Tag Archives: house

Fun Facts About Air Conditioning

While air conditioning is considered a saving grace in most parts of the world, most people don’t know the history of how it came about. In that spirit, here are some fun facts and interesting tidbits about that most cool of modern luxuries, the air conditioner.

The first public places to offer air conditioning were movie theaters. During the blazing hot summer months, the theaters would crank up the cool air in the hopes that people would flock to them and see the latest movies. This is where the tradition of “summer blockbuster: films comes from.

Without the invention of air conditioning, there would be certain medications unavailable today. Such medicines as antibiotics were generally only able to be studied under the cool temperature that air conditioning brought.

The amount of energy that Americans spend on air conditioning is enormous. In fact, the amount of energy that America uses to power every single air conditioner is equivalent to what Africa uses to power the entire country.

In the time before air conditioners were invented, people kept cool with giant blocks of ice. When air conditioners were invented, their output was measured by how many blocks of ice the machine’s cooling power was equivalent to.

The air conditioner was invented by a book publisher. Mr. Willis Carrier created the first one back in 1902 as a way to prevent his book paper from expanding and the ink from running.

It is a proven scientific fact that modern air conditioning has actually lowered the human body’s natural resistance to hot weather. This is why people should always maintain proper air conditioning service the woodlands tx.

The very first auto company to make air conditioning standard in their vehicles was the Packard company. Sales skyrocketed until the other companies took notice and joined in offering this particular amenity.

A primitive version of the air conditioner was invented in 180 AD. It was a 10-foot wide hand-cranked rotary fan that was actually capable of cooling an entire auditorium full of people. It could also be moved by pushing it along on its 7 wheels.

 

How to Check Your Toilet for a Broken Flapper

One of the most important parts of your toilet is the flapper. Also called a flapper valve, it looks like a small plastic piece attached to a metal chain. The chain part connects to the handle on the outside of the toilet that you use to flush it. When you press down on the handle, it forces the chain to rise, which opens the valve and allows water to go down the hole in the tank. The flapper will then drop back in place and form a seal to block any leaks from forming. If you think that your toilet has a broken flapper, you can identify the problem on your own.

Listen for Running Water

The first sign that your toilet has a broken flapper is water that constantly runs in the tank. Though you expect to hear the toilet running when you first flush, you also expect to hear that water stop running once the tank fills. If the flapper cannot form the tight seal needed, it will allow water to keep moving through the toilet. As your tank cannot completely fill with water, you’ll hear the sounds of running water all day and night.

Check the Tank

Most toilets have a tank with a lid on top that lifts off to let you access the inside. Find the chain attached to the flush handle, trace it down to the bottom and examine the flapper. Some older flappers used a type of flexible rubber material that molds to the shape of the toilet drain to form a tight seal, but newer flappers often use a type of harder plastic. Damage to the flapper such as cracks in the flapper itself, a broken chain or even mold can keep it from forming the seal that you need.

Hire a Plumber

While you can check plumbing Brandon FL stores for new flappers, you may want to call a local plumbing company and ask for help swapping out your flapper. You may find that stores do not offer the exact type of flapper that you need or that you aren’t sure how to affix the new chain to your old handle. There is a chance that you might have problems beyond needing a new flapper too. Plumbers can inspect the toilet and tell you exactly what repairs you need to stop leaks, running water and other problems.

 

Is It Time to Seal Your Wood Deck?

Whether you’re building a new wood deck or just maintaining your old one, it’s important to protect it with a good sealer. By sealing and maintaining your deck, you will increase the wood’s strength and durability and reduce daily wear-and-tear from foot traffic.

Why Is A Sealer Important?

When wood is cut from a tree and harvested as lumber it’s no longer protected by natural oils found in tree bark. Without oils, bare wood becomes dry and brittle and prone to attacks by borer insects and termites. Water will cause bare wood to swell and sun will cause it to dry out and shrink. This process of expanding and shrinking will cause the wood to become unstable, resulting in warping, twisting and cracking. Without a proper sealer, your beautiful wooden deck will rot and collapse over time.

When Is The Best Time To Seal Your Deck?

The best time to seal your wood deck depends on several factors including the age of your deck, your climate, and your local weather conditions. For proper protection, it’s important to apply a good sealer at the right time of year.

The Age of Your Deck – If you’re building a new wood deck, you should wait at least one year before applying a sealer. New wood requires time to cure and dry properly or it won’t absorb the sealer. With new wood, protect your deck with a new wood treatment for the first year, then followup with a sealer. If you have an older wood deck, you should reseal your deck every 12 to 18 months for best year-round protection.

Your Climate – In most areas, it’s best to seal your deck in the spring or fall when temperatures are mild. If you apply sealer during the summer heat or winter cold, the sealer won’t penetrate the wood properly to provide adequate protection. For best results, check the product label on your sealer or talk to your contractor to find more details today.

Weather Conditions – Before you apply a sealer, clean your deck to remove dirt and debris. You can use a power washer, but allow the deck to dry for two or three days before sealing it. When the deck is completely dry, apply the sealer and let it dry for one or two days. Make sure to check your local weather forecast and choose five or six days with mild temperatures and no rain.

5 Things Your Kitchen Needs

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Renters everywhere know that a good kitchen is hard to find… and extremely valuable when you finally do. To really have a kitchen that works, you either need to build it to spec or use what you have cleverly. It’s also about what you bring to the space. Regardless of whether you’re renting or building, here are five things every good kitchen should have.

1. Hardware

Having the right tools for the job is essential. Manufacturer websites, like the one run by Asko, are an excellent resource when researching kitchen appliances because they cover just about everything – ovens, kitchen cooktops, fridges, and dishwashers… the lot. Knowing things like size, shape, price ranges, and even build quality in advance will allow you to get the most optimal equipment for your money.

2. Utensils

Having a wide range of quality cooking utensils is a must for any quality kitchen. Utensils can be anything from oven mitts to a quality set of kitchen knives to meat thermometers. These will facilitate the creation of any number of recipes and solve any prep problems as they crop up. Again, these tools come in all kinds of price ranges and levels of build quality, so you should absolutely spend some time researching online before making a purchase.

3. Space

One area that many people seem to forget when building a kitchen is simply having enough space to move about in. This is so important, especially if you’re building an investment property to be rented out. A kitchen should be big enough to accommodate two or three people at a time for preparation of larger meals, or just to allow people to pass through the room during prep times without causing a pileup. Again, this is a frequent concern for the long-time renter.

4. Airflow

A well-ventilated kitchen should be considered mission-critical. A properly installed rangehood above the cooktop to hoover up any smoke or steam and large windows nearby in case the rangehood isn’t able to catch it all are a must. You don’t want the house filling with smoke and accidentally setting off the smoke alarms when all you were trying to do was fry some bacon on a Sunday morning!

5. Waste Disposal

Proper waste disposal is another must-have for the kitchen, whether it’s in the form of an actual in-sink waste disposal system or just a nice, large bin nearby for tipping scraps, offcuts or vegetable peelings into. This helps you to perform that simplest of kitchen rituals: the ‘clean-as-you-go’ strategy. Cleaning up after yourself as you cook means much less washing up after the meal when you’ve got a full belly and would really rather watch some TV or go straight to sleep.

These are just a few of the things that could be considered for every kitchen, but everyone’s tastes are different. Everyone uses their kitchen for different things and that means what one person considers essential, another may not. What are your must-have items for the kitchen? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Financial Truth About Renovation: How to Remodel Your New Home on a Budget

Although property price growth in London is beginning to stall in the wake of fresh warnings from economists, the real estate market remains in relatively good health. This is good news for property-owners. Especially for those who have considered selling their home and relocating to a new geographical area. Despite continued speculation that the property market is becoming increasingly destabilised, this demographic of home-owners may be required to act sooner rather than later if they are to sell for a profit.

 

Photo not mine

Photo not mine

Managing Your Finances When Moving: How to Save and Make Money

It is important to remember that profit is relative, however, and that it can be influenced by reducing costs and generating additional income when relocating.

Consider the following steps towards achieving these goals: –

  1. Clear Your House and Embrace the Thrift Market

 Prior to moving, it is wise to complete an inventory of your material possessions and identify any items that will not be required in your new home. This is something that individuals and families often overlook, especially when they are moving to a new home where there is additional space and storage. It can provide you with a unique opportunity to generate additional income. You can access the thriving thrift market and sell your unwanted items for a competitive price. Although you may not make thousands, the income that you do earn can go towards work on the house and boost the profitability of your sale.

  1. Upcycle and Sell Old Furniture

 On a similar note, you may be fortunate enough to move into a furnished home with existing possessions. Even if you do not want to keep these items for personal use, you can at least consider the idea of upcycling these unwanted items where necessary and selling them on for a 100% profit. Any money that you generate from selling these items can be retained, although you will need to factor in the cost of materials and listing all items for sale on sites such as eBay. The fact that you may have to post cumbersome items of furniture may also carry a substantial cost, unless you are able to partner with a specialist and flexible delivery service such as TNT Direct.

  1. Adopt a Proactive Approach to Home Remodelling

When the time comes to renovate your new home, it is all too easy to lose control of costs and expenditure levels. This is because the combined cost of labour, materials and other accessories can quickly accumulate over time, especially if you fail to prepare a viable budget or create a financial contingency. If you are committed to saving as much money as possible, the best strategy is to adopt a proactive approach to work and identify the tasks that you can complete as an individual and without the need for employing tradesmen.

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