Energy Bill Busting Tips

Are you dreading your next power bill? Starting to worry about how the increases in electricity costs are going to drain your household budget. Well you’re not alone, so here is what you can do to reduce your anxiety and your bills.

Most of the time simple and easy common sense measures can cut hundreds of dollars fromyour bills just by following the following steps.

Top Ten Ways to Reduce Your Bills FOR FREE

1. Most people do not realise how much electricity a simple light bulb could be adding to the cost of their electricity bills. Turning off lights when you exit a room will make a big difference.

2. Try to avoid using the clothes dryer, if the weather is bad purchase a clothes rank that you can use inside.

3. If going on holidays, turn off your electric hot water system at the meter board to avoid the system constantly heating up water when it’s not being used.

4. If you have a peak smart enabled air conditioner you can connect your air-conditioning unit to Tariff 33 – which provides a guaranteed 18 hours of electricity at tariff 33 rates. You may not be able to turn on the system on during peak times, but this could be a good compromise to still enjoy your heating/cooling system without costing the earth. Energex are currently offering $250 reward for split system (peak smart enabled) and $500 reward for ducted systems (peak smart enabled). To see whether your air conditioner is eligible go to the Energex website.

5. An old inefficient pool pump could be costing you up to $640 annually to run on tariff 11. By connect your pool pump to Tariff 33 (if possible) could save you hundreds off your bill. Energex are currently offering a $250 reward for connecting your pool pump to Tariff 33.

6. Turn off additional refrigerators. Have a good think about how much you really use the other fridge. If it’s only for the occasional party switch it off in-between time or if it is to store extra food think whether you really need to store this much as you could be paying a fortune for “just in case you need it”.

7. When running your air conditioner set the temperature to 23 degrees in Summer, as every degree below this will cost you 10% more in running costs (eg. Running at 20 degrees will cost you 30% more than running it at 23 degrees) Or to save more open windows for ventilation rather than turning on the air conditioner in summer time.

8. Use cold water to wash your clothes. With the many washing detergents available today that are made for cold water washing it makes sense to use these rather using your electricity to heat up the water.

9. Once the weather starts to cool down, remember to close any windows that have been left open, use a throw blanket to snuggle up and keep warm whilst watching TV and get out the ugg boots. . If you do turn on the heater, keep the heat in the room you’re in by closing the door.

10. Using low flow showerheads in your shower usually consume less energy and provide the same amount of comfort.

All these free suggestions will reduce your energy usage and your power bills but they do take self discipline and children are often the worst offenders in leaving everything turned on. So if you don’t want to comprise on life style you can still reduce your bills by purchasing energy saving products such as a solar hot water system, solar power system, led lighting, skylights and monitoring systems. If you’d like to find out more visit www.anyenergy.com.au

Spider Veins – Cause and Treatments

Sometimes, you might have noticed red and blue blood vessels visible through your skin. Have you been a bit worried or embarrassed about them? Do you wonder what they are? They are known as spider veins. Let’s discuss the causes and various treatments of spider vein.

What causes spider veins?
Spider veins are a mild manifestation of venous reflux disease. This means a small, tangled groups of blood vessels that are found just under the skin’s surface. These dilated veins resemble tree spider webs or branches, and are usually spread out on the legs and feet.

What are the risk factors?
Spider vein risk factors are similar to those associated with varicose veins, including advancing age, occupations requiring extended periods of standing, obesity, hormonal changes and heredity factors (weak vessel walls). One can also suffer from spider veins due to prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays or as a result of weak vessel walls.

From the risk factors, it is clear that some people are prone to this problem than others. For example, if you work as a surgeon, a teacher or a nurse, chances are high that you could experience spider veins. Similarly, for people with a genetic history of weak vein valves, the probability of developing spider veins is also high. The same applies to hormonal changes, which generally occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause.

The exact cause of spider veins not been strictly established. Existing risk factors can be divided into two general sub-divisions, i.e. congenital causes and acquired causes. In congenital causes, there port-wine stain, Maffucci’s syndrome and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (also known as osler-weber-rendu syndrome), among others. The acquired causes include chemotherapy, acne rosacea and lifestyle/occupation risk factors (as discussed above).

What symptoms are associated with spider veins?
Spider veins can be painful in some cases, with cramping and aching. They often result in a feeling of heaviness in the legs, and burning, tingling or throbbing feelings. In addition, symptoms such as swelling, fatigue and itching can also be experienced. In serious cases, this condition can develop phlebitis, large sores and ulcers. However, spider veins are detected by their appearance in the majority of incidences.

Tests and Diagnosis
Doctors generally use non-invasive diagnostic tests to diagnose this condition. These tests are perfectly safe and painless, with no scalpels, needles or medication needing to be involved. The entire procedure is normally very brief, and probably won’t take more than one hour.

There are three main questions that doctors seek to answer through these diagnostic tests. First, they wish to establish any evidence of deep vein blood clots. Secondly, they discover if the veins are functioning properly. And lastly, they test the Greater Saphenous Vein (GSV) to determine if it is working well.

Any competent vein specialist will always undertake this exercise before treating your condition. Some of the procedures that you can expect include:

*Color-flow Duplex Exam – This is used to evaluate the anatomy of the affected veins. It determines the direction of blood flow, openings and blockages. This procedure is also important in the process of vein mapping (needed for skin deep problems).

*Bi-directional Doppler Exam – This is an ultrasound exam used to determine the speed of blood flow and whether it pauses during normal breathing. It also seeks to identify whether your veins are working properly.

*Photoplethysmography – Phew! Don’t let this complicated medical term intimidate you. Photoplethysmography is basically a diagnostic procedure that determines the efficiency of your calf muscle pump.

*Pressure Calf Exam – In performing this exam, you’ll be asked to lie facing upwards with legs lifted higher than your chest. This diagnostic procedure seeks to identify any vessel blockages.

Treatment
After establishing the specific nature of your problem, the doctor can then recommend the best treatment plan for you. Here are several available options:

Sclerotherapy
This treatment involves the doctor injecting a saline solution into the affected veins. This solution then damages the affected vessel walls, causing them to swell and seal shut. Within several weeks the scar tissue will fade. The sclerotherapy procedure takes around 30 minutes, and has only mild side-effects. Though the injection may be a bit painful, the stinging sensation is usually gone within a few minutes.

Laser & Intense Pulsed Light
This treatment option employs the use of a specialised device that focuses laser energy to the affected tissue. The procedure only takes twenty minutes, and has minimal side-effects.

Natural Remedies
Natural remedies can mean the difference between undergoing medical procedures or not, and are valuable alongside medical treatment. Some of the recommended herbal remedies include:

*Horse Chestnut Seed – Studies show that this seed improves blood circulation in the legs thus strengthening the veins and capillaries.

*Bilberry Extract – This herbal extract is known to stimulate new capillary formation thus strengthening the capillary walls.

*Butchers Broom – This herb strengthens veins.

*Gotu Kola – A very effective extract in addressing venous insufficiency, foot swelling and water retention. It therefore provides a good solution to spider veins found on the legs.

*Distilled Witch Hazel – This is directly applied on the affected areas using a cotton ball. Numerous clinical studies have shown that this extract can help strengthen blood vessels.

Caution: For health safety purposes, do not start using any herbal remedies without consulting a qualified doctor.

Spider veins prevention
Two of the most important things regarding the prevention of spider veins are eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. Eating a diet higher in fresh, raw fruits and vegetables than meat and convenience food is crucial, and if your job requires you to stand for a long time, you should regularly shift your body weight from one leg to another as well as standing evenly balanced.

To sum things up, the procedure of a spider vein removal is chosen according to several key factors. Your specialist will choose the optimum treatment options based on the results obtained from the diagnostic tests. We hope that this article will provide all the necessary guidance you need in addressing this problem.

For more information about spider veins Brisbane, contact the leg vein doctor Brisbane today.

Good Reasons to Install Solar Power in Your Brisbane Home

Utility bills are driving many homeowners in Brisbane to the wall. You can spend so much on electricity to keep your home up and running that you feel like you need another cost effective alternative. If you are on the verge of giving up on electricity altogether, maybe it is high time you considered something new. Have you ever thought of installing solar power. Brisbane has the perfect climate to produce maximum solar benefits. Have you ever thought of installing solar power Brisbane?

For a start, solar power is an affordable way to reduce power consumption. Solar power is generated from radiation from the sun. The initial cost of installing solar power Brisbane can be somewhat high. However, even the cost of installation has gone down over the years as there are many great products to choose from in the market. You will receive extensive warranties when buying your solar panel so you are certainly confident that the investment will be worthwhile.

Other than reducing the cost of utility bills, solar energy is also cost effective in the sense that it is basically free. Once you invest in the installation and maintenance of the solar power Brisbane all you have to do is to enjoy your free energy.

Solar power is also an environmentally friendly option to generate your own power. Solar does not emit any green house gases, smoke or any chemical by products.

You can decide to rely solely on solar or connect it with your electricity system. This means that even the people who are living in rural areas can benefit from solar energy. This way, you will avoid the frequent power cuts let alone the high cost of installing power in remote areas.

By installing solar power Brisbane, you will be contributing to the efforts of saving our eco system. The mining of fossil fuels is slowly depleting our natural resources. This is why the government is giving rebates to people who have installed solar power in their homes.

If you need solar power Brisbane, it is important to contact the right installer. There are companies in Brisbane which specialize in the installation and maintenance of solar power. Make this change and you will certainly enjoy the outcome.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Options

Plantar fasciitis is extremely common affecting around 10% of the adult population at some time in life. Commonly plantar fasciitis is associated with heel spurs however on x-ray only 50% of patients with plantar fasciitis have evidence of calcification through the heel (DiMarcangelo, 1997).

Commonly plantar fasciitis symptoms start as an awareness or ache in the morning. Relief treatment can be quite simple at this time however if it is left, these symptoms will often slowly progress to pain that significantly impacts quality of life.

When targeting plantar fasciitis symptoms your practitioner will guide you through the best strategy or combination of strategies to help relieve and control your individual pain. At Body Leadership Australia we recommend a multimodal approach utilising a number of different treatment options.

Soft Tissue Release
Tightness of the muscles surrounding the foot have been found to pull hard enough on the bones that they alter the natural shape of the foot and ankle often leading to plantar fasciitis pain. Accordingly, release techniques and stretching of the lower limb muscles can have an effect on decreasing symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis.

Stretching
Strategic stretching of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon or on the plantar fascia itself can decrease pain associated with plantar fasciitis. You should get a program tailored to your individual needs.

Orthotics
Orthotics can help to relieve the effects of plantar fasciitis. Changing the weight load through the foot can allow the inflammatory response to settle by supporting the foot appropriately.

Night Splints (Strassburg Sock)
The use of a night splint can reduce recovery time compared to the same protocol utilising standing stretches through the calf.

Cortisone
Cortisone was always a last resort due to potential complications and pain post injection. Now with ultrasound guidance outcomes have improved and we see them used more effectively. Cortisone options can be discussed with your health care professional.

Surgery
A number of studies found 75% to 95% of patients had long term improvement as measured by various criteria. Up to 27% of patients still had significant pain, up to 20% had some activity restriction, and up to 12% had moderate pain that impaired function (Brown et al., 1999; Davies et al., 1999; Fishco et al., 2000). Surgical options are always a last resort.

Once your pain is treated and controlled it is important to understand your individual factors that predispose you to plantar fasciitis which can be explained by your physiotherapist. You can then be taught a home program to release tension, particularly through the calf as well as the foot to nip problems in the bud. This can also be optimised using home exercises to improve strength for better control of your biomechanics long term.

If you, your friend or family member suffer from plantar fasciitis please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly Brisbane sports physiotherapists on 07 3847 8040. Our Brisbane sports physios can also provide treatment from our Brisbane Sports Physiotherapy practice.

The cleaning wonder that is clove oil

Clove Oil has been commonly known as a pain reliever in the medical world. With its natural analgesic property, it has been used to ease toothache, muscle tension and even skin irritations. Despite its reputation as a healing extract, people are finding more ways to use it beyond its usual purpose.

Today, Clove Oil is also considered as a good household cleaning agent. Here are a few ways to make use of the cleaning wonders of Clove Oil -

Mould Removal – moulds make bathroom and sink tiles look dirty and aged. Killing moulds is a breeze by creating a simple mixture of water, Clove Oil and perfume oils. Just spray on and let it do the rest. Moulds drop off in no time while giving the bathroom a fresh scent. In the recent Queensland floods clove oil was used extensively by householders to remove mould from walls.

Metal Polisher – Clove Oil is effective for cleaning dust and dirt in metals while keeping its luster on.

Odor eliminator – a simple heating of scented clove oils can get rid of unpleasant odors within the house.