Soaking Up the Sun


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offices, but the technology to capture it probably hasn’t made it to your neighborhood just yet. However, there are still ways you can soak up the sun and use its warmth and energy to your advantage. If you consider the sun when you are building your home, think about where will hit each part of the house. This way, the layout can work to your advantage and the sun can warm your home in the winter, yet not overheat it in the summer months. Take a look at the lighting in your home and see if there is any way you can utilize the sun to help you. A naturally lit space puts most in a better mood, so consider adding a skylight, more windows, or simply just opening the curtains when the sun is shining. Turn off your electric lights during the day and just use natural light. Pick a spot in the yard to create an herb and vegetable garden. Not only is it a great accomplishment to eat your own food, but it’s much less expensive than purchasing from the market, not to mention how much better it is for the environment. There is also a great health benefit to eating food that’s natural. Finally, it might seem like an old idea but it works to ditch your dryer and hang your clothes outside when the sun is shining. Hanging the clothes just takes a few extra minutes, saves money on energy costs, and leaves the items smelling fresh. So, give your dryer a break when you can. Using these ideas, you’ll be able to enjoy some time in the sun, while saving on energy, too.

Keep Warm During a Winter Power Outage




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One of the scariest moments during the winter months is a power outage. Not knowing when the lights, appliances, and most importantly, the heat will return can be frightening. However, there are a few things you can do to prepare your home in case the worst does happen. Before the snow or ice hits, it’s a good idea to gather warm clothing in a spot you can find if the power goes out. Fill a box with gloves, hats, thick socks, scarves, and sweaters, to prevent your body from losing heat. Take a look at your curtains. If they are thin, replace them with thicker ones that can keep the windows from cooling down your home. Check to make sure your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are working properly. Also inspect your fire extinguishers. If you’re really ahead of the game, inspect the insulation in your home. If it needs to be replaced, make that a priority before bad weather hits. If you aren’t able to do this before a storm, figure out what room in the house has the best insulation and set up camp there. The more people in the room, the more body heat can be shared. Setting up a tent inside your home can also help keep heat in one area. Also consider utilizing sleeping bags, extra rugs, clothes, and even newspaper to insulate the small area. Keep bottled water in this room for easy access, and also to prevent it from freezing. Finally, if you have a working fireplace in your home, it can provide heat in case of an emergency. Burn only safe wood or logs. Avoid pressure-treated wood, newspapers, or trash. Following these steps in the event of losing power during the winter will help keep your home and your family warm until the power is restored.