Learn eight easy ways to get rid of pesky ants, tips to save on costs while cooling your home, energy efficient homes, and tips for pain-free gardening.

TIP OF THE WEEK

8 easy ways to naturally rid your home of ants

Do you have ants in your home but are worried about the dangers of ant poison with kids or pets around? Try these natural remedy suggestions from Mother Nature Network to get rid of these tiny pests. 

Spray lemon juice where ants enter the home. Sprinkle ground cinnamon where ants enter the home. Spray a 1-to-1 mix of peppermint essential oil and water where ants enter the home. Pour a kettle of boiling water on ant hills. Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) around the perimeter of the home. Draw or sprinkle chalk around the home or window openings. Sprinkle ant nests with cornmeal. Mop floors and clean counters with a vinegar/water solution.

ENERGY

5 easy tips to cool your home and save money

As temperatures rise throughout the country, many homeowners are looking for energy-efficient ways to cool their homes without increasing their utility bills. These tips from the U.S. Department of Energy can help:

Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows. Keep them closed during daylight hours to prevent heat from entering via the sun’s rays. Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting only when you are at home and need cooling. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 F with no reduction in comfort. When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Only about 10 to 15 percent of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light — the rest is turned into heat.

SUSTAINABILITY

Must-have elements for building a sustainable new home

More than half of Realtors report homebuyers are interested in sustainability, and 70 percent say energy efficiency is important to buyers, too, according to the National Association of Realtors’ REALTORS and Sustainability report. If you’re having a home built for you, it’s the perfect time to think about sustainability and energy efficiency.

The experts at Coleman heating and cooling offer some points to consider as you’re planning your sustainable home:

Heating and cooling typically represent the largest portion of a home’s energy consumption. When choosing an HVAC system for your sustainable home, choose an option that uses leading-edge technology to tune the system’s temperature settings and performance for optimum function give exterior conditions. The systems also self-monitor to ensure they operate at the highest level of efficiency while providing maximum heating and cooling comfort.

GARDENING

3 tips for pain-free summer gardening

Gardening can be an enjoyable hobby, but after a long period spent in the backyard, it can be painful as well. Aches and pains are a common side effect of gardening, but you can reduce your exposure with these tips from Chatelaine.com:

* Warm up. Gardening is a physical activity, and even five minutes of stretching before you begin your work can have a big impact.

* Mix it up. Many gardening aches and pains stem from doing repetitive motion or sitting in the same position for a long time. Mix up your routine to keep your body fresh.

* Don’t be afraid to seek help. If your aches don’t diminish in 24-48 hours, seek medical attention.