Posts made in November, 2014

The Yearly Check-Up: How To Keep Your Heating System Healthy

You probably schedule regular dental and health check-ups for you and your family to make sure everyone stays healthy. You should also schedule yearly check-ups for your home heating system. A heating system that is well maintained runs more efficiently and can save you money in repairs and in heating costs.

What if your furnace works fine?

Heating units are easy to neglect. You may think everything is fine as long as your furnace works when you flip on the switch. However, problems can arise in the operating system from one heating season to the next. You should select a date, preferably in the fall of the year, for an inspection and cleaning to ensure your heating unit is working properly. Heating units run almost constantly in cold weather and sustain a lot of wear and tear. A malfunctioning furnace may break down or become a fire and safety hazard.

Your warranty may depend on it

Neglecting to have your furnace maintained may cause problems with the warranty should you need to use it in the future. You should check if your furnace has a warranty that requires regular cleaning and follow the guidelines to protect your warranty. Regular maintenance is not expensive and will pay off if you ever need a major repair that’s covered under the warranty.

What happens in an inspection?

A qualified heating repair technician will perform a safety check to look for blockages, which could lead to carbon monoxide seeping into your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can be deadly. Even if you have carbon monoxide detectors installed, it’s better to catch blockages before you put your family at risk. 

Burners need to be checked to make sure they are igniting properly. They can became gummed up with residue over time. Filters need to be checked and replaced. Your furnace technician can visually inspect the heat exchanger for rust and corrosion as well as the wiring.

Not a do-it-yourself project

You may wonder if you can inspect and clean your heating unit on your own. Unless you are certified and licensed in heating repair, inspecting a heating system is best left to a professional technician. They have the proper training and tools to perform the job correctly. They are trained to look for potential problems and usually have the necessary parts on hand if something needs to be replaced or repaired.

If heating season is already underway and you haven’t had your furnace inspected and cleaned, it’s not too late to contact your heating repair service and schedule a check-up. You’ll feel better knowing your furnace is working correctly and is ready for the cold months ahead. It’s not costly and may prevent a major breakdown that could leave you in the cold. It’s a small price to pay to ensure the safety and comfort of your family.

For more information, contact A Absolute Plumbing & Heating or a similar company.

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Overwhelmed By DIY? It’s Time To Hire A Handyman

Are you a house or condo owner who’s becoming concerned — and overwhelmed — by all the DIY jobs piling up around your place? You thought you’d save money by doing everything yourself, but the sheer amount of work can be too much for one person to reasonably handle. But if you don’t want to spend the money hiring a general contractor or remodeling company, what can you do? The solution is to hire a handyman.

All-Around Assistance

Depending on the licenses the handyman holds, he or she can complete many, if not most, of the jobs languishing in your home. Even better is the fact that you can hire one for one job or for several. You don’t have to pay exorbitant general-contractor prices to have one person come over to help you install some flooring, for example.

All-Around Skill

Take a look at the jobs you have to do and divide them into three categories — one-person, two-person, and electric/plumbing. The electrical and plumbing jobs that you can’t do yourself need to be done by someone with a license in those fields. Sometimes handymen have those licenses, so you’re good to go, but other times you’ll need to call in licensed plumbers, electricians, or general contractors who can provide those workers.

All-Around Ease

Here’s a handy way to figure out which of the smaller jobs to give to a handyman: For the one-person jobs, see which ones you can do quickly — and then do them immediately. If you can’t do them, or aren’t willing to do them, hire a handyman to take care of all of those jobs within a specific time. As you get bids, you should be able to find out how long different handymen think it will take to do all the jobs.

For the two-person jobs, hiring a handyman should be a no-brainer. Sometimes you have no one else around who can help you, and other times your family might not want to help you do the work. As annoying as that can be, it’s a minor issue — a handyman will probably have more skills that can make the projects go much faster.

All-Around Relief

Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help when you’ve got a lot to do. Hiring a handyman will make your work go much more smoothly. A handyman can also save you time when it comes to approving work and waiting for subcontractors — since the handyman will do the work, you don’t have to wait for extra people to show up.

For more information, contact a company like HRC inc. with any questions or concerns you might have.

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Ways To Green Your Heating And Air Conditioning: What You Should Know

When it comes to your home, you pride yourself on your ability to save money while maintaining a comfortable household. You strive to uphold your green values in everything you do, from the cleaning products you buy to your major appliances, repairs, and renovations.

However, when it comes to your air conditioning and heating systems, you may not yet be doing everything that you can in order to ensure that you are being as energy efficient as possible. All you need to do is learn the steps you need to take in order to make your heating and cooling systems as energy efficient as possible, and to hire a contractor to put them into use as soon as possible.

Update Your Insulation

Much of the energy that you lose from your home on a daily basis is lost from the top. This means that your attic and your roof are the prime target of your first step to greening your home’s air conditioning and heating.

First, you will want to determine whether your insulation itself is green. If you have never changed the insulation in your home, you likely have fiberglass insulation.

Not only is this not a green insulation option, it can actually be dangerous to work with. Fiberglass, if inhaled can cause significant damage to your respiratory system. And, because of the chemicals used to treat the fiberglass, it may be leaching toxic chemicals into the air and thus, into your home and your family’s lungs.

In lieu of fiberglass, you can opt for cellulose insulation. This product is made of recycled paper fibers. It works just as well as fiberglass insulation, but without the negative ramifications.

Otherwise, you can also use recycled cotton insulation. This particular insulation is made up primarily of recycled denim jeans.  Either of these options will green your home’s insulation, and improve your heating and cooling energy efficiency. Once you choose your insulation material, contact your contractor, and get to work right away.

Replace Old Heaters and Air Conditioners

If your heating and air conditioning units are more that 15 years old, it may be time to replace your units. First of all, models that old are less energy efficient than the models available now. Second, fifteen years is generally near the end of the useful life for these units.

Look for Energy Star rated hearers and air conditioning units. Energy Star is a government-run program that tests and ranks products based on their energy efficiency. Those that meet minimum requirements receive the Energy Star label.

Get a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are useful in greening your heating and cooling system. They allow you to set a schedule for temperature control in your home to maximize energy efficiency. 

For example, you can set your thermostat to automatically reduce the temperature in your home when you will not be there during the winter. Some programmable thermostats are also accessible from your computer or smart phone when you are away from home to change the temperature in your home to maximize energy efficiency. 

As you can see, there are several ways to green your heating and air conditioning systems. All you need to do is choose the options that are the most appropriate for you, and contact your contractor like one from Suburban Construction Inc to complete the necessary alterations to your home. Your system will be more sustainable before you know it. 

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How To Prevent Your Water Heater From Keeping You Out In The Cold

There are few things more annoying than lathering yourself up with soap, only to find that there is no more hot water in the shower. Not only is this annoying, but standing under a stream of ice-cold water isn’t exactly the most comfortable experience. More often than not, your hot water heater is to blame in this scenario. A heater that is too small for your needs or one that is using hot water excessively are just two reasons that might cause you to be left in the cold more often than you would like.

Tank Too Small

One reason that you might not have enough hot water is that your tank is too small. Your tank needs to be adequately sized to meet the hot water needs of your family. Tanks are designed based on how many gallons of water they are able to heat per hour. For example, the average shower uses around five gallons of water each minute.

If you have three people in your home trying to take 10 minute showers within the same hour, it’s safe to say that you need a tank that can produce at least 40 gallons of water per hour. A tank any smaller than this would leave one person taking a cold shower. Consider the hot water needs of your home and plan accordingly.

Using Too Much Hot Water

While it is important to purchase a hot water heater that is sized to accommodate the water usage needs of your family, it would be unrealistic to think that your tank can’t run out of hot water. Regardless of the size of your tank, if you’re using too much hot water at one time, you will run out.

The best way to avoid this is to space out your activities that require you to use hot water. For example, if you need to give both your children baths, wash a load in the dishwasher and wash a load of clothes, you can’t do it all at one time. In this scenario, you could give your children their baths, wait an hour and then use your washing machine and dishwasher. Whatever you have to do, try to space out those activities that cause you to rely on hot water.

Make certain that you have the right type of water heater for your home and that you are using it correctly to keep the cold water woes far away.

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How To Waterproof The Metal Roof On Your Shed

Waterproof your shed’s metal roof to prevent leaking in the future. Taking these steps now will protect the materials that your shed is made out of and will give them the strength that is necessary to hold up during strong winds and heavy rainstorms. The following steps will explain how to take the necessary precautions. 

Use These Materials

  • ladder
  • broom
  • scrub brush
  • garden hose
  • silicone caulk
  • scissors
  • caulk gun
  • putty knife
  • waterproof roof coating
  • mixing stick
  • paint tray
  • roller
  • roller handle

Clean And Patch The Roof

Stand on a ladder and sweep the roof off with a broom. Use a long-handled scrub brush and garden hose to remove stains. Once the roof is dry, patch any cracks or seams in the roof with silicone caulk. This type of caulk will not shrink and is able to resist moisture.

Press the release button that is near the back of the caulk gun and pull back the long metal piece. Insert the caulk with the tip of the tube facing towards the front of the gun. Apply a thin layer of caulk in the areas that you would like to patch. Smooth down any uneven areas with the flat side of a putty knife. Use caulk around screws or nails for added protection from leaks.

Add Waterproof Roof Coating

Waterproof roof coating comes in large containers similar to the type that paint comes in. Stir the coating with a mixing stick and then pour it into a paint tray. Use a roller that has a short, smooth nap. Attach it to a long handle and dip it inside the tray. Apply the coating in straight lines. Use light pressure and work slowly so that air bubbles do not appear in the coating. Make sure that each coat is thick and even. Once the waterproof coating is dry, the surface of the roof will be smooth and moisture will not be able to penetrate it.

Maintain The Coating

Keep the coating clean by spraying it off with a garden hose whenever it gets dirty. Avoid using a pressure washer because it could cause portions of the coating to deteriorate. If mold or fungus is ever on the surface of the coating, use bleach and a scrub brush to remove it. Once finished, rinse the bleach off with a hose. By taking care of the coating, your shed will continue to look great and it will remain protected from moisture for years. 

If you find that your shed’s roof has started leaking, you may want to contact a professional like Russ Lundin Roofing to take care of the problem for you.

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Earthquake and tornadoes were my biggest fear as a child. They still in someways are, but as I'm building more and more homes, I've begun learning about the different safety measures that are incorporated with the architectural designing. I think it's good to know where the best places to stand are in case of the natural disaster, and which places to avoid. As I've done research I've learned how glass can shatter and much further then what I thought –which has helped me mentally prepare myself to stay away from windows. I think the best way to be prepared for anything is to become educated on it, which is why I'm maintaining this site.