Home Improvement Archive

Precautionary Measures for Optimum HVAC Performance

technician checking HVAC systemFor families living in cold regions, such as West Valley, Utah, ensuring a working heating system even before the winter season arrives is part of a routine check. But even if you’ve made all the preparations, some things may not go as planned.
Good thing most HVAC companies offer emergency heating repair services in the West Valley area.

Taking proactive measure is the key to lower the risk of an emergency. Aside from the regular check to ensure optimum performance, knowing some common symptoms can help you preempt any further damage. One good example is the furnace, where some of the most noticeable signs occur:

Furnace Problems

A squeaking sound resembling an old doorjamb could be a sign of a mechanical problem. Getting a low amount of heat is usually the sign of dirty air filters that need cleaning. Worst case scenario, the blower needs replacement. Clogged filters could also be one of the reasons the cycle mode strangely toggles on and off.

Meanwhile, electrical problems are usually connected with the pilot control, the electric ignition, and in most cases, a malfunctioning thermostat. It’s best to leave these types of problems to the professionals.

Preventive Maintenance

HVAC problems usually arise from clogged filters and could lead to various consequences if left unresolved. The solution is simple: keep the filters clean. If it needs replacement, don’t hesitate to buy a replacement. It’s better to pay for inexpensive filters rather than having a major, costly HVAC repair.

Most homeowners usually have spare filters, alternating the usage to prevent premature wear and tear. Check the battery of the thermostat regularly to make sure there’s no corrosion. The same goes for the circuit breaker and power supply.

More importantly, you should be familiar with how the entire HVAC system works. It doesn’t mean you need to know how to troubleshoot the system. But if you know how the heating system performs, it gives you a better idea if something is not working the way it should.

A Look Into the Common Signs Water Heater Problems

plumber fixing the water heaterOne of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll see inside a house is the water heater. Without hot or warm water, taking a quick shower or washing the dishes would be difficult.
Homeowners in Lehi, Utah know the importance of maintaining a working heater and knowing when to call for immediate water heater repair. Here are the most common signs of water heater problems:

Water Isn’t Hot

The main thing about water heater is to make the water hot; if it’s not doing its job, then there’s a big problem. Before calling the experts in repairing water heaters, make sure you have checked all there is to check, such as the power indicator and if the machine is properly plugged. There are some cases when the water heater has no problem, but the power supply is broken, or the cable is stripped open.

Insufficient Hot Water

Running out of hot water can be caused by different things. The most common culprit would be the thermostat, but it could also be the capacity of the heater to make the water hot. Some water heaters may be too small and not designed to accommodate your entire family’s hot water needs. In this matter, consider getting a heavy-duty water heater, or better yet, a tankless water heater.

Dirty, Smelly Water

The most annoying heater problem is when it produces a smelly, colored hot water. Sometimes, it could just be a result of sediment buildup inside the water tank, so draining and cleaning it would be the best solution. In some cases, replacing the anode rod helps prevent corrosion and rust from building up inside the tank.

Unstable Temperature

When the water gets too hot or colder than the usual temperature you’re getting, you can adjust the thermostat settings. If you get the same result despite doing this, it could be due to a faulty thermostat.

Leaking Water Heater

A leaking water heater is perhaps the most common problem homeowners deal with. While it could be mostly caused by a broken valve or pipe, having the pressure checked by professionals is also a good idea.

As an extra precaution, be sure to check the water heater regularly for any type of problem. Through constant use, you’ll get used to how hot the water should be based on the thermostat settings you set, among other instances. A regular inspection won’t cost too much compared to having a major water heater repair, which could have been avoided.

4 Top Ways You Can Use a Backyard Studio/

Empty roomYou’ve probably heard people mention backyard studio kits here in Australia and might have wondered whether they’re worth investing in. Well, there are several benefits of owning a home studio. A home studio can significantly boost your yard’s visual appeal, besides upping your home’s value.

Most importantly, the room provides the ultimate solution for your space problems. Here are four ways how.

It can serve as an office

For those who work from home, a backyard studio provides an excellent space to set up an office. The studio offers just the quiet environment you need to focus on work and the required privacy for talking with clients.

Include a toilet and kitchenette in the studio so you can work for long hours without needing to go outside.

You can turn it into a gym

You have fitness goals but do not fancy joining the local gym. Why not build your very own gym at home in your backyard? Turning your backyard studio into a gym means that you not only get to avoid membership fees but also can exercise at any time you want.

It’s the perfect backyard retreat centre

If you are into yoga, then you’ve probably thought about having an ideal space dedicated to that. You can leave the floors of your backyard studio empty except for your yoga mat and use the room it for meditating.

Turn it into a guest room

You no longer need to worry about hosting guests for a few days just because your main house does not have lots of space. A backyard studio can serve that purpose perfectly. Just make sure it’s self-contained for increased comfort.

A backyard studio is the perfect addition to your home if you are looking for a final solution to your space woes. With all the applications the space can serve, it’s an investment that’s worth every penny.

Make Spring Cleaning Count: 4 Home Improvement Ideas That Boost Value

Spring cleaning

While not everyone loves spring cleaning, you need it to keep your home in good condition all year round. It is an excellent way to prepare the house for the future seasons and even make it ready for a possible sale.

Regardless of the reason, you can make your efforts count by focusing on home ideas that boost your home’s resale value.

1. Update your kitchen

While all parts of the house matter, nothing beats the kitchen and bath as far as potential buyers are concerned. In fact, in one of the home remodeling surveys, more than 80 percent said the kitchen is one of the top three significant spaces in a house.

Renovating a kitchen doesn’t have to be too expensive. Companies that specialize in kitchen remodeling in Fort Wayne can customize the project according to your needs and budget. Serenity Kitchen and Bath recommends focusing on improvements that can make the house sell fast, such as granite countertops and kitchen islands.

2. Clean up the yard

People are still looking for homes with yards. It is especially true for millennials who are starting a family or buying a house because of their dogs. They also need houses with enough outdoor space to entertain guests.

Landscaping is one of the best ways to boost the curb appeal, but if you don’t have the money for it, you can always go for something simple, such as mowing and weeding. You can also add plants eventually to improve the surroundings.

3. Paint the home

The previous two are big projects. While you’re raising funds for them or if you’re looking for something quick to do, you can paint the interior and exterior walls. A fresh coat of paint makes the house look and feel brand new. Nevertheless, stick to the colors that are attractive to potential buyers.

4. Organize your things

Clutter can cloud other’s judgment easily. It makes them feel that the house doesn’t have excellent maintenance and that they’d probably end up spending more money on repair.

Consider a more purposeful spring cleaning activity this year. Work toward improving the property’s value, so you can look forward to a big return later.

Getting to Know Household Pests: Facts about Cockroaches

Hand holding a cockroachYou probably did not know that some cockroaches glow—and we are not talking about a character in a science fiction novel or a Hollywood film. Luchihormetica Lukea, a rare cockroach species, has bioluminescent properties and glows with a yellowish light.

While veteran pest control services staff in Salt Lake City will argue that they are some of the most annoying creatures alive, they cannot deny that cockroaches are fascinating in so many ways. But that doesn’t mean you can let them infest your home. Greenside Pest Control shares more information about this animal species.

Long live the cockroach

You have probably heard that cockroaches can survive a few days even without a head. It would interest you to know these pests don’t have a definitive lifespan. More specifically, the expected lifespan depends on the species. If the more than four thousand species living in the world today, the America cockroach has the longest life cycle, which is rather unfortunate for American homeowners.

While the average German cockroach can survive in its final adult stage for about 200 days, and the Asian cockroach clocking at 160-180 days, the American counterpart enjoys anywhere from 362 to 700 days. Females live longer than males, and each mature female can produce as many as 240 offspring in the same year.

The speedster with a huge appetite

If cockroaches were human beings, they can reach top running speeds of 200 MPH. This might be because they have 18 knee joints distributed between six legs. Cockroaches are fast movers, and they feast on their favorite dishes as quickly and efficiently. They would eat virtually anything they can get their jaws on, including one of their own.

Yet, it is interesting to note that these insects can survive a long lean period—that is, they can survive up to a month without food. It’s no wonder they have been around since the time of the dinosaurs.

Cockroaches are pests, but they are also fascinating creatures, especially because they are tenacious and tough. But they don’t belong to your home. If you want to remove them, call a pest control team that knows how to eliminate them safely and effectively.

Wondering Where Landscaping is Going in 2018? Check These Trends

Landscaped GardenIt may come as a surprise to many that more than two-thirds of British adults visit a garden centre annually. The Garden Retail Market Analysis Report published in 2014 estimates £5 billion as the value of the UK garden market although this amount excludes the landscaping and amenity sectors. The same report estimates that UK consumers spent £1.5 billion on garden plants in 2013 alone.

The British obviously loves gardening, hence its rapid and consistent growth. What is tickling the desires of the horticultural-loving British populace in 2018? Landscape gardeners in Essex share the three trends this year:

Wabi-sabi

Not an English word, wabi-sabi is a Japanese art that encourages the incorporation of nature’s cycle of growth, death, decay and regrowth into gardening and landscaping. This trend is already popping up all over the landscape terrain in the UK, attracting admiring glances. For those who are yet to recognise it, just recall landscape sceneries with overgrown perennials, stones encased in moss, weather-textured garden pots and rusty metal gates. Rustic yet captivating; that is the wabi-sabi look.

Alfresco

This outdoor Mediterranean kitchen and dining concept is catching on relentlessly in the industry. As people are increasingly squeezed for space indoors, they are finding expression in the outdoor space. Kitchen and dining outdoors have become very attractive with a dedicated area, made comfortable and touched with a barbecue or pizza oven.

Mindfulness

The Far East emerges again in Western horticultural practice with this concept of emphasising well-being through the usage of mind-stimulating elements. Thus, flowers with calming accents such as blues, lavender-scents and running water will increasingly feature in the bid to create the right ambience for relaxation.

The future of garden landscaping is looking good as the Royal Horticultural Society looks to inject about £100 million over the course of the next 10 years in creating a solid foundation for the incoming generation of horticulturists. Britain is surely looking more beautiful already.