Jul 152011
 

Lower Your Cooling Bills

I have designed this program to help people save money but reducing their maintenance costs, making equipment last longer and providing energy saving advice.  The month of July has seen record temperatures across the country.  With those record highs have also come record electric bills.   You can reduce your electric bill by changing the settings on your thermostat when you go to work.

I recommend that you install a programmable thermostat that will allow you to set higher temperatures in the summer and low temperatures in the winter during the hours that nobody is home.  You can also do this manually but when you get home, you may have to wait longer than you wish to have your home or office cool down or warm up in the winter.  I have programmed a temperature of 85 degrees from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  From 5:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. his thermostat is set at 75 degrees and from 11:00 p.m. until 5:30 a.m., it is set at 76 degrees.
The first month I implemented this program, he saved over $35 over the same period last year.  Because nobody was home during the day, our quality of life was not affected by the warmer home and by the time we got home from work, our house was comfortable.  (Remember: leaving you’re A/C on in your home when you are gone is like leaving your car running with the A/C on when you are at work).

Ladder Safety

I see ladders up all over my neighborhood these days and many of them appear to be hazards.  OSHA reports that “falls from portable ladders (step, straight, combination and extension) are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries.”  I wanted to post these safety rules this month to help you stay safe while standing on your ladder.

  • Read and follow all labels/markings on the ladder.
  • Avoid electrical hazards! – Look for overhead power lines before handling a ladder. Avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment.
  • Always inspect the ladder prior to using it. If the ladder is damaged, it must be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.
  • Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g., step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.
  • Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose. Portable Ladder Safety Tips TM
  • Always maintain a 3-point (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) contact on the ladder when climbing. Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder while climbing (see diagram).
  • Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their designed purposes.
  • Ladders must be free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.
  • Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g., step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.
  • Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose.
  • Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured (top or bottom) to prevent displacement.
  • Do not place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
  • Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
  • An extension or straight ladder used to access an elevated surface must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support (see diagram). Do not stand on the three top rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder.
  • The proper angle for setting up a ladder is to place its base a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface (see diagram).
  • A ladder placed in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.
  • Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.
  • Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight it is supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment.