5 Ways to Save Energy & Money

Here are five ways you can save energy and money starting today.

1. For those of us that have dishwashers in Hawaii, don’t rinse your dishes before you place them in the dishwasher. Simply wipe the excess food from the dishes. Pre-washing your dishing can easily waste a lot of water. If the dishes have been burned or stuff is dried on it, then it may need soaking or prewashing. Only run your dishwasher when they are full.

2. Keep your refrigerator coils clean. Every so often clean behind your fridge and underneath. This will help to keep the fridge from over working itself.

2. Reset the temperature of your air conditioner. Whether you have a central ac or a window ac, setting it at a comfortable temperature.

3. Most water heaters have adjustable thermostats. Turn your thermostat between 95 degrees ferinheight and 120 degrees ferinheight, depending on the amount of people in your household.

4. Take shorter showers. Just by shortening your shower time by three minutes can cut your water usage.

5. Switch your lighten to energy-efficient. This is one of the fastest ways to cut your utility bill. 

Brighten & Enlarge Any Room with Mirrors

Image Credit:  CNS Contracting

Image Credit: CNS Contracting

Mirrors will give an illusion that your room appears larger and brighter without even adding any actual space. the reflective surface can lighten and enlarge any room.

Image credit:  John M Stephens Design

The trick is to extend the mirrored surface either to the adjacent perpendicular wall or ceiling surface, or incorporate a large enough mired surface to give the illusion of a larger room. Your room will feel more spacious with a wall-to-wall mirror but you can opt for hanging mirror to fit your theme or period feel of the room. 

Mirrors can also help brighten a dark wall by reflecting the lighter side of the room. Mirrors are simple, yet very effective. 

Maximize Your Small Home or Space

Image Credit:  ArchaHouse

Image Credit: ArchaHouse

In a small space, every detail is important. Find the right fits for your space, and your lifestyle. Below are recommendations on maximizing your small space.

Lighting – Finding the perfect lighting for a small space can be tricky. Too little of light will make the place even smaller, where too much light will make the place one big bright box. Look for different fixtures that fit your style and space.

Appliances – Multiple functionality or smaller circumference appliances will deceive the eye into making the space look larger.  Consider a stackable washer/dryer, skinny and thin dishwasher or refrigerator, and a microwave hood and electric range convection oven.

Backyard – When it comes to landscaping a small backyard you must think of the quality you want more than quality. There will be a lot going on due to the space restraints but base it off of your lifestyle. Also it’s important to choose the perfect plants for your area.

Furnishings – In a small space every piece of furniture matters. Look for pieces that can expand for additional surface space when needed but will tuck away when not being used. There are dining tables that have fold down sides or leafs that can be removed, nesting end or cocktail tables, and sometimes you may find a table where stools can be stored underneath. 

How to Choose a Bathroom Vanity

There are a few questions you need to ask your self when shopping for the right bathroom vanity. These questions will help you narrow down what features you'll need to look for and what type of mounting option. 

Image Credit:  Overstock.com

Image Credit: Overstock.com

  1. What is the space you have available? Vanities come in a range of widths so it's important to determine the space first before deciding on other factors. Vanities come in single, double or corner units. They also have different mounting options like your standard or wall mounted. 
  2. How many sinks do you need? Most vanities come with one or two sinks. Be aware that more sinks mean more space.
  3. What is the amount of storage you need? There are many options for storage with drawers, shelves, and cabinets.
  4. How would you like to customize it? Vanities can come with a variety of different countertops, bases, hardware, sinks, and backslashes. These all have different materials and color schemes.
Image credit:  Overstock.com

Image credit: Overstock.com

Image Credit:  Overstock.com

Image Credit: Overstock.com

Buying the Right Countertop

Image credit:  Granite Countertops

Image credit: Granite Countertops

Finding the right countertop can be easy. Below is some points to think about when deciding on what surface is right for you and your home within budget. 

Granite Countertops are crafted from beautiful, durable, natural stone. They’re extremely smooth, visually rich and dynamic, heat-resistant and can stand up to stains and bacteria when sealed properly. However, be cautious around stress points as the stone can split.

Quartz Countertops are created from another natural stone. They are the most durable that is resistant to heat, liquid, bacteria and stains but it is easier to maintain. Quartz countertops never have to be sealed. They are available in more consistent colors than Granite.

Solid Surface Countertops are made of an acrylic material for a visually seamless appearance.  There are a variety of colors and patterns. Solid surface countertops are low in maintenance and will resist liquid, stains, and bacteria as well. However they’re less heat resistant to Granite or Quartz.

Laminate Countertops are when sheeting is glued to particleboard or plywood. It’s affordable, durable and visually looks nice. Laminate comes in many colors and styles, and is easy to clean and maintain. Laminate is the least heat resistant out of the above materials.