Renovating Your Home for “Aging in Place”

50 year old womanModifying homes and making simple renovations often make private residences safer and more accessible to those who make up the elderly community. A big trend with senior care in Phoenix is “aging in place”, or remaining at home, as opposed to entering an assisted living or nursing home care facility. This is often more comfortable for seniors, who prefer to stay in surroundings that are familiar to them.

According to a recent study, a whopping 75 percent of remodeling companies reported an increase in requests for aging-in-place renovation work. This trend is likely to grow as the baby boomer generation begins to retire and the senior population gradually swells.

One popular renovation is installing lever-style door handles for people who suffer from arthritis. The ability to open a door by turning a door knob is an act many healthy people take for granted. Arthritis makes it painful to perform the same task. A simple solution to this is installing a lever style doorknob. The good news is there are many arthritis-friendly door latches on the market today. A professional elder care assistant can suggest models that tend to work the best.

Another popular home modification is addressing the problem of slippery floors. Seniors who suffer from osteoarthritis, especially in their knees, are much more likely to slip and fall, even when performing basic household tasks. These falls can lead to serious injuries, so it is of utmost importance to alleviate any risk factors. It is helpful to have wood or tile floors replaced with carpet, which is significantly more slip resistant. For those who use walkers, a low pile carpet is advised, as a high pile flooring can often trap the feet of the walker.  If replacement is not an option, tile or wood flooring should be covered with slip-resistant materials, including non-skid rugs. All the sands and dust being tracked in from those Arizona winds even add to the hazard of slipping and falling on a hardwood floor so highly consider carpets or rugs for your home in Sun City or Phoenix.

For elderly arthritis patients, climbing stairs or even a slight elevation change can be painful, difficult, and potentially dangerous. While it is ideal for seniors to stay on the lowest floor of their home, that is not always a possibility. When this is the case, a few simple modifications can make stair climbing much safer. First, make sure to remove any rugs or furniture from the base of the stairs, as these can be tripping hazards. Ensure that the stairwell is well-lit since this alleviates the danger of a spill due to poor visibility. It also helps to hire a general contracting company to install handrails on both sides of the staircase. While handrails provide a sturdy surface to grip onto, some seniors may still feel uncomfortable climbing stairs. These concerns must be taken very seriously. For seniors who have an especially difficult time with elevations, consider installing a chair lift. Many renovation companies can help to suggest the best model based on the home’s layout.

Safety when bathing is also a big concern for the elderly.  Many homes are equipped with bathtubs, which are great for relaxation purposes, but can pose problems as it can be difficult to get in and out of them. Step-in showers with a low entry point help to alleviate this issue. Metal grab bars installed in the shower and adjacent to the toilet can also help to prevent falls.

Redesigning a kitchen can also be a great help for the aging population.  For those with arthritis, renovation companies may lower cabinets so that senior clients do not have to reach high or bend down to access food and preparation items. Dishwashers and sinks can also be raised or lowered for people with back pain.

Renovating for the elderly does not have to be over the top or expensive. Often, it only requires simple changes, not major overhauls, to make aging at home both safer and easier. With a little creativity, many spaces in the home can be retrofitted and redesigned with the greatest of ease. The ideas outlined above will ensure that the aging community isn’t living with pain, and subjecting themselves to potentially dangerous situations when performing their day to day tasks.

Maintaining Your Home’s HVAC Units

gas furnace tech

When you own a home, regular maintenance is an important part of keeping it in good condition. The same is true when it comes to your heating and cooling equipment. Regardless of what type of equipment you have, it’s important that you conduct routine HVAC maintenance to keep it functioning at its best. There are some maintenance procedures that you can easily do yourself; however, there are also some equipment maintenance procedures that are best left for a trained HVAC technician. A leading HVAC company will be able to provide expert maintenance to help protect your HVAC equipment as well as keep it functioning at its peak of energy efficiency.

Air Conditioner Maintenance

If you have central air conditioning, your cooling system is most likely comprised of an inside unit which houses the evaporator coil that is used to cool the air in your home as well as an outside condenser unit. Your air conditioner is going to need good airflow in order to allow it to cool properly. Prior to the cooling season, it’s a good idea to check the outside unit. Make sure that there are no overgrown shrubs or trees that could be impeding good air flow. Additionally, check to insure that leaves, twigs, and other debris are not blocking the outside unit.

On the inside, you can use a stiff brush to clean the evaporator coils. Of course, you should also be changing the air filter on a regular basis. Typically, the filter will need to be changed every month or two. If it looks dirty, it’s time to change it. You’ll also want to contact a reputable HVAC company to provide professional maintenance. For example, an experienced HVAC technician will be able to check coolant levels, make sure your system is tuned-up properly and will check electrical connections as well as lubricate moving parts.

Gas Furnace Maintenance

Every fall, it’s a good idea to perform maintenance on your gas furnace. This will help ensure that your heating equipment is in good condition and ready to keep your home warm throughout the coming winter. Many homeowners perform maintenance on their gas furnace, but if you don’t feel confident with these maintenance procedures, be sure to contact a reputable HVAC company.

The first thing you should do is take a look at your gas furnace. If you notice soot, it’s time to call in a professional furnace contractor to determine what the problem is and to make any necessary adjustments or repairs. If all seems okay, then turn off your furnace and shut off the gas. It’s important that the gas is off before you begin any maintenance. Remove the furnace panel and using a vacuum with a long nozzle, vacuum around the base of your furnace. You can use a damp cloth to wipe off fan blades. If there is a fan belt, visually inspect it for signs of fraying or cracking. Also, gently press down on the belt to see how much give it has. If it goes down by more than a half inch, it’s time to call in a trained service technician.

Heat Pump Maintenance

Heat pump maintenance is very much like maintaining your air conditioner before the summer heat. Replace the air filter and make sure the outside unit is free from debris. Clean air vents throughout your home to ensure good air flow. An HVAC company will be able to provide more thorough maintenance, such as checking ducts for leakage, making sure your system has sufficient airflow and lubricating moving parts as well as checking electrical connections.

Water Heater Maintenance

When you maintain your water heater, you’ll not only get more efficient performance, but you’ll also help to extend its life expectancy. Simple maintenance tips include making sure you keep a 2-foot clearance around your water heater unless your specific model has a different clearance requirement. A few times each year you should drain about one-fourth of the water out of your tank. Simply turn off the cold water that leads to your water heater, then attach a garden hose to the tank’s drain valve. Let the water run into a bucket until it is clear. This will help remove sediment from the bottom of your water heater, but it will also keep your heater running quietly.

Maintenance for Better Indoor Air Quality

An air cleaner should have the filter cleaned or replaced on a regular basis. A dirty filter will not be able to remove as many airborne contaminants as a clean filter. Additionally, many HVAC companies offer air duct cleaning as an effective way to improve indoor air quality.

How to Remove Common Household Stains

 

Your furniture and carpet are an important investment to your home. You want it to stay as neat and clean as possible. But you also live in your house and you can’t prevent every accident. Whether you have a pet, kids, or simply have an accident yourself, things are going to happen to your carpet and upholstery. Use this guide to help you remove a variety of stains from these items.wine carpet

Remove Pet Stains

Cats and dogs have accidents and get sick and they don’t always do so in a convenient location. If you are lucky, the stain will be located on the arm cover of the upholstery so you can take it off and wash it in your machine. You won’t be lucky every time, however. If an accident happens on the couch or carpet, soak up as much of the liquid as possible. Use newspapers or paper towels. The more fresh liquid you soak up before it dries the better. Then, rinse the area with fresh, cool water. Remove the water with blotting or with a carpet cleaning device.

Those tactics only work well if the pet stain is fresh. If you don’t catch the stain until it sets, you will have to use a different method. Keep a pet odor neutralizer and pet stain removal product on hand and use the cleaner to remove the stain. You will have to remove the stain in order to completely neutralize the odor. Once the stain is out, you might want to use an upholstery cleaner or carpet cleaning device on the area to ensure sanitation of that region.

Remove Marker Stains

Kids enjoy doing naughty things when you are not looking and that often includes coloring on things they shouldn’t. If you turn away for one minute and find that your couch or carpet has some new accents due to marker stains, you know you have a job on your hands. First, make sure you equip your child with washable markers. These stains are much easier to get out. If the kids get a hold of permanent markers, it is much harder, but you can still remove the stains with a little work.

Rubbing alcohol or hairspray both make great marker removing agents when you are working with carpet. Put a little of one or the other on a cleaning cloth and dab the carpet stain. Don’t rub the stain or it will get worse. Once the stain is out, rinse the area with clean water and blot it dry.

Remove Glue Stains

It’s not every day you have glue stains on your couch, but when you do, you want it off as soon as possible before more dirt gets stuck to the area. There are many different types of glue and the instructions can vary based on what variety is in the stain. If there is any glue left, scrape the excess off with a flat knife. Then soak the area with water to loosen the glue. Next, mix dish washing liquid with cold water and blot the stain. It will take time and patience, but it should come out. Repeat the steps until the glue is gone and then rinse the area with clean water and blot it dry.

carpet cleaning by hand

Remove Wine Stains

Furniture and carpeting are never good combinations with wine, but accidents do happen. When the wine hits the materials outside the glass, you need to act fast. If you catch the stain right away, dab it with paper towels to get out as much of the liquid as possible. Then, apply the liquid solution as quickly as possible to get the stain out. There are a lot of solutions that can work. Some experts recommend spreading salt over the stain and letting it dry. Then, rinse it with baking soda later. Others say club soda can help the stain soak up.

Not every stain can be that easily resolved. If the immediate resolutions don’t work, try dish washing liquid mixed with hydrogen peroxide and remember to blot the liquid in and don’t rub it. Dab the solution on and wait until the stain settles. You can also try hot water and vinegar.

Different stains set and react in various ways depending on their makeup and the material of your upholstery or carpeting. There is no one fool proof way to clean any stain, but these remedies will help you get started on even the toughest pet or red wine stain. Once the stain is mostly removed, it is a good idea to hit the area with a carpet cleaning device or upholstery cleaner to finish the job.

Home Improvements to Create an Energy Efficient Home

happy home ownerDuring the winter in Richmond VA, most people crank up their thermostats and heat distribution systems. However, doing so will likely increase your power consumption significantly and consequently your electricity bill, too. Luckily, you can take measures to keep your home warm and energy efficient throughout the winter. Below is some more information on this topic.

 

Some of the steps you can take to keep your home warm during the winter include:

Insulation

According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), energy consumers can reduce their space heating costs simply by insulating their homes properly. To do so, the DOE recommends using loose-fill fiberglass insulation material that was found to cut heat losses by up to 50% during tests done at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1992. Alternatively, you can use insulation materials that incorporate nanotechnology.

 

Double pane windows

Replace your windows with double pane windows. The space between the panes in these windows is filled with a gas that makes it harder for heat to escape.

 

Weather stripping

Weather stripping refers to sealing the gaps and cracks around doors and windows to prevent heat loss. Examples of common weather stripping materials include open-cell foam, felt, copper, vinyl, stainless steel, aluminum, and bronze. To avoid the hassle of weather stripping your home every winter, use metallic materials because they can last for years. By sealing air gaps, you will reduce space-heating costs significantly. In fact, the DOE reckons that American homes lose 25% of their heat through such gaps.

 

Ceiling setting

Setting your ceiling fans to spin clockwise in order to blow hot air, which tends to rise, downwards is a simple trick you can use to keep your home warm during the winter.

 

Fireplace plug

If you have an open fireplace connected to a chimney in your home, cover it with a suitable fireplace plug. More specifically, use an inflatable fireplace plug because the air trapped inside such a plug will make it harder for heat to escape outdoors.

 

Install a programmable thermostat

Purchase and install a programmable thermostat if you have one in your home. A good example is the Nest thermostat that you can access and control via the Internet. You can use it to lower indoor temperature while you are away at work and raise the temperature when you return in the evening. This strategy alone can cut home heating costs by approximately 10%, according to the DOE.

 

Low emissivity coating

It is advisable to install windowpanes coated with low-emissivity compounds. The DOE in collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab invented low-e coatings in the 1980s to trap heat while allowing visible light to pass through glass. Figures from the DOE show that more than 80% of all windows sold in the US have low-e coatings. If you do not fancy or cannot afford to replace existing windowpanes, the DOE recommends covering them with a suitable clear layer of insulation. This will help you lower energy use at home by up to 33% annually.

 

Heating system

Before the winter season starts, make sure your home heating and air circulation system is in good working condition. In fact, you should hire a qualified HVAC repair and maintenance specialist to check its condition and perform repairs. While inspecting an HVAC system, technicians typically pay special attention to the air filters, heat exchanger, gas pressure, condensate drain and electrical connections. Where necessary, the technician will clean or change the air filters, clean and adjust the air blower components, lubricate all moving parts, check and top up the refrigerant, as well as check and adjust the thermostat settings.

 

Water heater

Data from the DOE shows that water heating accounts for 14 to 18% of home energy costs. With this in mind, it is wise to replace old water heaters with modern models that are more energy efficient. Currently, more than about 27 million homes in the US have water heaters that are more than 10 years old. Other simple energy saving tricks you can use include setting your water heater thermostat to 120 °F, installing a solar water heater, and installing low-flow showerheads.

 

Furnace

If you have a furnace that uses heating oil, you can save a lot of money by replacing it with one that uses natural gas. According to the DOE, the average annual cost of operating a furnace that runs on natural gas is $700, whereas the cost of operating a furnace powered by heating oil is $1,700 over the same period. When shopping for a new furnace, check the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) figure.Old furnaces have an AFUE of about 56 to 70%, whereas the AFUE rating for mid-efficiency furnaces ranges from 80% to 83%. High efficiency furnaces have the best AFUE figures of between 90 and 98.5%, according to the Department of Energy.

kohler generator

Tips for Finding the Right Home Generators

Firstly, look for a home generator that fulfills your power consumption needs. You can easily calculate your power usage range using the various wattage estimation tools available online. Secondly, determine the type of generator you need (standby, portable, or inverter). Another factor to consider is the fuel source (diesel or natural gas).

 

Conclusion

You can improve the energy efficiency of your home and keep it warm during the winter by installing loose-fill fiberglass insulation, setting your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise, installing double pane windows, as well as performing regular maintenance checks and repairs on your HVAC system.

The Many Benefits of Home Replacement Windows

bright living room

Besides roof repair, installing replacement windows is one of the pricier home renovation projects one could undertake. This is because such windows are not only more expensive than their conventional counterparts, but they also attract higher installation charges. In spite of this however, investing in high quality replacement windows could prove worthwhile due to their various benefits.

Reduced Energy Costs

Typically, windows let in more besides light; they’re often the largest contributors to heating and cooling losses. High-quality, well-insulated windows would boost a home’s energy efficiency by separating the indoors from extreme outdoor temperatures. The best models are tightly sealed to prevent air leaks, with some featuring double- and triple-insulated panes for better insulation.

This reduces the need to adjust the heating and cooling system, which would translate into lower energy consumption. According to some experts, replacing conventional windows with more efficient models would pay off by reducing HVAC-related energy expenses. Moreover, one also stands to enjoy a tax credit of up to 10% for the upgrade, as long as Energy Star rated windows are installed.

Better Lighting and UV Protection

Natural light helps enhance comfort. The best modern windows will have smaller frames and larger panes to let in more light into the house. Some even feature special films which filter out harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. This radiation is known to cause damage to floors, walls and furnishings. As such, swapping old windows for better, modern replacements would save the homeowner the need to repair or replace such components.

Aesthetic Appeal

It’s hard to attach a monetary value when it comes to appearance. In most cases however, windows are usually the keystone of a home’s visual appeal, both from the curb and indoors. With time, most windows start to look old, dirty and out of style.

Modern windows are available in many different shapes, colors and style options. These can add a stunning effect to the home’s appearance. As such, one could upgrade their home’s visual appeal by investing in the right replacements. Besides improving appearance, this could help increase the home’s value.

Noise Reduction

Most suburban homes are no longer on quiet streets like was the case a few decades ago. Often, occupants may find it hard to enjoy quiet peace due to noise from traffic and other outdoor sources. Properly fitted windows of high quality restrict noise penetration both into and out of the house. This enhances both indoor comfort and privacy. According to experts, double- and triple-glazed windows are the best at muffling noise.

Easy Maintenance

Cleaning windows is often a daunting exercise. With modern replacements, the difficulty is significantly reduced thanks to better designs and features. Some companies offer tilting models which make it possible to clean both sides of each window while indoors without having to use a ladder. Vinyl frames also eliminate the need for repainting or staining.

Replacement windows offer the chance to reduce energy bills, boost visual appeal and enhance indoor comfort. If one concludes that investing in them would be the right decision, they now have to choose the best options. When comparing different models, vital factors to take into account include the style, panes, frame material, grid options and ease of installation. The choice would boil down to the occupants’ needs and budgetary considerations. The whole process can be made easier by doing some research and seeking opinions from experts.

Playing By The Rules: Building A Home Daycare In Illinois

 

The decision to start your own daycare business is only the beginning of a rewarding journey that will not merely benefit your community but also help you provide for your family. However, there is much more to starting your new business than simply building it or buying it. From the ground up, your daycare center needs to follow specific code to pass inspection and get approved by the state of Illinois. Whether you are starting a brand new business in your town or are improving upon an older one, this short guide will help get you started to a successful daycare operation that will be a community staple for years to come.

 

Zoning Rules and Regulations

day careOne of the largest mistakes new daycare owners make is one that can be detrimental right off the bat. It is vitally important to ensure that the space you hope to buy, build or rent is adequately zoned for child care. You can determine if a location you are interested in falls into a district that allows for daycare centers by visiting the state’s web page. You will also require a parking determination letter. This helps ensure adequate space is maintained for parking. It is important to obtain all of this information prior to building, buying or leasing as these can be very costly mistakes if you find out later on that your property is not acceptable for daycare businesses.

Applying for a Business License

The rules and regulations for daycare licensing are very strict. You will have to apply in person at your local city hall in order to qualify. Once you arrive, you will find that you have the option of 3 difference licenses: to care for children 0-2, 2-6 or both. Most applicants choose both. You may also wish to apply for a Night Care Privilege License that allows you to provide childcare for children between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Approvals are more strict for this license but there is no additional fee for acquiring one. There is no need to turn down this free extra if you can adhere to the regulations of the additional license. It might come in handy someday.

Building Inspection and Permits

Before you are allowed to open your doors, the city departments in your area will need to inspect your building to make sure it is up to code. You will also require a permit on a structural build that goes on in or on your property. The list of what counts as a structural build are quite vast and includes things like drywall, HVAC, plumbing work, electrical work, gas lines and any construction basically. While this can be a pain, it is better to follow the rules step by step than to have to have expensive work redone at a later date.

From permits to parking letters, there is a great deal of thought that must go into your daycare including a long trail of paperwork. However, if you plan things out as you go along, paying careful attention to ensure you are doing everything you must and doing it all by the book, you will soon have an up and running daycare center. For more information on what it takes to get your place up to code, contact the city hall in your area.

building plans

 

The Importance Of Auto Insurance For General Contractors

home picket fenceTravel is a big part of the construction business. Workers often need to commute to and from client’s homes, project sites, and material suppliers. An auto accident during one of these routine work trips could potentially cost the company tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses, vehicular repair, and lengthy lawsuits. Nobody can predict if and when accidents will happen but it is possible to obtain protection before they happen to minimize their impact. An auto insurance company can make sure that general contractors and their employees have adequate coverage for business-related travels.

Protecting the Business from Sudden Financial Blows

Business owners spend years taking their company from startup to stability. All that hard work deserves to bear fruit and continue to do so for years to come. This will only happen if owners have the foresight to secure the future of their business from unexpected financial stresses. Road collisions are among the things that they need to watch out for as the resulting damage can be quite costly to bear. Small companies are especially vulnerable to accidents which can drastically affect the cash flow. With the proper insurance plan in place, people can be assured that everything will be taken care of.

It should be made clear that even those who use their own vehicles may not be adequately protected by their personal coverage. If they were driving for a work-related task, then the responsibility for the damage can shift to the company. Liability becomes even clearer if the vehicle involved is a property of a company. If it damages other properties during the collision, then the business can be sued to pay for everything. The hospital bills of all individuals affected by the incident will need to be shouldered by the organization as well. Costs can mount quickly and cause instability is not handled properly.

Do not risk the health of the workers and the stability of the business. It doesn’t matter if there is not much of a budget for premium payments. Find a cheap car insurance policy for a start to have the safety net in place right away. The coverage amounts can then be increased in the future as the budget rises. An auto insurance company can assist in determining a suitable amount for a business. Agents will make calculations that consider the fleet, the budget, and the kind of protection desired. They can also answer all related inquiries and concerns.

Types of Coverage for General Contractors

1. Liability

If an accident occurs because of the direct action of an employee, then the company will be held liable for the damages. This aims to cover the expenses resulting from it to shield the business from financial shock. The insurance provider will take care of the repairs on the vehicle of the aggrieved party, as well as any medical expenses they might incur. Legal fees for lawsuits are also covered. Note that the insurer will only pay up to the policy limit. If this proves inadequate because of the extent of the damage, then it will be up to the business to pay for the balance.

2. Physical Damage

While liability coverage is directed at the other party, this one is more inward-looking. The company’s own vehicles will probably sustain some damage during collisions. Repairs will be needed to ensure that they are roadworthy. This can be comprehensive, encompassing cases wherein vehicles are stolen, subjected to vandalism, or ruined by natural disasters. This also applies to situations where the vehicle has been hit by another car or has collided with some other hard object.

3. Medical Insurance

Medical expenses cannot be underestimated. With vehicular accidents, injured persons can suffer tremendously because of the impact. Bones can be broken in different parts of the body. Open wounds, internal bleeding, and the like are likely to cost a great deal in treatment. Even after discharge from the hospital, rehabilitation will take time and money. The company may be held responsible if an employee caused the accident. Make sure that there are enough reserves to cover these with an insurance policy.

4. Uninsured Motorist

This optional coverage is useful in cases where employees use their personal car while traveling for work-related tasks. If they ever figure into an accident and their personal insurance proves inadequate, this can step in to cover the rest. There may even be cases wherein they are driving without personal insurance which puts the full burden of payment to the company. This anticipates such a scenario to make sure that there will be no need to dip into business funds.

Handling Fire Property Damage

What to do After a Fire

Fires are devastating to your home, surrounding property, and your emotional health. It is important to stay calm after disaster and make sure you take the necessary steps to return your life to
normal as quickly as possible. Even after the flames are put out, damage can continue to spread, and you must act quickly in finding a fire and smoke restoration company. It’s easiest to go with a service that covers everything from odor removal to remodeling – such as ServiceMasters. You could also go through your insurance and allow them to handle finding a restoration service.

Calling Insurance

Once you are safe and the firefighters handled immediate danger, you will need to call your insurance to help you take the next steps. Firstly, they will take care of all of the paperwork and
necessary documentation related to your claim. Additionally, they can assist with emergency housing, expenses, and cleanup. Make sure you keep receipts to everything related to the fire.

Property Restoration

What happens if you don’t act fast?

Water damage – People don’t think about water damage being a problem after a fire. However, the efforts from stopping the fire often cause flooding or puddling. A thorough carpet cleaning and drying is a good start to renew your home. The process includes water pumps and vacuums along with dehumidifiers.

Odor removal – It takes thorough scrubbing and the right mixture of chemicals to remove odors from your walls and flooring. The longer you delay scrubbing, the more difficult it becomes to get rid of the unpleasant scent.

Smoke removal – According to the IICRC: ash and smoke can cause corrosion in your fabrics, discolored pigments, and an unpleasant smell. To minimize the amount of ash that ruins your surfaces, call for expert help immediately. Waiting a couple of days can mean that the damage becomes permanent. Those who wait will have to replace items all together, which is much more timely and expensive.

Remodeling – If you waited to take action for too long, or the fire simply did too much damage to salvage your home, you may need to do some rebuilding or remodeling.

When working with your restoration or cleanup service, be sure to keep track of all personal property being removed or replaced. It is also important to secure your home to be sure theft does not take place while you are staying elsewhere.

Precautions

The best precaution to take in your home before a disaster strikes is to purchase insurance and to keep inventory of your belongings. Keep receipts of valuables and store them in a fireproof safe. Occasionally videoing your home by walking into each room and spinning around is another way to take inventory of most of your possessions. Just make sure you store the camera and receipts away from your property so they are not destroyed in the disaster as well!

When to Repair and When to Replace Your Air Conditioner

Machines have significantly transformed the way we live life, but they often break down due to wear and tear, unreliable power supply, old age, and poor maintenance among other things. Fortunately, there are well-trained technicians who can repair faulty machines and make them operational once again. This is what usually happens with air conditioning systems. When they stop working, you should call your local air conditioning repair company in Newark, DE to service your AC. With time, however, air conditioners which frequently break down should be replaced as opposed to being repaired. The following tips will help you decide when to repair and when to replace your air conditioning system:

Consider the Age of Your AC Unit

Many air conditioners can operate efficiently for over a decade with proper maintenance. However, you should start planning to replace your air conditioner if it’s over 10 years old. This is because older AC units often break down more frequently. Secondly, they consume a lot of energy. Furthermore, their performance is  much lower than what you can expect from newer AC models. By replacing your old air conditioner, you can save on both repair and energy costs.

Your AC Breaks Down Frequently

If your air conditioner normally breaks down too many times within a short period of time, it may be time to consider replacing it. After all, the cost of repairing the unit may quickly supersede the cost of installing a new AC system. However, if your AC is relatively new, less than 5 years old, but it frequently breaks down, you may want to hire someone to run diagnostics and repair the unit once and for all.

Your AC Has a High Power Consumptionac unit

If your energy bill is unreasonably high even after implementing a number of energy-saving measures, your AC might be the problem. The only remedy, especially if the AC is old, is to replace it. If the AC is less than a decade old, you may want to consider installing a programmable thermostat to turn off the AC when nobody is at home, and turn it back on just before people start coming back home from school or work. This can help tame your rising cooling bill.

Your AC Requires Frequent R-22 Refills

If your AC develops a leak, it wills top working. You will then have to hire an AC repair company to plug the leak, charge the unit with R-22 refrigerant, and sometimes, replace the compressor. Since R-22 prices have skyrocketed over the last couple of years, the cost of the repair job will most likely be higher than the cost of buying a smaller AC unit. R-22 is already being phased out in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry, so you may want to purchase a newer AC unit, which uses R-410A to avoid exorbitant leak repair and R-22 charging costs.

Hopefully, these four tips can help you decide whether to repair or replace. It is also important to note that licensed and certified HVAC companies have experienced technicians who are well-qualified to offer any type of AC repair service. If your AC is only a couple of years old, HVAC contractors can repair any type of problem it may have. Since technology has quickly been evolving over the last couple of decades, the cooling technology you may be relying on to cool your home or office may actually be obsolete, hence the need for a replacement. Replacing HVAC system is easier today than ever before due to tax credits and financing plans offered by financial institutions.

When you decide to replace your AC, it is crucial that you purchase an energy-efficient AC unit which can cool your home or office efficiently. Proper sizing will help to ensure that your home or office is not only properly cooled, but also to help keep your energy bills low. A reputable HVAC company can help you with the sizing, installation, and maintenance of the new AC unit, so be sure to choose the right firm.

Some Benefits Of Professional Carpet Cleaning

carpet-in-room

Grocery stores hire out carpet cleaning machines. DIY and appliance stores sell them at half price during Boxing Day or Black Friday sales. Should you buy or rent a machine and clean your own carpet? Ask yourself this: do you even know what sort of carpet you are using or the quality of the machine you are about to buy or rent? Here is another question: do you know what could happen to your carpet while using the wrong machine for the job? You don’t, but professional carpet cleaners do; at least, they should.

Below are some benefits of carpet cleaning for your home. Visit K & T Chem-Dry for more information on how professional carpet cleaning can benefit your home.

Carpet Cleaning Dangers

Some of the things that can go wrong when you (or a cowboy operation) clean your carpet include:

• scratching fibers so they look dull and dirty all the time
• wearing down the carpet
• fraying or ripping antique carpet
• leaving much of the dirt and stains behind
• using too much of or the wrong product for the material
• using toxins you don’t want in your house

Toxic Cleaners

This last one is potentially harmful to your family, especially babies and toddlers learning to crawl or playing on the carpet with dolls and other toys. Parents don’t wish to expose them to bleach and other chemicals. More companies and consumers prefer environmentally friendly solutions these days.

Flooring Treasures

Your antique carpet must be handled by professional carpet cleaners. They know how to handle delicate stains and could possible have the tools and skills to repair these heirlooms as well. If the time comes to recommend a rug be lifted to hang on the wall, skilled teams will say so.

Bad Machines

A commercial machine is designed not to scratch carpet fibers like the ones made from nylon. There are settings for all sorts of carpeting plus upholstery and possibly curtains. Rental machines are not as good as commercial tools. They are rarely maintained and tend to be hard on flooring. The carpet looks better at first, but a cheap machine doesn’t truly get rid of stains.

No Cowboys

An unskilled individual trying to make an honest living could unintentionally wreck the material of your expensive living room carpet because he thinks every carpet is the same. His prices could be low, but you are better off paying the going rate for licensed and trained individuals. This isn’t a career you pick up out of a “Carpet Cleaning for Dummies” book. Conmen also take up this sort of work offering no guarantees but a low price for shoddy workmanship. By the time you realize your carpets are not any better off than they were the day before, the con men (or women) have moved on. Check credentials. A company should be insured in case they cause damages.

Learn to Clean Carpets

If you want to do this as a job, get hired by a company in your area. Learn all about the green cleaners they are using these days. Find out all you can about chemical interactions between cleaning products, even the ones you aren’t using, because customers might ask why you will not be pouring bleach on their wool rugs. Explore the various fabrics and fibers carpets are made of. Watch as your mentor offers instructions about the safest ways to handle each one. Uncover some of the fascinating history behind old rugs from around the world. Your new job could soon become a passion and clients will appreciate your enthusiasm.