Color, Temperature, and Urban Heat Islands

13 02 2015

White reflects and black absorbs.

It’s a simple statement with massive ramifications if our society decides to use the science of color to fight global warming. For centuries cities in places like North Africa and the Mediterranean have been painting everything bright white to keep cool. White reflects the heat radiation back into space while darker colors absorb heat radiation and would therefore increase the temperature in and around the house.




Why did we abandon this simple technique that seems like a no brainer in places like Los Angeles? The answer is that it is much cheaper to use dark building materials. Asphalt and tar are two of the most ubiquitous building materials we use to construct cities and roads. The detrimental effect of building like that is referred to as the “Urban Heat Island” effect. This is why cities are generally much hotter than the surrounding countryside.

In cities with ample precipitation, the best solution involves plants on places like rooftops and vacant lots. The city of Boston buried it’s largest highway and built a giant park in it’s place. The “Big Dig” was a disaster as far as construction projects go but the original concept was great. (When I was ten years old, the Major of Boston told me the Big Dig would be done in five years…I am now thirty and they just finished.)


The problem with this approach in Los Angeles is the complete lack of rain. No one should be watering large lawns because it’s just downright irresponsible. Replacing lawns with fake grass actually contributes to the Urban Heat Island and also destroys whatever ecosystem existed there before. Residents of Los Angeles can enroll in a rebate turf removal program whereby you replace the grass with drought resistant plants and get money back from the city.



Of course if you can’t get people to vaccinate their children, the concept of deadly irresponsibility may not be salient for the residents of greater Los Angeles.

If you want to be a responsable member of society, however, paint white and tear up all that thirsty grass.


Spring is here so go outside!

19 04 2014

Here in southern California there aren’t really any seasons so “Spring” does not have the same impact on people’s lives when it’s sunny and warm all year round. Nonetheless we can pretend that we just got out of months filled with below zero temperatures and vicious blizzards.

Get rid of the weeds that have surreptitiously come back and are waiting to sabotage your beautiful garden planning. If the weeds are growing somewhere nothing is supposed to grow, a chemical weed killer will work well but don’t use chemicals in a place you want plants to live happily. You wouldn’t like your yard to look like this:

Decide what and where you want to plant. Succulents are a good pick for this climate because there plants can withstand the intense sun and also retain water very well. Flowers should be placed in a sun/shade mix because they have a hard time in direct sunlight.




Now you will need all the gardening accessories like bug repellant, a shovel, a hose, and of course don’t forget the beer.



Cool Flashlights and succulent plants

7 03 2014

We have some new stuff here at Tashmans this week so everybody should come over and go on a shopping spree!

Some really cool flashlights and tools came in from a company called NEBO.

larry lightzoom 130bendbrite


All of the flashlights above will blind you if you look directly into the light. Ironically people who get blinded usually buy the flashlight.

And we also have a bunch a of amazing succulent plants, perfect for our current drought condition as they do not require a lot of water and don’t wilt in the harsh southern California sun.

plants 1plants 2

Louvre or Jalousie Windows are the worst

3 02 2014

louvre windows

If you live some where that is not temperate year round you may not have run into this abominable style of windows. For obvious reasons, installing these things somewhere cold is a terrible idea but installing them somewhere warm is also silly.

Invented well before the advent of air conditioning, Jalousie windows are meant to utilise natural ventilation to cool homes in hot areas like Southern California. Now that we have entered a more modern age where air conditioners are pretty standard in places like Los Angeles, Jalousie windows are a waste of money, energy , and resources.

Which brings us to the crux of the matter; the importance of good window insulation. Tashman Home Center is one of the few remaining retailers of louvre windows but we do not recommend them at all.

Instead we recommend aluminum or Vinyl windows with Low E glass for extra energy efficiency. For more on our various styles of windows, see our info page or our Catalog.

window types

Eco-Heater Sale

30 11 2011
Cold weather is here and so is the energy saving Eco-Heater 

Tashman Home Center is offering a wall-mounted convection heater that will warm your room while it saves you money-which will definitely warm your heart and pockets.

The Eco-Heater is the most economical (and stylish) stand-alone heater available today. It can warm a 10’x12′ room for approximately 3.5¢ per hour. It’s slim. Wall mounted. Provides zero trip hazard. It can  be painted to blend with your decor. It does not force air with a fan, but let’s heat
rise out of the top of the heater. Its natural convection technology allows Eco-Heaters to be more efficient, effective and safer than radiators, fans, ceramic, gas and other types of heaters.

We are offering the Eco-Heater to our valued customers and their friends and family for a special pre-winter price. There is no limit to the number you can purchase. In fact, if you buy two or more, you’ll save more.

I am delighted to be able to offer you this wonderful heater at a great price. Stay warm.

Kindest personal regards,

Kenny Tashman, President

P.S. In case you haven’t already looked at our newly designed web site, with a brand new catalog of 1,500 items, please visit. The web and facebook links can be found the end of this email.


It is summer, time to make your yard look nice

16 06 2010

We have recently rearranged our lawn and garden center to accommodate all sorts of new items.

Tools such as shovels, rakes, picks

Hoses, sprinklers, and accessories

Pest control products to handle a variety of unwelcome invaders; Snails, spiders, wasps, termites, cockroaches, ants etc.

We also have a large selection of welcome mats and barbecue accessories.

Dimmable CFLs CFL Compact Fluorescent Light

27 05 2010

So if you were not aware of the benefit of Compact Florescent Lights (CFLs), the above diagram should be pretty self explanatory.

A short time ago it was difficult to find a CFL that would work in a dimmable light fixture, they tended to flicker and buzz and also did not work with a dimmer.

We have found the solution and now stock a number of dimmable CFLs.

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