Hunkering Down With Home Improvement: 3 Sensible Projects

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – With many Americans watching their budgets, heating homes has become an unwanted, though necessary, expense.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, many American homes will experience higher heating costs this winter due to increased fuel prices. Thankfully, simple behavior changes and energy-efficient appliances can help homeowners cut their heating bills and still enjoy the same level of comfort.
“Energy-efficient heating means that you use less energy to heat the same space,” said Phil Weeks, chief operating officer of Rinnai America Corporation, a company that manufactures gas heating appliances. “This saved energy translates into reduced utility costs for homeowners.”
Some energy-efficient heating devices, like Rinnai’s hydronic furnace, which works in conjunction with the company’s tankless water heater, can heat a home while still conserving energy. Featuring a high-efficiency motor that offers up to 48 percent better efficiency than a comparable traditional motor, the hydronic furnace is powered by Rinnai’s gas-modulating tankless technology, so it uses only the energy needed to maintain a room’s desired temperature. Because the unit utilizes hot water from the tankless water heater to heat air, the heat it provides is less dry than that of a typical forced-air furnace.
Another efficient heating option is to forego a traditional furnace in favor of a direct vent wall furnace. These ductless units are capable of comfortably heating whole homes or specific zones, depending on the need, and save energy by constantly adjusting heat output and blower speed to meet current demand. Rinnai’s gas-modulating direct vent wall furnace also can serve as a supplementary heat source for basements, guest rooms, room additions and generally hard-to-heat areas, thus reducing the demand placed on a home’s central heating system.
Of course, homeowners can take steps to help their current heating units operate on less energy. Consider the following efforts:
* Seal and weather strip doors and windows to prevent heat from escaping the home.
* Reverse the direction of ceiling fans (so they turn clockwise) to push warm air down from the ceiling.
* Minimize the use of bathroom and kitchen hood fans as they can quickly remove heat from the air.
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What Exactly is a Hybrid Car?

Even if you drive a hybrid car, you probably don’t know some basic facts about your car and what makes it work.

Hybrid cars use two separate engines for propulsion, usually an electric motor and a gasoline-powered engine. And while auto companies usually act as if hybrids are all the same, they come in three main forms: series hybrids, plug-ins and parallel hybrids.

Series hybrids use an electric motor to power a car’s movement – the gas engine just recharges the electric battery. In plug-in hybrids, the electric engine’s battery can be charged directly through an electric outlet. The car is propelled by the electric motor alone, and most plug-ins also include a combustion engine for battery regeneration.

Electric Scooter Earns Rave Reviews for Fun, Economy

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – 100 MPG equivalent or higher? It’s possible with electric scooters. And if you’re shopping around, “Just about everyone seems to like the Zapino electric scooter by ZAP,” writes, a leading Web site on the topic.

“Style conscious … a touch of Italian élan,” say CNN and AOL Autos. A “hefty steed,” write others, with “advanced” wheel motor technology, some zoom for “speed demons” with “great storage,” and a “cheap price tag.”

One of the secrets of the Zapino is its 3,000-watt brushless wheel motor. The wheel motor helps create greater efficiencies as well as more space on the vehicle for more storage and batteries. The wheel motor is also more energy-efficient than conventional technologies, enabling a top speed of up to 30 mph with the ability to climb 27 percent grades with a 177-pound rider. The Zapino plugs into normal 110-volt household outlets for a range of up to 30 miles per charge, which can vary with the terrain and the rider as well as several other factors.

“This motor is so powerful, it can win drag races against gas scooters, with speed and acceleration that leaves the polluters in their own dust,” wrote

If you are looking to save green, the Zapino uses about 25 cents worth of electricity per charge, which equates to about a penny per mile, while gas scooters can get over three cents per mile. Plus, the wheel motor has only one moving part, so there is a lot less wear and tear, and less overall maintenance is needed. Let’s not even mention tune-ups or oil changes.

The Zapino is available from ZAP, a company that has been a pioneer in electric scooters, cars, trucks, ATVs and other vehicles since 1994, with more than 100,000 delivered. So, not only is the Zapino the choice of the experts, media and electric scooter buyers, it’s backed by an experienced supply chain and a network of knowledgeable dealers, sales and service technicians.

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Monster Jam Drawing the Crowds

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Some people might not consider sports entertainment or theatrical competitive events as real sports, but a growing number of Americans, over 5 million to be precise, are attending Monster Jam events, Supercross races, Arenacross races, Freestyle Motocross events and IHRA Nitro Jam drag racing events -; while looking for some good old-fashioned fun and competition.

“Sportive” entertainment might have started with the Roman Colosseum, but today’s stadiums and arenas are featuring much more family-oriented entertainment, while still providing the same adrenaline rush. From the world’s top monster trucks competing on circuits, crushing anything in sight including cars, semi-trailers, busses, small planes and more, to drag races, sportive entertainment has become Americana to the core.

Spectators flock to both the top stadiums and arenas in North America and Europe to see their favorite motor sports stars perform. Feld Entertainment, Inc., the company that brings classic shows like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!, acknowledges motor sports entertainment’s immense popularity. The company recently purchased Live Nation Motor Sports, Inc., which has been renamed Feld Motor Sports.

“With the addition of our motor sports division, Feld Entertainment can now offer families everywhere an even wider range of live family entertainment options,” said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “We plan to take Monster Jam and all of our motor sports events to even more domestic and international markets than ever before.”

Monster Jam live events include three main elements: monster truck racing, monster truck freestyle and pre-show pit parties, where families can come to the venues early to get autographs and pictures with their favorite Monster Jam stars. In addition, many specialty events can take place at Monster Jam events like Quad Wars, Pro Arena Trucks and demolition derbies.

Many of the world’s top monster trucks compete on the Monster Jam tour including the likes of Grave Digger, Maximum Destruction, Blue Thunder, Monster Mutt and Captain’s Curse in addition to many studio-licensed brands like the Superman monster truck and Batman monster truck.

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