Tips for Preventing Hard Water Stains

Here’s a couple tips for preventing the occurrence of hard water stains in your home:

  • Drying all surfaces in the kitchen or bathroom after use – One can use a towel to wipe the water away before it culminates into the stains
  • If the spots are excessive, one can invest in getting a water softener system installed. This will ultimately get rid of hard water and the mess it leaves behind

If hard water stains are already present, follow these few steps and the stains can be wiped away…

  • Vinegar – Normal white vinegar can be great to get rid of these stains. Mixing vinegar 50/50 with water in a spray bottle or bowl and using that as a cleaning solution is not only cost effective, but works wonders. Vinegar can be sprayed on the area then wiped with a rag, or one can let the vinegar sit for a little, then wipe the area clean.
  • Another way to clean these spots away is using store-bought cleaners. This should only be utilized if the spots do not come away with vinegar. Store bought cleaners consist of strong chemicals, so one must be careful when using those products.

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT GENERATOR FOR YOU

generatorSmaller, portable generators are great for powering the essentials in your home, such as your  refrigerator and microwave.  The large standby generators can power everything in your house.

If you are interested in getting a generator for your home, the first thing you want to do is decide what you need (or want) to keep running when the electricity goes out. This will help determine the size (wattage) of the generator you’ll need.  Please see the below points to assist you in figuring out the best size generator for you.

  • Walk through your home and make a list of everything you want to power during an outage.
  • Look for the label on each appliance that contains information such as wattage, model number and the year it was made (some labels are inside the door of appliances, others are on the back of the appliance so you may have to pull the appliance away from the wall).
  • Write down the item and how much wattage it uses.  Be sure to include essential items, like refrigerators, freezers, a well pump if you have one, and a sump pump if your basement could flood. Please note that you can go a few hours or even days without an oven and an air conditioner—they use a lot of power and would require you to purchase a much bigger generator.
  • Add together the items’ wattages, then multiply that number by 1.5 (appliances need the extra power to start up) to determine the minimum wattage needed for your generator.

Keep Vents and Meters Clear of Debris

Certain natural  gas appliances, such as furnaces, tankless water heaters and fireplaces, may vent outside of your home. This vent should never be blocked by plants or any other materials as it could cause a dangerous build up of carbon monoxide (CO).  If you notice any of these signs or changes in your natural gas appliance, call a qualified contractor immediately:

  • A natural gas appliance is not completely venting outside
  • There is an odor similar to rotten eggs coming from the appliance
  • The appliance vent piping is blocked, broken, disconnected, corroded or unsealed
  • Flooding has caused damage to an appliance

It is important to keep the area around your natural gas meter free from overgrown plants and shrubs. It is also important you are careful when mowing around it and never lean anything against it.

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Prevent Mold In Your Home

Prevent Mold In Your Home

The main things mold needs to grow in a home are organic materials to feed on and moisture. In houses there are always plenty of organic materials for mold to live on such as wood, drywall and various other building materials. Moisture, however, can be controlled for the most part so keeping the moisture in your home low is the best way to prevent mold growth.

Prevent Mold by Preventing Moisture-If you know of any leaks in your home you should fix them without delay. You might need to inspect your home to find any water leaks you didn’t know about. Most molds need only 24 to 48 hours of moisture to begin to grow. Therefore if a suitable material in your home is wet for more than 24 hours then you run the risk of mold starting to grow.

Prevent Mold by Preventing Condensation-Condensation is another cause of moisture. Condensation forms on cold surfaces when water vapor in the air cools and becomes liquid. Often you’ll see condensation on metal pipes, concrete walls, water tanks and windows. One way to reduce condensation is to keep the temperature warmer in rooms. For example, by installing insulation. You can also insulate the surfaces themselves such as putting coverings over metal pipes. You’ll also have less condensation occurring if you keep the humidity in your home low.

Prevent Mold by Reducing Humidity– The best way to keep humidity low in your home is through ventilation. Open the windows during the day and close your windows when it is raining.  This should help lower the humidity.  Using a dehumidifier also reduces the humidity level.

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Beware of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon%20Monoxide

Fuel-burning equipment and appliances, such as furnaces and stoves, may produce Carbon Monoxide (CO) if they are not operating properly or are misused. CO is an odorless and colorless gas that can rise to dangerous levels causing unconsciousness, brain damage or even death.  Symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and fatigue (similar to flu-like symptoms).

Proper maintenance of natural gas equipment and appliances can help reduce your chance of CO poisoning. Be sure to have a certified technician inspect your equipment annually.  And remember to check that the CO detectors in your home or business are functioning properly.  It is recommended that you check them monthly when possible.

 

How to Conserve Energy in Your Home

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With your air conditioning system running around the clock this summer you may be looking for ways to conserve energy and save on your electric bill without sacrificing your comfort.

  • Cook with your microwave, it uses 2/3 less energy than your oven.
  • Use your dishwasher, hand washing dishes allows the water to run non-stop. Newer dishwashers have modes to conserve water suck as a “Quick” cycle.
  • Load up your refrigerator, having more food in your fridge actually helps your fridge stay cool.
  • Program your thermostat to raise the temperature when you are out of the home.
  • Avoid using your appliances during peak hours (4pm – 6pm).
  • Air dry your clothes instead of using the dryer.
  • Reduce the filter run time on your pool.
  • Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren’t being used.
  • Replace your air conditioning filter once a month, a dirty filter can make your system work harder.
  • Seal cracks in your doors and windows.
  • Replace your old inefficient air conditioning unit.
  • Install patio awnings or large trees to help shade your home
  • Install an attic fan to draw cool air in.