4 Little-Known Ways To Lower Air Conditioner Costs

Running your air conditioner, of course, keeps you that much more comfortable in your home during the hot days. However, hearing your air conditioner whizzing during the day also makes you cringe thinking about the next energy bill that you are going to get in the mail most likely.

This is why you want to know of every possible way to keep your energy costs low while still being able to run your AC during the day. Here are four little-known ways to lower those costs:

  1. Improve Your Landscaping: Many homeowners don’t realize that just by improving the landscaping in your home, you can easily lower the costs of running your AC every month. You should plant trees in front of windows that see a great deal of sunshine during the day. This will ensure that not as much sun is getting into your home, which prevents it from heating up so quickly. 
  2. Install Solar Screens: An affordable way to make your windows let less of the sun’s harsh UV rays into your home is to install solar screens instead of installing window film directly on the windows. Although solar screens are more affordable, they aren’t as effective as window film, but they do block up to 70% of the UV rays. Just be sure that you keep your windows shut during the day to get the most out of the solar screens. 
  3. Circulate the Air: Yes, you have an air conditioner, which makes many homeowners think that they don’t need fans. However, using fans in the home is going to help circulate the air to help your home cool down that much faster. If you close the windows on one side of the home and place then fan in front of it while you open the windows on the opposite side, you are going to get a nice cross-breeze. 
  4. Cook Without the Stove or Oven: Using the stove or oven to cook during the day should be skipped on hot days. Consider making sandwiches or salads. Not only will these meals help keep you cool, but skipping out on using the stove and oven will ensure that your home stays cool, as well. When you use the stove or oven, you will notice that your home will heat up quickly and you will have to turn up the AC. 

By knowing these four ways to help lower air conditioning costs, you can be sure that you save money and stay that much more comfortable on extremely warm days. To learn more, contact a company like Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. with any questions you have.

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Ordering Shipping Or Moving Corrugated Boxes? Getting The Right Strength Saves You Money

When you need to order corrugated boxes to shop your products to retailers or direct to customers, you need to make sure the boxes are strong enough to make the journey. However, you also do not want to pay for added features or materials that are not necessary. Take into consideration what it is you are shipping and any packaging in the box. Then, if you still need added strength to the box, consider the following. You can either adjust the way the box is packed, or ask the manufacturer to alter the construction slightly.

Proper Direction of the Fluting

The fluting is the wavy piece of material that gives the cardboard its strength. It is situated so the fluting runs up and down in a box. If you are more concerned about the contents being crushed from the sides, you will need to either place the box on its side or place the contents on its side.

Construction of the Cardboard

When the board is being put together, you can have it made with additional fluting, additional liners or both. This is where the extra money will come in. For example, box A is made of single wall corrugation. It has one layer of fluting between two layers of liner. It will hold and protect 20 pounds of contents under 125 pounds of pressure per square inch. The same size box with two layers of fluting between three liners can hold and protect up to 80 pounds of product under 200 pounds of pressure per square inch. A triple wall box, with three layers of fluting between four liners is basically as strong as a wood box. It can hold and protect up to 240 pounds under 700 pounds or pressure per square inch.

Posts and Flanges

Another way to increase the strength of corrugated boxes from sites like http://www.apsbox.com is by having additional pieces inserted into the assembled box. This can be square posts put in the corners of the box or flanges that stand upright between the products in the box (think of the inserts in a box of bottles). The price on flanges or posts may be less expensive than getting cardboard with more fluting and liners, but will not offer as much protection as them.

You definitely want boxes that will protect whatever it is you are putting inside them. You do not want to have to refund customers because of damaged product. However, you should not have to pay for more protection than you need. In most cases, someone is going to just throw the boxes away. Pay attention to what type of box you are getting and what is going into it. Do not buy the same type of box for everything you are moving around, it will cost you money in the end.

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Don’t Sock It Away In The Sock Drawer: Tips For Storing Your Seasonal Clothing And Jewelry

Surveys show that home buyers value storage space. It is not abnormal to accumulate items throughout your lifetime, and finding room in your home to store these items can become increasingly difficult over time. If you have items that just won’t fit in your home storage space, but they are not things that you use on a daily basis, you might want to consider investing in a storage unit.

Here are some tips to help you safely stow away two commonly stored items in the future.

1. Seasonal Clothing

If you have a large collection of seasonal clothing, it might be beneficial to keep these items in a storage unit when they are not in use. Storing your seasonal clothes away from your home can be a great way to free up more storage space for items that you might use more frequently.

To ensure that your clothing stays pristine while in storage, try the following:

  • Use opaque bins. Direct exposure to light for an extended period of time could cause your seasonal clothing to fade. By stowing these items in an opaque, or non-clear, container, you prevent light from reaching your items while they are in storage.  
  • Stack your clothes loosely. If you plan to fold your clothing and stack the items in bins before storage, be sure that your stacks remain loose. Place heavier items, like wool sweaters or winter coats, on the bottom to prevent them from compressing lighter garments. This will keep your clothes free from unsightly fold lines when you remove the items from storage in the future.

2. Jewelry

Many home owners choose to keep expensive jewelry off-site to prevent theft in the event someone breaks into their home. If you have valuable jewelry that you don’t wear on a regular basis, then storing these items in a storage unit could be beneficial.

Be sure that you prepare your valuable jewelry items for proper storage by doing the following:

  • Ensure that the facility you choose is climate controlled. Fine jewelry should be stored at room temperature. If the storage facility is too cold, the metal could become brittle. Storage units that get too hot could cause delicate metal pieces to become soft and lose their shape. A climate controlled facility will ensure that your storage unit remains at room temperature year round.  
  • Store each item in a separate compartment. Placing fine jewelry in a single jewelry box compartment could be disastrous. Over time, the delicate chains could become entangled. This could result in chips or cracks, and could even cause the stones in your valuable jewelry pieces to come loose.

Storing seasonal clothing and valuable jewelry in a storage unit will help you free up storage space at home. Since these items aren’t used on a daily basis, they make perfect candidates for off-site storage. Ensuring that you pack and prepare these items properly will allow you to pull them out of storage looking as nice as the day they went in.

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Shapes & Colors: Optimize Your New Business Logo

Creating the right logo for your company is a very intricate process that a personal branding coach can help you with. Everything is important, including choosing the right shapes, edges and colors when creating your unique trademark. The following are helpful guidelines for your logo that will ultimately represent your business. 

Think About The Color

  1. Red: This is a very aggressive color that may heighten emotions. Red increases blood pressure and energy consumption, which is why some food-related business use red to make you feel hungry. Red is also associated with urgency, like a stop light or a red cross on a hospital. So consider red if your business is catering to an urgent matter, like a tax company or law firm.
  2. Blue: Blue is pleasing to the eye. Blue gives of feelings of serenity and acceptance. This is a great color for a business that is introducing a new concept or service. Blue is also good for a business that is seeking to gain trust, such as a financial institution. This color is also good for a business that deals with communication. 
  3. Orange: This color gives off enthusiasm and quality. Some suggest that this color is psychologically associated with warmth and the comfort of fire. Orange is a great color for a business that is trying to separate their services or items from the competition and surpass them as well.  

There are other colors and shades to consider, depending on what you want your logo to convey. You can talk to your brand coach about some of the colors you are considering, too. 

Choose the Right Shape

Consider the following for your logo, but keep in mind that simplicity is what matters when it comes to a logo. Simplicity makes it easier to remember. 

  1. Sharp edges: You might find it hard to believe, but people associate sharp edges with something masculine and dominate. This is simply because of the general shape of a man, which is usually square-like. Consider shapes like triangles, rectangles, squares and other similar shapes if you want your logo to show authority. Logos like this can also stand for integrity or order. 
  2. Curved edges: Curved edges, as you can imagine, are associated with feminine qualities. That means your logo will be associated with concepts like care or creativity. 

As you can see, creating a logo is a complex undertaking. Do not hesitate to talk to your brand coach for help and more specified suggestions regarding your logo. 

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Refurbished Printers: Finding Cartridges For Your Economical Purchase

Buying a refurbished printer is an economical way to save money. This is especially true if you don’t use a printer on a daily basis. Many consumers only use a home printer occasionally, such as to print out some information they want to share with someone else. Another common reason is to print a few book reports or term papers throughout the year, if one of the family members is in school.

What Does Refurbished Mean?

Refurbished simply means that the printer has been used for a period of time and then returned to the dealer for some reason.  This happens due to various factors, such as the printer not having all the bells and whistles that the consumer needs or something wrong with it. Once the printer is returned, if there is a broken part or something else is wrong with it, the manufacturer makes the repair, or replaces the part. Merchandise that is  simply returned because it didn’t meet the needs of the consumer goes through a testing process to ensure that it still meets the quality of standards of the manufacturer. These practices restore the printer to ‘like new’ condition.

Look Online for Reviews of Printers

Do your research before shopping for a refurbished printer. Look at online reviews that have details about how well the printer works, the clarity of the print and if the electronic often has problems, such as jamming. These reviews often state if it is difficult to find cartridges as well.

Buying a Refurbished Printer

Visit reputable dealers to compare a few refurbished printers before making the purchase. Ask if the cartridges that fit the printer are in stock. If they aren’t, the manager will often agree to purchase the cartridges for you in bulk. If the cartridges are difficult to find, a reputable business will state this fact and you can look for another piece of equipment.  Another way to ensure that you purchase a printer for which you can find cartridges is to ask a friend or neighbor who is adept at repairing computers and other electronics. This person should be able to advise you where to find cartridges for a particular printer, whether it is online or at a nearby electronics store. He or she can also advise you about the makes and models that aren’t likely to be obsolete before you get your money’s worth from the printer. Many businesses offer a limited warranty on the refurbished printers; ask if this is included in the sales price.

Midwest Laser Specialists Inc is a local company that offers refurbished printers.

Saving Money on the Cartridges

If the business agrees to special order the cartridges, buy enough to last two or three years if your budget allows. Typically, the price will be lower per cartridge if you do this. This will also save you money on shipping and downtime waiting on a spare cartridge to arrive in the mail.

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Carpet Tile Care Tips for Customer Waiting Areas

A carpeted customer waiting area is much more welcoming than hard flooring options. It’s also safer, since carpet doesn’t pose the same slipping hazard when it’s wet as tile or polished concrete. Carpet tiles provide a cost-effective way to add the warmth and safety of carpet, while still remaining as easy to care for as hard flooring. The following care requirements can keep your tiles looking good while preventing premature replacement.

Daily Debris Care

Customer waiting rooms see a lot of foot traffic, so the tiles will require twice daily vacuuming. This is no different than sweeping a hard floor multiple times a day. Fortunately, carpet doesn’t show tracked in dust and dirt as easily as a hard floor, so your flooring can still look good when you’re too busy to pull out a vacuum.

You can use a small and silent carpet sweeper on Berber carpet tiles, which have a short, tight pile. Save the loud motorized vacuum for after business hours so it doesn’t annoy your customers. If you need to minimize sweeping during business hours, use a large mat in front of the entry, both indoors and out, to trap most of the dirt before it can reach the flooring.

Stain Treatment

Any carpet for commercial use should be stain-resistant, although this won’t repel all stains. Blotting up most stains as soon as they occur works well, or you can use a carpet spot treatment for more stubborn spots. Set up a wet floor barrier around the stain after cleaning. Although wet carpet isn’t a slipping hazard, you don’t want people to walk on the wet spot and make a new stain somewhere else.

Regular deep cleaning, usually every three to six months depending on the amount of traffic in the room, helps prolong the life of the tiles and prevents bad staining. This requirement is no different than buffing and maintaining hard floors in a business. Select a cleaning company like Cloud Carpet One Floor & Home that does a wet extraction cleaning to ensure as much dirt and moisture is sucked from the carpet as possible. It’s best to clean the floor after closing time, so the tiles have all night to dry before you reopen.

Damage Patrol

The biggest benefit of carpet tiles over regular carpeting is that it’s less expensive to replace if there’s damage. You can simply replace the damaged or badly stained tile, instead of ripping out and purchasing new carpet for the entire floor.

Using tiles of multiple, complementary colors means you won’t have to worry about getting an exact color match if you need to replace a single tile. Another option is to buy extra tiles at the time of installation. Store these until you need them, ensuring you have an exact match when the time comes.

Although carpet tiles wear well and rarely suffer damage, do monitor them to make sure they are not pulling up or becoming wrinkled. A loose tile can trip an employee or customer, so catch it early and repair it quickly.

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3 Ways To Get The Best Use Out Of Barcode Scanning

If you own any type of business and want to upgrade the way that you organize, you owe it to yourself to use barcodes. Whether you run a standard office-based sales business, restaurant, non-profit or any other type of business, you can make the most of your inventory when you assign barcodes by using a high-quality scanner. With the wide availability of technology, you can find the best barcode scanner in your price range in order to become better organized and productive. 

So what should a person brand new to this technology know about it? Read on to find some guidelines that will be useful to you as you explore the use of barcode technology. 

#1: Using Barcode Technology Removes Human Error

If you do not yet use barcodes, chances are good that you use some form of manual entry. When entering information into a system, there is always the element of human error. However, if you upgrade to some form of barcode technology, you will be able to scan each and every item, with the full confidence that everything is entered correctly. This will prevent serious setbacks and losses of time that occur when data entry mistakes are made. 

While manual keyboard entry accounts for an error once out of every 10,000 characters entered, barcode scanning only experiences one error per 3 million characters entered. 

#2: Know The Different Types Of Barcode Scanners Available

The type of barcode scanner you use will depend largely upon preference. In today’s market, there are laser barcode scanners, LED scanners, and 2D imagers. Laser scanners are the type that most people use, due to their efficiency and very small learning curve. You can also choose between handheld scanners, pen scanners and desktop scanners, depending upon the needs of your business. 

#3: Purchase A Warranty On Your Barcode System

When you set your business up to use barcode scanning, you will be relying on it a lot for day-to-day operations and archiving. Because of this, you need to be sure that you can get your scanner fixed, or can receive a replacement as soon as something goes wrong with it. When you purchase a warranty, you won’t have to come out of pocket for this expenditure and can get this segment of your business back up and running in no time. 

Consider this information on the use of barcode systems and make sure that you use them for the betterment of your business. 

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