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Troubleshooting Furnace Electrical Issues

Posted by on 5:01 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Troubleshooting Furnace Electrical Issues

Not all furnace trouble is created equal. Most homeowners are equipped to change a filter or figure out and repair minor issues with the thermostat. The problem is when an electric furnace begins blowing fuses in your breaker box. The following can help you diagnose the cause of the electrical problem and decide whether it’s time to bring out a professional. Issue #1: Overheating A clogged filter is the most common cause for overheating in your furnace. If the fuse tends to blow or the breaker trips after the furnace has been on for awhile, it’s time to shut it off and check the filter. Don’t just simply change the filter. Instead, use a shop vacuum to vacuum out the filter slot in case there is any loose dirt clogging the works. Once cleaned out, put in a new filter and flip the breaker back to the on position. If overheating was the cause, you shouldn’t have any more issues. Issue #2: Water Shorts Furnaces are often tucked away, such as in a basement, a crawl space, or out in a garage. While most garages are relatively dry, basements and crawlspaces can be prone to moisture and leaks. This can lead to dangerous shorts in the furnace. If you notice dampness near the furnace and if the breaker trips or fuse blows whenever the furnace tries to cycle on, disconnect it until you can have a trained electrician out for repairs. A water short can create a fire hazard and an electrocution hazard, so don’t attempt to fix it yourself. Issue #3: Faulty Wiring Furnaces have blowers and motors running, which means there are some vibrations within the unit. This can result in loose or frayed wires over time. When this happens, there can be shorts that occur at any time when the furnace is running, or the furnace may simply refuse to turn on. Having the furnace inspected annually by a technician can help catch issues with the wiring before the furnace breaks down or becomes a hazard. If you suspect loose wiring, shut down the furnace until you can have it inspected. Issue #4: Blow Motor The blower motor is the hardest working part of your furnace. A failing motor will cause the fuse to blow or the breaker to trip each time it cycles on. This is another problem that can be caught and repaired early if you schedule regular inspections. Otherwise, you will need to power down the furnace until you can get an electrical service technician out to replace the...

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Creating A Safer Bathroom For Your Loved One With A Disability

Posted by on 8:58 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Creating A Safer Bathroom For Your Loved One With A Disability

If you have a loved one in your household who has either recently been permanently injured, or who is getting older and becoming mobility challenged, then you want to prepare your home for their needs. Since the bathroom is one of the more dangerous rooms in a house, you should put your attention there first. The information provided below will offer you tips on transforming your bathroom into one that you can feel safer having your family member use. Make sure the floor is slip resistant The first thing you want to do when you are making your bathroom a safer place is to reduce the risk of falling by applying a non-slip texture to the tile. You can do this yourself by pouring the solution directly on the floor, according to the instructions. Use a mop to make sure it is evenly distributed and allow it to dry completely. When it dries, it will offer a clear texture on your tile that makes it harder to slip on it, even when it gets wet. Have a disability accessible shower or tub installed Bathing can be the most difficult part of the day for someone who has a hard time getting around. If you have a bathtub then you can have it replaced with a walk in bathtub that has a door in the side of the tub, a non-slip seat and a hand held showerhead. This tub will make it easier, more comfortable and safer for your family member to bathe. If you currently have a shower that they use, then you can have it replaced with a border free shower. You can have a seat built in to the shower they can sit on and a hand held showerhead installed. If you decide not to have a seat installed, they can still use a shower chair and enjoy a much safer showering experience. Install a toilet with a bidet feature When a person starts to have a hard time with their mobility, their hygiene tends to go downhill. You can help to prevent this by changing the toilet out for one that has a bidet feature. This way, your family member can keep themselves cleaner after using the bathroom, regardless of their disability. For assistance with the installation, talk to a plumbing service. You want to make all the changes you can to protect your family member, but the bathroom is a good start. From there, you can consider grab bars around the house, the possibility of a medical bed, a stair lift and anything else you can do to...

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3 Reasons To Maintain A Clean Carpet

Posted by on 10:49 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons To Maintain A Clean Carpet

If you have carpet flooring in your home, you probably want it to look its best, and keeping it free of dirt and grime is a part of that. However, there are additional reasons to maintain a clean carpet. Here are a few: Maintain the Piling A carpet fiber is similar to a strand of hair, and when pushed and pulled against other fibers, matting results. Some fiber materials, such as nylon, don’t mat as easily as others. However, the potential for the piling of your carpet to clump and tangle is still there.  When you clean your carpet properly, the brushes from the carpet cleaner help unravel matted fibers to restore the look of your pile. Nevertheless, if you wait too long between cleaning sessions, the matting can become so severe that it will not unravel. Regular cleaning helps maintain the proper look and texture of your carpet so you don’t have to reinvest in new carpet before you are ready. Get Rid of Allergens Each time you walk on your carpet after walking outdoors, your shoes deposit dirt and allergens from outside onto your carpet. Even if you don’t wear your shoes when you walk on your carpet, much of the dust in your home is formed form shedding skin cells. Many people are allergic to dust, weed particles and other allergens. However, these substances can be removed from your carpet during a thorough cleaning. Some cleaning methods, such as steam cleaning, can even disinfect your carpet. Keep Staining from Becoming Permanent Some stains become permanent if they are not promptly removed. Cleaning your carpet regularly prevents dirt and stains from becoming so deeply embedded that they become permanent.  If you do happen to spill something on your carpet, blot the area to remove the excess liquid. If you are unsure of how the stain will react with a certain cleaner or whether or not a cleaner is suitable for your carpet, just use warm water to repeatedly dilute and blot the stain until most of it is removed. If there is some residual staining still visible, pre-treat the stain with a solution approved for your type of carpet to help loosen it and then clean the area with your normal carpet cleaning solution. If you would like to maintain a clean carpet but don’t have time to do it yourself, leave it to the professionals. Schedule regular cleaning appointments with a carpet cleaning company in your area. To learn more, contact a carpet cleaning company like Amer Carpet...

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Three Ways You’re Actually Limiting The Energy Efficiency Of Your Heating System

Posted by on 10:28 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Ways You’re Actually Limiting The Energy Efficiency Of Your Heating System

Wondering why your energy bills are so expensive? You could be to blame. A number of homeowners engage in seemingly innocent practices that actually hinder the energy efficiency of their heating units and often lead to elevated bills each month. If you want to keep your unit operating more efficiently and keep your heating costs lower, make sure you know what practices to avoid. Turning Off The Furnace Turning off your heating unit when you’re at work or on a short vacation isn’t the way to save money. In the simplest of terms – don’t do it. When you turn the heating unit off entirely, you’re forcing it to work hard to reheat your home once you turn it back on. This type of practice increases both the amount of energy and time it takes to warm the air. Each of these processes lead to higher bills. A smarter choice is to install a programmable thermostat that allows you to preset a lower temperature when you’re away, instead of turning off the system entirely. Keeping The Curtains Closed Window heat loss is a common concern that causes many homeowners to keep their curtains closed at all times. When you keep your curtains closed, you’re missing out on free heat in the form of sunlight. Make it a point to open the curtains covering any south-facing windows during periods of high sunlight to allow UV rays to penetrate inside and provide heat. In terms of energy efficiency, natural warmth introduced into your home lessens your dependence on your heating system. Keep your windows clean, as dust, dirt and grime buildup can limit the amount of heat that travels through the glass. Thermostat Spiking For A Quick Warming Make sure you understand that your system’s heating speed and its thermostat temperature are independent factors. Adjusting the thermostat temperature from 70 degrees to 90 degrees in an effort to quickly warm your home won’t help and will only cause the system to use a higher level of energy. Since it takes more effort and time to raise the air temperature to 90 degrees, you’re only requiring the unit to work harder. If you want to save money, you must remember that slow and steady wins the race. Consider turning up the thermostat by only a few degrees first. Contact a professional HVAC company like McGuire Plumbing & Heating Inc. to find out about more things you might be doing to hinder the energy efficiency around your home. Make sure you’re taking a proactive approach to keep energy usage as low as...

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Thermal Processing Helps With Stress Relief For Metals

Posted by on 4:29 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Thermal Processing Helps With Stress Relief For Metals

You might have heard about the importance of strengthening your metal products, but you might not realize all of the benefits of thermal processing. Thermal processing is done in various ways and can provide multiple benefits, but one benefit that you might not realize is the stress relief benefit. As metal is cut, manipulated and otherwise made into a useful product, it is put under a lot of stress. Although you might not see the effects at first, you should know that this stress can cause problems later on. Luckily, thermal processing provides stress relief to help ensure that your metal items are strong and durable. Ensure Metal Items Aren’t Damaged When Exposed to Extreme Temperatures Metal can already be at risk of damage when exposed to hot and cold temperatures — for example, you have to worry about them getting too hot and becoming pliable, which can cause them to become misshapen — but this can be even more of a problem with metal that has been through the manufacturing process. If you are going to be using your metal in a factory setting, there is a chance that it will be put through extreme heat or cold due to the climate in the factory. You also have to worry about heat when welding is done on metal or in the surrounding area or when there is a lot of friction from nearby moving parts. If you want to avoid potential damage due to the heat or cold that your metal items will be exposed to, it’s a good idea to have them thermally processed. Then, they will be better prepared for these temperatures and will be more likely to withstand them. Prevent “Stress Cracks” from Constant Use Just because stress cracks have not formed in your metal yet does not mean that it won’t happen later. These stress cracks can lead to failure of your metal products or can cause rust and other problems. If your metal items are thermally processed, however, you can help reduce the chance that there will be stress cracks later. Plus, metal that has been thermally processed can be less prone to corrosion and other issues, even if a crack does occur. As you can see, thermal processing helps with stress relief for metals and can be highly beneficial. The type of thermal processing that you choose will depend on the type of metal that your item is made from and a few other things, but selecting the right type of thermal processing can be a smart idea for these reasons and more. Contact a business, such as Pacific Metallurgical Inc, if you have other questions about thermal processing....

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How To Get Rid Of Ice Dams On Your Roof

Posted by on 4:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Get Rid Of Ice Dams On Your Roof

An icicle can be awe-inspiring and beautiful in the right context. Unfortunately, hanging off the eave of your home’s roof is not one of them. Icicles can be a huge problem for homeowners during the winter because of the damage that they can cause. They are the sign of ice dam formations, and thankfully, there is a way to prevent them from happening. What Are Ice Dams? Ice dams initially form because of melting snow that rolls down your roof, then freezes along the roof’s eaves. When the ice starts to build up along the eaves, it can collect underneath your shingles and expand, causing shingles to lift off your roof. The result of leaving ice dams on your roof can be damage to the shingles, a wooden roof deck that has rotted, and a leak that causes water damage inside your home. Rake Snow Off The Roof An easy way to prevent ice dams from forming is to be diligent about raking snow off your roof after every snowfall. The key is to remove the snow before the temperature is warm enough to cause the snow to melt. Snow rakes allow you to remove snow without having to climb a ladder, since it is long enough to be used while on the ground. Never climb a ladder when using a snow rake, since there is a possibility of falling off the ladder because of dangerous weather conditions. Disperse the excess snow around your home, since there will be a lot of it. Ideally, it should be in a place that will not block a pathway. Keep snow off sidewalks and structures like your deck when possible. Pay for Professional Removal If your roof is really high, or has a lot of pitches that make raking it difficult, you will need professional help to remove the ice dams. Contact roofing contractors in your area to find one that can remove ice dams from your house. They will also have access to professional tools that can clear the ice quickly, such as a hot steam blower. Long Term Solution Using rakes and blowers is only a temporary solution to the problem of ice dams. When you find that they are consistent problem with your roof, it is most likely due to a problem with a lack of insulation or improper roof ventilation. If you fix the source of the problem and repair the damage caused to your roof, you will be making a significant step towards ice dam prevention. For more information or if you need roof repairs, visit B & B Sheet Metal And Roofing...

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Plaster Repair 101: Installing A Plaster Patch

Posted by on 11:51 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Plaster Repair 101: Installing A Plaster Patch

Large holes in plaster can be fixed as a DIY project by homeowners who know what they’re doing. Plaster patches aren’t complicated to apply, but if they are done incorrectly, they can develop cracks or can wind up being more rough than the original plaster. You can avoid these problems by following the proper application procedure. The following steps will help you apply a plaster patch that won’t crack or have a rougher texture than that of the original wall. Scrape Out Plaster Crumbs Before you can put new plaster into the hole, first you must clear out all the old plaster crumbs. Use a brush to sweep out old plaster. If necessary, wet down the lathe in the hole to remove the old plaster. Condition the Lathe Spray the lathe and plaster with a plaster conditioner. This product is designed to prevent the surrounding lathe and plaster from sucking out the moisture from the new plaster as it sets on the wall. This prevents the new layer of plaster from cracking before it’s had a chance to fully dry. Once you’ve sprayed the area with conditioner, allow it to dry for whatever length of time specified in the manufacturer instructions. Spread the First Layer of Plaster Mix the plaster with water until it’s approximately the consistency of peanut butter. Once this is done, use a margin trowel to spread the plaster on the lathe. The plaster should not sag. If it does sag, the plaster is too wet and you should add more powder to the plaster mixture until it’s thicker. Fill in the hole half way with plaster, then use a scarifier to create a rough surface which the rest of the plaster can adhere to. Wait for the first layer of plaster to become firm (though not completely dry) before proceeding to the next step. Apply a Second Layer of Plaster Use a taping knife to apply a second coat of plaster. This time, plaster mixture should be slightly thinner, approximately as thick as icing. To achieve this, you’ll have to mix an entirely new batch. Use the taping knife to smear the plaster in a smooth layer over the scratch coat. When you’re finished, this second layer should be flush with the wall, so there appears to be no seam between the original wall and the wet plaster. Wait for the plaster to dry. Sand the Surface and Reapply Plaster if Necessary Use sandpaper to sand down the plaster, then reapply another layer of plaster as necessary. Wait for the last layer of plaster to completely dry, then sand it down one more time. If you can’t get the texture just right, consider working with a painting professional, such as Painting By Jerry Wind. However, if your plaster looks smooth and natural, your plaster repair is ready to be painted to match the wall as soon as it...

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Trees And Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Posted by on 2:51 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Trees And Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

An air conditioning unit is an active cooling system that can only cool down your home once it starts to heat up in the first place. If you want to reduce the cost of cooling your home, then you need to look at ways to prevent your home from heating up in the first place. While there are many new technologies that can help to prevent heat gain, sometimes your best option is to go with a time-tested option. Trees can enhance the beauty of your yard, but they can play an equally important role in helping your home to stay cool. Shade Randomly planting ornamental trees around your yard will have little to no effect on reducing your home’s heat gain. For the best results, you will need to consider where the most sunlight will come from and then consider which type of trees will have the best chance of blocking the sun. For most of the day, the sun will attack your home from the south and from a high angle. Thus, you should plant tall trees with large crowns on the south of your home. However, in the evening, you can have a heavy attack from the western horizon. For the best defense, you will want to plant tall trees with limbs all along their trunks. Shaded surfaces will stay up to 35 degrees cooler than they otherwise would be, and the cooler the exterior of your home is, the less heat will leak into your home.  Evapotranspiration Trees are nature’s swamp cooler. They are constantly releasing water vapor which absorbs heat from the air. The air cooled in this way will then settle down onto your home and yard. Not only will this help to keep your home and yard cooler, but it will also help your AC unit to more effectively cool your home. The condenser coils located on the outside of your home are responsible for cooling freon. The more cool air that is available to the condenser coils, the more efficiently they will be able to cool the freon.  You might not think that trees will have much effect on the energy efficiency of your home, but by helping your home to stay cool, trees can reduce the strain on your AC unit. While strategically planting trees should not be the only step you take to keep your home cool, they can nonetheless make a big difference in terms of your cooling costs.  Contact a service like Affordable Comfort Heating and Cooling to learn...

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Host A Casino-Themed Party

Posted by on 9:00 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Host A Casino-Themed Party

You and your closest friends can have a blast at a casino-themed party that you host. The following ideas will help you plan a successful event that will provide everyone with non-stop fun and lasting memories. Dining And Beverage Area Set up a dining area under a rental tent or canopy from a party company, such as City Rentals. Use a deck of large playing cards to decorate each table’s surface. Place the cards in random areas on top of the tables and secure them with pieces of tape. Cover each table with a clear tablecloth when finished. Hang up fuzzy dice from the tent or canopy’s ceiling with pieces of twine and colorful tape. Purchase an ice luge to serve drinks to your guests. Have a money sign or dollar bill carved into the luge. Pour drinks through the channel that was added to the ice and invite your guests to collect their beverages on the other end in cups that have money symbols printed on them.  Casino-Themed Games Many rental companies have a variety of roulette wheels, poker machines, and slot machines that can be reserved for personal events. Place the rental games under a protected area so that they are not exposed to moisture during the party. Add some games of your own to enhance each guest’s experience. Bingo or card games do not require much money or planning to set up. Purchase inexpensive items to give away as gifts to each winner. Host each game yourself or ask for volunteers if you would like to offer two or more options at the same time. Dance And Relaxation Section A small piece of flooring can be set placed on the ground to provide your guests with enough space to dance. Set up disco or strobe lights to give the dance area an aura of a real casino. Purchase decorations that depict playing card or money symbols and place them close to the dance floor. Hire a disc jokey or play tunes of your own on a portable stereo. Arrange some comfortable lounge chairs and small tables that are covered with cash-themed tablecloths near one of the sides of the dance floor so that guests can relax and mingle with others while enjoying cocktails and listening to the music. After the plans for the party are made and the items that you have rented or purchased are set up, look forward to enjoying the event with your friends. Your guests will appreciate the careful planning that was completed prior to the event and will be ready to unwind and enjoy the...

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Four Things You Will Want To Know About Safety When Doing Maintenance To Your Roof

Posted by on 5:38 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Things You Will Want To Know About Safety When Doing Maintenance To Your Roof

The roof of your home can be something that needs maintenance, such as cleaning and small repairs. Doing these chores can also be dangerous, which is why you will want to follow some basic roof safety rules, such as using a ladder and fall protection equipment properly. Here are some tips to help you stay safe when you get on your roof to do common maintenance tasks. 1. Using A Ladder Properly To Avoid Falling When doing in household repairs and chores, ladders can be one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment. Step ladders are meant to stand on, but since you should never stand on the top step, they are not good to use for getting on the roof. To do roof work, you will want to use an extension ladder. The ladder should be extended past the point it is leaning on, and you should have it at a slight angle. 2. Getting On The Roof Safely When Doing Maintenance When you get on your roof, you will also want to be careful not to fall. You should climb on to the roof using the top of the ladder to grab onto. Also, never step on the run that is above the point where the ladder is leaning. This can cause the ladder to slide out from under you as you get on the roof. 3. Using The Appropriate Fall Protection Equipment When Need There is also fall protection that you may need when getting on your roof. This can be a harness and an anchor for cords. You will want to use fall protection on high and steep roofs. You can also use scaffolding for working on roofs, which may also be used with harnesses and ropes to protect you from falling. 4. Avoiding Hazards And Damage That Create Fall Hazards When doing maintenance on your roof, there can be many different hazards. Things like power lines and utilities should be avoided when doing maintenance. You will also want to avoid stepping on areas that have damage. Loose materials can slide out from under you and cause you to fall. If you want to avoid injury when you do maintenance to your home, it is important to stay safe when you get on your roof. If your roof needs major repairs or replacement, contact a roofing contractor like Ray’s Harford Home Improvement Contractors Inc to get the help you need with your roof...

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