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Eco-friendly ways to keep your home cool

If you’re looking for ways to cool your home during even the hottest days, consider these ideas.

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When it’s hot outside, heat can seep into your home and make it unbearable. However, there are sustainable, eco-friendly solutions to maximize comfort and cooling when the thermometer creeps upward without racking up an outrageous electric bill or large carbon footprint.

While some options for keeping your home cool involve an upfront investment, over time they’ll save money, and the environment, for years to come. If you’re looking for ways to cool your home during even the hottest days, consider these ideas.

Adjust Ceiling Fans
Installing ceiling fans in your home can help keep temperatures moderate and cut down on your cooling bill. For best results, those ceiling fans should be adjusted seasonally. During warm weather months, fans should rotate counterclockwise at a higher speed to push air downward instead of up toward the ceiling, which can lead to a more comfortable temperature in your home.

Upgrade Your Air Conditioner
If your home’s climate control is lacking, it may be time to invest in a new HVAC system – particularly if your current one is more than 15 years old.

Reduce Incoming Sunlight During the Day
Direct sunlight coming into your home through windows, doors or skylights can increase the temperature. To help reduce unwanted heat as the sun rises higher during the day, consider closing your blinds or installing light-colored blinds that reflect rather than absorb the sun’s heat. Other options such as blackout curtains or reflective window panels can have the same effect, helping reduce warmth trapped inside.

If closing all your blinds or covering every window isn’t an option or makes you feel claustrophobic, focus on any south- or west-facing rooms in your home, as these are typically the trickiest to keep cool during the warmest hours of the day – usually from late morning until early evening. Exterior window shades and awnings can also be useful options if you’re looking to reduce the amount of heat that enters your home, but still want to take advantage of the natural light.

Change Your Light Bulbs
Since warmer weather also equates to more sunshine, turning off the incandescent lights in your house when possible can cut down on extra heat and save on your energy bill. Though the soft yellow glow of incandescent light bulbs can create a nice ambiance, it also gives off a lot of heat. Swapping out those old light bulbs for more efficient, LED bulbs can cut down on the amount of heat your light fixtures emit. If you can’t replace them, minimizing their usage – particularly when having a light on in a room is unnecessary – can make a difference.

Strategically Plant Trees and Shrubs
Planting trees or shrubs near sunlight-facing windows can make a big difference when it comes to the temperature inside your home by shielding the sun’s rays. While planting trees strategically around your home is more of a long-term plan, the benefits can also last for many years to come in terms of shade, added curb appeal and overall betterment of the earth.

Start by focusing on west-facing walls, where the sun is typically the strongest. Choosing trees native to your area can decrease maintenance, and those that bloom in spring and drop leaves in the fall offer year-round benefits by providing both shade and heat in accordance with the season. Vines and other tall shrubs are options for quicker results, but they may also require more long-term maintenance.

Reduce Appliance Usage
To help minimize running appliances and equipment that generate a lot of heat, like stoves and ovens, choose to cook outdoors or opt for quicker meals you can prepare using the microwave, which doesn’t heat the house to the same extent. While grilling and eating outside more frequently may require an awning or gazebo to stay cooler, it can beat the alternative of warming up your oven, and ultimately your home, for an extended period of time.

Reducing your usage of other heat-producing appliances such as computers, dishwashers, clothes dryers, curling irons and hair dryers can also help keep interior temperatures comfortable and energy use low. Try using these appliances earlier in the day to minimize the extra load placed on your air conditioner.

Keeping cool during warm weather months doesn’t have to be complicated. Take advantage of these measures to reduce your home’s heat load and energy bill.

Find more tips for cooling your home at mitsubishicomfort.com.

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Home Care

Top tips for your remodeling project

Forget moving house! More homeowners are choosing to ‘stay put’ and enhance their homes instead.

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Photo by @rarchitecture_melbourne from Unsplash.com

Forget moving house! More homeowners are choosing to ‘stay put’ and enhance their homes instead, and the team from MAD Design USA, home of heating and furniture/accessories brands EcoSmart Fire, Heatscope Heaters and BLINDE Design, say now’s the perfect time for a revamp.

US Houzz & Home’s 2022 Renovation Trends report revealed that home renovation activity and spend in the US have reached their highest rates reported since 2018 – and this year more than half of homeowners (55%) plan to renovate while nearly half (46%) plan to decorate.

“The home renovation market is being driven by rising home prices and interest rates, global political and economic uncertainty, and a tight supply of homes for sale, so more people are choosing to remodel rather than relocate,” says Stephane Thomas, Director of MAD Design USA. “Contractors are also in short supply, and supply chain delays are causing materials shortages and higher costs, leading to many homeowners choosing DIY projects to remodel or expand, or to customize their indoor and outdoor spaces and make them more functional, comfortable and enjoyable.”6 tips for a smoother DIY home renovation:

  1. Know what you want to achieve. “For example, create a multi-season outdoor oasis with  an EcoSmart Fire Pit or Fire Table, or a Heatscope electric radiant heater; or  ‘zhuzh’ up your alfresco or interior rooms with new furniture and accessories such as modular sofas, concrete coffee tables or planters,” says Stephane.
  2. Set a realistic budget for what you want to achieve. “There are ways to remodel that won’t break the bank,” Stephane remarks.
  3. Choose products that don’t require high material or labor costs (e.g., plumbing, electricity, structural work). “Our EcoSmart Flex Series of ethanol fireplace inserts require 4 fewer contractors – plus they’re free from traditional installation restrictions, enabling multiple design options,” explains Stephane.
  4. Select companies that provide expert guidance. “It’s important to work with professionals who give great advice. Our team of experts assist with product selection to material sourcing, project reviews to ideas,” Stephane says.
  5. Know what you can DIY. “Rather than making structural changes to a home, MAD Design offers simple and versatile solutions to transform a home easily and without fuss,” says Stephane.
  6. Choose 0% finance through ‘remodel now, pay later’ programs, such as Affirm or Klarna. “You can get your products quickly and start your renovations sooner,” concludes Stephane. “Sign-up is faster, easier and more transparent than credit cards.”
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Home Care

How to choose the best bamboo cheese board for your kitchen

Are you in the market for a new bamboo cheese board? If so, you’re in luck! In this post, we will show you how to choose the best bamboo cheese board for your kitchen.

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Photo by Mgg Vitchakorn from Unsplash.com

Are you in the market for a new bamboo cheese board? If so, you’re in luck! In this post, we will show you how to choose the best bamboo cheese board for your kitchen. So, whether you’re a beginner or an expert when it comes to cheese boards, this blog post is for you!

Bamboo Cheese Boards’ Benefits

A bamboo cheese board is a popular choice for serving cheese and other appetizers. Bamboo cheese boards are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Bamboo is a grass that grows quickly and does not require pesticides or herbicides to thrive. Bamboo serving platters are also durable and can last for years with proper care.

Additionally, bamboo is a very lightweight material, so it’s easy to move around and doesn’t take up much space. They make a great addition to any kitchen or entertaining space.

So if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, bamboo is the way to go!

Choosing Tips & Tricks

When choosing a bamboo cheese board for your kitchen, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, consider the size of the board. If you entertain often, you’ll want a larger board that can accommodate a variety of cheeses and other foods. But if you’re just looking for a small board for everyday use, a smaller size will suffice.

Extra Large Charcuterie Board from Royal Craft Wood. It includes 10-pieces cutlery set, 10 card holders, 3 ceramic bowls, 2 serving trays. Its dimensions are: 17.5 x 13 x 2.5 inches.

If you have a small kitchen, please, pay attention to the compact traditional Royal Craft Wood’s Bamboo Cheese Board.

  • Second, think about the shape of the board. Round boards are great for serving multiple people, while rectangular boards are better suited for slicing and serving one or two people.
  • Third, remember about special cheese knives, forks, bowls and other cutlery that will help you to deal with snacks. Some cheese platter boards are sold with everything important. Like this cute Cheese Board With Knives.
  • Lastly, consider the style of the board. If you want something that’s both functional and stylish, look for boards with interesting designs or detailing. For example: Rotating Cheese Board With Knives.

So, what’s the best bamboo cheese board for your kitchen? It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you need a little more functionality and like to entertain guests often, go for one of Royal Craft Wood’s plain boards. Thank you for reading!

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Home Care

DIY home upgrades to add style and beauty

Consider these DIY ideas to spruce up your home’s aesthetics and create a more attractive place to live.

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Photo by @spacejoy from Unsplash.com

Home upgrades are necessary for a variety of reasons, but many homeowners look to update their homes to add comfort and beauty. While a complete renovation can be appealing, it can also be costly and time consuming.

However, if you’re willing to take on some of the work yourself, there are ways to upgrade your living spaces to add style (and value) without the assistance of a contractor. Consider these DIY ideas to spruce up your home’s aesthetics and create a more attractive place to live.

Freshen Up Paint

When it comes to simple DIY projects, a new coat of paint can drastically update your spaces without making major renovations. Light colors like gray, beige or white can make smaller spaces feel more open while darker shades like navy and purple can create a dramatic look. If you don’t want (or need) to paint the entire room, adding a pop of color with an accent wall or touching up the trim are quick and easy improvements. Adding paint to a less traditional spot like the ceiling or refreshing cabinets with a new color can also help bring your spaces to life.

Install Mess-Free Stone Accents

If you’re looking to add warmth and texture, easy-to-install stone veneer can provide the look of natural stone without the expense. A mortarless option like ClipStone is designed to be installed with screws and common tools, making it easy to achieve the look of traditional masonry without the hassle and mess. Durable and low maintenance, you don’t have to worry about sealing or painting and it’s a perfect option for exterior or interior installation that can be installed in any weather conditions. Available in a variety of styles and colors, homeowners can mix and match to create a custom look. Plus, it features a built-in water management system, overlapping edges to minimize gaps, reversible outside corners and a variety of available accessories.

Upgrade Window Treatments

Windows can often be overlooked or left with the simple paper shades or aluminum blinds the builder initially installed. Consider replacing them with plantation shutters, wooden blinds or drapes that better suit the style of the room. In addition to blinds, curtains provide another opportunity to add design elements that align with your tastes. From geometric panels to sheers, the possibilities are nearly endless. Or simply match the curtain panels to the color of your walls or an accent color for a look that can match almost any style.

Update Accessories

Cabinet pulls, outlet covers, curtain rods, switch plates and doorknobs are easily ignored, but replacing them can be an inexpensive way to add small touches of elegance to your home. With a variety of designs and finishes to choose from, including bronze, brushed nickel, copper and stainless steel, updating worn pull handles and knobs can create an affordable look that appears expensive. The same is true for metal switch covers and outlet plates. While decorative curtain rods may be on the pricier side, adding a coat of paint in a metallic finish could provide a cheaper alternative.

Improve Curb Appeal

There are a multitude of inexpensive ways to give your home’s exterior a makeover. Start by pressure washing your siding and windows, which can make your house look almost as good as a fresh coat of paint for a fraction of the time and money. Remember to also clean your driveway, patio and walkways to maximize your investment. Pulling weeds, trimming trees and bushes, and patching bald spots in the yard can also go a long way as can planting greenery in front of your home and making landscaping upgrades like adding mulch beds, water features or decorative edging. Another idea: replace your front door or give it a fresh coat of paint to add a pop of color to your porch.

Find more ideas for improving your living spaces at myclipstone.com.

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