How To Fix Common Air Conditioning Issues

Air conditioners are great because they keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They’re a staple in most Australian homes, and without them we would struggle to function through those hot summer months.

But like with anything, there’s the possibility that you’re going to run into problems with your air conditioner. Check out our quick guide to help you troubleshoot what the problem may be.

Start by turning off your air conditioner

Make sure that your air conditioner is completely turned off and all power that is linked to the air conditioner has been turned off as well.

Check the air filter

Your air conditioner will require the air filter to be changed regularly in order to keep the air conditioner running efficiently. If you don’t change it, you might find that the filter becomes clogged and the air conditioner runs inefficiently. Make sure therefore that you replace the air filter with the right size, thickness and kind for your air conditioner. You might find that your air filter is torn, ill fitting or missing altogether, which can lead the evaporator to become clogged with dust and fungi.

Check the condenser and evaporator

Check the condenser and evaporator to see if you can see any issues. You may find that both live together in the window unit, depending on the type of air conditioner you have. They both have fans, electrical relays and connections, so you may find an issue that could be affecting the performance of your air conditioner system.

Check the thermostat

If your air conditioner is running with a broken thermostat, it makes controlling the temperature impossible, which could result in your air conditioner stopping entirely, working continually, or starting and stopping; regardless of how your system reacts, it will be inefficient and result in expensive electricity bills. Therefore, make sure to check your thermostat to see if it’s intact.

Check the refrigerant

Every air conditioner should have a certain level of refrigerant inside at all times; this is what cools down the air that is pumped through the system. If your refrigerant gets too low, you may find that your air isn’t cooling down as much as it should. Check to see how much refrigerant you have and see if it needs topping up.

Check Compressor or Motor

Air conditioners have a lot of moving parts. Sometimes, one or two of those parts will fail.

This can be hard to diagnose if you aren’t a heating and cooling expert. If you suspect a mechanical problem is causing your lack of cool air you may have to call a technician.

Check Ductwork

Your central air conditioner relies on your ductwork to circulate the air through your home.

But did you know your ductwork could actually be hindering your AC?. Leaks in your ductwork let that lovely cool air escape before it reaches its destination. Not only do you stay hot and uncomfortable, but you actually spend more money to reach your desired temperature.

Need Solid Home Improvement Advice? Follow These Guidelines

Home Improvement Advice

You may think about home improvement and have thought that there is no way I can tackle those sorts of projects! Be aware that even beginners can make certain improvements. Read on to find out how to get started.

Use fans to keep your home cool in the summer. You can cool a room by utilizing ceiling fans as these will keep the air moving. The use of these fans can impact the use of your central heating and air system, which lowers your energy costs.

Use a porch light with a motion sensor to cut down on your electric bill. You will still be able to turn the light on manually when you need to, and the motion detector can be adjusted for sensitivity.

Dirty doors shouldn’t be thrown out. The first step is taking them out of their frames so they’re easier to sand. You want to strip them down to bare wood. Pick up oil-based paint and apply with a roller. For a new feel, change doorknobs for fancier designs.

Purchase draft excluders or sealant strips to stop air from getting out. A draft excluder is placed under the door and will prevent hot air from escaping out while preventing cold air from coming in. There are also strips of sealant you can use for the same purpose. They are available at hardware and department stores.

Wall Shelf

Don’t throw out your small baby food jars; instead, use them to organize your workspace. Attach the lids under a wall shelf. You should put small items inside the jars like screws, beads nails and more. Then twist the jars back into place under the shelf. This is a good way to use your wall shelf and recycle the jars you might not use otherwise.

Place peepholes on your doors. Do it so you can safely see who is outside your door. You can also put in a peephole, which is very easily accomplished. If you have a drill, the peep hole, and five minutes to spare, you have a home improvement. If you put one in, you will know who is at your door when you hear knocking.

If you have no shower in your home, you might want to consider adding one. Not only is it easier to get into and out of a shower, but a shower reduce the quantity of water consumed by your household, particularly if there are children in the home. Drawing a full bath can use more than four times as much water as taking a quick shower.

Flooring replacement can be very expensive. For certain areas of your home, you may be able to find concrete under the existing flooring. With some stain or some paint, you have a very attractive finish for little money. You’ll have a modern look that can accommodate many different colors.

Like we said earlier, just because you are a novice does not mean that there are not a lot of projects you can do on your home. Hopefully, the information here has made you feel more secure in the knowledge that you can make a difference in your home. It is going to make you feel great to see your own work!

Let’s Make Cleaning a Family Process

Cleaning a Family Process

Cleaning should be a process which involves all members of the family. Everybody must contribute for the cause. Even children may help as well. Of course, we speak about kids which are at least five years old. They can not do much, but it is important for them to get used to cleaning from early age.

There are some household activities in which children should not be involved. For example, pest control may be dangerous for them. On the other hand kids may help you for some simple cleaning procedures.

Start by organising a family meeting. Get together all members of your family. Make a list of all household tasks like washing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom etc. Then decide who will be responsible for each chore. If your child is ten years old or more, he/she may help you with most cleaning activities. If he/she is smaller your child can do only minor things like bringing some tools, for example. At some age your kid have to know how to clean his/her own room by himself/herself.

Getting Your Kids to Keep Their Rooms Clean

Every parent likes their house to be neat and tidy – every room including their kids’ rooms. Yet, getting your kids to keep their rooms clean can be next to impossible, especially when your kids are teenagers. It may be very difficult but here are a few tips you can try.

If your kids are still young (about 9 years old or younger) it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep their rooms clean. The easiest way to do this is to teach them from the time they’re toddlers to put a toy away before they get out another toy. Then as they get older, extend this rule to include clothes, books, and everything else.

If it’s too late and your kids have fallen into the bad habit of letting their rooms get messy, then make it a rule that they have to tidy the room before they go to bed. If you don’t make your kids clean their room everyday then the job will seem too difficult and you’ll have even more trouble on your hands.

If they’re still fairly young you can encourage them to do this by using a reward chart in which they earn a sticker every time they clean their room. Then when they get 5 or 10 stickers they get to do something or they get a small prize.

For teenagers, getting them to keep their rooms clean can be a battle. Isn’t everything a battle with that age?  If you’ve taught them to do it since they were young then it should be much easier. If not, then sitting down with them and explaining why you want them to keep their rooms clean will work as well as anything else. You could even make it part of their weekly chores for which they earn an allowance.

Getting your kids to keep their rooms clean can be quite a chore. However, the earlier you teach them to do so the easier it will be to keep them doing it until their old enough to move out on their own.

You can also set up a schedule for your after meal activities. Some parents prefer to send kids in their rooms when the dinner is finished. You can organise them to help you in the kitchen, instead. For example, someone can clear the table or put the food away, while you are washing the dishes.

Needy Home? Lavish It With Home Improvement Ideas

Home Improvement

With just a few easy home improvement projects, you can make a huge difference in the overall appearance and value of your property. Actually, certain updates can increase your home by thousands. Here are several home improvement tips that will help you to get started.

Think about your improvements before you make your final decision.  Knowing what you want in advance and being clear about it is the key to a great relationship with your contractor.

When doing any home improvement project, it is important to use the correct tools. Using the proper tools will ensure that your work is completed well and with greater efficiency. It is also important that you know how to use your tools properly.

Smooth Finish

Use sandpaper when planning to stain or paint any wood surface, and then wipe using a damp rag. You will get a smooth finish by using fine-grit sandpaper to sand the item. Then collect the dust with a damp paper towel or rag, preserving the smooth finish.

Take special care when choosing a clog remover. Not every cleaner is made of the same ingredients, and some can be very harsh. Drain cleaners with active ingredients that are crystallized, for instance, may adhere to the interior of pipes, causing long-term damage. Use a cleaner that works with the septic tank you have, too.

If you will be embarking on a DYI renovation, write a list with steps needed to complete the project, then have a builder or contractor review it. You don’t want to miss a step and then find out that this is going to be an expensive mistake to fix.

Replacing your old windows with energy efficient windows is a very wise investment. They will quickly pay for themselves in the form of savings on your utility bills. Most homeowners are very satisfied with their decision to purchase new windows.

Add fruit and flowers to the kitchen for a bit of brightness and color. Arrange some flowers into an classy vase or place some colorful fruits in a bowl. This cheap element of decor will definitely brighten up the whole room. Having some lovely flowers to look at on gloomy days can boost your mood and the feel of your house.

Does your flooring look rather old? If you have a lot of time and energy, you will be remove your old flooring and install pre-glued wood tiles on your own. While many may think this flooring is cheap, it is actually very nice. It is also so easy to install that you can do it yourself.

Be certain that no particular room ever gets too much furniture. Too much furniture can make a room look much tinier. Even though the furniture is part of your lifestyle, buyers probably prefer more open space in the room. Less furniture makes the room appear larger.

Now you know that home improvement jobs don’t have to be hard. By taking the time needed and planning the job, the project can go on without a hitch. Incorporate the tips you learned here, and use it to better your home and improve its worth.

Know Your Roofing Materials

Roofing Materials

A variety of roofing materials, each with advantages and disadvantages, can top a house. Location is a main concern when selecting materials, for example in coastal areas where hurricanes are common a sturdier material is used. In the medical world a popular phrase is “doctor heal thyself,” but for homeowners it’s “owner know thy roof.”

One type of roofing materials is fiberglass asphalt shingles, which have a base of glass fibers covered with ceramic coated mineral granules. This inorganic shingle is highly fire resistant and has a longer expected life than other shingles. This type of shingle does not absorb water, and it resists cracking. According to Underwriter Laboratories it can also withstand high winds. Seems like a winner!

An inorganic, three dimensional shingle is architectural shingle. It is made of multiple layers which gives it a depth and thus an appearance closer to wood or slate roofing. Disadvantages are weight and cost, both more than other shingles.

Roll roofing is less expensive than shingles. It can be used on roofs with shallow grades, or on steeper roofs as a compliment to shingles. These roofing materials are most often used on industrial buildings. It has a heavy felt base, saturated with asphalt, covered by a smooth or mineral surface. This roof is easy to install and will last a long time, 10-20 years.

Metal roofing is steel panels used in place of shingles. Zinc is used in the best steel panels. Like roll roofing this is more common on industrial buildings. Durable, long lasting and resistant to fire, metal roofing is a great choice among roofing materials.

Wood shingles are the oldest type of shingle. Cedar is the most common wood used for these shingles, but many consist of a variety of woods. Wood shingles are amongst the most difficult to install. As expected, wood shingles are susceptible to fire. A fire-retardant coating reduces the flammability, but does not eliminate it.

A roof has other elements in addition to the shingles. These are not roofing materials such as shingles or tiles or total roof coverings, but nevertheless are elements of a roof. Flashing consists of strips of sheet metal or roofing material placed to cover joints, to make the joints waterproof. A special type of flashing is a “boot,” made to fit around a vent pipe. The boot is sometimes plastic. A Drip Edge is an “L” shaped, weather-resistant material placed at exposed roof edges to shed water and protect the roof’s wood parts. Felt paper, or building paper, is a sheet with a tough, fibrous base saturated with asphalt installed under shingles. Building paper helps keep water away from the wood frame under the shingles.

The truth is that even if you get maximum care of your roofs, there could be times when you experience emergency fixes. In the event you remember it and do the necessary at the right time, your roof will certainly possess a problem-free, longevity.

A great source of information on roofing materials is the Internet. Do your research or you could be all wet.

The Benefits of Maintaining a Clean House

Clean House

Maintaining a clean house means that everyday, several times a day you make sure all the rooms are clean and tidy. If there are crumbs on the counter you clean them up right away. If there’s a fingerprint on the mirror, you clean it before the day ends. You dust just about every day, if not every day, and you vacuum just as often.

While this might seem like a lot of work, with many things it will actually save you time and money in the end. Your countertops, floors, and carpets will all last longer if you keep them clean. And if things are always kept neat and clean then you’ll never need to do a major cleaning job that could easily cost you an entire day.

The final benefit of always having a clean house is that it makes for a healthier environment. This is especially true for people with allergies and for people with a variety of ailments.

Clean Wood Floors

Wood floors look great and have become increasingly popular over the last few years. They do require some work to keep them clean or else they won’t look good forever. Luckily cleaning wood floors is easy as long as you know how to do it.

The first thing you should always do when cleaning wood floors and caring for them is to follow what the manufacturer suggests to care for the floor. However, the floor may have been installed before you bought the home so this won’t be possible.

You will need to know what type of finish is on the floor and then follow the proper instructions for that type of finish. If you don’t know what type of finish is on the floor then you’ll probably want to ask a professional who would know.

To keep unnecessary dirt off of the floor, place mats or small rugs at the entrance of rooms with wood floors. You should also sweep or vacuum with regularity. The more dirt you can keep off the floor the less you’ll have to worry about any major cleaning jobs on your floor.  If your floor isn’t too dirty you can use a wet/dry vacuum on it too. However, usually you need to use something more powerful.

Also, you can prevent future problems by always cleaning up spills right away. You can do this by using a dry or slightly wet towel or cloth. Just make sure you wipe the spot dry if you use something wet.

When cleaning your floor don’t ever wet mop it. This could cause damage to the finish and the wood itself.

Cleaning wood floors is quite easy if you know how to do it. To keep your wood floor clean you should always follow the manufacturer’s advice and then care for the floor as you would any other wood floor.

There are many benefits to maintaining a clean house. Three of them are that it saves time, it saves money, and it’s healthier.

Save Money On Construction With Concrete Buckets And Concrete Forms

Concrete Buckets

Building a house or an office building requires you to exert a lot of effort to make sure that you get what you want, which is not easy. You need to make sure your office or home is made with durable materials and that your contractor is efficient and knowledgeable. There’s also the need to make sure that your materials used in constructing your home or office won’t go to waste.

Building materials like concrete and cement mixing are the typical materials that usually go to waste particularly when it is not used and kept proficiently. This is actually the major causes why some individuals exceed their budget if they are constructing any structure.

Workers usually accidentally spill large amounts of concrete every time they try to fill a pillar or the base of the building. These spills can incur additional expenses for you. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that much anymore, since you can now prevent it from happening.

You can actually use concrete buckets and concrete forms to make sure that no concrete goes to waste, and filling in all of the important parts of the building will also be faster. The concrete buckets and concrete forms are actually the simplest tool that you will see, however both are also the most important tool in concrete and masonry work.

It would be a lot easier for you when you have to move large amounts of concrete with concrete buckets. These buckets make it so you won’t have to put in extra effort when moving them around. The buckets will also even help you move around a full bucket of concrete into higher places, with the help crane.

Using concrete buckets ensures that you are more efficient as well as helping to make sure that concrete does not go to waste during mixing. Usually, contractors use plywood to form the pillars and the foundation. The downside is that plywood cannot support large amount of concrete, and they often result in rough and uneven surfaces.

By using concrete forms like steel and plastic forms, you can make sure that no spills will happen. Also, the best part of using the form is that you will have a smooth and even surface after you have filled the concrete to the form.

Now, if you would want to make sure that your money is going to the right place, then you should make sure that you use both of these great concrete and masonry tools for your construction plans!

Knowing how to properly work with concrete is a valuable skill. Concrete buckets can help you with that.

A word to the wise — measure, draw, and mark. Measure the distances, draw a sketch of the design you have in mind, and the make your marks accordingly. You would be surprised how many concrete designs have been thwarted from a lack of planning. Keep in mind the expense of buying these  and do your best to make the most of their versatility!

Apartment Decorating Is Simple And Fast

Apartment Decorating

When you live in an apartment or small condo, there are limitations. Since you’re only renting the property, there are certain things you’re not allowed to do. For instance, you may not be able to change the floors, put nail holes in the walls, or change the kitchen countertop. However, there’s no need to be resigned to living in something that’s less than appealing or just plain drab.

In most cases, all the apartments in a building or complex look exactly the same. A typical design will include boring white walls, bare windows or perhaps some white mini-blinds, and the same neutral flooring or carpeting. Fortunately, there are ways to make your look original and reflective of your individual style. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Decorate Your Walls

It may or may not be possible for you to paint, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Since it’s not difficult to paint over a color, many apartment managers will allow you to paint. If you are allowed to paint, use a bold, bright color on one wall to add visual impact. If the rules prohibit painting, then hang a very large and intricately patterned tapestry on the wall. Another option might be bold, colorful prints without a frame or with a simple mat edge.

There are hangers you can purchase to use when decorating apartment walls. Then you can hang what you like without putting any holes or nails in the walls, which doesn’t always go over well with management.

Add Some Drama to the Floors

It’s usually not possible to rip up the carpet or cut out the linoleum, but you can use colorful area rugs instead. For the kitchen, choose brightly colored botanical patterns. With bright sunflowers, daisies, and poppies, you can add a cheerful look to the room, breaking up the monotony.

For the living room, use one large area rug strategically placed in front of the sofa, or consider a couple of smaller rugs. As long as they complement your color scheme, you can choose bold patterns for this room. Intense stripes and plaids make a great addition to a drab décor, particularly if your furniture is solid colored.

Add Flair to the Windows

The mini-blinds may be unavoidable, but there are other ways to add a little color. Try some sheer curtains that coordinate with your other décor. A boldly colored satin sheet hung above the window that cascades down the sides and onto the floor can provide some much-needed drama.

Stick to Color, Pattern, and Texture

Color, pattern, and texture are essential for dramatically changing the look of a room. This means adding paint, throw rugs, big fluffy pillows, and other decorating accessories. Those big pillows are great for floor seating when you have several guests come to visit, so it’s a good idea to keep some on hand anyway.

Keep Furniture to a Minimum

Furniture should be kept to a minimum in order to create a spacious feel. Low-profile furnishings that don’t have arms will contribute to the open feeling. Items such as coffee or end tables should be kept simple. Stay away from anything that’s too big or bulky.

Don’t forget to add in a few creative accents of your own and you’ll end up with an apartment that looks and feels like home. With a little imagination, you can create a vibrant, appealing space.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR PICKING A QUALITY ROOFING CONTRACTOR

ROOFING CONTRACTOR

Finding a roofer is one of the tedious tasks of home ownership. It’s essential to pick someone you can count on to do solid, lasting roof work. Many homeowners are uneducated about the signs of roof deterioration. If you educate yourself on the signs of roof damage or deterioration, you can pick up on problems before it’s too late. A qualified roofer will be able to identify problem areas in your existing roof and point them out to you. Putting a new roof on a building is complicated; fortunately, a lot of roofing will survive for at least twenty years if it is installed properly.

Use your connections when looking for a roofing professional. Start with recommendations from family and friends. Price is a consideration in your selection, but not the only one. Don’t hire the first company that gives you an estimate. Aim to have at least three estimates. Getting too many estimates may be overwhelming. Getting too few estimates runs the risk of inaccurate pricing. A company that offers an extremely low bid may also be one that cuts corners, so be mindful.

It pays to interview prospective roofers thoroughly. Always ask how long the company has been in business. Since most states require roofers to be licensed and bonded, be certain the one you’re considering is. Inquire about standards for worker training, especially with regard to safety. Ask for information on the company’s financial stability.

A contractor who is committed to quality often belongs to professional roofing organizations, so ask if yours does. Don’t overlook the step of getting references and calling previous clients to check their satisfaction. Look into whether local organizations have received complaints about a roofer from dissatisfied clients.

Find out how quickly the roofing company will be able to complete their work. Inquire whether your roof can be re-roofed (have new materials installed over old ones). Your best choice may be a complete tear-off, with all-new materials. Be sure to get information on different types of shingles, what type is recommended, and why. Your contractor should tell you how long you can expect your new roof to last. Carefully go through any warranties that are provided and ask questions.

Any roofer worth his salt wants his client to understand the work being done. A roofer that tries to talk you into a product without explaining options should raise a red flag. Estimates should be clear, detailed, and always in writing. Never sign something without understanding it; ask the roofer to spell things out if needed. Get contact information for the person who will be in charge of your roof work so you can get questions answered. It’s worth paying a little more for a company you can trust to perform quality work on your home.

Roof contractor you hire should have a valid license and insurance policy. All contractors should also have insurance, like worker’s compensation and liability insurance. Be sure to personally examine jobs that have recently been done by a contractor. Get an estimate from a few different contractors, and always have your chosen contractor draft you a contract.

Window and Curtains Cleaning at the Right Time

Window and Curtains Cleaning

A couple times a year all home owners have to clean their windows both inside and out. Everyone knows it has to be done and everyone knows how to clean windows. But did you know there is a right time for window cleaning? It’s true. Read carefully these Tips:

Many people like to do their outside window cleaning on a nice, bright sunny day. After all, it’s great to be outside in the nice weather, right? Well, it’s best just to relax outdoors when the sun’s shining because the sunshine will cause streaks to be left on the windows. This is because the cleaning solution dries before you get the chance to wipe it off.

Instead you should clean your windows when the weather is overcast and a little cooler. That way you will have time to wipe the cleaner off the window before it dries.

As a side note, cleaning your windows with newspaper works just as well as using paper towels and it’s much cheaper too. This could leave ink on your hands though so you’ll want to wear a pair of gloves.

Everyone knows that windows need to be cleaned both inside and out. However, many people don’t realize the outside of windows shouldn’t be cleaned while it’s warm and sunny out side, To avoid streaks, windows should always be cleaned on cooler, overcast days.

Net Curtains Cleaning

Net curtains are preferred by people, who prefer having more light in their room. Those kind of window coverings are extremely popular for kids rooms. No matter how thin net curtains are, they need regular maintenance like everything else and are on our household chore list. Read below and find out some tips on net curtains cleaning.

Curtains tend to accumulate dust pretty easily, which changes their original look and even the way they smell. Curtains, made from material like heavier polyester or cotton, can be easily laundered in the washing machine. If yours are more delicate and most likely to get damaged if washed, follow the advice of professionals “cleaning how to clean them properly”.

Hand washing is the way to go, when dealing with delicate fabrics. Take off your net curtains and place them in your bathtub. If you don’t have one, a large sink will do too. Fill it with warm (not hot) water and add a cup of mild laundry detergent.

In case your net curtains have developed an unpleasant odour, you can remove it with baking soda. Just add half cup and soak for an hour tops. You can rub the items together for more thoroughly cleaning.

Empty the sink or bathtub once you are done. Rinse with clean water, to get rid of the scum and any possible detergent residues. Take the net curtains out of the sink to dry. Cleaners advise to very carefully wring out the excess moisture. Find a suitable place to hang them up to dry. Best, leave the process to go naturally, without using any source of heat.