Category Archives: Home Improvement

3 Common Preventable Causes of AC Failure

Hand Holding Remote For Air Conditioning SystemYour air conditioning system could be failing because of simple things you left unattended for weeks, like a loose wire. It's easy to mend these small problems without having to spend too much. All you need is to know what to do and who to call.

Refrigerant running low

The refrigerant is the fluid in the air conditioning system that removes heat from the air. When your system starts developing cracks and the refrigerant leaks, the AC will stop working correctly. The refrigerant will leak through the cracks and the system will end up with less than enough refrigerant. You cannot fix this problem by adding more refrigerant since it will continue leaking. You need to call a technician to fix the holes and the cracks.

The evaporator coils are frozen

The evaporator coils are filled with refrigerant. They work by absorbing heat from the air around them like a sponge. For them to work effectively and efficiently, there needs to be warm air around it so they can absorb the heat from the air. If the air is not circulating, the evaporator coil will get cold and a layer of cold ice will build up over it. 

Problems with the thermostat

During the AC installation for your St. Louis home, you need to know which kind of a system is being fixed in place. The older systems have a dial type kind of thermostat that's sometimes calibrated incorrectly. This means that the control system is not receiving the instructions. This is a small problem you can fix. You can either choose to replace the thermostat with a programmable one or you can recalibrate the thermostat.

You can learn more about your system by asking questions to the experts. By understanding your system, you can easily troubleshoot problems that might arise so that in the summer you don’t have a problem.

Three Ways to Dress up Your Windows

A woman looking out the windowWindows are an aesthetic and functional part of the house. They let natural light in, which helps you save on energy. They also make the house look better, especially when following rules on symmetry. Windows don’t need to be plain, though.

Here are some ideas for dressing them up while improving their functionality:

Use Window Films

Window films help control the heat that enters the home. More than that, they are also a fun way to decorate houses in Dallas. Choose from abstract shapes to those inspired by nature to design strategic places of the house without having to require additional floor space. A window film is easy to install, but you can also have it installed for you if you’re not sure how to do it.

Get Window Blinds

In some parts of the house, blinds are more than just an option; they are a necessity. When direct sunlight hits furniture, for instance, it fades their surface faster. You’re also subjected to the harmful UV rays. Window blinds can be adjusted to allow just the right amount of light into the room. During the hottest part of the day, you can keep the blinds shut to maintain cool temperatures in the house. Open them up in the afternoon to enjoy the natural light filtering in.

Add Window Tint

If you want to control the amount of sunlight filtering in without having to worry about blinds or curtains that someone might forget to adjust accordingly, window tinting is for you. Depending on the tint you choose, this can let in enough light without the UV rays that could harm your skin and your furniture’s surfaces. It’s a great way to make windows more functional without spending too much–and window tints are easy to install, just like window films.

Your windows already add value to your home. They can add even more if you dress them up appropriately.

Home Investment Ideas for an Energy Efficient Home

Insulation on a roofWe cannot live without using electricity for a day. Many of the things we use in the home alone depend on power, for lighting and heating or cooling.

Let us explore three ways that can help cut down on electricity consumption without sacrificing comfort.

Green Energy Equipment

We all know of the many things that the mighty sun can do for us. One of it is to provide us with usable energy that we can consume in the form of electricity. You can do this by using solar panels that soak up heat energy that it directly converts into electricity that can power up your home.

Though it requires investment and installation of equipment at first, you can recover the cost as it can dramatically reduce utility consumption, as you use it every day.

Natural Lighting Systems

There are certain areas in the home that you frequently use, and must have good lighting at all times. Instead of using lamps or ceiling lights, consider investing in daylighting systems. Depending on the design and illumination that you want, you can choose from skylights, roof lights, or roof windows.

All these allow natural lighting into your home, but with different installation procedures, and difference in materials and designs.

Insulation Products

We usually keep our homes warm or cool with the use of air heating and cooling devices. However, insulation expert Premier Insulation BOP states that as we run these devices for hours, we rack up bills, too.

Invest in insulation materials that prevent heat from flowing in and out of the house. So when you use the heater, it keeps the warm air in much longer. When you use the air conditioner, it keeps the cool air in much longer, too.

Investing in these home solutions can significantly cut down on energy consumption and even create a greener home for you and your family. Various companies within BOP offer installation of these at reasonable costs. So take that step today to go green and cut down on electricity bills.

Who Needs Self-Storage?

Self Storage facilitySelf-storage is a rapidly growing industry offering rental storage space on both a short and long-term basis to an equally rapidly growing clientele. Many people typically wonder who exactly uses self-storage, but you will be surprised at the diversity of self-storage users. In fact, you might need it yourself! Here are some of the self-storage clientele.

Businesses

A significant portion of the Port Douglas storage clientele consists of businesses. Whether you are a large company, small business or a simple home business, self-storage may be for you. It offers a solution where you can conveniently and safely store your inventory or archive important documents. Compared to the utility bills of renting extra space in a building, self-storage is inexpensive.

Households

Most flats and homes would need extra space, especially for those with growing families. Many would find that their home becomes seemingly smaller every year. For all the things you do not use on a daily basis, self-storage is the perfect solution to store them away and de-clutter your living area. For families that are downsizing or moving and need space, this is the ideal solution. Instead of cramming all the items you do not use in one room, get a storage space and use the room for something else.

Travelling Professionals

For people whose professions take them around the world for different lengths of time, it does not make sense to sell all your things each time you move, painstakingly move with them across the globe or rent a house for them. A self-storage unit is safe, affordable and gives you plenty of room to keep your things. You can even rent out your home for the period you are away with your items safely stored in a storage unit.

Most storage facilities offer units and sheds in varying sizes. No matter what you want to store, you’re sure to find one perfect for you.

This Simple Change in Your Home Will Contribute to Sustainable Development

Solar panel on a red roof reflecting the sun under a cloudless blue skyThe cost of energy continues to rise. The number of consumers in the US looking for ways to cut back on their utility bills has gone up as well. What a lot of them aren’t aware of, though, is the reason behind the increase in energy cost: finite sources. And the majority of its sources — fossil fuels, such as oils, coals, and natural gas — inch their way to depletion. You can expect this increase in costs to continue over the next several years.

The Bigger Picture

Utility costs aren’t the only problem. Energy sources only have a limited supply. Once consumed, people will no longer have access to them. Yes, natural processes continuously form them. Their formation, however, takes millions of years to complete. In other words, budgets aren’t the only ones that will suffer. The environment will, too.

Here’s the good news: there is a way to halt these natural resources’ depletion. It is through the use of solar energy. Thanks to solar companies such as Denver’s apexsolarsolutions.com, homes and commercial buildings can now take advantage of the sun’s power.

Clean and Pure Energy Without Dangerous Emissions

Take the process of transforming fossil fuels into usable energy and its utilization. It has continuously taken its toll on the environment. These activities generate emissions called greenhouse gases – the primary cause of global warming.

This should prompt you to have a solar power system installed in your home as soon as possible. With it, you can use the unlimited source of power from the sun as a way to supplement — even replace — fossil-fuel-powered electricity. And as a result, not only will you reduce your utility bills. You also do your part in preserving the environment.

Green Windows Increase Home Value and Reduce Energy Costs

Green windowsHome improvement projects constitute work and expense, so it’s only natural to look forward to some form of return on the investment. Often, these returns are intangible, like peace of mind, convenience, and satisfaction.

Upgrading to green windows, on the other hand, can provide a more concrete benefit: cash savings.

Enjoy Lower Utility Costs with Energy-Efficient Features

According to a home energy efficiency consultant, 30% of heating and air conditioning “leaks” at home pass through the windows. Green or energy-efficient windows help reduce this problem by providing insulation. They also help keep the ideal indoor temperature stable by stopping heat transfer in and out of the house.

Furthermore, Energy Star estimates that households can save up to $465 a year if they replace single-pane windows and $111 a year for double-pane, clear glass windows.

Correct installation is important, too, says Uncle Skeeter’s Roofing, Siding & Gutters, a roof, window, and gutter replacement expert in Maryland. Only then can these windows properly regulate the temperature indoors.

Earn Returns of Investment When You Resell

Any home improvement undertaking could potentially increase the real estate value of your property. This explains why homeowners who intend to sell their property several years down the road add a backyard pool, upgrade to built-in kitchen appliances, and renovate their bathrooms. Window replacements can do the same thing for a house. The fact that they are energy-saving will also add to its appeal to future buyers.

Regarding curbside value, green windows are generally pleasing to look at and suitable for many architectural home styles like Cape Cod, Art Deco, Colonial, Mediterranean, and Contemporary. This is further encouragement for potential buyers and a boon for sellers.

By choosing green options for your next home improvement project, you are contributing to the rest of the world’s efforts in preserving the environment for future generations. Increased energy cost savings and property value are simply cherries on top of the cake.

Termite Pest Control: When Is It Necessary to Call for Help?

Termite infestationTermites use wood as a source of nourishment, and a home for their colonies. The problem is when they decide to use your home for that purpose.

It may betime for termite pest control in Indiana when they start to damage your furniture and floors. The first step is to search the humid areas of your house where there is wood around. Termites thrive in humid and dark environments.

Swarmers

Colonies with mature and well-establish nests produce winged adult termites called swarmers. These mature termites leave their nest to build new colonies. Swarming happens during the day. If you see swarmers outside your home, the nest may be in your yard, somewhere near a wood structure. If you see termites swarming inside your house, the infestation maybe indoors.

Termite Droppings

Drywood Termites produce specific pellet-like droppings called frass. These are then pushed out through small kick-out holes in their tunnel-like galleries. A good indicator of termite infestation is a pile of frass under the holes.

Mud Tunnels

See if there are mud tunnels in your foundation and wood beams. Subterranean termites make mud tunnels to bypass objects that they cannot eat through such as concrete. The tunnels indicate an infestation.

Wood Damage

This is not easy to spot because termites eat the wood’s inner parts. Sometimes, there are no visible marks outside. Visible external signs like blistering or discoloration will only appear after the damage has become severe. A good way to check for infestation is to poke the wood with a blunt object to find out if it will crumble. You can also tap on a suspected area and check for hollow sounds.

There are various methods you can use to eradicate termite infestation in your home. But, it can be difficult, not to mention hazardous. The safest and best way to control termite infestation is by allowing professional exterminators to do it for you.

Factors to Consider Before Buying Your Garden Workshop Shed

A ShedA shed is normally a simple, one storey covered structure in your garden typically used for hobbies, storage, or as a workshop. The perfect garden workshop sheds are those that provide ample space to move around and work, sanctity, enough light, comfort, and security.

Are you planning to buy one for your garden? Do you already have design ideas and plans for your garden shed? Before making any move, consider the following factors prior to purchasing your new garden shed:

The Size

Size matters when planning for your garden shed. In most cases, workshops do not require permission, however, there are some restrictions on the largest size that you can put up depending on the available space on your land. So make sure to check the planning permission requirement before making a decision. On the other hand, if you have limited space to use, take note of the accurate dimensions. And confirm with your supplier if the roof overhang is included in their quotation.

The Purpose

The design of your workshop will be dependent on your purpose. If you think that you will stay there for a long time every day, it is recommended to put several windows even on the roof to allow enough amount of light to go through. If it is for storage purposes, you can maximise the spaces on the wall as storage with shelves. In this case, windows are not necessary. You can use a partition to separate the workshop from the storage.

The Quality

You have to carefully consider the quality of your shed. It is as important as having a pleasant and sturdy working environment. There are factors that you have to consider like the flooring should be strong, the base must be solid, cladding should be heavy-duty to make the shed secure and strong, insulation and lining, roof materials and the quality of the gutter.

If you have considered the factors mentioned above, then you are prepared to get your garden shed started.

 

The Psychology of Colors and How to Use Them on Your Home

Man painting the wallCan different colors affect your mood and behaviors? Some studies have shown the relationship between colors, light, and a person’s emotions — and therefore actions.

In a 2006 study, researchers observed more than 500 individuals in a real workplace environment. There was a huge variation of moods between people living near and far from the equator. But based on their findings, the workers’ mood seemed to improve in bright rooms. Then, it sank when it's darker.

In a more recent study, Harvard researchers learned that those who worked in offices with greeneries were more likely to perform better. This was in terms of cognition and productivity. They also reported fewer absences due to sickness and improved sleep.

What Colors to Use

The effects of colors, though, can differ significantly. Knowing where to incorporate them in your home is important. That is, if you want to maximize their positive effect on your behavior.

Black

It is the color of elegance and luxury. If you want to feel wealthy or successful, you may want to use a black metal fencing. Pick one that doesn’t rust, so its color remains vibrant for years.

Red

Being the color of passion, the color red fits the bedroom. But since it can also be the shade for anger, you should tone it down with blue, which is calming. Children’s rooms can have a hint of yellow, which is a happy color.

Green

Green is great in areas where you need to relax. It can be in your home office to counter the effects of work-related stress. It may also trigger a wealthy mindset since it’s the color of money. You can then mix that with white, which makes the area feel airy and clutter free.

The truth is, more research is needed to seal the connection between behavior and color. One thing is sure, though. The right colors can make your home cozier, more comfortable, and more pleasant to live in.

Easy Ways to Save on Your Next Electricity Bill

Electricity bill with graphSaving on your utility bills is not about one thing; it is a combination of different things around the house. It is also a product of your lifestyle. Once you are ready to forego a few creature comforts and decide to live a simpler life, you can truly get started on reducing your energy use.

Not only can this let you keep more money in your pocket, but it can also help reduce your effect on the environment. Here are some simple ways to lower your use of electricity.

Go for Natural Air in Your House

During summer, when the sun is at its hottest, it is tempting to use your air-conditioners on higher levels all the time. Instead of relying on your A/C to cool your home, try airing out your home once in a while. Open the windows and let stuffy air out and the breeze in.

Fix Broken Appliances

Did you know that appliances use more energy if they are not working at their best capacity? Instead of forcing your refrigerator to work harder and use up more electricity, for example, pay a technician for fridge service here in Salt Lake City.

You do not have to throw it out, especially if it is an ENERGY STAR-labeled appliance. Just have it fixed immediately before it becomes irreparable.

Unplug Your Devices

If you think your heating and cooling costs are your biggest, you’ll be surprised to find out that your various devices — smartphone, tablet, laptop, power bank, music player, computer — can easily overtake them. Set your devices to conserve more power, so you do not have to charge them as often.

Wash Your Dishes by Hand

Dishwashers are the biggest energy-wasters among your appliances. Instead of relying on your dishwasher, wash your dishes by hand, especially if you have a small family that uses fewer dishes and utensils.

Hang Your Clothes to Dry

During winter, you may not have an option but to use a dryer. In the summer, however, take advantage of the sun to dry your fresh laundry. An added benefit is the sun’s power to kill germs on clothes.

These may be simple pieces of advice, but try them all, and you will see how they come together to give you bigger savings over time.