How to incorporate solar energy in to your home

Solar is the future! It’s a clean source of energy and you can use it to decrease your existing energy bills. Imagine Energy shows us how with a handy infographic.

Investing in solar equipment for your home is no small thing, but if you’re interested in helping contribute to a cleaner environment and lowering your energy bills, it’s a great endeavor to undertake.

Electrical power needs an extra 258 gigawatts to meet future demand by 2030. This equates to an additional 250 to 500 baseload power plants rated at between one-half and one gigawatt of energy. In addition, infrastructure costs are increasing. So the cost of maintaining the power grid will only go up. This includes high-voltage transmission lines and towers, power sub-stations, and electric distribution systems. In the next ten years, electric utilities will invest $14 billion per year.

In 1997, rate caps were put in place and have begun to expire. This gives the impression that rates are rising when in actuality, costs that have already been incurred by the energy company are being transferred to customers.

Solar panel advancements are making it cheaper and easier to install and maintain. This leads to a quicker return on investment, solar rebate programs, higher appraisal values with solar powered homes, and selling 15% faster than other homes.

There’s plenty more to read in the infographic below.


The Role of Web Hosting to Your Website

Web hosting. It’s such a fundamental part of your website that many don’t know about or overlook. There’s plenty of intricacies and details that can increase the speed and delivery time of your site without costing your first-born child. Let’s see what Cheap Web Hosting Now can tell us from their handy infographic.

Your website is delivered from the web host, which pushes it to the world wide web. Internet users type in your site’s URL and see what’s on your site because of the web host. There’s three main types of web hosting: Shared, VPS, and Dedicated.

Shared hosting is like an apartment. There’s a lot of partitions but you all share the same building / server.

VPS is like a townhouse. You’re connected but together if that makes sense.

Dedicated hosting is like owning your own home. Everything on it is yours.

Capacities are something you should be aware of. There’s about 10-100 MB of disk space and 105 gigabytes of data transfer per month. Each HTML page can take up from 5-50 KB of disk space on your web server, so depending on how large your site is, you may need a large server. This can be determined by multiplying the average page size by the average page views per month.

Read more in the infographic below.



Irish Business Mobile Migration

All business is migrating towards mobile. People are always on the go and their phones aren’t just a security blanket any more. Mobile technology is used to do a lot. You can pay your bills, publish content, and do everything social for just a few examples.

Now that consumers are mobile, businesses are following suit. Employees demand to get their email on their phone and want to bring their own devices to work. Employers are now taking strides to accompany these requests for the sake of employee happiness and productivity.

According to Eureka Ireland Blog, the present and future of Irish business is most definitely mobile. Nine out of ten small businesses use a mobile device to conduct business and 52% of small businesses use tablets. This obviously shows the transition away from clunky huge work laptops that are outdated from the moment they’re issued. Smart phones and tablets are the new norm for people in their personal lives and it’s only natural that businesses eventually follow suit.

Nearly 40% of Irish businesses are using cloud computing. And 57.1% of Irish employees engage in a sort of “Bring Your Own Device.” Twenty-five percent of Irish employees use their own mobile devices at work and 38% of businesses expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016.

There’s plenty more to see, read on in the infographic below.


How a Mortgage Offset Saves You Money

The world of mortgages, home loans, interest rates and finance can be very confusing. With all of the sketchy tools and services available nowadays, it’s hard to trust anyone when it comes to a mortgage. According to a mortgage offset is a valuable option that can save you money on your home loan.

To calculate the interest you pay on your mortgage, the total in your mortgage offset is subtracted from the balance of your home loan and the interest is charged on the reduced amount. This means that you pay less interest and more of your money goes toward paying off your home loan.

So, if you have a balance of $200,000 on your home loan and $20,000 in your offset account, interest is only charged on the reduced amount, which means 200K – 20K = $180,000.

When you’re looking in to a home offset, make sure to check that it offers 100% offset and that there are absolutely no fees. You should also ensure that your interest is calculated daily.

Your salary is also used for the offset account. Make sure that your salary goes directly towards the offset account and establish a discipline of leaving your salary there as long as possible. This helps you get the maximum amount reduced on your home loan.

There’s plenty more to see, read on in the infographic below.


The Cost of a DUI

The legal costs of driving under the influence is a hefty figure. But there’s more than just the legal fees that should probably be taken in to consideration. Baumgartner Law Firm, experts in all things legal, tells us whats up.

Legal fees for a DUI can rack up a figure upwards of $17,000. This includes court fees, legal fees, classes, insurance, and court appearances. But there’s more to think about than just the legal fees.

In order to surpass the legal limit of .08, it takes a few drinks. This can be two 1.5 ounce shots, a five ounce glass of wine, or a twelve ounce beer. There’s other factors that contribute to blood alcohol levels like food consumed beforehand or during, bodyweight and medication. Any amount of blood alcohol level under is 21 is illegal, and it’s .08 for those over 21. The infographic also lists .04 commercial, but it’s unclear exactly what that means.

Blood alcohol level affects driving in a few ways. First, you have poor muscle coordination which isn’t good for operating a car. Secondly, you have impaired judgement which can lead you to making crappy decisions about when to pull out or if you’ll make a light or not. Speed control is nonexistent due to your poor judgement and muscle coordination. Whoops, my foot is all the way down on the accelerator? Didn’t notice… Drivers with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher also have reduced information processing, which means that it’s harder to take in information around you and process it for reactions.

There’s plenty more to read about. See the intangible costs in the infographic below.


Favorite Trail Runs in the UK

Berghaus, a British outdoor retailer knows all the details when it comes to adventures in the great outdoors. Based in the UK, the brand has recently opened it’s doors in the US of A. And when it comes to trail running, they’ve got the top routes in the UK covered. Let’s take a look at the most popular trail runs in the United Kingdom.

In the number one spot is Catbells to Hindscarth Horseshoe. It’s a hilly route that can take you 3-4 hours. That’s because its 10.24 miles long and gains 2,647 feet in altitude.

Roseberry Topping to Captain Cooks Monument comes in second place. It has a few steep climbs and gains *only* 1,459 feet in elevation. It’s a circular route that’ll burn upwards of 1,814 calories during the 3-4 hours it’ll take you to run it. It’s longer than Catbells to Hindscarth Horseshoe coming in at 12.6 miles.

Number three is Askham Moors. It doesn’t take as long as the first two, coming in at 2-3 hours and has amazing views along it’s circular route. It does gain a lot of elevation for the 13.5 mile route. Two thousand, two hundred feet to be exact, which is seven times as tall as Big Ben.

There’s plenty more to see, read on in the infographic below.


Home Security in Louisiana

We all love our stuff. Think about all the security measures we take to protect our prized possessions. Fortunately, a premier provider of ADT Home Security, Add Louisiana Security, has provided a resource that explains the state of affairs in Louisiana. If you live elsewhere in the US, there’s no reason why you can’t translate the statistics and see how important it is to protect your family and your home.

Each year, approximately 163,000 property crimes are committed and a burglary happens every 14 seconds. Currently, there’s about 4.6 million people living in Louisiana and of the top 100 most dangerous cities, there’s three in the state. The state also has the 5th highest rate of property crimes in the nation and there’s 35 crimes per square mile.

If you live in Louisiana, you have a one in 28 chance of being a victim of property crime (i.e. burglary). This costs an average of $2,200 per victimized home. I’m not sure about you, but these statistics are enough to convince me to take extra measures to protect my home.

The median crime in Louisiana is about seven times higher than the national average, and those with a security system (specifically an ADT monitored security system), you are three times less likely to become a victim.

Curious? Read more in the infographic below.


DIY urban gardening with recycled items

Urban gardening is all the rage these days. Many in an effort to do their part, eat well, recycle old items and save money are growing their own gardens in their backyard. There’s a lot of cool ways you integrate your urban garden in to the design of your backyard. Fortunately, Purely Shutters has provided a handy resource to give us a bit more insight in to how you can make it happen.

Stylish gardens are a lot easier to create than you might think. Shutters make the perfect tool to hang pots and create an attractive display of herbs and flowers. Give it a little stain to tie the finished piece in with your existing decor.

Making statement garden pieces out of junk has become so popular that you can buy pre-made pieces on Etsy. Try stapling landscaping fabric to a plantation shutter to create a visually appealing garden piece that accomodates herbs, strawberries, lettuces and creeping perennials.

Just remember, if you set one up inside, place an absorbent mat underneath it to catch the drips.

Another great junk item to recycle in to stylish backyard decor, is an old ladder. Give it a fresh coat of paint and stack it full of potted plants to create a tiered garden.

See the images in the infographic below.


Myrtle Beach Vacation Guide

A popular vacation area in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach has more to offer than beautiful beaches and great weather.

Technically a man made island, Myrtle Beach was separated from the Contental US in 1936 by the Intracoastal Waterway. The city is separated from the beach by large sand dunes.

According to Captain’s Quarters Resort, there’s 20 must see activities in the city of Myrtle Beach.

  1. Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. Sit through a gourmet four course meal and watch a spectacular show that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat.
  2. Myrtle Waves Water Park. Take advantage of the sub-tropical climate by splashing around lazy waters, soaking in the family pools or riding all 10 water slides.
  3. Broadway at the Beach. Shop, eat and look at the many attractions that’ll keep everyone in your group happy.
  4. Fiesta del Burro Loco. The best Mexican cuisine around should be enjoyed after a long day at the beach and souvenir shopping. Take your pick of the large menu.
  5. Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Everyone loves baseball and what better way to enjoy your vacation than watch an exciting game of America’s favorite sport? There’s several games a week so you can work it in to your vacation plans.

There’s 15 more! Read on in the infographic below.


Paint disposal – household and industrial

Paint seems like a fairly friendly household item. It doesn’t bring red flags to mind when compared to other household items like bleach, drain cleaner, or antifreeze. However, there’s lots of nasty stuff in paint. Waste Xpress breaks it down for us.

Paint is composed of four types of materials. First is solvent, which is the liquid that carries the solid. It has a strong odor and is hazardous for humans and the environment. Next is the binder, which the solid film former that remains after the solvent evaporates. It binds the pigment to the particles. Third is pigment, which gives paint it’s color. Additives are the fourth and final ingredient that improves storage and application properties.

Paint is either oil based or water based. Oil based paints have a high VOC (volatile organic compounds) which are hazardous to humans and the environment. Water based paints is often referred to as latex paint and has a much lower VOC count.

The paint and coating industry is quite large, which is obvious since humans love color and companies sell more items that are pleasing to the eye. There’s about 1,400 establishments composing the industry, 43,000 employees, and 1.57 billion gallons of paint and coatings sold in 2013. That’s worth $20 billion.

There’s more to learn. Read on in the infographic below.