Simple HVAC Maintenance That Every Handy Woman Should Know

Young Beautiful Woman Opening Air Conditioner At Home

Thanks to HVAC Baltimore for submitting this blog post.

Considering the fact that a central air conditioning system is a significant investment for homeowners, it’s very important that you do everything to protect it from getting damaged. Aside from that, there’s no denying that it can really be frustrating if the air conditioning unit won’t work the way it should be during a hot summer day.

After winter, as the snow begins to melt, while the temperature rises up, the air conditioner that has been unused for several months should be able to function properly and pump cool air when you need it most. However, just like starting an old car that has not been used for decades, flipping the switch of an aging and deteriorating A/C can be compared to a close-your-eyes-and-pray situation.

Don’t fret, even if you’re a woman, rest assured that it’s still possible for you to prevent and fix problems like this and here’s how.

Avoid Future Headaches by Checking Under the Hood
One of the most practical ways to prepare your A/C for summer is to carry out some basic preventive maintenance that would give you the assurance that your AC is running before the summer season enters.

Important Reminder: When performing any kinds of maintenance on a home cooling system, it’s important to turn off the thermostat first, then flip off the breaker of the A/C unit to the “off” position.

Cleaning and Replacement of Filters
This one is also basic, yet essential. As a rule of thumb, you should be replacing and cleaning the filter every month or so because a clogged air filter restricts airflow and this makes it more difficult for your AC to function, resulting to the use of more energy and higher energy bills. Thus, it’s highly recommended to clean your AC as often as you can.

Also, you ought to know that there are various grades of air filters to choose from. For example, there’s a type of filter that reduces allergens, however, this is also prone to accumulating dust faster. Something like this requires more attention than others.

Fortunately, cleaning your filters isn’t that difficult at all, and wouldn’t take much of your time. Best of all, it’s one of those precautionary measures to prevent future problems.

Check Duct Work
Filters should be replaced and cleaned every month or so. Those who are using a forced air heating system, there’s a great possibility that you’re sharing duct work with a central air. What does this imply? As long as you haven’t experienced any problems with the airflow from the furnace, then rest assured that your duct work is fine.

Though, there’s also nothing wrong with ensuring that there aren’t any holes nor chinks in the duct work and that every seal is completely intact. Like what has been mentioned earlier, preventive maintenance is very crucial. It doesn’t take much of your time and this would definitely help you from avoiding future problems.

Give It a Try!
Lastly, after double checking everything, see to it that you test the air conditioner, and it should run smoothly. Likewise, don’t forget to set the thermostat to “cool.”

If your A/C fail to start, then it might be because of a dead thermostat battery. What you can do is replace the battery and give it a try again. If nothing else works, your last resort would be to call an HVAC professional.

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Kitchen Flooring Replacement: What Type of Flooring Is the Best?

For those handy women out there who are thinking of upgrading their cooking area, but would want to ensure that it’s still durable and functional, then it’s very important to think carefully about the kitchen flooring ideas that you should consider. Fortunately, most kitchen flooring designed today are known to be quite durable, yet low maintenance. Likewise, there are a lot of materials, options, and styles to choose from– although this can be pleasant for some homeowners, others feel overwhelmed because of this. That’s why we have created a guide that would help you pick the perfect flooring for your kitchen.

First things first. When thinking about the most ideal kitchen flooring, you should focus on the function of the flooring. Is the kitchen a high-traffic area? Is it prone to spills ranging from oils to water, wine, and dishes? As much as possible, look for a kitchen flooring that are low maintenance and would last for several years.

Hardwood and tile floor in residential home kitchen and dining room

Some of the best flooring are:
– Hardwood floor
– Ceramic tile
– Rubber flooring
– Wood Laminate
– Vinyl
– Stone

Aside from durability, cooking often calls for long periods of walking and standing back and forth. That means, you should opt for a flooring that has some cushioning– this is very important especially for those who have back problems.

The most ergonomic flooring that we can suggest includes:
– Carpet tiles
– Cork
– Bamboo
– Rubber flooring
– Laminate
– Wood
– Vinyl

Benefits of Wooden Floors
A lot of homeowners avoid the use of wooden floors because of its price. However, if you’ll think about the benefits that you can enjoy from this type of flooring, you’ll realize that it’s worth the cost.

For one, if you’ll opt for good quality wooden floors, rest assured that it would last for several decades. It also requires minimal maintenance, and best of all, it looks better as years go by. Aside from that, wooden floors are also ore hygienic and easier to clean. With just a light vacuum and simple brush you’ll be able to make these types of floor look great.

Ceramic Tiles
As for ceramic tiles, they’re versatile architectural resource that can be utilized in a wide range of environments without the need to worry about the constraints of stains, water, and design. However, the drawback of this type of flooring is the hard tile surface covering. Thus, it’s unsuitable for certain locations. Nonetheless, here are the advantages of ceramic tiles.

A ceramic floor is extremely tough that it’s difficult to crack. If installed properly, it could last for more than a decade, and even for 20 years and longer if properly maintained. Those who are also suffering from allergies would see that ceramic tiles are perfect, because it doesn’t attract dust, pollen, dirt, and other forms of allergens.

Rubber Kitchen Flooring
Rubber flooring is quite similar with cork flooring, but the advantage of this is that it’s available in a wide range of colors and texture. Aside from that, cork flooring is also easy to install and adhesive-free because of its high-grip properties. That’s why it’s a good temporary upgrade in a rental apartment, as it can be removed easily.

These are just some of the common types of kitchen floors. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, and it’s up to the homeowner’s preference which one would be perfect for her. Be sure to make sure that your house cleaning helpers know how to properly care for your new flooring to keep it looking good as new.

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How to Inspect and Clean the Gutters and Downspouts

A fall tradition - cleaning the gutters of leaves. Here we see them clogging the gutters of a traditional home. Could be used for advertising/clean up articles/etc. Narrow DOF

Gutters and downspouts are specifically designed and set up along a roof’s edge in order to catch and direct runoff. That said, if the gutter has been obstructed or damaged, then it will fail to move the rain water away from the building. This would lead to leakage, puddling, and if left unresolved, serious structural damage. Thus, it’s very important to clean and inspect the gutters every six months, or more often if there has been any damage. Aside from that, when checking the gutters, use a ladder with great caution, and see to it that it’s firmly situated on the ground. If possible, using a spotter is more ideal.

Aside from that, here are some tips regarding gutter inspections, repairs, and maintenance.

1. Removed any major debris and fallen leaves from the gutter. To do this, you can either scoop the leaves from the gutter and put them in a container just drop them down.

2. For smaller debris, these can easily be flushed using a hose. On the other hand, for finer materials, running water will do the job. Likewise, check the bottom side of the gutter to see if there are any leaks and see to it that the water flows freely toward the downspout.

3. In case that the water is not flowing efficiently, you can try unclogging the downspout. If the downspout is connected to an underground pipe, then remove it from the pipe and use a powerful spray of water to get rid of the debris. If there are still some debris left, then a plumber’s snake can be used to remove the clog.

4. How to check if the slope is inadequate? If the water doesn’t flow toward the downspout smoothly, then this is an indication that the slope is not functioning properly. Hangers or spikes can be used to create a slope toward the downspout.

5. Check the spaces between the wall and the gutter– this is important, especially if the water flows to the side of the wall whenever it’s raining. After some time, spikes and hangers must be replaced, but another option would be resecuring it so that the gutter would be securely attacked to the structure’s rafter.

6. Check the ends, seams, and other important parts of the gutter where there aren’t any sealant or leaks have been observed. If there are any leaks, these should be repaired as soon as possible. Simply remove the old sealing material and apply a new one. Holes in the whole body of the aluminum or fiberglass needs a thorough repair and replacement of that part.

Other Important Reminders:
– It’s highly advisable to clean a messy gutter when the weather is nice, and there aren’t any events of rain for the past few days. This would imply that the debris is dry and can easily be swept out. However, if the debris is sloppy, wear rubber or latex gloves under your working gloves to efficiently clean the gutters.
– Just like what has been mentioned earlier, cleaning the gutters and downspouts involves the use of a ladder. Be very careful when using this equipment, and make sure it’s set on level, firm ground, and another person is watching and holding the bottom.

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HOW TO INSTALL A CEILING FAN

An electrician removing an old ceiling fan. The fan was installed without a ceiling box, in violation of code. Work is being performed by a licensed master electrician.

There is nothing that can impact the temperature of your home like a ceiling fan. In the summer, the ceiling fan rotates to distribute cool air in house. In the winter it rotates to distribute warm air in the house. Thus, a ceiling fan is an essential addition for any home. The challenge however lies in the installation. Once you have obtained your fan, installing it can be a tall order if you don’t know how. This guide aims to show you how to install a ceiling fan.

TOOLS.
You will need the following;
1. Screwdrivers
2. Drill
3. Electrical supply and tools
4. Wrench
5. Drywall saw
6. Stepladder
7. Ceiling fan
8. Fan brace
9. Switch
10. Wire connectors

STEPS.

Step 1 Prepare the ceiling area
If the ceiling has never had any fan or electrical appliance, you will need to saw the area to make an appropriate hole. You can also use a power drill to make holes on the ceiling before you start the installation. Ensure electric cables pass through this hole then fasten the fan brace on the outside. If the ceiling is not virgin, switch off the power supply first then loosen the electrical box and free the electrical cables within. Once you have removed the old electrical box, install your fan brace. The fan brace is strong enough to hold the fan unlike the electrical box. Fasten the brace tightly using the screwdrivers.
Tip; loosen the metal clamps to make it easier for you to pull out the electrical cables.

Step 2; Install a new electrical box
Make the wires pass through the new box. Use a wrench to pass the wires through. Fasten the box to the shaft using a driver and pull the wires through it. Now attach the new box to the brace.
Tip; A metal box is most appropriate for a fan. Plastic and wooden boxes are not strong enough to carry the ceiling fan.

Step 3; assemble the ceiling fan
Most ceiling fans will come with instructions on how to assemble. Attach the down rod already wired to the mounting collar. Then attach the blades to the motor mechanism by fastening them with a screwdriver. Hang the fan by screwing it to the fan brace already attached to the ceiling. Use a power drill to drive screws if you want a faster installation process.
Tip; enlist the help of a friend to help with the hanging because the ceiling fan can be very heavy.

Step 5; Wire the fan and install light fixtures
Connect the wires from the down rod pipe to those coming through the box while color coordinating i.e. green wire of box goes to green wire of connector. Use connectors to make the connection easier. Next, install the light fixtures. Now use the remote control to turn on the fan. Is it rotating properly? If yes, you have succeeded. If not, go through the steps again more carefully. Now turn on the electric switch. The light should come on.

Ceiling fans can be aesthetically pleasing and functional additions to any home. The above steps show you how to install a ceiling fan with ease.

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Benefits of Furniture Refinishing

Home improvement - handywoman cutting wooden floor with jigsaw

Thanks go out to StPaulHandyman.net for sponsoring this blog post.

What is furniture refinishing? This is the act of creating a new coat on the old finish. For example, you may have furniture which has served you for a long period and the wood coating has been worn out. In order to restore the good look of your furniture, you can resort to furniture refinishing services. In the process of furniture refinishing creating you will have professionals who will remove the top layer of your old finish and replace it with a new one. This comes with many benefits.

Benefits of furniture refinishing

Saving the Environment
For a new piece of wood furniture to be created, the carpenters will have to use wood from trees. The trees which will be cut will contribute towards environmental pollution. In order to save the environment, you need to resort to furniture refinishing. It will only take few minutes of the professionals to remove the old worn out coat on your furniture and have a beautiful new look on your old furniture.

Creating a New Style
If you will like to have a style of a shabby chic, you will easily achieve it through the refinishing process. Just inform the wood refinishing professionals about the design you will like to achieve and they will help you achieve exactly that. This will change the appearance of your home within the shortest time possible. With the right tools, you can achieve any style you will like to have. Some of the looks you may have been dreaming of include faux finish; you will achieve exactly that after you decide to hire highly qualified professionals. Instead of buying new bedroom, dining or kitchen set, you can just carry out refinishing services and you will be assured of great services.

Saving Money
You will save a lot of money if you will decide to refinish your furniture rather than buying new sets. With the right tools you can just carry out the refinishing services on your own or hire a professional. The professionals will charge you at fair rates which are unlike when buying a new set. Even if you operate on a shoestring budget, you will easily save your money after you decide to go for the refinishing services.

Preserving Value
There are some pieces of furniture in your home which you love so much. Even if they have been in your home for a long period of time, they may have some aspects which you will not like to part with. You can still make the old furniture pieces look awesome through application of new coats. Wood refinishing of furniture is among maintenance tips you need to apply if you will like your furniture to stay intact.

Reusing High Quality
If you bought high quality furniture, you can still retain the high quality furniture in your home with modern finish. This is made possible through application of the refinishing process. The process of applying new coat on your old furniture will avoid you risk of buying new furniture which may not be as durable as the old furniture you have in your home.

 

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