How to Save Money This Winter 


With the holiday season arriving, the gifts, travel, and dining mean more expenses this winter. On top of monthly bills and payments, saving money may seem impossible. However, there are proven techniques that you can use to keep more money in your wallet during this time of the year.  

Below are a few things you can do around the home and in your daily life that can save money, so you have more to spend after the holidays. 

Prepare for the Winter

With the air conditioner going off and the heater coming on, it is possible that your energy bills will rise if your home is not properly prepared. Here are some steps you can take: 

  • Sealing air leaks
  • Installing proper insulation 
  • Upgrading your heating system
  • Lowering the Thermostat 

You can use caulk to fill up small gaps and cracks which are leaking heat from your home. Window attachments and weatherstripping can also add insulation which in turn traps more heat inside. Check to see that your home has the proper amount of insulation behind the walls and in the attic. The more you have, the more heat stays inside. 

Be sure to change out the filters of your heating system every three months or when the filter is clearly dirty. And finally, lower the thermostat to a setting of 68 degrees during the day and a few degrees lower at night. Even a change of one degree can help save you money on your energy bills. 

Other Changes for Your Home

In addition to the changes already suggested, you can save even more money by following these tips. 

Lower Water Heater Temperature: If you set your water heater to 120 degrees, it will reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the water. If your water heater is already set to 120, consider lowering it by five degrees. Even that small amount can have a positive impact on your bill. 

Open Curtains on South-Facing Windows: With the earth tilting away from the sun, opening the curtains on windows that face the south during the day can add more heat to your home. 

Heat System Maintenance: If you have an HVAC unit, be sure to have it properly maintained. A maintenance check every year can identify parts that are wearing out or dust that may cause the heating system to become inefficient and use more energy. 

If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed unless a fire is burning. By opening the damper at the bottom of the firebox or slightly opening the nearest window, you can reduce heat loss. However, if you never use the fireplace, then plug the chimney flue and seal it so that no air escapes. 

You can add saving money to your list during the holiday season when you know the right ways to lower your bills and payments. This means that you can still enjoy the holidays with family and friends while not breaking the bank. 

Contact Brickley Environmental Today 

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental include the following. 

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal 
  • Demolition 
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.

 

Effects of Holiday Travel on the Environment

 

The holidays are a time to be with friends and family to celebrate the season. Being with friends and family means holiday travel which means that more carbon dioxide is being pumped into the atmosphere. While we may not be aware of it, the additional CO2 is contributing to climate change. 

When adding up the fuel that is used by driving and flying, it really adds up. But that is not the only increase in greenhouse gas emissions over the holiday season. 

Other Ways the Holidays Affect Climate Change

In addition to the holiday travel, the amount of household waste increases by 25% on average during the season. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the additional waste takes the form of wrapping paper, shopping bags, ribbons, bows, cardboard boxes, and the like. More waste means more garbage in the landfills which also contributes negatively to climate change. 

Add to that the light pollution and energy drain created by holiday lighting. The increase in the amount of water usage. Along with the purchasing of non-recyclable gifts and you have a holiday season that creates a greater strain on the environment. 

How to Combat Climate Change During the Holidays

Carpool: Carpooling is a great way to save money and reduce CO2 emissions when driving to work, so there is no reason to abandon the practice when travelling for the holiday season. Make plans to pick up relatives and friends who live along the way. Map out the drive to ensure that you are saving gas and reducing greenhouse gas emissions when doing holiday travel. 

And if possible, do not fly. Airliners burn far greater amounts of fossil fuel compared to vehicles. If you can drive, take the train, or ride the bus, that can reduce CO2 emissions considerably over the season. 

Reduce Paper & Plastic Products: It is estimated that eight thousand tons of wrapping paper combined with nearly three billion tons of holiday cards, not to mention the grocery bags and packaging from online shopping, are produced during the holiday season. To reduce the amount of paper and plastic used, there are some popular methods available. 

  • Send E-Mail Cards 
  • Use Recycled Paper
  • Recycle the Wrapping Paper Afterwards
  • Purchase Reusable Plastic Containers 

Remember the Christmas tree as well. If you use a plastic one, then maintain it so that it can be used for many years to come.  

LED Christmas Lights: By switching to LED Christmas lights, you are using a product that is 90% more efficient than its incandescent version. If the lights are outside, use solar powered strings that charge batteries so you can light up your home at night. Keep in mind that the less light, the better it is in reducing light pollution. 

You can make the holidays a fun, enjoyable time with friends and family while minimizing the effects of climate change. By making a few simple adjustments to your holiday travel plans, you can help to reduce CO2 emissions which bring more peace of mind during the season. 

Contact Brickley Environmental Today 

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental include the following. 

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal 
  • Demolition 
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.

Update on Climate Action Plans in California

Across California, the Climate Action Plan or CAP is being expanded by communities such as San Diego and Oceanside to reduce carbon emissions. The goal is to lower, and eventually prevent, greenhouse gases from forming which contributes to climate change. Communities across the state are creating plans to augment California’s direction over the next two decades. 

California has set the date of 2045 as the year carbon neutrality will be reached. The goals for the plan are quite ambitious and include a wide range of carbon-reducing programs. 

California

The plan across the state is not only to address climate change using zero-emission vehicles but also to address houses as well. The goal of local governments within the state, along with developers and business owners, is to create at least 3 million homes that are friendly to the climate by the year 2030. The homes will all have more heat pumps, electric stoves, water heaters, and washing machines that use cleaner energy. 

The plan is to reach 7 million new homes by 2035. The installation of heat pumps and electric stoves will be a priority. Gas appliances will be phased out with solar panels being added to rooftops. Other improvements include the following. 

  • Improved Ventilation
  • Battery Storage Systems
  • Updating Electrical Wiring & Circuits 

This will mean updating the current building codes for older structures. At least 50% of the investments will go towards low-income communities. 

Oceanside

The first Climate Action Plan was adopted in 2019 as the first phase in addressing climate change. As technology advances, updates to the CAP are needed. In Oceanside, a community that is rapidly growing, roughly 17,000 new homes are estimated to be built over the next quarter century. 

San Diego

In 2022, San Diego created a landmark Climate Action Plan which was unanimously approved by their city council. The ambitious goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. Over 4,000 residents of San Diego voiced their opinion about the plan, which includes achieving 100% power from renewable energy sources. The CAP also focuses on cleaning the air and improving the overall quality of life in the San Diego area. 

The parameters of the CAP are broad, including several different areas which affect overall quality of life: 

  • Decarbonization
  • Increase in Clean & Renewable Energy Sources
  • Use of Land & Mobility
  • Creating a Circular Economy 
  • Cleaning Up Communities 
  • Building Resilient Infrastructure & Healthier Ecosystems

As part of the plan, new climate actions are being considered. As technology changes, the goals of the local and state governments will change as well. 

For residents of California, the implementation of the Climate Action Plan will vary across the state. The overall goal is to reduce California’s carbon emissions to zero. While the goals of the CAP have yet to be set as mandatory, the overall focus will be to aid communities in changing over to new technologies and creating an environment free of human-produced greenhouse gas.

Contact Brickley Environmental Today 

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental include the following. 

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal 
  • Demolition 
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.

Keeping Pests Out of Your Home

When fall arrives, insects and rodents will find their way into your home. The warmth, shelter, and food your home provides naturally attracts pests in larger numbers. In addition to eating your food and damaging your furniture, some of these pests may carry diseases. To prevent this from happening, you will need to take the proper steps to keep the pests on the outside. And, to deal with the pests that have made their way inside. 

What follows are a few tips that will help you address the pest infestation and lower the chances of their presence causing harm. 

Remove All Clutter Inside and Outside

Clutter provides shelter for pests. Remove all clutter that surrounds your home and inside your garage or storage areas. The more places that insects can find to hide and breed, the less likely they are to either enter or stay inside your home. A simple cleaning will help reduce the pest’s presence on your property. 

Seal Cracks

Inspect your home for any cracks or openings that allow pests to enter. By sealing up your home, you can greatly reduce the chances pests can enter. 

  • Use Caulk around Doors, Windows, and Openings 
  • Ensure that Windows & Doors Close Properly 
  • Check All Openings, Including Ducts and Pipes

Use the right type of caulk that is waterproof, so that it can resist temperature changes.  

Fly Traps & Lights

For flying insects, you will need to lower the chances of them clustering around your home when the temperatures start to drop. 

  • Fly Traps
  • Fly Lights
  • Insecticide Spray 

A combination of all three will help keep the flying insects away. Flylights should be set up away from your home. Fly traps should be stationed around areas where flying insects gather, such as near windows and doors. Be careful with insecticides so that your pets are not affected by them. 

Clean & Store Food Properly 

A clean home does not have food lying around for pests to consume. Clean your kitchen, food pantry, and any areas with food storage. By removing the odor of food along with the food itself, you can greatly reduce the presence of pests, particularly insects, in your home. 

  • Store Food in Sealed Containers
  • Wipe Down the Kitchen After Preparing Food
  • Reduce the Places Where People Eat Food 

Reduce Humidity Inside the Attic, Basement, & Crawl Spaces

While adding to the moisture level inside the living areas of the home will help you breathe easier during the cooler days of the fall, you need to reduce such humid areas in places where pests may find shelter. The attic, basement, and crawl spaces should be well ventilated as possible to reduce areas of moisture. Without water, pests will find it harder to live inside such places. 

By doing the basics, you can create an environment that helps keep the pests away from your home. Start taking the right steps now to reduce the pest population before fall fully arrives. 

Contact Brickley Environmental Today 

With numerous dangers facing your home or business, calling the professionals at Brickley Environmental is a good place to start. We offer our knowledge and experience along with the tools to detect and remove infestations of various types. The services provided by Brickley Environmental include the following. 

  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Mold Remediation
  • Lead-Based Paint Removal 
  • Demolition 
  • Hazardous Waste Removal

If you are facing any of these issues, call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.

Halloween and Trick or Treating Tips for Your Home

Halloween is a time for trick-or-treaters to visit your home. But they may not be the only visitors that you have. This is also a time for those who want to break into your home to take advantage of this unique celebration. Making your home safe for Halloween both for your family and for trick-or-treaters starts with a few helpful tips. 

Have Someone Stay at Home

The best way to dissuade a potential break-in is for you, a member of your family, or a trusted friend to be always in your home. If people see someone inside your home, it greatly lessens the chance that they will decide to break in to steal or vandalize. 

This includes the late afternoon when you may still be at work, but neighbors may not be as suspicious of people walking around your home because it is Halloween. Plan a party or gathering for your home if possible.  

Light Up the Outside

Another way to dissuade potential intrusions while welcoming trick-or-treaters is to light up the outside of your home. Be sure the front porch and much of the front yard is properly lit. This provides a full view of the entrance to your home, so trick-or-treaters can approach safely. 

Plus, it dissuades intruders who might be tempted to break-in. When you add lights with motion sensors to areas of the home that are not normally lit, this only adds to the security of your property. 

Make the Entrance Safe

This means inspecting the areas where trick-or-treaters will approach and stand when visiting your home. Start at the street where visitors might approach and walk up to the front porch. 

The first step is to move any cars parked on the street to your driveway. Statistics show that four times as many children are killed on Halloween being struck by vehicles than on any other night. Walking between parked vehicles to the street lowers the risk. Once you do that, then do the following. 

  • Clear away any tripping hazard
  • Remove all unwanted clutter from the yard.
  • Light up a path where trick-or-treaters should follow. 
  • Secure all rails. 
  • Apply friction tape to the steps.  

A little bit of prevention goes a long way to avoiding accidents. The last thing you want is a trick-or-treater injured because of something you overlooked on your property. 

Avoid Candles When Possible

There are flickering LED lights that make good substitutes for candles, especially inside pumpkins or other enclosed spaces. This avoids a potential fire issue that candles bring which causes millions of dollars’ worth of damage each year to homes across the US. 

Before you purchase any Halloween lights, be sure that they have safety certifications such as UL printed on the label. 

Keep Your Pets Inside

Finally, make your pets a part of your household this Halloween. By keeping them inside, you help keep them calm during this active time. After all, people wandering the streets is not a normal sight. And pets can become quite nervous and unsure during Halloween. 

Instead, have them become part of the celebration inside. Even keeping them in a separate room with soothing music can help lower their stress and yours. 

Call Brickley Environmental today. Our friendly, courteous staff will take your call and answer your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision about what to do next. At Brickley Environmental, we are here to help you.