Archive for January 2020

Six Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Heating Bill

1. Keep the heat inside by closing draperies at night. During the day, open them up to let the sun shine through and warm your home. You can also cut heat loss by caulking and weatherstripping doors and windows.

2. Avoid overheating by setting the temperature as low as you can and still be comfortable. For every degree you lower the setting for an eight-hour period, you’ll save one percent on your energy bill. Using a programmable thermostat can save you even more money. Set it to lower the temperature at night and when no one is home.

3. Check the filters in your furnace at least once a month. This will improve the efficiency of your existing furnace.

4. Close the damper on your fireplace when not in use to prevent heat from escaping out the chimney.

5. Use ventilating fans only as needed. Venting fans in bathrooms or above stoves can blow away a house full of warmed air in just one hour. Turn them off as soon as the room is cleared.

6. Up to 20 percent of your heating energy can be lost through a ceiling that is not well insulated. Ensure that your home has proper insulation to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Celebrate DRY January

The term “Dry January” has been growing in popularity in recent years.
Going “dry” is a trend that encourages it’s participants to abstain from
alcohol for the month of January. Well known in the UK, there are two main benefits for participating.

The first benefit is to save a little extra money after the holidays. Every time you find yourself going to buy a bottle of wine or enjoying a cocktail, save the money instead. If your wallet didn’t feel the holiday pinch, you could donate all of the savings to your favorite charity. If you don’t regularly
partake in alcohol, you could substitute for your favorite coffee.

The second benefit is to detox your system after some holiday over- indulgence. Many people already feel inspired to hit the gym and eat
healthier this time of year. Abstaining from alcohol for the month can
also provide positive returns on your health such as more energy and
better sleep.

Be Your Own Boss

Recent data from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) revealed that about 29% of all business owners in America are women. This figure is up from 26% as recently as 1997.

In the last decade, there has been a growth of 68% in women-owned firms compared to only 47% growth for all businesses on record.

One aspect of women-owned businesses that stands out is the 265% increase in the number of minority women who have stepped up to be their own boss.

According to Fortune Magazine, women interested in starting their own small business should pursue certifications in their field to increase credibility.

Women entrepreneurs should seek out other women to partner with and learn from. They should strive to build their customer base by actively marketing and emphasizing their unique talents and abilities.

Which Vacuum Cleaner is Really BEST?

Hoover, Eureka, Kirby, Dyson, Oreck, Bissel, Electrolux, Rainbow and Miele. Most of these are household
names thanks to relentless marketing on TV, in magazines, and at retail stores. There are many more brands
of vacuum cleaners besides these. Every one of them wants you to believe that they have the best vacuum
cleaner on the market.

There are different styles of vacuum cleaners; upright, canister,
backpack and cordless stick-type machines that use a variety of
methods to capture particulates. Cyclonic filtration, bags, bagless,
HEPA filtration and even filters that utilize water to remove
dust particles from the processed air are available.

And those commercials! You’ll see demonstrations of vacuum
cleaners picking up everything from Cheerios to bowling balls.
But before you buy into the marketing hype, you should know
that there is a far more objective way to choose a vacuum cleaner.
Since 2005, the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) in cooperation
with independent testing laboratories has used technology
developed for the NASA space program for testing the effectiveness
of vacuum cleaners. The program is called Carpet and
Rug Institute Seal of Approval (CRI-SoA).

The CRI-SoA measures 3 important performance aspects of a
vacuum cleaner:

Soil Removal Standard — CRI uses
NASA-enhanced x-ray fluorescence
technology to measure the precise
amount of soil removed from carpet. The
vacuum cleaner must remove at least
40% of the test soil to be considered for
CRI-SOA. Higher soil removal efficiency
makes the vacuum cleaner eligible for a
higher rating.
Dust Containment Standard — The
vacuum must not release more than 100
micrograms of dust particles per cubic
meter of air (100 μg/m3), keeping dirt
and dust locked tight in the vacuum —
not escaping back into the air where it
can be inhaled. To achieve Gold rating,
the vacuum cleaner must not release
more than 35 μg/m3.
Texture Protection Standard — The
vacuum must not affect the texture of the
carpet after 900 passes. If the roller brush
or beater bar is too aggressive, permanent
damage can occur. If the vacuum
cleaner fails to pass this test, it will not be
considered for the CRI-SOA program.

What the ratings mean:
Rating – Soil – Dust Particles Released
Bronze 40 – 49% 100 μg/m3 or
Silver 50 – 54% 100 μg/m3 or
Gold 55%+ 35 μg/m3 or
The results of this testing are available
online at the CRI website (carpet-rug.org).

Some of the other considerations are
the style of the vacuum cleaner that best
suits your needs. Dual-motor uprights
with on-board attachments are the most
popular because they offer the most versatility,
but they can be somewhat heavy
to use. Canister vacuums usually have
better suction and can be easier to use,
but they are not as easy to store. Pulling
the canister behind you might be a bit of
a pain in larger homes.

Bagless machines generally do not
retain particles as well as machines with
bags. The quality of the bag is also
important; some bags filter better than
others. Then there is additional filtration
with many models boasting HEPA (High
Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration. HEPA
filters remove 99.97% of all particles at
.3 microns. Air that passes through the
HEPA filter has been effectively cleaned
of particles that can aggravate respiratory
symptoms from allergies and asthma.

In order to get the best performance
out of your vacuum cleaner, replace bags
and filters according to manufacturer’s
recommendations. Replace belts and roller
brushes or beater bars when they become
worn. Every year or two, have your
vacuum cleaner serviced by a qualified
technician so that you can keep getting
the most out of your carpet investment.

Call Hansen Steam Way for more
tips, recommendations or to schedule
your next cleaning.