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Renovation Contractor

Home Decorating – Why Window Treatments Really Matter

Take a glance at the windows in your home. Have you invested time and money in your windows that will maximize the benefits that come from effective window curtains? If you have, you know that you can reduce your energy costs and appreciate the feeling of warmth that can be conveyed through window treatments. Effective window “dress” can give your home the feeling of “home!”
With many choices in the market place today. You will want to consider what it is you expect to gain from your window treatments. From wood blinds, shades, roman shades, to cellular shades; your choices are endless.
If you are looking to add a certain feeling of warmth to your room, invest in curtains that reflect your taste and your home d?�cor. The color choices will be room will be warm and inviting, with window treatments that reflect who you are. Make sure to read the instructions when it comes to caring for your new window decorations. The type of fabric will determine if you will be taking a trip to your local dry cleaner of your washing machine. Being an informed consumer is always a good thing.
Cellular shades are a great option for someone that is looking for a feeling of warmth, accompanied with energy saving capabilities. Available in cordless, top-down-bottom up, colors and fabrics that meet your needs; these are a win,win for you. Depending on how much natural light you need in our room, will determine if the top-down-bottom up feature is something you will benefit from. The amount of energy saved determines on the company you are working with and the type of fabric used. Do not be afraid to ask questions, as window curtains are fairly permanent; they are not something you will be replacing every two-three years.
Wood or faux wood blinds are an option for someone looking for an attractive window treatment. These blinds are easy to clean. There is no dry cleaning or any extensive process involved. Your patience may be tested when it comes to cleaning them; but they are very consumer friendly. If moisture is an issue in your home, you will want to invest in faux wood blinds. Depending on the supplier you are working with, will determine your color choices. Yes, you will have many wood species to choose from, as well as color options. It’s a good idea to take a sample of the wood trim with you when you shop for wood or faux wood blinds.
And in the grand scheme of things, your window treatments will not give you the “wow” factor you desire if your flooring is in poor shape. Laminate flooring is an affordable choice when it comes to flooring. It is not only stain resistant, fade resistant, but also environmentally friendly. Combine your window treatments with your flooring, and your home will be one you want to spend hours in. Yes, your window treatments really do matter and effective dressed window will not only save you money, but give you a fine place to call “home.”

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Basement Renovations

Can I Really Power My Home With Wind Energy?

The Federal Tax Credits currently available in the US for upgrades for residential energy efficiency are significant enough to have many people thinking about energy efficiency remodeling. There is much discussion around the cost benefits of installing solar energy systems and even geothermal heat pump systems. But many homeowners are still asking, “Can I really power my home with wind energy?” The answer is “Yes!”
When most of us think about wind energy, we flash on images of huge turbines lined up in mid-western or off-shore wind farms. We see pictures of turbines 150 yards in diameter that sit 3000 feet above sea level. But wind technology is advancing daily. In fact, turbine design is advancing so fast that some of the wind-energy web sites are having difficulty keeping up! 
 
Many farms and other residential and industrial facilities in rural areas have been using wind turbines for years to provide all power for their needs. But as interest in powering homes with wind energy grows, new technologies are producing quieter, more attractive, turbines that can be effective at lower elevations. In fact, there are new turbine designs that can be incorporated into landscaping design around homes. 
 
The economics of wind power depend on where you live, how much wind is available on a continuous basis at what elevation, and whether you plan to invest in batteries to store excess energy. The economics of wind power also depend on whether you plan to install a stand-alone system to provide all of your energy needs or you plan to connect to the electric grid serving your area and use a wind energy system to generate power that you supply to the electric company in exchange for free energy. Either way, a small wind system could provide all of the power your home needs with wind energy. 
 
You can now purchase a wind generator from and from several other online retailers. You can also purchase complete wind systems from the manufacturer. At the very least, you can do your homework online before you start talking with a local contractor. Most states currently require that wind power systems be professionally installed by certified contractors. Before you purchase any equipment from any source, you should discuss your options and what kind of systems are working for other homeowners in your area with your contractor.
 
Choices of turbines are generally based on the amount of wind power generated by the system. This is measured in kilowatts. For example, a 1.2kW turbine produces 1200 watts. A turbine of this size installed where there is an average wind speed of 12 mph will produce about 2000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The cost of a wind system usually ranges from $3,000 to $5,000 per kilowatt connected to the grid. The cost could be lower for an independent system not connected to the grid. Turbines are expected to last about 20 years. 
 
In most cases, the installation cost for a 10 kilowatt residential system will be about $35,000 to $40,000. In an energy efficient home, this system could meet all energy needs, eliminating the electric bill. The amount of time needed to recover the cost would depend on current average monthly electric bill (e.g., a home using $200 of electricity per month, would recover $2,400 of the cost each year) and the available purchase incentives. The incentives would begin with the current Federal Income Tax Credit of 30% of the cost of equipment and installation or $10,500 – $12,000. Many states also offer such incentives as investment tax credits, sales tax reductions, property tax reductions, and financing assistance. Many utility companies also offer a variety of incentives, including net metering, to wind system installation.
 
In short, it is entirely possible to completely meet the energy needs of an energy efficient home with a wind power system that could be expected to pay for itself in as little as 10 to 15 years.
Copyright 2009 by ABCD Publishing