Stay cool with an electric fan

For some, the summer is a welcome reprieve from the long, cold winter months. For others, the heat can be a sweltering nuisance. Homeowners may be able to combat it with central air conditioning, but that's an expensive tool. Apartment tenants may not have such a luxury, and for those who live on higher floors, the rising heat coupled with the already high temperatures can lead to some unbearably humid and sweaty days and nights. For those looking to beat the heat and do so affordably this summer, consider purchasing an electric fan instead.

The electric fans we offer at Today's Concept are powerful, high-efficiency models guaranteed to make life at home more comfortable. The major benefit to an electric fan over central AC is the expense – while air conditioners cost incredible amounts of money in utility costs, fans only consume a fraction of the electricity. Additionally, while central AC is used all the time and covers the span of the home – in wasteful and unnecessary amounts – fans are only on when you want them on, only in rooms that you want cooled. It's completely up to your discretion on where, when and for how long an electric fan is used.

In addition to keeping your home cool and comfortable in the heat, fans can also clear out unwanted and potentially unhealthy smells. This is especially helpful for newly painted rooms, or garages that may be full of fumes from cars.

The Honeywell HT-900 Super Turbo Table Fan is an affordable option for those looking for compact and quiet fans, ideal for use in bedrooms and offices, with a range of low, medium and high settings that ensure you have total control over electricity consumption. For more information, visit the Today's Concept online store today.

As temperatures rise, it’s time to consider how you can make your air conditioner more efficient

Much of the country is experiencing its first days where the thermometer reads higher than 80 degrees, showing an encouraging sign that summer is on its way. Rather than waiting for it to get really hot, this is the perfect time to install your window air conditioner so that you can be comfortable throughout the season. 

Of course, using one of these appliances means that your electric bill – and the toll on the environment that it represents - will increase. But if you make a few critical moves, you can diminish the costs of cooling your house while remaining comfortable for the entirety of the summer. Consider running your air conditioner only while you're home, rather than all day and night. This can save you a good deal of money and is the kind of action that won't really change how comfortable your house is. 

There are even Wi-Fi connected outlet adapters that you control with your smartphone, enabling you to turn your air conditioner on and off throughout the day with your phone. 

Experts say that if you find your AC isn't cooling as effectively as it once did, the problem could be related to your condenser coils. Cleaning these before you install the appliance this summer can help to make the most out of your air conditioner. 

Staying cool doesn't have to be expensive. With the right energy-saving tactics, you can turn your home into an efficient and comfortable place to spend time at the end of the day. 

Evaluate your carbon footprint in honor of Earth Day

Forty-three years ago, a group of leaders came together to discuss the environmental problems that had been plaguing the planet since the industrial revolution. Pollution of air and water had become major issues that were effecting the day-to-day lives of people all over the world. In order to raise awareness for the issues caused by consumer culture, a simple idea was formed: Earth Day. 

The international celebration looks at sustainability worldwide, and while each country and region might be fighting a slightly different battle, everyone has the end goal of preserving the Earth that we live on for future generations of humans. 

Here in the United States, there are dozens – if not hundreds – of ways to celebrate this holiday. From cleaning out your cabinets and making the decision to banish chemical cleaners in your kitchen, to taking a look at your electric bill doing what you can to cut it down, you can make changes both inside and outside of your house that create a real difference in the environment. 

Using compact florescent light bulbs instead of the traditional incandescent kind is a surefire way to lower the monthly cost and environmental impact associated with brightening your house every day. 

But there are other ways to make a difference as well. For instance, if you live in a large house, it might be expensive and unnecessary to heat the entire thing. A number of people have been able to reduce their carbon footprint by turning their thermostat down, and using an electric heater instead. Not only will this save you money, but since it uses less energy, it will shrink your carbon footprint as well. 

New York City program aims to make air conditioners more efficient

It may be hard to believe, but the dog days of summer are really just a few months away, which means that now is the best time to purchase a window air conditioner. Rather than waiting for that first heat wave, when the high temperatures send the people of your city running to purchase one of these cooling devices from their local big box retailer only to find them completely sold out, make sure that you have yours ready to go by the time the hot weather is here in full force. 

And while air conditioners are much more energy-efficient now than they once were, it can be hard to remain vigilant about remembering to turn yours off while you're not home or awake to enjoy the cool air that it provides. In an effort to prevent city-wide blackouts and improve energy efficiency across its large population, New York City is implementing a new plan that would allow residents to control their ACs through any Web browser or smartphone.

Best of all, this innovative energy saving plan won't require that anyone purchase a new appliance. Instead, New Yorkers will be given the option of installing a special accessory for their electrical outlet called the Modlet. This device plugs into an existing outlet and monitors the amount of electricity coming from that specific port. Users can then access their Modlet online to switch the outlet on or off depending on their needs. 

The program seems like an easy one, and a much simpler way to get the word out about energy efficiency during the summer time. It turns out that if you put some thought into it, it is possible to stay cool and remain green at the same time. 

Get ready for spring and use an electric heater in the meantime

Though we're nearing the end of march, the cold weather is stretching on for longer than many of us can handle. This can be very difficult for those who have carefully budgeted for our winter heating bill, since if the cold weather doesn't let up soon, it could presumably create significant problems for their wallets. 

If you're facing the prospect of paying a larger-than-average bill for January, chances are you're getting a little nervous - after all, this time last year, the birds were singing and people were already outside enjoying  longer, warmer days. Perhaps it's time to turn off your heat for the year so that you won't have to keep spending money on this bill. Since you probably didn't budget for a winter that stretches through to March, you'll undoubtedly enjoy having the extra cash back in your pocket.

Even turning your thermostat down a little can end up saving you significant amounts of money while it's still chilly outside. Of course, this will also probably leave your house on the cold side until the winter weather dissipates in earnest. In order to keep yourself warm until then, think of getting ceramic electric heaters for your house. 

These can be added to all of the rooms in your home, and help to keep everyone you love comfortable during the increased chilliness that continues to linger. They won't add much to your electric bill, but they'll keep you comfortable. 

Best of all, when the sunshine really does start sticking around, you'll be able to put these portable heaters away quickly and easily. If you want to save money on your heating bills throughout the rest of the winter, maybe it's time to turn down your thermostat and supplement with other methods like an electric heater

An electric heater is a great Valentine’s Day present

It’s Valentine’s Day, and all day, flower delivery people have been in and out of my office, bringing beautiful arrangements to many of my female coworkers in celebration of the holiday. But my favorite story of an office delivery wasn’t a floral arrangement at all. 

My coworker Stephanie has been dating her boyfriend Brennan for a few years now. The couple has always acknowledged Valentine’s Day, and while they love going out for a nice dinner, they were talking the other day about the unnecessary expense of sending flowers. While these are an undeniably nice gesture, some arrangements cost more than $100, and they’re not a permanent gift. 

After they agreed that sending flowers on Valentine’s Day was a waste of money, Stephanie knew not to expect any kind of a special delivery at work today. But, her boyfriend came up with an adorable, practical romantic surprise to give her instead. 

We were all hard at work when another delivery person came in, this time, saying that he had a special gift for Stephanie. She started to protest, until she saw the size of the box. It was clear, from its rectangular shape and particular heft, that it wasn’t flowers. 

Since the unusual delivery had caused most of my coworkers and I to pause work for the time-being, she had to open it in front of us. Inside, Stephanie found an electric heater, with a special card that read, “You warm my heart.” 

Stephanie said it was the perfect present, since it wasn’t only adorable, but her apartment is always cold, and she will always think of Brennan whenever she uses it. I thought this was such a cute gift idea, and a great way to get more value out of a Valentine’s present. 


Manual thermostats are best for multi-unit buildings

Last weekend, my landlord came by my apartment to fix a few minor problems before he went on vacation for the holidays. It's really nice that the owners of our buildings are so willing to fix anything that goes wrong before it becomes a major problem.

While he was there, I offered Tom, our landlord, a cup of coffee and chatted with him a bit. He asked how we were liking everything, and if we had noticed any problems with the heat in the building. I told him that we usually keep it set low to save money, but that the manual thermostat works perfectly, and the furnace appears to be very responsive.

Tom said that that was great to hear, since he had just replaced the thermostats before we moved in. Previously, he told me, the apartments in the building were all on the same heating zone, which got to be very expensive, since the lower floors were always too cold, leading the first floor tenants to turn up the heat more, while the upper floors were much too hot.

This disparity in temperature was bad not only uncomfortable and expensive, it was also wasteful of energy. After the previous residents moved out, they had the house converted so that each apartment had its own manual thermostat. The simplicity of these make them easy for everyone to use, and since then, he has not gotten a complaint about the temperature of the house.

Rather than pick something complex and programmable, which could leave people too hot or too cold if they don't know how to set it properly, Tom chose to go with a simpler option, and divided the heating zones, which helped to make the house more efficient.

The right electric heater can save you money come winter

My friend DJ is really frugal. Despite the fact that he has a good job and could afford a lavish lifestyle if he wanted to, DJ decides to do everything on the cheap. He's the kind of guy who will order just an appetizer and tap water at a group dinner so that he doesn't have to chip in much when the bill comes.

But for the most part, DJ's cheap qualities are more endearing than annoying, and it's a joke among my group of friends that he lives in a tiny, rundown studio apartment in a questionable neighborhood, despite the fact that most of his co workers are living large in downtown highrises.

Last week, I was near where DJ lives, and figured that I would stop in to say high. We all know better than to just pop in at his house, since he's the kind of person who doesn't always appreciate social interaction.

To my surprise, however, DJ answered chipperly, and told me to stop in whenever I would like. When I got to his apartment, DJ looked happy to see me, and said that he was glad someone came over.

I was happy to hear that, but knowing DJ, I figured that he had an ulterior reason for being so happy to have a house guest. It didn't take long for me to find out that DJ had been keeping his heat off to save money, and only turning it on when he had guests over.

I was somewhat alarmed by this, since he could end up getting sick or damaging his apartment by refusing to turn on the heat. My friends and I chipped in and bought him an electric heater for Christmas though. So he could save money and still be warm.

Manual thermostats might save you money in the long run

The other day I had a surprising conversation with my friend Kevin. He's very concerned with the environment, and is always taking up a new crusade in order to protect the world we live in. Last month, he was refusing to use a dryer, while these days his plan is a little bit more surprising.

I met Kevin for lunch, and we chatted a bit to catch up on each other's lives. I mentioned that my roommates and I have been trying to conserve energy as much as possible since our heating bill is higher during the winter months.

"You don't have a programmable thermostat, do you?" Kevin asked me rather quickly.

Expecting to be reprimanded, I told him that our apartment came with a manual thermostat, and that we couldn't change it. To my surprise, Kevin looked relieved. I know how interested he is in saving the environment, so this was not what I was anticipating.

I asked Kevin why he was against programmable thermostats, and he told me that they only save energy and money in the homes where they're properly used. He said that in a lot of cases, these are set to be switched on all the time, and actually end up keeping temperatures higher and using more fuel.

Kevin said that in a house with multiple inhabitants, it's best to stick with a manual thermostat and simply have a policy that the last person home turns the heat down before they leave. I was thrilled to get this rewarding advice from Kevin, since this is already what we do in my house. It's nice to know that I'm doing my part for the environment in one small way.

As more people go home for the holidays, they plan to turn up the heat

The other day, I was reading an article in the newspaper about how energy bills tend to be higher during December, not just because of the winter weather, but because people like to stay in a warm house during this time of year.

When I read the article, I thought back to the Christmas season in the house where I grew up. We would always turn up our manual thermostat and have light up the fireplace, happy to be together on some of the shortest days of the year.

While I love nothing more than spending time with my family in warm and cozy house, I decided to look up a few ways to save energy during this time of year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it is possible to use less energy during the holiday season by thinking about the electronics that we buy as gifts.

Energy-saving electronics can be given to our loved ones as gifts, and they use far less electricity than other models, which can reduce costs on the electric bills, and be good for the environment.

This year, I requested that my family makes sure that all of the electronics we give as presents are of the energy saving variety. It's this kind of a small change that can save us a lot of money, even if we're turning up the thermostat a little bit higher than usual.

My family agreed, and we've all picked out energy-efficient gifts to give to one another. I think it will be our best Christmas yet, and I can't wait to snuggle up on the couch in front of the fire.