We all know it could happen, but never suspect it will happen to us: a house fire. After all, that’s why many of us have a smoke detector installed, yet we often ignore its upkeep and maintenance because we doubt a fire will ever occur.
Have you ever thought about how different light levels make you feel? For instance, you tend to feel upbeat and more energetic on bright sunny days and sleepy and less motivated on cloudy and rainy days. That is because our bodies respond to the psychological effects of lighting, and it often changes our moods.
How we feel and respond to light extends beyond natural sunlight. The light bulbs used in your home or work environment also affect our moods, creativity, and productivity. What type of lighting is best? Let’s look at how different types of lighting affects us, first. Then you can decide what light bulbs are best for the rooms in your home or office.
Bulbs that emit blue light allow our brains to process information easier and help increase our focus. People tend to be more productive when exposed to blue lighting, compared to other types of artificial light. Blue light is great for the work environment or at home when you want to complete tasks more quickly and accurately.
Natural Simulated Lighting
Light bulbs that simulate natural light are great to use on cloudy days or those long overcast winter months. They help prevent seasonal depression disorders and keep us more energized. In addition, research has found people exposed to natural light tend to feel happier, get more sleep at night, and are less likely to feel depressed.
Our emotional responses and resulting moods are more intense when we are exposed to bright light levels for a long period of time. Research suggests people associate the brighter, more intense light levels with heat. Heat often increases the intensity level of emotional responses. For example, on hot summer days, you may have a shorter tolerance level and are quicker to make snap decisions just so you can get out of the heat and indoors where it is cool.
Lower light levels help us relax and unwind. Lower light levels are also great when you want to create a romantic setting and spend some quality time with your loved one. Additionally, reducing the ambient level of light about an hour or so before bedtime can help us fall to sleep faster.
TIP: You should get into the habit of discontinuing the use of electronic devices that emit bright or blue lighting. If you are using a tablet or smartphone to read an e-book before bedtime, turn down the brightness setting.
However, a side-effect of dimmed lighting is it also affects our decision-making processes when it comes to meal times. There is a reason why restaurants typically reduce light levels at dinner time. This is because it helps people relax, eat slower, and not overly analyze the types of food they order, but, instead, make food choices based on what will bring them pleasure and enjoyment.
As you can see, different types of lighting and light levels do play a role in the types of emotional response we experience and the moods we feel. To create the right lighting in your home or office, remember to stop by your nearest Brinkmann’s Hardware location or contact us at 631-812-7149 today!
If you have a fuel-burning appliance in your home, such as a stove or a fireplace, it is important to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home! Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that can creep into your home through gas appliances, cars, lawnmowers, and fireplaces. Learn more about carbon monoxide and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.
What Is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?
Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be fatal when inhaled. It’s also known as the silent killer because it leaves no trace of itself when pouring into your house. Over 150 Americans die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning. It is the bi-product of any fuel-burning appliances, such as gas, propane, oil, wood, and coal. If you have fire, you have carbon monoxide.
CO detectors are encouraged to be placed on every level of your home and placed about 15 feet from fuel-burning appliances. If you have an attached garage, it is recommended to place one in there as well.
Protect Yourself Against Carbon Monoxide
Only one-third of American households have carbon monoxide detectors. It is required in some states, but not in all. A CO detector is important because it detects carbon monoxide levels in your area. By installing a detector into your home, you will be able to protect your loved ones and yourself from the fatal poison.
When the detector senses CO, it signals an alarm, which is an indication to grab your family and pets and get outside immediately. Call 911 if the alarm sounds after you get everyone out of the house. The fire department will be able to apprehend the situation.
Installing a Carbon Monoxide Detector
Properly equipping your home with a carbon monoxide alarm is the only way you will know if you have a leak. Make sure nothing is obstructing or covering the unit. Avoid placing it next to doors or windows. Also, be sure to test the detector once a week by pressing the test/reset button.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to installing and operating your device. Be sure to purchase appliances that have been approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
Carbon Monoxide Detector Tips
A typical life of a CO detector is 5-7 years. Be sure to replace when necessary. Never burn fuel inside the house, such as a BBQ or propane heater. Choose appliances that are able to vent their fumes outside when possible.
Although it seems like common sense, don’t use stoves, dryers, or ranges to heat your home. Have a professional check your appliances and chimney every year to make sure everything is in good working condition and there are no blockages.
Carbon monoxide poisoning tends to happen more in winter. Because of this, be sure that vents from the stove, fireplace, dryer, and furnace have no debris or snow blocking the way of the fumes exiting the house.
While the thought of carbon monoxide entering your home can be scary, you have the ability to protect your loved ones. Be sure to shop at Brinkmann’s Hardware for your new carbon monoxide detector.
There are many benefits to going green. Not only do energy-efficient homes have higher resale values and are healthier to live in, but less energy—and, therefore, less carbon—is required to power them. If you find that your energy bills are costing you more these days, and you want to improve the environment, you’ll be happy to discover there are several products available to help.
The wide selection of green products on the market today make it easier than ever for homeowners and businesses to go green. They also help to ensure that future generations enjoy spaces that are healthier to live and work in, because many of these products produce low or no emissions, and help individuals to use resources more efficiently.
Brinkmann’s Hardware, for example, is proud to be New York’s first Net-Zero retailer. Thanks to the “cool roof’ which reflects the sun’s rays and the 304 solar panels that are installed on top of it, our Miller Place, NY location now produces more energy than it consumes.
The Right Paint
When it’s time to paint a room or your entire home, the right colors can make all the difference. However, so can the type of paint you choose. For example, The Natura and Aura paint lines we carry at Brinkmann’s Hardware are a top choice for those wanting beautiful color without the chemicals.
Natura paint features zero emissions and is also hypoallergenic. Our Aura paint contains zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can negatively impact the quality of indoor air.
Monitoring Water Consumption and Light Usage
Watching how much water you are using and when can also impact energy efficiency. For example, it’s a good idea to refrain from washing clothing or to wait to use your dishwasher until times of off-peak energy use. This is when water will cost you the least.
The line of water timers available from Brinkmann’s Hardware ensures that your water use is always efficient, whether you’re using water inside or outside your home.
Water wastage from dripping faucets can be repaired easily by replacing their washers with a new one from our wide selection. Installing a low-flow shower head will lower your water usage even further.
Incandescent lighting not only consumes more energy than modern bulbs do, but it also needs to be replaced more frequently. Our 40- and 60-watt LED bulbs can replace every light in your home for a low cost. The line of light timers we carry can also make it easier to save on resources, and our flashlights are ready for action if the power goes out.
If you or someone in your family enjoys gardening, you’ll find what you need at Brinkmann’s Hardware. Try our selection of organic soil, Safer Brand organic pesticides, and Milorganite organic fertilizer for flowers and vegetables that are healthy and happy.
Brinkmann’s Hardware is committed to helping our customers lower their carbon footprint and increase the energy efficiency of their homes. Visit one of our locations to learn more, or call 631-567-6879.
When it comes to home safety, an electronic smoke detector is a simple and inexpensive line of protection that can go a long way toward keeping you and your family safe, doubling your rate of chances of surviving a fire by providing an early warning.
However, without regular maintenance and testing, you might as well not have a smoke alarm at all. Therefore, it’s important to learn the proper way to care and maintain your smoke alarm, to maintain a safe and protected home environment.
Types of Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors come in two different power configurations, with two different methods of detection. There are:
- Battery-powered detectors: These types of smoke detectors are easily purchased at a hardware store and run off replaceable batteries. They’re inexpensive and can be installed anywhere in your home, but they require frequent monitoring to make sure the batteries are in working condition.
- AC-powered: Directly wired into the electricity in your house, these are much longer lasting and dependable but require a battery backup for the event of a power failure or electrical fire.
- Ionization detector: More sensitive to smaller particles from fast-flame type fires, such as a grease fire or anything that catches quickly
- Photoelectric detector: Detects larger particles, like the kind from a larger, more slow-burning fire like a smoldering couch or bedding.
Due to the difference in detection methods, it is recommended that you maintain both types of detectors in your home. Many detectors manufactured and sold today are dual type. If not, they’ll be marked with an I or a P, indicating the type of detector.
Smoke detectors should be placed on ceilings at least four inches in from the wall, or, in the event the ceiling can’t be reached, on the wall between four and twelve inches away from the ceiling. At least one should be placed on each level of your home, and an additional detector in each room where someone sleeps. Consider installing a linked detector system so that when one trips, they all go off.
Testing Your Smoke Alarm
Every smoke alarm will have a test button. Once a month, every month, get on a chair or use a mop handle to extend your reach and press the test button. You should hear the alarm trip. If not, then it’s time to replace the battery or check the power source in the event that you have a hardwired unit.
If your unit is battery powered, it may begin chirping when the batteries begin to run down, alerting you that it’s time to change it. For obvious reasons, it’s best not to let the batteries drain to that level, so it is best to change them every six months. A good way to remember is to make sure you change the batteries whenever you change your clocks for daylight savings time.
For more information and help with your smoke detectors, please don’t hesitate to contact your nearest Brinkmann’s True Value hardware store and speak with our friendly and knowledgeable staff.