a lot of time out of the house on a day-to-day basis.

What is a monitored alarm?

Monitored alarm systems provide communication between your home security system and a central monitoring system. So, if your control panel acknowledges a security breach, it will send a signal to a central monitoring station.

There are also police monitored alarm systems, which connect your home security system to the police. With most police monitored alarms, if there is more than one emergency signal registered within less than half an hour, the police will be notified.

Another option to consider is a SMART monitored home alarm. These alarms are connected to your devices, such as your mobile phone or tablet. This means that you will be immediately alerted if there is a breach.

Why choose a monitored alarm?

A monitored alarm can give you full reassurance that your property is protected. No matter where in the world you are, someone will be on the scene to ensure any issues are dealt with. Not only this, but monitored alarms can easily be integrated with other security systems, including CCTV and door entry access.

Bells only burglar alarm:

An audible alarm system is one that makes a noise when it is activated. So, if someone unauthorized tries to access your home, a loud noise will sound. This will ensure someone comes to the scene immediately while also warning any criminals off. No one is going to proceed to burgle your home once a loud alarm sounds! This system is well suited to those who live in a busy area where neighbors will hear the alarm. If you live in a remote location out in the countryside, you’d be better off with a different type of alarm.

Why choose a bells only burglar alarm?

  • Excellent burglary deterrent: A bells only alarm can stop your house from being targeted by criminals. Most burglaries are opportunistic, so the mere presence of an alarm can do enough to scare the criminals away.
  • Cost efficiency: A bells only alarm is the most cost-efficient home security method available on the market today. You can have complete peace of mind without needing to spend a lot of money.
  • Peace of mind: Relax in and out of your home, knowing it is secure.

Wired vs. wireless:

One of the important decisions to make when choosing between home burglar alarm systems is whether to go for a wired or wireless alarm. Both have their advantages. Wireless systems are faster and much less disruptive, but the battery will need to be changed regularly.

Use the tips above to keep your home and family well protected today and in the future.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Preparing Your Home For The Seasonal Shift

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Preparing Your Home For The Seasonal Shift

While it seems as though seasonal shifts are less predictable than ever in how weather conditions will be felt, it’s important to recognize that preparing our homes for the seasonal shift is worth thinking about. Of course, this is hardly the only responsibility we have around this time. Outfitting ourselves with some new pieces for our seasonal wardrobe, taking care of our health (and skin!), and coping with renewed driving conditions are a handful enough, let alone careful home maintenance.

Thankfully, you needn’t think of this as some kind of chore, rather a relaxed measure of ensuring that you are protected from the weather, that certain maintenance issues do not grow to be worse than they should be, and that you feel safe and secure within your home. Personal changes, upgrades, or developments of your own volition can be applied outside of the guidance below, but the following advice can serve as a good set of markers if you’re struggling to consider what priorities are most important:

Pest Control Preparations:

The Pest Authority is well known for a range of excellent preventative measures to help protect your property against all manner of pests, which can be essential as the seasons shift, as this usually causes the migration of many small creatures far and wide. Being able to ensure that homes with a crawlspace, garage, basement, or other areas that need attending to is fully protected can be an absolute lifesaver. Deterrents can even protect the outside of your property, if necessary.

Insulation Checks:

Insulation checks can be a great idea to carry out ahead of time, as this gives you the chance to fully ensure the thawing of the outside world does not give rise to property damage or damp. Ensuring your window sealants are still very much in place after a harsh winter, that your roofing felt is still in good condition and able to prevent heat from rising up and out of your property (to a wasteful degree, at least), and preparing for the offset of moisture that always comes in the springtime through clearing gutters (so that insulation is not overworked) can be a worthwhile idea.

Driveway Maintenance:

Not all driveways will encounter issues, but in colder climates (such as in Canada) you’ve likely had to shovel snow and grit your driveway for some intensive amount of time. The freezing and thawing regular effect weather conditions can have on your driveway may cause damage and cracks or may allow for smaller peeling to be felt at the sides where the material connects with the small guidance walls.

This is where having your driveway inspected (after you give it a once over) comes in handy. The last thing you need is to deal with a flooded or breakaway driveway due to its inability to handle moisture or thawing correctly, as a flawed installation will often make itself known at this time of year.

Exterior Care:

Caring for the rest of your exterior is often conducted for the same seasonal reasons as your driveway, but it’s important to recognize just how much work you may have to put forth here. For instance, mowing your lawn after the intensive winter period may be tricky, and also require the use of weed-killing formulas in some problem areas.

Removing debris from the garden, filling in molehills, and inspecting the covered garden furniture can be important, as it may need to be cleaned. Power washing the garden path and your decking can also help remove grime that may have built up over the colder months. Simple cleaning habits, such as using disinfectants on your shed or greenhouse windows to prevent molds can be a great idea.

All gardens are different in their own way, and so it may be clearing fallen branches for one person or clearing the gutters out for another. Doing the latter isn’t always a straightforward process – luckily Clean Pro Gutter Cleaning Little Rock and other companies hold lots of information on their websites that should help you tackle it with confidence. This may not always need doing though, based on your surroundings, but if you do have a garden and you have experienced winter, odds are you’re not going to get away with minimal care over your green space. Every effort helps.

With this advice, we hope you can better prepare your home for the seasonal shift!

Featured Image By: Pexels