Tips for improving the energy efficiency of the home

The refrigerator, television or washing machine are the most consumed appliances. Their continuous or almost daily use requires a series of guidelines to rationalize the expenditure they generate. But did you know that there are a number of tricks that in some cases allow you to reduce that spending by half?

World Day of energy efficiency

Virtually every action we take at home carries an energy cost: turn on the computer, watch the TV, put the washing machine or raise the temperature of the heating. In addition, the considerable increase in the price of energy forces families to reduce consumption, although some are falling into the pit of energy poverty, as we explained a few weeks ago in The crisis, and the consequent reduction of industrial activity, has led to consume less electricity, so much that 2013 closed with levels similar to those of 2005. But the cost of the kilowatt, far from resembling that of eight years ago, has shot at least 70%. That is why, today, World Energy Efficiency Day, it is worth noting the importance of saving and sustainable consumption in order to control spending. Keep these recommendations in mind:

If you need to buy an appliance, it is better to buy the Class A, as they favor the maximum savings, energy efficiency and environmental protection. Energy efficiency levels are determined by a letter ranging from A (most efficient) to G (least). For example, a refrigerator of class A consumes up to 40% less than those of class C. At present, there are already the classes A +++ that consume up to 50% that those of class A.

Refrigerator: The refrigerator is the most energy consuming appliance. Specifically, 30.6% of the electricity bill comes from its use. Despite what we usually think, the reason for this high figure is more due to its continued use than its power. For example, it is estimated that an average refrigerator consumes 200W, compared to 2,000W that can consume a hair dryer. Therefore, to consume less, in addition to looking for a Class A, it must be placed in a cool and ventilated place, keep the refrigeration at 5 ° and freezing at -18 °. In addition, it is important to clean the back at least once a year, open the door as little as possible and especially not put hot food inside.

 Television: Television consumes 12.2% of the energy of our bill. The best way to reduce this cost is to not have a TV, because its quality can be dispensed with without any problem. Even so, other less drastic measures happen to turn off the pilot of “stand by”, or otherwise, the television will consume as much energy being turned off as a computer at full capacity. Also, if you buy a new TV you have to check that it incorporates LED energy, consuming up to 25% less than LCD and up to 40% less than plasma displays.

Washing machine: It is the third appliance that consumes the most. Washing with cold water or at low temperatures, making the most of the load or washing in half-load programs and using the sun to dry clothes instead of the dryer are options that help reduce the price of the invoice considerably. In turn, when it comes to buying it, in addition to looking for Class A, it must be taken into account that the 7-kilogram washing machines, provided that they fill, are more efficient than the five. Therefore, unless you are a single person and do not have large laundry, it is advisable to always choose a 7-kg washing machine. It is important that you have short wash cycles. Finally, the detergent you use also influences. The best is your own, made with recycled oil, as it is 100 per cent biodegradable. If you do not have the time and you want to buy it, much better that it is liquid. Finally, when washing, remember to use as little detergent as possible, never exceed what is recommended by manufacturers even if it seems a little, because if you pass the only thing you will get is that the washing machine has to work more to eliminate it.

Oven: The turn of another of the appliances that consumes the most comes, especially if it is light. Without a doubt, the most efficient oven is the gas, especially the butane, and you can still buy new and very good price. Even so, most homes have an electric oven. For its greater efficiency it is necessary to eradicate some bad habits like preheating because, although it is certain that there are plates for which it is essential, the preheating is an unnecessary expense of electricity. And, especially, you have to avoid opening the door while the oven is on.

This is a very common custom that we have to eradicate, because when you open and close the door you lose up to 20% of energy or, what is the same, a drop of 25 degrees. By last, A good trick is to turn off the oven a little before the dish is finished to take advantage of the heat that is in the interior so that it is finished doing and, therefore, save several minutes of energy that, throughout the year, Can be several hours. At the same time, Heating in the microwave saves 60 to 70% of energy compared to the oven.

 Bulbs: Using energy- saving bulbs can save up to 80% energy. With LED bulbs you can achieve similar savings, but are much more expensive. Even so, it is true that the duration of LEDs is multiplied up to over 30,000 hours of ignition, -the low power consumption does not exceed 15,000 – which means that these bulbs could last up to a decade without melting. Both are recommended to be installed in places where most of the light goes on: living room, kitchen, offices, studios …

On the other hand, the ECO-halogen bulbs, that is to say, the most similar to traditional bulbs, last twice as typical Incandescent bulbs and save up to 30% on the light bill. They are much cheaper and it is advisable to place them in places where the light does not go on much: hallway, toilet, patio … They usually have a life close to 2,000 hours of lighting. Even so,

Heating: Before buying a home it is very important to check where the sun comes out and in what areas of the house it will stick throughout the day. This measure, which may seem insignificant, helps keep the house warm during the winter. At dusk it is important to close the curtains and lower the blinds to reduce heat loss. Likewise, if the windows are changed during a remodeling, it is advisable that they be double glazed. Installing together on doors and windows will reduce heating leaks by 10%.

In fact, a well-insulated dwelling can save up to 30% on heating costs. In winter, do not exceed 18-20 degrees in the house. Each degree above that temperature means an unnecessary expenditure of 10% more energy. By last, present the certificate of energy efficiency. A housing classified as A or B offers annual savings of around 15% compared to those with energy rating G.

Unplug the charger from the mobile phone once the charging is complete. If it is left plugged in, it continues to consume energy.

It is best to avoid, as far as possible, the use of air conditioning. A ceiling fan can be a great substitute.

Replace the bathroom by the shower, the car by the legs or the public transport and above all, do not spend to spend. Think of the environment and be sustainable.

Tips for Improving Home Heating

When the trees begin to cover the ground with their leaves it’s a sign that the cold will soon be knocking on the door. That is when it becomes urgent to have a good home heating system. An economic, ecological, profitable and efficient system, such as a pellet stove, which uses biomass as fuel to make the home a pleasant environment. But how can you improve and optimize a pellet stove to heat a home?

The first important point is to take into account the location. Pellet stoves do not have a masonry shell like chimneys, so the heat they produce radiates 360 ° around them. That is why it is important to place the stove in an open room, preferably with a single wall around it, avoiding corners, thus the diffusion of heat has fewer barriers.

These home heating systems have a high calorific value, so with very little “pellet” fuel they are able to generate a lot of heat.  However, that heat can be reduced to your surroundings in large rooms. In these cases, in order to promote the diffusion of the produced heat it is advisable to install a pellet stove with integrated ventilation system.

Not all pellets are suitable for use in biomass stoves. As with chimneys there are woods that are better than others, with greater calorific power. So when buying pellets you must check that it has a low degree of humidity, that in the pressing it has been given a suitable density and that they come from sustainable productions, for example the pellets made with traces of olive bones.

The air to a pellet stove is supplied from below, thus ensuring that all biomass fuel has sufficient combustion and the fire has the required intensity. Lack of air causes fumes and poor heating, so it is important to clean the ash drawer frequently, preferably before each use and before each winter season use a chimney sweep cleaner suitable for pellet stoves to clean the evacuation ducts of fumes.

Finally, make sure that the room where the stove is is properly ventilated, which favors a better heating of the home.


Is your home comfortable? Are the furniture of the house comfortable for each member of the family? Are the materials the most appropriate? Below, we bring you some tips that Healthy Housing has shared to improve the ergonomics of the house and take care of the health of our loved ones(I.e.


First, what is ergonomics? ¿ how can affect our health? When we select a piece of furniture, we usually think about design, comfort or price, without looking at whether that furniture is the most suitable for rest and if it will not generate long-term health problems. This is what ergonomics works for!

Ergonomics, according to the Spanish Association of Ergonomics, is the series of multidisciplinary knowledge that take into account the adequacy of artificial systems, products and environments for the limitations, needs and characteristics of users; thus optimizing the security, efficiency and well-being of the person.

The adaptation of the furniture of a home to the personal conditions of each of the family members is a very important issue, mainly because it allows us to gain health and quality of life.

What happens if the furniture in our home does not ensure our well-being and safety? It can bring consequences to our health. That is why it is so important to take into account Healthy Housing guidelines to choose our furniture.


It is very common to run into homes where there are certain designations of chairs and armchairs specific to each family member … And this, although many think it makes no sense, has its logic, as the physiognomy of each member makes the design ideal for each resting place is completely different.


The coupling and permanent deformations of mattresses and sofas to the person who uses them the most, or those of greater weight, occur due to a poor selection of the filling materials. In numerous occasions we try to avoid this deformity by selecting hard materials, which prevents the adaptation to the body of the individual at the time of use, causing damages to the health of the user. And we have the other end in the example discussed above, where the original state of the furniture cannot be recovered after use.

What is the most advisable material for mattresses and sofas? For all this, the most recommended material, although a little more expensive, are feather fillings, or a combination of these with other materials.

Why feather fillings? Mainly because they can adapt perfectly to the user who uses it and the ability to fully recover its original state.


Another problem that we face during a search for furniture is found when selecting heights, sizes and distances. This happens because we can find a family unit in which the components have very different anthropometric characteristics.

If we know that on the sofa the kidneys have to be protected by the backrest, that an individual’s hip should not be lower than the knees and that the armrest should be located at the elbow height, it is true that we will not be able to meet these characteristics for all family members. That is why ideally they have adjustable structures or individualize at least rest or reading chairs.


The same goes for kitchen furniture. Working standing with a very high or very low worktop, forces us to assume wrong postures that, in the long run, can greatly affect our health. Therefore, to improve ergonomics it is recommended that the height of the kitchen counter is modified according to the characteristics and requirements of the user.

Are you thinking of changing the furniture in your home? Do not forget aspects as important as ergonomics. We recommend that you take into account the guidelines of Healthy Housing to improve the ergonomics of the house, your rest and health depend on it!

The smell of ammonia in a bathroom

A smell of ammonia in the room bathroom not only offends your nose, could indicate a serious problem with the toilet. Ignoring the problem will only lead to worse, this may jeopardize the health and safety of anyone living in the house or use the bathroom.


Although the ammonia odor in your bathroom is probably not ammonia, which is dangerous to inhale, the smell can still pose a danger to you or to anyone else in the house. The odor may be of sewer gases, which are harmful to anyone who inhales for a longer period of time. Sewer gases may also be flammable, which leads to a possible fire or explosion in the house.

Dry trap

The trap or curved tube at the bottom of a toilet bowl is designed to keep sewer gases out of the house. The curve literally trap traps water in the pipe, creating a block sewer gases. When not using the toilet for a long time, the trap is dry. The speed with which the trap to dry depends on the humidity levels in the house, with the water off, sewage gases entering the bathroom. You can prevent this by flushing toilets less used periodically to maintain complete trap.

Broken seal

A broken seal between the base of the toilet and the bathroom floor can lead to escaping sewer gases. The seal is formed by a wax ring is compressed between the bottom of the toilet and a flange which is anchored on the floor of the bathroom and the basement. Any seal will break if the bathroom is not anchored firmly enough and allowing the bathroom rocking or moving in any direction.

The placement of the wax ring, so that the curved side faces the flange and not the toilet also leads to leaks. You can repair the broken wax ring toilet and removing the damaged scraping ring and then installing a new ring. To repair a broken flange, you must repair a belt anchor on the rim.

Sewerage agencies

The organisms living in the sewer may find a way through the trap bath, especially if it is dried for a period of time, and take up residence in the bowl. The organisms live just below the rim, through the portholes where water from the reservoir flows into the container each time you rinse. The water runs through agencies may leave some odors. A toilet brush and toilet cleaner will not remove the organisms. You must pour several cups of bleach in the drain pipe of the toilet, located in the tank, to kill microorganisms and odor.

The best plants to decorate the home

The number of advantages plants can offer when using them as part of the decoration of the house is unquestionable. In addition to their decorative touch, plants help bring joy to the whole place and create a truly positive atmosphere at home. There are a number of plants that are perfect when decorating the interior of a house and that you must have without a doubt.

Take good note of these wonderful plants to give a natural and colorful touch to your entire home.


Ferns are one of the plants most used when decorating the interior of the houses. It is a pretty and showy plant that helps give joy to any room of the house in addition to purifying the air and contributing much positive energy to the whole environment. The fern gives a lot of game to the decoration of the house and you can use it to highlight the corner of a room or hang it inside the bathroom giving it a very interesting natural touch.


Cacti are one of the best plants when it comes to decorating the interior of the home. Cacti store water in their stems so they do not need as much care as other plants because they do not need to water them in the usual way. Another great advantage of cacti is that they blend in perfectly with any decorative style you choose and most you like.


Orchids are wonderful plants that thanks to their flowers can give an elegant touch to the whole house. The only problem with this type of plants is that they need much more care than other species. However, you have a great variety of orchids that will allow you to enjoy its visual aspect in addition to the wonderful fragrance and aroma that its flowers gives off.


Photos are quite popular plants that are usually present in the decoration of many houses in this country. They are fairly resistant plants that grow without problems despite low temperatures and little sunlight. When you use them in the decoration you can choose to have them in pots or hanging plants. They are plants that grow quiet nicely and are ideal for having them in areas of the house such as the bathroom or the terrace.


The cyclamen is a plant that will give great color and joy to the whole house. It is a plant that requires a series of special care, especially referring to irrigation. They need a little sunlight to be able to grow without problems and it is advisable to place them in a humid area of ​​the house. The cyclamen draws attention for its wonderful and colorful flowers that help to enhance the decor of the house.


The focus is another ideal plant to have inside the house and bring some life to the space in question. It is a large plant that grows in a uniform way that you can put in areas of the house like corners or the sides of a doorway. The focus adapts to all types of environments and does not require much care so you will not have any problems when enjoying this a plant.


Geraniums are another of the plants most used to decorate the interior of the house and it is that they are very resistant plants while being very easy and simple to care. Geraniums should receive enough light from outside and it is not necessary to water them very often. What most draws the attention of the geraniums are their wonderful flowers that can be of different colors as is the case of red and white and that will help to give a colorful area to ​​the house.


Lavender is a wonderful choice to decorate the home as well as provide a pleasant aroma throughout the house. The flowers are violet and are perfect to give color to the interior of the home. Do not hesitate to put a little lavender in your house as it will help you to aromatize the whole house and purify the negative energies and create a clean and healthy environment.

I hope you have taken very good note of the best plants for decorating the home and choose the ones that you like. Remember that plants will help you give life and joy to the whole house and are a very important decorative element within it.

The average cost of a wire mesh fence

Fences provide many benefits, but the price may be a little high. Although a basic self-installed fence can cost several hundred dollars, professional installation of fences mesh quality can raise the price to a few thousand dollars, from January 2011.

Typical costs

According to the site web of improvement projects for the home “DIY Or Not”, the average price of a contractor to build a wire fence 100 feet (30.48 meters) long and 4 feet (1.21 meters ) high reaches $ 800 in January 2011. By contrast, an owner who decides to do the job he can build a similar fence for about US $ 590. The website price “Cost Helper” continues to explain that a fence 300 feet (91.44 meters) with a pair of doors typically costs between US $ 1,800 and US $ 2,500 in materials and can cost as much as US $ 3,300 already installed, from January 2011.


“DIY Or Not” he explains that a professional installer can install about 100 feet (30.48 meters) of metal mesh fence about seven hours, but property owners who do the work themselves may need more than double of time. Typical work includes digging post holes, mix and pour concrete to hold the posts in place and installing mesh fence itself.


Although professional installers and should have the necessary tools, homeowners who choose to install metal fences by themselves may find the tools increase the total cost. “DIY Or Not” she says commonly require tools including levels, wrenches, shovels, hoes, sticks, tape and pipe cutters or saws capable of cutting metal.


The advantages of houses with cement blocks

Construction companies often using concrete blocks with holes 4 inches (10 cm) behind the exterior brick in the 50s, Builders are again seeing the many benefits of block houses in the XXI century, for them and for customers. The foam insulation can be easily used to fill pores and spaces in the blocks. The materials are also cheaper for builders, helping them maximize revenues. But most of the inherent advantages of block houses belong to owners.


The block houses are much more durable than typical brick, the tables or plastic slats and wood. The builders in areas of severe weather, including Florida and Kansas, block houses can be used to protect homes from hurricanes and tornadoes. The concrete slab is best held against strong winds, and has also stood the test of earthquakes and fires. Moreover, residents of houses from blocks are not typical termite problems and the characteristic folds of wooden houses.

Low cost insurance

Most block homeowners enjoy lower rates of insurance. This type of houses is usually assigned a confirmation of “superior construction” by insurance companies, according to the Carolina Concrete Masonry Association. Insurance companies often take several factors into consideration when secure properties including replacement costs and structure. Block houses are basically free of problems relating to typical problems faced by owners. For example, concrete blocks are not susceptible to decay as are the wooden houses.

Energy efficient

Block all households are made to maximize energy efficiency. They can usually withstand inclement weather in summer and winter. The blocks serve as reservoirs in warm, humid climates, trapping heat from the sun. It has been found that the penetration of air in normal homes cause a power loss of up to 39%, according to experts Concrete Block Homes. Block homes are airtight and virtually free of cracks. People can usually enjoy temperatures that fit into their rheostats indoors regardless of climate.


The versatility of the concrete slab is another advantage that these houses have over conventional. The owners do not have to settle for gray outside, but they can paint their homes any color they want. You can even choose design style stucco. You can also have farms or two-story houses built with cement blocks. They have the flexibility to add high ceilings or attics inside. The columns and arches designs can improve the aesthetic beauty of the outdoors.

Ten tips to improve the safety of your home

The beginning of the workweek has become the favorite day for burglars to rob homes. 16.3% of crimes of this type committed in 2012 were registered on Monday, according to the latest study by AXA on 19,675 claims for robbery in housing in 2012.

Housing entries on the first day of the week have grown 1.4 percentage points over 2011, changing the trend of previous years, where the time favorite for the chips to act was Friday. In any case, this day continues to concentrate 15.2% of robberies, which makes it the other time that robbers robbed more in private homes.

On the other hand, on weekends, when homeowners spend more hours in their homes and the presence of neighbors is greater, it remains the period with the least criminal activity: on Saturdays they concentrate 12.9% of robberies in the Household and on Sundays, 12.6%.

In any case, in some Autonomous Communities the trends are different from the average. Thus, it is striking that in Extremadura, Galicia or the Canaries the day with the highest number of home assaults is Tuesday, with a very significant rate of 21.1% in the case of Extremadura. In the same way, against the general trend, in Murcia the day of the week that concentrates a greater number of thefts in the houses is the Sunday, in which 16.5% of the crimes of this type were registered committed Last year in the region.

Ten tips to prevent theft in the home

Although, in general, robberies are more common at the beginning of the week than at the end of this, the data show that thieves do not take any day off. The Ministry of the Interior has issued a Decalogue to keep homes safe from criminal activity.

If you are going to be away for a few days: close doors and windows

When you leave, be sure to close them properly. Also those that give to patios or basements. Always lock, not only with the slip, because it can be easily opened. Make sure your door has at least two closing points. It will take longer to open it and the thief can quit. Check that there is no gap between the door and the floor. To prevent the lever, reinforce the part of the hinges of your door with steel pivots and metal angles. Secure the basement windows with bars. Windows overlooking patios are especially unprotected areas because they are hidden from view, close them when you leave.

That your house seems inhabited is the best deterrent method

Do not completely disconnect the electricity. A disconnected bell is a sign of absence. Do not close the shutters completely. Technology makes it easier for you: automatic timers that turn on and off the lights or the radio help make it look like the house is inhabited. If you leave the house for a few days, ask a neighbor to pick you up the mail. Never hide a spare key near your home or in places like mailbox, pots or counters box. It is where a thief first looks.

If you live outside the town, reinforce surveillance

Illuminates the entrance, porch and front or rear patios. A dog is a good deterrent.

If you leave valuables, store them in a safe place

Do not leave your valuables in sight: keys, checkbooks, card keys or access codes to online banking. If you have to leave valuables, better store them in a safety deposit box. Make an inventory with the serial numbers of electronic devices, make and model and photograph them. In case of theft, it is easier to recover them.

Avoid commenting on your plans with strangers or on social networks

Posting on Facebook or Twitter our holiday schedule is the best way for a thief to know that you will not be at home. Make sure that your children do not report your absence or provide personal information.

Do not open your door or the portal to strangers

Opening the door to strange people compromises your security and that of your neighbors. Do not stay in your house with strangers by phone or the internet. Accept only services that you have previously requested (water, electricity, telephone, gas) and require accreditation to your representatives. Keep the door closed until you can fully identify the caller. In case of assault, do not touch anything from the inside, you could destroy tests.

Citizen collaboration contributes to the safety of all

If you see people lurking or noises in unoccupied housing, call the Police (091) or the Civil Guard (062).

For thieves, all eyes are security cameras.

If you see something strange, give notice. Record the data of the vehicles and people that prowl around the house and give notice. That thieves feel guarded can help them quit.

And remember, avoid risks

If a thief enters your house, never deal with him. Go out and call who can help you.

Small simple woodworking projects for home

Simple tools and entrepreneurial spirit are the only requirements for a very skilled carpenter Encore any number of small carpentry projects, as detailed in this article. The cut will be easier with a saw machine, but you can use a manual for most of these jobs.

A framework aviary

If you plan to build an aviary for decorative purposes or not, it is likely that birds find their way to the house. The size of the hole you make for entry, determine which species to find it more desirable. For example a hole 1 inch (2.54 cm) will attract wrens, however January 1 and 1/8 inch (2.86 cm) seduce them chickadees and January 1 and 3/8 inch ( 3.4 cm) can be used for climbing. To make your birdhouse, cut two triangles of the same size with a base of eight inches (20 cm) to the front and the back beam with a hole in the back for hanging on the front and one for an entry. For the base, cut a rectangle of 8.25 inches (20.6 cm) by 5 inches (12.5 cm) with beveled edges at 60 degrees. Sectioned two panels ceiling of 8.75 inches (20.9 cm) by 6 inches (15 cm) with points inclined to meet the peak. Use glue and finishing nails to assemble.

Cutting boards and serving

Choose a piece of wood attractive and efficient is the first step for any table or cutting to serve. The soft wood such as pine is a good choice for first, while hard as walnut, teak or maple are good for a cutting board. Use a saw to sever a simple square, circle or design a form with a handle at the end. After cutting, sanding the surface and edges and ends with an oiled to leave the natural color of the wood shining. The table can be flat on the table or you can screw it down to place the legs.


The scrap wood and creative imagination are all you need to design simple and beautiful pine or Douglas fir chandeliers. For example, a series of square blocks of wood to hold candles of different heights can be placed directly on the table or can be placed artistically on the basis of this material. A good sanding and improve oil finish wood grain or you can paint the candlesticks with vivid and vibrant colors for a more casual look.

Garden bench with two tables

Using a rough cut of redwood or cedar two inches (5 cm) and only three saw cuts, a homeowner can make a strong outer bank shortly. The first is due to 50 inches (125 cm) long in a wood of 2 by 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) to the center leg brace, number two produced two sections of 13 inches (32.5 cm) of wood leg straps on each side, which are connected by these and the third is made into a table for the top of 14 to 16 inches (35 to 40 cm) wide. Nail and cut the pieces together are simple and easy to do. A good sanding minimizes chips.

Repairing a bathroom extractor

Extractors bath your home control odors and dehumidify the air. This prevents moisture buildup and slows the growth of mildew and mold in the shower. If your extractor bath not working properly, it may be possible to solve the problem without installing a new unit. You can buy replacement parts for most bathroom exhaust stores and home improvement directly from the manufacturer’s website.


  1. Make sure your bathroom exhaust switch is on. If still no power or light extractor restarts the circuit breaker from the electric panel of the house.
  2. Release the retaining clips or screws on the cover of the extractor. Pull the cover down to remove the exhaust assembly. If the power cord from the extractor is not connected to the wall inside the cover, reconnect and try the extractor again. If you do not work, use a voltmeter to test the outlet. Contact an electrician to repair the wiring if the reading on the voltmeter is 120 volts.
  3. Turn off the circuit breaker for the bathroom and replace the wall switch controlling the light and bathroom extractor if the unit does not turn on even after controlling electrical outlet.
  4. Turn on the wall switch and listen to the extractor while running. If there is a sound creaked, the motor bearings are failing. Turn off the switch and turn off the power from the circuit breaker. Consult the manual for instructions to remove the motor assembly. For most of the fans you must disconnect the electrical wiring and remove a set of screws. Install a replacement engine and turn on the circuit breaker to restore power.
  5. Clean ventilation to improve suction extractor. Turn off the power and disconnect the exhaust duct to enter if you are not sucking enough air. Remove the remains of the exhaust pipe, then put it back and restore electricity.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a ladder if you’re not tall enough to reach the extractor safely standing on the floor.