Energy Saving Tips

The heating and cooling of your home takes more energy than any of the other systems. On the average, heating and cooling makes up just over 40 percent of your utility costs and uses the most home energy. In addition to the costs, in the United States alone, heating and cooling systems emit around 150 million tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) into our atmosphere every year. They also generate sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides which are both chief components of acid rain. Making your home more energy efficient will not only save money spent on utility bills, it will reduce the amount of these emissions, which will help the environment.

One of the best ways to save money on heating and cooling is to make sure that your home is well insulated. Weather proofing windows and door will help to a certain extent, but if the heat is being lost through uninsulated walls it won’t make much of a difference in the overall picture. Older homes are most at risk unless you’ve added insulation yourself. Most of the homes built before 1980 are not properly insulated and should be inspected. Adding or replacing insulation will make your home easier to heat and cool so that your furnace or air conditioner doesn’t constantly run and you aren’t faced with sticker shock when it’s time to pay the utility bills. There are various types of insulation available today, from the traditional rolled insulation to that which is blown in through the walls. Having your home inspected to see which is best for your situation can save you a great deal of money in the long run.

On top of insulating your home and weather proofing problem areas, you should make sure that your heating and cooling system is running at maximum efficiency. This means replacing filters monthly (or as needed) and having them inspected and serviced yearly. Also make sure that floor vents are cleaned regularly and kept free of obstructions in order to allow your system the proper amount of airflow to operate at peak performance. If your system is older, you may want to consider replacing it with a newer, more energy efficient model. Many improvements that reduce home energy use, such as insulating, replacing doors and windows, and replacing heating and cooling systems with newer models, not only save energy and money, but are tax deductible as well.

These are simply ideas for saving energy, there are many more ways to save on home energy costs and some or as simple as keeping your thermostat as low as your are comfortable with in winter and just high enough to be comfortable in summer. While you shouldn’t have to walk around the house in a parka during winter or swelter during the hotter months, wearing a sweater or running a fan in the house is a small inconvenience when you thing of the energy that you’ll save.

The Installation is Just as Important as the Carpet

Putting in new carpet is a good way to make your home more beautiful. Create an interior design that has your personal style. Contemporary carpet choices are very strong, affordable, easy to clean, and comfy.

How your carpet is installed is equally important as how it looks and feels. It’s not hard to find carpet installation companies that offer cheaper prices for basic services.

Most people are easily suckered in by these types of low quality carpet installation companies. But there are a few things that you should be aware of when choosing a reputable and experienced carpet installation company.

Choosing a Big Box Retailer?

A large amount of big box retailers will install all of the carpet in your home for a hundred dollars or less. They call this a basic installation, but understand that there is a catch. The word “basic” means that you will get the least amount of service available. Understand that this type of installation won’t fair well because it is done with the cheapest materials available. Also, many of the things that you would normally expect might not be included in a basic installation. For instance, don’t expect to get carpet on the stairs or on split level steps.

Try to stay away from big box retailers. Or, maybe you might want to buy the carpet from them, but use your own professional carpet installers. Understand that your carpet installation might not be as affordable, but at least you know that it will be done correctly. The carpet will last longer, and you won’t have to pay money to repair a subpar installation.

Does Your Chosen Installer Have a License and Insurance?

Make sure that your chosen installer has a license and insurance. This means that he is professional, and that you have liability protection if anything goes wrong with the installation.

Get References

It does not matter what type of reputation a company has. You should always do your own research first. Try to get two or three references. This will tell you if the company does quality work and what to expect. If a carpet installation company cannot provide references, then move on to another company.

Get a Comprehensive Warranty for all Installation Work

The quality of the installation determines how well your carpet looks and how long it lasts. Keep in mind that some manufacturers may not honour the carpet’s warranty if it is installed improperly. It could be patchy in spots and misaligned in the corners. It could also come apart in specific areas.

Make sure that the installation has a warranty. This will provide protection if the installation is done incorrectly. It will also tell you if the installation company stands by its workmanship.

When it is done correctly, a new carpet installation can really make your home look better. The carpet will enhance your home’s decor, but realize that the installation is just as important as how it looks. Unfortunately, if the price sounds too perfect, then move on to the next carpet installation company. When you find the right company, make sure that it is licensed, bonded, provides warranties and has plenty of solid references.

Change a Room with Carpet

carpet tileIn interior design there are few improvements that make as much of an impact as flooring. What we step on every day plays an integral role in setting the mood, and turning any drab space in to something fantastic. If you’re looking to increase the comfort, appeal, and even the value of your home, there’s no better way to do it than with quality carpets.

Hardwood flooring, laminates, and even ceramic tiles all have their places in the home. They’re perfect for kitchen and dining areas because these materials are almost impossible to stain and are a breeze to clean. However, think about you when you want to sit back and relax, how you want your bedroom to feel, and where you want to entertain guests or have your children play. In all of these situations carpet makes the most inviting spaces, and because carpets can be dyed, cut, and threaded in hundreds of different ways they’re a great way to express yourself through interior design.

Deciding which carpets you need for each room will depend on the purpose and the mood you want to create. Taking a little extra time to pick the right carpet will make the difference between a home that’s comfortable and functional, to a home that is both of these, but also stunningly beautiful.

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing your carpets. Carpets come in different pile heights, which makes a difference as to how much actual fabric you have under your feet. A carpet with a heavy pile will provide more cushioning, but it can also mean more maintenance, and that it has more affinity for trapping dirt and debris. However, if you’re carpeting a living or comfort room then long pile carpet might be the best option.

For other spaces like offices and children’s play areas, low pile carpet is preferable. Plush carpet that is cut has a velvety texture that still feels luxurious underfoot while still being easily maintained through regular vacuuming and the occasional professional cleaning.

When you’re looking to make a statement in a special room like a games room, or a media room, designer carpets are the best choice. Carpets with multi-colored sections can work great in a space like this. If you go with something darker such as a deep maroon, or navy blue colored carpet it will look stunning with leather sofas in your entertainment suite. Carpets come in so many colors and designs that you can get as creative as you want, just be sure to settle on a look that you love.

Specialty carpets like sculpted cut carpets are perfect for bedrooms. These carpets have both cut, and regular pile height in one carpet to form embossed patterns. Imagine your master bedroom with a carpet that creates the sense that you’re in a boutique hotel. You’re only ever going to be able to achieve that look with carpet!

There are so many fabric choices, designs, colors, and textures available from carpets that they’re easily the most versatile and important home improvement you could choose. Carpets are the perfect investment that can last for a lifetime, Best of all they let you express yourself with standout interior spaces that you’ll love to live in.

HVAC Maintenance

air conditioner

air conditioner

HVAC systems can operate 24/7 and that means they need routine maintenance. It is critical to ensure that you are doing regular HVAC maintenance, since every part of the air conditioner and heater needs to be maintained in order to be efficient and to save you money.

Air Filters & Indoor Coil
The system needs to remain clean, in order to maintain proper air flow and to reduce the risk of mold building in the AC unit. When dirt becomes packed in the area, it could become clogged and that means it will need to work harder to cool off the house, increasing the cost of cooling each day that it runs.

Condenser Coils
Usually found on the outside of a building, this is where the transfer of heat will take place. Here, the pressure of the refrigerant is kept low and the compressor is then protected in this area. That ensures that the air conditioner unit runs more effectively and with greater efficiency. As the coil does become exposed, you do need to do routine cleaning.

Unit Lubrication
All the moving parts in the air conditioner should be properly lubricated. A trained HVAC system technician will know which of the parts need to be lubricated and how to handle this, even between regular maintenance schedules.

Electrical Connections
As they age, electrical connections can loosen and this can cause heat to build up. Often, this will lead to the failure of a unit. If this is going to happen, ti will occur during the hottest part of the summer, or the coldest point of winter. It is important to ensure that the electrical connections in the system are looked over and tightened as part of your routine maintenance.

Refrigerant
Your heating and cooling pump system require refrigerant to operate properly. It is critical to ensure that you maintain the right levels of coolant within the system. Having too little can cause damage to the compressor. Having too much can actually cause just as much damage.

Every part of your heating and cooling system needs a quick once over each year. Our company can help you to ensure that your system continues to operate at peak performance. Take a moment to call use today before the winter is upon us again.

Vinyl Flooring Installing-Measure Twice and Cut Once

When faced with such flooring choices as carpet, tile, natural stone, and hardwood, vinyl flooring may seem a bit mundane. The first thing to do is clear your mind of the vision of the unflattering, discolored, and bubbling vinyl flooring that you remember from your grandmother’s kitchen. Vinyl flooring has undergone many improvements and is one of the most popular types of flooring in America today. Not only can you buy vinyl that closely resembles those other flooring materials, but with a minimal amount of maintenance, a vinyl floor can last a lifetime.

Vinyl has many qualities that make it so desirable. The vinyl of today is stylish, easy to clean, durable, doesn’t need waxing, and it is friendly to the budget, but one of the biggest reasons that so many people choose vinyl is the ease in which it can be installed. Vinyl is an easy DIY project for even the most inexperienced of handymen and it can be done in under a day.

Installing Vinyl Flooring

The first thing to do is prepare the room by clearing your workspace.

Remove all furniture and appliances (including toilet if you are working in the bathroom)
If there is a door that opens into the room, remove it from the hinges.
Remove the baseboards from around the floor with a pry bar. Gently ease the pry bar in between the baseboard and the wall and insert a small block of wood behind the bar. This gives you leverage to pry the trim away without damaging the wall.
Remove any nails from the wall and trim. If are reusing the same trim, remove the nails gently to prevent splitting the wood.

Cutting Your Vinyl Floor to Fit

Vinyl flooring is generally sold in both 6 and 12 foot widths making a seamless floor in smaller rooms, such as a hallway, kitchen, or bathroom, possible. There are two methods of installing your vinyl flooring depending on the room you are fitting.

  • For rooms that don’t have many obstacles or angles, you can cut the vinyl to the measurement of the room and allow 3 inches of excess on each side and then trim it after it is in place.
  • Once your flooring has been cut to fit the room (remember to leave 3 inches extra all the way around), place it in the room and allow the edges to curl upward onto the wall.
  • Trim around any outside corners or other objects that protrude by cutting a vertical slice down the vinyl. Be sure to cut from the top of the flooring down to where it meets the floor.
  • For fitting the vinyl to inside corners, press it into the corner and make v-shaped incisions where it overlaps. Cut only a small amount at a time and carefully work downward until the flooring rests flat.
  • Press a 2×4 along the walls to create a crease where the floor meets the wall. After the crease is made, use a straight edge and a good utility knife to cut the flooring. As it rests, the floor will expand a bit so leave around 1/8th inch of space between the flooring and the wall.
  • Once you’ve made sure that the vinyl is laying completely flat, you can put your baseboards back in place and your new floor is complete.

The alternative, for rooms with recesses, angles, or are hard to fit for other reasons, you can purchase an installation kit. These kits come complete with paper for creating a template of your floor plan, a marker, a cutting blade, tape, and precise instructions for making a pattern of your floor. With these kits you simply make the template, transfer it to the flooring, and then cut the vinyl to fit before installing it.

With so many beautiful styles and colors available, combined with the ease of installation, it is little wonder that so many people are choosing vinyl flooring for their homes and offices.