Home Improvement Archive

Duct Cleaning: 3 Things to Watch Out For

Cleaning air duct with brushThe winter season is here once again. Although it might be a little too late, having clean air ducts to let hot air circulate in your home to warm you up this season is important. It is admittedly to forget to clean and maintain your air vents in the midst of busy schedules.

In Indiana, cleaning air vents is easy. You just need to call a professional and the air in your home will be cleaner than ever before. The tricky part is knowing when to have your vents and air ducts cleaned.

If your air duct shows any of these three signs, then you must clean them right away:

Mold visibility

The air that constantly passes through the ducts can leave them dry and can make it possible for molds to form. Apparently, that is not always the case. Mold formation in ducts, vents, and the inner sheets of the system only happens when it is not cleaned for a very long time. Other sources of mold growth can also cause mold formation in the ducts. If mold does form, it is important to not only clean the vent but also find out the cause of the problem.

Pest infestation

Rodents, insects, and other creatures that run through your ducts can not only cause disturbances but are unhygienic as well. The dirt that they bring, along with their bodily wastes, can cause health risks to you and everyone at home.

Dirt and debris

Pet hair filling the vent as well as dust and debris around means that your duct is dirty. Prevent this from happening again by cleaning your home and the vent area regularly.

Make sure to check your air vents to find out if they show any of these 3 signs. By cleaning them regularly, you would avoid many bigger possible problems in the future.

Making Your House Baby-Ready

Baby with teether in mouth under bathing towel at nurseryThe arrival of a new family member is always something to celebrate about, especially for newlyweds who have longed to have children. However, if you’re currently residing in a home with limited space, you can either consider looking for a new home or making some major renovations on your residence.

If both choices are impossible at this time, here are a few economical ways of prepping your home for your baby’s arrival.

Add storage options.

One of the most important additions to your cramped home is additional cabinets, shelves and storage space. No need to hire a carpenter though. Purchase wholesale ready-to-assemble cabinets to reduce costs. Look for a dresser cabinet and replace your TV stand with it.

Check your walls, including that space above your closets, and see where you can add easy-to-install pegs, cabinets, and shelves. Utilize the space under your beds and even the baby’s crib.

Purchase space-saving items.

Foldable laundry boxes, corner clothes baskets, collapsible strollers, fold-down changing tables, and mini-cribs can maximize any small space. You can even look up multi-functional appliances that you’ll need for your baby.

When buying any additional furniture or appliance, remember to think portable and miniature so that you don’t end up with large purchases. Consider using decor that has pegs and storage space so they can be functional as well.

Re-assess everything you own.

Go through the appliances, furniture, and furnishings that you currently own and see which ones you can replace. If you can find more compact and efficient models or versions of these items, then sell the ones you have right now.

It’s still easier and cheaper to buy new furniture and appliances than tearing a wall down to build a new room or even buying a new house.

Having a child can change your life and lifestyle, usually for the better. This is true even while preparing for their arrival. You just have to be willing to make the change while waiting for your newborn.

UCAIR Offers Simple Tips to Improve Air Quality at Home During Winter

Air conditioner blowing warm airThis year’s winter inversions in Utah can cause some serious problems for respiratory health, which is why Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) provided residents with some tips on how to improve air quality and energy efficiency at home.

Some ways to do so require minimal effort and zero money, including not burning candles or wood on fireplaces and restricting anyone from smoking inside the house. However, spending extra on equipment such as air filters can be a great option as well.

Indoor Air Quality

Houses contribute to an estimated 40% of air pollution on red air quality days, aside from restaurants and other commercial establishments, according to UCAIR’s Kevin Emerson. If you are looking for furnace installation in Utah, you can ask HVAC experts such as Whipple Service Champions to have them with pleated filters.

He advised homeowners to replace the filters every three months for efficient performance. Smart thermostats also allow you to control the use of natural gas and electricity. These devices have become more modern; as some of them you can even operate from your phone while you outside the house.

Indoor air filters are another option, although you should buy for high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filters with a higher rating on minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV).

Filter Capabilities

HEPA filters with MERV ratings between 13 and 16 mean that these can trap finer particles, as opposed to those with a rating of 1 to 4. Take note these function differently from an air purifier, which eliminates airborne viruses and bacteria.

Pay special attention to rooms where you spend most of the time. Focus on kitchens and bedrooms, especially if you have furnaces in these parts of the house.

Conclusion

It can be confusing to choose among different types of filters and furnace systems at home for winter inversions, so it is better to consult with an HVAC company to help you make the right choice.

Solar Power—The Hope of Future Generations

A house with solar panels“Untapped energy,” is an accurate description of energy from the sun. Sun power comprises only 0.06% of the energy usage of the United States; even with revolutionary applications of photovoltaic technology, such as transparent applications and more powerful solar units, the world has yet to embrace the sun as the source of electricity for daily use.

Falling in love with solar

Entrepreneurs and homeowners alike are gradually seeing the validity of the argument favoring renewable energy. Deployment of new systems continues to expand and grow. Installation of a photovoltaic system lowers energy usage by as much as 30 percent in business establishments, and 60 percent in homes.

With increasing investments in solar power from some of the biggest corporations in the United States, we can probably expect a boost in home solar power installations in Pennsylvania by providers like TerraSol Energies, Inc. Still, despite admirable performance, many families and communities have yet to allow themselves to fall in love with sun power.

Despite increasing affordability, installation of photovoltaic arrays is too expensive for most. Perhaps there is a need for an information campaign to let home and business owners know of government support and incentives for solar installations.

The power of the sun

The sun is our life source. For the next 30 billion years, the sun will continue to provide warmth and energy and sustain life on earth. It is estimated that an hour’s worth of sun power is adequate to supply the world’s basic energy needs for a year. Nothing beats sun power in terms of abundance. It is also a clean energy source, which does not leave a carbon footprint.

Today, the sun can power installations intended for home and business use, such as thermal systems, concentrating solar power systems, and photovoltaic systems.

Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint? Do you want the future to be a hospitable one for your children and their children? Get more information and ask for professional advice. The best solar solutions are available to you today.

Monetary Gains: Get the Most Out of Your Water Softener

A plumber smilingA water softener comes with a myriad of benefits, financial or otherwise. As a commercial or home building owner, any method that saves you money is more than welcome.

Below are some of the fantastic financial benefits that you stand to enjoy when you install a water softener on your premises.

Reduced power bills

When you heat hard water, a thick layer is formed around the heat source. This happens every time you heat water hence a massive layer accumulates with time. When you turn on the heater, it first heats the thick layer of scale before heating the water.

This lowers the efficiency of the heating system and hence the need for more energy to perform. This makes your monthly power bills to shoot. Soft water protects the heating elements, making them work efficiently and, thus, no extra energy will be required.

A healthier plumbing system

Hard water is notorious for leaving scaly deposits inside pipes and other plumbing fixtures. As time goes by, these deposits build up and cause clogs. These mineral deposits also cause corrosion, which hurts the lifespan of a plumbing system.

You should get a water softener at your premises in Salt Lake City from firms such as All Hours Plumbing and HVAC.

This way, you have an assurance of getting a constant flow of soft water that minimizes the mineral build up hence extending the lifespan of your plumbing system.

Cut on your shopping list

When you use hard water for your cleaning, your clear glasses will become dull, and your clothes will lose their original color, especially the white garments. Since hard water does not lather easily, you will use up your laundry soap, toilet soap, and your favorite shampoo fast.

All these cost money to replace, and with time, you will realize an increase in your shopping list. Soft water will reverse all these effects hence saving you loads of cash in the long run.

Hard water can eat into your finances in several ways. Fortunately, with the use of a water softener, you can prevent this.

Make Your Home Sleepover-Ready for the Holidays with These Helpful Tips

woman sleepingIt’s that time of the year when relatives visit and stay for the night. It’s also the time when kids are around, spending time with their cousins and bonding at sleepovers. Prepare in advance and make your home ready for the nights ahead.

Comfort

Set the room temperature to optimum levels to make sure everyone is comfortable. Salt Lake City winters are cold and chilly. Action Plumbing highly recommends making sure your heating systems are working properly. Address repair issues early on if there are any.

Bed Space

Prepare your kids’ rooms ahead of time. Have them sort their things and stow them properly. Free the room of clutter and keep it clean by doing small, tidy-ups until guests arrive. Prepare mattresses, pillows, and blankets and set it up in the room so that the kids know where to go.

Meals and Snacks

Have easy-to-eat snacks that are filling and healthy, along with the usual favorites. It’s also best to check if anyone is sensitive or allergic to certain types of food. Snacks can be packed in portions, so it’s easy for them to grab a snack.

Activities, Games, and Movies

Keep the kids busy by giving them options for fun indoor and outdoor activities. Schedule resting times and have movies ready for them to watch. Board games and other indoor games will keep the kids busy and happy inside the home, especially if it’s too cold to play outside.

Safety and Security

Have phone numbers handy and ask parents if any of the kids have medicines to take. Also set safety rules that the children have to follow and make sure they know where to find you in case of an emergency.

Bonus: Some Alone Time

As the kids will be spending time with their cousins or friends, take the opportunity to have some time to sit and relax a little. After all, you’ve done a lot of preparing for the kids. So seize the moment and have a little time for yourself, and reward yourself for a job well done.