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5 HVAC Maintenance Mistakes You Are Probably Making

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Home appliances, including the HVAC system, help to provide maximum comfort for you and your family. However, without proper maintenance, your HVAC unit could lead to increased energy bills, not to mention failing to function correctly. Read on for five HVAC maintenance mistakes you are probably making that compromise the efficiency of your unit.

Failing to clean or replace your filter

Thanks to the continuous liquid-to-gas-to-liquid reaction as your unit operates, debris, dust, and dirt particles end up being sucked into the air conditioner. This compromises indoor air quality and increases energy consumption and bills. HVAC systems are fitted with filters such as the 20x30x1 air filter, designed to keep unwanted particles from getting into the unit. 

However, continued use of the air filters leads to accumulation of the dirt particles resulting in clogs.  For this reason, you should consider cleaning or replacing your air filters every three months to allow your HVAC system to perform its function appropriately.

Failing to upgrade to a programmable thermostat

While upgrading to a smart or programmable thermostat may be expensive, you could end up saving a lot on your annual utilities. A programmable thermostat can help you save up to 10% of your yearly heating and cooling costs. With a smart thermostat, you also do not have to worry about constantly adjusting the temperatures when leaving the house or asleep. You could simply program it to the desired temperatures when in and out of the home.

Opening your windows and doors when the HVAC system is running

Often, on a hot sunny day, you may find yourself leaving the doors and windows open to let in as much fresh air in the home as possible. This could lead to increased energy bills, especially when the HVAC system is running because the cool air circulating from your HVAC unit escapes from the open windows and doors, making your AC work twice harder to cool the room. Ensure that you shut windows and doors every time your HVAC system is running to cut down the energy bills.

Surrounding the HVAC system with other appliances

Where is your HVAC unit positioned? Placing your HVAC system near other appliances can lead to a tremendous increase in your energy bills. Most AC units have sensors to determine a sudden change in temperatures, prompting the system to maintain ideal temperatures. When you surround your unit with other appliances, especially those that give off heat, including televisions and refrigerators, the unit may be tricked into working twice as hard to cool the room. As such, you should position your HVAC system away from appliances that give off heat.

Failing to hire HVAC maintenance professionals

Hiring an HVAC maintenance professional is not a waste of money. Contractors can conduct regular inspections; therefore, identify a problem on your HVAC system on time and fix it. While you may handle a decent amount of AC system maintenance, your unit may suffer from severe problems that only an experienced eye could identify. Professionals have relevant knowledge and experience, so they can help improve your system’s efficiency and lifespan.

Endnote

Poor maintenance can compromise your HVAC system’s efficiency. As such, you should familiarize yourself with these maintenance mistakes and avoid them to ensure your unit is functioning correctly and reduce energy expenses

partnered post • photo by Carlos Lindner from Unsplash


How To Effectively Clean Hardwood Floors 

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Hardwood floors are a great addition to any home. It is hard to beat the look and feel of natural wood in your home. This type of flooring tends to feel warmer than artificial wood or tiles and will generally last much longer.

However, you do need to take care of your hardwood flooring and that starts with effectively cleaning it regularly. 

It should be noted that it doesn’t matter what style of hardwood flooring you have, whether it's the latest herringbone flooring or simple planks, the cleaning routine is the same.

Vacuum Regularly

The first thing you should be doing is vacuuming your hardwood flooring regularly. Ideally, you should do this every day but in lower-traffic areas, 2-3 times a week will suffice.

You will need a hardwood flooring attachment for your vacuum. This is effectively a soft nozzle that won’t leave light scratches on the wood as you clean. Make sure the nozzle is clean and not worn before you use it. 

Using the power of a vacuum you’ll be able to get into all the crevices between the wooden pieces.

Sweep Often

Alongside vacuuming, you can sweep the hardwood floor. This can be done to deal with specific spills or instead of vacuuming some days. You will need to use a soft-headed brush as you don’t want to scratch the floor.

An angles broom will also help you to sweep the floor faster, reducing the amount of time spent looking after your hardwood floor.

The Cleaner

Your next step is to invest in a quality hardwood cleaner. You can get this in spray form, allowing you to lightly spray the floor and then wipe it clean. It’s best to use a clean cloth that attracts the dirt and dust when doing this. 

Spray cleaner is an effective approach to dealing with spills and other localized issues.

If you wish to clean the entire hardwood floor you’re better off adding a little of the cleaner to a bucket of warm water and using a mop. It should be noted that hardwood flooring doesn’t like getting wet. 

In other words, wring the mop out so that it is only damp when it comes into contact with the floor. Work your way methodically across the room to ensure every part of the floor has been lightly mopped.

Sealing the Floor

The best approach is to purchase a hardwood floor polish. This can then be applied to the floor in accordance with the instructions on the container. 

For most, this means rubbing a little into the floor with one cloth and polishing it with another. You will need to work your way across the entire room but the good news is that this only needs doing a couple of times a year.

The polish adds shine to the floor, it fills light scratches and helps to protect the floor against dirt and spills. With a little love and care your hardwood flooring will last for years!

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Boa-Franc


How To Give Your Home Personality

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Many homeowners are constantly searching for ways to make their homes truly theirs. While some folks decide to add more artwork or antiques to their home’s interior, others opt for a general remodel, changing the floors and purchasing new furniture. Even though it might seem that only one approach can be valid in this situation, it could not be further from the truth.

Every house is different and needs a unique approach to showcase all of its beauty. To give your home more personality, you can make minor adjustments like moving furniture and revamping the upholstery or take a bolder approach and do something significant, such as changing the colour of your rooms or mixing up a few patterns you like.

Depending on what you are comfortable with, it’s easy to make your home stand out. It’s up to you to decide what style you want to give your home. And if you are not sure how to do it, below you will find a few tips on how to give your home personality.

Choose the Right Paint Colours

The first step is to choose the right colour for your home. While you might think that all colours are good, this is not necessarily true. What makes the difference is the colour’s undertone. The undertone is the ratio between primary and secondary colour in paint, making it appear closer to one of them.

What some homeowners do not realise is that each colour has a different undertone. For example, the colour that looks perfect in your bathroom might not be ideal for your living room. To maximise the effect of a room and give it more personality, you need to choose the right colour combination.

Install New Flooring

Changing the flooring of your home is a great way to add more personality to it. Whether you go for hardwood, carpet or loose lay vinyl flooring, the effect will be the same: your home will look and feel much warmer and cozier.

If you want to give your home more personality, you should opt for a neutral colour: this way, it will be easier for you to add more colour and patterns to the room if you decide to do so at a later date.

Rearrange Your Furniture

One of the easiest ways to give your home more personality is by simply moving around your furniture. The usual furniture arrangement we see in homes usually involves having a living room and a dining area separated from each other. However, this is not the only option available to you.

You can give your home more personality by arranging your dining table in the middle of your living room and by adding a few art pieces alongside your furniture; this way, you will be able to make the space feel bigger and more sophisticated. Even if you have a small space, there are many ways for you to arrange your furniture and give your home a new look.

Add Artwork or Pictures

Artwork and pictures are a great way to give any room more personality. You can hang them on the walls or place them on the side table or against the back of your sofa. The effect is instant! In addition to giving your home more personality, artwork and pictures will help brighten up the room.

For example, if you want a picture of a person, you should choose one that makes sense for the room and will not look out of place or weird. If you go for a black and white patterned picture for a baby’s room, it will stand out better than a picture with bright colours would. Another crucial factor when choosing artwork is its size. If you want the artwork to stand out, make sure it is big enough to do so without looking too large or too small for its location.

Use Colourful Accents

If you want to give your home more personality, you can start by using colourful accent pieces. If you are not sure how to choose the right colours, you should start by determining the dominant colour in the room. If the room has a lot of yellow in it, you could add a red throw pillow to bring the accents together.

You can do it quickly with small details like throw pillows or blankets. Once you have decided on a colour scheme and a pattern, you can add more details to the room. Utilise both patterns and colours individually or mix them together. The idea is to find something you like and not be afraid of trying something new.

Add a Unique Piece of Furniture

If you want to give your home more personality, there is nothing like adding a unique piece of furniture. Whether it’s an armchair or a coffee table, the idea is to find one that complements the room and is different from what everyone else has. You can make it a central piece of the room or simply something you see every time you enter the room.

It might not be easy to find a unique piece of furniture, but it is worth the effort. When you find something that fits the room and the rest of your home’s interior, it will instantly give your space a whole new look and feel. It can even serve as a conversation starter with your guests!

Conclusion

If you want your home to stand out and feel unique, adding personality is one of the best ways to do so. Whether you own a small apartment or a large house, there are many ways for you to make your space truly yours. You can choose to make small changes or go for something bolder, but in the end, the effect will be the same.

To give your home more personality, you need to use all of your creativity and imagination, as well as your budget. Take your time to find the perfect furniture and details to complement the room and create a unique space that will reflect your taste and style.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by assaf henigsberg


6 Home Improvements That Can Lower Your Monthly Expenses

Do you need to save money? Are you looking for ways to reduce your monthly expenses without giving up the things that are important to you? If so, then this blog post is for you! We’re going to share 6 home improvements that can lower your monthly bills.

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Replace Your Windows

Many of us get used to living with faulty windows that let in cold drafts and noise. If you're tired of the discomfort, it's time for a change. There are many different types on the market these days such as double-pane is one option if you experience colder winters or live in an area where there can be high winds or lots of precipitation during certain seasons. If you look into the benefits of having Double Glazing windows you will save on your heating bills because the windows are thicker and made of either glass or plastic. It's not only drafty windows that cause high monthly energy costs - many people don't realize just how much their lighting is costing them! Storm windows may be another choice since they help keep your home cozy while creating more insulation too. Just make sure your new windows fit well and seal tight against weather elements so you don’t have to spend extra money heating drafty areas around them!

Insulate Your Home

Insulating your house is one of the most cost-effective and simple ways to save on monthly energy bills. It can also increase home comfort by creating a buffer between hot or cool outside air, preventing it from entering living spaces. There are many different types of insulation available today that range in size, shape, and material type - each designed for a specific area of the structure! For example, most attics use batts (batting covered with fabric) while walls often benefit from rolls made out of foam board. One easy DIY project you could try involves wrapping fiberglass insulation around water pipes running through unheated areas such as garages or crawl spaces since these sections tend to be cooler than inside rooms throughout much of the year.

Install Solar Panels

This is a great way to reduce your monthly expenses. Not only do solar panels provide free electricity, but they also increase the value of your home! When you install solar panels on your roof, it is like adding another room to your house without having to build anything. This means that when you sell or rent out this space will be valuable and help boost revenue. Furthermore, these improvements can last for over 20 years so homeowners won't have to worry about making costly repairs down the road because solar panels require very little maintenance compared to other options such as air conditioning units or appliances. If you are looking for a way to reduce your monthly expenses, then installing solar panels is the best overall option.

Install a Heat Pump

A heat pump is an air conditioning system that can also be used to warm your home. It provides year-round cooling, heating, and dehumidification for many parts of the country with relatively low operational costs. They are good investments for regions where summer temperatures regularly exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 Celsius because they provide both cooling and heating capacity in one unit. Heat pumps work by transferring heat energy from a cold space (the outside) into a warmer area (inside).

Also, installing programmable thermostats is a great idea since it allows you to create optimal temperature schedules so your heating and cooling systems operate more efficiently. For example, setting the air conditioning unit at 78 degrees Fahrenheit when everyone is away from work or school will save energy without sacrificing comfort! At night, set it back five or ten degrees to reduce costs even further while keeping the house safe during cold winter months. Most programmable thermostat models can be programmed right from your smartphone which means no matter where you are in the world - as long as there's an internet connection available - you're always plugged into home efficiency!

Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Lighting accounts for about 11% of your electric bill, which is why it's crucial to install energy-efficient light bulbs throughout the house. Compact fluorescent (CFL) lights are some of the most popular low-energy options on the market today. They consume 75 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs and last up to nine times longer! If you're not ready for CFLs, use LED lights instead. Although still more expensive than other lighting alternatives, LEDs offer many benefits including instant illumination with no warmup time needed and providing extremely long service life - lasting five years or more in average use. Lastly, try using natural daylight when possible by opening blinds during daytime hours so sunlight can naturally illuminate your home. This will help you avoid using lights when not necessary, and it's safe for the environment too!

Install a Whole Home Surge Protector

A whole-home surge protector is an electrical device that protects all of the appliances inside your house. It works by intercepting surges in electricity, which are common during stormy weather or when heavy power equipment starts up nearby on the street. These types of events can damage sensitive electronics like computers and TVs, so having one installed throughout your entire home will help shield them from these risks. To protect against severe damages to expensive electronic devices, you might also want to consider installing a backup battery for extra protection. They’re like cheap insurance for your gadgets as long as they are reasonably priced (typically less than $100), but if you had to replace a destroyed refrigerator because it ate up an unexpected spike, the cost would be far higher.

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Home improvements are a great way to update your home, but not everyone can take on these projects. If you can't afford the time or money for an extensive remodel, there are still plenty of things that will help lower your monthly expenses that don't require too much work. We hope that these six simple things will help you lower your monthly costs!

partnered post • photographs by Erik Mclean and Charles Deluvio


How To Construct a Custom House

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You have outgrown your current home and are ready to move. While there are many options for you on the market, the one that gives you all the amenities you are looking for is building it yourself. Controlling the process lets you choose everything that you want while monitoring the budget that you have established. Here are a few steps to follow when building your house.

Find a Piece of Land

To establish what you will need to spend to begin construction, contact different experts in the real estate industry. Reach out to several home builders in your area to set up an appointment with them. Once you detail what you are looking for in your house, ask them to provide you with an estimate for their work. This should include all of the carpeting, lighting, and fixtures. Meet with a real estate agent to look at pieces of property that you can build on. When you have the numbers necessary to apply for financing, talk with your bank and submit the paperwork to get your loan.

Get Ready for Construction

Once you have purchased the land that you want to build on, organize a few work days to clear it of brush, trash, and other items that could slow up breaking ground. Your contractor will schedule a land surveyor to check the lot to ensure that the structure will fit the way you want it to. Machinery will be brought in to dig out the basement or foundation and to adjust the land so that water will flow freely from the house to the street. Items that are needed for the duration of the project, such as a dumpster and portable toilets, are brought in just before work starts.

Set the Footings

Before the walls can be erected, you need to lay concrete to support them. Determine whether you want a basement in your home or if you just wish for a foundation. Workers will dig trenches where the cement will go and support them with boards. Once things are in place, the mixture will be poured into the footings. Drains will be established to move standing water away from the project. As the walls dry, they will be free from the wood. A waterproof sealant is applied to protect it from moisture that will damage it.

Build the House

The contractor will organize when the electrician and plumber will be by to visit you. They will install the initial wiring and pipes that are needed to continue the build. At this point, the sewer will be connected to the structure through your yard. The power will also be linked up to the utility box. The lumber and other hardware will be delivered when the footings are dry. Carpenters are called in to nail together the framing. After this, the siding is placed on the outside. Inside, insulation is set between the studs before drywall is hung over it. At this point, windows and doors are also put into their place. 

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Mary Molinaro


4 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Commercial Plumber

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When it comes to the forefront, business owners want their working spaces or offices perfect for their staff so that they can work with full productivity. So, part of taking care of your office certainly also includes even the smallest maintenance like plumbing. 

For this, you either hire a handyman, or you can also take commercial plumbing services to get the best and most professional results. A commercial plumber would be responsible for every task like leakage, sewer, and water drainage issues, maintaining your heating system, etc. 

So, here are some of the most common yet compelling reasons why you need to hire a commercial plumber for the maintenance of your office as soon as possible:

Water Heating Services 

If you want the water heater or boiler in your office to be replaced or get serviced for a better outcome, then you should certainly hire professional commercial plumbing services in order to get the job done before things get done. 

Since most water heaters use natural gas to warm up the temperature of the water, there is always a risk of fire explosion if it is not maintained properly. Another one of the common safety risks in this is the leakage of carbon monoxide, which might poison your entire ventilation system. 

So, getting a handyman to get this job done can turn out to be riskier than you must have imagined. While your personal handyperson might really have good intentions that sound solid, he might not have full knowledge about the products, unlike a commercial plumber.

Increase Water Efficiency

With the increase in the staff in an office, there will also be an increased use for water, which would require professional plumbing services to properly maintain it from time to time. However, most of the time-efficient services are often ignored, which becomes one of the reasons for issues later. 

This means that a great working space always needs to have a commercial plumber by their side in order to make sure things run smoothly and all the water problems are instantly solved without much delay. This would also enhance the water efficiency in a better manner. 

It would also help you to resolve any kind of sewer smell issue as well as leakage or blockage in the drainpipe to make sure your office is always uptight.

Fix Drain And Sewer Lines

This is one of the most common issues that occur quite often, not only in homes but also in the office. This is because there is more than one person to use the bathroom all day long, so the pipes sometimes can get blocked and not drained properly. 

Since no one likes to sit in an office that smells bad or has any kind of water leakage, which can make things unsanitary, it is really necessary to hire someone who can take care of the problem in time without things getting much worse. 

Getting services from a commercial plumber will certainly help you in this matter, as he would know the right techniques and products to clear out the problem.

Deal With Emergencies

Even with all the maintenance, you can never be sure when you might face an emergency plumbing issue. So, in order to deal with a situation like instant pipe leakage or drain blockage or bursting of an internal pipeline, you can hire a commercial plumber for your help. 

He will not only be able to tackle the situation in time but will also come with a long-term solution before worse scenarios happen, like a short circuit or fire outbreak.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by kbrookes