Magnetic Refrigerators
Magnetic Refrigerators
Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric have teamed up to create a revolutionary new type of refrigerator that uses magnets to create cold, also known as the magnetocaloric effect (lowering or raising the temperature of the material by changing the magnetic field).
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
Ultra-Efficient Heat Pumps
The Building Technologies Office is ushering in the next generation of heat pump systems, which warm and cool your home by moving heat from one space to another. A fuel-fired, multi-function residential heat pump that can reduce primary energy consumption by 30 percent.
Clothes Dryers
Clothes Dryers
The same concept behind heat pump technologies that keep your home comfortable can also be used for another important application: drying your clothes. Oak Ridge National Laboratory and General Electric are developing a new type of clothes dryer that uses a heat pump cycle to generate hot air needed for drying.
Smarter, More Connected Homes
Smarter, More Connected Homes
We live in an increasingly connected world -- the same is true for our homes. New electronic devices and appliances can now be linked to the Internet to provide real-time data that makes it easier to understand and lower energy use.
Next-Gen Insulation
Next-Gen Insulation
Insulation is one of the most important ways to reduce your home heating and cooling costs. The Industrial Science & Technology Network is developing new foam insulation made with environmentally friendly and advanced composite materials that ensure heat doesn’t escape from the attic, walls and other areas of the home during cold winter months.
Advanced Window Controls
Advanced Window Controls
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pella Windows are working on new highly insulated windows that use sensors and microprocessors to automatically adjust shading based on the amount of available sunlight and the time of day to ensure proper lighting and comfort, saving consumers energy and money.
Reflective Roofing Materials
Reflective Roofing Materials
Cool roofs coated with materials containing specialized pigments reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than standard roofs. Expect these types of roof systems to get even “cooler” due to new fluorescent pigments developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and PPG Industries that can reflect nearly four times the amount of sunlight of standard pigments.

Energy-Saving Solutions

From heating and cooling to electronics and appliances, it takes a lot of energy to power our daily lives. Our homes use 37 percent more energy today than they did in 1980. But without energy efficiency -- through technology innovation and federal energy conservation standards -- this number would be a lot higher. In fact, even though our total energy use has grown, our energy use per household is down about 10 percent, despite that our homes are larger and contain more devices.

Save Energy Systems

19 June 2019

7 Ways to Spruce up your Deck

You have had a deck for quite some time now, and as the main gathering place for BBQs and backyard bashes, your deck deserves a little TLC after being exposed to the harsh elements all winter long. Don’t worry! You...

The post 7 Ways to Spruce up your Deck appeared first on HomeSelfe.


You have had a deck for quite some time now, and as the main gathering place for BBQs and backyard bashes, your deck deserves a little TLC after being exposed to the harsh elements all winter long. Don’t worry! You...

The post 7 Ways to Spruce up your Deck appeared first on HomeSelfe.

You have had a deck for quite some time now, and as the main gathering place for BBQs and backyard bashes, your deck deserves a little TLC after being exposed to the harsh elements all winter long.

Don’t worry! You don’t need to shell out big bucks to elevate your outdoor living space. In fact, DIY deck projects are easier than you might think and can even increase your home’s value. All it takes is a little creativity, the right tools for the job, and perhaps a weekend or two, and you can completely transform your deck into a dreamy outdoor oasis.

Whether you’re sprucing up your deck because you are selling your home  or you want to turn your deck into an al fresco dining spot for the family, there are plenty of DIY projects that will instantly take your deck to another level. Read on to discover 7 DIY deck inspiration before you throw your next outdoor soiree:

1. Bring Out the Pressure Washer

When was the last time you pressure washed your deck? If the answer is never, then it might be due for a good washing. A pressure washer can help revive a worn-looking deck by removing the dirt and debris that have seeped into the material.

If you don’t own a pressure washer, don’t sweat it—just rent one from your local home improvement shop. Be sure to prep your outdoor flooring beforehand and read the instructions on how to use a pressure washer safely.

It’s also important to note that if you have a soft deck, pressure washing can potentially cause gouging. Stick to using pressure washers on your hardwood decking or composite decking only to be on the safe side.

Spruce Up Your Deck

2. Stain Your Deck

So, power washing your deck didn’t revitalize it much as you would have liked. Your next move is to try staining your deck to bring it back to life.

When it comes to staining a deck, you have plenty of options. You can opt for solid stains, which hide the wood grain while allowing vibrant colors or choose wood-toned finishes to enhance the natural appearance of your premium wood decking.

Again, be sure to do your prep work and read the manufacturer’s recommendations before you start staining your deck. Different decking materials have unique requirements that can impact the final result of your stain job.

3. Give Your Outdoor Flooring an Upgrade

One of the best ways to elevate your outdoor living space is by upgrading your outdoor flooring. With new decking, you can instantly revamp your space and build your outdoor oasis with a DIY deck design.

If you’re in the market for new outdoor flooring and want an easy DIY project, consider composite decking. Easy to install, low-maintenance and durable, composite decking is both a practical and stylish option for DIY homeowners. It’s also come a long way since the 90s and now comes in a vast array of style options, from sophisticated wood-look gray to mocha decking with hollow grooves.

4. Enhance Your Deck with Stylish Furniture

Adding patio furniture to your deck is a quick and easy way to showcase your style and add functionality to your outdoor living space. From cozy conversation sets to lounge chairs for relaxing poolside, your outdoor furniture will depend on both your style and the purpose of your space.

Don’t want to invest in brand-new patio furniture? Consider painting your old furniture a bold color instead. Cobalt blue chairs and side tables will pop against your outdoor flooring and instantly jazz up the space.

Spruce Up Your Deck

5. Set Up a Privacy Wall

Need some privacy from nosy neighbors? Create a privacy wall to shield you and your guests from view. There are several ways to do this, including a deck lattice wall. A wooden lattice wall can provide privacy while adding a stylish backdrop to your patio furniture. You can give it a romantic vibe with climbing plants and hanging blooms that add beauty and fragrance.

Another method to add privacy is by placing plants, trees, and accessories to block the neighbor’s view. If you arrange your furniture and planters just so, you can maximize your deck space while giving it a cozy feel.

6. Add Deck Stair Lights

During the summer, you’ll probably be spending more than a few nights out on your deck, enjoying the pleasant breeze. For times like these, deck stair lights are a great feature for homeowners to have.

Adding lights to your deck creates a cozy ambiance and helps you find sure footing when navigating your way up and down the stairs. In addition to installing recessed step lighting, you can also add railing lights to provide much-needed illumination.

7. Provide Warmth with a Fireplace

Installing a cozy fireplace on your deck can enhance the ambiance, provide warmth on cool nights, and offer prime marshmallow-roasting opportunities for you and your guests. Although setting up a fireplace on your deck is usually more expensive than setting up a fire pit on your patio, they can easily be worth the investment.

If you don’t want the hassle and expense of installing a fancy fireplace on your deck, you can always go with a portable fireplace instead. Portable fireplaces are ideal if you aren’t ready for a fireplace with all the bells and whistles.

Portable or not, the first thing you’ll need to do is check your local ordinances to ensure that your fireplace is legal. After you have the go-ahead, consider your style and choose a portable fireplace that matches your style. Just remember that portable fireplaces are a fire hazard and that you need to take precautions if you decide to place it on your deck.

Getting Your Outdoor Space Ready

You don’t need to be a DIY deck master to spruce up your deck. With the right décor and a few simple projects, you can create the ultimate outdoor living space which will certainly attract home buyers. If keeping your home for a while is in your plans, once you’ve put in the hard work, don’t forget to relax and enjoy your handiwork!

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