Category Archives: Home Improvement

Keep Your Energy Bill Low in Extreme Temperatures

Woman with Utility Bills

Woman with Utility BillsThere is a climatic change happening all over the globe, whether anyone likes it or not. There are extreme temperature variations in some particular places on the earth. Whenever the temperature plummets to the low 20’s or heads to high 90’s, there is a massive burden on your HVAC system. This will also dramatically increase your energy bills. While it is necessary to keep your home comfortable, it is also necessary to keep your bills in check. Let us see what you can do about it.

Upgrade Your System

If your system is old, you can opt for a regular furnace tune up or replace it with an upgraded HVAC system. There have been some significant advances in HVAC technology today that have helped make the systems very energy efficient. Pick an efficient system with a high rating between 14 and 18, with energy star label. The energy star devices must meet very stringent guidelines, so you can be sure that they are energy efficient and can consequently help you save on your energy bills.

Keep the Interiors Cool

You know your home the best, so understand where you require warmth or cooling at a given time in the day or night. You can install a programmable thermostat to make sure you decrease the usage of the system when not required. The system can also be switched off when you are out at work or on vacation. Make sure that you close the curtains and blinds in summer to keep the sun and heat out. This way your HVAC system need not work overtime to keep the interiors comfortably cool.

The other ways to decrease your energy bills is to clean up the debris around your AC units so that the airflow paths are clear. If you let the system get clogged up, then its efficiency will decrease over time. Attending to regular repairs and maintenance of your HVAC system will keep it functioning efficiently and optimally, thus saving on your energy bill.

The Air Inside Your Home Can Actually Be Worse than Outside

Airconditioner on a wallMany Salt Lake City residents believe that the staying indoors, specifically inside their home, protects them from the health hazards that polluted outdoor air can bring. This isn’t necessarily true for all houses in the city.

In many cases, a home’s indoor air quality can have more pollutants and other dangerous substances and chemicals in it than the air outside. Many factors contribute to this, including the following:

Improper use and neglect of HVAC systems

The United States Department of Energy recommends homeowners to perform regular maintenance on their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. One reason is to ensure effective and efficient functioning. The other is simply because, over time, it accumulates dirt and debris, which it can keep circulating throughout the air inside your home, putting everyone in your household at risk.

You should also consider working with a licensed Salt Lake City HVAC contractor when replacing your old and malfunctioning system. This way, you can have them install a more energy-efficient unit, which doesn’t just perform better, but also consumes far less energy. As a result, you can enjoy lower utility bills.

Use of household chemicals

From cleaning solutions to insecticides, fresheners to pesticides, there are plenty of household chemicals that contain air-contaminating elements. These substances release minuscule particles into the air inside your home, severely affecting its quality.

Make better, greener choices when it comes to purchasing such household products. Opt for the organic ones or those that don’t harm the environment.

Incorrect ventilation or allowing blockages of air circulation

You need to make sure indoor air circulates freely to and fro your home. Otherwise, this will result in too much moisture, which will just make everyone in the household feel uncomfortable. Also, the dampness will encourage the growth of molds and mildew, which can cause health problems, particularly in people who already have compromised respiratory health.

Don’t suffer from the serious consequences of poor indoor air quality. Stop committing these very common mistakes.

Home Items You Should Not Skimp On

A Woman in a Furniture Store

A Woman in a Furniture StoreMost people resist the urge to splurge when shopping for home items. Skimping on stuff that means little to your property is okay, but one should still understand the value of investing in home elements that are worth spending on. We listed five of them below.

Towels and Linens

One should never skimp on items that frequently contact the face and body; towels and linens are some of them. Investing on quality sheets offer a more comfortable sleep while purchasing fine towels can prevent rashes and allergies. Also, quality towels and linens hold up better over time, which can wholly reduce shopping costs.

Mattresses

Forget about the frame as mattresses are more essential as compared to other room items. Invest in a comfortable and well-designed mattress to ensure a good night’s sleep. A premium mattress can also prevent poor sleeping positions leading to stiff necks and back aches. No matter the price tag, a good mattress is always a smart purchase.

Carpets

It can take months to find the ideal carpet, and when you do, the price isn’t usually low. Carpets differ by age, weaving technique, fibre content and dye method, which is why the more intrinsic they are, the more expensive they can be. This accessory, however, provides utmost comfort to the feet and can prevent severe floor damages. When purchasing one, consider Milliken carpet tiles from FLR Group in the UK as they offer lifelong quality.

Chairs and Sofas

Chairs and sofas serve different purposes and are some of the most used furnishings at home. Because of this, it is only wise to invest on sitting furniture that can provide ease to your family and guests. Other than this, high-quality chairs and sofas can hold up to wear and tear and still look pretty at it.

There is nothing wrong about splurging on home items that are worth the investment. Determine your needs wisely and choose items that can serve you efficiently and for a long time.

Understanding the Importance and Benefits of Furnace Tune-Up

Man working on a sink
Doing preventive maintenance is the correct approach when it comes to electric furnaces, especially when you are sure that the furnace will need to take on the next winter. This type of maintenance will require time and effort, but it is well worth the pain, as it will ensure that the furnace does not develop any issues during the cold months.

Find out how you can make your heating furnace ready for the winter.

Learn how to maintain

If you live in Salt Lake City, Utah, then finding a company that offers furnace tune-up and repair would be easy. Action Plumbing notes that most problems require specialist knowledge and skills, which is why it’s better to leave the job to the pros.

But it’s also good to know how to repair and maintain the furnace, as this knowledge will help you supervise the work of the technician.

The things you need to look for during a furnace inspection include the following:

  • Adjust the thermostat to raise the temperature, so that you can conduct an inspection and check if there are any issues. Make sure that heat given out is as expected and evenly distributed.
  • Now you can switch off the power and make sure that it cools down well. The time it takes to heat and cool are both important. Call the HVAC technician if there is any issue while the furnace heats up and cools down.
  • Use your vacuum cleaner to remove dust that accumulated inside the furnace. Get a small hose so that you can clean all the tiny corners and small crevices thoroughly. Do it carefully so that you do not remove, loosen, or damage any part of the furnace. It is also important to clean the blower motor properly, as it is an essential component of the system.
  • Replace broken or worn out belt and filters. Check the vents, heating ducts, and all other parts.

Switch on the furnace after cleaning and vacuuming to make sure it is working well. If you find something you cannot set right, call the HVAC professionals to help you out.

4 Programmable Thermostat Installation Hacks to Maximize Comfort and Energy Savings

A Programmable Thermostat

A Programmable ThermostatEPA’s Energy Star estimates that the average American household uses over $2,000 a year on energy bills. About half of this amount goes to heating and cooling. But every homeowner can easily lower their heating and cooling bills.

One simple way you can save on your household’s HVAC bills is investing in a programmable thermostat. But, a programmable thermostat will only help you if it’s correctly installed and properly set and maintained. Here are tips to help you install your programmable thermostat.

Tips on proper programmable thermostat installation

1. Choose the Right Thermostat

The programmable thermostat unit you need depends on the type of your heating and cooling system. Heat pumps may also need a special thermostat to maximize energy savings throughout the year. Therefore, talk to your HVAC contractor or furnace retailer before selecting your thermostat.

2. Install Your Thermostat Unit on a Cool Interior Wall

Keep the thermostat away from heat or draft. Keep it away from heating and cooling air vents, direct sunlight, bright lamps, windows, doorways, and skylights.

3. Read and Follow Instructions

A programmable thermostat is a low voltage installation. The number of wires involved may range from 2 to 10 all depending on your type of HVAC system. Make sure to read all the replacement instructions and proceed with caution. Shut down your electricity and connect your thermostat unit to the previous attachment points.

4. Call a Certified HVAC Professional if the Job is Involving

If the job needs more than a simple replacement, seek help from a licensed furnace professional in Salt Lake City. The HVAC expert will ensure proper installation and correct operation of your HVAC system.

Frequently changing thermostat settings wastes significant energy. A programmable thermostat allows you to leave your thermostat alone without compromising on your comfort. Make sure your programmable thermostat is properly installed, and you know how to use the unit correctly. And if your house has many heating or cooling zones, install a unit for each zone to ensure optimum convenience, comfort, and energy savings.

Aluminum Fencing: Three Qualities You Need to Know About It

Aluminum for Fence

Aluminum for FenceFences add value to a house or commercial establishment as part of its overall design. You’re faced with all kinds of options from modest to elaborately designed wood boards, to heavy-welded iron fences. On top of that list, you’ll probably be looking for something more resistant and choose iron material over wood.

There is, however, a third option: aluminum fence railings. They are more durable, flexible, and require less maintenance while having the look of an iron finish.

Increased Durability

The aluminum product used for fencing is called commercial aluminum; this is different from pure aluminum as it is fundamentally reinforced metal. It is tougher and stronger because of aluminum alloys like copper, magnesium, and zinc that are molded into them. This integration makes aluminum durable and ideal for fencing.

Unlike iron, aluminum is not prone to fading or rusting over time. It can stand against extreme heat and cold. This is a major reason it’s a sought-after material for fences.

All-Around Flexibility

A huge challenge for putting up a fence is the type of ground where it will be installed. Uneven or sloping grounds are common, and you would want a fence that can adapt to these types of terrain. Using a material that lacks flexibility would mean installing it in a stair-step fashion. This way, it will appear disproportionate on top with gaps at the bottom, leaving your property exposed.

Aluminum fencing panels, on the other hand, can be racked to tightly fit into different types of landscape for a more refined appearance with less vulnerable spots.

Less Maintenance

Aluminum fences are coated with powder paint that lasts for a long time. This acts as a protective cover making the fencing resistant to corrosion. It also makes the colors look vibrant and fresh, perfect for decorative purposes. All that’s needed is some occasional hosing down to remove dust or dirt.

So, if you’re looking to install a fence around your property, aluminum fencing is an ideal choice. It’s top quality, which is something rare nowadays.

Boost Safety: An Automatic Gate for Your Property

home gate
Do you have a gate in your residential or commercial property? You can make your gate become automated with the use of electric gate openers. An automatic gate provides convenience and easier accessibility to your property. You can forget about opening the gate yourself or by someone else. Additionally, automatic gates can have safety features that will make your property more secure.

Responsive Service

When you want to have your gate automated, you first have to find the right gate company. Think of several factors, like the responsiveness of the company. A good company responds to inquiries and follow-up questions in a timely fashion.

Clear Estimates

Another factor to consider is the clarity and content of estimates that companies will provide. You can check if the estimate not only includes installation, but also gate maintenance and emergency repair. The labor and equipment costs must also be part of it. You can check for other fees in the estimate, as well.

Reasonable Price

Of course, the price is a contributing factor when choosing a gate company. Tri State Gate recommends shopping around for bids and choosing a reasonable price rather than the lowest bid. Compare prices and see their differences. Perhaps one bid includes something that others don’t.

Swing or Slide

Apart from choosing the right gate company, you have to take care of the specifics of your automatic gate. First, decide whether you want a swinging gate or a sliding gate. Both types are equally good; your choice will simply depend on your taste.

AC, Solar, or Battery

Next, you can think about what to power your gate with. You can choose AC power, of course, yet solar power and battery power are also ideal options. You can use solar power along with battery backups for instances when solar power is not available, as well.

Apart from the two previous areas, you still have to think about safety features, external interfaces, and the warranty. When you have gone through all of these areas, you finally have your automatic gate.

Yes, Even Your Furniture Needs Sun Protection

Sun ProtectionHere’s the scenario: you’ve moved into a new house with magnificent windows that gives you a beautiful view of the outside. Then, while at the furniture store, you find the perfect loveseat for your space — everything about your home décor project seems to be coming together! You notice, however, that the loveseat you’re eyeing looks rather faded. When asked, the store manager says that the faded color was due to the sun.

Does furniture really fade with sunlight exposure? Are all your furniture going to have to face the same fate due to your large windows? And, if so, is it possible to protect them from sun damage?

The answer to the first question is: yes. Sunlight, or any visible light, can wreak havoc to your furniture. It may cause discoloration, fading and even fabric damage. UVA and UVB rays account for 45% of the damage, in fact, while infrared or heat radiation and visible light causes 25% each. You need not lose hope, though. There are ways you can prevent the sun from ruining your beloved furniture pieces.

Change Furniture Layout

The thing is, light can damage not just your furniture, but your floor and rugs too. Frequently moving your furniture around can lessen the effects of ultraviolet light to your interior. You don’t need to fuss over moving your furniture around — this can be as simple as moving the couch from one side of the room to another.

Use UV Filters

Some window companies also offer units with glasses that block UV rays. You may also look around for companies that apply a special transparent film to the windows, to help reduce the effect of UV light.

Use Window Treatments

Window treatment companies like yesblinds.com.au allow homeowners worried about sun damage to heave a sigh of relief. With an expansive catalogue of window treatments, homeowners can choose one which works well in protecting their rooms against UV rays. Shutters, awnings and draperies are some of the best options when it comes to blocking harmful sun rays and helping furniture keep its original colour.

While sun damage is irreversible, it is not impossible to completely avoid it. While these extra measures can be a bit pricey, preserving the beauty and functionality of your wooden and upholstered furniture is worth the extra dollars.

Benefits of Building a Swimming Pool at Home

Having a Home Pool

Having a Home Pool in UtahThere are home additions and projects that are effective in improving the property, both in terms of living experience and market value. One of the best examples of such projects is the addition of a swimming pool.

Here’s why you should consider calling a reputable pool builder in Utah like Dolphin Pools & Spas.

Summer All the Time

When you have a pool at home, you and your family or friends don’t have to go anywhere else to enjoy a swimming party and barbecue. Imagine all the trouble of booking and driving, and the cost of going somewhere just to enjoy a day or two of swimming and having fun. With a pool, any day you feel like taking a dip or firing up the barbecue and calling your friends over for a party, you can do so.

Therapeutic

Swimming is therapeutic. Even if you don’t swim laps — which, by the way, is one of the best forms of exercise for people of practically all ages — you can still give your body some therapeutic wading time. It is one of the best ways to relax and wash off the stress of all the work you’ve been doing all week.

Privacy

At a club or at the beach, you hardly have any privacy. Even those super-rich celebrities who can afford to book an entire resort to themselves still find their pictures on the paper. With a pool at home, you can have a fence and hedges around your property to keep the prying eyes away. You can go skinny-dipping and no one will be the wiser.

Home Market Value

Lots of people are willing to pay more for a house with a pool. Some home buyers shop around for a house with a pool on purpose. There is a market for homes with lovely pools. You won’t only enjoy your pool, but you’ll probably make more money selling your home in the future.

Think about building a pool in your property. Shop around for a loan to start building your pool today and start enjoying its benefits.

3 Secrets to Lining Your Home Property with the Best Tree Varieties

A Serene HomeLining a property with trees remains a dream for many homeowners who treasure a calm and serene environment. Many people crave a little oasis of peace inside their compound and having trees on their property provides the ideal solution.

Nevertheless, with a range of tree species to choose from, Greencut Horticulture noted that getting the right trees for your home could be challenging. You stand a better chance of getting it right from the get go if you seek the advice of tree surgeons in Sevenoaks, or wherever you live.

Get the Right Trees for the Right Place

The prevailing climatic condition in your locality determines the best trees for your home. Trees have different weather requirements, and you need to do your research before embarking on the planting process. Some species thrive in hot and dry areas, while others require cold temperatures and a steady supply of water. Making the wrong choice increases the likelihood of failing or achieving dismal results. Check with a local expert to ensure you make the right choice.

Consider the Amount of Space Available

If you only have a small area, find smaller trees without a large canopy. If you have quite a spread, you can go for a mixture of large and small trees to create a stunning landscape. Be sure to avoid planting large trees in areas with overhanging utility lines, as it could lead to unfortunate accidents.

Consider the Amount of Care Necessary

Some tree species are quite labour intensive and you need to make the distinction well in advance of planting them. Flowering trees are likely to cover your yard with their bloom and falling leaves. If you are not in a position to clean up every so often, you are better off avoiding such variety. Again, consulting with your local experts ensures you make the right choice.

While trees make an excellent addition to your home landscape, you should take extra precaution when planting them. It is only through making the right decisions from the onset can you enjoy the resultant benefits and scenery.