23rd Jun2010

bcWORKSHOP Paperwork Party this Saturday!

by dhna

This weekend, DHNA and bcWORKSHOP will host a Paperwork Party at the Belay House.  If you are wondering what exactly a Paperwork Party is, it will be a fun community event where anyone who is interested in applying for the City of Dallas Weatherization Assistance Program can come to pick up an application and receive assistance filling it out.  Home owners and renters can receive free work on their homes to reduce future utility costs.  We will have coffee and goodies to snack on, so come join community members in filling out your weatherization form. For details click here!

Lindsay Vann, bcCORPS Coordinator

08th Jun2010

Handy Hint: Avoiding Hot Water Blues

by dhna

If there was a constant in my years working at Sears, it was water heaters. There were always prospective customers that came around for price quotes, technical-oriented customers who wanted to compare new water heaters to theirs at home, customers that came in for warranties or replacement, and those that wanted advice and diagnostic analyses of their water heaters in disarray. Of course these latter ones were the most difficult to deal with because they wanted professional advice, but I wasn’t a licensed plumber—I wasn’t even at their home to diagnose possible problems. However, the loss of a water heater at home is a major discomfort financially, physically, and emotionally, and no! I don’t bring this up to reminisce about my days in home consulting sales but to offer some practical advice about extending the life and efficiency of this useful apparatus, the water heater.

[The information below is from the U.S Department of Energy’s website on energy efficiency and renewable energy: http://www.eere.energy.gov/]

To lower your water heating bills, try one or more of these energy-saving strategies:

•      Reduce your hot water use

•      Lower your water heating temperature

•      Insulate your water heater tank

•      Insulate hot water pipes

•      Install heat traps on a water heater tank

•      Install a timer and use off-peak power for an electric water heater

•      Install a drain-water heat recovery system.

Draining the system once a years is also a proactive step in removing sediment from the system. Here are the steps to drain the system.

1. Turn off electricity and water to the water heater; allow heater to cool.

2. Drain water from the heater’s tank using a garden hose and pump.

3. Catch drained water in a bucket for inspection.

4. If water is filled with sediment, refill heater, and drain again.

5. Continue to fill and drain heater as often as necessary until the water runs clear.

6. Disconnect the hose and pump.

7. Turn on the electricity and water to the water heater.

These simple steps will keep the system lean and mean to better serve your household.

Jaime Peña, bcCORPS Coordinator & Contributing Writer

07th Jun2010

Rainbow Junction Summer Program Kick-Off!

by dhna

Today was the kick-off of the Dolphin Heights Neighborhood Association Rainbow Junction Summer Program!

This morning, 14 neighborhood kids from Pre-K- 8th grade met at the Belay House to start off their summer in Dolphin Heights. The kids spent the morning working together to come up with rules for the program, putting together their reading logs and of course getting down to business. The focus of their next few weeks will be maintaining their reading skills during the summer in preparation for the upcoming school year. The kids will read for about an an hour and a half each day, eat lunch together, and then do an art or science project. Check out the  lima beans we planted in little plastic cups today which we will transplant into the community garden soon!

Summer Program lima bean sprouts

Today was an exciting and fun day and will be the first of many to come! Keep checking back for more updates on Summer Program Activities.

To participate in the Rainbow Junction Summer Program please contact Anisha at anisha@dhnainc.org or 214-823-8777

Anisha Steephen, Dolphin Heights Community Coordinator