Heat Pump Proper Care and Maintenance

Let’s face it, we may own a home that we heat through the use of a heat pump, but this doesn’t mean that we know much about their proper care and maintenance. This is why having a licensed heat pump technician service it yearly is an absolute necessity. Aside from very basic maintenance tasks, you will need the knowledge and services that a heat pump tech can provide for you.

Service Your Heat Pump
Your heat pump technician has been thoroughly trained on all the ends and outs of your system. When he or she looks at the inner components, they are able to gauge the health of your system and determine if there are things that need to be fixed or serviced. This is an invaluable service because a technician can often catch problems before they become severe and costly. You need the specific services of a heat pump technician not that of wastewater treatment companies. This is an area where it pays to get a specialists not a generalist or non-related repair company.

Check for Leaks in the Duct System
Another important service that a tech can perform is an inspection of your heat ducts. Leaky heat ducts translate into rooms that aren’t as warm due to heat loss, and possibly high utility bills because your heat pump may be forced to run longer to keep your house warm. If the technician finds leaks, they are able to seal them and prevent further heat loss.

Check Airflow
A heat pump is only as effective as the airflow it uses to pump warm air into your home. This is why a technician will perform an airflow check to make sure the flow is adequate. A tech has tools that will actually measure airflow. If it isn’t, he or she can replace or service the components needed to get the airflow where it needs to properly warm the home.

A heat pump technician is a valuable resource to the health and longevity of your heat pump. They are armed with the necessary skills to diagnose problems and keep your system running at an optimal level. The yearly service check allows a tech to inspect many of your heat pump’s components and service, repair, or replace any worn or faulty parts.

Working With Small Spaces

If you are having trouble deciding where to start with the renovation of your home, you can find a contractor who can give you a few suggestions. When the contractor is looking over the home, he can offer an idea of costs associated with the project and the materials that would be needed so that you can make an informed decision of whether you want to use a company for the entire job or if you want to tackle some of the work on your own.

One of the areas you can start with in the home is the bedroom. Most larger bedrooms are easy to renovate as they give you an open slate to work with, but a smaller room might give the impression that nothing can really be done to it except painting the walls and changing the flooring before adding a few new decorations. If you don’t mind bright colors, then you want to include them with the remodeling project in the smaller bedroom. Lighter walls will open the space along with colors that include light blue, mint green and yellow.

If you’re really stretched for space in the bedroom, consider installing a Murphy bed so that you can focus more on the furniture that you add. This is an option if you live in an apartment or if you have a small room where guests would spend the night. Try to make any small room as open and airy as possible. Flowing curtains on the window expand into the room when a breeze blows through. A floor in colors of cream or tan will give a larger look along with blankets of the same color on the bed.

An easy way to renovate a smaller bedroom to make it seem larger is to add mirrors. A large mirror on one wall or smaller mirrors above nightstands beside the bed can give an open look even if there’s nothing but a bed and a dresser in the room. Cozy materials also work well in a smaller bedroom, such as plush blankets. These also add texture to the space.

Setting Up an Indoor Garden

Having a small area where you can put some greens and ornaments is the fad in many home channels today. More and more succulents and indoor plant hobbyist are showing off their pocket gardens to the envy of many followers. A few green marvels easily brighten up any room. There is no hard or fast rule in setting up an indoor garden. You can simply collect a few and put them together in a wooden tray as you would arrange a flower bouquet. They also look good in window sills, kitchen windows and the study area. Be sure to choose plants that need little care and maintenance so you won’t have to worry about them every day.

I am going to post my own indoor garden soon! Watch out for it!

7 Things About Power Pressure Cooker You Should Know

1. You need t handle them with a lot of care

Before you begin using a power pressure cooker, you need to read the owners’ manual so as to know how to assemble and even handle them. This will help you to properly disassemble, clean and even store it well when you are not using it. If you follow the guidelines and know how to handle it with care you will be safely preparing your food without any issues.

2. They are not that scary

The first time you use this cook it’s normal to be fearful thinking that it will explode but this is rarely the case. In fact, after using it for a while you will realize that your fear is not warranted. Modern power pressure cookers are much safer than they used to be before. You only need to maintain it in a good working condition and follow all the instructions and you are good to go. You can read power pressure cooker reviews for more instructions.

3. You can use it to cook a lot of things

Believe it or not, you can use this cooker to prepare a lot of things including beans, meat, poultry, grains sauces, soups, and fruits. You can also use it to preserve food in a very good condition so that you do not have a problem when it comes to eating.

4. It is fast

When using a power pressure cooker, the liquid is normally heated in tightly sealed pot thereby creating a high level of temperatures and pressure. Since the temperature cannot escape, less liquid is consumed. It, therefore, penetrates faster making the food to cook faster. Power pressure cooker prepares many foods in about third of the time used to cook the food using normal stoves. This means that they are very fast as compared to other cookers.

5. Avoid doing these things-

  • Do not put your hands or face or any part of your body directly over the lid.
  • Do not remove the lid until all the pressure has come out.
  • Do not make it more than two-thirds full.
  • Do not bump, move or shape the power pressure cooker

6. Know about the quick natural pressure release

After you are through with your cooking, you can release pressure in two major ways. This includes natural release and quick pressure. Quick release means the pressure is released immediately you are through with the cooking. This method of releasing pressure is ideal if you are cooking foods that do not require extra cooking time such as the eggs. This pressure release can take 1 to 2 minutes. On the other hand, natural release means letting the pressure to go down slowly. In most instances, you do not have to do anything for this to occur. This is suitable for foods that foam as dried beans among others.

7. The food cooked has more color, flavor and more nutrients

Low liquid levels and fast cooking times normally make the flavors vibrant and the color intact and generally allows less time for minerals or vitamins to come out of the food. This means as compared to other cookers the food is much more tasteful.




7 Winter Decorations That Aren’t Related to Christmas

How do you decorate your home once Santa has come and gone? It can be difficult to find cheerful, festive decorations that aren’t centered around the holidays, so here are just a few ideas for stylish interior design even after New Year’s Eve.

1. Painted Fruit

Fake apples will never go bad, and as a bonus, they can be painted with all sorts of winter-themed designs. Make them gold and silver for a regal centerpiece; paint them with snowflakes to reflect the sky outside; personalize them with names, dates and fingerprints for the kids.

2. Dried Flowers

Dried flowers serve two purposes. Not only are they unique decorative elements that can be arranged behind glass frames or in festive bouquets, but they’re also perfect for wintertime when the frost would kill a living plant.

3. Tea Lights

You may have said goodbye to Christmas lights, but you can still illuminate your home and yard with a selection of tea lights. Put them in your windows; let them glimmer above the fireplace; make a glowing path up your driveway.

4. Winter Figurines

There are all kinds of figurines that say “winter” without necessarily saying “Christmas” at the same time. For example, snow-covered mini-towns are relevant as long as it’s cold outside, and things like Jim Shore figurines are timeless.

5. Stars

Stars are a common motif of the holiday season, but you can also disassociate them with Christmas when you use them in bulk. For example, you can put a constellation on your window or your staircase. It also helps if you paint them colors that aren’t red and green.

6. Tinsel

Do you have heaps of leftover tinsel from your holiday decorating? Think about re-purposing it as a general symbol of winter. For example, tufts of tinsel can be glued on top of drink stirrers to make them a fancy talking point at your next party.

7. Painted Pine Cones

Pine cones are used in a variety of crafts, so don’t feel shy about collecting and hoarding them in your closet for wintertime fun with the kids. They can be decorated in a variety of ways, including paint, bells, ribbons, jewels, glitter and hanging hooks.

These are just a few interior decorating ideas for your post-Christmas home. If you’re looking to harness the spirit of the holidays even after the holidays are over, use these suggestions for a great look!

How to Handle the Top 5 Plumbing Emergencies

A plumbing emergency is not an expected event and it can turn ugly fast. The water pipes, drains and appliances that are dependent on working plumbing to operate normally will let you know quickly that something is wrong. Below are the top five emergencies and how to handle them like a professional until you can get emergency plumbing Virginia Beach to come out and fix the problem.

Toilet or Drain Clogs

When a plunger does nothing to get the toilet to flush and you can see no visible objects blocking a drain in your home, you are dealing with a serious clog. The toilet is the single most used object in the house. Keep the drains from being used until the plumber can arrive and take care of the clog. This may be hard when there is only one bathroom in a house, but necessary.

Malfunctioning or Leaking Water Heater

A leak from a water heater will leave obvious signs of water drainage. Turn the water shut-off valve to the “off” position until it can be looked at by a plumber. If it is not providing hot water, check to make sure that the electric or gas service is still in operation. If the appliance is getting the needed gas or electric and not working it may need replaced. It may require heating water up on the stove until the problem can be fixed. Make sure all leaked water is cleaned up to avoid damage to your walls and floor.

Burst Pipe

Broken water pipes are no laughing matter. They can flood your basement or home quickly and cause extensive water damage. Try and locate where the break is and then shut off the main water valve to the house. Keep the water off until a fix has been done.

Sewage Backup

Backed up sewage will be unlike any plumbing emergency you have ever experienced. The most noticeable thing is the smell that accompanies this mini-disaster. It can be so bad that raw sewage begins to spill into your home or basement. Keep all people and pets away from the mess and call a plumber right away. This event may require the use of a restoration company to clean the bio-hazard waste.

Frozen Water Pipes

You will not know the extent of pipe damage from freezing until thawing begins. If water pipes have frozen get the help of a professional to thaw the pipes and fix any that are damaged. Have the new pipes insulated to avoid a repeat.

Contact expert plumbers like the ones at www.performanceplumbingva.com for any plumbing emergency. Get your water pipes, drains and appliances up and working again quickly.

Simple, Cost-Effective Ways to Improve Your Home

Home improvement, though it might be two words, can feel a bit like a four letter word for many homeowners. The fact is that home improvement jobs can seem like they’re going to cost a million dollars even if you only want to do a couple of things.

Improving your home isn’t just something you do for yourself though. In many cases, you may need to make basic improvements to keep your home relevant in your current real estate climate. Even if you don’t want to sell, an undervalued home isn’t something you want to have on your hands.

There are some ways that you can improve your home without cashing out your retirement plan and taking out a huge loan from the bank though. Use this guide to learn a few simple, cost-effective methods for home renovations that will really make a difference in how functional and beautiful your home is.

Work with Hardware

The hardware in your home, including door handles, cabinet knobs and pulls, and even the small decorative objects on the front of your favorite dresser all play a huge role in how your home looks. By swapping these out for alternatives, you can greatly change the way your house looks pretty much overnight.

Buying quality hardware is also relatively inexpensive compared to other things you can do in your home that will have this large of an impact. If you’re not sure about replacing all of your hardware, start in the rooms you use most, or the rooms where you know the hardware doesn’t really match your taste.

In many cases, homeowners simply end up living with the hardware that the last owner put in even if it’s not something they would have picked. Don’t settle for boring hardware that doesn’t match your sense of style.

Replace Old Windows

Old windows have a tendency to make your home look old. They’re also going to cost you more money since they won’t trap heat and cool air as well.

Find a company that does window replacement Severn MD residents trust. Get an evaluation and price out a few types of windows to match your needs.

Focus on Landscaping

The way the outside of your home looks matters. Luckily a few new trees, some fresh grass and a handful of plants can make all the difference in the world.

Do the work on your own or hire a landscaping company to help.

Some of the Benefits of Owning Your Own Home

To say that the downturn in the housing market that took place in 2008 scared people away from buying a home would be the understatement of the year. The year 2008 was a pivotal point in real estate. People went from seeing owning a home as a positive thing to doubting whether or not owning a home made sense. Things got to the point where popular news magazines were running articles that flat out said that owning a home did not make sense anymore. Thankfully, the economic situation in the United States and around the world has drastically changed. Now more than ever it makes sense for people to purchase their own home.

There are a lot of reasons to consider purchasing a home. The first reason is to quit renting. Just think about it, when a person rents a home, all they are doing is paying someone else’s mortgage payment. And it is not like the rent is always a lot cheaper than owning. There are many places where renting an apartment and owning a house cost just about the same. The only difference is that when a person rents, at the end of the day they walk away with nothing, whereas a person who owns is investing money in themselves.

There is a sense of pride that comes from owning your own home. Many individuals who have decided to purchase homes for sale in Durango CO comment on how happy they feel having something that they can call their own. When you own your home, you know that no one is going to take it from you as long as you are able to make arrangements to keep up on the payments. And you also have the hope of reaching a time when the home and the property that it is built on actually belong to you.

Another plus about owning a home is that you have privacy. You have the privacy of not having a neighbors above you, below you,or on either side of you in an apartment. Even if you are renting a home, you still have to worry about the owner of the home coming into your home from time to time to check on the status of their property. All of these frustrations go away when you have your own place.

Owning a home gives you the freedom to do what you want when you want. You can decorate however you want and no one is going to say anything to you.

Green Living: How to Kill Mold More Naturally

While harsh chemicals, such as borax and chlorine bleach, are well known mold killers, they can pose a health risk to yourself, your family, the environment and wildlife. Because of this, the desire to choose nontoxic and organic mold killers have risen in popularity. While the following safer mold remedies are effective for small problems, larger infestations, however, will require the help of a professional mold remediation Maryland.

White Vinegar
Distilled white vinegar is a versatile and safer option for household uses. It can be used to clean, disinfect, decrease and deodorize a wide array of surfaces. Distilled white vinegar is also an effective mold and mildew killer. Unfortunately, some people are put off by vinegar’s pungent aroma. The good news is that this smell will dissipate rather quickly. Pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle and liberally mist the offending area. Let the vinegar sit on the surface for a few hours before scrubbing clean and then rinsing the surface with water. You should dry the surface thoroughly to prevent future fungal growth. A good tip is to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the spray bottle if the vinegar’s odor is too much for you.

Baking Soda
This natural mold killer is one you may already have on hand since it is a common ingredient in a wide array of recipes. This mild yet effective disinfectant can get rid of odors and kill mold. To use, dissolve ½ cup of baking soda in 2 cups of water and scrub the mold off the surface with the mixture. Rinse the surface clean with water and wipe dry. Keep in mind, however, that despite its relatively safe nature, baking soda can still pose a risk if too much is ingested by children or pets. Because of this, you should always keep it out of reach of kids and pets.

Tea Tree Oil
Extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree, tea tree oil has long been desired for its medicinal value. It is also an effective cleanser and can take care of mold and mildew infestation without posing a risk to the environment. Simply mix two teaspoons of the essential oil with two cups of cool water. Mist the fungal growth with solution and let sit for several hours before rinsing the surface clean with a rag dampened with cool water.

Home Designers Raves About The Newest Trend in Epoxy Flooring

Designers are taking notice of the latest trend in industrial flooring – epoxy flooring. Philadelphia epoxy flooring for instance were once limited to garages and basement because it has qualities that is perfect for tough and high traffic areas. It is a strong flooring material with an impenetrable coating, slip-resistant and it gives off a shiny long lasting coat on top of your regular floor.

From its humble beginnings, epoxy flooring has been noticed and is now hailed by many designers as an extremely versatile product. It does more than protect floors because it is also capable of transforming boring areas into amazing works of art.

Once it is dry, epoxy flooring gives of a high, glossy shine that is enhanced by putting an additional topcoat over the regular mix. In most cases a topcoat is no longer necessary because epoxy mixes contain UV-inhibitor which produces that long lasting shine. But designers are not just after the gloss or sheen that epoxy floorings are known for, it can also be personalized.

Gray used to be the only color of the base coat so it can be quite dull and boring. But these days, epoxy basecoats comes in every color imaginable. There are even instances where watercolor-like art works are made as the basecoat for epoxy flooring. Designers can choose colors that would complement, highlight or contrast areas that they are working on.

Epoxy topcoats are now customizable too. Designers and homeowners can now enhance their epoxy flooring with anti-slip flecks which are actually acrylic chips that come in different colors. This anti-slip flecks are sprinkled on poured epoxy before curing to achieve a decorative and functional touch to epoxy floors. Doing your research and checking out different companies to find the colors that you want or need is encouraged so that you will not be limited to the colors available to a single supplier.