Should You Consider Installing Solar Panels In Your Home? Find Out Here!

Installing solar panels in your home can prove to be a worthy investment in the long run. It not only saves your energy bills, but also can be the most eco-friendly way to generate electricity.

Why to go for Solar Power?

It is probably a high time to consider several options for your home that can be beneficial to you. After all, capturing free and natural sunlight and converting it into electricity sounds the best idea, isn’t it?

Apart from the cost savings that it offers, it also reduces the use of natural resources at the same time. Many people still considers solar power systems as an expensive option, but the scenario has greatly changed now with people switching to solar power systems for their energy needs.

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Great benefits of going Solar

The price of the solar panel systems has dropped greatly. The leading solar panels manufacturer companies have started offering it at reasonable prices.

Moreover, with many new solar loans and leasing plans offered by veteran owned solar company, you don’t need to have the cash up-front to switch to solar. You can easily rent the solar panel system and can still save on your electricity bills or even get a loan that enables you to own the entire system with generally no installation costs.

In many cases, solar power system can eliminate the entire electric bill after the installation, system as well as the maintenance costs. In other cases, the solar panels can even simply cut the utility bill by around 10-50 percent. However, your savings would greatly depend on your system as well as how your home is actually set up.

Paying for Solar Panels

So finally, if you have decided to go for solar panels, you should also consider well its paying options. There are some great financing options that are available to you.

If you opt for a loan to buy the system, it will generally take longer to recover your investment than paying up front. However, you will still be able to reduce your energy bills by about 40-60%. Ultimately you would be able to enhance the property value of your home.

When it comes to leasing a system, you need to pay a pre-decided fix amount every month for using the solar system. You will get a fixed amount of the electricity in return. It will usually be 10-20% less than the current utility costs.

Many of the leases may include maintenance of overall system, but you won’t get any kind of tax breaks since you won’t be the owner of the system. Another financing option is PPA (Power Purchase Agreement). In this option, you just pay the amount of the electricity that you use.

It is much like the same way as with your utility company. It is just another type of contract that sounds like a lease but the amount of electricity that you will pay for may vary depending on the season.

To wrap up, getting some quotes from the installers before making a final choice can be a good option to end up making a wise choice. Remember to look for qualified and certified installers along with asking about the maintenance as well as the warrantees of the system.

3 Things to Analyze Before Selecting Home Health Management Software

Technology has made it far easier for companies to become more efficient, and the home health management software industry is one that has exploded in recent years. This is partially due to home healthcare becoming a larger industry, and so software has been developedas a way for agencies to streamline their home care systems.

With so many new products on the market, it can be a challenge for agencies to choose the right one for their needs. Before you decide on software, analyze these 3 elements to help narrow down your choices.

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Your Billing Methods

Healthcare billing is complex, and larger agencies often find that billing departments can require lots of time, resources, and manpower to keep the process moving. Entering home care into the equation only makes things more complicated, as this means that departments often have to deal with Medicare and private insurance companies. This can mean a number of different processes are running at any time, and your staff may quickly become overwhelmed with processing payments and monitoring claims.

If you find yourself with a pushed-to-the-max billing department, a software management program can help make sure your process is streamlined and online, allowing for team collaboration and properly recorded data.

Your Caregiver Communication Methods

One of the challenged home healthcare agencies face is keeping track of patient visits and making sure individual caregivers are properly dispatched. For some agencies, this becomes a hugely tedious process of finding phone numbers and calling caregivers if a schedule changes. Plus, maintaining accurate and up-to-date service visit records is essential for auditing and records collection requirements, so you’ll want to make sure you have a system for making this information consistent and clear.

The problem? This process relies on several areas that have the potential for error. While your caregivers are thoroughly vetted and responsible people, they are still people, and may forget to keep track of visit time. Besides, you want to be sure you know whether or not your caregivers have a pattern of lateness to make sure your patients are receiving adequate care. Finally, yet another team is required in this scenario to make sure that caregiver timecards are properly and promptly recorded for billing.

Most software management programs seek to help agencies streamline this process with integrated tracking and messaging systems, making sure that information can be sent in the blink of an eye.

Your Security Methods

Patient privacy is essential, and with the move to online and computer-based systems, many agencies are tasked with making sure internal processes are HIPAA compliant. The storage of documents needs to be protected, and any information transmitted must be securely encrypted. If your agency is relying on multiple apps and services to maintain this information safely, a home health management software will likely help you get all of your information in one place, while making sure it stays secure. Plus, the software will be up-to-date with any industry changes to privacy regulations, giving you one less thing to manage.

 

 

When Home Appliances Were Pastel

stoves

There’s no color more optimistic than pink, right?

That may be one reason soft pink and its cousins—soft yellow, turquoise, and mint green—were so popular in homes during the better-living-through-science 1950s. While the war years, with their drab khaki and navy tones, had been all about sacrifice and living with less, the postwar era was about abundance.

As one author wrote, “Post-war hues turned to exuberant and confident new ‘Atomic age’ colors. Poised pastels were juxtaposed with joyful primaries.”

As suburbs with single-family homes sprouted across the land, many of their kitchens were filled with pastel appliances like this one:

A 1957 General Electric stove

The Henry Ford Museum

A 1957 General Electric stove

You may have noticed: These days you can also pick up a turquoise (it’s more robin’s egg, admittedly) stove like this one:

Big Chill retro stove

Big Chill

The 36" Retro Stove

Before the earthy tones of the 1960s and ’70s (who isn’t eager to blame that era for the avocado, mustard, and rust shades that prevailed?), colors such as Stratford Yellow, Sherwood Green, Cadet Blue, Wood-tone Brown, and Petal Pink were the rage.

Pink was especially popular—so much so that there’s now a movement afoot to save the “Mamie pink” bathrooms, which were plentiful in this area. (The rosy shade was a favorite of President Eisenhower’s wife.) A 1950s pink refrigerator was a wee bit harder to come by.

A 1950s two-door Frigidaire

Vintage Appliances and Restoration

a 1950s two-door Frigidaire

These days, it’s pretty easy to pick up a pink fridge.

Northstar retro refrigerator

Elmira Stove Works

Northstar refrigerator

And, lest the little guys feel left out, rest assured: We have now re-entered the era of the small pastel appliance: the mixer and the toaster.

KitchenAid stand mixer

Kitchenaid

Artisan® Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
Smeg retro-style toaster

SMEG

50s Retro Style Toaster

 

Don’t worry, though. You can still get most of this stuff in stainless steel.

6 Sneaky Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive

blue-shelf

Want your place to look like those home design website images you drool over? Of course you do! Problem is, your budget may not match your design aspirations. Fear not! Making your home look high-end isn’t always about spending tons of cash.

It’s a matter of taking the time and care to arrange things in an eye-pleasing way—and making small, inexpensive updates that have a big impact. In other words, it’s about being sneaky.

Here are a few tricks to pull if you want to add the illusion of luxury.

Build Your Own Samantha Collection modular cabinets
Build Your Own Samantha Collection modular cabinets

1. Declutter

Nothing says “this home ain’t worth much” like tons of disjointed knickknacks, piles of books, and other miscellaneous items that should be tossed or stored.

No, you don’t need to go full Marie Kondo, but going through your rooms and getting rid of anything that doesn’t mesh with your personal style is a great first step toward transforming your home from average to exceptional.

Walk through each room of your home and edit items. Make some tough decisions. Sure, you love your grandma’s vintage Chinese vase, but does it really jibe with your West Elm look? It might be time to store it or let it live in another room with similar family heirlooms.

Next step: Tackle any stuff that piles up—toys (if you have kids), shoes by the door, mail on the dining table. At the very least, find places for your stuff to live in a more organized way; an upgraded closet with beautifully sorted nooks and crannies looks luxurious. (Pro tip: We love Pottery Barn’s build-your-own pieces.)

2. Eliminate grunge

You may not have time for intensive cleaning on a weekly basis, but a once- or twice-yearly deep clean is an easy way to make your home look far more luxurious. After all, you rarely see a mansion with dirty baseboards.

Go through your home and search for overlooked areas that have become dirty and downright gross. You’ll want to pay special attention to the grouting, says designerYoung Huh.

“Having old tile cleaned and regrouted makes a huge difference in having your bathroom look sparkly and fresh,” she says. Best of all: The process is simple and inexpensive.

Get sparkly new floors–minus the refinishing. Try steam cleaning wood floors for an immediate lift to the finish.

3. Add—or rearrange—lighting

Designers use lighting to define spaces and separate rooms, making a small space grand.

Think of your living room—where you might have a reading nook, sofas and chairs for company, and a television. Visually differentiate among the areas by using different kinds of lighting: Add a table lamp beside your cozy reading chair and sconces behind your couch for conversation. Consider a dimmer for overhead lights. Architects and lighting designers swear by them. Installing is a relatively simple DIY.

Bonus cheapskate tip: Use warm-colored lightbulbs, Huh says. Cool tones are a “sure-fire way to make your home look down-market,” she says. Daylight bulbs work best for reading nooks.

8-inch fused glass door pulls

Etsy/sljglass

8-Inch Fused Glass Closet Door Pulls Large Cabinet Pulls Amber White Home Decor Door Hardware Office Kitchen Bathroom Extra Large Pulls

4. Upgrade your hardware

Don’t have a kitchen renovation in the budget? You can get a similar effect for much less by swapping out old, dated hardware for new.

Tired of your brushed-steel drawer pulls? Try gold, bronze, or even crystal—or make an adventure of it and scour your local thrift store for vintage hardware that screams your style.

It’s not hard to find attractive options in any decor style for next to nothing (a drawer pull, for instance, might start at just $3 or less). For hard-to-find designs, search etsy.

Changing the countertop and faucets is another change that can make your home look much pricier, Huh says. If you have the budget, exchange your dated sink accessories for something fresh that matches your brand-new hardware.

5. Repaint

There’s no simpler way to make an old home feel new than painting.

“This is the most important part,” Huh says. “Repaint and choose beautiful colors for an instant makeover.”

You can’t go wrong with classy neutrals. Minimalists might love a bright white combined with a bold accent wall; DIY decorators might enjoy a tasteful, sandy tan tone, which pairs well with any number of woods.

Paint isn’t just for your walls: Add some color to your front door, window trims, or even the floor, if you’re brave (hardwood can look amazing when painted white).

Family room vignette

Ladybird and Fellow

Family Room Vignette

6. Focus on the devil in the (decor) details

Does your home feel a little meh—and you’re not sure how to change it? Try vignettes—combine decor items (e.g., vases, frames, and objets) that add visual interest to an otherwise bland area—perhaps a shelf or console table.

Organize your vignette around a theme so that the decor items are unified and tell a visual story. Go around your house and cull items you love that need a new home (see tip No. 1 on decluttering).

For example, take that silver tray you’ve been wanting a use for, add a glass tumbler with a fresh flower, that postcard your parents sent from Thailand, and a white bowl filled with colorful candy. Voilà: You now have a magazine-worthy vignette!

Another way to go: Grouping together multiples of the same object (e.g., glass vases in the same color) is an instant update. Decorators often use odd numbers because they are said to be more appealing.

Before you know it, you’ll be posting pics of your gorgeous home.

Samsung rolls out Terrain Home launcher for Android

terrain-app

There are a number of Android home launchers available in the market currently and another one is getting added thanks to Samsung. The company has launched a Android home launcher that aims to simplify your phone.

Dubbed as Terrain, the homescreen replacement app is divided into three sections. By swiping right, you will gets the sidebar, a left swipe brings up the list of installed apps and a swipe upwards takes you to the search screen.The app shows cards that act as shortcuts to various apps and functions and clicking further in the card will let you explore them. Cards range from static content like Toolboxes for the most commonly used settings to forever changing ones like a Facebook feed, Weather, News, and even a world clock.

Moving on, users can actually configure the number of rows and columns in the homescreen grid and even increase the number of dock icons to a maximum of 7. Finally, Terrain claims that it will not drain your phone’s battery. Yahoo acquired Aviate launcher in January that works on users understanding and preferences.

Terrain is available as a free download in the Google Play store and works with all Android phones running 4.2 or later.  You can download Terrain Home from Google Play.