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Create a Livable Outdoor Space by Adding a Deck

Outdoor livable space is a popular trend. You can set up an outdoor seating area, outdoor kitchen or outdoor dining space. This allows you to entertain guests outside or host a larger party than what your home can hold. This trend inspired my wife and I to build our own outdoor livable space. However, one of the biggest decisions we faced was what the base for our space would be. We could use concrete, lay pavers or construct a deck. After doing a lot of research, we decided on a deck. It was a challenging decision, but we are pleased with the outcome. In fact, we are so happy we decided to start this blog and help educate other people on decks and livable spaces. Learn the benefits, learn the downside, learn how to care for your and learn what kinds of wood are best for an outdoor deck.

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Create a Livable Outdoor Space by Adding a Deck

Three Ways To Reduce Your Water Heater's Energy Consumption Without Turning Down The Temperature

by Kelly Simmons

The most obvious way to reduce your water heater's energy use is to turn down the temperature, but you can only go so low. Below 120 degrees F, your water is at risk for bacterial growth. If your tank can't be turned down any lower, or you simply don't wish to have your water any cooler than it already is, there are other ways to save energy.

Install a timer on your hot water heater.

Do your family members tend to take showers and otherwise use hot water at a certain time of day? If so, installing a timer on your hot water heater should save you money. The timer will ensure your water heater only kicks on when you need the water. The rest of the day, it will stay off and allow the water to cool down. Since there is a risk of shock or burns when installing a hot water heater timer, this task should be left to the professionals such as McDermott Plumbing Service and Repair.

Timers don't work well for people with irregular schedules, though. For instance, if you sometimes shower at 2 pm, and other times at 8 am or 10 pm, the timer won't be much benefit because you'll either have to set it to have the water hot at several different times each day, or override it so often you don't save energy anyway.

Improve your tank's insulation.

If the area where your hot water heater is found is particularly chilly, adding more insulation around the heater can keep the water inside from cooling off as quickly. This will reduce the number of times it needs to be reheated, which will reduce energy consumption. Pre-cut water heater jackets are available; you simply slide one onto your tank. Most make up for their cost within a year, saving you between 4 and 9% of your energy costs.

Flush the tank.

If your tank is more than a couple of years old, it probably has substantial mineral buildup inside of the holding unit. Flushing the tank out to remove this sediment will allow the tank to operate more efficiently, reducing energy use. You can flush a tank yourself by turning off the electricity (or gas) and water to the heater, and then draining it using a pump and garden hose. Then, refill the tank with water, and drain it again. Repeat this process until the water that is coming out no longer contains sediment. Finally, disconnect the pump and hose, and hook the heater back up to the electric (or gas) and water supplies.

If you do not have a water pump or feel comfortable flushing the tank yourself, you can hire a contractor to complete this task.

As you can see, you don't have to suffer through cold showers to save money on water heating. With a timer, some new insulation, and a thorough flushing, you can have a more efficient water heater and comfortably hot water.

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