Preparing Your Home For Energy Efficiency

When planning to renovate your home’s HVAC systems, it is important to research all of the brands and central systems out there that will help your home run more efficiently. By exerting less energy, you will not only save yourself and your family some money but you will also be helping out your planet from unnecessary pollutions. One surefire way that you will know that the HVAC unit you have in mind is energy efficient is if it has the energy star label on it. The energy star program is a voluntary program that works with the EPA which helps to save money and protect our environment and was start back in 1992.


Here is just a small list of brands that carry energy star products:

  • LG
  • Coleman
  • Lennox
  • Fraser-Johnston
  • Luxaire Acclimate
  • York Affinity
  • Airquest
  • Arcoaire
  • Bryant
  • ComfortMaker
  • Carrier
  • Keeprite
  • Kenmore
  • Tempstar
  • Bosch
  • Bradford
  • Buderus
  • Burnham
  • Dunkirk
  • Firebird
  • HTP
  • IBC Technologies
  • Laars

To find out more about energy star products. Click Here!

Once you find a few reputable brands, it is now time to start thinking about how you want to set up your household for your heating and cooling needs. You have a few options to keep in mind and it’s always best to set a budget so you know what you can and can’t afford. To start, you will need a boiler to heat up water for your bathing and hygiene needs. There is gas, oil, electric, and even solar powered boilers for you to choose from. Depending on where you live and what is offered in your city, you will need to pick one that best fits your needs. If you want to be super green, then solar powered is the way to go. You can harness the sun’s energy which is then stored into batter cells which can be transferred to the heating elements in your boiler. This may be optimal as the price of solar panels has been dropping over the past few years. You will also need to estimate how many people will be living in the home so that you have a large enough water tank to be sufficient for everyone to use during peak hours. If you have too small of a water tank for the amount of people in the home, then you may find yourself frequently running out of hot water. One tip to save energy and money with boilers is to turn down the temperature of the water to the lowest setting. This will allow your boiler to run less frequently.

Your next step is to figure out how you will heat up your home in the winter and cool your home in the summer. In some regions, a heat pump will be most efficient and on the plus side you will only need this one unit because it both heats and cools your home. To find out if this option is best to you, I would suggest consulting with a professional HVAC technician in your area.

If a heat pump isn’t right for your home, then you will need a split system with an air conditioning unit to cool your home and some heating HVAC unit to heat your home.  If you’re looking for a great place to find an AC Unit, I would check out Arundel Cooling & Heating. They carry a large selection of Carrier products at very competitive prices. For reliable heating sources, I tend to lean towards the Lennox brand. At Bradley Mechanical, you can find the best deals on heating furnaces and geothermal heat pumps that will suit any home. These are also available in gas, oil, and electric options.

To better help the central HVAC system investment that you’re installing, it’s highly suggested to properly insulate your home by putting insulation in your walls, floors, ceilings, and roofs. You can also ensure energy efficiency by sealing any cracks or holes in your foundation. If you don’t have the expertise to do this, then make sure to call the guys at Metropolitan Contractors.

I hope this helps you with all your home renovations and energy efficiency needs. Good Luck!


Golden Rules of A Clean Home

Growing up, there’s one person that I knew that always had the cleanest home – my grandmother. There’s not a time that she ever had a messy home. As a kid, it seemed to me that keeping her home at its best was her pride and joy.
Many years later, now that I’m all grown up with my own home to keep clean, I wanted to ask her how she did it. My home is always messy and can’t ever seem to get a leg up on the cleaning. She was glad to offer me a few tips about how she did it. She loves a clean home and is always willing to help others. She told me she abides by three golden rules of cleaning:
1. Make time to clean every day


floor-sweepMy grandmother said that making time to clean at least one thing every day. She says, no matter what, find one thing that can be cleaned in 5 minutes. She holds this rule to be the number one way to keep you home consistently clean. Because of this, she said that she never needs to waste a whole day inside cleaning. If you prioritize, you should always have 5 minutes to clean something.


2. Clean up dishes after every meal
Cleaning up the dishes after each meal is her second rule for keeping her home clean. Putting the dishes off for later may seem appealing right after dinner, but you’ll be kicking yourself later when you have a large pile of dirty dishes in your sink. If you can just suck it up and clean the dishes right after your meal, you’ll be that much closer to having a cleaner home.


3. Don’t leave the laundry all for one day
Nobody enjoys laundry, not even my grandmother, but if you take time several times per week to run a few loads, you’ll be much better off. Letting the laundry basket pile up and mean you spend a whole day inside, washing, drying, and folding. It helps if you can put a load in before you head out the door for work and then switch it over to the dryer when you get home, and fold the lot at night just before bed. You can watch TV while you fold to make it seem like less of a chore.


Now that my grandmother is older, she has a difficult time doing all of the chores on her own. Because of this, she’s requested the help of a senior home care helper from Seniors Helping Seniors to give her a little help with day-to-day tasks. Even though she requires a little extra assistance these days, her home is still as spotless as it’s ever been.

Safety And Style: Importance Of Keeping Your Carpet Clean

Carpets and curtains are probably the homes’ decoration pieces that are an expression of the owner’s sense of style. Good curtains with a matching carpet can lighten up a room in a way that no other piece of art in the room can. However, since carpets are stepped on a daily basis and curtains are not, it is essential that you keep your carpet spick and span at all times.


A dirty carpet could do you more harm than good. While its very presence on your floor tells your guests about your sense of style, a dirty carpet shows neglect in your house. Since the carpet is right at the heart of your living room, a dirty carpet tells the guest that the host does not really care about the cleanliness of the entire house. If what is in your living room is dirty, then it is expected that the rest of your house is just as dirty.


Depending on the number of people in the house and region, a carpet should be cleaned at least once every month. Different types of carpets have different textures and are made of different fabrics. While it is easy to spot dirt on some carpets, this is not always the case with others. With some carpets, it is only when it is turned upside does one notice the food particles and bits and pieces of dirt that are hidden in the carpet.


These pieces of dirt could bring about a bad smell in your house. Such an odor could go undetected. This is because you are used to the smell as it has been developing gradually over time. However, the smell could be very distinct to your guests and it could tarnish your reputation. Some carpets are so fluffy that they hide large pieces of dirt like toothpicks, nails and broken pieces of toys. Failure to clean your carpet regularly could cause minor injuries to yourself, your family as well as your guests. One could step on these hidden pieces and get injured to the extent of bleeding.


Regular cleaning of your carpet also gives it a longer life and a better look. Some dirt on your carpet may grow gradually over time and become tough stains. If you clean your carpet regularly, these stains go away rather easily and leave your carpet looking like it is still brand new. However, if you leave your carpet without cleaning for a long time, these stains become tougher and could be permanent patches on your carpet.


Regular carpet cleaning also maintains the smooth texture of the carpet fabric. When liquids like sauce, juice, oil and even water fall on your carpet; they harden the texture of the carpet’s fabric. Gradually, your carpet will start feeling tough to the soles of your feet. Just like the case with the smell, you may not feel the changing texture of the fabric, but your guest may feel it.


Therefore, to maintain your sense of style and avoid unnecessary embarrassment, hire a reputable carpet cleaning company within your neighborhood. Essentially, a  good company  will remind you when cleaning is due and clean it on a regular basis throughout the year. This will help it to last longer serve its purposes of comfort, beauty and decoration for a long time.

For more information on the importance of keeping your carpets clean, check out TNT Chem-Dry in Brentwood TN.

Top Carpet Cleaning Tips

Most major carpet manufacturers recommend that you get your carpets cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner at least once a year. This not only will improve the interior atmosphere of your home or office, but also will help lengthen the lifespan of the carpet by removing soil and grit that, when ground in by foot traffic, can harm the fabric.

When it is time to find a reputable carpet cleaner, be sure you pick one that uses mother and daughterthe best and safest cleaning process. Absolute Carpet Care knows what it takes to ensure your carpet is cleaned fully, safely, and completely.

As a professional carpet cleaning company, it offers to clean by using the hot water extraction method. This is the method that is most recommended by manufacturers as the best way to clean their carpets because hot water extraction is safer than other methods and so is less likely to cause damage.

Hot water extraction also is known as steam cleaning, though no steam is actually involved. The process starts with a thorough dry vacuuming of the carpet to be cleaned. Then a water-based solution that is heated and pressurized is forced into the fibers, which loosens the dirt and pushes it to the surface. This enables the dirt to be removed with a wet vacuum. The entire process is powered through truck-mounted equipment that heats the water and sends it through hoses to the applicator in your home.

There are a number of reasons why hot water extraction is the most popular carpet cleaner system available. For one, it is the safest for people as well as for carpets because it does not require the use of toxic chemicals. Other methods use harsh chemicals that will leave a residue that can be harmful to adults and particularly to children and pets. Because the water is highly heated, only gently solutions are needed to get the desired results, making it extremely environmentally friendly.

The large amounts of residue left behind by other carpet cleaner methods, such as those using dry cleaning solution or shampoo, also means your carpet is never completely clean. Hot water extraction, on the other hand, can provide a deep cleaning those other surface methods cannot. By forcing the water solution into the carpet fibers and then vacuuming it out, hot water extraction also is better at removing pet odors and stains.

Even though water is the base for the cleaning system, carpet cleaned with hot water extraction dry rapidly, making the process faster than other methods. In fact, carpets cleaned this way can be used again within a few hours of cleaning because so much of the water is removed during the vacuuming process.

In addition, the use of hot water means this system will sanitize the carpet as it cleans. The water is heated to around 250 degrees, which is hot enough to kill many types of bacteria that may be lurking in the fibers.

When you contact Absolute Carpet Care, ask how hot water extraction can benefit your carpet by making it healthier for your family and by extending its useful life. Also, ask about the scheduled routine cleaning program.

Along with carpet cleaning, Absolute Carpet Care is an expert in water damage restoration services. They are quick to respond to your call for help and can provide all the services you will need, from damage assessment to cleaning, sanitizing, and restoration.

How To Find A Quality Richmond VA Moving Company

If you are planning a move, finding a Richmond VA moving company, such as Stewart Moving, you can rely on is extremely important. Unfortunately, most people have no idea what to look for in a quality moving company; however, with a few simple pointers, you’ll be well on your way to finding a company you can trust.


A great way to find a good mover is to get references from people trust. If you know anyone who has recently moved, you might be able to get a recommendation However, there are also many online consumer sites as well as associations and public forums where it is possible to learn more about various moving companies.


One association that can provide a good start is the ProMover program. This program was designed by the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) to help consumers find a reputable moving company. As part of the certification process, movers must undergo an annual background check. Of course, there are still companies that offer quality services without being a member of AMSA.


One important factor to look at is whether the company has a professional reputation. You should be able to check on licensing information as well as whether the company has current insurance coverage. Any company that you hire to move your belongings will likely need to be licensed, but there are some states that don’t requiring licensing. Making sure the company has insurance coverage is the best way to ensure your possessions are protected in case of loss or damage.


Of course, consumers should also ask a potential mover for a list of references. This list of references should include names and contact information. It is a good idea to call several of these references and ask about their overall experience. You can ask how long it’s been since they moved; if there were any damaged or missing items; and whether they found the movers to be genuinely concerned with their belongings.


Another essential part of picking a great Richmond VA moving company is the estimate. Some companies charge potential customers for a written estimate, others will offer this service for free. With a binding estimate, you’ll know how much your move is going to cost you. Any additional services or added items that need to be moved will increase the estimate. A nonbinding estimate is given only after all of your items are loaded and weighed. This information as well as the distance of your move will be used to calculate your final price. Additional services can add to the final bill and this extra cost is often due upon delivery. Another type of estimate is a “not to exceed” estimate. With this type of pricing, the consumer pays the lesser of the actual cost or the binding estimate.


Some additional fees to watch out for include fees for taking apart large pieces of furniture before the move, transfer fees between vehicles or having items delivered to more than one location. A reputable moving company will do an in home estimate and will be upfront about their pricing for extra services.


Always ask a potential mover whether they are just brokering the move or if they are the ones who will actually move your belongings. A reputable mover will also have an actual physical location. When you choose a good company, your move will go as smoothly as possible.

Air Duct Cleaning In Phoenix AZ


The Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry and the companies therein are responsible for monitoring thermal comfort and overall indoor air quality. Air quality control is an important part of maintaining the both the health of a building as well as those who occupy it. Companies that offer HVAC services often offer air duct cleaning as an option among their other services. Of course, there are those companies that specialize in air duct cleaning. Those companies offering a variety of services are likely to offer installation, repairs and remote operations and monitoring in addition to air duct cleaning.


Air Duct Cleaning in Phoenix AZ


As is the case in other cities, there are many HVAC repair and maintenance companies in Phoenix that also offer air duct cleaning services . To find the perfect Phoenix AZ company for you is not as difficult as you may initially perceive it to be. A great place to start is your favorite Internet search engine. Every local company worth its services are sure to be listed there or have their own full website where you can find all the information you may need. Due to the fact that you are likely to come across a few companies, it is recommended that you compare the different companies you are interested in contracting services from before settling on one. Below is some of what you can look for in a company you are considering hiring.


  1. Licensing and Registration


The HVAC industry is a highly regulated one. As such, a company should be registered and licensed with the relevant city and state authorities, as well as meet any other requirements outlined by the same. Before hiring an HVAC company, ensure that you do your homework, and confirm that they have the requisite paperwork.


  1. Affordable Prices


In any industry, the prices of services are likely to vary from one service provider to the next. Still, there are general averages that you can use as a ballpark regarding what certain services should or should not cost. Compare the prices of companies and consider your budget before you settle on any one company. Ensure that you are not overpriced, but be careful of trying to get too much of a bargain, because it is still true that you get what you pay for.


  1. A Verifiable Track Record


Being able to verify that a company can successfully carry out the services it advertises is an important part of deciding which company is right for you. You should be able to check the reviews, testimonials and recommendations of the companies you are considering. Having prior experience augers well for a company’s ability to successful deliver should you hire them.


A Final Note


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that there is no scientific evidence supporting the regular cleaning of air ducts, and some HVAC companies and professionals consider it unnecessary — a waste of time money and resources. Still, those who swear by the practice report having less allergies, sinus issues and overall cleaner air. What the EPA does recommend is having an air duct cleaning carried out in the face of any of the following realities:


  • You can mold growth with the heating ducts
  • Pests have infested the ducts
  • Debris or dust has clogged the ducts
  • There are regular smokers in the environment
  • You have pets that shed hair and dander at high volumes
  • There is damage to the HVAC system — even water contamination — that can cause blockages and other malfunctions
  • After a home has been remodeled or renovated
  • You are occupying a new home (whether it has been lived in before or not)

Tips For Maintaining Your Heating And Air Conditioning Systems

AC-repairMaintaining a heating and air conditioning system properly can help the homeowner stay in comfort year round and also help them avoid HVAC repair bills. Though you should have your system inspected by a professional heating and plumbing contractor at least once a year—in the spring and/or in the fall—there are things you yourself can do to keep your system running smoothly and perhaps extend its useful life.


Some items on the heating and air conditioning maintenance checklist can be done right away, while others should be done only every few months or once a year. By following these guidelines, you can keep HVAC repair visits to a minimum.


Filters are easy to forget, but a must to maintain. Dirty filters can reduce the air flow and overtax the system. It is recommended that air filters be changed at least every three months. People with pets may need to change them more often.


airconditioningThese days, high-efficiency pleated filters are preferred by many heating and air conditioning manufacturers because they feature an electrostatic charge that will attract the smallest particles, even ones that are giving a ride to bacteria. While they are most expensive, the best filters are those with an electrostatic charge rating of eight to 11.


Outside, you should continuously ensure that the air conditioning and heating units are not cluttered with grass and leaves. During summer months, this means keeping the lawnmower from discharging debris directly at the unit.


Make sure you leave at least two feet of clear space around the equipment to allow proper air flow. You can periodically hose down the aluminum fins on the exterior compressor to clear out any dirt that has accumulated. Spreading mulch or pine straw around the base of the unit will help keep dirt from being splashed into and clogging these fins.


On a monthly basis, the homeowner should inspect the refrigerant lines leading into the house. The insulation should be replaced if it is damaged or missing.


About every six months, you can pass a stiff wire through the pipes that drain condensation to prevent them from becoming clogged with algae and mold. Or you can accomplish this by pouring a cup of water mixed with bleach down the condensate drain.


Given the possibility of soil sinking or eroding, you will want to annually check the platforms holding your comfort units. Make sure that they are on pads or firm ground that still is level.


To reduce stress on your cooling and heating system, keep the thermostat set between 74 and 78 degrees during the summer months when you are at home. A setting of 78 degrees will keep your home cool enough while you are gone. During the winter, set the heat at 68 degrees when you are in and at 65 degrees when you leave.


These settings also have the advantage of helping you save a bundle on your energy bill. Along those same lines, be sure to caulk and weatherstrip around windows, doors, attic hatches, and other areas where there possible could be air infiltration. This infiltration can cause you discomfort and add to the work your unit must do.


Another consideration for the homeowner is to shut down the water supply to the humidifier on the furnace during the summer. When you start it back up in the fall, replace the unit’s wick filter, set the humidistat to around 40 percent relative humidity, and reopen the water supply.

Window Tinting for the Home

Window tinting in Colorado Springs can be done by a company like High Country Window Tint to provide U.V. protection as well as decorative purposes. These applications are energy efficient, which can save a lot of money on heating and cooling bills. They also extend window longevity, provide amazing style, and up the value of the home if looking to sell.

Incorporating Home Window Tint

First things first: a home window tint and a home window film are the same product. However, a window tint is often used when referring to auto windows. A window film usually refers to a home or business windows. No hard and fast rule exists about the usage of the terms.

These films consist of a laminate of tough polyester mixed with metalized coatings, held together by adhesives. The scratch resistant coating covers one side. There is also a release liner. When the liner is taken off, the adhesive side is placed on the interior surface of the glass. There are many variations in terms of style: clear, colorful, colorful, and a variety of patterns. The application thickness depends on what people want in terms of solar protection and safety.

Deciding on the Style

modern homeOne of the best ways to incorporate this application is to use a warm home window film to provide a soft glow to the room. These warm colors invite people to linger longer in a room, and they also calm the nerves. They work well in kitchens and dining rooms where people want to enjoy each other’s company over delicious meals. Still, there are a lot of other style options to choose from besides warm tones.

Soft waves and other designs can be utilized to enhance certain room components, such as antique wallpaper. Really, the possibilities are endless. They can even be mixed throughout the house. Each style can add uniqueness to the home, one that owners will love. The style can even attract numerous buyers if the home is ever put on the market.

Cost Saving and Security via Decor

Window film that is energy efficient improves both the solar and thermal capabilities of a home’s windows. This occurs because it reduces the solar heat gain. Additionally, the insulating properties of the window increase. The filming process reduces the need for both air conditioning and heating, saving on the electric bill all year around. This also enhances the environmental friendliness of cooling and heating one’s home. It is much nicer on the planet to use window film than excessive amounts of harsh air conditioning or heating components.

There is also the matter of security. Applying film to the windows can prevent people from seeing into a home while the occupants enjoy intimate moments. It can keep people from seeing the layout of your home, too, which helps prevent robberies or other crimes. In these instances, window film can serve as a cost-efficient neighborhood watch, one that adds style and energy efficiency to the home. Even better, this security can be accomplished while maintaining the ability to see outside. And while enjoying the view, there’s an inherent U.V. protection that can’t be beaten.

See the Light

Decorative window tint is available from many professional companies at an affordable price. The process does not take a long time to apply, and in the long run, the savings far outweigh the initial investment. Anyone who is considering a decorative window tint should contact a company for an estimate. The estimate will also be a great time to discuss styling options. After all, there is a lot to choose from!

Find Window Replacement Services In Denver

denver. co skylineDenver is home to some wild weather. The Mile-High City can get the heat in the summer and in the winter, temperatures can plummet and feet of snow can fall overnight. Winds can also be variable because of the elevation and temperature shifts. Your home’s windows need to be able to handle the elements and if they aren’t up to the task, you need to have them replaced. Finding window replacement services in Denver is fairly simple and each company knows how important your windows are to your home.

Which Window Company do I Recommend?

renewal-by andersen windiows denverRenewal by Andersen windows of Denver is my go to window replacement specialist because they help you figure out exactly what your home needs. They’ll inspect your current windows when they come and do their in home consultation with no cost in home energy analysis and tell you if they need to be replaced. They also have a patio door site where you can contact them about a new door. Contrary to what you may think, houses built in the last twenty years may already need to have windows replaced because they were built with low quality material. If you’re in an older home, your windows may be just fine because of the quality material they were built out of. Either way, an expert in window replacement services in Denver will tell you if you need new windows or not.

Why New Windows

energy star windowsNewer windows have many benefits. Insulating windows will help save you money on your energy bill by maintaining more constant temperatures. Better windows will allow more natural light to come into your home. Energy efficient windows , especially those certified by will increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers. Denver is a great city to live in and the standard of living is very high for most people. You won’t regret making this investment in your house.

It’s easy to be intimidated by the cost of replacing your windows, but don’t be afraid to make the commitment. Replacing your windows now will ensure that they don’t fail in the future, whether it’s during a winter storm or the hottest days of the year. Take the safe route and upgrade your home. Call your local window replacement specialist today.