While summer may be fast approaching, some areas of the United States may still be on the chilly side from time-to-time. The weather, as the saying goes, tends to have a mind of its own.
When you do need to take off the chill, it makes sense to have a high-efficiency heating system.. Energy-efficient heating systems have an annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE, of 90% to 95%. As the weather begins to warm up, you can start turning back your thermostat when you’re at work or engaged in other activities that keep you away from home for an extended period of time.
Were you aware that if you’re going to be out of the house for 8 hours or so, that turning back your thermo (more…)
Owning a home or business is no small task. Homeowners and business owners are oftentimes left wondering what upkeep or upgrades need to be performed in order to guarantee peak energy efficiency; one great way to ensure that we are not losing money on heating or electrical costs would be to focus on window replacement.
A whole 45% of the average energy bill goes toward heating your home or business, according to the Department of Energy. Drafty windows can add 10-25% to your energy bill each month; in order to lessen the energy used to heat or cool your home or business, focus on replacing your residential windows.
A recent survey revealed that almost two-thirds of homeowners are planning on renovating their homes, so why not start by replacing your outdated, drafty windows? You can experience the difference in both your heating and cooling bills by changing one aspect of your home.
Replacement windows cost, on average, between $300 and $700 per window. While replacement windows may seem like an expensive renovation; according to the National Association of Realtors, homeowners who replace their residential windows can get back 80% of their investment in home equity. Plus, if properly maintained, high-quality vinyl replacement windows can last 20 or more years.
The best windows for residential window replacement are both cost effective and energy efficient. Before making the investment in replacement residential windows or commercial window replacement, check to see if your window company offers dual-paned windows. The best window replacement, dual-paned windows are about two times as effective at retaining both heating and air conditioning compared to the single-paned. Check to see if your Chicago based window company offers dual-paned windows and determine if they are the right fit for you and your family.
We cannot underestimate the value in replacing your home windows. While residential window installation may seem like a mighty task, ultimately, its increase in your home’s value and efficiency cannot be matched. Be sure to check out your local windows in Chicago and find reputable residential window installers to ensure both the best installation and quality that cannot be matched.
The bathroom is an underrated place in the home for artistic expression. Kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms often get stylized according to the homeowners designers but too often the bathroom gets left as a bland and impersonal statement. Yes, the bathroom is a personal space but it’s precisely because it’s a personal space that it should be personalized like everything else! There’s no sense in having a beautiful home or a gorgeous apartment if you’re just going to leave 1/5 of it blank, senseless, and completely uncolored. There are a lot of fun ways to personalize your bathroom and make it fit with the rest of your home while still staying under budget and on-schedule. What follows is a short list of manners in which you can theme your bathroom to make it more exciting for you or visit (more…)
Different homes are setup for different geographies and different areas. Each different type of environment produces a different sort of home with charms and styles unique to it. A home in the city is going to look different than a home in the country and vice versa. Likewise, the inside of the homes is going to look very different depending on where you live. For instance, a tile bathroom countertop is going to be designed for a different aesthetic in a beach home than a home in the surburbs. A coffee table in a beach home is going to look different than coffee table in a ranch home. What follows is a brief list of types of homes and the types of furnishings you might find in each. Follow along and remember- if you’re buying or selling a home, take a second to figure out what looks fitting and comfo (more…)
If you have a backyard septic tank, proper maintenance is essential in preventing flooding and breakdowns. These messy problems can be a headache, taking time and money to clean up. Fortunately, you can avoid septic disasters by following septic care best practices. Avoid the following mistakes to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your tank running well.
- Flushing Non-Flushable Items: Septic systems are not meant to handle all materials. You should only be flushing toilet paper down the toilet. This means that you should never flush tampons, pads, diapers, and other paper toiletries down the drain, as these items can be harmful to your septic tank. They can also cause blockages in the pipes.
- Pouring Grease Down The Drain: If you are pouring kitchen grease down the sink, you could be causing major issues for your tank. When grease cools down, it forms a coating around the inside of your pipes. This stickiness collects food particles and causes buildup, eventually leading to a clog.
- Ignoring Maintenance Needs: If you notice a small issue in your septic tank, make sure to address it immediately. Basic septic tank repair will eliminate the problem and prevent more serious issues down the line. It is also important to schedule regular septic pumping and cleaning to keep everything running smoothly.
- Flushing Cat Litter: This is a common habit in many households, as cat litter often comes with a “flushable” label. Litter does not actually break down and could cause clogs in your system. Avoid this habit to keep your tank clear.
- Washing All Your Clothes At Once: Your septic tank receives all the waste water from your washing machine. By doing a significant amount of laundry in one day, you could overwhelm your tank and cause a flood. To avoid this, spread your laundry throughout the week.
If you have any doubts or questions about your septic tank care, consider hiring a septic tank service to inspect your system. They will have advice about what you can do differently. The EPA recommends that most septic systems be inspected every three years and pumped every three to five years. This might vary based on your type of tank, so be sure to ask an expert.
Choosing flooring options for a new home or during a home remodel can be one of the most stressful aspects of the design process. With options from carpeting and hardwood floor to ceramic tile, laminates, and vinyl, the possibilities are endless. Hardwood floors have long been a household staple, but when should you go for them and when should you try a different option? Start with this simple guide:
You want to ensure a high resale value for your home.
Are you looking to move out soon or are you buying a new home as a resale investment? Hardwood flooring is the best bet for a good investment, as 54% of homebuyers say they would pay a higher price for a home with hardwood floors, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS. As people change career paths and locations more throughout their lifetime and the house-flipping trend becomes more popular, ensuring a high resale value is essential. Give the people what they want, and what they’ll pay more for – hardwood floors.
You are concerned about allergies.
If you or someone in your household suffers from environmental allergies, you may want to skip the hardwood floors and opt for carpet installation. Carpet has been shown to be more likely to reduce allergens in the home. A study in Sweden demonstrated that when carpet use decreased by 70%, allergic reactions within the population increased by 30%. For some, allergies can be a debilitating health issue, making it valuable to have floor materials that lessen the effects of those allergies.
You want an easy cleanup process.
Perhaps you have a house full of kids, a dog, or maybe just a particularly messy significant other. Especially compared to carpet, the color and floor texture of hardwood makes it much easier to clean. Cleaning hardwood floors usually requires light mopping, making sure to avoid using too much water and oil soaps or products containing citrus.
You love the environment.
As the flooring industry becomes more and more innovative, there are new environmentally friendly options, especially with linoleum floor installation. Linoleum is made from all completely natural materials which come from renewable sources, including dried and milled flax seed mixed with other plant material (pine resins, wood flour, ground cork) with a jute backing. This makes it a 100% biodegradable flooring option. So if the environment is one of your top priorities, you may be able to rest easier with a linoleum floor in your kitchen or bathroom rather than hardwood.
When the team of workers came to your house to work on addressing a foundation issue caused by street creep, you had an interesting conversation with the foreman. He asked if you had ever considered adding a sump pump to your basement. When you replied that you had never had any problem with water in the basement, he countered with questions about residential radon testing. As the conversation continued, you feared that you had not done everything that you could to make sure that your family was safe in the home that you provide.
Every parent wants to make sure that they have a home that is safe. From the youngest of infants to the mildly irritating teenagers, parents wan (more…)
Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that deserves the name of the silent killer. When it occurs in homes at concentrations above the danger level, it is a serious health hazard. Thousands of long cancer deaths have been linked to radon. Radon abatement can reduce radon concentrations in homes to safe levels, eliminating the health risks.
What is radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally-occurring radioactive gas. It can easily be inhaled and has harmful effects on human health. It has been identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the U.S. by the Surgeon General. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Surgeon General’s Office, radon causes 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
Radon is a dense, inert ga (more…)
According to the Surgeon General, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today, responsible for as many as 20,000 deaths per year due to exposure to levels beyond what is considered safe by the EPA. It is recommended that you have your home inspected and tested to see if you are at risk, as it is estimated that one in 15 U.S. homes is believed to be at, or over, the EPA’s level of safety.
What is the safety level? According to the EPA, anything less than 3.9 pCi/L is considered acceptable. Anything greater than that increases the level of risk in which the individual can find themselves. It is highly recommended that individuals reach out to radon testing companies or a (more…)
Spring is a common time for making home repairs and cleanups. The indoors are dusted, thoroughly cleaned, and refreshed. The outdoors, however, often require much more work. A long winter with snow and ice can leave your yard in dire shape. The first few weekends of spring are usually spent evaluating outdoor needs, and then completing those exterior lawn tasks. As you begin to prepare for your outdoor spring cleaning projects, ensure that you have the necessary tools and products handy. It will make the work go faster and easier.
Weed and root maintenance
As the snow first melts, you are left with dead grass and flower beds. After just a couple days of spring, it seems that the weeds begin to grow. In a matter of days, they quickly take over your flower bed and lawns. According to the We (more…)
Do It Yourself Repair
Incredibly ubiquitous, modern style furniture allows us to sit, recline, lay, and simply enjoy our surroundings. Whether we use folding chairs at the beach or a rolling chair in the office, we use furniture everyday. In fact, it seems very nearly impossible not to use furniture during the day! Standing throughout the day can be [...]
Camping is one of the most popular summer vacations in the United States. According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, approximately 8.9 million households own an RV alone. This does not take into account the number of campers who choose to rent cabins or stay in ground tents. As you prepare for your camping trip [...]
Is it time to have your roof inspected? Under normal conditions, it should be inspected at least once or twice a year. If you live in an area that experiences heavy storms and winds, however, you’ll want to have it inspected more often. Do you currently have an asphalt shingle roof? Approximately every 4 out [...]