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Leaving Energy Loss Out In The Cold

Posted by on 8:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Leaving Energy Loss Out In The Cold

Access to a functional air conditioning unit allows you to maintain a cool and comfortable indoor temperature, even when the thermometer shows rising temperatures outdoors. Unfortunately, a faulty air conditioning system could require more energy than is necessary to ensure your home stays cool. If you are looking for some simple ways to reduce your energy consumption, here are three air conditioning repairs to consider. 1. Replace a faulty fan. You should regularly check on your air conditioner’s fan to ensure it is in working order if you want to prevent energy loss within your home. When the fan fails to function properly, some of the cool air created by the air conditioner stays trapped inside the air conditioner itself because the fan isn’t pushing it through your home’s air ducts. The thermometer in your home continues to send signals to the air conditioner to produce cool air, so your unit works overtime and consumes more energy than it needs. If you notice that your fan’s blades are bent or cracked, replace the fan as soon as possible to prevent energy loss. 2. Clean out your condenser unit. The condenser unit is the large box that sits outside your home. This unit is responsible for drawing in the air that will eventually be cooled and distributed throughout your home. Over time, leaves and other debris can clog up the screens on your condenser unit. This causes the unit to have to work harder to suck in enough air to keep your home supplied with the cool air it needs to maintain a comfortable temperature. By regularly cleaning your condenser unit, you can increase the efficiency of your entire air conditioning unit. This will help you reduce your home’s energy consumption. 3. Repair leaking air ducts. Having an HVAC contractor regularly inspect the condition of your home’s air ducts can significantly improve your home’s energy efficiency. Experts estimate that the average home loses between 20% and 30% of the cooled air created by an air conditioner through leaking air ducts. This means that the cooled air never reaches the rooms inside your home, requiring your air conditioning system to work harder in order to maintain the temperature you have set. By having your ducts sealed, you can eliminate this air loss and improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system. Finding ways to make your home’s air conditioner more energy efficient can be as simple as making a few basic repairs. Replacing a faulty fan, cleaning the condenser unit, and repairing leaky air ducts will help you eliminate unnecessary energy use from your air conditioner’s daily routine. Contact a local air conditioning service to have your unit checked...

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FAQ About Household Drains

Posted by on 4:34 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on FAQ About Household Drains

Do you constantly have to pull debris out of the drains in your house so water can flow through? If the drains sometimes become clogged up with no debris being sent into them, it is possible that there is a problem deep within the plumbing pipes. The wisest thing to do before the minor problem becomes severe is to get your drains thoroughly cleaned by a professional. This article covers questions that you might have in mind about drains and getting them professionally cleaned. What Causes Drains to Become Clogged Up? There are many things that can lead to drains becoming clogged up. If your kitchen sink is the problem, food grease is a common reason for clogs. Even pouring small amounts of grease down drains is a problem, as it can accumulate without your knowledge. The grease basically gets stuck to plumbing pipes and makes it difficult for food crumbs and water to flow through. Hair is one of the most common reasons why bathroom drains become clogged up, so it is wise to not shave in the shower or over a sink. Why Are Clogs Bad For Drains? A clog does not only interfere with how well water is able to move through the plumbing system, but they are detrimental to the pipes. For instance, some of the food products that get stuck inside of drains contain acid. If acid continuously makes contact with the metal, eventually the pipes will begin to deteriorate. You will then end up with water leaking inside of walls and cabinets, such as from the acid creating holes the pipes. Are Household Drain Products Good for Removing Clogs? Household drain products are a good method for getting rid of clogs. However, the products might not be powerful enough to remove debris to the fullest extent. You must also keep in mind that using household drain cleaning products on a regular basis might be detrimental to your plumbing system. For example, many of the products contain chemicals that can eat into metal plumbing pipes. How Can a Professional Thoroughly Clean Out Drains? A commercial snake can be sent inside of your drains to breakup any debris that is stuck to the pipes. Commercial snakes are also able to break through large clogs of grease and hair, which might not be doable with a regular snake. Professionals are also able to use jetting equipment in the drains to remove large amounts of debris. Speak to a contractor about your drain cleaning...

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3 Kitchen-Renovation Projects Worth the Money

Posted by on 2:50 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Kitchen-Renovation Projects Worth the Money

If you’re planning on selling your home soon, it’s important to know which projects are worth the time and expense. There are certain remodel projects that yield the most return on investment. According to US News, a kitchen renovation can return a 66 percent ROI while a dated kitchen can significantly lower your house’s resell value. Make over your kitchen so its most attractive to buyers. Natural Wood Cabinets Buyers want to see a beautiful blank canvas for their personal decorating style. All-wood cabinets are a classic in the kitchen because they go with any décor style. What’s more, wooden cabinets look cohesive in any home style, from ultra-modern to historical. Natural, unpainted wood is the most adaptable method for adding cabinetry because the new homeowners can stain or paint them to their taste. As you’re considering your natural wood cabinets, make sure you include lots of storage space. However, don’t add a lot of personalization in the inserts—potential home buyers may not see themselves needing lots of cubbies or shallow drawers for their cooking needs. Hardwood or Tile Floors In that same vein, your flooring should also serve as a luxurious blank canvas for potential home buyers. According to Bankrate, you should refinish or install all-new hardwood floors in the whole house, including the kitchen. For natural wood, oak is always popular, though it’s also possible to install engineered wood. In the kitchen, though, hardwood flooring takes special care to avoid warping and scratching from all the kitchen activities. You may prefer to install tile floors instead, as they’re more durable—and a discerning home cook will notice that. Nonetheless, either hardwood or tile flooring in the kitchen is an investment that home buyers will find attractive. Granite Countertops When it comes to countertop materials, granite is the most sought after. Granite has become synonymous with luxurious kitchens. Granite is a beautiful, low-maintenance material for countertops. What’s more, granite comes in almost infinite color and pattern variations that can be further customized with finishes and edging. That said, you want to keep it classic when renovating your kitchen for selling. Don’t look at the brighter colors or more elaborate finishes. Shades of brown granite with subtle veining or patterning probably provide the most neutral foundation. The finish should be gloss or high-gloss. An eased edging looks attractive in any style of kitchen. As you plan your kitchen renovation, don’t forget to pay attention to basic home maintenance as well. Ensuring that everything in your kitchen and beyond is in good functioning order gives the maximum return on investment. Talk to a professional such as Family & Friends Builders for more personalized...

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How To Spot Electrical Dangers In Your Home

Posted by on 8:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Spot Electrical Dangers In Your Home

If you feel like you are taking a chance anytime you dry a load of laundry or run your microwave, it’s time to take action. You may also notice some other troubling signs around your house. If so, chances are that your electrical system needs an upgrade. Fortunately, you can do some investigating to help identify the problem and find a solution. Flickering If your lights flicker, the culprit is probably a wiring problem instead of a ghostly visitor. When you live in an older home, you need to find out exactly how old your wiring is. If your home was built forty years ago or longer and has not had a wiring upgrade, you need to have the wiring professionally inspected. The dimming of the lights could indicate a short. Left unattended, this type of wiring issue could end up starting a fire in your home. If an inspection reveals that you have aluminum wiring in your older home, you need to go ahead and have it replaced because it has been determined to be dangerous.  Appliances If you only notice problems when you are running certain appliances, such as a clothes dryer, you may be overloading the circuit it is on. Some appliances do need a dedicated circuit, one that is attached to an appliance that takes a lot of power to run correctly. This addition will keep your circuits from blowing continually, protecting your electric wiring and allowing you to do household tasks without continually stopping to reset the breakers. Hot Lights You can expect to get hot if you stand directly powerful lighting, but if the ceiling tile around the lighting is warm, you may have an electrical problem. It could indicate that your wiring is overheating. If so, it will only be a matter of time before the system shorts out entirely or you have a fire in the wiring. Brown patches around the light fixtures can indicate a heat problem as well.  If you have an older home that has not had an electrical upgrade, you should have a routine inspection to catch potential problems. However, even more modern homes can develop electrical issues. If you notice trouble with flickering lights, hot wires, or circuit breakers, you need to consult with your local electrician for an upgrade. Sometimes a simple dedicated line can solve your problems. If you need more extensive work, work with your electrician to find an affordable solution. Contact a company like Action Electric for more...

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2 Tips To Keep Your Kitchen Sink’s Drain Working Right

Posted by on 2:38 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Tips To Keep Your Kitchen Sink’s Drain Working Right

Your kitchen sink sees a lot of action throughout the course of the day. In addition to serving as a station where you can wash your hands, the kitchen sink also plays a vital role in meal preparations. A clogged or faulty drain in your kitchen sink can turn into a serious inconvenience, so you should make drain maintenance a priority if you want to keep your kitchen sink’s drain working right. Here are two simple tips that you can use to better maintain your kitchen sink’s drain in the future. 1. Use ice cubes to condition your garbage disposal. Many kitchen sinks come equipped with garbage disposals that help make them even more convenient. Unfortunately, a faulty garbage disposal can contribute to poor drain performance. In order to ensure that your garbage disposal has the ability to cut through food items you place down your sink’s drain, you should be conditioning the blades on a regular basis. One simple way to condition your garbage disposal is by sharpening the blades with some ice cubes. As the blades work to cut through the ice, the jagged edges of the ice cubes will buff and sharpen the surface of the blades. Putting several ice cubes down your garbage disposal on a regular basis helps to keep your kitchen sink’s drain working properly. 2. Cut through sticky residue with lemon essential oil. Keeping a bottle of lemon essential oil next to your kitchen sink can provide you with many benefits. Your kitchen sink’s drain can benefit from the residue-removal properties of this oil. As food and beverage items find their way into your sink’s drain, a sticky residue can begin to build up along the interior of your pipes. This residue makes it difficult for water to pass cleanly through your kitchen sink’s drain over time, so removing it with lemon essential oil can improve the performance of your drain. Just fill your sink with hot water, add a few drops of lemon essential oil, then allow the water to drain through your pipes slowly to maximize the residue-removal benefits. Finding ways to keep your kitchen sink’s drain working right doesn’t have to be difficult. Taking the time to pass some ice cubes through your garbage disposal on a regular basis and using lemon essential oil to keep the interior of your drain pipes clean will help improve the performance of your kitchen sink’s drain in the...

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3 Tips For Preparing Your Wood Particle Board Table To Be Refinished

Posted by on 8:17 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Preparing Your Wood Particle Board Table To Be Refinished

If you have a table that is made of particle board, which is also known as pressed board, and it has recently begun to show signs of surface damage, it is important to know that it may be possible to restore much of its original appearance. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for many people to accidentally damage a favorite piece of furniture by refinishing it without adequate preparation. If you want to restore as much of the unblemished appearance of your table as possible, the following information about cleaning and priming it beforehand will be very helpful. #1-Clean The Table With The Right Product It will first be necessary to understand that contaminants such as the oil from your hands or residue from previous spills will impair the ability of your table to benefit from the primer you will need to apply. However, it is crucial to use the right cleaner to remove the contaminants before allowing the area to dry entirely. As a result, you should use ammonia and a soft, clean rag to clean your table. To prevent any accidental smears from marring your freshly cleaned table, you may want to consider wearing latex or kitchen gloves. In addition, you can also wear a medical mask on your face to minimize any discomfort that could occur as the result of using ammonia. #2-Sand The Surface Of The Table…The Right Way Given the many types of sandpaper that are currently available, it would not be hard to use the wrong one and thus impact the final appearance of the table. In this instance, you should plan to use a fine-grit sandpaper. A 22-grit sandpaper is a good choice. You will need to sand with the grain of the wood so that the particle board loses its sheen and will be ready to accept the new primer. Continue sanding until the entire area appears dull and then remove all of the resulting dust with a clean, dry rag. #3-Mark Any Areas Of The Table That You Do Not Want To Be Primed Or Refinished If your table will be featuring a design or you plan to apply more than one type of enamel, you will need to mark the area by using painter’s tape. Pay close attention to the edges you are marking and use a ruler to verify the dimensions of your pattern, if necessary. If you are creating a pattern, be sure that one area has dried entirely before proceeding to the next step. In conclusion, a wood particle table is an affordable and popular item that can often provide many years of service. When its surface begins to show symptoms of frequent use and needs to be refinished, it is a good idea to prepare the table in accordance with the tips listed...

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How To Prep Your Hardwood To Be Refinished

Posted by on 9:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Prep Your Hardwood To Be Refinished

Do you have an old hardwood floor that needs to be restored? Luckily, with the right tools and a little bit of know-how, refinishing hardwood floors is a manageable DIY project. This article explains the best tools and techniques to use when prepping your residential hardwood floor to be refinished. That should help you decide whether it is a project that you can do on your own, or if it is something that you should leave to the professionals. Removing Everything From the Room One of the biggest inconveniences of refinishing hardwood, is the fact that you need to remove everything from the room. This can become a bit of a logistical headache if your entire floor is made out of hardwood. You may need to move stuff outside or into the garage while you’re working on your floor for several days. You should definitely move everything out of the room. Don’t try to just move things to one side of the room you are working on. The sanding process will kick up a lot of sawdust, so anything that you leave in the rooms will likely get sawdust all over it; thus, it is simpler to just remove the furniture completely. Masking Off Your Baseboard Next, you need to thoroughly mask off your baseboard. You need to sand it all the way into the corner of the floor, and you are bound to hit your baseboard with the edge of your sander. This can scratch the wood if it is not sufficiently covered. In most cases, just taping off your baseboard with painter’s tape will not give you enough protection. Instead, you should cover the baseboard with strips of cardboard or thick construction paper. Using a Disc Sander If you want to sand your floor in a timely manner, you need to use a disc sander instead of a vibrating sander. A disc sander will help remove more of the existing stain in a timely manner. Furthermore, you want to use two types of sandpaper. First, start off with medium grit sandpaper that will help her move the majority of the stain. Then, step up to extra fine grit sandpaper that will create a smoother surface, and make your wood stainable. Also, you should invest in comfortable kneepads to wear while you are doing the sanding. In the end, once all the prep work is done, the actual staining will go by quickly. For assistance, talk to a professional like New York Hardwood...

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Design Ideas: Choosing The Right Asphalt Shingles For Your Roof

Posted by on 8:51 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Design Ideas: Choosing The Right Asphalt Shingles For Your Roof

With all the roofing options available, it may seem difficult to choose a product when it comes time for a new roof. Asphalt shingles are one of the most common and cost effective options, but you will still have a lot of choices to make. The following guide can help you choose the asphalt shingles that will best compliment your home. Know your shingle types Asphalt shingles comes in three main varieties: Three-tab tiles: These are relatively common on older roofs, although you may still see them in use because they are generally the lowest cost roofing option. Each strip is split into three sections on the visible edge. Their appearance is relatively flat, with no dimension to the color. They also tend to be lighter weight compared to other asphalt options, so they may be the best choice on buildings with minimal roof support. Choose these when you need a basic shingle at a low-cost but when appearance isn’t of the utmost concern. Dimensional or laminated shingles: These are two names for the same thing. Dimensional shingles consists of several layers, which gives a richer and more varied appearance to the roof. Color variations along the same color family and slight differentiations in tab width create visual depth, making for a much more attractive roof. These do weigh and cost slightly more than basic three-tab varieties, but the improved appearance is worth the extra weight and cost. These are a good options when you need to balance your budget with an attractive roofing option. Premium and specialty shingles: Premium shingles are made similarly to dimensional shingles in that they are several layers of materials bonded together. They then go a step further design-wise. For example, the shingles may be cut into different shapes, such as a scallop edge suited for an old world cottage look. Or, the layers may built up in such a way as to give them shape, such as curved tops that mimic clay tiles. Naturally, these extra design elements come with a cost, so only opt for these when appearance is your main motivating factor. Choose the right color Color is the next important aspect of your shingle choice. It’s best to go with a neutral tone in most cases and save accent colors for the trim of the home. When choosing a color, consider the following: Are there permanent colors that are a part of your home, such as brick or stonework? How likely are you to repaint the siding or trim in the next 10 to 20 years? Your first step is to match the roof to the permanent color fixtures. If these colors are on the brown and cream spectrum, then opt for neutrals that fall into the brown spectrum. A rich woodsy brown can look nice with both light and dark homes. You can also work in shades of yellow, red, and orange if you opt for a laminated or premium roof. Just make sure it won’t clash with the paintable surfaces of your home, now or in the future. For homes on the white, gray, and black spectrum, light grays to dark charcoal or even black work well. It is also possible to work some color in, depending on your trim or siding color preferences. For example, blue trim...

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3 Tips for Extending the Lifetime of the Hardwood Floors in Your Kitchen

Posted by on 3:37 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips for Extending the Lifetime of the Hardwood Floors in Your Kitchen

Having hardwood flooring in your kitchen can help give the space a sophisticated look as compared to a floor made of tile or laminate, but hardwood flooring does require special care in order to stay in good condition in the years after the installation. If you’re concerned about your hardwood flooring getting damaged by simple wear and tear, it’s a good idea to look into what you can do to extend the lifetime of the hardwood floors. With just a few tips, you can make sure that your flooring continues to look great and that you’re not putting any unnecessary wear on the hardwood. Make Sure the Furniture and Appliances Have Floor Protectors If you’re unsure of where to start when trying to protect the hardwood flooring in your kitchen, you should take a look at your furniture and other appliances. Letting heavy items rest on the hardwood flooring without padding underneath can lead to the flooring getting scratched due to the abrasiveness of the items. Felt pads can be applied to the bottom of your furniture legs, and appliances can have mats underneath to prevent cracks and other scratches from being made on the hardwood. Clean Up Any Spills As Soon As They Occur In order for your hardwood flooring to stay consistently of the same color and finish, you need to make sure that any water or other liquids that are spilled can get cleaned up right away. Water damage is a real concern in the kitchen, and this makes it important that you take care of spills without delay. An easy way to do so is by simply keeping some paper towels in the kitchen, along with an extensive cleaning kit that includes cleaning solution and sponges that are safe to use on hardwood underneath the sink. Keep Shoes and Abrasive Materials out of the Kitchen While protecting your flooring from furniture and the appliances is important, you’ll also need to consider other forms of abrasive materials that can damage the flooring. One example is your shoes on the hardwood. Your shoes can bring in rocks and other grime, leading to the hardwood flooring quickly getting dirty with how much you’re moving around in the kitchen while cooking. Other abrasive materials to watch out for include the nails on your pets and even hard bristle brooms. Learning about how you can extend the lifetime of your hardwood flooring has a lot to do with avoiding things that can cause unnecessary wear and tear; follow these tips to decrease damage to your hardwood flooring. For more information on caring for hardwood floors, consult a company such as Ambrose Randa...

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Reasons To Use A Plumber To Clear That Drain

Posted by on 9:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Reasons To Use A Plumber To Clear That Drain

When a drain starts running slowly or completely clogs up, it’s tempting to grab a plunger and try to clear it up yourself. Not all clogs are the same. If you use too much force or the wrong tools, you can damage the plumbing or injure yourself. Here are some of the reasons why a plumber is your best resource the next time you have a stubborn blocked drain. You’re Dealing With a Hard Clog You’ll face two types of household clogs: Soft clog – This is caused by hair and skin cells and often happens in the bathroom sink, bathtub and shower. These clogs can often just be pulled out of the drain, making them an easy DIY task. Hard clog – Grease and other sticky materials build up in kitchen sinks until the drain is completely blocked. A toilet can become blocked when the wrong items end up in it when flushing. These clogs can often result in a call to a drain cleaning service. You Want to Prevent Damage to the Plumbing If you apply too much force when using a plunger to push a hard clog through a drain, you could force plumbing pipes apart at their connections. This will cause a mess and an expensive repair. Water jets that attach to a hose to force a block through can also break plumbing pipes. If you improperly use a plumbing snake to try to break up a hard clog, you could force the snake through the side of a pipe. This can become a very expensive mistake if you puncture a drain pipe running underground outside of your house. Repairs may require digging up part of the yard to replace the broken drain pipe. You Want to Prevent Harm to Yourself If you try to use chemicals to clear the drain, you can hurt yourself. These toxic materials can splash onto your skin or into your eyes. Using chemicals is especially risky when pouring them through standing water. The chemical reaction when the chemical hits the water can cause it to bubble up and splash onto you. Once you use a chemical in a drain, never try using a plunger on the drain again. You likely will splash dangerous chemicals onto you. Leave the chemicals to the plumber, who knows how to use them safely. You can safely try to clear a bathroom drain of a soft clog. But when faced with a hard clog that resists your initial attempts with a plunger, call a drain cleaning service such as Plumb Care Plumbing. Don’t risk damaging the plumbing or injuring yourself by not using the tools and chemicals...

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