Canning Your Incandescent Bulbs

Winter is here. It’s cold, and you want to stay warm. So you reach to the thermostat and crank it up. But as the temperature continues to plummet, your heating bills are soaring. With energy costs on everyone’s mind, it is time to reconsider your approach to being energy efficient.

Here is your light bulb moment.

As of January 1, the manufacture and sale of incandescent light bulbs, specifically 40 and 60-watt bulbs, has been outlawed by the federal government because of their inefficiency. In case you aren’t up on your light bulb lingo, incandescent bulbs are the classic rounded bulbs that contain wire filaments (see the photo below).

Incandescent bulb

 

 What this means for you:

 Now that you can no longer buy incandescent light bulbs, you will have much more energy efficient options to look forward to such as halogen, CFL and LED bulbs.

These bulbs, however, will run at a slightly higher price point, anywhere from $13-$20 for a six-pack depending on where you shop and what brand you buy. However, these bulbs will last up to ten times as long incandescent bulbs and, ideally, will save you a significant amount of money on your energy bill.

The EPA estimates that if a household were to switch to all CFL bulbs, they could save nearly $80 a year.

Some important tips

 It is important to note that you cannot recycle your old incandescent bulbs, and you must throw them out with waste. Put them in a box to prevent breakage, and kick them to the curb with the rest of your trash.

Halogen bulbs can also be thrown in the trash, but be careful. They contain a small amount halogen gas, so it is paramount to prevent them from breaking.

CFL’s and fluorescents, however, must be recycled. In fact, it is illegal to throw them in with waste. Be sure to check your local laws about disposal or recycling of these kinds of bulbs, and make sure to locate the nearest recycling center.

Maurice

Note: Maurice Forde is President of Forde Windows & Remodeling, a leading home remodeling contractor in Chicago.  To see a portfolio of the company’s remodeling projects, click here.  http://www.fordewindowsandremodeling.com/home-additions/

 

Think Big Box for the Holiday

Think Big Box for the Holiday

By Maurice Forde

As we head into the holiday season, it’s time to start thinking about boxes. And when Forde Windows and Remodeling thinks about boxes, bigger is always better. So for this holiday, how about unwrapping a 16 by eight foot box truck, outfitted as a mobile workshop?

 

photo 8

 This past year, the Forde Windows team unveiled the mobile workshop as a way to increase productivity, organization and ultimately the customer experience. Completely loaded with a built-in vacuum system, miter saw, table saw, full first aid kit and plenty of drawer space, the box truck allows the team to do any cutting or fabrication on-site, all by only plugging in one extension cord. This means no more wasted time running back to the shop to make cuts or get materials, and no annoying generators.

With the box truck on site, the team also benefits from not having to do excessive set up or clean up and can focus on producing high quality work. This saves time, money and a lot of mess in the customer’s house, all crucial to making for a happy customer.

 photo 6

While finding a parking spot for this bad boy might be challenging at times, having it parked in front of a job site certainly makes an impression.

 

Adorned with the Forde Windows logo, the box truck doubles as a billboard for passersby to enjoy, and has already gotten the team business. Think of it as the ultimate business card.

 

While finding a parking spot for this bad boy might be challenging at times, having it parked in front of a job site certainly makes an impression. Adorned with the Forde Windows logo, the box truck doubles as a billboard for passersby to enjoy, and has already gotten the team business. Think of it as the ultimate business card.

 But with big boxes comes big price tags.  To outfit a mobile workshop you  need a truck, all the right tools and lots of time.

photo 5

This mobile workshop came in the form of a new truck and took about two weeks to outfit with equipment. That may sound like a lot, but it’s important to look at it as an investment rather than just another expenditure. It has already paid for itself with the jobs it has brought in.

 

With the organizational and fabrication capabilities of the box truck, plus the added advertisement element, the truck is truly an innovation working towards customer satisfaction that also provides the team with an invaluable tool. It’s just one more way Forde Windows and Remodeling is working to make your project as painless as possible.

Happy holidays

Maurice

Note: Maurice Forde is President of Forde Windows & Remodeling, a leading contractor in Chicago.  To see a portfolio of the company’s work, click here.

http://www.fordewindowsandremodeling.com/#

Spice Things Up With Convection Cooking

Spice Things Up With Convection Cooking

Finally, your kitchen is done. The mess has been cleaned, tarps removed and last bits of touch-up completed. Your cabinets are beautiful, the counter tops gleam and your appliances are top of the line. Now it’s time to throw that party you’ve been holding off on.

But too often remodeled kitchens are just seen as an improvement of space and never reach their full potential. Most remodels include a vast improvement in appliances, especially the oven. With an upgrade in cooking appliances (and everything else in your kitchen), why not upgrade your cooking? One simple way to do this is with convection cooking. It’s simpler than it sounds. Here’s all you need to know to get started:

What is convection cooking?

Convection cooking is when an oven uses three heating elements – usually one on the top, one on bottom, and one in the rear – and a fan to distribute heat evenly. Unlike conventional cooking where the heat comes from only one part of the oven, convection cooking allows food to brown, caramelize and cook more evenly in less time.

Does my oven have a convection setting?

The short answer is probably. The vast majority of new ovens have a convection setting and all of the higher-end brands such as Bosch, Maytag, GE, Electrolux and LG (along with many others) sell ovens with the convection setting. Put simply, if it doesn’t have a convection setting, it’s probably not worth buying.

What’s the advantage of convection cooking?

Quicker. Uses less energy. Keeps meats and poultry moister and baked goods flakier. Enough said.

Of course, convection isn’t always the way to go, but when it comes to baking and cooking meats and vegetables it is far superior to conventional cooking.

Ready to get started?

Now that you’re chomping at the bit and ready to put that shiny new oven to work, here are a couple simple, utterly delicious recipes to get you started. They come from Sari Forde and (trust me on this) they are tried and true and sure to impress.

Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 2 leeks, white part only, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1 lb. turnips, peeled, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 head garlic, ½ inch trimmed off top

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 (use convection roast setting)
  2. Combine leeks, turnips and sweet potatoes in a large roasting pan
  3. Top vegetables with bay leaves and drizzle with olive oil
  4. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper and toss to coat
  5. Place garlic, cut side facing up into a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil
  6. Wrap garlic with foil and place in oven
  7. Place pan next to garlic in oven
  8. Roast until vegetables are just tender and slightly browned (about 35 minutes)
  9. Unwrap the garlic and squeeze the cloves onto the vegetables
  10. Serve and enjoy

Garlic Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 skin-on, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 (use convection roast setting)
  2. Season chicken with liberal amounts of salt and pepper
  3. Separate heads of garlic into cloves, but don’t peel
  4. In large oven-proof skillet place garlic and rosemary under chicken breasts
  5. Roast chicken until cooked through (about 20-25 minutes)
  6. Let chicken rest on plate before serving

 So remember: If you want perfection, use convection. Bon appétit!

 

Note: Maurice Forde is President of Forde Windows & Remodeling, a leading kitchen contractor in Chicago.  To see a portfolio of the company’s kitchen projects, click here.  http://www.fordewindowsandremodeling.com/kitchen-remodeling-gallery/