Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Energy Star Homes

By Elysia Walton, SnapSpace Solutions Staff

March 28, 2012

Energy Star homes are a relatively new idea—utilizing the resources that our earth has provided us with, and thereby marking down our cost of living. An Energy Star home is just the perfect way to utilize these resources, and make the best of them, while also keeping your budget in balance.

In fact, Energy Star homes can be at least 30% more efficient,[1] and according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who manages the Energy Star program with the U.S. Department of Energy, 100,000 new homes have earned the designation, saving the homeowners $26 million in yearly costs (2003).2 In 2002, Americans cut their energy bills by more than $7 billion, and saved enough energy to power 15 million homes.3 Think about that: if you have an Energy Star rating on your home, it will not just be better for the environment, but it will save you money, too!

The specifications of an Energy Star rating cover everything from tighter construction, tighter ducts, and improved insulation, to high performance windows, and energy efficient heating and cooling equipment.4

Ever been in an old house? Notice the drafts? How it just pains the homeowner to turn the thermostat up a few notches? This is because most old houses, and even some newer ones, do not have the Energy Star rating. Sure, they are built well, but not as tight as the Energy Star requires. With an Energy Star home, however, if you turn up the thermostat your home will be much better equipped to stay at that temperature with less use of gas, propane, firewood, or whatever you use to heat your home.

SnapSpace Solutions is proud to be a builder of Energy Star homes. The steel base of an ISBU container, which we use to build our homes and commercial buildings, are already so tight that an Energy Star rating can be achieved without a hitch. With a home or structure from SnapSpace Solutions, you know you will be getting the best value for your dollar, and the best efficiency from your fuel.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness

By Elysia Walton, SnapSpace Solutions Staff
March 14th, 2012

            In like a lion, out like a lamb, right? You’ve got it. March is known for appearing fierce and roaring with snow storms and bad weather, and then floating away like a petal—softly leading into spring. So what else is March known for besides that it begins with crazy weather and ends in sweet weather? Oh so much...
            History buff? Here’s some history that most people probably do not know took place in March. Both on the first of the month, The Articles of Confederation were established (1781), and Congress authorized the first United States Census (1790).[1] On the sixth of March, the Battle of the Alamo ended after 13-day siege in 1836,[2] and in 1876 on the tenth, Alexander Graham Bell made his first telephone call. Of course I must pay tribute to all of the Mainers out there (the home of SnapSpace Solutions), and say that in 1820, on March 15th, Maine was the 23rd state to enter the Union. [3]
Here are some facts for those of you who would rather talk about Hollywood than history: King Kong, the motion picture, premiered in New York on March 2nd, 1933. [4] I am pretty sure that that particular Hollywood gorilla will never be forgotten, so March should be given gratitude for bringing in the beast.
            On March third, the beloved song, The Star Spangled Banner, was adopted as the National Anthem of the United States in 1931. [5] Whether our voices butcher or beautify it, this remarkable song is held close by all Americans.
            Huge fan of Thanks-A-Lot(s)™ and Thin Mints? Your thanks should go to The Girl Scouts of America, which was founded on March 12th, in 1912. [6] Booklover? Nathanial Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” was published on March 16th, 1850.  Also close to many booklover’s hearts, is “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, which was published on the 20th, 1852. [7] If you would rather watch the movie than read the book, I am sure you would be interested to know that the first movie shown to an audience took place in Paris, 1895, on March 22nd.[8]
More of a Broadway star than a movie-critic? “Oklahoma!” opened on Broadway in 1943, on March 31st.[9]
            Lastly, I cannot forget the Beatles, the lovable British band whose UK album “Please Please Me” was released in 1963 on the 22nd. On the same day two years later, their album “The Early Beatles” was released.[10] John LennonPaul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, we thank you for your great musical contribution.
            Before closing this article I would like to remind you about some things you should do before we leave March for another year. WWW.SAVYSUGAR.COM suggests these top 5 things you must do in March: Work before play, right? Their number one thing to do in March is to pay your taxes.[11] April 17th, tax day, is just a few short weeks away, so you better get your things in order. Secondly, suggests embracing the natural daylight.[12] With Daylight Savings you have saved an extra hour before nightfall, so make use of the natural light and save on energy, making your house and the earth a greener place.  Thirdly, change up your post-work routine. [13] The extra light lends some extra “time”, so consider taking a walk outside or sitting in the sun enjoying a nice book. Fourth, Participate in March Madness, but stay focused.[14] March is the month America’s best college basketball teams begin the yearly quest for the national title, and that means it is March Madness bracket time. If you choose to participate, try to stay focused on work while still having fun. And lastly for recommended March activities, suggests donating your old clothes to charity.[15] Most likely you are cleaning out for your spring/summer wardrobe, so your old sweaters and too-tight pants are in for replacing. You can also get a donation slip to help out with those taxes.
            In summary, March is a great month. It is the first time in about five months that the early signs of spring are finally showing their beautiful faces, and the winter beast is going into hibernation. It is also a great historical month. Feel blessed for the weather and the activities available, and remember to buy some Girl Scouts cookies and read some great classic books!