Use Kitchen Leftovers to Improve Your Garden

Split-Unit Air Conditioner-What Is It And What Are The Benefits?

Posted by on 9:30 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Split-Unit Air Conditioner-What Is It And What Are The Benefits?

When it comes to keeping your home cool and comfortable, there are several home air conditioning installation options to choose from. Some homeowners may opt for a window air conditioning unit while others may go the more traditional route and have a gas or electric HVAC system installed. But, there is another approach that some homeowners may not be aware of, a ductless air conditioning system, also known as a split-unit air conditioner.   What is a Split-Unit Air Conditioner? A split-unit air conditioner consists of two units: the indoor unit and the outdoor unit. The indoor unit contains an air filter, the cooling coil and a blower. The outside unit is typically installed on the wall outside of the space that you want to cool. It contains that condenser coil, the compressor and expansion coil. This type of home air conditioning installation does not require duct-work. Instead, the two units are connected with tubing and a set of electrical wires. Benefits of a Split-Unit Air Conditioning System This type of air conditioning system has several advantages over traditional HVAC systems, including: In a split-unit system, the fan and compressor are located outside, so the main source of the noise is removed from indoors.   Split-unit air conditioning systems are available in single, dual and quad options. This allows you to install an inside unit in one, two or four rooms. The inside units are connected to a single outside unit. This allows you cool individual areas, instead of cooling the entire house. HVAC units require extensive air ducts throughout the house. As the cold or hot air travels through the ducts, a large portion of the heat is transferred outside, so the loss of heat must be compensated for, this causes the air conditioner to work harder, using more power. Since a split-unit air conditioner doesn’t use ducts and the refrigerant hoses are well-insulated, there is minimal heat loss. A split-unit home air conditioning installation is less labor intensive than a traditional HVAC system and unlike with window air conditioners, you will not lose a window. This type of system is more compact than an HVAC system, which makes them ideal for apartments, smaller homes and mobile homes. They are also ideal for larger homes with attic spaces or a basement. Split-unit systems are eco-friendly. They use less energy because they cool a specific space instead of trying to cool multiple rooms that are not in use. Split-unit systems can be used for both cooling and heating your home. Split-unit air conditioners are an efficient and cost-effective way to cool your home. This type of air conditioning does require professional installation and the initial installation cost for this type air conditioning unit is typically higher than the cost of installing a window unit. However, the amount of money you may save on the cost of your energy bill as well as the life-span of the unit will make the end result worth it. To learn more, contact a company like HomeSmart From Xcel...

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Three Landscaping Tips For New Homeowners

Posted by on 7:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Landscaping Tips For New Homeowners

The landscaping around your yard is essential for ensuring that your property looks the best that it possibly can. Unfortunately, it can be a common issue for homeowners to be fairly uninformed and inexperienced with addressing landscaping issue. If this is a topic that you are struggling to address, you may need to use the following few tips to help ensure that you get the most from your landscaping. Have Erosion Tests Performed Erosion can be a serious problem for any homeowner because it can make it impossible to keep plants alive while also posing a structural threat to the home. Fortunately,  you can seek the services of a professional landscaper to perform an erosion test on your soil. During these tests, the landscaper can test the erosion of the soil by conducting soil tests and monitoring how water drains. By studying the results of this test, you can determine the steps that need to be taken to protect your home from developing an excessive erosion issue. Incorporate Both Winter And Summer Plants In Your Landscape Design When you are choosing the plants for your property, you should make it a point to intermix winter and summer plants into the design. This will help to ensure that your property looks aesthetically pleasing regardless of the time of year. In particular, it is possible to combine winter and summer grasses to ensure that your lawn is always green and beautiful. Install An Irrigation System Watering your property is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task to do. To help you make this task more manageable, you should consider installing an automatic irrigation system. For the best results, you may want to opt for a drip irrigation system. These systems using a tubing that is able to gradually drip water onto the soil, and this can be more efficient than sprinklers because it will help to limit any evaporation that may happen. While this will require you making an investment in your property, this can prove to be more than worth it when you factor the savings on water usage this system may provide you over the lifetime of the irrigation system. If you have recently purchased your first home, you should make sure to have erosion tests conducted, incorporate a mix of winter and summer plants as well as opting to install a drip irrigation system. For more ideas, contact companies like Turfcare Unlimited Lawn Spray...

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3 Options When Considering The Flooring Material For Your Finished Basement

Posted by on 12:45 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Options When Considering The Flooring Material For Your Finished Basement

If you’re working on creating a livable, finished basement, then you need to spend time thinking about the proper flooring material. If you choose the wrong type of flooring, then mold can develop and create an unpleasant and dangerous situation for you and your family. Basements are particularly tricky because you’re dealing with a concrete slab. The concrete is porous and will allow moisture vapor to rise up. This is why it’s important to choose the proper material. Below are three good options to consider for concrete basement floors. Olefin Carpet If you want something soft and prefer a full carpet over a series of rugs, then make sure you choose a carpet made of olefin. This is a synthetic material that is excellent in areas where there is the threat of moisture. The material is known for its resistance to wear and tear, and also for its moisture resistance properties. It’s not as soft as the plush carpets that you might use upstairs in your living room or bedroom, but it will not mold. One option you might consider is laying an olefin carpet wall-to-wall in the basement and then using plusher area rugs in certain places, such as where you situate the couch or lounging chairs. Flooring Tiles Designed With Built-in Vapor Barrier These tiles are designed to deal with the problem of moisture. The underside of the tiles are made of a material (oftentimes PVC) that will not rot. They are designed so that a channel of air (and moisture) can run underneath the tiles. The raised design prevents the body of the tile from coming into contact with the floor. There will also be a vapor barrier material between the PVC bottom of the tile and the decorative top. The surface of the tile will mimic the look of wood or ceramic. The advantage of individual tiles with a built-in vapor barrier is that you won’t have to go through the trouble of spreading out a separate vapor seal beforehand. These tiles can go right onto the concrete floor. They are designed to be inter-locking, which makes them very easy to install. Ceramic Tiles If you want a really nice looking floor with a high-end material, then look into using ceramic. This material is vastly superior to wood or engineered wood when it comes to moisture. You can set the tiles right onto the floor unless you live in a very cold area where the temps drop down below freezing during the wintertime. If that is the case, you will want to put down cement board or another synthetic underlayment on top of your basement concrete floor. This will help prevent the mortar used during the tilling process from cracking during extreme temperatures. If you do use a cement board, make sure to lay a vapor barrier between it and your concrete floor. This will prevent the underside of the cement from rotting. For more information, visit http://www.nationalcarpetmilloutlet.com or a similar...

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Four Weed Control Mistakes To Avoid

Posted by on 7:14 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Weed Control Mistakes To Avoid

Unfortunately, a thriving and plush lawn sometimes comes along with weeds, but they are controllable. However, how well you are able to control your weeds has a lot to do with your weed control efforts. Here are just some of the control mistakes you want to avoid. Weed Control Fabric If you have weed control fabric in some areas, make sure you understand that it has an expiration date. The climate and how aggressive the weeds are growing in the space determine how long the fabric lasts. However, once it starts to get time for replacement, the fabric starts to deteriorate. Once this happens, it is no longer effective. Make it a habit to inspect the fabric at the start of each season to see if it’s time for replacement. Dirt Patches If you have some areas where grass is no longer growing and it’s simply a patch of dirt, don’t ignore this area. Leaving these spaces open is nothing shy of an invitation for weeds to grow. An open patch of dirt is actually more attractive to weeds than a space covered with grass or flowers. If you don’t want to plant grass in the space, you can plant a small flower or vegetable garden; just don’t live the space bare.    Weed Pulling When pulling weeds, there is a wrong and a right way to go about this process. Certain weeds, including dandelions, have roots that extended deep into the soil, known as taproots. If you don’t pull out the entire taproot, there is a chance that the weed can sprout right back up because new growths can generate from even a tiny remnant of taproot. Failing to pull correctly will only cause yourself more work, so make sure you are putting all the taproot out. Weedwackers There isn’t exactly anything wrong with weedwackers, but they definitely have their place when it comes to weed control. First, only use the weedwacker for the edge of your lawn or other spaces that might be a challenge to access. You should not be using the weedwacker as an alternative to pulling weeds. When you do this, you’re only cutting off the top of the weed, but the root is still intact and thriving. If your weeds are out of control, don’t hesitate a landscaping professional. A landscaper can assess your weed issues and help formulate the best plan for your lawn’s needs. Contact a company like Snyder’s Weed Control for more...

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Not On The Couch! Two Great Home Remedies To Deodorize Your House Before Guests Arrive

Posted by on 4:46 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Not On The Couch! Two Great Home Remedies To Deodorize Your House Before Guests Arrive

Your pet just an accident in your living room again. While the mess is cleaned up, you can’t seem to get rid of that puppy poop smell. What’s worse is that you have company coming over for a party and you don’t have time to go out and buy an air freshener from the store. Don’t fret! Luckily for you, there are two home remedies that will remove the pet smell and leave your house smelling so fresh that your guests will wonder if you have gotten rid of your furry little friend.  Vodka Spray If you’re about to have a party, chances are you have a bottle of vodka lurking somewhere in your cupboards. Vodka is an excellent way to dispel pet smells because it evaporates almost instantly and soaks up unappealing smells around the house. In a regular spray bottle, mix in three cups of water, one cup of vodka and ten drops of any essential oil you have lying around the house. A citrus oil is usually the best to use for pet smells because the acid removes the bad smells without a problem while making your house smell fresh and inviting. Spray this mixture in the air and also six to ten inches away from furniture. Brown Sugar And Orange Peels Not everyone has vodka laying around their house. In this case, you can use a mixture of brown sugar and orange peels. The scent of the brown sugar is strong enough to mask the pet odor while the enzymes from the orange peels will break down the smell and eliminate it completely. Pour three cups of hot water into a spray bottle. The water has to be hot or the brown sugar won’t break down completely and will only get stuck in the nozzle. Add one-fourth cup of brown sugar. Next, grind up three to four orange peels in a blender and place those in the spray bottle. Screw on the cap to the spray bottle and shake very vigorously. Once all the contents are mixed completely, spray the concoction around your house, paying attention to the area where your pet made the mess. Be sure to spray your furniture and the common places that your pet likes to travel. You would be surprised how much stink can get caught in places around your house. Pets are just like family members, but that doesn’t make it any less upsetting when they make a mess in your home just minutes before guests are to arrive. Don’t stress over having no time to run to the store. By using one of the recipes listed above you will be well on your way to a fresh and clean smelling house just in time for your guests to arrive.  For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those...

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3 Tips For Cleaning Your Wood Flooring

Posted by on 9:53 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Cleaning Your Wood Flooring

Wood flooring is an excellent option for your home because not only does it look incredibly elegant and timeless, but it is also quite durable and long-lasting. However, in order for you wood flooring to look it’s best, you are going to need to clean it properly. No one likes the look of a dirty wood floor that is cover with dust, foot prints, and/or streaks from mopping. This article will discuss 3 great tips for cleaning your wood flooring. Use A Dust Mop On It Daily If you have a wood floor in your home, you will notice that dust gathers on it rather quickly. A great way to keep this dust at bay is to take a few minutes each day to dust your floors. For this you will need a simple dust mop that can be purchased at most stores that carry home cleaning supplies. You will want to run this dust mop around all of the edges and corners of your floor first to gather this dust, and then proceed to get the dust from the middle of the floors. Doing this will likely take you a few minutes, but will keep your floors looking so much cleaner and will make it much easier for you to mop them when the time comes.  Spot Treat Before Mopping While mopping your floors is an excellent way to get them clean, it sometimes doesn’t allow you to get everything off of your floors. An excellent way to ensure that you get all of the dirt, spills, etc. off of your floor is to spot treat before you begin mopping. Walk around your entire floor with a wet wash cloth and look for any spots that are stuck on pretty good and will be hard to get up with a mop. Take a few minutes to clean each of these areas with your wash cloth, and it will make mopping a breeze for you.  Invest In A Steam Mop One big problem that people have when they are cleaning their wood floors is trying to figure out which mop isn’t going to leave streaks on their floor and what floor cleaner isn’t going to leave a film. This can be difficult to figure out depending on what type of wood you have, what finish you have, what direction your wood planks are going, etc. However, in order to avoid all of this headache, you should consider investing in a steam mop. A steam mop simply uses hot water and steam to clean your floors and dries very quickly after it touches your wood floor. As long as you go with the direction of your wood planks, you shouldn’t have any streaks. Contact a business, such as the Flooring Gallery, for more information....

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Tips For Shopping Second Hand Wood Furniture

Posted by on 1:35 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Shopping Second Hand Wood Furniture

The thrill of the hunt and a good deal are the main draws of shopping the second-hand market. If you are in need of furniture, it can be an inexpensive way to get durable and classic pieces that will last a lifetime. Often, these pieces have seen better days. The following tips will help you determine which pieces are worth the time it takes to refinish and restore, and which ones you should pass on by. Tip #1: Skip the Veneer Generally, wood veneer furniture is of lesser quality than a real wood piece. The veneer is usually placed over sub-par wooden products, like particle board. It also can’t be refinished if you don’t like the stain, nor is it easy to repair if it is chipped or missing any veneer. Even paint doesn’t adhere well to veneer. The only exception is if the piece is in excellent condition and if you love it. Tip #2: Check the Construction A quality piece isn’t simply glued together. Make sure it’s held together with wood screws, dowels, or dovetail joints. Dovetail drawers are especially desirable. You can spot these joints because it appears the two sides of a drawer are held together by interlocking “fans,” or dovetail notches, cut into the wood. If a piece is wobbly, verify that you can easily see the cause and that it is an easy fix (for example, a missing dowel peg or screw – not a broken structural piece). Tip #3: Beware of Paint Older wood pieces that have been painted likely were because of major damage, such as impossible to remove burn stains. You simply won’t know until you strip off the paint. If you are comfortable with repainting instead of staining the furniture a natural wood color, then a painted piece can be a good deal. And you never know – you may find pristine wood ripe for refinishing underneath that decades old layer of latex. Tip #4: Be Mindful of Details Carvings and filigrees can add visual interest and beauty to a piece, but they also make refinishing more difficult. The same is true for any detailed decorative work on the furniture. You will need to carefully remove the old finish and sand every nook and cranny of the detail work without damaging it before you can refinish the wood. If you are in love with a piece but worried about the amount of work, contact a professional furniture refinisher like The Strip Joint to get a quote on having the furniture...

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Using Environmentally Friendly Fabric

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If you enjoy sewing clothes for yourself and others, and you wish to lend a hand at leaving a decreased carbon footprint in the process, you may want consider the usage of eco-friendly materials. There are several fabrics you can purchase that are woven without the use of harmful chemicals in the process. While most eco-friendly fabrics still require the use of water, energy, and land for production, they still eliminate the use of harmful pollutants. Here are some eco-friendly fabric choices you may wish to try with your next project. Organic Cotton Traditional cotton is susceptible to all types of pest invasions. Because of this, most cotton fields are laden with a high dosage of pesticides to help save the crops. When choosing organic cotton, you are helping the environment by selecting a material made without needing to add harsh chemicals to the soil to grow it. When selecting organic cotton, stay away from those with chemical dyes for the most natural fabric possible. Organic cotton is usually light brown, light green or cream-colored. If you would like to color your material, use a vegetable dye before or after stitching your articles. Peace Or Vegan Silk The luxurious, smooth fabric made from silk is not synthetically processed. It is derived from the silk worm and woven into a silky fabric many enjoy. Environmentalists use “peace” or “vegan” silk, which is the material made from silk worm casings. This fabric is considered completely eco-friendly as the silk worms are not harmed in any way. The casings are used after the worms turn into moths and vacate. Silk can be naturally dyed to give it a bit of coloring. Wool And Cashmere Organic alpaca and sheep wool is made from the animals’ fleece without the use of toxic chemical treatments. The end-product is a soft material that has natural flame resistance. Cashmere is processed by removing the bottom under-layers of hair from Kashmir goats. This material used to be only obtained through import from the Himalayan mountain region, but is now found worldwide.  When purchasing wool or cashmere, make sure the fabric is a pure form and not one blended with polyester or other chemically treated material. To have a truly environmentally friendly material, it should also be free of color additives. Pure wool and cashmere will last for a lifetime if cared for properly, making it a great material for those wishing to help the environment. Visit your local fabric store to find the right eco-friendly fabric for your next...

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3 Small Landscaping Upgrades That Can Make A Large Difference In Your Yard

Posted by on 12:58 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Small Landscaping Upgrades That Can Make A Large Difference In Your Yard

If your yard looks like it could use a bit of organization but you don’t want to put a lot of effort into your landscaping, there are a few options you can consider to make your space more inviting. Here are 3 small landscaping upgrades that can make a huge difference in your yard.  Curbing Curbing along your front lawn and around your large trees can help streamline your landscape and give your yard a modern appeal. Curbing is a simple upgrade that can be done in a few days by a landscaper or a curbing expert. If you don’t want to do traditional cement curbing, consider having your landscaper bring in decorative gravel rock to line your yard with instead to create a similar, organized appeal. Retaining wall A retaining wall is an excellent way to break up a large, open landscape without having to plant shrubbery or trees to fill the space in. A retaining wall can be made of classic brick or decorative pavers. The back end of a retaining wall is often filled in with dirt and then covered in grass to allow the structure to blend with the rest of your yard. If you’d like, you can adorn the front of a retaining wall with garden lights to illuminate your yard at night and make your landscape more inviting. You can make your retaining wall more noticeable by planing colorful blooms above the wall’s structure, such as rose bushes, snap dragons, or even daisies for added effect. A retaining wall with blooming flowers can make your large yard appear more welcoming and less plain. Climbing vines Cheeky climbing vines, including morning glory, Virginia creeper, and even grape vines, can be beautiful accessories to your fence line. Climbing vines are not only aesthetically pleasing in your yard and offer whimsical appeal, they also provide privacy through chain link and help make your property line more distinct. Consider placing climbing vines along your front fence so they can be seen as part of your home’s curb appeal. If you want your yard to look more inviting and long to make a change, you don’t need to make huge upgrades in order to make the area more modern. If you add curbing, climbing vines along your fences, or even a retaining wall, you can make your yard appear more organized, colorful, and welcoming. These small changes are a great way to give you the landscape you’ve always wanted without a lot of...

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Cleaning Tips For Wood Blinds

Posted by on 11:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cleaning Tips For Wood Blinds

Wooden blinds add a touch of elegance to any room, whether you opt for Venetian style slats or louver style shutters. The key to maintaining their timeless look is keeping them clean. Dust and fingerprints can make them look grimy and dated over time. The following tips can help you keep them in good shape. Tip #1: Skip the Water While a damp cloth is a quick way to collect dust off of plastic or aluminum blinds, water can cause wooden blinds to warp or develop spots. They are even more prone to water damage if the wood is a veneer, since this can weaken the glue and cause the veneer on the slats to peel. Instead, use a wood cleaner, such as an oil soap, to wipe down your blinds. This will remove the dust without any fear of damage, and oil-based wood cleaners also condition the slats so they keep their healthy sheen. Tip #2: Consider the White Glove Treatment Plain cotton gloves (white or otherwise) are the perfect items for cleaning blind slats. Simply put on a pair, apply the cleaner to the fingers, and then wipe down the under and upper side of each slat. You can even do two at a time if you slide one slat between your pinky and ring finger, and a second slat between your middle and index finger. Unlike similar tools made to clean blinds, you have more control over your fingers so you can even get into the tricky areas where the cords are attached. Tip #3: Go With Microfiber Not every wooden blind cleaning needs to be a deep cleaning with gloves and oil soap. Between the more in-depth dusting, do a light weekly or twice-weekly dusting with a microfiber cloth. Fully close the blinds in the downward position and rub the cloth over the slats, then flip to the upward position and repeat the process. This only takes a few minutes, but it prevents heavy dust buildup. Tip #4: Put on the Polish If your wood blinds are looking dull, try applying a coat of polish. Wear a clean pair of gloves and apply it using the same technique as for cleaning the blinds. For blinds that have become faded or discolored, you can try a rub-in stain. This can be time consuming since you have to do each slat individually. You simply rub in the stain with a clean cloth and then use a second cloth to rub off any excess. The result is new looking blinds. You can even change to a darker color, if desired. If re-staining seems like too much work, contact a local window blinds company to look at new window covering...

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