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Paint On Savings

December 3rd, 2006 at 10:44 am

Looking to spruce up your house with a little paint? Why not insulate the walls at the same time with the same brush stroke. I happened to be looking for paint and insulation for a home improvement project when I stumbled upon insulating paints. It's a less expensive alternative to placing standard insulation materials in your home walls and much easier to install since all you do is paint on the insulation. Although insulation paint has been around for years, it has been used mainly used for commercial buildings. That is beginning to change as the public sees insulating paints as a way to save energy and reduce heating / cooling costs. It is possible to add the insulating properties by simply mixing an insulating paint additive into any paint that you use.

The insulating additive is able to insulate by providing a radiant heat reflecting, insulating and thermal barrier coating when mixed with the paint. The insulating paint additive is a fine power substance made of ceramic "microspheres" that appears to be like flour or a fine talcum powder. It is non-toxic, safe to use with any paint and environmentally friendly.

As if lower energy bills aren't enough, the insulating paint additive also has some other attributes that should make any homeowner happy. The paint helps in the following ways:

Reduces Corrosion
Resists Staining
Reduces Abrasions
Resists Build Up Of Mold & Mildew
Is Easier To Clean
Is Longer Lasting Paint Durability


You can find insulation paint at most places where paint is sold and it can be purchased either premixed or separately where it can be added to the paint. The additive works for virtually any type of paint whether indoor or outdoor. So the next time that you are planning to do a bit of painting around the house, consider also insulating your home at the same time.

Static Electricity House

November 28th, 2006 at 02:50 pm

Looking for a completely new and original way to save money on your utilities? How about a static electricity house?



Courtesy of personal finance video log

Watch Money Go Up In Flames

November 21st, 2006 at 03:23 pm



With winter upon us, the thought of a warm, crackling fire in the fireplace is probably a quite appealing image to a lot of you. What you probably don't realize is that your fire will cost you a lot more than the price of a couple of logs.

Your fireplace is one of the most inefficient heat sources you can possibly use. Basically, you're sending money straight up the smoke stack. While the perception is that you are only sending up heat generated by the fire, the fire must consume oxygen to produce the heat.

Your nice roaring fire can consume and exhaust more than 20,000 cubic feet of air per hour. All that air being exhausted is replaced by cold air coming into the house. The cold air forces your heating system to work hard to warm it up, which is then sucked up by the fire and exhausted through your chimney again. It's an never ending cycle while the fire is roaring meaning that your heater will be working extra hard and costing you money the whole time.

The most energy efficient decision you can make is to not have fires in your fireplace. If you decide to take this approach, consider plugging and sealing your fireplace flue.

While that is the most efficient approach, it isn't a whole lot of fun. A winter fire is nice to have once in awhile. If you know there will be occasions when you will want to have a fire, there are still some things you can do to make the fire as energy efficient as possible. You'll want to keep your fireplace damper closed at all times except when a fire is going. Accidentally leaving the chimney flue open is like leaving a two foot square window open. You also want to make sure that when the damper is closed, it closes snugly and doesn't leave gaps where air can escape.

Most fireplace dampers are form fitting which prevents air leakage when they are closed. As years pass, however, the damper metal can warp due to the heat from the fires and moisture from the outside. This can cause the seal to loosen which will allow room air to escape up the chimney. Close the damper and light a candle to see if it flickers when placed near the damper seal. If it does, you need to either repair or replace the damper to close the leak.

When you do have a fire going, open the dampers at the bottom of the firebox if your fireplace has them. If not, open the nearest window to the fireplace about an inch and close all the doors to the room. This allows the fire to consume fresh air that hasn't been heated before exiting up the chimney again. You should also lower your thermostat setting to approximately 50F while the fire is going to make sure your heating system isn't heating air that will soon be leaving up the chimney.

Making sure that your damper is always tightly closed when not using the fireplace and following the above steps when the fireplace is in use can save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs each winter that you probably didn't even know that you were wasting.

Turn Off Your Computer, Save $100

November 19th, 2006 at 01:40 am

Running your computer is pretty darn cheap when viewed at an hourly rate - approximately $0.02 an hour. This figure was obtained with the following assumptions: The typical desktop computer uses around 200 watts of energy per hour (with a 50% / 50% split of energy consumed between the computer and the display screen). We pay about $0.10 per kilowatt hour for electricity where I live (this varies across the US, so you can put in your actual rate here). From there you simply divide the watts used by 1000 (since electricity is charged at a rate in kilowatts - 1000 watts) multiplied by the rate charged: 200 divided by 1000 = 0.2 x $0.10 = $0.02.

With the cost of using a computer so cheap, many people believe that it isn't worth the time to bother turning it off. When multiplied over time, however, it can add up. That $0.02 an hour comes to $0.48 a day, $3.36 a week, $13.44 a month and $175.20 a year if you leave your computer on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

That means if you turn off the computer for half the day while asleep, you have saved $87.50. Add in a few extra hours it will likely stay off on the weekends, and you have reached $100 a year in savings by simply turning off your computer. If you have a small business with 10 computers, making sure they get turned off at night means an extra $1000 to your bottom line (and if you work for a business that rewards employees that submit money saving ideas that get implemented, you could even earn a bit of money by suggesting this).

You may have some other arguments for not turning off the computer like doing so will put extra stress on the computer's internal components. While it is true that there is a slight "stress" each time the power is turned on due to the heating and cooling, this stress is quite small. It can also be argued that it is balanced out by giving the moving parts of the computer like the fan a rest. Turning your computer on and off should not shorten its life.

I've also heard the argument that computers use much more energy starting up so that it makes more sense to leave them running all the time since this will cost less. I haven't been able to find any study that supports this (that you save more money leaving a computer on for 12 hours than turning it off and on again) and it appears to be a urban legend.

Those issues having been addressed, let's be perfectly honest - shutting down your computer can be a real pain. This is especially true if you typically run a number of programs at the same time which all need to be configured with certain documents. It can also be a pain if you leave your computer on at night to run timed tasks such as virus protection updates.

There are also a number of legitimate reasons why you may not be able to shut down your computer at night. If your computer handles network or Internet tasks at all hours (as a de facto server), you can't turn it off. If you participate in web based computing tasks such as searching for intelligent life in outer space then you may not want to turn off your computer.

If this is the case, there is still a step you can take to reduce the cost of running your computer (and if you can turn off your computer, this further reduce your costs). You can do this by placing your computer into sleep mode (there is a misconception by many that screen savers reduce the amount of energy the computer is using. Unfortunately, this is a myth and a computer running a screen saver is using just as much energy as one that is in use). While your savings won't reach $100, it can reduce the cost by as much as $50.

Either way, taking one or both these steps will save you some money with little effort as well as help save resources.

Energy Saving Light Bulbs

November 13th, 2006 at 07:58 am





My mom asked me to replace a light bulb in the bathroom yesterday. When I went to do so, I was amazed to see that the light actually took four 100w light bulbs. This seemed a bit of an overkill for the bathroom that isn't that big.

Instead of replacing the light bulb, I I decided to take it out along with one of the bulbs that was still working and placed the cover back on. There was hardly a difference.

A bit later I found some energy saving bulbs stored in a drawer and went back and switched the 100w regular bulbs with the higher efficient bulbs. This worked so well that I went to the other three bathrooms in the house and did the same. I was able to eliminate 6 bulbs and switch 6 others to the high efficient models. My little step to save the earth for the day Smile

*This is a series of photos that shows money as part of our daily life.

Save Water In Your Garden

July 11th, 2006 at 10:28 pm

contrary1 has put together an informative article on ways to conserve water while gardening which is both good for the environment and saves you money.

Lights Out Saving Game

July 11th, 2006 at 08:13 pm

Wixx has put together another saving game that you can play with your family called "lights out" to help you save money.

One of the best ways to save money is to know what will motivate you to accomplish the goals you have. Making a game of it is all the better. While not exactly saving money, the lawnmower diet exhibits a lot of the things you want to look for when creating a game to play to save money.

$90,000 in the Freezer

May 22nd, 2006 at 07:48 pm

Ok, so Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana had $90,000 in his freezer - there is a perfectly acceptable explanation. My guess is that he is just a follower of my blog and was attempting to cut down on his utility bill by freezer blocking Wink