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11 Life Hacks to Save Energy During the Winter

11 Life Hacks to Save Energy During the Winter

For many households, winter is the most expensive time of the year. It is not just the holiday costs associated with the season that creates this expense. The heating costs due to cold weather can also cause your utility bill to skyrocket.

Heating a home is not cheap. In fact, the cost for heat continues to increase.

This means it is more important than ever for people to take steps to reduce their energy usage and decrease their costs. Here are 11 life hacks to help you save energy during the winter.

1. Turn Down the Heat 3 Degrees

You might not know this, but even the smallest margin can make a significant difference. Turning your heat down just 3 degrees can save 10% on your energy bill.

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Save Energy During the Winter

    2. Fill Your Wall Cavities

    It is important that your walls are insulated. The costs savings this will create can vary based on the size and type of your home. However, no matter how much the savings every little bit helps. You should definitely have a consultation to see if insulation is right for you.

    3. Seal up the Leaks

    23

      Caulking leaks around windows and doors can save energy in the winter. You should try to find places where there are pipes, vents, or electrical conduits that go through a wall, ceiling, or floor. You should definitely check the bathroom, under the kitchen sink, and any pipes inside a closet. When you find gaps where the pipe or vent goes into the wall, you should seal it up. Remember, caulk works the best when used on small gaps. There are other products that are available for larger gaps.

      4. Reduce Hot Water Temperature

      You should set your hot water heater to the “normal” setting, or to a temperature of 120-degrees Fahrenheit. This is unless your dishwasher’s owner’s manual requires a higher level. Setting your water heater to this level can save 7-11% of water heating costs.

      5. Download the Hive App

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        The Hive app is a way to connect your thermostat to your mobile device. This app allows you to check your home’s temperature through the app and change or turn off the thermostat remotely. This gives you more flexible control of your environment and is a great way to maximize the internet of things.

        6. Foil Your Radiators

        Putting a sheet of foil between your radiator and your wall reflects the heat back into the room instead of out through the walls. This is a simple but valuable way to keep your heat in and reduce expenses. This is easy to do with tinfoil and cardboard or specialist radiator foil.

        7. Keep Your Radiator Clear

        It is essential that you keep things away from your radiator. This includes furniture and any other items that prevent heat from circulating at maximum efficiency. You want the heat to be able to move freely throughout your room.

        8. Only Heat Rooms You Use

        Sometimes we have rooms we never use. Like guest rooms or storage areas. These rooms should be closed off with their vents sealed to be more energy efficient. This will also help direct the flow of air into the rooms which are used the most. The average energy bill is $183 per month. If you use a space heater in the rooms you use and set your thermostat to 62 degrees, you will save about $200 each year.

        9. Close Your Doors

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        Close Your Doors

          This may seem obvious but you would be shocked how many people need to be reminded. Closing your internal doors helps to keep the heat in and also prevents cold air from circulating in rooms that are not occupied.

          10. Increase Your Window Glazing

          Increase Your Window Glazing

            When you double glaze your windows you keep more heat in. This means you do not need to keep your thermostat as high as you do with a single glazed window. Another benefit is that you will hear less noise from outside and you can make more noise inside. This is great for when you want peace and quiet or to have a rocking party.

            You can even install triple glazed windows, which provide an even greater barrier to keep out the noise and lose less heat.

            11. Use LED Holiday Lights

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            Use LED Holiday Lights

              Decorate with LED lights during the holidays. You can purchase new LED holiday lights which use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lights. LED lights also don’t emit as much heat and are more resistant to breakage. This makes them a much safer alternative. You should also always unplug your holiday lights before going to sleep or leaving your house. These lights continue to draw power even when they are not in use. This can add unnecessary expenses to your utility bill.

              Conclusion

              By following these 11 life hacks you can avoid unnecessary costs over the winter and put more money back into your pocket. Use it to save energy for your home for a rainy day or take that trip you have always wanted to take. Almost anything is better than unnecessarily spending it on your utility bill.

              Featured photo credit: tumblr via 67.media.tumblr.com

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              Published on November 8, 2018

              How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

              How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

              After a few months of hard work and dozens of phone calls later, you finally land a job opportunity.

              But then, you’re asked about your salary requirements and your mind goes blank. So, you offer a lower salary believing this will increase your odds at getting hired.

              Unfortunately, this is the wrong approach.

              Your salary requirements can make or break your odds at getting hired. But only if you’re not prepared.

              Ask for a salary too high with no room for negotiation and your potential employer will not be able to afford you. Aim too low and employers will perceive as you offering low value. The trick is to aim as high as possible while keeping both parties feel happy.

              Of course, you can’t command a high price without bringing value.

              The good news is that learning how to be a high-value employee is possible. You have to work on the right tasks to grow in the right areas. Here are a few tactics to negotiate your salary requirements with confidence.

              1. Hack time to accomplish more than most

              Do you want to get paid well for your hard work? Of course you do. I hate to break it to you, but so do most people.

              With so much competition, this won’t be an easy task to achieve. That’s why you need to become a pro at time management.

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              Do you know how much free time you have? Not the free time during your lunch break or after you’ve finished working at your day job. Rather, the free time when you’re looking at your phone or watching your favorite TV show.

              Data from 2017 shows that Americans spend roughly 3 hours watching TV. This is time poorly spent if you’re not happy with your current lifestyle. Instead, focus on working on your goals whenever you have free time.

              For example, if your commute to/from work is 1 hour, listen to an educational Podcast. If your lunch break is 30 minutes, read for 10 to 15 minutes. And if you have a busy life with only 30–60 minutes to spare after work, use this time to work on your personal goals.

              Create a morning routine that will set you up for success every day. Start waking up 1 to 2 hours earlier to have more time to work on your most important tasks. Use tools like ATracker to break down which activities you’re spending the most time in.

              It won’t be easy to analyze your entire day, so set boundaries. For example, if you have 4 hours of free time each day, spend at least 2 of these hours working on important tasks.

              2. Set your own boundaries

              Having a successful career isn’t always about the money. According to Gallup, about 70% of employees aren’t satisfied with their current jobs.[1]

              Earning more money isn’t a bad thing, but choosing a higher salary over the traits that are the most important to you is. For example, if you enjoy spending time with your family, reject job offers requiring a lot of travel.

              Here are some important traits to consider:

              • Work and life balance – The last thing you’d want is a job that forces you to work 60+ hours each week. Unless this is the type of environment you’d want. Understand how your potential employer emphasizes work/life balance.
              • Self-development opportunities – Having the option to grow within your company is important. Once you learn how to do your tasks well, you’ll start becoming less engaged. Choose a company that encourages employee growth.
              • Company culture – The stereotypical cubicle job where one feels miserable doesn’t have to be your fate. Not all companies are equal in culture. Take, for example, Google, who invests heavily in keeping their employees happy.[2]

              These are some of the most important traits to look for in a company, but there are others. Make it your mission to rank which traits are important to you. This way you’ll stop applying to the wrong companies and stay focused on what matters to you more.

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              3. Continuously invest in yourself

              Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. Cliche I know, but true nonetheless.

              You’ll grow as a person and gain confidence with the value you’ll be able to bring to others. Investing in yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, you can read books to expand your knowledge in different fields.

              Don’t get stuck into the habit of reading without a purpose. Instead, choose books that will help you expand in a field you’re looking to grow. At the same time, don’t limit yourself to reading books in one subject–create a healthy balance.

              Podcasts are also a great medium to learn new subjects from experts in different fields. The best part is they’re free and you can consume them on your commute to/from work.

              Paid education makes sense if you have little to no debt. If you decide to go back to school, be sure to apply for scholarships and grants to have the least amount of debt. Regardless of which route you take to make it a habit to grow every day.

              It won’t be easy, but this will work to your advantage. Most people won’t spend most of their free time investing in themselves. This will allow you to grow faster than most, and stand out from your competition.

              4. Document the value you bring

              Resumes are a common way companies filter employees through the hiring process. Here’s the big secret: It’s not the only way you can showcase your skills.

              To request for a higher salary than most, you have to do what most are unwilling to do. Since you’re already investing in yourself, make it a habit to showcase your skills online.

              A great way to do this is to create your own website. Pick your first and last name as your domain name. If this domain is already taken, get creative and choose one that makes sense.

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              Here are some ideas:

              • joesmith.com
              • joeasmith.com
              • joesmithprojects.com

              Nowadays, building a website is easy. Once you have your website setup, begin producing content. For example, if you a developer you can post the applications you’re building.

              During your interviews, you’ll have an online reference to showcase your accomplishments. You can use your accomplishments to justify your salary requirements. Since most people don’t do this, you’ll have a higher chance of employers accepting your offer

              5. Hide your salary requirements

              Avoid giving you salary requirements early in the interview process.

              But if you get asked early, deflect this question in a non-defensive manner. Explain to the employer that you’d like to understand your role better first. They’ll most likely agree with you; but if they don’t, give them a range.

              The truth is great employers are more concerned about your skills and the value you bring to the company. They understand that a great employee is an investment, able to earn them more than their salary.

              Remember that a job interview isn’t only for the employer, it’s also for you. If the employer is more interested in your salary requirements, this may not be a good sign. Use this question to gauge if the company you’re interviewing is worth working for.

              6. Do just enough research

              Research average salary compensation in your industry, then wing it.

              Use tools like Glassdoor to research the average salary compensation for your industry. Then leverage LinkedIn’s company data that’s provided with its Pro membership. You can view a company’s employee growth and the total number of job openings.

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              Use this information to make informed decisions when deciding on your salary requirements. But don’t limit yourself to the average salary range. Companies will usually pay you more for the value you have.

              Big companies will often pay more than smaller ones.[3] Whatever your desired salary amount is, always ask for a higher amount. Employers will often reject your initial offer. In fact, offer a salary range that’ll give you and your employer enough room to negotiate.

              7. Get compensated by your value

              Asking for the salary you deserve is an art. On one end, you have to constantly invest in yourself to offer massive value. But this isn’t enough. You also have to become a great negotiator.

              Imagine requesting a high salary and because you bring a lot of value, employers are willing to pay you this. Wouldn’t this be amazing?

              Most settle for average because they’re not confident with what they have to offer. Most don’t invest in themselves because they’re not dedicated enough. But not you.

              You know you deserve to get paid well, and you’re willing to put in the work. Yet, you won’t sacrifice your most important values over a higher salary.

              The bottom line

              You’ve got what it takes to succeed in your career. Invest in yourself, learn how to negotiate, and do research. The next time you’re asked about your salary requirements, you won’t fumble.

              You’ll showcase your skills with confidence and get the salary you deserve. What’s holding you back now?

              Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

              Reference

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