Window Upgrades To Improve The Efficiency Of Your AC System

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Homeowners should be aware of the danger of solar heat gain, because if you don’t know about a problem, you can’t do anything about it. What is solar heat gain? It is the process by which the sun heats up your home. For example, the UV rays of the sun can easily pass through the windows in your home. Once inside, the UV rays are absorbed by the interior surfaces of your home where they are converted to heat. To stop the onslaught of UV rays before they can heat up your home and cause problems for your AC system, you have to do something to prevent them. Thermal Curtains A thermal curtain will have a thick layer of batting and typically a layer of metal foil. Together, these components will create a thermal barrier which will prevent heat from the sun from passing into your home even as they stop the cold air from your AC system from passing out your windows. The problem with thermal curtains is that in order for them to do their job, you have to block off your windows with the curtains. Thus, you will not be able to let in light or see out of your windows.  Window Films If you want to make use of natural light, and if you want to keep your windows clear to open up the space in your home, you probably want to steer away from thermal curtains. If you can filter UV rays out of the light coming into your home, you can stop solar heat gain in its tracks. To achieve such filtering, you really need nothing more than window films. Window films will come with a reflective coating that will deflect much of the sun’s UV rays before they can enter your home. By filtering out UV light, window films can decrease your cooling costs by up to 23%.  Windows account for up to 40% of cooling costs. This number is not an immutable fact. Instead, you should see window improvements as an opportunity to decrease your cooling costs. Upgrades like thermal curtains and window films are inexpensive and can have a big impact on how much you pay to keep your home cool. Anything you can do to keep your home from heating up in the first place will help you to keep your cooling costs down by reducing the demand on your AC system. If costs are still too high, consider contacting an AC repair company, such as Atlantic Heating and Cooling, to see if your system needs extra...

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How To Turn Your Small Garden From Drab To Awesome

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Generally, it is easier (and more fun, to be honest) to design a medium-sized or large garden than a smaller one. With a small garden, it can be difficult to decide what to leave out and what to include. However, there are tips that can take the sting out of the size and make your tiny garden more memorable than many other larger ones. Are you a doubter? Try these tips and see how much fun you will have with your garden: Create a Focal Point In a large garden, there might not be a need to create a focal point because you can include many different things. In a smaller garden, you need something that draws attention away from other “lesser” points in the garden. The focal point can be anywhere in the garden including the center or one of the corners. Put something there that immediately commands the attention of anybody who comes into the garden. You can put a sculpture, unique tree, rock art or any other artwork. Use Containers Growing things in containers is useful in a small garden because: The plants don’t have to compete for nutrients as they would if crowded on the ground. You can have plants of different heights by using different containers. You can change your garden’s look by moving the containers around. Minimize Color Variations A colorful garden may be beautiful, but too many colors in a small place can be overwhelming. Therefore, you are better off choosing a simple color scheme and sticking with it across the entire garden. For example, if you like red, then most of your plants should have red leaves or flowers. Sure, you can one or two more colors in small quantities, but you don’t want to put yellow, red, white, green, pink, and purple all in one small garden. Go Vertical Just because you have a small garden doesn’t mean that you have no space at all. You probably have a lot of vertical space; things like walls, trees, and rocks all give you spaces for additional plants. Use climbers such as ivy on these vertical spaces, or even hang flower baskets on them. These tips are good starting points if you want to plan for your own garden. However, if you don’t trust your creativity enough, then you should consult a landscape designer such as someone from Beltran Paving & Landscape.  Believe it or not, these professionals have worked with gardens much smaller than yours, and even if they haven’t, they have the skills to come up with something...

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Tips For Maintaining Water Features

Posted by on Nov 15, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Water features like fountains and ponds can provide a beautiful and relaxing environment in your backyard. While they are lovely to look at, you will still need to perform maintenance and cleaning on them. This will help keep the water clean and reduce grim, mold and various debris that can nearly ruin the water feature. Follow these tips for maintaining your outdoor water features. Use a Skimmer One of the items you will use most often to keep your water features cleaned and well maintained is the skimmer. This is a simple tool that sweeps the top surface of the water in order to remove various types of debris. There should be a basket inside the skimmer tool that collects the debris and acts as a first-stage filter. It can collect different types of debris in your water feature, such as seeds, twigs and leaves that have blown into it. The season may depend on how often you skim the feature, where fall will be the most frequent due to falling leaves. Check the Filter Mat The second stage of the skimming process for your water feature is using the filter mat. This is a mat that is located below the debris basket. It is going to catch debris that goes past the basket and the skimmer failed to collect the first time around. You don’t need to do much with the mat, except check it occasionally and dispose of the debris. Maintain the Pump As far as maintenance goes, water features are typically low maintenance. However, you may occasionally have issues with the water pump. The first sign that there is something wrong with the water pump is if the flow of water is slow, such as a waterfall feature where the water seems to be going slower than it used to. First, check the filter screen below the pump to make sure it is not clogged with debris. Next, call in a professional plumber like one from Biard & Crockett Plumbing if you think you have a more serious problem with the pump. Update the Filter If you have had the water feature for a while and you are having problems with it being dirty or mildew-ridden frequently, it might be time to get a new filter. The filter is what collects much of the dirt and small debris before the skimmer starts doing its job. Every water feature should have a filter, whether it’s a fountain, waterfall or pond. Have it inspected by a plumber with experience using water filters on water features and replace...

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Understanding The Language Of Windows

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When you decide that you want to replace the windows of your home, it is helpful to understand some of the language of windows, which are the terms that are used on the labels of the windows that are available for you to choose from. Understanding these terms will ensure that you choose windows that are right for your home. Here are some of the terms that you may run into: Glazing: Glazing is the glass that is used in the windows. There can be a different number of layers of glazing that are used, such as triple, double, or single. However, these layers usually do not make your windows have greater efficiency.  Low-E: Low-E stand for low emissivity, which is the window’s ability to reflect the sun’s UV rays instead of absorbing it. Be aware that when a window has Low-E, it can increase the price of the total cost of the window. You can always add Low-E films later on after you install your replacement windows. However, these films aren’t as effective as the Low-E films that are put between the glazing layers on the window during production. Frame Materials: There are many different frame materials to choose from, vinyl included. Vinyl has a great number of strengths above other materials, such as the fact that it is great at insulating and easy to maintain. This is because vinyl comes in whatever color you choose and does not chip or need to be replaced like wood does. Gas Fills: Gas fills, such as argon or krypton gas, are put between the glazing layers and help to improve insulation. This is because the gas causes slow heat transfer. You may want to be sure that the windows you choose have gas fillers. However, these gas fillers won’t work at higher altitudes because of the air pressure that will just cause them to leak. So if you live at a higher altitude, be sure that you save your money and choose replacement windows that do not come with gas fillers. Spacers: Spacers are what separate the glass in the windows to help improve the quality of insulation. It is important that the spacers are made of a quality design and material to help prevent condensation and heat loss. Knowing some of these terms are going to help you choose the right qualities in your replacement windows. This will also ensure that you are not spending money on any features that are not needed for your home. Contact a company like Superior Windows for help with replacing...

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Is Natural Hardwood Flooring An Option For Your Kitchen?

Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

For many homeowners, a natural hardwood floor can be a daunting option to maintain. However, the charm and timeless nature of hardwood flooring ensures its popularity. Bedrooms and living rooms are expected locales, but can hardwood floor find a place in your kitchen? The answer may surprise you. Ask yourself the following questions and determine whether you should consider hardwood flooring in your kitchen. Do you have a regular cleaning or maintenance routine? Hardwood floors are famously fragile in many ways. If you are the type of homeowner who neglects to sweep at least weekly or wipe up spills immediately in the kitchen, hardwood floors may not be the right choice for you. Water damage can ruin your floors easily, and without proper cleaning, the wood’s condition will quickly deteriorate. If, on the other hand, you do keep a regular maintenance routine, being willing to perform basic upkeep, including weekly sweeping and quarterly polishing, this points to hardwood as a possibility for you. Lessen the possibility of spills by using rugs or mats in danger areas like the sink or under a dining table or counter. What level of the building is your kitchen on? Hardwood (solid wood, in particular) can react poorly to moisture and dampness. In a kitchen, the obvious culprit for this is accidental spills, but what you may fail to consider is the climate of the level you are on. Basements, for example, tend towards dampness, and so if your kitchen is located in the basement, you may want to consider stone or laminate flooring options instead. Otherwise, make a note of the climate and humidity changes in the part of the house your kitchen is, and plan accordingly. What is your budget? Hardwood flooring is among the more expensive flooring options. If you find yourself wanting to save money on flooring, there are superior options for doing so. Additionally, moving ahead with hardwood in a kitchen is simplest with a highly-textured species of wood. This will prevent small dings and scratches from the constant use from being as noticeable. However, it may well skyrocket your costs, depending on personal preference. Research various options, such as oak or ash, and their costs within this realm before committing to going for hardwood floors. Did you answer the questions positively? If so, hardwood flooring might be a workable investment to bring your kitchen’s aesthetics to a new level. Visit websites like http://www.carrollfloor.com for more...

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