2 Ways To Properly Maintain Your Air Conditioner

One of the most important things that you can do throughout the summer is to properly maintain your air conditioner, mostly because this can save you quite a bit of money and keep your air conditioner in good condition. Listed below are two things that you can do in order to keep your air conditioner properly maintained.

Clean The Air Filter

One of the steps that is most often overlooked when it comes to maintaining an air conditioner is keeping the air filter clean. The air filter on the air conditioner is responsible for keeping all of the dust and other debris in the air from being spread around the house when the air conditioner is activated.

In the case of a portable or window mounted air conditioner, you can usually find the air intake filter on the front of the machine itself. It can be a bit trickier to find the air intake filter on a central air system, usually it is located near your home’s furnace, rather than on the unit itself. In most cases, you can find the air intake filter behind a large rectangular vent sitting in plain view near your furnace.

Once you have accessed the air intake filter, you can either replace it with a brand new filter or simply use your vacuum cleaner to remove all the dust and debris. This is very important as a dirty air filter can easily end up making your air conditioner less energy efficient, which can really drive up your monthly utility bills.

Clean Your Ducts

Another step that you need to take in order to keep your air conditioner properly maintained is to clean out your ducts. When your ducts are full of dust and other debris, it can lead to reduced airflow from your air conditioner to the rest of the house. As a result, you will find that it is taking much longer for your air conditioner to get your house to the desired temperature, which can also result in higher utility bills.

Another issue caused by a dirty or poorly maintained duct system is that it can degrade the indoor air quality of your home. This can lead to more frequent allergic reactions and illnesses for your family, while also causing the interior of your home to smell musty. In order to clean out your ducts, you should consider hiring an HVAC professional, like those represented at http://www.nathansheatandair.com/, as it can often be quite difficult to reach all of the areas of your duct network without the proper tools.

Contact an HVAC contractor today in order to discuss the various steps you can take to keep your air conditioner working at peak efficiency. Cleaning your air conditioner’s air filter and your home’s duct network can help keep your conditioner working well for many years to come.

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Learn What To Expect When Having A Handicap Ramp Created Outside Of Your Business

When you have a business, you need to be sure that there are access ramps available for any handicapped individuals that need to enter or leave your establishment. The ramps can be made from many different items including wood, asphalt, or concrete. It is often best to choose to have the ramps made from asphalt because it is so durable, very affordable, and long lasting. The guide below walks you through the process that the asphalt company will take to create the ramp, so that you are prepared for what to expect when the ramp creation begins.

The Area Will Need to be Blocked Off

The area where the ramp will be created will need to be blocked off. You do not want any of your customers to get hurt by the equipment, step on hot asphalt, or simply step off the curb without realizing there is a drop. You can block off the area with warning tape or using traffic cones and signs.

They Will Create a Frame for the Ramp

Next, the paving contractors will create a frame for the ramp. You do not want the ramp to be too large or too long, so creating a frame will ensure that the asphalt goes exactly where it is supposed to go and nowhere else. The frame allows the asphalt to meet the side of the sidewalk of your business with ease. Once the asphalt meets the side of the sidewalk, more will be added and will be spread to create an incline that wheelchair users can use.

They Will Create Edges for the Ramp

After the majority of the ramp has been made, the contractors will remove the frame and add more asphalt to the sides of the ramp. They will then use special tools to spread and smooth the new asphalt so that it creates smooth, rounded edges on the side of the ramp so that someone can come up and down the ramp from any angle smoothly.

The Ramp Can Be Painted

Once the ramp is complete, you may want to have the contractors paint around the edges of the ramp to make it very noticeable to people who may need to use it. A wheelchair can be painted on it or you can simply have the edge of it painted with bright blue paint to indicate it is a handicap ramp.

Once complete, disabled customers should be able to get in and out of your business with ease. This will ensure that you are getting as many customers as you possibly can at all times.

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Update The Look Of Your Bathroom With Beautiful Tile

When you want to update the look of your bathroom, the first thing you may want to consider doing is changing the tile that you use in the room. Tile can have a huge visual impact on the overall look of a room and adding complimenting tiles to the space can give it the unique look you want. The guide below walks you through the process of choosing which tiles to use when trying to transform your bathroom.

Consider the Size of the Room

You first need to consider how large the bathroom is when choosing tile. You want to be sure to use tile that is not too large for the space otherwise it may make it feel even smaller than it already is. If you have a large bathroom, small tiles can create a jumbled look in the room. You can buy single tiles to take home and place in the room before you buy a large number of them. This will allow you to be sure that you choose the right size tile for your bathroom.

Consider Pairing Different Tiles Together

When you are choosing the tiles that you want to use in the room, consider creating a border around the edges of the room to give the room even more character. You can pair different types of tile together to create the unique look you want. Some people choose to create stripes using different tiles or simply create an accent stripe along the center of the shower surround.

Consider the Colors You Want to Use

Be sure to consider the colors that you want to use in the bathroom. If you will not be replacing the vanity, the toilet, or the tub, be sure to choose tile that will complement the colors of those items. You do not want to want to have mismatched colors all over the room or it will create a messy look. You want to be sure that the look is peaceful and flowing so that you do not feel anxiety when you walk into the room and see that nothing matches in the space.

Once you have chosen the tile from a place like Quality Floor Covering & Decorating Center Inc, be sure to have professionals install it for you. This will allow you to be sure that everything is placed evenly and made to be as secure as it can possibly be. The professionals know how to properly space the tile so that they have a uniform look when everything is said and done.

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Tips To Give Your Outdated Fireplace A Makeover

Fireplaces can add beauty to your home, in addition to adding warmth on cold days/nights. If you live in an older home, chances are your fireplace may be a little less beautiful and a little more outdated. It probably has ugly black/brown/orange bricks, a gold or brass colored firebox door, and may even lack a mantle. Some older fireplaces may even take up most of the wall, so it may feel like more of an eyesore than a beautiful focal point. Don’t grab your sledgehammer just yet though, that old fireplace can be updated to look more modern. See below for tips to bring that old fireplace into this century.

Whitewash The Brick

Start with the brick and whitewash it using a mixture of two parts white paint and one part water. Use a paintbrush and several rags to brush on the paint and then wipe off the excess using the old rags. This process paints over the unsightly brick, while allowing some of the color to show through. For less coverage, add more water to the paint. For more coverage, add more paint to the mixture. You can also use gray paint instead of white for a different look. 

Paint Over The Firebox

Get rid of the ugly brass/gold color of the firebox by painting it with high heat spray paint. This job can get pretty messy, so be sure to use plastic covering on everything to help prevent over-spray. Tape off your brick and cover it with plastic to prevent over-spray on this area as well. Be sure to clean the firebox thoroughly to get rid of dirt, dust, and soot. You need a clean surface so the spray paint has something to adhere to. Spray the firebox using a more modern color such as oil rubbed bronze or black. Allow the first coating to dry, then apply a second coating. Be sure to wear gloves, a respirator, safety glasses, and old clothing when painting with spray paint in a confined space.

Add A Mantle

Help break up the brick on your fireplace by adding a beautiful mantle. You can purchase a mantle that can adhere to your brick, or you can use an old piece of barnwood for a conversational piece. You can also make a mantle using wood, molding, and trim to create a one of a kind piece.

Other Tips

  • Use your mantle as a place for your decor. Change up your decor with each season or holiday. Use the base of your fireplace as a place for decor as well.
  • Break up all of that brick on your fireplace by adding decorative tile around the firebox, or shiplap wood above the mantle.
  • Cover the brick with airstone if you don’t like the look of the brick (even painted). You can find airstone at your local hardware store and is very easy to install.

Don’t take out the old fireplace just yet. Give it a nice remodel instead using paint and some decorative touches. For more information or assistance, visit websites like http://www.villagefireplaceandbbq.com.

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Own An Office And Have Elevators? Tips To Keep Them Moving Up And Down

If you own your own office and have elevators, it is important that you keep them maintained. This will not only keep you, your employees, and anyone visiting you safe, but will help keep people walking through your door. If the elevator is out of service, some people may refuse to walk the stairs. Below are some tips on keeping your elevators maintained so this will not happen.

Check the Lights

There are many lights in an elevator and you need to make sure they are always working correctly. Lights will burn out just like any other light. If the cab does not light up, someone could become injured. If the light for the button that goes to your floor is out, someone may think it is not working and will not push it. You would also likely hear complaints from your employees as well as customers that do make it to your office.

Keep Them Clean

If you are cleaning any internal components, you do not need to use strong, industrial cleaners. This is because these cleaners may cause corrosion on the internal parts, which would lead to elevator malfunction. Only use a cleaner that is specifically made to be used for elevators.

Always keeping the inside of the elevators clean is also important. Because people constantly walk in and out, the carpeting will become dirty quickly. If you notice dirt buildup clean the carpeting with a carpet cleaner that can be purchased at any home improvement store. There are also spot treatments that can be used to remove stains quickly.

Make sure the walls stay clean and wipe over the buttons with a damp cloth. Do not spray any type of cleaner on the buttons or it could cause damage. Inspect the elevators daily and keep a log so you will know this is being done.

Do Not Overload

Make sure you know the maximum weight the elevators can hold. This weight should be posted somewhere inside of them. If the elevators are overloaded, they will not operate properly. This will also cause the inside mechanisms to wear out much quicker, and can affect the safety of passengers riding the elevator. The last thing you want is to have a lawsuit on your hands.

If you know you will often have to transport heavy things in your elevator, install another service elevator, which is made to carry heavy loads.

If you notice any kind of problem with your elevator not working properly, contact an elevator service.

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Keeping Your Seawall In Good Working Order

If you have ocean or lakefront property or live on a river, there is a good chance that you have a seawall on your property. A seawall is your protection from the powerful force of crashing waves, rising tides, or flooding rivers.

Not only does a properly placed and constructed seawall protect your home and property, it prevents soil erosion. Soil erosion can lead to landslides or entire slabs of your property just washing away. Additionally, soil erosion is bad for the environment. As the soils enter the water, it can cause water pollution, which in turn can lead to algae bloom and fish loss from oxygen deprivation.

When there is a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or flood, your existing seawall can become stressed from the pressure of doing its job. While you may be able to get away with delaying other household repairs, a damaged seawall needs to be addressed immediately, because when it goes, it goes. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your seawall in good shape.

Start With An Inspection

After each weather event, visually inspect your seawall. Check the cap for any cracks or missing sections. Look at each slab section of the seawall and note any signs of deterioration. Assess if they are leaning or are out of alignment with one another. Check the structural integrity of the support beam and look for any corroded or rust spots. Inspect both sides of the wall. Determine if any soil is being lost on the property side of the wall or if the footings may be coming loose. Note the health of any vegetation on the wall and insure plants like ivy or invasive species haven’t gotten a foothold on the wall. If you live in a cold climate, an inspection should be done after every winter as well.

Schedule A Checkup

If you see any signs of wear after a storm or flood, immediately contact a contractor to come out and assess the damage and structural integrity of the wall. A skilled professional will be able to tell if the damage is serious or not.The following are two of the most common types of major damage that can occur:

  • Seawall Cap Failure. Prolonged exposure to saltwater can corrode the reinforcing steel bars in the cap and can cause expansion that will lead to cracks. If this expansion and contracting process is allowed to continue, eventually large pieces of the seawall cap will break loose.
  • Sheet Pile Failure. These are the individual sheets that collectively make up the seawall. If the berm or embankment is lost or shifts, it can cause the wall to buckle and come out of alignment.

As every situation and property is different, so are the repair methods. A seawall repair contractor will discuss which options are best for you. 

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3 Restaurant Boiler And Pipe Issues That Could Spell Trouble

If you’ve got a boiler inside your restaurant, you may not spend much time near it because you’re working hard on getting your food to your customers. It’s easy to overlook early signs that the boiler might be on its way out, but if your restaurant’s boiler or heating system is exhibiting any of the signs below, it may need attention from a professional.

Any Noise

It is natural to assume that the gurgling, hissing and knocking sounds your boiler makes are normal, especially if you bought the restaurant from another owner who never mentioned any problems with the appliance. However, boilers should operate without making too much noise. Sounds can usually be the primary sign that something might not be right, even if there is not a serious problem.

For instance, mineral deposits from the boiler’s water supply could be building up on the boiler’s heat exchanger; if that’s happening, you might hear some hissing, but that buildup can be easily scraped away by a pro. However, there may also be a more serious problem like a leak or inadequate flow of water.

Drastically High Utility Bills

When you’re going through your bills each month, how much attention do you pay to the utility bill? If you’re like many restauranteurs, you view a steadily rising utility bill as a sign that the business is thriving, more food is being prepared and the place is open more hours. However, if you see a utility bill that seems drastically higher, the culprit might be the boiler.

If you purchased the restaurant when the boiler was already installed, it’s possible that it’s just an old model. Old models tend to be less energy-efficient than STAR appliances today. Of course, there could be significant sediment or caked-on grime that could be making the boiler work harder, which can drive up utility costs.

No Heat from Certain Radiators

An easy thing to miss in a restaurant is a non-working radiator. It could be in a spot that’s always warm, such as the kitchen, or you might just assume there are cooler spots without thinking of what that could mean. There may not be a problem with the boiler itself but with the pipes, which might be clogged or starting to corrode. A professional contractor can tell you whether the pipes have to be replaced or whether they can simply flush them out to get the radiator working again.

Keeping your employees and customers comfortable is important, so once you notice any of the issues described here, contact a commercial boiler repair company right away. They can help find whatever the problem is and give you some idea of how well your boiler is doing.

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