Enhancing Home: What Are ‘Phantom Loads’? Find, Off Them, and Save Money!

Trying to find ways to save money after the Christmas bills come due and you know tax season is coming? Well, have you ever wondered why your electricity bill seems  high even though you don't feel like you're using that much energy? It might be…Phantom Loads!

Phantom loads are the sneaky amounts of electricity your devices use even when they're turned off. Think of it like a vampire slowly draining your energy bill in the night! These loads come from devices still plugged in but not actively being used.

Common culprits of phantom loads include:

  • TVs and other entertainment devices

  • Computers and peripherals

  • Kitchen appliances like coffee makers and toasters

  • Chargers for phones, laptops, and other devices

  • Electronics with standby lights or clocks

While each individual device might only use a small amount of power in standby mode, the larger effect of all these devices can add up to a significant cost on your electricity bill. In fact, studies have shown that phantom loads can account for up to 10% of a home's total energy consumption!

Find them: There are a few ways to identify the phantom loads in your home:

  • Look for devices with standby lights or clocks. These are a dead giveaway that the device is still using power.

  • Feel the power adapter. If it's warm to the touch, even when the device is off, it's using power.

  • Use a kill-a-watt meter. This handy device can be plugged into any outlet to measure the amount of power being used by whatever is plugged into it.

Off Them: How to save money on phantom loads

Once you've identified the phantom loads in your home, there are a few things you can do to save money:

  • Unplug devices when you're not using them. This is the simplest and most effective way to cut off phantom loads.

  • Use power strips with on/off switches. This makes it easy to turn off a whole group of devices at once.

  • Look for devices with energy-saving features. Many newer devices have built-in features that can help reduce phantom loads.

Take these steps to reduce phantom loads and you can save money on your electricity bill and help the environment. It's a win-win!

Here are some extra tips.

  • Consider using smart plugs, which allow you to control devices remotely and even set schedules for them to turn on and off.

  • Look for Energy Star certified devices, which are designed to be energy efficient.

  • Make sure your home is well-insulated to prevent heat loss, which can also help reduce your energy bills.

By following these tips, you can easily identify and eliminate phantom loads in your home and start saving money on your electricity bill. Remember, every little bit counts when it comes to saving energy!  For more tips about enhancing life, home, and your knowledge of Alaska Real Estate, follow me at www.kenhagler.com or www.youtube.cm/@kenhagler

Go Get the Day and Make it Golden!!

Feed the RIGHT Wolf - Get Your Self Talk In Check

A grandfather, a Native elder, came to his grandson, who was very anxious and depressed.  He said there is a constant battle between two wolves inside each person - one representing negative qualities like anger, greed, and fear, and the other representing positive:  love, kindness, and compassion. When the grandson asks which wolf wins, the elder responds, "The one you feed."

Self-talk is the way we speak to ourselves in our minds and hearts. It's like having a little conversation with yourself. Self-talk can be positive or negative, and it can have a big impact on how we feel and act. When we use positive self-talk, we think good things about ourselves and our abilities. This can help us feel more confident and happy. On the other hand, negative self-talk can make us feel sad, worried, or frustrated. Zig Ziglar spoke to self-talk in one of his classic inspiring talks to salespeople. He said to people you have to affirm yourself so say 30x everyday: "I like myself and I love my job." As someone working in Real Estate, and "Tent Making" (working in a trade/business to support ministry), I get it. Self-talk isn't for kid's: self-esteem, it is for ALL of us!

Positive self-talk is like giving ourselves a pep talk. We can say things like, "I can do it," "I am strong," or "I am smart." Others might speak more powerfully like "Choose Your Hard" or " Form your Habits - Your Habits Form You". When we talk to ourselves this way, it can help us believe in ourselves and feel more hopeful. It's important to be kind to ourselves and use words that make us feel good.

Negative self-talk, on the other hand, can make us feel bad about ourselves. We might say things like, "I'm not good enough," "I can't do it," or "I always mess up." When we talk to ourselves in this way, it can make us feel sad or worried. It's important to try to change these negative thoughts into positive ones.

Scriptures wisdom provides more insight. There are verses that talk about the power of our words and thoughts. In the book of Proverbs, chapter 18, verse 21, it says, "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." This means that the words we say, even to ourselves, can have a big impact on our lives. Another verse from the book of Philippians, chapter 4, verse 8, says, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." This verse encourages us to focus on positive and good things, which can help us have positive self-talk.

It's important to practice using positive self-talk every day. We can start by paying attention to the things we say to ourselves and trying to change negative thoughts into positive ones. We can also use affirmations, which are positive statements we can repeat to ourselves to boost our confidence and mood. For example, we can say, "I am brave," "I am kind," or "I am loved."

By using positive self-talk and focusing on the good things, we can feel happier and more confident. It's like giving ourselves a little boost of encouragement whenever we need it. So, let's remember the power of our words and thoughts and choose to speak kindly to ourselves.

Self-talk is the way we speak to ourselves in our minds, and it can have a big impact on how we feel and act. Positive self-talk can help us feel more confident and happy, while negative self-talk can make us feel sad or worried. It's important to practice using positive self-talk every day and focus on the good things. Remember, our words and thoughts have power, so let's choose to use them for good. 

Go Get the Day and Make it Golden!

Go Get the Day and Make it Golden: Building Success with a Heart of Gold

The alarm blares, tearing you from dreams of sun-drenched beaches. Life sucks, and the day stretches before you, a blank canvas demanding strokes of action. Do you stare, paralyzed by the list to do? Or do you leap after the opportunities, Lego bricks in hand, ready to build something fantastic?

"Go get the day," whispers a voice within. It's not just a call to action; it's my battle cry, a manifesto of self-determination. It has been igniting the furnace of my will the past few months, urging me to chase goals with relentless effort. Tasks once daunting in what I have called the "valley of suck" have slowly morphed into stepping stones, challenges have become exhilarating climbs, and d eadlines merely checkpoints, bricks, building one at a time, a life worth living and remembering. 

But ambition alone is a brittle flame (think of the Surivivor Fire Challenge), flickering quickly in the wind of adversity. To truly make your day golden, you need more than just drive. You need a rudder, a guiding principle that steers you towards not just success, but significance. That's where the second half of the mantra kicks in: "Make it Golden."

It's a call to infuse your pursuits with the golden rule – treat others as you wish to be treated (I just wrote about this). In the whirlwind of "getting the day," it's easy to get tunnel vision, to see people as obstacles or tools. But remember, every interaction is a chance to paint a stroke of gold onto the world.

Start with empathy. Listen with your heart, not just your ears. Acknowledge struggles, celebrate triumphs, and extend a helping hand where needed. Every kind word, every act of compassion, leaves a golden glimmer in its wake, illuminating not just the recipient's day, but also your own.

Integrity becomes your compass. Stand tall for what you believe in, even when the path gets rough. Don't take shortcuts, don't succumb to whispers of deceit. Remember, true success is built on a foundation of trust, and trust is the purest gold you can offer.

Gratitude transforms the day with golden light. Acknowledge the gifts, big and small, that grace your life. A supportive family, a loyal friend, a quiet moment of peace – they're all threads of a life worth living. Be thankful for them, nurture them, and watch how they radiate happiness and strength.

"Go get the day and make it golden" is more than just a catchy phrase for me; it's a recipe for a life well-lived. It's the pursuit of your dreams fueled by the fire of ambition, tempered by the golden rule's gentle heat. It's about chasing success with a heart full of compassion, integrity, and gratitude.  It's how I am defining the second half-of-life, what I call my “second novel.” It is how I face the plodding pace of "the valley of suck."

So, step into the day, eyes filled with determination. Let your actions be strokes of purpose, your interactions defined by kindness. Remember, success isn't just about reaching the top; it's about the golden trail you leave behind and those you help up as you are getting there.. It's about building a masterpiece that transcends mere accomplishment, a masterpiece that whispers, "This is how I lived. This is how I loved. This is how I made my day, and the world around me, truly golden."

Now GO, go get this day and make it GOLDEN!!

Do Unto Others...The Enduring Wisdom of the Golden Rule in Life and Career

As a former pastor, I've spent many an hour delving into the depths of various ethical frameworks, wrestling with the complexities of right and wrong. Yet, even amongst the myriad philosophies and codes of conduct, one principle has always shone with a singular brilliance: the Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," its words, though simple, hold a universe of wisdom within. And wouldn't you know it, this very same principle isn't just preached from pulpits, but also forms the cornerstone of a rather unexpected field – real estate.

Now, I know what you might be thinking: real estate, that world of high-stakes deals and competitive negotiations, a breeding ground for the cutthroat, not the kind-hearted. But hear me out. The Golden Rule, at its core, is about empathy, about treating others with the same respect and fairness you desire for yourself. And in a profession built on interactions between individuals, building trust and fostering positive relationships is paramount.

Imagine yourself a property buyer, embarking on the potentially stressful journey of finding your dream home. Wouldn't you want a realtor who truly understood your needs, who listened with genuine interest, and who acted with your best interests at heart? Someone who wouldn't hesitate to point out potential pitfalls, even if it meant losing a quick sale? That, my friends, is the realtor guided by the Golden Rule.

This isn't just about lofty ideals, though. The National Association of Realtors® has codified the Golden Rule into its Code of Ethics, setting forth a clear framework for ethical conduct. From fair negotiation practices to protecting client confidentiality, every aspect of the realtor's professional life is guided by the principle of treating others with the utmost respect and integrity.

Of course, adhering to the Golden Rule isn't always easy. There will be times when temptation creeps in, urging us to look at personal gain over the well-being of our clients. But it's precisely in these moments that the true value of the Golden Rule shines. It serves as a compass, guiding us back to the path of ethical conduct, reminding us that our success is interwoven with the success of those we serve.

And the benefits of embracing the Golden Rule extend far beyond individual transactions. Imagine a real estate market where trust is the default setting, where cooperation replaces competition, and where every interaction is infused with mutual respect. This, my friends, is the potential of a marketplace guided by the Golden Rule.

As a former pastor, I can't help but see in the Golden Rule a reflection of something larger, a universal truth that transcends professions and cultures. In fact, nearly every world religion has some form of Golden Rule in its teaching and practice. It's a testament to the fundamental interconnectedness of humanity, a reminder that our own well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of others. So, whether you're a realtor guiding clients to their dream homes, a pastor tending to your flock, or simply navigating the everyday complexities of life, remember the enduring wisdom of the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's a simple principle, yes, but one with the power to transform not just transactions, but entire communities.

And isn't it time...past time that all industries - all cultures - all leaders and all world leaders start living it?  But the real point is YOU - what will YOU DO?  And as you do, remember, you're not just building relationships, you're building a better world, one transaction at a time.

Go Get the Day and Make it Golden!


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