Category Archives: Home Makeover & Design

Should You Clean Your Air Ducts? Here’s When You Should

Man cleaning an air duct

Man cleaning an air ductWhen it comes to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) maintenance, you must already know the importance of having professionals carry out its regular inspection and servicing. Through correct and routine assessment and tune-ups, technicians can determine potential problems with the unit and perform necessary repairs. As a result, the system performs better and more efficiently.

What you don’t hear often is how homes in Minnesota can also benefit from air duct cleaning. While you don’t have to conduct this maintenance procedure as often as inspection and servicing, there are certain times wherein it can be helpful.

Considerable accumulation of dirt, dust, and debris

Part of the maintenance that HVAC technicians perform is cleaning the components of the system. Doing so enables your space to “breathe” properly, which then leads to efficient performance. The same applies to the air ducts.

When the ducts fill up with too much of these contaminants and pollutants, they can compromise the entire HVAC system. As a result, you can expect inefficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. This can pull down not just the comfort levels of your home, but also its indoor air quality and overall livability.

The growth of molds and mildew

Molds — fungi that you can find virtually anywhere — can settle and propagate in the air ducts of your home. These microorganisms require little to survive and thrive, which means that they can multiply and spread quickly throughout your house. While most species don’t cause health issues right away, long-term exposure can give rise to health symptoms, particularly in people with allergies, asthma, and sensitivities.

If you noticed significant amounts of dirt, mold, or mildew in and around your air ducts, this should already tell you it’s time to call the pros so that they can give the ducts a thorough cleaning.

The Four Most Common Air Conditioning Issues

man repairing ACProblems with your air conditioning could stem from different underlying causes ranging from improper operation, inadequate maintenance, and even installation mistakes. Here are common problems you could experience with your AC and their possible causes.

1. Power Issues

If the AC does not turn on, the problem could be a tripped circuit breaker, loose wiring, or a blown fuse. Check all of these possible causes, and if it is any one of them, you can easily resolve the problem on your own.

But, if there is no problem with these parts and the AC is not working still, call an air conditioning repair service in Whangamata; they will be able to identify the more complex issue.

2. Not Cooling Properly

If the AC is not spewing cold air even if the thermostat is in the right setting, this could stem from a handful of causes. First off, you might have to change the air filter if you have not replaced it for a long time.

An undercharged refrigerant or a leak could be another probable cause. The refrigerant is the compound responsible for absorbing heat from the room. That is why low levels of it will affect an AC’s functioning.

3. Dripping Water

If you notice water dripping from your unit, this is indicative of one of these two issues: clogged condensate drain or airflow obstruction, which could lead to frozen coils.

You could flush out a clogged condensate line with compressed air. Refrigerant leak, dirty air filter, or an obstructed duct could cause frozen coils. If this is the case, better turn off the unit and call a professional to address this issue.

4. Noisy AC

The most common culprit if you noticed your AC making strange or loud noises is its fan. Loose parts, stray debris, broken belts, and worn bearings could be causing the sound. An HVAC professional is best equipped to handle this problem.

Proper and regular maintenance is still the best way to ensure that you would not have glitches with your unit. Also, you have to address issues immediately as they arise, however minor so that your AC problem would not snowball into an expensive mess.

Three Steps in Maintaining Your Refrigerator

fridge being repairedMaintaining any of your appliances can do wonders, especially when it comes to its efficiency and life expectancy. Although consulting refrigerator repair specialists in West Valley is important from time to time, knowing how to maintain your fridge yourself will ensure that it’ll keep running well for years to come.

See the door seals

Check if the door seals are in place. Keep in mind that a loose seal will allow cool air from your fridge to seep out, causing it to use more energy and work harder. If there’s food residue stuck in the seals, clean them with an old toothbrush dipped in a solution of water and baking soda. The chemical reaction in the solution will effectively dissolve any food residue trapped in the seals.

Clean the coils

A dusty condenser coil can prevent your fridge from running efficiently, which can lead to even bigger energy bills and shorter life expectancy of your appliance. To prevent such thing from happening, use a broom or a vacuum to eliminate any dust build-ups at least every two to three months. You can either find the coil underneath or behind the refrigerator.

Maintain a clean drip pan and drip hole

Several refrigerator designs are built to have a drain hole and drip pan to eliminate condensation. Remove any mineral deposit or food particle stuck in the drain hole to prevent any blockage, and then scrub the drain pan.

Knowing how to maintain your fridge properly is important to ensure that it’ll last for years to come. Make sure to read the manual before you proceed with the steps so that you’ll know which ones to clean.

Top Considerations for Determining your Bathroom Layout

Modern style bathroomWhether you are building or renovating, designing the bathroom of your dreams is both an exciting and overwhelming process. To turn your dream bathroom into a reality, you first need to take into careful consideration your specific needs to determine the most efficient layout that would work for you. This step is immensely crucial for renovation or building success.

To figure out your requirements for planning the space, ask yourself the following questions. Make sure to evaluate the benefits and potential drawbacks of your existing bathroom layout if you’re renovating. If you’re building a new bathroom, consider how you would like your new bathroom to function.

Designing your new bathroom

  • What stuff will you be storing in your bathroom and where will you put all of them, keeping in mind if they need easy access or not?
  • Do you want open shelving, cabinets, or a mix of both?
  • How will you use the bathroom, such that what specific activities will you be doing in the different parts of the space? For instance, will you need a separate space for sitting down and putting on makeup?
  • Do you want separate bath and shower spaces?
  • Do you need the toilet to have its own enclosure?
  • Do you want a bathtub that could fit in more than one individual?
  • Will you be sharing the bathroom with someone else, such as a partner or children? Will guests be using it as well? What about a pet? Or will smaller children who require assistance be the main users of the bathroom?

Your answers to the questions above could help you plan your bathroom layout, explains Sand & Swirl, Inc., a bathroom designer in Bountiful. You’ll likewise determine how much storage you’ll need.

With this vital information in mind, you could start imaging how you’ll place key elements in your bathroom and determine the most suitable layout fit for your particular requirements.

Wall Panels: Pick Among the Top 3 Materials

Plastic wall panelsWhether you’re in architecture or interior design, the buzzword is “wall panel”. Not only do wall panels add character to an otherwise-boring wall, but they also make the house or building much easier to maintain. They are quick to install, and their upkeep is minimal. Moreover, they help lengthen the lifespan of the walls.
But wall panels come in various materials. Which should you pick?

1. Wood Panels

Decorative wall panels these days are impressive. They are eco-friendly and durable. They also reflect the universal lifestyle of Australians, which is outdoorsy, laid-back—simple but elegant.

The technology for this material has also evolved. You can find wood panels that are energy efficient. These are highly recommended for businesses that want to reduce energy consumption and, in the process, receive incentives. The material also features good acoustics, which is ideal for high-traffic areas such as shopping centres or trade centres.

2. MDF Panels

MDF stands for medium-density fibre board. It is an engineered wood made from composite materials. These include the residues of hardwood or softwood and resin, which serves as a binder.

It may not be pure wood, but it’s durable. In some situations, it lasts longer than regular wood. It is also more affordable and more flexible, making it easier to cut and design. Its biggest problem, though, is its ability to soak and hold water, which causes the wood to swell. It can create gaps between the panels.

3. PVC Panels

PVC panels are sometimes known as plastic panels. You can find them in garages, bathrooms and other places where moisture is likely high. Because they are plastic, they are more water resistant. They are also easier to clean, durable and cheap.

But they can also be flimsy since they are more lightweight, making structural integrity an issue. Furthermore, PVC panels don’t possess the same timeless and gorgeous appeal as wood even if you can find different designs for this one.

Each of these materials has its strengths and drawbacks. It’s a matter of knowing which provides the best value according to the needs, budget and objective of the project.

3 Amazing Ideas to Improve a Modern Garden with Antiques

Garden with gazeboImproving the appearance of your yard normally involves buying additional decor or plants. However, you don’t need to buy modern pieces or expensive contemporary additions to make it more inviting. You can help preserve the planet by choosing reclaimed building fixtures and antique decorative items instead. Consider these classy additions:

A Reading Nook

French garden antiques placed sparingly around a refurbished classic couch, complete with small side tables and an ottoman would be the perfect setting for a secret reading area or a unique place to entertain guests. Plan your garden design around this section, choosing between turning it into a secluded spot with numerous plants all around or an open space to view the whole yard.

Garden Statues

Forget the garden gnomes and pink flamingos. After all, you can’t get any classier than adding aged statues to your meticulously designed yard. Choose one central piece or aim to place smaller statues strategically to highlight certain spots in the garden. Do consider your yard space, color scheme, and theme when choosing what pieces to buy.

A Stone Fountain

Nothing says garden more than having a stone fountain in the middle of the yard, whether it’s the driveway or backyard. If you feel it’s a little too much, you can reserve this fixture behind your home if there’s enough space for it. You can also consider installing it in one corner of the yard to augment your pool (if you have one).

Mixing old with new is now a trend and it's truly making a mark in modern architecture and design. The outcome offers a constant delightful surprise to homeowners and helps Mother Nature by reducing waste. Admittedly, it’s a great way to create your own wonderful spot.

Troubleshooting a Faulty Sprinkler System

a sprinklerThe aim of having an irrigation system in your yard is to apply water evenly. If you see that some sections are constantly wet while others are dry, it could mean that your sprinkler system is leaking. Several factors contribute to this issue, and the most common ones are discussed below.

Defective zone control valves

Your irrigation system is comprised of valves, which are faucets tasked with turning the water on and off. Just like faucets, they can become faulty when something gets caught in their mechanism or due to aging. The most basic symptom of faulty valves is continuous water leakage from the head after the sprinkler system has been shut off. To correct this problem, you need to have the valves inspected and replaced or repaired by experts offering sprinkler system repairs in Utah.

Low head drainage

This problem is often caused by water siphoning into the lower head in your sprinkler system after irrigation. After cutting off the water flow in your irrigation system, some remain in the lines and drain towards the lowest point of your yard. The water will ultimately end up leaking in the lowest head until equilibrium has been achieved. This problem should be fixed promptly, especially if the water puddles around your plants or spreads all over your walkway or drive.

Broken pipes

Overly wet sections in your yard can be a result of broken or cracked pipes. There are two main sections where breaks are more likely to occur, namely main and lateral zone lines. This problem is best corrected after thorough assessment to determine what type of line is broken. The main line is connected to the backflow prevention device and the control valves. It supplies water throughout your sprinkler system and under high pressure. If there is breakage in this line, water will leak whether the system is running or not.

Whether you are experiencing a minor leak or a major issue like a pipe break, you should know that faulty sprinkler systems waste a lot of water. Leaky irrigation systems are not only bad for your yard plantation, but also for your pocket. Step-by-step evaluation of your sprinkler system should help to correct the problem effectively.

Clean your Air Ducts for Better Health

White air ventAir a building circulates in a building through its HVAC system several times a day. Contaminants and other airborne particles get stuck in the ducts and get re-circulated into your living space. Accumulating over time can make these elements reach dangerous levels that can badly affect the indoor air quality. This can result to people having respiratory issues and allergic reactions.

Prevent this by adhering to superior air duct cleaning procedures as explained below:

Contaminant Loosening

Dust and mold can accumulate in your vent system over time. Clean your ducts in Toronto by loosening the residue using soft brushes and high pressure air nozzles. You can also clean the other components of your HVAC system during this process.

Negative Pressurization

Be careful not to re-contaminate the interior air of the building. A professional contractor will use a very powerful vacuum. The vacuuming device gets attached to a truck to induce negative air pressure into the ductwork. This will also help to contain dust and dirt during the removal process.

The Removal Process

After connecting the vacuum to the duct, the removal of all contaminants can begin. This should be done from many access points allocated in the ducts. The air removed from the duct system at this point get sucked in the HEPA filters. All contaminants get sealed in bags and disposed of by your medical-grade vent cleaning contractor.

Culmination of the Process

After cleaning, your contractor will reinstall any removed components. New air filters are also reinstalled before restarting the system. He should also inspect the building’s airflow before finishing.

Air-duct cleaning is a valuable tool for removing the dirt in the air that your workers breathe. The most efficient cleaning process should be one that improves the interior air quality of your premises. Make sure you do this every few years to maintain the cleanliness of your vents.

Don’t Underestimate the Causes of Water Heater Fluctuations

A water heater being repairedWater heaters, so long as you use them correctly and maintain them properly, can last for many years, even longer than a decade. Several factors can shorten or lengthen this expected service life though, such as frequency of use, the hardness of water, and the installation itself of the system.

When your water heater is nearing its end of service, or have developed problems urgently needs addressing, it is important you do not delay seeking professional plumbers.

According to Whipple Service Champions, water heaters in Utah homes signal these situations as mentioned above when they start having temperature fluctuations.

When temperature changes often occur

There are several instances wherein you may notice a sudden change in the temperature of water flowing out of the faucets or showers. One of these is when you have these fixtures running for quite some time, and the warm or hot water just becomes cold. Another is the simple change from hot to cold water.

Why these happen in the first place

There are some reasons for these temperature drops in your water. Malfunctioning mixing valves are some of them and are often the culprits when they have exhausted their service life.

Another is when there is too low a pressure, as well as when one or several of your toilets use too much water that drains what the heater has already prepared.

What you should do

As a responsible homeowner, you definitely want to address the potential causes of water temperature fluctuations early on, seeing that this can be a huge inconvenience. Also, they may actually be symptoms of an even bigger problem, such as massive sediment build-ups in the pipes due to hard water.

The fact that sudden changes in water temperature can also pose health hazards should already make you call an expert plumber as soon as possible. 

Don’t Underestimate the Causes of Water Heater Fluctuations