Home Efficiency Upgrades You Need To Prioritize

Owning a home is expensive. In addition to the mortgage, property taxes, and insurance costs, homeowners are responsible for their utility bills and the cost of household repairs.

Most homeowners spend thousands on household maintenance and emergency repairs every year. Investing in the home efficiency upgrades and routine maintenance outlined here can prevent systems from breaking down and save homeowners money in the long run.

Doors and Windows

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Old doors and windows can allow unwanted airflow. Drafty doors and windows will make it harder to heat or cool your home and increase the strain on your HVAC system. You may be able to correct this issue by applying caulking around old windows and adding draft stoppers to your doors.

It’s also a good idea to consider investing in new doors and windows. The cost of upgrades pays for itself by lowering your utility bills and increasing your property value. If your doors and windows are drafty, you won’t be able to fully enjoy your home in the winter because you’ll want to avoid drafts to stay warm.

HVAC System

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Your home’s furnace distributes hot air throughout your home during the winter. If your heating system struggles to reach your desired temperature, it’s possible your furnace doesn’t run efficiently due to serious mechanical issues. Efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems draw in air through the intake vents and heat the air. The blower distributes warm air through the supply vents until the home reaches the temperature set on your thermostat. You can extend the life of your HVAC system by making regular maintenance a part of your routine. Schedule maintenance from an HVAC technician every fall to ensure your furnace is working correctly before winter. This can extend your heating system’s life, so you don’t have to buy a new furnace prematurely.

Your HVAC technician will inspect the unit to ensure all parts are working correctly and replace worn parts. The technician can also remove debris from the ducts to keep your system from distributing contaminants throughout your home. Have your technician return to perform routine maintenance on your air conditioner in the spring to ensure it’s ready for summer.

If your heating system does break down, check to ensure the pilot light is on. Make a habit of cleaning or replacing your HVAC system’s air filter each month. A dirty filter can obstruct airflow, which will make it harder for your unit to heat or cool your home. When the system has to work harder to perform its tasks, it consumes more energy, which will cause your utility bills to increase.

Insulation

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Your attic can cause energy efficiency issues by allowing unwanted airflow that affects your home’s temperature. Insulating your attic prevents hot air from escaping during the winter and keeps the cool air in during the summer. Your furnace and air conditioner won’t have to run as often to heat or cool your home, which means you’ll save money on energy bills.

Your ducts can also leak air. Sealing leaks and wrapping your ducts with insulation ensures your home’s cooling and heating system can distribute air efficiently.

Lighting

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If your healthy routine includes completing a workout first thing in the morning, you’ll need appropriate lighting to ensure your safety. Set up your exercise area near a window so you can take advantage of the natural sunlight during the summer months. You can also reduce your utility bills by replacing old light bulbs with LED light bulbs, which consume less energy. Another idea is to take advantage of natural sunlight by placing your desk and favorite reading chair near a window.

Appliances

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Old appliances use more energy than new energy-efficient appliances consume. Although it can cost hundreds upfront to replace your stove or refrigerator, the older your home’s appliances are, the more money you’ll save by replacing them. You may even save money on your home insurance costs as well because some old appliances may be a fire risk.

Smart home upgrades can improve your home’s efficiency and save you hundreds to thousands of dollars per year on your utility bills. You can also avoid the inconvenience and cost of paying for emergency repairs.

Essential Tips for Designing a Modern Kitchen

Even though the economic downfall took a bit of the steam out of the home renovations market, it has definitely recovered and so has homeowners desire to improve or change their space. With this renewed vigor to create unique and welcoming homes, some new trends in home renovations have also emerged. Choosing a company like mannetta industries will allow you to get the best possible results from your home renovations. Some of the most notable trends in home renovations that you will see are detailed here.

Salem-Avenue-Renovation

Modern Kitchens
Just a few years ago when a homeowner remodeled their kitchen there was a good chance they were going with the rustic motif, featuring warm colors and wrought iron accessories. However, the tables have turned and now the most popular options are modern styles with gray or white cabinetry, countertops that are simple and a space that features a minimalist design. Additionally, you are much more likely to see appliances that blend into space or that are hidden from view to create a sleeker appearance.
Essential-Tips-for-Designing-a-Modern-Kitchen
Brass is quickly making a comeback. Even though this is not a new material, it has received a bit of a facelift. Bright, highly polished brass is a thing of the past and the modern trend is leaning toward hammered, dull and rustic looking brass. This new look is able to be used in bathrooms and kitchens, as well as in the door hardware and lighting throughout the entire house.

Havertown Petite Kitchen

Updated Bathrooms
Modern trends show that the bathroom is the second most renovated room in a house, only falling behind the kitchen. The trend for bathrooms is moving away from the vintage, wainscoting and claw foot tub style to more of a resort style. This option will feature things such as larger walk-in showers, several shower heads, heated towel racks or floors and bathtubs with jets. For style and coloring, glass tiles will be the most popular option and the entire space will be in neutral cool colors such as off-white, light blue and ash gray.

ASID Showcase House 2014 - Twin Girls

Vivid Colors
Even though kitchen and bathrooms are moving toward neutral colors, designers are thinking something completely different for other spaces in your home. Bright, vivid colors such as orange, yellow and turquoise that were recently popular have now received a new twist. Now they are being designed to offer even more of a focal point with colors such as Rouge Red, Nectarine, Lemon Zest, and Green Flash. Chances are you will begin to see these options on accent walls, as the main color of paint and even on the ceiling or floor. If you are considering a remodel or renovation, it is a good idea to learn about the recent trends that are being used.

Contemporary Kitchen in Fulham

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Ways To Prevent Pests From Moving Into Your Home

Prevent-Pests-From-Coming-Into-Your-HomeThere are many reasons why animals like scorpions, rats, mice, spiders, termites, carpenter ants, flies, and mosquitos move into human settlement areas and become pests.

The fundamental reasons for this scenario are global warming, global population growth, and people moving into the animals’ habitat. These animals are designed to survive, so they will move into human settlement areas, and adapt their lifestyles to find food and shelter amongst people and domestic animals.

Additionally, many of these animals, like scorpions, rats, and mice, can reproduce very quickly. So, for example, two mice living in a farm shed can end up being one hundred mice in a very short space of time.

Not only are arachnids like scorpions able to reproduce rapidly, but they can slow down their metabolism when there is no food. As a result, they are virtually impossible to kill. Therefore, this fact is the raison d’etre for hiring scorpion control San Tan Valley company to come in and remove this scorpion infestation.

At this juncture, it is vital to note that once the pest infestation has been removed, you need to make sure that the pests cannot move back in. Therefore, here are several tips to help you make your home and yard a pest-free zone:

Tidy up your yard

Many pests are happy living in rubbish, woodpiles, and organic matter such as grass clippings, leaves, and broken tree branches left lying around the yard.

There are instances of dengue-fever carrying mosquitoes living and breeding in stagnant water caused by the piles of rubbish lying around. The pest control experts can come and spray your home and yard to kill the mosquitoes; however, if you do not clear away the rubbish, the mosquitoes will return.

Keep up with your home maintenance chores

Pests such as rats, mice, scorpions, and spiders will move into your home, especially in the extremely hot summer months, or the freezing winter months. Thus, it is vital to ensure that all screens that cover doors and windows do not have any holes in them.

Additionally, it is vital to fix any holes found in the house’s exterior, especially if it is constructed from wooden panels. Make sure that the wood is properly treated so that it doesn’t crack and split in the extreme temperatures. Cracked and split wooden sidings will allow pests to enter your home.

Ensure that areas, where food is cooked and stored, are kept clean

Food left lying around is one of the biggest attractions to pests. Piles of dirty, food-crusted dishes will attract swarms of flies as well as rodents. The flies will lay their eggs in the food left lying around. And, the rats and mice will leave their bacteria and virus-infected droppings all over the place as they run all over the dirty dishes as well as your food storage areas.

Final thoughts

In summary, the quintessential part of keeping pests away, after they have been exterminated, is to ensure that your living environment does not invite them to return.
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Ariens Snow Blowers: Types of Snow Blowers According to Source

What-types-of-snowblowers-are-best-for-the-taskOne of the most hated seasons is winter. There are so many reasons as to why that is the feeling so many people, even those who grew with it. The season is usually connected with sadness, misery and being alone amongst many people. It is such a poignant time when almost every plant life succumbs to the chill. Animals either hibernate or hideaway to their shelters. Insects die one by one as their eggs waiting for the spring. It is a time known for the end of life, where all people try to rest and hope that it will pass without any losses.

However, there is another thing winter brings that causes more disdain than anything else even the drop of temperature. Snow might look beautiful at a distance. After all, it is a frozen ice crystal that descends to the mortal world. Winter flakes look ethereal in a way that no two is ever alike. Hence, this is also a term for people who are too thin-skinned or feeling special about themselves. On the other hand, winter is also hated because it is cold, irritating and it gets everywhere. Most would rather have the cooler temperatures than wisps of ice forming mountain ranges right in front of your house. Here are ways you can combat the winter blues: https://homespunseasonalliving.com/10-tips-to-enjoy-winter/.

How Technology Helped Make Winter More ManageableHow-Technology-Helped-Make-Winter-More-Manageable

Fortunately, science has provided us with technology that can make this easier. Before, humans just waited for the sun to melt the ice away. They can also do it by hand but it is an unbearable job. When shovels became a thing, people started using them to make the clearing faster. When the modern period arrived, there is equipment that is innovated to clear winter debris out like a lawnmower. This was the birth of the snowblower. Since its introduction to the public, many people wanted to acquire them because it makes the plowing a whole lot easier to do.

The question is: Do you really need a snowblower? It is a well-known fact that the best blowers don’t come cheap. The more “affordable” ones tend to break down after a season or two which doesn’t give you the same bang for your buck. If you are considering buying one, you need to check whether how much snow your area receives in a year. You also need to observe the length of time of light storm or blizzard so that you can roughly estimate the amount properly as well. If you don’t even receive that much snow each year, then why buy this machine?

Things That You Need To Check Before Buying One:

  1. Stages

As you may know, there are a lot of different kinds of snow blowers. Sometimes, they are differentiated through stages. The stage being referred to here is the auger, which pushes the snow to the chamber that spreads it to other areas. The single-stage snow blower uses only the auger as a way to disperse the powdered ice. This is best for where it pours less than four inches thick. A two-stage one can perform even better than the single chamber because you can cover more spaces as well as you can control where the snow should go.  There is a mechanism inside that lets the user control where the snow would land after it is adjusted through the controls. Also, there is another type called triple-stage which lessens the effort you use to clean the lawn on your own. Check out products like this in reviews like Ariens Xompact 24 review

  1. Wheels

You also need to check what kind of wheels your snowblower has. Mosts single-stage blowers have a wheel in them so that it would be easy to maneuvers. However, turning can be a challenge since most single stage only for one way. After you are done, you need to position it correctly, otherwise, you need to try and remove it again. For two-stage blowers, most of them have tracks. These are special types of wheels that can go over rocky or uneven ground. With these tracks, two-stage blowers can go practically anywhere. Sometimes, these machines are so powerful that their augers can even pick up gravel and rocks. Be careful with these though as they can jam the passage of snow and be the cause of the malfunction.

  1. Power

The last consideration that you need to think about is what kind of power source the model has. Electric powered blowers are very popular these days, but they can’t cover for as long. They are just limited to areas near the house. Plugged-in blowers might be alright as it has its uses, but it is not really for your driveways. The cord might get stuck on the snow or get destroyed by its own auger.  If this is the only one you have, look for extension cords or simply shovel everything away. On the other hand, if you are covering for an entire lot then it would be best to have the gasoline or fuel-powered snow blowers.

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