Time to Dust Off a Few Energy Savings Ideas
Does this happen to you? You pull down the boxes of
holiday decorations with excitement about spreading cheer, but first
you spread a whole lot of dust that gathered during their months of
When dust builds up on the registers and vent
covers in your home, for example, it becomes "insulation" that
blocks the heat's path into the room. The harder a heater has to
work to keep your home warm, the more you pay in utility
So, as you look ahead at winter heating bills, a
thorough dusting with special attention to registers and vent covers
is a good idea.
While you're at it, is that furniture really
where it needs to be? By rearranging a few pieces away from exterior
walls and toward interior walls, you'll feel less draft, stay warmer
and be more comfortable.
Get a little sunshine into the
picture too. Open the drapes and let the sun's natural warmth heat
your room at no extra cost. Then close them at night as insulators
to keep warmth in.
These are just a few natural, free ways to
help reduce your energy costs and increase your comfort. Other small
steps can also make a big difference. For example:
thermostat no higher than 68°. Better yet, install a
programmable thermostat to set back the temperature while you're
away during the day, or when you're asleep at night. A programmable
thermostat can save up to $180 every year in energy
*Keep your heating system tuned-up to
make sure it's operating at its peak efficiency when cold weather
comes in strong. Also, you'll want it evaluated for any dangerous
carbon monoxide leaks that may raise a concern.Energy costs are a
big expense for homeowners and heating and cooling account for more
than half. If you'd like to learn more about conserving energy in
your home, ask for our free report titled, "Winter Energy
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Air Quality and Your Child's Ears - a
Does the quality of air re-ally matter? All of us can
imagine that bad air has a negative impact on breathing. Allergies
and asthma issues will kick in when dust kicks up. But what about
your ears? According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology,
researchers found a connection between ear infections and air
Survey Says They used data from health
surveys of more than 120,000 children and measured how many times a
child had three or more ear infections over a 12-month period. They
then cross-referenced these numbers with air quality data from the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), during the same time
They saw that, as air quality improved, the number of
ear infections decreased. Certainly, people have been drawing a
con-nection between environmental improvements and overall health
improvements in many ways and for a long time.
Smog has been
a concern in major cities for years and was one of the targets of
the Clean Air Act that led to air qual-ity improvements. According
to the Environmental Protection Agency, smog contains "ozone," a
pollutant that can be harmful.
Ozone Overdose? Ozone
is a colorless gas that forms in the Earth's upper atmosphere, where
it creates a protective layer against the sun's rays. That's "good
ozone." But closer to Earth, near ground level, ozone is formed as
pollutants from cars, industries, power plants and so forth emit
pollutants that react to sunlight. That's "bad ozone" and isn't a
good thing to breathe in.
Children are particularly
vulnerable to air quality issues for several reasons. They take
in more air when they breathe. Their lungs aren't yet fully
developed. They're more likely to spend time playing outside, and
when active, they breathe faster and more deeply.
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The Mr. Charlie Rig Museum
For better or worse, the BP oil spill earlier this
year put our local oil industry in the spotlight.
oil drilling began off the coast of Morgan City in
1947. The industry advanced with the emergence of the
"Mr. Charlie", the first movable, submersible drilling
rig. The brainchild of A.J. "Doc" Laborde, "Mr. Charlie"
drilled hundreds of offshore wells off the coast of Morgan City,
Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico from 1954 to 1986, and was an
industry springboard to the current offshore rig technology.
"Mr. Charlie" was built in 1952 and finished in 1953. In
1954 he went to work for Shell Oil Company, drilling a new field in
East Bay, near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Despite
skepticism from offshore industry professionals, "Mr. Charlie"
performed up to expectations and went on to drill hundreds of wells
for every other major oil company operating in the Gulf, with a
cumulative depth of 2.3 million feet.
"Mr. Charlie" was
capable of drilling wells in water depths up to 40 feet and had a
prolific career lasting nearly 4 decades. He revolutionized the
offshore oil industry in the Gulf and world-wide. He was retired in
late 1986 when drilling activity headed into water deeper than his
Recognizing the historical significance of the
structure, area industry leaders created the non-profit
International Petroleum Museum & Exposition to preserve the Mr.
Charlie and other oil field artifacts.
Now permantly located
at the south end of Front Street right here in Morgan
City, this historic and renowned edifice continues
in a new role as a museum and traning factility, teaching others
about an industry that changed the world.
history of the "Mr. Charlie" and museum information can
be found at its web site, rigmuseum.com.
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