Electric Vehicle Winter Battery Performance

When purchasing an Electric Vehicle (EV), ensure you are well-read on the benefits and risks prior to signing the dotted line. One of the most common questions associated with EVs is their ability to tolerate cold weather. Lithium-ion batteries do not perform well in cold, frigid weather, and many EV batteries are lithium-ion equipped. However, don’t let a slight decrease in overall battery performance affect your judgement of EVs. We dive deeper and examine how winter weather affects driving range. 

Many EVs boast a driving range – the distance it can drive without being charged – some up to 500 miles, but the inconsistent presence of charging stations throughout the country makes the range a legitimate concern for many potential owners. Combine this with a decrease in range thanks to battery reduction in cold weather, and it could become an issue. 

All vehicles (gas-powered, hybrid, and electric) are taxed more during extreme temperatures and cannot function at their peak performance. At 20° F, conventional gasoline vehicles generally see a 20% reduction in fuel economy, according to FuelEconomy.gov. However, it’s often more noticeable with an all-electric vehicle where drivers depend on knowing their exact range in order to reach their travel destinations.

The colder the temperature, the more power is required to keep warm and function properly. EV batteries are susceptible to freezing temperatures due to the drop in warmth which affects the battery’s ability to produce essential chemical reactions. Research shows that while battery performance drops during frigid weather, it can lower the driving range by as much as 41 percent in some cases.

Gas-powered vehicles receive natural heat from combustible engines, which can be redirected to the cabin when necessary. No engine means EVs rely on energy-intensive resistance or heat-pump style heaters instead. Moreover, the darker winter months require headlights to run longer, defogging, de-icing, and more. All of these extra mechanics suck up power from the battery. 

To maximize your EV’s winter weather range, follow these tips: 

  • Make sure your battery is above 20 percent before starting up
  • Use heat efficiently and don’t warm the back cabin if there are no passengers
  • Park in a garage whenever possible
  • Inflate your tires to achieve the best efficiency
  • Drive in eco- or conserve mode to limit energy consumption
  • Install winter tires to improve snow, ice, and slush driving conditions
  • Pre-heat your EV while it’s still plugged in 
  • Utilize heated seats/steering wheels instead of heating the entire cabin with heat

Many EV owners enjoy running their EVs year-round, despite a slight drop in performance. If you are concerned about these factors, look for a plug-in hybrid EV that can use gasoline if necessary. 

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge of renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

How Hair and Skin is Affected by Hard Water

Have you ever emerged from a shower in a new place – whether on vacation or at a family or friend’s house – and felt like your hair or skin were different? A jaw-dropping 85 percent of households throughout the United States have hard water, and many people are used to its effects on their bodies. 

Calcium, iron, or magnesium-rich water is evident by scale build-up in coffee makers, bathroom sinks, shower curtains and walls, bathtub faucets, and more. 

Skin and scalp that comes in contact with mineral-rich water can be left feeling dry, flaky, itchy, and irritated. Minerals are, in fact, beneficial for our health, but this external bombardment can be too much for skin and hair. 

Hair
Hair can be affected by having a residue that alters its overall texture, health, and appearance. If your hair feels filmy, thin, straw-like, dull, or limp, you more-than-likely have a hard water issue. Color-treated hair fades more quickly with hard water. Overall, hair loss or the inability to get the shampoo to a full lather are also signs of hard water. 

Skin
On the skin, chronic conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can be aggravated by hard water. The most common effect of hard water on the skin is extreme dryness. The lack of moisture and high levels of minerals can shift your natural skin hydration, leading to breakouts and other issues. 

Though many cities throughout the United States treat their water, others are left with untreated or well water that needs to be softened by the homeowner. To get a better snapshot of your home’s specific levels, contact a water treatment expert who can determine how to properly manage your water woes. 

Generally, filtration systems are the best bet to combat hard water. The price varies, but whole-house filters are important for ensuring your drinking, bathing, and washing water are safe and mineral-free. People living in apartments should also consider a shower head filter and faucet filters for drinking water.

Is your home or business troubled by hard water? Contact the water treatment experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning today for affordable solutions to improve your water experience. 

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Blogging for Business

“Why do I even need a blog for my business? People can find me through social media.” Sound familiar? Before we delve into why this statement is incorrect, let’s examine some facts. 

Businesses with regularly updated blogs see 55% more visitors and 67% more inbound links than those without blogs. Content creation is the most effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technique for companies; the more content you publish, the better your odds of securing conversions. 

Google especially favors websites that share high-quality content with their audience, putting them higher in search rankings. When there is content on your website that Google can index, it swiftly pushes it to the top.

Digital marketing can improve your brand by bringing you to the top of indexed website pages, plain and simple. Blogging is one of the most effortless and economical ways to boost your business to generate new leads. It also helps give you a platform to publish less-competitive keywords. 

Blogs are geared toward getting your company more online visibility. Internet users either find your business by manually typing in your site URL or looking on a search engine. 

Every time you publish a new blog post, it’s an opportunity for your website to appear in search queries, linking your blog post and boosting your SEO. Moreover, content creators are always looking to share information on social media, so your blog could be shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. 

Blogs help to accomplish the following for your business: 

  • Brings traffic to your website 
  • Index your website so it can be more easily found
  • Creates company authority
  • Forms a long-term solution for generating leads (even years later)
  • Provides valuable information to your audience, keeping them coming back
  • Gives your company a voice
  • Converts traffic into leads

As you can see, blogs have an incredible impact on the growth of your business. If you are thinking of improving your overall web presence, let our professional digital marketing team at CPS help. We write blogs, and create social media graphic posts, newsletters, and more. Contact us today to get started!

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Tips to Avoid Cold and Flu

With the winter season in full swing, it’s much easier for our immune systems to be weakened and our bodies to become susceptible to bacteria and viruses. While we congregate inside to keep warm, cold and flu illnesses are more easily transferrable. Read on to discover some tips to avoid getting sick this season.

Diet: Ensure your diet is full of vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system. Cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, etc., are helpful, as are green vegetables. Use all colors of the rainbow when preparing meals.

Zinc: Take a zinc supplement within 24 hours of feeling mildly ill or “off” to reduce the chances of getting full-blown sickness. Research finds that by taking zinc sublingual (under the tongue), the body quickly absorbs the nutrient, which can help prevent respiratory tract infections and reduce the severity of symptoms. 

Vitamin D: This vitamin is especially crucial during the cold, dreary winter months, as we absorb much of our Vitamin D from sunshine in other months. Vitamin D foods include egg yolks, mushrooms, salmon, tuna, beef liver, or supplements.

Hydrate: Every tissue and organ within the human body relies on water to carry minerals and nutrients throughout each cell. Water also keeps your nose and throat moist, which helps trap bacteria before it infiltrates your immune system. Health experts commonly recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water every day. Include green tea in your regime; it has a high level of antioxidants and several health benefits. Also, avoid alcohol and stick to sugar-free, caffeine-free beverages as much as possible.

Moisturize:  Healthy mucous membranes are naturally moist and hydrated and act as a barrier to pathogens. When cold, wintry air dries out the membranes in our nasal passages, it creates cracks or breaks within the lining and allows viruses to invade our bodies more easily. Moisturize dry air using a humidifier and rehydrate the nasal passages with nasal saline drops.

Exercise: A regular routine such as walking, stretching, or jogging helps to minimize inflammation, reduce stress, increase circulation, and distribute white blood cells, which fight diseases. Every day, keep your body moving but don’t overdo it with extreme exercise, which can elevate stress hormones and increase your risk for infection. Respect your body’s limits and build in recovery days if you’re training for endurance.

Sleep: Healthy people generally sleep a minimum of eight hours nightly and are less susceptible to viruses and bacteria due to the body’s release of cytokines during that time. Cytokines are proteins that help fight infection by regulating the immune system.

Calm Down: Doctors suspect that there is a connection between chronic mental stress and physical illness. Practice yoga, meditate, or find another way to alleviate personal stress. The continuous release of cortisol, the stress hormone produced by your adrenal glands, will lose its effectiveness in fighting inflammation and disease and lower your immune system.

Hygiene: One of the easiest ways to avoid germs is to create environments they cannot survive in. Ensure you wash your hands before eating or preparing food or any contact with your eyes or mouth. Cover your mouth while sneezing, carry hand sanitizer, and disinfect shared surfaces like phones, doorknobs, remote controls, keyboards, etc.

Keep it Personal: According to the National Health Service, flu viruses can survive on surfaces for 24 hours. Try to remain mindful of this by frequently wiping down counters and door knobs when an illness is running through your household. Also, avoid sharing germs, use your own toothbrush, utensils, and glassware, and wash contaminated towels, toys, etc., in hot soapy water.

Staying healthy can be tricky, but using some common sense and some not-so-common advice will help. Stand back a bit from others, giving yourself some space from others who may cough or sneeze droplets into the air. Take a multivitamin and visit a primary care doctor regularly for check-ups. Remember, don’t go overboard by being a clean freak; germs help train the immune system and can help build up a healthy immune response. Also, remember to look on the bright side of things. Having a positive outlook will help ward off illness.  

Wolf Survival Gear is a hub for your prepping and survival needs. We are your trusted resource for concerned families, avid hunters, or serious preppers. Make us your one-stop-shop and prepare now, before you need it later. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Infrastructure Stocks for Investment

The United States federal government is slated to deliver heavy funding for infrastructure projects in the upcoming years. The onshoring boom starting to take hold makes it a better time than ever to invest in specific stocks focused on infrastructure. 

The infrastructure law will boost the funding of many American infrastructure companies as a growing number look to reshore their businesses to the States. From plane engines to internet service providers, continue reading to discover the possibilities. 

AT&T – T
Internet broadband and mobility (smartphones) are at the forefront of AT&T’s horizon. The company will benefit from the infrastructure bill that is expected to provide $65 billion for expanding broadband internet coverage. T stock has a price-earnings ratio of 7.6 and a high dividend yield of 6.1 percent.

Canadian Pacific – CP
This Canada-based freight-railroad operator is currently merging with Kansas City Southern, one of its major American counterparts. CP has already benefited from solid fertilizer, wheat, automotive, and intermodal volumes, with an overall revenue swelling 19 percent year-over-year. 

Caterpillar – CAT
This equipment giant manufactures pavers, backhoes, and other heavy construction vehicles. CAT gets a chunk of its revenue from selling equipment to oil and natural gas explorers. The farm equipment sector is being boosted by elevated food prices, which fares well for CAT. In the third quarter, CAT jumped 21 percent year-over-year to $15 billion. 

Eaton – ETN
Eaton is well-positioned to benefit from the government’s upcoming electric grid investment due to their development of electrical components and power distribution systems. Last quarter, Eaton soared 75 percent year-over-year in terms of its sector backlog, and the company’s earnings gained 15 percent. 

General Electric – GE
This electrical giant is a massive player in the plane engine market and is expected to grow 10.9 percent between 2021 and 2028. Air travel is growing in popularity, which puts engines in high demand. When GE’s joint ventures are added to the equation, it’s the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer. GE also sells turbines to power natural gas plants, is focused on improving the electrical grids, and will benefit from the government’s investments in the grid. 

Union Pacific – UNP
One of the United States’ largest freight train operators, projects supported by the infrastructure law will be backed by Union Pacific, along with many onshoring goals. The railroad is expected to be adaptable to challenging macroeconomic environments. UNP’s forward price-earnings ratio is 17.5, and the dividend yield is 2.5 percent. 

Vulcan Materials – VMC
One of the biggest providers of raw materials used for construction in America, Vulcan, is slated to receive a heavy lift as a result of road repair, construction of bridges, roads, etc. Materials used include sand, gravel, rock, concrete, stone, and more. Last quarter, 115.9 million of Vulcan’s shares were held or bought, while they unloaded a mere 5.7 million stock shares.

For more details, read the article in full by Larry Ramer at Investor Place.

___________________________

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical supply company. At J&P, we source contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of heavy industrial electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bus duct, transformers, circuit breakers, fuses, and switchboards. Call us at 877-844-5514 for assistance.  

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Digital Bonding and Surety for Construction Firms

Digital bonding in the construction industry is much more common these days, primarily due to the introduction of digitization into the surety industry. Especially since the pandemic, when many everyday activities suddenly were launched into the digital realm, digitization of sureties for the construction industry has only gained momentum. 

Paperless, fully digital bonding platforms are up-and-coming. McKinsey and Company recently reported the world will need to spend roughly $57 trillion on infrastructure by 2023 to keep up with GDP expansion. To meet that immense demand, the construction industry will be forced to embrace more digital options to support organization, efficiency, and finalization. 

Surety digitization in the construction industry has a bright future since time and cost savings can be recuperated. Managing a range of developments can be challenging without a specific digital solution to procure an effective bidding and bonding process. Two essential areas that can help in this realm include advanced analytics for intelligent asset management and digital collaboration, such as moving to paperless projects. 

Construction firms can immediately benefit from the simplicity and overall capacity of employing technology in surety and underwriting management systems by implementing cloud-based software. Those already immersed in the digitization transition have found their business growing more rapidly. With the bidding and approval of contracts fully automated, firms can minimize time-consuming offline work, instead focusing on workflow efficiency. 

Some benefits of digitization include better managing workflow, automating underwriting, managing portfolios, improving document functions, forecasting sales productivity, and connecting with brokers in real-time.

The construction and surety industries have adapted in previous times of uncertainty, such as the global pandemic, supply chain obstruction, and overwhelming worker shortages. Due to the industry’s apparent resiliency, the future will continue transforming as needs arise. 

At Construction Bonding Specialists, we work with new and experienced contractors to find the most satisfactory bond solutions. As a distinct surety-bond-only agency with decades of bonding experience, we work to discover surety solutions for all types of cases ranging from ordinary to challenging. Call us at 248-349-6227 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

How Solar Panels Can Charge EVs

Peanut butter and jelly. Bread and butter. Milk and cookies. Throughout life, we learn that some pairings are fundamental basics. Though many of us might not have realized it yet, an up-and-coming pair on the horizon consists of solar panels and electric vehicles (EVs), simultaneously sparking a revolution in self-reliance. 

EV charging is less expensive than purchasing gas for a typical internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle and has roughly 25 percent lower maintenance costs than ICE cars. Most importantly, EVs do not directly pollute the environment or burn fossil fuels. 

Powering up is typically accomplished through a specialized EV charger, and the electricity is usually supplied through the grid. EV charging through solar panels is superior to pulling electricity from the power grid for multiple reasons, including: 

  • Cheaper, more levelized cost
  • No additional future cost involved
  • Far less pollution emitted 

Solar panels are more cost-effective than using the power grid for charging EVs, and they are also helpful in powering homes. Moreover, most solar panels are backed with a 25-year warranty and reduce the waste of gasoline, oil, and natural gas. Only a handful of solar panels are needed to provide enough energy to charge an EV.

The different types of charging stations include grid power at home, public charging stations, and solar power at home. Let’s explore the prices and other notable differences between the three. 

Grid Power at Home
.10¢ to .40¢ per kWh – varies depending on location and time, most cost-effective at night, cost increases over time

Public Charging Stations
.28¢ to .69¢ per kWh – varies based on location and charging station owner, extra idle fees can be incurred, a subscription might be required, cost increases over time 

Solar Power at Home
.11¢ or lower per kWh – additional energy can be used to offset the electricity bill

Going green is great for the environment and your finances. EVs still qualify for special federal and state tax credits, reducing the upfront cost by as much as $7,500. 

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge of renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Gauging Ice Thickness

Whether you want to fish, skate, snowmobile, or drive a truck on it, ice can be dangerous if too thin for the activity you pursue. But how do you know if and when it’s thick enough to hold substantial weight? 

All ice that contains cracks or is located near inlets or moving water should be avoided. If there is any question about whether the ice is thick enough, chances are, it’s not. Use extreme caution when driving on ice with heavy vehicles, as it should be at least eight inches thick to hold a small pickup truck. 

Any cars parked on ice should be located at least 50 feet apart and moved every couple of hours. Use caution while driving slowly; ensure the doors are unlocked, and your seatbelt is off. 

Always make sure you – and your group – are equipped with a life jacket, ice pick, cell phone, a long rope, and an ice auger. 

Ice color is a huge giveaway when determining safety. Here are some guidelines: 

  • Clear ice is the strongest, as it’s also the newest
  • White or opaque ice is loaded with air pockets, making it weaker
  • Light gray to dark black ice is unsafe and should be avoided
  • Mottled, slushy, or “rotten” ice that is thawing or melting will immediately give way to weight

Once the ice is observed to be safe using the suggestions noted above, the ice thickness needs to be determined as well. To test ice thickness, use a drill to make a small hole, hook a tape measure to the bottom edge, and read the measurement. Ice color, thickness, external temperature, local conditions, and knowledge of frozen waterways are all important factors to consider when gauging ice thickness. 

The buddy system is also imperative for ice activities. Ensure someone knows where you are at all times. Make sure a flotation device is always within arm’s reach, especially while testing ice thickness. 

Ice augers can come in handy to drill through the ice; axes are also helpful in measuring thickness accurately.

Generally, ice for skating, walking, cross-country skiing, or fishing should be thicker than four inches and can support roughly 200 pounds. 

Ice for snowmobiles or ATVs should be five inches and can hold 800 pounds.

Eight to 12 inches of ice can support a small car or a larger group of people, while light pickup trucks or SUVs can clear ice 12 – 15 inches thick.

Have fun out there but be safe and use common sense. Check out Wolf Survival Gear for outerwear that will keep you warm.  

Wolf Survival Gear is a hub for your prepping and survival needs. We are your trusted resource for concerned families, avid hunters, or serious preppers. Make us your one-stop-shop and prepare now, before you need it later. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Michigan Creek Alarmingly Bright Green

Residents came across an alarming sight on December 12th. Plaster Creek was bright green near Cease E. Chaves Avenue, which borders Grand Rapids and Wyoming. Photos were taken by Steven Littell, and alerted authorities.

By the time the city of Grand Rapids got there on Monday, they had said the green color was gone. Various reporters who arrived the following day verified they saw nothing from the ordinary.    

“My significant other and I were driving by, and she said, ‘Look at the creek.’ I stopped and it was fluorescent green. It was like almost glowing. So, I got out and got a couple shots,” said Steven Littell and then notified others. “I came back and checked on it for the next hour or so — it ran green for pretty close to an hour.”

“It worried me. I thought somebody was dumping something that shouldn’t have been dumped in there. It didn’t look right. This goes right to the Grand, right to Lake Michigan, so it worried me,” said Littell.

Jeff Johnston, a spokesperson from the Michigan Dept. of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said staff inspected the creek at the specified location noted from Littell and found that the green color had already run clear.

“The color appears to have been from a dye test, likely performed near where the color was observed, and that material dissipates quickly,” said Johnston.

The maintenance superintendent for Grand Rapids Wastewater and Stormwater agreed that it looked like a green dye test to determine where water is flowing. However, the city clarified that they did not run any such test on Monday.

The mystery continues as to exactly what and who caused this water change. If you are aware of any information, please share it with the Michigan Dept. of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, or the City of Grand Rapids at: esd@grcity.us.  

For pure, clean drinking water, contact Reynold’s Water Conditioning today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Home Equity Statistics

Home equity is a hot topic lately, especially since home prices have escalated recently. In the second quarter of 2022, the average level of equity for homeowners with mortgages reached almost $300,000. Over the past five years, home equity has been skyrocketing, spurred into overdrive by the pandemic. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, in March 2020, the median price of an existing home in the United States was $280,000, and by October 2022, it jumped to $379,000. 

Three ways to increase your home equity: 

  • Making consistent monthly mortgage payments
  • Completing home renovations
  • Increasing neighborhood or city value

Just as equity can rise, it can lower as well; this is called “negative equity.” This happens when the homeowner owes more on their mortgage than the home is worth. Negative equity is not an issue for most people, thanks to the spike in home values, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a factor when the housing market cools down. 

Some home equity statistics: 

  • HELOC and home equity loans jumped by 47 percent between January and May of 2022.
  • Hawaii had the highest home equity spike in 2022, at an average of $130,000.
  • In the third quarter of 2022, home equity dropped by $1.3 trillion.
  • Since March 2020, the average homeowner with a mortgage has gained $92,000.
  • The home values throughout the US’s 50 biggest metro areas have increased between 19 and 66 percent.
  • Defaulted mortgages accounted for less than 500,000 homes as of September 2022.

Home equity is an attractive benefit of homeownership. Making monthly mortgage payments are a better alternative than paying a landlord rent every month, as a mortgage allows you to build wealth. 

Are you interested in building wealth through a home mortgage? You’ve come to the right place; contact EB Mortgage today to learn how we can help you tomorrow.

EB Mortgage is a locally owned mortgage company with experts in new home purchase, refinancing, and commercial loans. Our wholesale rates can’t be beaten. We offer more products, more options, and more solutions. Our “3C” Process is simple: complete our pre-approval request, consider options based on your requirements, and choose the offer that suits your needs best. Call us or e-mail us today!  

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/