Month: June 2014

Save Water & Money!

Owning a home has a lot of hidden costs associated with it – and some homes also have a much higher monthly cost associated with it than do others (particularly newer homes).  This is simply due to the advancement of technology and science that have allowed us to standardize and improve the efficiency at which we consume energy, water and fuel.  Of course, owning an old home isn’t a bad thing – and with the right time, effort, and money invested you can improve your home to be just as efficient as a brand new one today.  One of the less common, but just as important topics related to a home’s energy efficiency is water efficiency.  There are several things you can personally do – like reusing water where necessary, or limiting time in showers, and regulating flushes.  However, the important subject to cover is how you can improve your home to automatically conserve water through regulating its efficiency.

Plumbing Inspection

The first thing you should do to assess your home’s water efficiency is a full blown plumbing inspection.  Now some of you may want to handle this one on your own – which is fine, but it is dependent on experience and knowledge, and the less you know the less you are going to be able to diagnose and repair.  For those of you that aren’t against leveraging the power of a professional, I definitely recommend taking advantage of them and figuring out every possible issue that could contribute to wasting water – whether it’s leaking pipes, poorly threaded connections and fixtures, or out dated regulators and designs.  The best plumbers that I’ve hired in Raleigh were from Mr. Rooter of Wake County.  In fact, because I’ve used Mr. Rooter in the past, I didn’t have to pay for the plumbing inspection – that’s right, it was free!  That’s because any time you use Mr. Rooter for a repair or service, they provide a complementary inspection during each visit – which has actually turned out to be very useful!  Outside of the freebie they offer, they also provide some very talented, well-trained technicians for their service, which makes tackling the topic of efficiency much, much easier when you have a plumber that is familiar with technology in 2014.

Additional Resources

If, for some reason, you want to avoid having a plumber or their company perform an inspection, then you can always request that the City of Raleigh come to your home and conduct a code inspection – which is more comprehensive than just ‘efficiency’, and you will know if anything is in violation.  Also, the City of Raleigh provides helpful tips and advice about water conservation and efficiency that you can incorporate into your life and home in order to save the most.

Money Saving Tips for Your Car

save on vehicle costsWith the economy still not what it used to be, people are still trying to save money wherever they can. One often overlooked expense is transportation. If you are like most Americans, you simply see your car as a necessity and not a place where there is any money to save. But even if you don’t have a hybrid or vehicle you are not making payments on, there are still ways to keep your car while saving money on fuel and other costs. Here is my top 5 list.

  1. Properly Inflate your Tires. Did you know that over 25% of cars on the road are driving around with improperly inflated tires? This is not optimal for fuel economy and can lower gas mileage by 3% or more which adds up over time.
  2. Slower, More Constant Driving. When you accelerate quickly in your car you are using far more gas, up to an amazing 33%. Quick stops also reduces fuel economy and will wear out your breaks quicker.
  3. Turn Down the AC. Something most drivers don’t consider, the use of air conditioning while you are driving can lower your mpg by up to 25% when its on full blast depending on your vehicle.
  4. Carpooling and Combining Trips. This is a no-brainer, carpooling to work or other places saves big on travel expenses. And when you go to run errands, its much more efficient to do them either on your way home from work or all at the same time.
  5. Perform regular maintenance. Use a service like Aarrow Transmissions Auto Repair to take care of your car by having the recommended maintenance done in a timely manner you will help save money by avoiding the bigger, much more expensive problems down the road.

Just because you need a vehicle doesn’t mean you should be spending too much on fuel and repairs. Using these tips may not make you rich but they will certainly help you save money each month. You might also be interested in my recent post about increasing your cars value and performance if you are thinking about selling your vehicle.

Subwoofers, Size, and Your Vehicle

Subwoofers are a great way to enhance the sound of your car. If you value the quality of speakers and enjoy blasting your music, you should invest in getting a pair that will give you the best sound possible with a strong bass. This means you will be able to feel the beat for an ultimate effect.

Do Your Research

If you don’t know much about speakers, it may take some extra research for you to find what will work best in your car. There are different sizes of amplifiers and subwoofer enclosures that need to be tailored to your vehicle.PIC00459.JPG

You can purchase a bundle that already has different types of amplifiers and boxes assembled, or you can buy the components separately. If you have a strong understanding of subwoofers, you may be able to buy the pieces separate for a custom experience.

You could also walk into a store and have an associate help you pick out the best combination. The issue is, salespeople will try to pressure you to spend more. They may have you looking at larger, more expensive subwoofers when you have a smaller car that can’t handle the sound. The way that the sound waves echo and bounce off the walls of your vehicle make all the difference in quality of sound. Understanding this, make it your priority to buy an amplifier and enclosure that is the proper size.

The best way to buy custom subwoofers for your car is to find a retailer that sells the subs by vehicle. For example, some online stores let you sort by your car or truck’s make and model, then find the subwoofer that will fit specifically to the dimensions of your car.

A subwoofer and enclosure that fit in a Hummer would not be the same speaker that would give the highest quality sound in a sedan. You would only purchase 12 inch subwoofer boxes for a vehicle that has enough space to efficiently use these sound waves.

Never be shy to ask a friend or salesperson for help. As long as you have done your research ahead of time and have an idea of the size and dimensions you are looking for, no one should be able to pressure you into buying something inappropriate.