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The Four Main Types Of Lightbulbs

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Lightbulbs are the most common and arguably the most important electrical appliance in every home. They come in a wide range of different sizes and powers, and though they all provide the same function, work in different ways to do so. Understanding what the main types of lightbulbs are and the advantages that each type of lightbulb offers can help you choose the type that best fits your home’s illumination needs. Incandescent Fluorescent lights are by far the most common type of lightbulb, mainly because of their low cost. They work by passing an electrical current between metal filaments, producing light and heat. They are best suited for homeowners who are operating under a tight budget, and can be cheaply purchased in bulk. They also do not contain mercury, which means that they are not a health hazard when broken. However, incandescent lights are not very efficient. They use a great deal of energy to produce a relatively small amount of light, as a lot of energy is used to produce heat as well. This means that using incandescent bulbs will increase your energy bills in the long run when compared to other types of bulbs. Fluorescent Fluorescent lights are the second most common type of lightbulb, and are slowly replacing incandescent lights. They work by passing an electrical current through gases within the bulb, creating light. They are more energy efficient than incandescent lightbulbs, as energy is not wasted through the creation of heat, which can help keep energy bills low. However, fluorescent bulbs are slightly more expensive than incandescent bulbs, which can be limiting if you need to replace a large amount of lightbulbs. Furthermore, fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which can be a serious health hazard if the bulb breaks. LED LED lights are the most efficient type of lightbulb on the market. They do not produce any heat when they are plugged in, and provide greater brightness when compared to other types of lightbulbs. They can work both indoors and outdoors, and will save you a great deal of money on your energy bills. However, LED lights are extremely expensive initially, which restricts their benefits to homeowners who are able to spend a great deal on new lightbulbs. Halogen Halogen lightbulbs work almost identically to incandescent bulbs, heating a filament to the point of glowing. They are slightly more energy efficient, but still produce a fairly significant amount of heat. They are mainly for outdoor use, though indoor variants do exist. They do not contain mercury, which makes them the ideal choice for homeowners who want a more energy efficient option but are worried about the hazards associated with fluorescent bulbs. Halogen bulbs are slightly more expensive initially than their incandescent counterparts, but make up for it through their improved energy savings. For more information, contact an electrician (like those at C & R Electric,...

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Four Unique Siding Styles To Choose From To Renovate The Exterior Of Your Home

Posted by on 3:44 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Unique Siding Styles To Choose From To Renovate The Exterior Of Your Home

Installing new siding can be a great way to renovate the exterior of your home. Traditional lap-siding can be plain and lack custom details that you may want for your renovations. There are many other styles of siding to choose from to change the look of your home, such as board-and-batten, shakes, log-style siding and modern composite panels. If you want to change the look of your home with new siding, here are some of the choices you may want to consider: 1. A Classic Look With Board-And-Batten Styles If you want to have more of a classic look for the siding on your home, board-and-batten can be a good choice. This can be conventional wood materials, or it can be more modern plywood and vinyl siding products. This gives you a choice of many different materials that will fit almost any budget. The wood materials will cost more and need a lot more maintenance and care. 2. Combine Styles With Shakes For A Unique Siding Look In addition to the board-and-batten siding, there are also wood shakes that can be used to give your siding a custom look. Shakes can be used for all the siding on your home, or they can be used with other materials for more of a custom look. Shakes can look great on architectural features, such as roof gables, porches and bay-windows. 3. Turn Your Home Into A Cabin With Log-Style Siding Materials You may have always dreamed of having your very own log cabin. There are ways that you can make your home look like a log home. Log-style siding materials can be installed to give your home the look you want. This can be real wood log faces or more modern materials like vinyl siding made to look like timber logs. 4. Give Your Home A Modern Makeover With Composite Panels If your home has more of a contemporary design, you may not want to use classic siding styles. Modern siding materials are also available in panels to give your home more of a modern look. This can be fiber cement and other materials that cover exterior walls. You can also combine these materials with things like tropical hardwoods to give your home a custom look. If you want to change the look of your home with siding, these are some ideas that you can use. You can contact a siding contractor like one from Fredericksburg Builders and talk with them about using these materials when you are ready to complete your exterior...

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3 Signs That Your Furnace Needs Repairs

Posted by on 9:57 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs That Your Furnace Needs Repairs

As the weather starts to get colder, many people start putting more thought to the state of their furnace. A properly working furnace can keep your home warm without raising your energy bill too high, and can keep your family safe from dangerous gas leaks and poor air quality. But an old furnace that needs repairs can easily put your family and loved ones at risk. That is why it is important that you know the warning signs that your furnace is no longer working effectively. 1. The Pilot Light Should Be Blue and Not Any Other Color It is important that you check the color of your pilot light. In some cases you may think that your furnace is no longer working, but instead the pilot light has simply blown out. However, even if the pilot light is lit it can tell you a lot about the state of your furnace. A healthy furnace should have a blue pilot light. This means that everything is stable and good. If the flame is any other color, especially yellow, you need to call for repairs right away. A yellow pilot flame could mean that there is a gas problem and carbon monoxide is leaking. For this reason, check your pilot light often. 2. Rooms Should Be Evenly Heated A furnace that is working properly should evenly heat the house. For example, if you go into one room and it is overly hot, and the next room is cold and drafty, you may have a problem. So long as you have all the vents open in the rooms, you should have a house that is generally pretty even in temperature. It should be noted that you would notice slight changes in temperatures on different floors. The basement will be colder than the top floor; this is completely normal. The problem is if the rooms on the same floor are different temperatures or if the change is significant throughout the house. 3. The Air Quality In The Home Is Lacking Since the furnace is responsible for blowing air throughout the entire house, a bad furnace can compromise the air quality. You might notice that it is harder to breathe in the house, many people are suffering from what feels like seasonal allergies, or you have a good deal of dust accumulating on the furniture. These are signs that your furnace needs repairs. By looking for these signs you can keep your furnace in good condition and keep those you love safe and warm. For more information, contact companies like Hayes Heating &...

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Tips For Caring For Your Vinyl Siding

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As a homeowner, it is important to make sure that you are well aware of the tips that will help make sure that your vinyl siding will stay in the best shape possible. This way, you will not have to worry about repairing or replacing it as soon as possible. Keep The Plant Life Trimmed Back Even though your house siding is not made of wood, it can still crack. Therefore, you are going to want to make sure that you are keeping tree limbs, vines, and bushes away from the vinyl siding. The last thing you want is for heavy branches to get whipped around by the wind so hard that they smack off of the vinyl siding, causing it to crack. The smallest of cracks in your vinyl siding will be cause for concern and will require you to call in a contractor to replace that piece. This is because strong winds can get in behind the siding through the crack and cause entire sections of siding to pull away from the home. Scrub The Grooves Over time, dead grass, leaves, and insects might end up stuck in the grooves of the siding. It is important to make sure that you are taking the time to scrub such debris out of the grooves of your vinyl siding. This way, you will not have to worry about any little critters trying to climb up the side of your house in an attempt to grab the dead bugs for their next meal. After all, their little claws can possibly scratch up the side of your vinyl. All you need is a bucket of soapy water and a hard bristle scrub brush. Once you have removed all of the debris from the grooves of the siding, you might want to wash down all of the siding with a power washer, as your detailed cleaning might cause some dirty water to drip along the side of the home, which will not be very nice looking. Conduct Inspections You can conduct as many inspections of the siding as you want, but you want to make sure that you are doing it at least a few times a year. This will help to make sure that you are able to spot any broken pieces or ends that are starting to pull up away from the house. By spotting everything as soon as possible, you will be able to avoid much larger problems, such as entire sections of siding going missing in a brutal storm. With those few tips in mind, it should be a lot easier for you to take care of your vinyl siding. To find out more, contact a business like Superior...

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3 Ways To Open Up A Bathroom Without Changing The Floor Plan

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Bathroom remodels are a great way to add value to a home. A remodel can also increase the functionality of the space, especially if the bathroom is shared by multiple family members. While reworking a bathroom is a great way to add value, it is also easy to go over budget. One big budget buster is changing up the floor plan, which often involves potentially expensive alterations to plumbing and electrical systems. Luckily there are ways to make a bathroom feel more open and modern without needing to change the floor plan. Glass Shower Doors A new shower door can bring new life into a bathroom. It’s one of the first places that the eye is drawn to in a bathroom. For this reason, it is important to have a shower door that does not make the space look closed off or dark. Instead of using a shower curtain, which can block natural light in some bathrooms, glass shower doors are a great addition to any shower or bathtub. Glass shower doors, especially frameless options, allow natural light in with no interruption. They also provide a clear sight line into the shower space, which can make the bathroom seem even more open. Color Choices Color plays a big role in how large a space appears to the human eye. The darker the space, the smaller it looks. This is why lighter colors should be considered by anyone who is trying to make their bathroom appear larger and more open. Lighter colors are also not just for walls. Light color cabinets, flooring, and tiles can also make the space feel more open. It’s also important to remember the details when choosing a color scheme for the bathroom. Keeping the trim a light or contrasting color can also open up the space. Removing Walls One way to change up a bathroom without altering the existing floor plan is by removing walls. This can make a huge difference but doesn’t involve changes to the plumbing, which can in turn help keep costs down. Homeowners should make sure that any wall set to be removed is not load-bearing. Past bathroom styles have often included superfluous walls to increase privacy. The downside to these walls is that they can obstruct the flow of the bathroom space. Removing these walls is a great way to make things feel more open and light. Floor plan changes can add up and increase the budget in a bathroom remodel. The good news is that there are many changes that can be made in order to open up the space that do not involve changes to the floor plan. Glass shower doors, a new color scheme, and removing extra walls can do a lot for a bathroom space. For more information, contact a company like Mitchell Window &...

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Everything You Need To Know About Floor Heating Systems

Posted by on 10:10 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Everything You Need To Know About Floor Heating Systems

Floor heating systems are not a new invention. In fact, this type of heating has been around since Roman times. It basically heats a room through the floors instead of the air, as is the case with traditional heating systems.  The best thing about any floor heating system is that it’s going to be more efficient. Heat rises so heating via the floor is an incredibly efficient way to warm up a building. Different Types of Floor Heating Systems There are two main types of floor heating systems. One is hydronic floor heating, which is done via pipes that carry hot water. The other is electric floor heating, which is done through electric wires beneath the floor surface. Hydronic Floor Heating Hydronic floor heating is a cleaner, more efficient way of heating. It will cut down on your heating bill significantly and tend to last longer than traditional heating. It’s also extremely eco-friendly. However, it is more expensive to install than other heating methods. This type of heating is installed through pipes under the floor, which are connected to some type of heater. This heater warms up the water running through the pipes to give you the heat in the floor. There are many options for water heaters, one being solar water heaters. When you combine that with water as your heating resource, you have a completely renewable heating method. Electric Floor Heating The main advantage of electric floor heating is that it’s much less expensive to install than hydronic heating. However, as with anything that runs off of electricity, it is not as efficient which means that it is more expensive to run. Electric floor heating can run more efficiently with the option of using a thicker floor material such as concrete. The concrete flooring will retain heat so it stays warm after you’ve cut the heat. Also, some electric companies will give you a cheaper rate for non-peak hours, meaning you can heat the floor during these times and turn it off for peak hours for a less expensive heating bill.  Flooring Material for Floor Heating Systems As mentioned above, there are certain types of flooring that work better with floor heating systems. You will want to find a material that has heat regulating properties such as concrete, natural stone, or ceramic tile. These types of floors hold heat well and don’t get damaged by high temperatures. Overall, there are many benefits to floor heating systems. Some are more efficient or expensive than others, but all heat your house in a more productive manner. You may be limited on flooring types, but you’ll have to decide if it’s worth it for your particular situation. If you have any questions, consider discussing different options with a local professional in plumbing and...

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Three Tips For Great Home Appliance Maintenance

Posted by on 8:11 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips For Great Home Appliance Maintenance

The key to taking great care of your home and maintaining a high quality of life is to receive high quality appliance service repairs whenever possible. You will be able to manage your appliances by handling routine maintenance when needed. This guide will teach you a few ways to get the most out of these appliance repairs, so that you are best able to increase their longevity and durability. Take advantage of these tips and use them so that home appliances remain at their best.  Tip #1: Keep Your Appliances As Clean As Possible, On A Regular Basis Many people make the mistake of using their appliances regularly without paying attention to how clean they are. Cleanliness is one of the most critical elements when in it comes to getting the best out of your appliances. That dirt on your refrigerator can create permanent stains, and can also cause gaskets and seals to stop operating in the way that they should. Likewise, not maintaining the cleanliness of your washing machine will have detrimental results on the machine’s ability to wash your clothes on a regular basis. Tip #2: Avoid Fire Hazards By Keeping Your Dryer Vent Clean To keep your dryer at its best, make sure that you are looking after the vent line. A restricted vent line can create a fire hazard and will prevent your dryer operating at its best. If you notice that your dryer is getting incredibly hot, this is likely a telltale sign that the vent is not operating the best it could and needs to be cleared out. If you do not have the capability of maintaining your own vent line, consider reaching out to an appliance services company for help. Tip #3: Be Mindful Of Your Appliance Energy Being mindful of the way that you use energy with your appliances will allow you to always get the best performance possible. Hot water heaters typically use the absolute most energy, at 2400 kWh, while clothes dryers typically use the second most energy at 1000 kWh. Whenever possible, make the switch to energy efficient appliances. These will utilize a fraction of the energy that other appliances use, and you may even be open to potential tax breaks. If you follow these three tips and get an ongoing maintenance plan from your appliance service contract, your home will be in a great position to succeed. To that end, get in touch with an appliance expert who can help you out today, or visit a website...

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Top 3 Reasons You May Need Your Chimney Repaired

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Have you recently moved into a new home? Is this the first time you’ve owned a house with a fireplace? While your fireplace and chimney may look okay and the home inspector may not have mentioned any issues, that’s no guarantee that the chimney is in top condition. Here are some signs that you may be in need of a chimney repair or cleaning: Debris in the fireplace: If you see leaves and similar debris in your fireplace after a storm, this may be a sign that your chimney cap has been knocked loose and needs to be replaced. If plant debris can get down the chimney, chances are that an animal can also enter and either begin building a nest or get stuck in the fireplace and cause havoc. If you see black flakes inside the chimney after using it, you could have heavy creosote build up that needs to be cleaned out. Finally, small pieces of brick or mortar are a sign that you need immediate chimney repair. Over time, cycles of heat and cold can stress the masonry in your fireplace, creating cracks and loosening bricks. Mortar debris can be a sign that your chimney is in danger of collapsing as a result of this weakening.  Unidentifiable smells: Your house may have started out smelling perfectly normal, giving you no cause for concern. But if your house has recently started smelling strange, despite your best efforts at cleaning, you may need to turn your attention to the fireplace. It could be that a small bird or mammal has become trapped and has then expired up in the chimney, leaving malodorous remains. Another possibility is a dangerous buildup of creosote. Creosote has a strong smell, but can be difficult to identify if you aren’t familiar with its scent. If the creosote is not removed in a timely fashion, you could eventually have a chimney fire and may incur a steep chimney repair bill. Wall near the fireplace looks strange: In an ideal situation, the walls next to and around your chimney should be in identical condition. If the paint or wallpaper is starting to peel or bubble while the rest of the room is intact, this is a sign that the insulating properties of your chimney are starting to fail. If you have a cement or clay chimney liner, it may be starting to crack and crumble. A chimney repair company can take a look and tell you exactly what needs to be done for your chimney to be functional once again. For a thorough chimney inspection, talk with a company like Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service...

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Making Small Repairs to Your Asphalt Driveway

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If you have an asphalt driveway, you most likely enjoy the benefit of a smooth surface that is durable and looks great. In time, asphalt can deteriorate slightly, making it necessary to do routine maintenance to upkeep its composition. Here are some instructions for you to use to fix up small areas of your driveway that need attention, allowing it to retain its cosmetically pleasing look as a result. Clean Your Driveway Thoroughly cleaning your driveway will help prepare it for repair as the material you use to fix holes and cracks will be able to adhere without debris getting in the way. It also will help you do an evaluation of the driveway, as all blemishes will be easily seen. Use a leaf blower to remove any embedded dust and dirt from cracks and holes within the driveway. Use a pressure washer to cleanse the surface, removing particles and grime that you weren’t able to be blow from the surface. Allow to dry completely before assessing for damaged areas. Do an Evaluation Walk up and down your driveway looking for spots that appear to be crumbling or that have small cracks running through the asphalt. Draw a quick diagram of your driveway and mark the areas on this picture so you will be able to find them easily when you are ready to start repair work. After you determine how many spots are in need of attention, you will have a better idea as to how many supplies you will need to purchase to do the work. Fill Cracks and Holes Rubberized asphalt filler will nicely fill in cracks, crevices, and small holes in your driveway. Before you add this material to the asphalt, fill in these areas with crushed gravel. Push the gravel into the broken areas using a screwdriver, putty knife, or similar hard tool to tamp the rock into place. Rubberized asphalt filler comes in a tube that is placed into a caulk gun to apply. Push the nozzle into the crushed gravel you have just pushed into the area and squeeze the filler into the hole, covering the gravel in the process. Use a putty knife to smooth the filler over the area and allow it to harden. Seal the Driveway After all areas are filled, you will want to add a seal coat to the driveway to keep the areas safely contained. Seal coating is applied using a squeegee and brush. Start at the end of your driveway furthest from your home and work your way back to your house so that you don’t have to walk back over it again to go inside. The sealant should be brushed across the asphalt and needs a day to dry over the repaired areas. If you would prefer a professional to do a seal coating on the asphalt for you, feel free to contact a company like Stritar Seal...

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2 Tips For Keeping Your Marble Shower Walls Looking Clean

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When you want a shower enclosure that is opulent and elegant, making the choice to include marble shower walls is a good option. Unfortunately, without proper professional marble cleaning, marble shower walls can quickly turn from a luxury to a headache. Here are two tips you can use to help keep your marble shower walls looking clean in the future. 1. Test your marble to see if it needs to be sealed. Marble is a by-product of limestone, which is one of the more porous stone materials. This means that marble slabs are absorbent. To prevent mold and mildew from settling into the pores in your marble shower walls, you may need to apply a sealer. You can use two simple tests to determine if your marble should be sealed. First, apply 2 tablespoons of water to the marble’s surface. Let the water sit for 15 minutes, then wipe away. If the stone is darker where it was exposed to water, you need to apply a sealer. To test if your marble will absorb solvents, dab some mineral oil on the surface of your shower walls. Let the mineral oil sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then wipe it away. Discoloration means a sealer will help protect your marble from absorbing cleaning solvents in the future. 2. Get rid of the calcium deposits hard water can cause. If your home has hard water, you likely have calcium deposits on your marble shower walls. Removing these deposits on a regular basis will help your marble stay in pristine condition. You can safely and quickly remove calcium deposits from a marble surface by creating a vinegar solution. Mix three parts water to one part white vinegar in a spray bottle. Add one tablespoon of liquid dish soap, and shake thoroughly until all ingredients are mixed well in your spray bottle. Spray your homemade vinegar solution directly on any areas that are affected by calcium deposits. Use a soft sponge to scrub the area, spraying and scrubbing repeatedly until the calcium deposits have been completely removed. Using vinegar to clean your marble shower walls at least once each week will help you keep your shower enclosure as clean as possible. When it comes to caring for a marble shower enclosure, protecting your marble shower walls with a sealer can help you avoid stains or discoloration. Weekly application of a vinegar solution will keep calcium deposits at bay, ensuring that your shower enclosure remains as opulent as the day it was...

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