Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stop Throwing Money Out the Window

Have you ever felt your window as cold as ice during the winter or burning hot during the summer, while your heater (or air conditioner) is operating at full blast? If so, you are definitely throwing money out the window ! Consider making changes on your existing window, before you have to sell your heater (or A/C) to pay for energy bills.

Window technology has improved dramatically in recent years because of the conscious effort to save on energy. Below are some of the features to improve the thermal efficiency window.

1. Glazing.

Gone are the days when a window is made up of a frame, a glass pane and a latch. Today, energy-efficient window-designs require a minimum of two (2) layers of glass, called double-glazed windows. Double-glazing insulates almost twice as well as single glazing (single glass pane). It is also possible to add a third or fourth layer to further improve the results. Some of these windows use clear glass only; others opt to install additional layer of thin plastic films for tinting as well as further insulation.

2. Thickness of air space.

In between the two glass panes in a double-glazed window is a space filled with the air. With a thicker air space, the window will be better insulated because it will have a better transfer of heat. Thicknesses range from ¼ " to 1”. If the air is wider than 1”, however, there is no further gain in performance.

3. Type of air in the space.

Traditional double-glazed windows were filled with air or flushed with dry nitrogen to ensure that the air does not leak. In a sealed glass pane, heat is carried to the top of the air space while cold pools settle at the bottom. By filling the space with a less conductive gas like argon (Ar), carbon dioxide (CO2), krypton (Kr), and argon-krypton mixtures, the overall transfer of heat between the inside and outside is reduced. It should be noted that the thickness of the airspace also depends on the kind of gas that is used to fill it.

4. Edge spacers.

What holds the panes of glass apart are the edge spacers. These also provide the airtight seal in the window. Before, hollow-aluminum channels filled with desiccant beads were used as edge spacers. Since Aluminum is a highly conductive material, heat loss (or gain) is now occurring through the edges. Improvements to the material used include thin-walled steel with thermal breaks, or silicone foam or butyl rubber. A low-cost option when ordering windows would be to consider insulating edge seals with traditional aluminum spacers.

5. Low-E coatings.

Low-emittance (Low-E) coating are very thin, metal or metallic oxide layers set on a window glazing surface primarily to improve the heat transfer (reduce the U-factor). Heat is transferred in multilayer glass from a warm pane to a cooler pane. With a low-emittance coated material facing the air space between the glass layers, it blocks a significant amount of heat transfer, thus reducing the total heat flow through the window. Different types of low-e treatment are now available for different climate zones and different applications in any particular location.

Enough about the glass pane, let’s now focus on the materials surrounding the glass, the window frame. Different kinds of materials can be used for the encasement, depending on aesthetics (suits the design of the home), durability (resistance to storm, wind or extreme weather) and, of course, energy efficiency (U-factor).

Metals (aluminum, or light metal) for example are lightweight and easy to clean, but conducts heat rapidly. If metals must be used for window frames, ensure to place insulating material between the inside and outside of the frame and sash.

Wood (natural and composite) have better thermal properties, but must be treated for moisture and termite decay. Natural wood also contracts and expands through weather changes and can be heavy and thick, thus reducing the view and light passing through.

Plastics (fiberglass, PVC, vinyl) have the highest thermal resistance as compared to the previous, especially if treated with insulation. It has good moisture resistance and need no painting because color treatment is already incorporated in its production. However, at extreme temperatures, they may expand, warp or crack. Also, if exposed to sunlight for long hours, colors tend to fade over time.

Lastly, here are simple steps to ensure you are buying an energy-efficient window:

a. Look for NFRC label as your guide to energy performance (U-rating) and to suit your climate, before buying a window.

b. Choose windows with good warranties against the loss of the air seal. If the glazing seal is lost, not only will fogging occur, but also any low-conductivity gas between the layers of glass will immediately be lost.

c. Hire only skilled contractors to install your new windows. This will ensure that they will perform as well as they should.

What else are you waiting for? STOP throwing money OUT YOUR WINDOW!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hydrogen Fuel System Saving Money For Your Car

For many years now, scientists and researchers are trying to find out an alternative source of fuel energy for cars. They have reached conclusive studies after many years. The fact is, cars won't run without fuel. But through a hydrogen fuel system, you can raise gas mileage and at the same time cut down gasoline expenses.

Automotive companies and hundreds of researchers are offering a very effective solution... hydrogen fuel system. What is the system all about?

If you own a car, this is the best time to use the hydrogen fuel system because it can save you a lot of money. You don't have to purchase a new car. All you need to do is to make some changes and put some additional parts. After that, your car will have added power. Major oil companies will be the very first ones affected by this new system.

If you think the system costs a lot, you're wrong because you will only need over a hundred dollars for a single fuel cell. Installation is also not a big problem because you can do it by yourself with ease. The system will not cost you over $180. If you want a more durable and smooth car engine, why not incorporate the said system in your car?

Your search for a cost-effective way to fuel your car has ended. The hydrogen fuel system can give you a lot of benefits. Firstly, your gasoline expenses will decrease. Secondly, you can help in improving the current status of the environment. You car will not emit a large amount of greenhouse gases thereby decreasing pollution.

Even if the hydrogen fuel system is advanced, it is easy to understand it works effectively. Instead of depending solely on gas, you will also be using water to power the car engine. Hydrogen from water will be extracted to provide the car with additional power to lessen the consumption of gas. You can easily install the system in your car.

You will have cleaner emissions because the byproducts of hydrogen fuel system are water and oxygen. But with an internal combustion engine, your car will give off carbon emissions and even carbon deposits. If you want to help in the current global warming problems, install a hydrogen fuel system as soon as possible.

Global warming and very high gas prices are quite alarming and these are the reasons why a lot of car owners today want to take advantage of the hydrogen fuel system. If you want to increase mileage by 87%, use the system; the same thing if you want 45-53% car efficiency.
Fuel Cells, Engines and Hydrogen

Car owners who are now using hydrogen fuel systems are enjoying decreased gas costs. If you want to experience the same thing, why don't you purchase a hydrogen fuel cell kit now? Simply follow the instructions included in the kit and put together the various parts properly.

After installation, you can now run your car using water or gasoline. You can't get rid of gasoline entirely but the cost of running a car will definitely decrease by more or less 50%. Besides, hydrogen fueled cars run longer distances.

Hydrogen fuel systems are not new. If you want to know more about it, you can search the net for related information. By doing some research, you will discover that a lot of people are already making use of the said system.

Friday, December 5, 2008

5 Frugal

If you have a family budget worked out, you know how hard it is to stick to it without having some real concrete plans and strategies to stretch your money as far as it will go. Usually, the first area we can squeeze a few extra dollars out of our wallets is on groceries. I'd like to introduce you to your new partner in your frugal endeavor, the black bean.

If you find yourself wandering aimlessly through the aisles of your grocery store, looking for something to make for dinner that won't break your budget, take a detour over to the black bean display and check out the price. Considering that black beans are loaded with nutrients like protein, iron, calcium, and potassium, and they are high in fiber, and low in fat and sugar, they really offer a lot of bang for your buck. It's obvious that black beans should be a staple in every household, frugal or not. So, let's think up a few simple meals to create with your new best friend... the black bean.

1) Black Bean Cottage Cheese Salad

A simple but delicious use for black beans is turning it into a creamy salad. Put a 1 scoop of cottage cheese in a serving bowl, and sprinkle a little salt and freshly ground black pepper on top. Then top with some drained and rinsed canned black beans, about 1/2 cup. Add a bit of chopped celery to the mix and you have a great, crunchy, creamy lunch, packed with protein, calcium, iron and fiber.

2) Bountiful Bean Salad

You'll be choosing your favorite canned beans for this salad, keeping in mind color and texture; favorites like black beans, butter beans, navy beans, kidney beans, waxed beans, and whatever else you like. Drain and rinse all the beans and put them in a large serving bowl. To the beans, add some sweet onion, or green onion including the tops, chopped celery, freshly chopped parsley, maybe some fresh rosemary, or whatever herb you like, and top it all with a little shake or two of a very good vinaigrette salad dressing, I use Paul Newman's Own Balsamic Vinaigrette. You've got yourself a kid-friendly and nutritious salad.

3) Use-It-Up Black Bean Burrito

If you have a few staples in your pantry you can whip up this simple burrito. You'll need a flour or corn tortilla, either heated or not, that's up to you. Drain and rinse your black beans, then start building your burrito however you want. I add black beans, some diced tomatoes, a little onion, lots of shredded cheddar cheese, a little sour cream, leftover rice, some chopped up pieces of chicken from last night, and whatever else I have to use up. Depending on how I feel that day, I go a little heavier on the black beans and lighter on the other stuff. Get your salsa or taco sauce ready and enjoy.

4) Simple Four Bean Soup

What you'll need for the beans is 1 can each, black beans, garbanzo beans, butter beans, and navy beans (although you may substitute your favorite beans for any of those). Drain each can and set aside. Into a large pot, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil, add 1 cup finely chopped celery and 1 cup of diced onion. Cook on medium low until celery is just tender. Next add 1 clove of garlic, either minced, crushed, or grated, and let cook for just one minute. Then throw all your beans into the pot. Add 1 small can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and 1 small can chicken broth. Simmer nice and slow for approximately 20 to 25 minutes. It's done!

5) 30 Second Black Beans with Taco Seasoning

Try it and I guarantee you'll be wondering why you haven't thought of this before. My daughter was the person who "invented" this recipe in our family, and now we're all sold on it. Simply drain and rinse a can of black beans. If you have those little packets of taco sauce laying around, leftovers from carry-out, just squeeze a few in your black beans, give it a toss, and you have an incredibly delicious side dish that is sure to please. You'll have to try this one to believe it. You might want to try some hot salsa instead of the taco sauce, but use only a little, just enough to flavor the beans. (Throw some shredded cheddar on top and you're set.)
Seven Bean Mix - 15 lb Seven Bean Mix: GR

There are countless ways to enjoy our new friend, the black bean. You will easily be able to take the five ideas I've listed here and add your own personal flair to create black bean dishes to suit any taste, even your family's most finicky eater.