Green Living: A Guide to Saving on Energy Usage

Four Tips for Preparing Your Children to Use a Storm Shelter

Posted by on 7:47 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Tips for Preparing Your Children to Use a Storm Shelter

Steel storm shelters are essential in areas of the country that are prone to tornadoes. The storm shelters offer a safe place for people to go during the storm to ensure that no one is injured during a catastrophic event. If you have a storm shelter, it is important to take the time to prepare your children for the time when they may have to stay in the shelter until a storm passes. Learn a few tips to use to prepare your children for a stay in a storm shelter with the guide that follows. Make Frequent Trips to the Storm Shelter A storm shelter is often a very small space that can be a bit scary to children if they have never seen it before. In order to make sure that your children are as comfortable as they can possibly be, be sure to expose them to the shelter as often as you can. Allow them to go into it, sit in it, and become comfortable with the space so that they are not fearful when a storm arises and they have to stay in it for an extended period of time. Have Things to Do in the Shelter When your children go into the shelter, you want to be sure that there are things for them to do so that they do not become fearful of the sounds they hear taking place outside of the shelter. Have travel-sized games, coloring books, and even handheld game players in the shelter to keep your children entertained. Have Special Food in the Shelter While you and your children are in the shelter, they may become hungry. Have special foods in the shelter that they do not get to enjoy often. Be sure to check the foods regularly to make sure that they do not expire. Have Storm Shelter Drills Be sure to have drills with your child to help them know what to do when an emergency occurs. Have a loud alarm or bell that you can sound to alert your children that they need to get into the shelter right away. Time your children after sounding the alarm to make sure they are getting inside of the shelter as quickly as they can. These tips are not difficult to employ and can make going into the shelter less scary for your children. You want to be sure that you take the time to explain why the shelter is so important so that children understand why they have to go into it when a storm occurs so they do go into the shelter when needed with ease. For more information about metal buildings, consult a professional such as Commercial Industries Company...

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Create A Backyard Fire Pit For Your Next Get Together

Posted by on 7:16 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Create A Backyard Fire Pit For Your Next Get Together

Being able to enjoy a beautiful night under the stars with friends is an experience that you will enjoy again and again. The only problem with being outside at night is that the temperatures can sometimes get rather cool, making the party a bit on the cold side. Instead of wrapping up in bulky blankets, consider creating a beautiful fire pit to use on cold nights. You will be able to build a warm fire that will be safely contained within the pit. The guide below walks you through a quick and easy way to build a fire pit you and your friends can enjoy night after night. Level the Ground The first thing you will need to do is to level the ground. You want to be sure that the ground is as level as it can possibly be so that the fire pit sits flat on the ground when you are done building it. Use a shovel to dig up all of the grass in the area where you want the pit to be and then use a laser level to level out the ground. Place the level on the ground at one side of the pit and keep removing dirt from the area until it can shoot straight across to the other side of the pit. Once you can move the level all around the pit and have it shine from one side to the other, you will be ready to create your pit. Position the Fire Pit Ring You can go to any home improvement supply store and purchase a steel metal ring to place in the center of the fire pit. The ring needs to be made of steel so that it can withstand the high temperatures of the fire. The rings are available in many different sizes so you need to be sure to measure the pit that you want to create to ensure that you purchase a ring that is large enough to fit your needs. Take the ring back to your home and place it in the center of the area that you level. Press down hard on it so that it makes a guide in the dirt. Remove the ring and then use a spade to dig a trench on the guide that you created. You want to be sure that the ring goes down into the ground a few inches so that it does not easily topple over. Once the trench is dug, place the ring in it. Create the Exterior of the Pit Once you have placed the ring, you need to mix a bag of ready-mix cement in a wheelbarrow according to the directions on the packaging. Place a border of paving stones around the edge of the exterior of the steel ring. Add a layer of cement on top of the block and then stack more blocks on top of the cement. Be sure to stagger the blocks as you stack them to give the wall of the fire pit strength. Repeat the process until the blocks are flush with the top of the fire pit. Allow the cement to dry for a few days before you use the fire pit. The pit will have a beautiful look to it and keep everyone warm during the...

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3 Ideas To Help With The Integration Of Solar Thermal Energy For Your Home

Posted by on 5:31 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ideas To Help With The Integration Of Solar Thermal Energy For Your Home

If you want to have a more energy efficient home, solar is a great choice that gives you many different choices for your renewable energy solutions. Thermal energy is an affordable option that you may want to consider for the mechanical systems in your home. Solar collectors can be added to give you hot water and help improve the energy efficiency of conventional heating systems. Here are some ideas to help you with the integration of solar energy into your mechanical systems:   1. Using A Tube Solar Hot Water Heater For Best Performance There are two types of solar water heaters; one is a simple circuit of tubing that is dark to absorb heat. The other type of solar hot water heater is an evacuated tube design that has the pipes enclosed in glass tubes from improved performance. You may spend a little more on the tube design, but it will give you the most out of your investment in a solar hot water heater, and even provide you with thermal energy during cooler days, when the other systems do not.  2. Add Capacity To The System With The Addition Of Thermal Storage Having a solar water heater can give you a small amount of water that is usually collected in a small tank near the panel. This is something that can limit the uses of your thermal energy. If you want to use your solar energy for more than just hot water on occasion, adding an insulated thermal storage tank can help you to get more energy from the collector and options like integration with heating systems. 3. Use The Solar Water Heater For Hot Water, As Well As For Heating The main reason you may have a solar water heater is for the hot water in your home. In addition to hot water, the solar water heater can also be used to provide your home with heating. It can be integrated with systems like boilers and furnaces to reduce the energy that conventional heating may use. With the addition of storage tanks, this is something that can easily be done for your home by adding a line that goes to the boiler or furnace.   These are some tips to help you with the integration of solar mechanical systems into your home. If you are ready for a more efficient home, contact a hot water heater service (such as 2 Guys Plumbing and Heating Inc.) and talk with them about installing the solar hot water heater, thermal tanks and connecting them to existing...

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Learn How To Turn A Spare Bedroom Into A Large Walk-In Closet

Posted by on 12:59 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Learn How To Turn A Spare Bedroom Into A Large Walk-In Closet

If you have a deep love of clothing and shoes, organizing them can be difficult in many traditional closets. The space in most closets is very limited and organizing shoes, accessories, and clothing in a neat and tidy way can often be nearly impossible. Fortunately, you can properly store all of your clothing and shoes in an organized way by transforming a spare bedroom into an amazing walk-in closet. The following guide walks you through a few things to take into consideration when creating the perfect closet to support your needs. Choose the Right Room The first thing you need to do is consider which room you want to use to create the walk-in closet. You want to be sure to choose a room that is located adjacent to your master bedroom because you do not want to have to travel through your house when trying to pick out what you are going to wear each day. Have a Doorway Created Next, you will need to hire a contractor to create a doorway from your master bedroom into the adjacent room. The contractor will be able to let you know if the wall where you want to have the door created is a load bearing wall. If the wall is a load bearing wall, changes will need to be made to accommodate for the weight that needs to be supported. Have Shelving Added After determining how and where the doorway will be placed, you and the contractor will need to determine what you want to store in the closet. You want to be sure you have ample storage added to the space for storing your purses, sweaters, and shoes. You want to fold sweaters and store them on shelves because the shoulders of sweaters can become ruined if you hang them on coat hangers. Have Clothing Rods Added After choosing where you want the shelving to be placed in the space, consider where you want clothing rods to be located. While you do want to make the most of the space, be sure that the rods are hung at a height that will be easy for you to reach. The contractor will know how to hang the rods so that they can easily support the heavy weight of your clothing. Add a Large Mirror to the Wall You want to be sure that you can easily see how your outfit looks each day and having a large mirror hanging in the closet ensures you can see how you look before you leave the space. Have the mirror hung at a height that allows you to see your entire outfit to ensure everything looks exactly the way you want it to work. Once you have your amazing new closet, you will be able to find everything quickly and easily so that you can save time getting ready in the mornings. By properly storing your accessories, shoes, and clothing, your belongings will last longer because they will be stored in a safe and organized manner. Contact a business, such as Renew Construction, LLC, for more information....

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Repair A Leaky Window With New Weather Stripping

Posted by on 12:58 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Repair A Leaky Window With New Weather Stripping

A leaky window can be annoying and result in a home that does not retain heat. Of course, the ultimate result is that you end up spending more money on your utility bills. Luckily, there are a few simple way to increase the efficiency of your windows. Perhaps the best way to make your windows more air tight is to change the weather stripping. This article explains how to remove felt weather stripping and apply new adhesive stripping. Remove the Old Weather Stripping You will need to put a little elbow grease into removing the old weather stripping. First, use a putty knife to scrape away as much of the stripping as possible. Be careful to not scratch the actual frame. Materials like painted surfaces and aluminum are at a greater risk of scratching. You don’t want to rub off of the paint and end up with a bigger job. Once you have scraped away the majority of the stripping, you might need to rub away the rest of adhesive. You will probably need to use a degreaser or strong cleaning liquid to get rid of all the residue. Apply the New Weather Stripping Applying the new weather stripping is easiest if you buy paper-backed felt rolls. If you buy a product that is too thin, it will not add any insulation. If you buy a product that is too thick, it might be hard to open and close the window. Over time the felt will get flattened, so it is usually better to buy a thicker product and plan on it getting smashed down. These rolls are easy to apply on a clean, smooth surface. The key is to not cut the stripping before applying it. Instead, place it directly on the frame as you peel the paper away to expose the adhesive. Then, simply bend the stripping when you get to the corner. Do not cut it at each corner. This ensures that there are no gaps between the pieces. Each window really only needs to have one piece of stripping. When you get to the end, you can simply cut the stripping with scissors. This simple job will only take a few hours. If your stripping is super old, it might come off the frame very easily. Removing the stripping and cleaning off all the residue is usually the most time consuming part of the job. Once that step is done, your installation will go very quickly. If you decide you’d rather have professionals repair your windows, contact a company like Hardware Plus...

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3 Additional Costs Associated With Installing A New Boiler

Posted by on 10:57 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Additional Costs Associated With Installing A New Boiler

Many people rely on boiler systems to keep their homes at a comfortable temperature. If you are thinking of replacing your existing boiler with a newer unit, it’s important that you take the time to consider the costs associated with the boiler installation process. In addition to the cost of the new boiler itself, there may be some extra costs that you should be prepared to pay as well. Here are three costs you should expect when installing a new boiler. 1. Expect to pay a professional to clean your heating system. The installation of a new boiler presents the perfect opportunity to clean out your home’s existing heating system. A mechanical flush requires the use of chemicals to clean out the interior surface of your home’s pipes. This flush will allow your new boiler to heat your home efficiently, so it is an expense that shouldn’t be overlooked. Be sure that you ask your heating professional to provide a quote so that you can plan for the added cost of a mechanical flush. 2. Expect to pay additional installation fees if you will be changing your boiler’s power source. Boilers can be powered using either electricity or natural gas. If you have determined that switching the source used to power your boiler will make your new heating system more efficient, you should be prepared to pay for additional installation costs. Adding a natural gas connection or having an electrician install a new outlet to plug your boiler into are costs that will be added to your repair bill so you need to make sure to budget for them. 3. Expect to pay extra if you are moving your boiler to a new location. Many homeowners decide to invest in a new boiler as part of the renovation process. If you are changing the layout of your home and need to relocate your boiler to accommodate the new floor plan, you should plan to pay extra for the installation. You may need to reroute some existing pipes or add surface pipes to ensure your boiler runs properly, and these added services will come at an additional cost. Be sure that you are planning for the extra costs associated with relocating your boiler as you budget for your renovations. Installing a new boiler can be beneficial, but it’s important to be prepared to foot the bill for any extra costs you might accrue during the installation...

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How To Avoid Sensor Issues With Your Retail Automatic Doors

Posted by on 10:36 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Avoid Sensor Issues With Your Retail Automatic Doors

Your retail store’s automatic sliding doors are quite handy for letting customers in and out easily and making your store more welcoming. However, if you start having sensor issues, you have to worry about them not working properly. Then, not only can they stop opening when they are supposed to, but they can actually close at the wrong time and put your customers at risk of injury. Luckily, following a few steps can help you avoid sensor issues with your retail automatic sliding doors. Keep the Sensor Clean The first and easiest way to avoid problems with your sensor is to keep it nice and clean. Every month or so, take the time to clean the sensor. Just make sure that you disable the door so that you don’t accidentally get injured, and use caution when using a ladder or step stool to reach the sensor area. Don’t use any harsh chemicals, and avoid using a wet cloth. Instead, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any dust or debris. Have Your Doors Inspected Regularly Even if you make an effort to clean your sensor often, you should still have your door inspected and tested by a professional. You can check the owner’s manual for your automatic sliding door or talk to a commercial door professional about your store’s specific needs, but a good rule of thumb is to have it checked out at least once a year. Then, someone who is experienced in working on commercial doors can check for issues and make sure that your automatic doors are in safe, good working condition. Be Careful About the Placement of Displays and Other Items When setting up displays of the items that you have for sale, it can be tempting to place them as close to the door as possible so you can be sure that your customers see them. You may want to keep other things by the door, as well, such as kiosks or shopping carts. Be careful with your placement, however, and make sure that you do not place anything near the door that might be in the way of the sensor. Otherwise, your door could open and close randomly, which can be annoying at best and dangerous at worst. As you can see, there are steps that you can take to avoid sensor issues with your retail automatic sliding doors. If you follow these three tips, you should be able to avoid most problems with your...

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How To Protect Your Construction Site From Thieves

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When you are in charge of construction sites, whether renovating someone’s home or building a new commercial office building in your town, security should be top-priority. There are a lot of items on a construction site that make it a target for thieves, such as copper piping, expensive tools and equipment, and various other building materials. Here are some ways to effectively protect the construction site. Secure All Tools and Equipment Start by finding a way to secure all of the tools and equipment on the job site. You should never just leave them out where you last used them the night before, assuming they will still be there the next day. For larger job sites, you can keep a locked trailer or temporary storage shed with a high-security padlock on it. If it is a smaller job site that you only intend to use for a few days, locking up tools in your truck’s toolbox might be a good option as well. With heavy equipment, just make sure it is locked and the key is nowhere in sight. Put Up Temporary Fencing Another option available is putting up temporary fencing. This is often used with long-term jobs, such as if you are building a brand new home on vacant land or you are working on extensive building repairs meant to take a few weeks or months. There are different types of commercial fencing options that are quick and easy to put up and take down. They will not only protect the site from theft, but can reduce liabilities and ensure nobody in the area accidentally gets injured from flying shrapnel and other materials. A company like Statewide Rent-A-Fence can tell you more about construction fencing options. Hire Security Personnel For construction sites where there is a lot of high-valued tools, equipment, and building materials, you might be better off hiring security personnel. This is also a good idea for bigger jobs that tend to last longer than others. You are at a greater risk of losing business assets due to theft and vandalism, so it becomes necessary to hire security personnel. You can either hire a patrol driver who drives around the construction site every hour or so overnight, or a company that has standing guards that walking the job site all night and over the weekends. Some job sites also call for security systems with video cameras and security alarms to deter burglars. Simply having a sign on the job site that states it is being monitored with security cameras can give a thief a reason to look...

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How Potholes Affect Your Life

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Potholes are everywhere in the US, and they cause a lot of damage, costing motorists time, money, and, in some instances, their health. Here are three ways that potholes can affect your life, and why you should always support road repair efforts in your community: Vehicle Damage Each year, US drivers incur $6.4 billion in vehicle damage from potholes. You have probably experienced some of this expense yourself, including repair costs for struts, shocks, or wheel damage. According to experts, you may pay as much as $2000 in repair costs due to road issues over the life of your vehicle. Bad roads take money directly out of your pocket. In some instances, you can be reimbursed for this damage from your city or town, but you will still suffer irritation and time loss due to these bad roads.  Medical Complications Ambulance drivers and EMTs report that potholes adversely affect the level of care they can give their patients in addition to causing their passengers increased discomfort. EMTs often have to insert IVs or complete other procedures while en route to the hospital, and bumpy roads can complicate their jobs. In the case of seriously bad roads, the ambulance drivers may need to take alternate routes that can delay your arrival at the hospital, compromising your care.  Commerce Poor roads can adversely affect commerce in your community. Businesses are reluctant to locate in an area with poor roads, and consumers are likely to avoid them whenever possible. In addition, companies that rely on shipments from commercial trucking need reliable and easily navigable routes to and from their warehouses. Employees also need to get to work unencumbered by pothole-ridden roads and the traffic congestion that results from frequent lane closures and detours. Businesses cannot thrive without a good infrastructure.  Although voting to support road repair may initially cost you some money in new taxes, you will save money in vehicle repairs. Every year, potholes adversely affect your car and lead to more trips to the mechanic. If you are ill or injured, bad roads can delay your care by impeding both the ambulance driver and your EMT. Finally, the economic health of your city or town may depend on having the kind of infrastructure that will attract and keep businesses. Good roads will improve the quality of your life. If you are interested in learning more about road repair, contact a business such as Bituminous Roadways,...

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Hard Water In A House: Helpful Things To Know

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Did you start experiencing dry skin after each shower in the house that you recently purchased? The reason your skin is suddenly getting dry is possibly due to your new home having hard water, but the problem can be fixed if you get a water treatment system installed. Discover below the important things you should know about hard water and getting it treated. Why Is it Ideal to Get Hard Water Treated? The most important reason why you should invest in getting the hard water in your house treated is to protect the plumbing system. Hard water is harmful to the plumbing system because of the numerous amounts of minerals that it contains. Minerals such as magnesium and calcium accumulate inside of the pipes and create a white substance called limescale that creates a blockage in the flow of water. Another reason to get hard water treated is to prevent limescale from building up on clean dishes and making them look dirty. You can tell when there is hard water flowing through a faucet because limescale can be seen on it. How Is a Water Treatment System Able to Soften Up Hard Water? The main goal of a water treatment system is to reduce the amount of minerals in the water. Basically, the system pushes the minerals out of the plumbing system by exchanging ions. The system makes use of salt to move the minerals out of the water and soften it up. The salt is only used in a small quantity, so you don’t have to be concerned about consuming a lot of it when drinking water. As the mineral are pushed out of the water, they are sent to the system filter. You will have to empty the filter every now and then, depending on the specific water treatment system that you purchase. How Much is a Water Treatment System Priced? Be prepared to spend at least $400 on a water treatment system. However, the price will also be based on the capacity of water that the system is able to soften up. If you want soft water throughout the plumbing system and have a large home, you can end up paying up to $2,500 for a water treatment system. Getting the system installed by a professional will make the price go up higher. Hire a company like Valley Pump Inc or others to install a water treatment system in your house so your skin can stop being dry from hard water...

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