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When Can Aluminum Make Your Home More Energy Efficient?

When Can Aluminum Make Your Home More Energy Efficient?

Energy efficiency has become one of the biggest priorities for homeowners throughout the United States. It will become a bigger concern as energy costs rise and more people become worried about reducing their carbon footprint.

Aluminum is a strong thermal conductor. Using it can raise heating costs in some ways, but it can also reduce them if you use them right. Here are some ways that you can use it to renovate your house.

Using Aluminum to Renovate Your House

Aluminum is a highly conductive material. This can make it more energy efficient in some ways, but less so in others. Here are some ways that you can add aluminum to improve the energy efficiency of your house:

  • Use an aluminum fireplace.  An aluminum fireplace will allow you to heat your house more easily. If you don’t want to replace your entire fireplace, then you may want to coat it with aluminum foil instead.
  • Add an aluminum furnace base. You can also heat your house more efficiently by using an aluminum furnace base. The return on your investment can pay for itself in a couple of years, but you can still improve efficiency by adding aluminum foil while saving up for the renovations.
  • Add aluminum coating to walls near heat or cooling sources. You may also want to add aluminum coating to walls in rooms with main heating sources. This will make it easier to heat the rest of your house. Similarly, you may want to add aluminum coating to rooms near central cooling systems, which will help cool your house more efficiently.

Aluminum is a double-edged sword when it comes to energy costs. You can save a lot of money if you use it near your main heating and cooling sources. However, there are some areas where aluminum will actually increase energy costs. You may want to consider using other materials for windows and doors instead.  Approximately 20-30% of heat is transferred through windows.

Aluminum windows tend to make the house even less energy efficient. A lot of heat is also transferred through doors, so you will want to try to use other materials there as well. Vinyl and wood are much more energy efficient materials.

Use Aluminum Materials Strategically

Aluminum can be a great material to reduce heating and cooling costs. However, you will want to make sure that you use it sensibly. Aluminum is a great material to use near your main heating and cooling sources, but it is better to have heat insulators near heat sinks.

You should speak with your home renovation experts before installing it. They can help you choose the right materials to minimize your heating and cooling costs.

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More Global Government Programs Embracing Cloud Computing

More Global Government Programs Embracing Cloud Computing

Government organizations are usually the last to embrace changes in technology. They aren’t under the same pressure to cut costs and maximize efficiency that private companies face. However, even many government organizations are starting to recognize the many benefits that cloud computing offers.

The Australian government recently announced that it is becoming more reliant on cloud technology. The United States and a number of other first world companies have been using the cloud for a while now. Here are some reasons that the cloud is benefiting governments around the world.

Cost-cutting Initiatives

Governments are under increased pressure to reduce deficits. The Australian government recently found that the cost of cloud computing is about 20-30% lower than traditional computer infrastructures. The United States government has been using cloud technology to cut costs as well.

Provide More Beneficial Services

Many government organizations are also using cloud technology to operate more efficiently and effectively. Dr. Rick Holgate, the Chief Information Officer of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that his organization has used the cloud to offer more flexible services to its customers.

Growing Databases

Sovereign governments store large amounts of information. Their databases are constantly growing. Their existing data centers may not be large enough to hold that data in the coming years. Fortunately, the cloud is a very effective way to store large amounts of information.

Overcoming Challenges that Deter Some Agencies

A recent study from Accenture shows that about 30% of federal agencies have developed some form of cloud model. The cloud is an excellent tool, but there are still some regulatory issues that will deter others from embracing it.

Data Sovereignty

Many countries have data sovereignty laws that require them to store information on servers in their own jurisdictions. Fortunately, cloud companies have developed new tools which have made it easier for them to assign data to specific servers. More governments are likely to use cloud servers as this technology becomes mainstream.


  •  Some federal agencies may also be held to highly stringent confidentiality laws. Others handle highly sensitive information that may pertain to matters of national security. Although cloud services are generally very secure, the CIOs of various government agencies will need to learn more about the services before being allowed to utilize them. Fortunately, there are companies such as http://www.togglebox.com/ that have very secure cloud solutions.

Eligibility Standards

The Pentagon and many other organizations have very strict requirements for the companies they work with. These regulations have kept many companies from working with the government. However, some lawmakers have proposed new standards that would be more feasible for many companies.

More Agencies Will Use Cloud in Future Years

More government agencies around the world are turning towards cloud computing. The figure is expected to continue to grow as the technology evolves.

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Small Houses Are Becoming a Growing Trend

Small Houses Are Becoming a Growing Trend

The size of the average American home has increased over 100% in the past 70 years. However, many Americans are starting to realize that large homes aren’t all they are cracked up to be. There are a number of reasons that smaller homes have become more appealing for many families.

Some people genuinely need larger homes to accommodate their family size. However, most people historically bought larger homes as a status symbol. Here are some reasons that they are shedding that perception and building a smaller house.

Smaller Family Sizes

The average family size has decreased by nearly 20% over the past 50 years. Smaller family sizes have led to lower demand for large homes. Many people have also decided that they want to remain single for their whole lives. The number of married adults has declined from about 72% to 51%between 1960 and 2010. Many people living in singleton communities have found that smaller houses are much more feasible.

Tougher Lending Standards

Government backed loans have much stricter lending requirements than they did before the housing crash. Stated income loans have practically disappeared from the market. Since it is much more difficult to get a loan that it was before, many people are moving into smaller houses that are easier to get a loan.

Declining Incomes

According to the Census Bureau, real incomes have been flat since the turn of the century. Many middle class families are also struggling to recover from the aftermath of the Great Recession. You can save about $250 a month on your mortgage payments by living in a smaller house. Of course, there will be other cost savings as well. You will pay much less for heating, insurance and electricity. Buying a small home can be less of a burden in a down economy.

More Practical

Large houses can actually be rather inconvenient for many people. Parents have a more difficult time monitoring their children, which can lead to safety concerns. It is also much easier to lose things in a large house. Living in a smaller house will be much less stressful.

Consider Joining the Small House Trend

Moving into a smaller house may be a better idea for many people. A number of communities across the West Coast and Midwest have started to embrace the small house trend. Even Madison, WI is considering passing new laws that will make it easier to live in a smaller house.

You will need to decide what type of home is best for you. It may be worth moving into a smaller house if you are trying to save money and don’t plan on having a large family. There is no sense trying to keep up with people that want to prioritize quantity of life over a comfortable lifestyle.

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Reasons to Avoid Super Cheap Contractors for Online Marketing

Reasons to Avoid Super Cheap Contractors for Online Marketing

Most companies want to stick to a tight budget when they are trying to implement their online marketing strategy. Saving money is important, but it can be dangerous to take it too far. This principle is especially true when you are hiring contractors. You always get what you pay for, so it may not be a good idea to hire writers, linkbuilders or other marketers that are willing to work on a tiny budget.

Many companies feel that the price is their bottom line. They want to hire extremely cheap contractors from overseas to do their work. Unfortunately, there are a number of ways that this can work against you. Here are some of the reasons that you should forego this and focus on hiring the best.

Branding Problems

There is a very strong correlation between cost and quality. You may be lucky to find some great workers that will work for next to nothing, but they are practically nonexistent. Most cheap contractors offer very low quality services.

This can very easily damage your brand. They may write very low quality content or build spammy backlinks. Do you really want to pay someone that makes you look bad?

Legality Issues

You may be held legally responsible for work that your contractors do. You want to make sure that they don’t violate FTC regulations or any other laws in your jurisdiction. Unfortunately, many low quality contractors have a poor understanding of these laws. They are often based overseas, so they don’t know anything about them at all.

Google Penalties

Improving Google rankings is a primary goal for most companies. Your rankings are largely based on the quality of the content on your website and the links that are built to it. Many cheap contractors aren’t going to provide the quality services that you need to ensure that you rank well. They may use a lot of black hat tactics such as spun content or automated link building that causes your website to be penalized.

Communication Problems

Another issue with cheap contractors is that they often lack the communication skills needed to complete the job properly. This is particularly problematic when you are working with ESL contractors, but could happen with anyone. You may be surprised by the number of native freelancers that can’t follow the simplest directions. This tends to happen even with people that have excellent credentials.

Choose Online Marketers Carefully

You need to hire an online marketing agency that provides a strong return on your investment. Look for a company like US Data Corporation Agoura Hills CA that offers affordable, high quality services. They will take the time to understand your needs and fulfill them in a timely manner.


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Use These Online Security Tips to Stop Identity Theft

Use These Online Security Tips to Stop Identity Theft

Virtually all of our personal information is stored on the Internet. This puts everyone at a high risk of being a victim of identity theft. There are a number of security measures that you should take to protect yourself.

Approximately 15 million people are victims of identity theft every year. The Department of Justice reports that the Internet has drastically increased the prevalence of identity fraud.  The problem has grown substantially in recent years. Fortunately, there are some excellent security precautions that can cut the risk. Here are some tips that you should follow.

Keep Anti-malware Software Up-to-Date

Hackers often use keyloggers and Trojans to steal people’s personal information. They are constantly developing new ones that can circumvent malware protection software.

Your best bet is to update your software regularly to guard against them. You should ideally update your malware protection software at least once every couple of weeks. Most tools will check for automatic updates, but often have paid versions that require you to update them manually. You also need to make sure that you are using a malware protection service that is compatible with your system. If you are a Mac user then you should read the post 5 Dumb Things Mac Users Do to Compromise Security.

Be Cautious Using Hotspots

You need to be very careful when you are using any public Wi-Fi. Here are some things that you need to keep in mind:

  • Never use a hotspot without confirming it is legitimate first. Many criminals set up public Wi-Fi networks to steal people’s data.
  • Try to avoid using unsecured networks that don’t require passwords.
  • Use secured connections as much as possible. Prefix all of your urls with “https.”

Tom Bartholomy, President of the Better Business Bureau, recently warned that more criminals are using public Wi-Fi to commit identity fraud. Most people need to much more cautious when logging in.

Be Cautious With SSO

Many people prefer to use Single Sign-On (SSO) tools to log on to different accounts. They are very convenient if you don’t want to have to keep track of a number of different passwords. However, they also raise serious security problems. Anyone that hacks your SSO can now gain access to all sites that you use it on.

SSOs aren’t as strong as most other authentication systems, so you don’t want them having access to sensitive information that could be used to steal your identity .Never use an SSO to log into a site that you shared your Social Security Number, mother’s maiden name, address or other personal information on.

Encrypt Sensitive Data

Particularly sensitive data should always be encrypted. Even the strongest passwords can be compromised, so you want to make sure that hackers won’t gain access to information that can be used to steal your identity. Any documents that you store on the cloud that have your SSN, address or other personal information.

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