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.

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Festive Ways to Celebrate Christmas Safely During Covid

Christmas is here, but so is the Coronavirus. The pandemic has changed up our lives, and it’s also forced us to reconsider how we can celebrate Christmas with our families. Dr. Anthony Fauci has explained that the holidays may lead...

The post Festive Ways to Celebrate Christmas Safely During Covid appeared first on HomeSelfe.


Christmas is here, but so is the Coronavirus. The pandemic has changed up our lives, and it’s also forced us to reconsider how we can celebrate Christmas with our families. Dr. Anthony Fauci has explained that the holidays may lead...

The post Festive Ways to Celebrate Christmas Safely During Covid appeared first on HomeSelfe.

Christmas is here, but so is the Coronavirus. The pandemic has changed up our lives, and it’s also forced us to reconsider how we can celebrate Christmas with our families. Dr. Anthony Fauci has explained that the holidays may lead to more Coronavirus cases and noted that travel restrictions may continue throughout the winter holiday.

Fewer Americans may be traveling for Christmas festivities or congregating with extended family. However, even if celebrations are limited to immediate family, there are many festive ways to celebrate Christmas during Covid. While virtual chat platforms may play a role in bringing family members into the celebration, some may already be burned out on virtual chats and want other ways to feel festive.

Still, some Americans will board flights to be with loved ones. Thanksgiving travel wasn’t quite as bustling when compared to pre-pandemic years, but airports did see traffic. CNN reported that while the Transportation Security Administration screened nearly 60 percent fewer travelers the Sunday post-Thanksgiving as compared to 2019, Thanksgiving holidays represented a travel surge during the pandemic.

For families staying home this year and looking for ways to create festive vibes during a not-so-normal holiday season, focus on embracing the joy of Christmas by adopting new traditions along with old favorite traditions.

Create a Christmas Ambiance

Need the family to feel the magic of the holiday? Create the festive ambiance with carols and holiday music. Stream a list of your favorite holiday tunes and light a fire for the holiday warmth. Just make sure your flue is clear and clean. If you live in a warm climate or the home doesn’t have a fireplace, turn on a virtual fireplace with your television. You’ll have that flickering glow of the fire…without the embers and extra heat.

Flameless candles also can be used throughout the home for holiday glow. These candles look like the real deal, just without the flames. You will need batteries, though!

Capture the Festivities!

If you’re suffering from Zoom fatigue but want to share the holiday festivities with grandparents or other relatives who are socially distancing elsewhere, record the Christmas morning celebrations to share with them later. Seeing the joy of Christmas morning will be a treasured memento for many grandparents.

What you capture on video is up to you and the family. Maybe you capture the family opening presents on Christmas morning or perhaps you want to capture tree decorating festivities (if your family decorates the tree on Christmas Eve). A personalized video can be watched over and over again, and it’s a wonderful way to let grandparents and other loved ones share the holidays safely.

Celebrate Christmas Safely During Covid

Decorate the Outdoors

Pick a tree, string some lights and maybe add a few homemade ornaments. Even better? Keep the trimmings on the tree eco-friendly and edible for outdoor friends. Wilder Child has all the details on how to make an amazing Christmas tree for all of nature’s creatures! If you’re going for a natural, edible décor theme, skip the lights and don’t add anything that could be dangerous to wildlife.

You also may want to create a festive wreath for the front door.

Celebrate Christmas Safely During Covid

Match Your Jammies

Lots of families have holiday jammies that match…just for Christmas. If your family hasn’t embraced this trend, it could be a new fun tradition this year. Especially since many of us now prefer to dress comfortably, thanks to a work-from-home lifestyle.

Matching pajamas don’t have to be Christmas-themed. If your family would prefer not to wear reindeer or Santa prints, pick out festive plaids that can be worn throughout the winter. Flannel is extra cozy for those living in cooler climates. Or choose fleece!

Celebrate Christmas Safely During Covid

Cook Up an Amazing Holiday Dinner

Make a festive holiday dinner with all your family’s favorite dishes. Your dinner can be traditional holiday fare with festive foods like honey-glazed ham, roast beef, yams and cranberry sauce or let all family members pick a dish that they would like. The spread could include all kinds of different dishes from around the world.

Get festive with dessert, too. Maybe include holiday desserts from different parts of the world. Sweet and Savor has an amazingly sweet rundown of desserts to enjoy as part of a global dessert platter; the site’s list includes Stollen (Germany), Lebkuchen cookies (also Germany), Bibingka Coconut Cake (Philippines), Linzer Cookies with Salted Caramel (Slovakia), Panettone (Italy), Mexican Chocolate Trifle (Mexico) and Pepparkakor cookies (Sweden). There are many more dessert choices on the list, so you can bake up the sweet treats that please your family’s palate.

Celebrate Christmas Safely During Covid

Pick Up the Phone!

Before the days of the internet and tablets, everyone used the phone to connect to loved ones on the holiday. If you don’t want to do another virtual meet-up, just make a phone call. Sometimes a holiday phone call is just as meaningful as the virtual video chat. However, with a phone call, no one has to worry about how they look…and maybe you just want to spend the day in your pajamas!

While this Christmas may feel different, families can still make the holiday extra festive. If you can’t travel or see extended families, add new traditions to make the holiday unique. Decorate the outdoors, dress in matching pajamas or have a special dinner. Whatever traditions your family embraces, just remember that the time together is what makes the holiday truly festive and merry.

The post Festive Ways to Celebrate Christmas Safely During Covid appeared first on HomeSelfe.


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