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Nobody Likes An Energy Hog

No matter if you are in the dead of winter ice storms or the blistering days of summer, either one of them is just around the corner of your home owning experience. Consistently energy providers and energy conservationists tell us that heating and cooling our homes is the largest impact to our environment and our comfort. There is little doubt that just temperature control alone accounts for sixty percent of our home energy consumption.

Even as technology has advanced, if reductions continue to occur across the board, heating and cooling will still be the majority of our energy consumption. Slicing the pie doesnt change no matter if the size of the pie gets larger or smaller. We are creatures of comfort and we will always seek to make ourselves comfortable even as it costs us more and more.

The real question is how do we conserve energy. How do we assure ourselves that every watt used is not wasted? There are some simple tips that can answer the deeper question. By answer the deeper question we will certainly reduce energy consumption and increase both energy and money savings.

If youre not the home builder, then the original floor plan, type of windows and doors, careful sealing of entry ways for dirt, insects, and air, all of that is on the builder. But, since you are now the home owner, there are steps you havent taken that will make a difference. All of that is on you.

Trying to heat a home in the winter mean you have to be certain the ceilings, vents, doors and windows are not allowing the heated air to escape from the very top of things. As the internal heated air rises up, a disproportionate amount of it escapes right up through the leaking ceilings and attics.

Doing the opposite in the summer, our cooled air will drop to the floor and poorly caulked windows, doors, and walls will allow the cooled air to escape and warm air to penetrate. provides information on how to break this endless cycle of energy waste in all of our homes.

Heres a quick tip to check out the air leaks in your home. On the next windy day that comes your way, strike up a lighted incense stick with a favorable flavor and a smoky trail. Carry the stick to the most obvious air leak you think you have. Will it be the gap in the main doorway or its threshold at the floor? Maybe youll stand by that picture window in the living room or the side window in your bathroom that seems to bring a cool draft just as you are getting out of the shower. Dont forget to step by the fireplace or the backdoor. Just take a few minutes to scent your home and test your air leaks all at the same time. Ever seen smoke line up and blow sideways?

Seal those air leaks with caulk or putty or foam. Any manufacturer prints the proper use and instructions for application on their packaging. You can do this. You know where the leak is happening. You can seal it today and watch the next utility bill to see how it pays.

Seal and caulk those gaps wherein ducting, plumbing, or electrical wirings infiltrate into and then out of the home.

Look for gaps or holes under the insulation and seal them using the stapled plastic over those holes and then caulk them at once at the edges with plastics.

Set up rubber gaskets at the back of the outside switch plates and wall outlets.

When the fireplace is not at all used, always keep close the flue dumper.

Storm windows or double-pane windows must be installed as replacements for the single-pane windows ( The set of windows used in your homes can comprise as much as 10-25% of the heating bill. Securing them will likewise help you save up.

When The Heat Is On - Great Tips For Summer Home Maintenance

Summer is a time when the outdoors beckons. It's a time when friends and family can gather around a barbecue in the yard and enjoy the feeling of those long sun filled days.

However welcoming guests into your home can be a source of embarrassment if you have not maintained your home - and summer home maintenance can be a chore. However there are some home improvement activities that simply have to be done - here are some must do maintenance tasks to get a great looking summer home.

#1 Touch Up The Paint.

Winter can be really hard on the paint and exterior finishings of your home. One of the first things that you should do is pay attention to paint. Touching up paint can be challenging if you don't have the exact shade specifications - consult your neighborhood paint store pro and get it right without that head scratching.

#2 Your Window To The World.

It may seem like a no brainer, but washing your windows is one of the best ways to really bring your home up to summertime specification. Clean windows allow light into your home and make it seem like new. It's simple and it's cost effective - and makes you proud to be a homeowner.

#3 Roof And Related.

During winter grime can build up on your roof and material can block gutters. Get hold of some pressure cleaning equipment and restore your roof and surrounds to pristine conditions. If you don't have a head for heights or have safety concerns then it's time to bring in the professionals. Your roof is one of the most visible signs that you're house proud - don't neglect it.

#4 Ceiling Fans.

Most people never, ever pay attention to ceiling fan direction - however in the summer you want the ceiling fan to push air from the ceiling down into the room. Switch between normal operation and reverse in order to find out how best to make sure that your house is well ventilated - stay cool and enjoy your summer home experience. And make sure that you have wiped the ceiling fan blades down - otherwise you're going to be spreading dust all over the room when you first switch over to summer operation.

Making your home summer friendly need not cost an absolute fortune - there are simple ways to make sure that your summer is filled with fun and joy.

Professional And Affordable House Washing Services: Easy To Locate!

A major percentage of an individuals life is spent within his or her home. This is just one of the major reasons why it is important to keep his home tidy and clean. Regular cleaning will ensure that the house is conducive to the health and well-being of an individual and his family. House washing is a task that may seem simple enough but its benefits are more than what one can expect.

Anybody can get a house washed. This is logical enough. Some will compare the task to just taking a bath and getting the whole body cleaned up. However, there are things that can get complicated if there is a desire to get the house thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom. As an example, there is dust and grime that may have accumulated within unreachable spaces of the house through the years. It is crucial to prioritize cleaning these areas because these can become potential sources of different illnesses.

There are right cleaning products and equipment that you need to do a thorough house washing task. There is also a prescribed system of doing it if the health and well-being of a homes occupants need to be considered. Only professional cleaners managed by legitimate companies have the ability to provide services that satisfy the requirements mentioned above.

Since there are many companies out there that offer cleaning services, it is a must for homeowners to choose who to hire carefully. The process of selection can be stressful and confusing since almost all of these companies will claim to be the best in the industry. It is good for a prospective client of these companies to focus on two things: professional quality of services and rates offered.

With these two factors considered, the list should be reduced. Professional-quality cleaning services should come with highly trained, experienced, and licensed crew. These crew members should also be equipped with the latest in cleaning equipment and products. This is what makes services of some companies quite costly.

In the process of searching for excellent cleaning companies, it is good to read reviews published online by customers. Those who are living in Brisbane can narrow down their internet search results just by typing in localized keywords such as Brisbane cleaners, Brisbane house washing, or house washing reviews Brisbane. Locating a cleaning company that will give you top quality services for $70 or less is totally possible through this.

Air Conditioner Repair Tips For Homeowners

Do you want to do your own Air Conditioner Repair work? What are some common problems that are easy to repair that happen to air conditioners? You can get help on basic fixes and you'll also get some quick advice on when to hire help so you're not stuck in a hot home for too long.

If you have a unit that doesn't seem to work properly because your home is never as cool as it should be, you should lower the thermostat and see what happens. If nothing, then the evaporator is probably going to need to be cleaned. After you clean it then you're going to want to let your air conditioner run for 2 or 3 hours. If it still doesn't cool your home enough, the size of the AC unit probably is not large enough for your home.

It may be that the condenser isn't on and running which means the unit may not even be plugged in. If it is, then you may have a problem with your circuit breaker being tripped or a fuse that got blown. When all else fails it can actually be the thermostat not being set right. Try lowering it and check to make sure that it not set to just let the fan blow and nothing else. Lower your thermostat and if it's not kicking on after you set it up properly to cool then it could be a compressor or motor issue that will take professional assistance to repair.

Calling someone that is well versed in HVAC repair may be your best bet if you can't find a way to get your air conditioner to work through the tips you were given here so far. You will want to call around a little and see who has good prices and what kind of experience they have had in the past with other customers. See if you can find reviews on what they have done for others and also make sure you work with people that have the right license to do work in your area.

An air conditioner repair, as you can now see, may not be that difficult to do yourself. If you can narrow down the problem and fix it because it's simple, then you will have saved a lot of money. If all else fails, hire the best help you can afford so you can deal with the issue for good.

Retractable Screens For Modern Brisbane Homes

Retractable Screens have become a necessity to every Australian home and with good reason.

Insects have become a daily part of our lives and not in a good way. Insects like flies and mosquitoes are something many of us have learnt to live with but one of the ways we do this is by keeping our windows and doors tightly shut. But not any longer, now we can feel free to open our windows and doors for fresh air, as long as we have retractable screens installed to keep these invaders out.

Retractable Screens in Brisbane:

Modern Brisbane homes often make use of steel, concrete, glass and raw look. This look together with an open floor plan is increasingly making use of glass to bring the outside in and vice versa. It’s important that the screens we install don’t interfere with this.

If you live in a newer home don’t think you can’t be overrun by insect invasions. Modern homes can also become a breeding ground for insects, so installing screens to keep them out is the best investment you could make.

The retractable screens offered by Freedom Screens don’t compromise on quality. They are made in Australia, of the best materials available. Even if you find cheaper options out there, they won’t be able to match the quality and visual quality of Freedom Screens.

SlimLine Panorama Screen from IntelliScreens on Vimeo.

For people with modern homes, our screens offer a solution that’s sleep and can span large doors with one screen. This ensures you get the best views of the outdoors and that the design of your home is affected.

Our screens don’t sag and our special system prevents mesh blowouts.

The quality is another reason our product is a favourite among Brisbane homeowners. Having been NATA laboratory tested, these screens can withstand strong winds including cyclonic conditions.

The patented braking system means the screen can stop in any position and the housing is slim and sleek, fitting nicely into any sized opening or doorway.

You choose your finish to suit your home’s existing décor. Some of the finishes available include powder coated and anodised aluminium. We also have coloured end caps and brake levers available to choose from.

We also have motorised options available which utilise state of the art technology to make opening and closing a pleasure. This is just one example of the innovation that has made Freedom Screens a leader in the Brisbane market.

Why Should You Hire Crawl Space Insulation Professionals?

If youve been experiencing the effects of an uninsulated crawl space in your home (mold growth, energy losses, pests, cold floors etc.), then you understand the importance of hiring qualified crawl space insulation professionals to do the job right. Though, its easier to be tempted to the go the DIY-route in order to avoid expensive expert services, dont do so if you dont have the right skills, experience, tools and enough time, because you might end up causing costly damages in the long run. Youre better off employing qualified experts to do your home's insulation. Here are some of the reasons why I say so:

Professionals Help Save Significant Amount Of Time

Competent crawl space professionals can save you a lot of time in the long run. With your minimal or no skills in insulation, youre most likely to spend too much time accomplishing the project. However, experts have several years of experiencing in rendering similar services as your, so you can be sure that theyll perform the job properly within a short period of time. In addition, they understand the challenges of the job and can take precautionary measures to overcome any hindrances they meet along the way to the best quality service at the right time.

Professionals Help Save Money

Like any other DIY project, insulating the crawl space by yourself requires that you shoulder all the expenses. That means you have to buy all the tools, insulation materials, as well as any other thing that might be needed to accomplish the job. All these will cost you a lot of money, especially when youre buying everything new.

On the other hand, crawl space insulation professionals come with everything they need and only charge you for their service. In addition, they have the right equipment and technological know-how to execute the job right the first time. This eliminates the need for expensive repairs on DIY mistakes, consequently leaving you with more money in your pocket.

Professionals Possess An Insurance Cover

This is another important reason why you should hire professionals. As these experts render their services within your home, they might get injured accidentally, or experience some loss. As a client, its your duty to take care of all the expenses, if they are not insured. Luckily, most crawl space specialists have an insurance cover that takes off this responsibility from you to the insurance company.

Its also worth noting that this insurance plan is not just limited to compensating professionals for accidental injuries they sustain in the course of their job, clients can also claim compensation from the insurance company if theyre not satisfied with the services rendered to them.

Professionals Help Lower Energy Costs Significantly

Lack of proper insulation in the crawl space contributes to significant energy loss in homes. Qualified experts have the capability to properly air seal, moisture-protect and insulate your crawl. This will go a long way in improving your homes energy efficiency, and lowering your energy costs.

If youre concerned about the high cost of hiring competent insulation professionals, consider consulting several contractors to get an estimate of what your project is likely to cost. Then set up a realistic budget taking into account that other issues (structural problems etc.) might arise which may result in extra costs. Additional work can add up quickly in home improvement projects, so be ready for some changes in both your budget and schedule. That said, youre better off hiring a professional to insulate your crawl space for the sake of money, time and success.

Tips to Get Rid of Common Household Odors

There is a smell in every house. It may be the smell of anything , perfume, the food that you cook, aftershave or the typical smell of the people living in the house. When you keep the windows closed, the room starts to smell. If its a good smell, well and good but a bad odor can affect how much you enjoy your stay at home. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate the odor but you can do certain things to freshen up your home. Here are some tips while you are doing your house cleaning

Thoroughly clean your home with a strong cleaning solution by paying special attention to areas you normally ignore such as inside of cabinets and under sinks etc. Wipe down the doors, walls, baseboards and counter tops with equal amount of bleach and water.

Let the air enter each of the room by opening up the windows once in a while. When you open the windows odors from curtains, furniture and carpets release in the air thus letting the fresh air to blow in. Keep the windows open for about an hour.

To remove odors from carpet and furniture sprinkle baking soda onto fabric surfaces. Let it sit there for some hours or overnight for good absorption. Next day, using a vacuum cleaner pull out the baking soda from the carpet and furniture.

To keep your disposal smell-free put some ice in the disposal and grind it well. You can also mix a handful of baking soda with warm water and pour it into the sink. Let it remain there for some minutes with the help of a stopper. Then turn on the disposal and immediately pull out the stopper. This creates suction which pulls the baking soda down the disposal and clears the system.

To give your room a nice smell, fill a big bowl with fresh coffee grounds. Leave the bowl overnight in the room after closing the windows. The coffee grounds will absorb the odor of the room. For stronger odors, repeat the same process for one more night with fresh coffee grounds.

If its the refrigerator that is giving out the stinky smell, put an open box of baking soda in one of the shelves to trap odors. For stinky freezer, you can put one up in there too. Chemical air fresheners are not so effective and can be toxic to human beings. It is always better to try for healthier ways to get rid of the common household odor and introduce pleasant smell.

How To Choose The Perfect Air Conditioning System For Your Home

When it comes to choosing cooling and heating systems, you should consider far more than just your available budget. The only way get an optimal amount of efficiency from your air conditioning system is by choosing equipment that is properly sized for your property. An option that is too big or too small will use way more energy than necessary to establish comfortable indoor temperatures.

AC companies can come into your home and take a measurement of your property, to learn about such companies visit this website. This will allow them to determine how many BTUs or British Thermal Units your AC will need to have. They can then shop for an install your unit on your behalf, which is especially important if this setup involves complex electrical wiring and modifications to the property such as cutting holes into the wall.

If you are shopping on your own, then you probably want a very basic, standalone unit. These are commonly referred to as portable air conditioners. You can take these systems with you from room to room, however, they will need to be vented so that warm air is routed outdoors rather than exhausted outside. Many of the top models come with their own including venting kits just for this purpose.

Other non-permanent or semi-permanent options include window AC units. Like portable models, these are typically meant for cooling small spaces like single rooms or apartments that have just two rooms. These are affixed in the window sill and are automatically vented outside. They are relatively heavy and must be firmly secured in place in order to prevent injury. Thus, although you can install a window unit on your own, it is always best to get help. It is also important to note that these models must be covered or removed and stored during the winter months in order to prevent exposure to the elements.

In order to get a unit that has heating and cooling functionality, you will need to opt for a multi-split or central system. These can be routed to individual rooms, however, a multi-split will allow you to set individual temperatures for each room, so that you are never paying money to cool or heat spaces that you aren't using. This is not a feature that central systems boast.

If you are purely looking for heating functionality, you can also consider baseboard wall heaters. These are relatively inexpensive to install and much like mini-split AC units that both heat and cool, you can set temperatures in each zone or area of the home individually. Given the wealth of options that you have to choose from, working with seasoned professionals is often the best way to streamline and simplify the selection process.

A True Necessity Carpet Cleaning Companies And Their Services

Your carpet needs regular cleaning. For hygiene purposes and to protect you and your family, you need to have your carpets and upholstery, including rugs, regularly cleaned by professionals. Yes, you can do it by yourself but it would take much of your time something that you dont always have, given the myriad of responsibilities you need to attend to. When it comes to expensive things like your carpets, you need to leave periodic care and maintenance to the experts.

This is not to say that you cannot take care of some small stain on your carpet. However, extending its fabric life and removing all the destructive parasites that may lurk in its recesses are things you should leave to highly trained professionals. If you worry about the service cost, just think of the price of having to replace your newly purchased carpets and you will realize that its more economical to have them cleaned regularly. Carpet cleaning companies in UK, especially those who are affiliated or registered with credible associations (such as the NCCA) offer cost-effective services.

If you think that you do not need to have your carpets cleaned periodically because you only see smears of dirt or stain here and there, think twice. Usually, people only see the grime and fail to realize that theres a mounting pile of filth hidden deep within the fabrics folds. Considering the extent of the area covered by carpets in your home or office, you will be stunned by the amount of dirt you are accumulating within them. Carpet cleaning companies who have long track records in the field know this, hence they equip their people with the right equipment, materials, and training to be fully capable of handling any type of carpet-related problems.

At this point, you should realize that vacuuming is not enough to remove all accumulated filth in your carpets and rugs. Likewise, vacuuming wont eliminate bacteria and fungus that may have remained buried deeply within folds. Moreover, you cannot ensure the longevity of your carpet through your own cleaning efforts. In fact, it may even cause damage and so, you will eventually end up buying a replacement that would be more costly than having it regularly cleaned. Carpet cleaning companies have people who are professionally trained in stain protection and fabric maintenance. Hence, you can be rest assured that stains and mites will be gone and your carpet will have a generally improved appearance.

Carpet cleaning companies will be able to remove the stains of your beloved carpets and may even provide protection for future spills and stains. To ensure that they always deliver, such firms also employ technologically advanced systems. You might be surprised with the work of these professional cleaners as they could sometimes even make old and worn out carpets look brand new! Besides, as mentioned, most of these carpet cleaning companies have also adopted the use of new technologies in making your treasured carpets completely free from dust, filth, mites and soil that accumulates in the deepest recesses. As such, risk of allergies and other potential health problems brought about by bacteria and mites can be significantly reduced, if not completely eliminated. Furthermore, these professionals even have the ability to make your carpets smell clean and fresh for longer periods of time.

Most of these cleaning companies are also offering other related services which you might want to avail for your rug, heavy curtains, soft furnishings, and other upholstery. Just tell them all your carpet cleaning troubles and they will provide the solution for you. All in all, it would be safe to say that when it comes to most carpet cleaning needs, getting help from the pros is a true necessity.

Always Keep The Phone Number Handy For Emergency Furnace Repair Toronto Services

The time to prepare for the cold weather season in Toronto Canada is fast approaching as summer ends and we move into the fall season. It is always important that you make sure your home is insulated well and of course you want to know that you furnace is still producing quality heat.

Usually your furnace goes out when you least expect it, and of course it happens on the coldest day of the year when all the appointments are already booked for the evening. You need to make sure that you always have the phone number to emergency furnace repair Toronto services. Thankfully there are companies out there that work 24 hours a day in the winter time in case people have emergencies.

It can get pretty cold up in Toronto during the winter time so you should be very prepared when it comes to maintaining your home heating system. Things can easily get clogged in all those pipes if you don't changes the filters every two to three months, so keep that in mind. You would hate to thing that the furnace stopped working because it became clogged with debris. But unfortunately that is usually the case, and the homeowner is partly to blame.

You can do simple maintenance checks yourself to ensure you have a properly working furnace. Also keep in mind that your furnace may still be under warranty, so you could be entitled to a free service call. Always take advantage of all of these options before it is too late. Yes there are emergency furnace repair Toronto companies, but why have to go through that trouble if you can take steps to prevent these mishaps.

If you have an older furnace model you will have to have regular maintenance on it each year in order to feel comfortable that it can last the entire winter. Perhaps you may be better off buying something new because in the long run it will probably save you more money, put out better heat and also warn you if there is a problem.

Since you can get an entirely new HVAC system installed that can monitor its condition at all times and warn when something isn't working properly, it might be something has a homeowner to invest in. It can also raise the value of your property with a brand new HVAC system.

Nobody likes coming home to a cold house in Toronto, so make sure you have phone number near by for furnace repair that can come in an instant whenever you need them. The winters can be brutal, but even more so if you aren't prepared. Just make sure you do your part and inspect the filters and change them every two months. This ensure no extra dirt and debris can clog up the system and have you scampering around in the middle of winter looking for an emergency service.

Use these tips wisely and change the filter on your furnace every two to three months to ensure proper operation of all heating facilities.

Steps For Proper CCTV Home Installation

Closed-circuit television cameras or CCTVs are quite popular for their surveillance features. These cameras are used for producing recordings or images for surveillance purposes and serve as ideal systems for enhancing security. Today, the usage of high-end CCTV cameras is profoundly found in contrast to traditional ones that were had limited features. Today, CCTV cameras are integrated with long-detection range, large field of view, broader control, high resolution, and high-performance to ensure that they bring the kind of service you are probably looking for.

However, for you to enjoy maximum operation of a CCTV camera surveillance both inside and around your home, you have to install it properly. Below are the basic installation steps that you should keenly follow.

1. Get access to the right cables. Only an expert can suggest the standard type of cable that is inevitable for CCTV camera installations. This kind of cable comprises of one power cable and one video cable (i.e., a positive and negative)

2. Your next step is to find a proper location for CCTV camera. Unless you are sure where you want to install the unit, you cannot go for it. What you can do is use a demo of the IP video system design tool. Then, your next step is to import site plan or floor plan in this software and add cameras to it. Then, choose the desired camera coverage since you are the owner of your house or shop or building where you want the camera to be installed, you have to be sure about the right angle and the total area that should be covered by the camera

3. Inside many homes, you will find the camera installed just at the spot where the walls meet the roof. This is indeed a very good location since the corner shields the camera from various elements, such as rain, snow, sun and wind. Also, experts will always suggest you that cameras that are positioned near the roof enjoy better field of view. Besides, fitting the camera at the junction of roof and wall is ideal because most homes have small holes or gaps through which cables are run through, so it becomes easy to install CCTVs at these points.

4. Remember, CCTVs require DC voltage for power supply. In this case, what you can do is either connect power supply line from each of the cameras separately to the outlet and also an AC adapter or you can get hold of a DC/AC power supply box. Your next job is to plug all power lines of the camera in the box and then eventually connect one AC power line to the box from the outlet.

In summary the most important benefit of installing CCTV home security systems is the protection of the valuables in your home or at your property. When it comes to home security systems, there are different aspects that need to be considered. Thus, with assistance from Basildon CCTV home installation experts, you get to install your CCTV camera at the right point following the right methods.