Need Heating And Cooling In Your Cottage? Geothermal Heat Pumps Save Money

If you are thinking of getting a new furnace and air conditioning unit for your summer cottage, for the cool nights and smoldering hot days, think about a geothermal heat pump. Talk with a heating and cooling professional about how this will benefit the cottage and your wallet.

The heat pump is a great option because not only can you use it for heat when the night’s and mornings are cool in the spring and fall, but it can also be used as an air conditioning unit all summer long. Here are a few reasons this is a great consideration:

Get Two Appliance in One

The geothermal heat pump is going to help pull the moisture and heat out of the cottage during the hot summer temperatures to make the cottage cooler without an air conditioning unit. As the temperatures drop, the pump is going to pull atmospheric heat, most commonly from the ground, and use it to bring warmth in the space. You can serve two purposes with one appliance.

Save on Utility Bills

The heat pump can be 45 percent more efficient at heating and cooling than a furnace or an air conditioner. It also doesn’t require any gas, so you shouldn’t have gas expenses for heating.

Get Money Back

You can actually get money back if you decide to spend the money on an energy saving appliance. There is a federal tax rebate you can earn for installing a geothermal heat pump, which can help you recover some of what you paid for the unit and installation.

No Ducts

If you are getting a ductless heat pump for your cottage, you can save time and money for the project. It can be hard finding a location for ducts in a small cottage that hasn’t had heating or air conditioning, and the labor and materials can be very expensive. This could also be an eye sore in the space if the ducts can’t all run between the walls.

If you think that you have gone long enough in your cottage without heat and air conditioning, but you want something that is going to be ecologically and economically beneficial, a geothermal heat pump is a great option. Talk with the heating and cooling contractors in the area to get different quotes for your project, and to see what type of geothermal unit is going to be ideal for your home.

To learn more, contact a company like Metro Air with any questions or concerns you have.

Learn More

Garage Door Problems Are Often Due To Sensor Failure

All newer garage doors contain sensors, which are designed as a safety feature. These sensors prevent the door from closing when there is something in the way that might get crushed; however, these sensors can also cause problems if they are not functioning properly. If you are having trouble with your garage door opener, one of the first things a garage door repair company may check is the sensors.

How sensors work

The sensors for a garage door are located near the floor on both sides of the garage door. These sensors shoot colored beams across to each other, and the beams are designed to detect if anything is in the way. If the beams detect something, the garage door will not shut when the button is pressed.

If your garage door will not shut, there is a good chance that there is something in the way, or that the sensors are faulty in some way.

Problems sensors can have

There are a number of things that can prevent the sensors for your garage door from working properly. One common cause of sensor failure is from misalignment of the sensors. When the sensors are installed, they are placed strategically near the doors. They are properly aligned, and a garage door company will make sure they work before leaving the job.

Because of the location of these sensors, it is easy for them to become misaligned. Someone may accidentally hit them as they walk past, or you may knock them as you are carrying something out of your garage. If they are misaligned, they will not allow the door to close.

Other things can also prevent the sensors from working properly, including dirt and debris. If the sensors become too dirty, they will not work because they will not be able to send light signals back and forth.

Ways to fix the sensors

Once a garage door repairman finds the problem, it is usually easy to fix. It may require realigning the sensors to make sure they are angled properly, or the repair company may simply need to clean them.

If these options do not work to fix the problem, the sensors may need to be replaced, but this is generally not the case.

If you are having trouble with your garage door opener, it could be due to a problem with the sensors. Call a garage door opener repair company such as American Eagle Garage Door Services and let them investigate and fix the issue.

Learn More

Window Wars: Comparing Vinyl And Aluminum Windows

Vinyl and aluminum windows are two of the most common types of window frames available, and offer a number of different types of advantages over each other. Knowing the differences between the two types of windows can allow you to figure out which one best fits your needs.

Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows are much less expensive than aluminum windows, but are not necessarily of lower quality. Vinyl windows are made out of PVC, which is simply a less expensive material than aluminum. Vinyl windows do not need to be painted, and can be easily cleaned with just soap and water. Vinyl cannot be painted, but can be made to be a certain color, so it can still match with the aesthetic of your house without having to worry about repainting every few years. Vinyl is very durable, and will resist scratches, dents, cuts, and corrosion when exposed to weather conditions. They are also very energy efficient and are great for reducing your energy bills.

However, vinyl windows are not as environmentally efficient, as they cannot be recycled very easily. Additionally, vinyl windows will not add as much resale value to your home due to their lower cost. They are also poor at reducing noise, which can be a problem if you live in an area with a lot of traffic. Finally, vinyl windows can also discolor very easily if exposed to extreme heat, which means that they have to replaced, as they cannot be painted. This makes vinyl windows less than ideal for hot climates.

Aluminum Windows

Aluminum windows are very environmentally efficient, and can be easily and efficiently recycled. Additionally, they are extremely durable, and will withstand weather exposure for a very long period of time. This means that in intense winds, they will hold up much better than vinyl windows. They are also lightweight, making them much easier to install than vinyl windows. Aluminum windows can be painted, which makes it easy to exactly match the aesthetic of your house. They also provide a much better sound barrier than vinyl windows do.

However, aluminum windows are more expensive than vinyl windows, and will need to be repainted over time due to weather exposure. Also, they are still susceptible to dents, which vinyl windows are not. Furthermore, as they are made out of metal, they can corrode over time, which means that they will insulate your home less efficiently and will need to be replaced. They are also not as efficient as vinyl windows at insulating your home, as they conduct temperature very easily, bringing in the weather outside.

For more help making your decision, contact a local window installation company. 

Learn More

How To Prevent And Fix Cracked Landscape Pavers

Pavers, whether made of concrete, stone or brick, provide an attractive alternative to concrete or asphalt paving. They are often used for patios and sidewalks, but you can also use them for driveways. Pavers can last a lifetime when installed correctly. If you have issues with cracked pavers, you must first determine the reason before you fix the problem.

Main Reasons for Cracking

There are three main reasons pavers crack:

  • They aren’t laid on a level surface or tamped firmly in place.
  • Poor drainage has caused the ground to settle, resulting in cracking.
  • Frost heave, which is typically caused by poor drainage or inadequate base preparation, lifts the soil and the pavers.

Wear and tear can also lead to chips, usually around the edges of a paved walkway or patio, but this is less common than the above causes. In rare cases, weeds may grow between the pavers and result in a crack, but usually the weeds take root first in a small crack resulting from one of the main three causes. The weed doesn’t cause the crack, it just widens it.

Prevention Tips

The easiest way to ensure your pavers don’t crack is to make sure the base is prepared properly. For most paver projects, the base consists of a level of crushed gravel topped with 1 or 2 inches of sand. The depth of the gravel base depends on the historical frost line in your area. It should extend a couple inches below the depth of the frost line to prevent frost heave. This also provides better drainage.

The gravel must be firmly tamped down and leveled before the sand is placed on top. The sand also requires tamping and leveling. Finally, the pavers are placed. Once the pavers are completely level, they are tamped into the sand layer and additional sand is swept into the joints to fill them.

If drainage or a high water table is a concern in the area, you may need to install French drains around the perimeter of the paved area to route moisture away from the pavers. You will also need to sweep fresh sand into the paver joints once or twice yearly to keep the pavers from shifting.

Replacement Method

One of the best things about pavers is you don’t have to replace an entire sidewalk or patio slab if a crack does occur. A single crack doesn’t mean you have a problem with the base, so you usually don’t have to worry about full replacement. Instead, you can simply lift out the broken paver, level and tamp the base, and install a new paver.

If there is a problem with the base, you can remove all the pavers and reinstall the base. Any pavers that aren’t cracked can be reused in the new paving, which saves money. If you need an entirely new base installed, it can be worthwhile to bring in a professional paver or landscaper to ensure it’s done correctly.

Learn More

5 Great Ways To Improve The Look Of Your Home

Most people want to improve the value of their home. However, when it comes to doing so, many often think about costly renovations. Changing kitchen or bathroom fixtures and performing other massive renovations can be expensive. However, there are still little things you can do that do not cost a lot which can help boost the value of your home and give it a fresh look. Here are five easy and affordable ways you can give your home an instant facelift.

Make Small Changes to Your Kitchen

Even if your kitchen will eventually need a complete renovation, you can do small things to make it more attractive until you can completely remodel it. Try resurfacing your counter tops or painting your cupboard. These are easy inexpensive ways to spruce up your kitchen quickly.

Use Semi-Gloss Paint

Repaint your walls with some semi-gloss paint. Semi-gloss paint allows you to add a minor sheen to your walls that is not overwhelming. This can make a room that was previously bland come to life. Semi-gloss paint is also easy to clean should any markings occur on the walls or in case dirt begins to settle.

New Cover Outlets

Cracked, stained and discolored cover outlets for your light switches can cause your home to look shabby. One of the best things you can do to immediately make your home look more pristine is to change these. Changing cover outlets is an easy do-it-yourself job. You can purchase cover outlets at the hardware store. If you want to add even more spice to your walls, you can choose cover outlets with decorative designs.

Power Wash

Sometimes the only reason that an area in your home looks shabby is because it needs a good thorough cleaning. A good cleaning can often make surfaces that seem grimy and in need of expensive renovations appear as good as new. Good places to power wash are your decks and exterior sidings. If you do not own a power washer, you can purchase one at your local hardware store or hire a professional power washer to get deeply entrenched oil and dirt off your decks and exterior sidings.

Spruce Up or Change Your Doors

Doors are prominent fixtures in your home, and if they are not in pristine condition they can make your home look run down. Changing the doors, varnishing or painting them is a great way to instantly upgrade the look of your home.

Giving your home a fresh look need not be expensive, if you focus on improving small details that will make your home look brighter.

If you need to do a more involved renovation, contact Suburban Construction Inc. or a similar contractor.

Learn More

Knowing What To Expect When Using Lockout Services

People often find themselves a bit hesitant to contact a local locksmith when dealing with a lockout simply because they are unsure of what to expect once the locksmith arrives at their home. This uncertainty often leads to the fear of unexpected costs and possible property damage. As a result, far too many individuals will fail to seek out the professional lockout services that they truly need. Thankfully, by taking a moment to learn more about the lockout services that a professional locksmith provides, you can help to ensure that you never make this same mistake.

Lock Picking

The first thing that any reputable locksmith will do when responding to a lockout is to try and pick your lock. This can be done using manual lock picking tools or through the use of an electronic picker.

While lock picking is often a very effective method of gaining access to your home, this approach will not work with all types of locks. More specifically, lock picking will often fail to be effective when dealing with high security locks. Consequently, most locksmiths will only try this approach for a few minutes before moving on to a new method.

Impressioning

The next method that many locksmiths will try is known as impressioning. This method requires the locksmith to try and make an impression of the inside of your lock using a blank key. Once the impression is captured, the locksmith is able to cut a key that will work to open your door.

Impressioning can be a very complex and time consuming process. Therefore, some locksmiths will choose to skip this method altogether if they believe it cannot be successful with your specific type of lock. This is not only to the benefit of the locksmith who may have multiple calls to respond to, but it is also to your benefit since many locksmiths will charge by the hour for their services.

Drilling

As a last resort, a locksmith may need to drill your lock cylinder in order to gain access to your home. This method is reserved for last because it will result in the need to replace your current locks.

While a locksmith will certainly offer to replace your locks if this destructive method must be used, you should know that this service does come with additional fees. Therefore, if there is a family member or friend who can pick up a few new locks for your home and help you install them, you may find that completing this part of the task on your own is a more cost effective option. However, professional locksmiths, such as the experts at Pop A Lock, would be more than happy to take care of the job for you. 

Learn More

Spice Up Your Love Life With Glass Shower Doors

Home improvement and romance do not necessarily go hand in hand. In fact, home improvement can be tedious and taxing and generally time consuming, which is not conducive to romance at all. No matter how simple the renovations are, there can be so many options and little details to consider that a one-day project can take up weeks of your time. However, getting glass shower doors could be one of the home improvement options that see benefits in your love life for years to come.

No mess, no stress

Installing glass shower doors in your bathroom can help to alleviate the stress associated with having to keep track of bathroom cleaning. The division of labor for household chores is said to be the third highest ranking issue that causes marital problems. In fact, women spend up to 22 percent of their time and men spend about 18 percent of theirs on household chores with two of the most demanding areas being the kitchen and the bathroom. This does not make for the best situation or time for romance. 

Glass shower doors are easy to clean and help to keep the rest of the bathroom clean and dry. They can be easily wiped with a clean piece of cloth and an effective glass cleaner. This ease of cleaning would help to reduce the amount of time spent doing household chores and scrubbing the bathroom. In addition to this, glass shower doors offer the more infinitely satisfying benefit of preventing splashes into the rest of the bathroom. This leaves more time for you to spend together; not cleaning or fussing about cleaning.

Peek-a-boo! I see you!

Every marital relationship requires intimacy and a glass shower enclosure presents plenty of opportunities to be intimate. Glass shower doors can help to make it easier to create a romantic setting in your bathroom for intimate baths and showers. In fact lighting (usually candles), which plays a huge role in romantic settings, can be enhanced by the reflection on the glass doors, giving your bathroom the look of spaciousness with the feel of intimacy. Frame-less glass doors are especially appealing and can cost about $800 to $1300.

It is estimated that up to 29 percent of people like to share their baths and more than 25 percent of them like to be intimate in the bathroom. A glass shower door is safer than a shower curtain as it presents a more solid surface for secure movement. Glass shower doors, from places like Mitchell Window & Door, are also less likely to billow around and spoil the mood by being the unwelcome intruder sticking to wet skin. 

Learn More