tankless water heater maintenance

Tankless Water Heater Maintenance- Keep it Running Smoothly

While tankless water heaters are believed to last for more than a decade, they are not immune to the effects of rust for all that long, right? However, the thought of maintaining your water heater means you would at times risk your life with gas and electricity, in the garage. It would also mean you will be handling something you’ve probably never had in your house again. But don’t worry, we have tips for you.

tankless water heater maintenance

  • Tip 1: Clean the filter regularly

    A good tankless water heater should come with a water filter to trap sediments and dangerous minerals from getting to you. However, if you want your tankless device to stay up and running all the time, ensure you at least clean its filter once in six months. And if you use water from boreholes or dams, you might want to inspect the in line filter more often and remove the trapped debris. This makes you water heater operate smoothly without getting affected by anything.

  • Tip 2: Check for mineral deposits

    Generally, tankless water heaters do not hold a lot of mineral deposits in them. However, the little mineral deposits that attach themselves in there do hinder its operations in the long run. But you may ask what if you can’t clean out the mineral deposits on your own? Well, these days there are many professionals specialized in maintaining and cleaning tankless devices. They can help clean out the lime scale, calcium and magnesium deposits in your water heater. Besides, note that most tankless water heaters won’t last the many years they are supposed to if you can’t maintain them.

  • Tip 3: Dealing with freezing weather condition issues

    You probably know that water heaters are vulnerable to cold weather conditions. They are not indestructible after all. The worse part however is the fact that you can’t get hot water if your heater has to deal with too cold temperatures in your garage. So, what should you do? To start with, check the freeze protection instructions from the manufacturer’s manual. Check if your device is fitted with an internal heater that helps raise too cold water to ideal temperatures. Note that if you don’t take measures to protect your device against freezing, its pipes, joints and the device itself could get damaged and as a result fail permanently. The best maintenance option however is to install your water heater with insulation materials to give it warmth when the ground temperatures get too cold.

  • Tip 4: Dealing with a Gas model Tankless water heater

    Gas powered tankless water heaters require a lot of regular checkups. Earthquakes do happen, remember? In addition, a simple dislodging of the pipes that leads to your water heater could turn catastrophic if not dealt with at an early time. Fortunately you can regularly check for gas leaks by spreading soap dishes over the pipes and watching out for bubbles. Okay, consistent bubbling indicates danger, so call a professional immediately you see them.

  • Tip 5: Correcting a Vent drip

    For people who use direct vent heater system, you may have probably heard that your heater has a U-shaped loop to hold excess water from the heater. It should always have some water trapped in it if your heater is working accordingly and efficiently. You can check it out since it is U-shaped, and if it looks like there is an anomaly in it, call a plumber to fix it immediately or risk damaging your device.

Ways to troubleshoot your Tankless Water heater

tankless water heater troubleshooting

Here is how you can solve the following common problems with modern tankless water heaters.

  • Can’t get Hot Water

    One reason why your tankless device may not be working accordingly is because its burners do not ignite when you turn on the cold water pipes. It could be an electricity blackout issue, the flow sensor could have worn out, or there could be dirt buildups in there. For an electricity related problem, check if the circuit breaker keeps tripping frequently. In such a case, call a professional plumber immediately. On the other hand, if the pilot light doesn’t light up, call a professional over as well.

  • You get lukewarm water

    It is common to get a water heater fluctuating between lukewarm and hot water. Sometimes it could be that your home’s underground conditions are too low, or it could be a water heater related issue like a poorly set thermostat. In the case of cold temperatures in your garage, try and insulate the device by wrapping it with insulating materials. Alternatively you can install an internal heater to help raise cold water when it is too cold. On the other hand, if the device still fluctuates between hot and cold water after trying to fix it, call a professional plumber.

how to install a whole house air purifier

How to Install a Whole-House Air Purifier

Whole-house air purifiers use a complex air purification system to improve the air quality in your house. They operate in a centralized manner, but often work best in conjunction with a home’s central cleaning and cooling system. As the HVAC system runs, air is drawn into the whole-house air purifier clean through a high end purification system and then delivered back into your room via an already installed duct pipe.

But like small air purifiers, different air purifiers have strengths in cleaning out different types of air particles. Continue reading to learn more about this and how you could install one of these devices into your house.

how to install a whole house air purifier

For starters, there are people who survive with simple air filters and it works just fine for them. However, your health and your family’s health is by no means something you should gamble about. It is therefore of paramount importance to look for a great air purifier that will suit your family’s need and clean out in specific the type of pollutants affecting you the most. With that in mind, think about the types of pollutants you and your family face the most every day and choose an air purifier that is highly efficient at eliminating them.

If you suffer from pet dander the most for instance, go for an air purifier whose main strengths leis in eliminating pet dander. Also, keep in mind that whole-house will have to be installed by a certified professional or contracting company; hence revise your budget accordingly.

So, why buy a whole-house Air Purifier?

A lot of people think that it is just enough to buy a portable air purifier for one house. True, portable air purifiers are cheap and equally efficient, but who knows your home’s energy needs more than you? Again, an average portable air purifier can only improve the air quality of a single room. But are your pets confined to one place alone? What about the gas odors? Do you just perceive them in the kitchen? If the problem is bigger than a single room, I bet the best option would be to go for a device that caters for all rooms in your house. After all, there are too many flaws with homes that have poor indoor air quality.

installing an air purifier

Think about the headaches you experience for instance, nausea and fatigue coming from poor air circulation and probably decide on what the best solution for your home should be. Good whole-house air purifiers are excellent at eliminating germs, bacteria, viruses and particles that could easily lead to airborne diseases in your house. In addition, people with asthmatic conditions and other allergic conditions generally benefit the most from good whole house air purifiers. This is because any good device should eliminate or reduce at least 97% of all allergens in your house.

Main Types of Whole-house Air Purifiers

  • Flat Filter Air Cleaners – Often made from fiberglass, air cleaners built this way are effective at cleaning out dust and in blocking stubborn pollen. On the downside however, you must replace the filters every month besides the fact that there are not any good at eliminating very small microns and gas molecules.
  • Extended Media air Cleaner – These models combine both electrostatic technology and normal air filters to clean out even the stubborn of pollen and dirt particles.
  • Ultra violet air cleaners – These devices are the best t eliminating viruses, bacteria and common dirt types. They are in fact very common in hospitals and nursing homes where airborne diseases like tuberculosis could be of great risk to the people around.
  • Electronic whole-house air cleaners – Very effective at cleaning out dirt and viruses, these devices use electronic charges to capture and block pollen particles like magnet. They can hold almost any type of molecule irrespective of their services. On the downside however they only work in the presence of electricity.

Main Benefits of Whole-house Air Purifiers

  • Provide better air quality than standalone air purifiers
  • They maintain the cleanliness and good quality of your central heating and cooling systems
  • They can purifier air outside of our house before it gets in
  • They are generally whisper silent operators
  • They are cost effective, given that they clean out air and pollen in your home’s major rooms.
  • They require little maintenance expect for replacing their filters

How to install a Whole-house air purifier

As we had earlier stated, it generally takes the skills of a trained and certified professional to do the installation process for you. All the same, the basics of this process involve placing the unit between your home’s air ducts such that air around your house passes through the air purifier. Finally, don’t be fooled by people who say these devices are for the wealthy. There are different devices for every price range, and as such if you want one for your house, go and get it.

how to make your home more energy efficient

How to Make Your Home More Energy efficient

Walk the talk you have always meant by saying you want your house to “go green.” Tap on all resources in your home that could bring down your energy costs and replace all appliances that consume much of your energy bills. After all who doesn’t want to save money anyway? Stick with me in the article below as we highlight all the possible things you can do to make your house more energy efficient.

how to make your home more energy efficient

  • Quit all Energy wasteful Habits

    Do you have habits that could be increasing your average energy costs? How about you start switching the lights off when you are outdoors? If you live alone, check if you boil more water than you use. These are the bad habits that could be the difference between paying an extra $50 and saving that amount in the next month. There are many other poor habits the average American have and quitting them could all make a big difference when it comes to saving on energy bills.

  • Tap on Solar Power

    If you come from state plentiful of the Sun, installing a few solar panels could help you save hundreds in energy bills per year. Using solar power on your hot water systems for instance could greatly increase energy efficiency in your home. Besides, solar power is very clean, readily available and affordable to all.

  • Invest in Wall and Attic Insulation

    Proper wall and attic insulation slows down energy loss during the winter while it reduces unnecessary energy consumption during the summer. With good insulation, your house stays warm when there is cold outside, and stays cool when it is too hot. Besides that, your energy costs go down, thus making it an all win situation. Note also that any type of walls can be insulated, including those with a few cavities here and there. However it is important to call a professional energy auditor over to your home to help you get a proper assessment of the type of things you need to invest in the most.

reduce energy waste at home

  • Replace your Furnace with an Energy star rated one

    Some people still sue their 1990 made furnace. If you also have one built around that time, know that you spend about 35% more energy bills than other people. Replace that old furnace and other energy wasting appliances with devices that have an energy efficiency rating of about 90%. But if you are not sure which devices waste more energy in your home, call a professional over to do the assessment. It pays to install energy efficient appliances in your home after all. And better yet, modern energy star rated devices last longer than the traditional appliances.

  • Change your Water heater if you have to

    These days, people are choosing to pay more just to get the highly rated tankless water heaters. In case you haven’t heard about them, they utilize the lack of a tank to save you a couple of a hundred dollars every year on energy bills. They are also very durable, so more about them to see if they fit your expectations. Other than that, you may choose to spend less and insulate your hot water lines which would still bring your energy bills down by a significant amount. In addition, other simple installments like low-flow shower fixtures, and close down any other loops that would be contributing to higher energy bills in your home.

  • Install Compact Fluorescent bulbs all around your home

    In can descent light bulbs are by no doubt high energy consumers. In fact, most of them consume around three times the amount of energy simple fluorescent bulbs do. When you also calculate the service life of the CFL bulbs versus the fluorescent tube bulbs, the latter bulb types offer you more value for your money. Usually, a good light bulb should not consume more than 50 watts under any circumstances. If possible go for the simple light bulbs that consume around 30 watts if you want a more energy efficient home.

  • Upgrade your windows

    Old and leaky windows will often affect heat distribution in your house. They could also interfere with the efficiency of your air purifiers and humidifiers; all cases which could lead to higher energy bills and less efficiency in our house. However, don’t really replace your windows yet, it would be cost ineffective. Instead, identify the problems with your windows to fix them. On the other hand, you can add good landscaping behind your house and especially near the windows to help better interior air circulation as well as add aesthetics to your home.

Finally, while doing everything possible to reduce energy wastage is the way to go, don’t forget about water efficiency in your home. Install a water filter for instance and upgrade your plumbing to ensure your home is even more energy efficient.

Garage Door Opener Buying Guide

Investing in a good garage door opener is money well spent. Not only are you able to open your garage with the touch of a button, you get alarmed when thieves try to break into your garage, you access your garage even during harsh weather conditions and not to forget that you will never get rained on while you try to open the garage. But then, there are so many types of garage door openers. How do you know which one is right for you? The following buying guide will help you with everything you need to know about garage door openers.

Types of Garage Door Openers

  • Belt-drive Systems – Very quiet, very fast and definitely one of the most common types of garage door openers these days. As their name suggests, these openers use belt like systems to open or close your garage’s doors. They are strong and ultra-efficient. In fact, due to their high reliability, they have become so popular in the market; and as a result you should continue to see their prices lower as time moves on.
  • Chain Drive Systems – They may a bit noisy, but they are cheap and relatively efficient. They do make more noise however, but the fact that they are easily available and popular makes them a first choice for many low budget consumers.
  • Screw Drive Systems – They use a specially designed steel rod to lift your garage’s doors up and down. They are very powerful perhaps due to their strong reliance on technology. They also require little maintenance thanks to the fact that they have few moving parts.

Main factors to Consider when buying a Garage Door Opener

  • Strength of the Door Opener

    Different doors ask for differently amounts of power to lift them. A single door for instance may ask for a motor with only a quarter Horsepower, but a double door garage door opener will require a motor with ½ or ¾ of horsepower in them. While stronger motors last longer, they don’t really open or close your door at a faster rate. There is a speed setting function after all. However, noise production is another factor you should consider as you check the strength of a motor. A good motor should be as quiet as possible, and shouldn’t contribute to a lot of tarnishing or wearing of your door.

  • Presence of Remote Control Functions

    No one ever wants to get drenched as they reach out to open the garage door. Save yourself from the hassle therefore and buy a device with a remote control function. Some manufacturers actually offer a remote control the size of a car keys holder for easy portability, while others offer a device with features to help more than one garage bay. Besides the remote control function however, it is important to have a garage door opening function on the garage’s doors. Most of them resemble a doorbell and could or not be part of your garage door’s accessory kit. Back to the remote control function, buy a device that has plenty of helpful features as possible. There are lots of garage door openers with functions to help close down the garage for a specific number of days, or one with a delayed closing function, so that you can now stop running while getting out of the garage.

  • Security Function

    The phrase “security comes first” is often misused by many people, but it shouldn’t be ignored. It is after all a Federal law that you buy a garage door opener that doesn’t crush objects as it closes down. A good device therefore should have a reverse door opening technology which changes the direction of the door once it touches an object or a person. Luckily, most of today’s garage door openers have plenty of security functions. A popular security function for instance is the use rolling codes to prevent code theft or the interference of different garages around the same neighborhood.

Extra Features to Consider

  • Overhead lights – Buy a device with durable lights that can be switched on independently of the garage door’s systems. In addition, garage lights shouldn’t be tough enough to handle vibration in the garage.
  • Presence of Internet Connection – Many people are more acceptant of new innovations these days, and if you are also tech-savvy, buy a device you can easily control while you are in your bedroom. If possible buy a device that is easily compatible with your gateway systems.
  • Battery backup – In case of a power outage, you would still want to access your garage, right? But if door openers with battery backup seems too expensive, at least go for a device with a manual release feature.

Finally, note that it is all possible to install a garage door opener on your own. However, if the tasks get to daunting for you, please call a professional over to install it for you.

choosing flooring for your home

Choosing the Best Flooring for your Home

Choosing a flooring type is more than simply picking a good looking flooring material and installing it. It is often a daunting task where you have to spend time deciding on the many materials you can pick from, the place in your home you want to install and other considerations such as your budget. But in the end this little project could greatly increase your home’s value. However, with a simple guide like the following, choosing your flooring type could be much easier and less expensive than you could probably have ever imagined.

Factors to Consider

how to choose the best flooring

  • Where will you install the flooring?

    Before you even decide on the materials to buy, consider the amount of moisture present at your intended place of installing the new flooring. In addition, consider if you are doing a full home flooring upgrade or is it just the basement. For the most durable option, go for a flooring type that can survive both medium and high moisture environments. So, what flooring options survive in high moisture areas? Stick with me for the next few minutes and you will learn it all.

  • Costs and Durability

    You probably already know how important good flooring is to a home. But what if you don’t have the huge budget to buy high end solid wood flooring? Know your budget before you fall in love with any type of flooring. However, durability must always come to mind irrespective of how limited your budget is. Be prepared to spend some extra cash therefore so that you end up with a flooring type you will be proud of for decades.

  • Maintenance issues

    As you go online to check out the different types of flooring and their maintenance costs, also have your home’s floor measurements with you. It is important to be fully conscious about all factors you will have to consider before you can install flooring in your home. Knowing your home’s floor measurements help you know the budget and the options you have. Knowing other factors like wood is easy to maintain but more prone to termite attacks is also important.

Style and Preferences

choosing flooring for your home

What style do you love? Would you rather tolerate cold concrete but enjoy the shining looks of tiles installed onto it or do you simply love plain wood? If your house is well lit and feels spacious, I bet you would be more willing to buy a flooring type that reflects that side of you. But if you don’t know whether a flooring type will reflect the bright interior of your house, you can simply order for samples online and test them in your home.

While many other factors like color, inspiration and finish touches are equally important facts to put into consideration, the above highlighted factors are the most important things to consider. However, you definitely do need to know the different types of flooring available to you, their pros and cons, their costs and reasons why each type of flooring fits different types of home. Continue reading to learn more.

  • Hardwood

    Hardwood is by far one of the most common types of flooring. It has been a people’s favorite since a long time ago, it is till is and will probably be in the future. Thanks to the wide availability of hardwood flooring types, the fact that it is all natural and makes your home feel warm, there are many reasons you should also consider installing it. If you have a good budget, installing oak hardwood flooring can give you and edge when it comes to durability. There are also different exotic types of hardwood flooring, and there are easy to install as well.

  • Bamboo

    If you have a thing for nature, how about you try a few samples of bamboo flooring in your house? Bamboo is soft, beautiful and could be quite durable if you buy the right type. Bamboo is also resistant to contractions and swelling. And since it only takes about five years for bamboo trees to reach maturity, its flooring isn’t as expensive as tiles.

  • Laminate

    Laminate is an inexpensive and very popular flooring choice around the world. Laminate is basically layers of different wood-based materials, but well finished with a grain photographed imprint for aesthetic purposes. There are different types of laminate floors, such as engineered wood and real hardwood. Laminate can really make your house look good even though at times it could be prone to scratches.

  • Tile

    Porcelain tile is the most ideal type of flooring for many Americans with a medium or high budget. Porcelain combines the beauty and durability of stone, thus making better than granite or marble tiles. The good thing with tile is that you can add creativity to it by mixing your different styles and colors for a more appealing and unique flooring looks.

Finally, be sure to check out the very value conscious vinyl flooring, strong and reliable concrete or the beautiful Linoleum types of flooring before making a final decision on what to buy.

increase your homes value

10 Investments to Increase your Home’s Value

Whether it is repainting the walls, remodeling you house’s basement or it is changing the entryways altogether, there is always something you can do to make your house look better than before. Many people and especially your guests judge your house by their first impression of it after all, and that’s why you to uplift, remodel or totally change anything that doesn’t look fit in your house. Fortunately in this modern age, there are plenty of investment projects that could make your house standout from the rest. Here are some of them.

increase your homes value

  • Tip 1: Call a Professional over to your house

    If you intend to sell your house in the coming days, call your favorite realtor over to your house and let them help you with identifying areas that need serious remodeling. Most realtors can actually come over to you as a courtesy call, but you may have to pay a consultation fee to others. All the same, spending some time with a good professional realtor, gardener or a professional interior designer can be way too much indispensible in helping you identify the simple investments that could increase your home’s value.

  • Tip 2: Landscape

    The saying “never judge a book by its cover” doesn’t apply to visitors coming to your house for the first time. Their first impression of your home could last for years, and that’s why you really need to invest in landscaping and lawn maintenance. There are simple landscaping ideas you can try in your home, like adding seasonal shrubs, removing weeds or lawn mowing your compound regularly. Colorful plants have a way of adding aesthetics to your home after all, and more trees will show potential buyers you care for the environment as well.

  • Tip 3: Update your Plumbing

    Among the items and tools people forget to inspect and upgrade regularly are plumbing and the general water systems. The amount of rust, hard water mineral deposits and general tarnishing of your plumbing is often a leading cause of poor efficiency in your water systems, more energy bills and a good reason to make a potential buyer devalue your home. The bright side however is that you don’t need to do plumbing uplifts every month. Simply call a professional plumber to do inspection in your house to help you identify the fittings and pipes to change, the faucet you need to replace and probably help you identify a good water filter and wait till about a year later.

  • Tip 4: Roofing Replacement

    You can see a great house from afar, right? Except for the fact that there are so many components to a good home, a good roof is always the pride of a home. When your roofing is strong, attractive, doesn’t leak and looks safe, there is little you will need to invest in it in the future. And note that there is always something you can add or remodel to your roof, including simple investments like replacing old shingles.

add value to your home

  • Tip 5: Midrange Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling

    Let me ask you this, when was the last time you added a layer of paint to your kitchen? If you can’t remember and you don’t really like how your kitchen looks at the moment, add some hue to it. In addition, checkout your cabinets and sinks, remodel flooring, and replace what you don’t like. In the bathrooms also, do simple things like changing the lighting, repainting or totally replacing your toilet’s seat if you don’t like it.

  • Tip 6: Remodel your Basement and Patios

    Remodeling your basement can quickly add equity and square footage in your house. It could be an extra bedroom for your increased family after all. In addition, a house with great looking and kept patio always sell more.

  • Tip 7: Remodel your Entryway

    There is nothing that has as huge an ROI as an investment in your entry door. Invest in it and you will never regret. However, remember to add lighting and or wall art to your entryway as well.

  • Tip 8: Cut on Energy Costs

    What about you invest in something that will decrease your family’s energy costs? Wouldn’t that sound good? Replace the old and noisy appliances therefore and bring home energy star rated devices.

  • Tip 9: Invest in your Home’s Air Quality

    Investing in your house’s air quality doesn’t always mean you buy an air purifier per say, but change all the things that could be increasing the amount of allergens, dirt and humidity in your house. It could be your carpets or a lack of enough ventilation holes, just call a professional over to help you out.

  • Tip 10: Invest in a Home cleaning

    Finally, let guests and your family feel the beauty of your house. Call a professional cleaning company regularly, re-arrange the interior décor and do everything possible to increase the visual appeal of your house on both the interior and exterior.