Tips for Saving Money on Your Electric Bill

Electric bills are inevitable, but they do not have to be unaffordable. The summer months in the south and winter months in the north are particularly brutal on your bill. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can save money without making any major changes.

Keep Your AC Running Right

Your air conditioner can hike up your electric bill, particularly if you live in the south in the summertime. Even a simple problem with your AC can end up costing you. An AC repair Austin, TX or any other state can save you hundreds on your electric bill. 

Another issue that will raise your electric bill is the lack of routine maintenance for your HVAC system. Routine maintenance means cleaning ducts, cleaning the drip pan, using an algicide and completing an overall check of your HVAC systems efficiency. This can keep your unit running at peak performance throughout the year. If you cannot perform this maintenance yourself, you should contract with an HVAC company Austin to perform this maintenance in the spring and autumn of every year. 

Check Your Insulation

A properly insulated house can save you hundreds on electricity, particularly with heating and cooling systems. Your exterior walls, attic space and subfloor should have the properly rated insulation. If you are not sure what rating to use, ask a professional for advice. There are different types and ratings of insulation for different climates and situations.

Beware of Vampire Loads

Vampire loads are devices that use electricity when they are plugged in and not doing anything. Phone chargers, computers, tablets and gaming consoles are notorious for using electricity even when you are not using them. You can purchase power strips that reduce vampire loads or unplug them when they are not in use. 

Use Energy Efficient Appliances

Older appliances are not very energy efficient. When you replace a major appliance like a water heater, stove or refrigerator, make sure the one that you purchase is an energy-saving model. They have an “Energy Star” rating that can help you decide which one saves the most energy. 

Incorporate Daylight

Energy-efficient windows and skylights can help you save money by allowing more natural light into your home. During the day, you might not have to use artificial lighting at all if you have the right windows and window coverings.

Saving energy equals saving money on your electric bill. You can also speak to your electric company for more energy-saving ideas. They are normally more than happy to help. 

The Appeal of Downtown Chicago for Renters

Millennium Park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. Its most famous landmark is The Bean. The park symbolizes what most people think about the downtown area: it’s a location for tourists, not for residents. Dig a little deeper, however, and the appeal of living downtown becomes evident. Renting is a great way to experience what it is like to immerse yourself in the metropolitan vibe.

Room With a View

There is a plethora of possibilities when it comes to finding new digs downtown. From modern high rises to old brownstones, there is something to suit anyone’s needs and tastes. The choices are numerous, so getting help with your Millennium Park rentals Chicago IL is the best way to ensure you don’t get overwhelmed before you head out for your first viewing.

Entertainment Right Outside Your Door

The downtown area offers numerous entertainment options within walking distance or a short cab ride away. Do you enjoy live theater? A multitude of playhouses with everything from Broadway musicals to Chicago originals can be found downtown. If you like getting outside for a bit of exercise, the lakeshore multi-use trail is just one of the choices available to you. The heart of the Windy City is also home to live music venues and comedy shows, as well as its renowned museums.

Everything You Need Within Reach

A place isn’t an ideal location to live unless you can easily get what you need. Popping out for a quick cup of coffee is a breeze when you live downtown, as is getting your groceries. With several supermarkets in the area, finding one nearby is not a challenge. There are also plenty of convenience markets for those occasions when you need something quick.

Chicago is home to a diverse array of neighborhoods for a person to choose from when looking for a place to live. The downtown area might not be the first place that comes to mind, but its location is ideal for rental properties that have easy access to both the necessities and joys of life in a big city.

Dog-Friendly Manayunk

Sometimes urban living can be difficult for dog owners because there aren’t enough green spaces and services available for their four-legged friends. Not so in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Manayunk. This lively walkable neighborhood offers several friendly spaces for your fur-babies and their best friend (you).

Roxborough Dog Park

Started in 2014 by a group of civic-minded dogs’ best friends, this local dog park started as a reclaimed empty lot. This non-profit park is run like a gym with a yearly membership fee and a gate access code. Each dog member must have all its vaccinations, and each human member must volunteer four hours a year towards park maintenance or special events. There are separate spaces for large and small dogs as well as toys.  Puppy play dates are encouraged.

Pretzel Park

If you and your pooch live in apartments Manayunk, you’ll be happy to know about Pretzel Park in the heart of the neighborhood. The park features pretzel sculptures and pretzel-shaped paths. There is a farmer’s market every Saturday for the humans and a dog-park with new fencing to keep canine high-jumpers safe. All the benches in the park were recently restored and the parks board hopes to refurbish the playground soon.

Schuylkill River Trail

If your dog doesn’t mind waking on a leash, the Schuylkill River Trail offers 30 miles of walkable paths. The interactive website allows you to plan your journey from the Manayunk neighborhood, so you don’t tire out your hiking buddy by walking too far.

Pet Friendly Dog Bakery

The name says it all with the Pet Friendly Dog Bakery on Main Street in Manayunk. This fun space offers the coolest tail-wagging dog treats you’ve ever seen (and purr-worthy cat treats too). For humans, this locally owned shop offers obedience classes, a coffee bar and a variety of pet-themed gift items.

Dogs need human companionship, high-quality food, and a place to exercise. All these factors are available in the Manayunk neighborhood. whether you live in a sprawling estate for a tiny apartment, this community is perfect for dog lovers.

 

Training Initiatives for Your Property Management Team

It’s difficult to find time for training in managers’ busy schedules, but ongoing training initiatives are fundamental for supporting a management team. Here are some examples of valuable training programs that will equip a team to do their best possible work.

Software Training

If you use one of the most common property management platforms such as Yardi, it’s important to ensure that your staff is fully versed in how to use it. If staff has some basic skills but doesn’t know about the full range of the software’s capabilities, then they’ll use it towards only a fraction of its potential. The software itself is a significant investment, so you’ll want to ensure that your staff can make the most of it. Yardi training will familiarize your staff with basic operations and advanced features that can help them manage tasks and individual accounts more efficiently.

Fair Housing Guidelines

It’s important that staff has training about federal regulations pertaining to fair housing and discrimination. It can help avoid problematic operating procedures that can expose your company to costly legal claims. A training course about fair housing laws will address issues such as resident screening policies, questions that should not be asked when someone is applying for residency, and how to respond to requests for reasonable accommodation.

Emergency Preparedness

Giving your staff practical training about how to prepare for emergencies and implementing effective response plans will make them more confident to take on challenging emergency situations. Moreover, emergency preparedness training can make your residents safer and help protect your properties from damage caused by emergencies such as severe weather events.

Invest in your staff by enhancing their understanding of how to use key software, complying with important legal requirements, and handling emergencies. While training may temporarily take your team away from their job tasks, it will enable them to perform tasks more efficiently in the future.

3 Steps for Building a Successful Career as a Realtor

Becoming a real estate agent requires a lot of hard work but it is a rewarding career. You have to give yourself time to build a successful career as a real estate agent but if you follow these three steps you can quickly develop a reputation as a top realtor in your area.

Learn About Your Area

The best realtors are knowledgeable about the areas they service. If you want to be successful, spend some time getting to know the area. Not only do you need to know about properties that are available for purchase, but you also need information about school districts, shopping and dining establishments so you can provide clients with a detailed list of the benefits of each property. This information also helps you design a postcard for real estate marketing so you can advertise your properties effectively.

Build a Client Base

Every realtor needs a client base. One easy way to create one is to start a social media account. Invite past, present and potential future clients to follow the account and create multiple opportunities for engagement. The more people interact with you, even if they have not previously used your services, the more likely they are to use you as their realtor when they need one.

Maintain Relationships With Clients

As a realtor, you’ll constantly be engaging with new clients but it is important to maintain relationships with past ones. You never know when former clients will need your services again and if you maintain your relationship, they are more likely to use you again and recommend your services to their friends and family.

It takes time to build a successful career as a realtor but it is a rewarding career if you put the proper amount of hard work and dedication into it. Use these three tips to give your career a solid foundation.

3 Tips for Designing Your Dream Home

Designing your dream home is a fun and exciting process. Although it requires a significant amount of time and dedication, the process allows you to customize your home completely so it meets all of your needs and preferences. Here are three things you should keep in mind while trying to draft your dream house.

Add Many Windows

Windows allow natural light to flood your home which makes it look and feel larger. It is much easier to cover up windows to eliminate natural light when you need to instead of putting in new windows when you want to increase the amount of natural light. Don’t be afraid to add lots of windows to your home design so it will feel large and airy. You can even incorporate octagon windows for aesthetic purposes

Focus On Your Family’s Needs

The size of your family will impact the design of your house. If you only have two kids, you probably don’t need a house with five large bedrooms. If you want a pool, you want to plan for a large backyard and if you like to work on cars, you may want to include a three-car garage in your design. Each family has individual needs so if you want to create the perfect home, it is vital to customize your design to meet the criteria your family wants and needs.

Be Flexible

While it is good practice to have some idea of what you want in your dream home before you begin drafting the design, you also need to be flexible. It may not be practical for every room in the design to be huge. You may need to give up a little space in the living room so you can have a huge closet in the master bedroom. You may have a huge kitchen but have to go without a separate laundry room. You may find that door and window placement should change slightly. If you go into the process refusing to adapt your vision in any way, you are more likely to run into problems. Being flexible allows you to compromise and find a design that is feasible in price and size.

If you have the opportunity to design your own home, the possibilities are endless. You can customize the design in any way you want and using these three tips can simplify the process so the end result is a dream house for everyone in the family.

3 Tips for Sustainable Gardening

As climate change and environmental damage become harder and harder to ignore, sustainable living practices become more important if this fragile world is to be protected. Sustainable gardening can help the planet while taking care of your own food or health needs. The goal is to reduce the environmental footprint you leave on this plant, so your gardening efforts should contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emission, increase carbon storage, and contribute to plant biodiversity the way KratoMystic does. These tips can help you garden sustainably.

Grow Organic Food

When you plant food items in your garden, you help the environment in several ways. You reduce the amount of energy required to bring food to your table, such as the gas for your vehicle and the electricity needed by the store or your appliances to keep your food fresh. You also help conserve water and reduce fossil fuel consumption.

Plant Some Trees

When you plant trees, it helps enhance the amount of carbon from the atmosphere stored within the soil. Trees that are tall enough can also provide shade for your home during the summer months, lowering the cooling costs and energy consumption of your HVAC system. If you don’t have enough room for full trees on your land, consider planting some shrubs.

Use Responsible Gardening Practices

Don’t automatically reach for chemical fertilizers and bug sprays for your plants. You can use composting to reduce the amount of food or landscaping waste headed into the landfill but also fertilize your garden. Watch your water consumption, even when watering your plants. Reduce the use of power tools and work with your hands and old-fashioned muscle. Power tools have a harsh environmental impact, and they tend to be more disruptive to the natural habitat of plant and animal life.

Sustainable gardening can do a lot for the environment. It can also give you some great-tasting meal ideas.

Renting in Florida

Flоrіdа, not just for vacations….

Whеn уоu think of Florida, уоu think оf bеаutіful bеасhеѕ, сlеаr blue осеаn, palm trееѕ, and Dіѕnеуlаnd.
Going оn vасаtіоn tо Flоrіdа іѕ ѕеrіоuѕ business. It takes gеttіng thе whоlе family tо agree uроn аn itinerary. It requires setting аѕіdе mоnеу for airline tickets, аttrасtіоnѕ, ѕhорріng аnd lоdgіng whіlе уоu are аwау frоm home – as well аѕ рlаnnіng аhеаd аnd mаkіng rеѕеrvаtіоnѕ for thе trір. On many lеvеlѕ, іt аlѕо tаkеѕ mаkіng dесіѕіоnѕ about whісh arrangements will be thе most beneficial аnd есоnоmісаl fоr thе whole fаmіlу. Bооkіng trаvеl tо Flоrіdа in thе Unіtеd States uѕuаllу іnvоlvеѕ making plans tо vіѕіt Wаlt Dіѕnеу World, Unіvеrѕаl Studios, the Kеnnеdу Sрасе Center аnd аll thе other еxсіtіng thеmе parks in the area. It аlѕо mеаnѕ ѕtrugglіng to fіnd the реrfесt accommodations that уоur budgеt wіll allow. It’s fоr thіѕ reason thаt many fаmіlіеѕ are rеаlіѕіng the benefits of rеntіng Florida apartments with the help of a Brickell Realtor.

But, Flоrіdа іѕ not just a рорulаr dеѕtіnаtіоn fоr vасаtіоn, it саn bе a wоndеrful place tо lіvе. Thе numbеr оnе rеаѕоn tо move tо Flоrіdа іѕ the climate.

If your tired оf соld wіntеrѕ аnd shoveling thе driveway, Florida іѕ уоur destination. Alоng with the еxсеllеnt weather, Flоrіdа hаѕ lots more tо offer thе роtеntіаl rеntеr.

The cost of lіvіng in Flоrіdа іѕ muсh mоrе rеаѕоnаblе thеn іn other ѕtаtеѕ. Florida offers lots оf аffоrdаblе rеntаl housing, аnd mаnу grеаt оwnеrѕhір opportunities. There is аlwауѕ ѕоmеthіng to do іn Flоrіdа. Thе state оffеrѕ wоrld class thеmе parks lіkе Dіѕnеу World аnd Universal Studіоѕ. There аrе 1340 miles оf рrіѕtіnе соаѕtlіnе, offering bеасh lоvеrѕ аnd wаtеr ѕроrtѕ еnthuѕіаѕtѕ hоurѕ оf еnjоуmеnt. Cіtіеѕ lіkе Miami, hаvе wоrld rеnоwnеd rеѕtаurаntѕ аnd clubs fоr уоur dіnіng аnd dаnсіng pleasure. If your golfer, thіѕ іѕ your mесса. With thоuѕаndѕ оf public аnd private golf соurѕеѕ, уоu’ll nеvеr get bored. Whу not lіvе whеrе everyone vасаtіоnѕ.

If уоu are looking tо rеtіrе, Florida ѕhоuld still bе уоur destination оf сhоісе, and nоw wіth thе еxсеllеnt real еѕtаtе opportunities, it will bе muсh more аffоrdаblе thеn оthеr states. Flоrіdа оffеrѕ the rеtіrееѕ tор nоtсh hеаlth саrе and lоw taxes. Wіth tоnѕ оf activities fоr seniors, Flоrіdа іѕ аn еxсеllеnt рlасе tо ѕреnd уоur rеtіrеmеnt years.

If your a rеаl estate іnvеѕtоr, Flоrіdа has ѕоmе оf thе best dеаlѕ іn thе country. The Flоrіdа rеаl еѕtаtе mаrkеt hаѕ bесоmе a prime tаrgеt of fоrеіgn and domestic іnvеѕtmеnt. From vасаtіоn properties to multірlе unіt соmрlеxеѕ, thе Flоrіdа rеаl estate mаrkеt оffеrѕ many орроrtunіtіеѕ.

Sее whу Florida іѕ nоt just a vасаtіоn dеѕtіnаtіоn.

Accessible Home Design

Are you planning to make your home accessible for a family member or friend? There are a variety of features you need but may not think about. This includes the room design in the house, the bathroom, and even your entries and exits.   

In-House Designs  

From stairs, storage, and doorways, your house layout can have a major impact on how you operate. This is why when doing any designs or updates, you want to think about barrier free home Poughquag NY. Before you get started, talk with a planner to help you re-imagine the space. This could include changing your storage, widening doorways, or even adding an elevator to improve your home’s accessibility. These small updates can make a tremendous difference in how someone functions in your home. 

Bathroom Updates

As you start your home remodel, you want to address the challenges the bathroom brings. This includes the height of the features, the shower size, and the available grips. When planning a bathroom redesign, take the time to think about who will use the space. Don’t forget to consider the person’s mobility, necessary devices, or any sensory issues the user may have. These issues will affect your design plans. 

Re-Imagined Doors 

Finally, when planning any home updates, don’t forget to think about the doors. Details like the types, handles, obstructions, and surfaces, can all cause issues for those with mobility restrictions. For these reasons, you want to keep your doors in mind when planning any home updates. With a little bit of forethought, you can make your home both accessible and welcoming to anyone who comes to visit. 

No matter your reason, making your home accessible is important in helping everyone feel welcome. Take the time to go through your house and see what changes you can make to upgrade it today.   

 

How to Choose the Best Lubricant for Industrial Uses

Modern life would be impossible without a wide variety of natural and synthetic lubricants. The computer revolution may have made data king, but in the physical world, virtually every machine relies on lubrication to last long enough to be worth the cost. Choosing the best lubricant for the job will increase ROI on machine investment exponentially.

Simple in Essence

A lubricant could be described as a “substance, usually organic, introduced to reduce friction between surfaces in mutual contact, which ultimately reduces the heat generated when the surfaces move.” However, “organic” doesn’t have to mean natural.

Most synthetic lubricants today are considered organic since they use certain carbon-hydrogen bonds. For most commercial and industrial applications, synthetic lubricants are superior to natural ones, including many cheaper motor oils.

Industrial Strength

A common industrial lubricant Richmond Va factories might use is Summit’s synthetic gear oils. Like many other top-flight synthetics, the oil base is improved with thermal and oxidation stability and is engineered to be much less reactive with the alloys used in gears and housings.

Production facilities that provide food or beverages often must use specialty lubricants, such as EnviroTech® FGPL, to prevent contamination. Refrigeration has a wide array of new synthetics, all designed to reduce energy use and transfer engine heat economically. With the highest grade lubricants, efficiency has skyrocketed, reducing maintenance costs and further increasing ROI.

Natural vs. Synthetic

Some applications may still benefit from natural lubricants. However, the difference between natural and synthetic isn’t massive, since both will have some elements of each. Natural lube can be up to 20% additives, and many synthetics have chemically modified petroleum as their base. Other forms of lubrication include solid, semi-solid and gas lubricants.

A Long History of Use

For well over 3,000 years, civilization has relied on various lubricants to reduce friction. Early examples of lubrication have been unearthed at archeological digs, such as calcium soaps being applied to axles.

This was before even the most rudimentary understanding of the chemistry of lubrication or friction. All they knew is what worked and what didn’t.

The Romans explored the mechanics of lubricants to some degree, but the industrial revolution brought a distinct need for a scientific approach to high-technology lubricants. Huge and complicated machinery required engineers to get creative.

Too Many Choices

With the wide variety available, choosing can be tricky. Your master machinist often has knowledge about which lubricants work best for each application. However, some new synthetics have seen a large increase in efficiency and reduction of wear recently, so this may be an excellent time to look into cutting-edge lube. Most industrial lubricant suppliers can help you choose the ideal type for your application.