Upgrading Your Hot Water Heater to an EnergyStar Product – What Are the Benefits?

Upgrading Your Hot Water Heater to an EnergyStar Product – What Are the Benefits?

You’ve probably heard of EnergyStar appliances at some point. Maybe you already have a few in your house. Periodically, we’ll touch on a few key appliances that can really benefit from an upgrade. Today, we’re starting with the humble, yet incredibly important hot water heater. Many people don’t take the time to check out their hot water heater unless there’s a problem with it. If you moved into a home and have never looked at your hot water heater, it could be creating a lot of problems for you that you don’t even realize. Thankfully, it’s easy to make the upgrade to EnergyStar appliances. Once you do, the benefits will really start rolling in. So, how can upgrading your hot water heater help you? Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest benefits you can expect. Lower Your Risk of Disaster Most people don’t check on their hot water heater until something goes wrong. Many times, you can prevent this from happening by upgrading it to a newer model. Water heaters that are over 10 years old can present a greater risk of leaking, and even flooding. You could come home one day to a mess that could end up costing thousands of dollars in water removal and home repairs. Save Money Every Month Most people procrastinate on installing a new hot water heater because they don’t want to spend the money. In reality, you’ll be saving money each month with an energy-efficient water heater. You may not realize just how much energy your outdated water heater is using. According to EnergyStar, water heaters are the second-highest...
How Do Students Learn Best?

How Do Students Learn Best?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ educational system for students. Studies have shown for years that every student learns differently. Some kids are more hands-on learners. Others are great with technology. Some prefer taking tests while others excel in writing papers. Unfortunately, many educational programs still implement borders that can restrict a student from reaching their full learning capacity. Energy education programs are becoming increasingly popular and important with students of all ages. At Tinker, we know that reaching as many students as possible with this information is imperative for the wellbeing of our planet and our future. That’s why we believe in individualized, customized learning. The Tinker Advantage We’re currently working with Generation Z. They are poised to be the smartest, most advanced, earth-changing generation we’ve ever seen. This is due not only to advancements in technology but because they learn differently than other generations and are being given the tools necessary to grow. They are building a better future for all of us. So, current program models with any types of barriers just don’t work anymore. As a utility company, implementing Tinker’s solution for learning allows each student to grow and become educated on energy and water use in their own way. Plus, with a dashboard that tracks everything, you can see the success rate in real-time. Different Learning Styles Unfortunately, many people (including some educators) still haven’t jumped on board with the idea that different learning styles can be beneficial. Many ‘old methods’ and models of learning test well, and they show success. So, why fix what’s not broken? There’s a simple answer to that: If...
How to Make Your Swimming Pool More Energy Efficient

How to Make Your Swimming Pool More Energy Efficient

With summer approaching quickly, nothing sounds better than taking a cool, refreshing dip in a swimming pool. If you’re lucky enough to have your own pool, you can take advantage of it all summer long. We often don’t think about how much energy a pool uses, but it can become a problem – not only for the environment but for your utility bills. There are a few simple things you can do to make your in-ground or above-ground pool more energy-efficient and save some money. Let’s take a look at some tips you can put into place this summer! Use Solar Power If you’re not already using the sun’s energy to heat your pool, it’s a good time to start! If you’re thinking about installing a pool, keep this in mind: Pools collect solar energy very well and convert it to heat. If your swimming pool gets direct sunlight most of the day, there’s a good chance you won’t have to invest in a heater, or at least you won’t have to run it as often. If you have an above ground pool, it can be moved to absorb the sun’s rays more efficiently. An in-ground pool can be a little different, but it’s not impossible to get more sun. Things like tree trimming can quickly get rid of shade and let the pool’s natural solar collection power get to work. You can also invest in a solar cover for your pool to use when it’s not in use. Solar covers keep water from evaporating so quickly, and they also lock in the heat of the water. They can help...
5 Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill This Summer

5 Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill This Summer

It seems like the last remnants of cold winter weather are finally behind us. Warm weather means fun in the sun, trips to the beach, and unfortunately, it can also mean a higher electric bill for some people. Spring and summer don’t have to be such a burden on your utilities. And no, we don’t mean you have to swelter inside without any air to keep you cool. Follow these tips to chill out and save money all summer long!   Choose the Best A/C Unit   If you don’t have central air conditioning, a window unit is a great way to provide a comfortable, chilly blast to any room in your house. Some people stay away from these units because they think they are ‘energy suckers.’ It’s important to keep in mind that today’s window A/C units aren’t the same ones you had in the 1980s. Many of them are already energy-efficient. You can also use ENERGY STAR’s room measurement guidelines to pick the best unit for your room. That way, you won’t be wasting energy.   Get an A/C Tune-Up   Most people wouldn’t go into the fall and winter without getting their furnace checked out beforehand. So, be sure to do the same thing with your air conditioning unit before summer! Even small problems can lead to major energy waste and can end up costing you a pretty penny.   Seal Windows and Doors   The idea is to keep the cool air in and the warm air out when it’s hot outside. Making sure your windows and doors are properly sealed will help the cooler air inside your...
Are LED Bulbs Worth the Money?

Are LED Bulbs Worth the Money?

You’ve probably heard the buzz about LED lightbulbs at some point in recent years. In fact, it’s difficult to find more ‘traditional’ bulbs nowadays, since LED lights have taken over. One of the drawbacks to LED lighting is that it can be more expensive than standard incandescent bulbs. In fact, incandescent bulbs cost about $1.00 each, where an LED bulb can cost around $8.00. So, why is the big switch to LED important? It’s because the benefits outweigh the costs in the long run. LED bulbs have so many positive attributes, that standard old incandescent bulbs don’t stand a chance. If you’re feeling like LED bulbs aren’t worth the money, let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits you’ll get when using them.   They Last Longer LED bulbs can last up to 25,000 hours. Compare that to an incandescent bulb that lasts around 1,200 hours, and the bulb has already paid for itself. WHOA! There’s an environmental impact to these long-lasting bulbs, too. The longer a light bulb lasts, the less often it will have to be replaced, or thrown away. Some glass can be recycled, but when a light bulb burns out, you’re probably throwing it in the trash. The less glass in the trash, the better! LED bulbs are also completely recyclable because they contain no toxic chemicals. Less materials are used to make them less waste is produced when getting rid of them. It’s a win-win! They Are Environmentally Friendly Speaking of the environment, LED bulbs are energy-efficient. In fact, they have an energy efficiency of anywhere from 80-90%. That means up to...
Do Natural Disasters Contaminate Our Water Supply?

Do Natural Disasters Contaminate Our Water Supply?

Natural disasters can be terrifying and harrowing experiences for the people involved, in more ways than one. What we don’t often think about, though, is how the aftermath of these disasters can continue to affect people. One of the major after-effects of things like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes is damage to water wells. In turn, that can affect drinking water, leaving the people who need it the most in danger. Not only can natural disasters damage wells, but they can cause even more dangerous issues. When things like flooding occur, run-off from sewers, fields, etc., can contaminate the water supply. Unfortunately, things like human waste or livestock waste can get into the supply, causing a slew of chemicals to affect the water. Depending on how quickly the clean-up process goes, it can be weeks (if not longer) before the drinking water is safe. Should I Avoid Drinking Water After a Natural Disaster? Obviously, no one can predict when a natural disaster is about to happen. But, it’s a good idea to take whatever precautions you can. If you live in an area that is often in the path of hurricanes, for example, you should know your risk is greater. If it’s possible, have a clean water supply on hand before the disaster hits. If you’re unable to prepare before some kind of disaster hits, don’t panic. The best thing you can do is make sure you avoid unsafe, unclean water. This includes more than just not drinking the water. Don’t use it to wash dishes, brush your teeth, or make food. Even boiling the water doesn’t always get...