Monday, July 25, 2011

The Benefits of Under - Floor Heating

It makes sense for homeowners to look into new and different ways to save money on heating and cooling bills. As energy costs fluctuate according to consumption and homeowner needs, the necessity to keep costs low reflects our willingness to conserve in questionable economies. While you may be inclined to stock up on more blankets as opposed to turning up the thermostat in winter, however, you may wish to look into alternative methods of keeping your house warm, such as underfloor heating.
Underfloor heating provides homes and other buildings with a manner of radiant heating, for radiation allows for the primary source of thermal comfort. Radiation typically accounts for more than half of the heat given off in this system, which is often comprised of radiant tubes laid out underneath a floor during construction.
Are there benefits to having such a system in place in your home? Absolutely! Anything that gets layers of winter coats left on the hooks is certain to please homeowners, though the idea of a major construction project may leave people reluctant to move forward. Hiring a reputable HVAC professional contractor, however, makes for a quick turnaround in service so you can feel warm and comfortable in any part of your house. Also, consider these points:
1) Underfloor heating can free up home space. One disadvantage to other types of radiant heat is having an unsightly coil radiator in your room. You can't really cover it up, and you lose real estate, even though your radiator is likely to be tucked in a corner. Moving the heating system under the floor leaves you free to decorate as you wish.
2) Under the floor heating allows for better distribution. Perhaps with your current heat system there is one spot in the house that remains warmer than others. With everything set in your floors, the heat has the opportunity to radiate throughout the area, leaving every spot comfortable.
3) This heating system provides a more cost efficient, greener method. Homeowners with such heating in place will find it reduces carbon dioxide emissions, and the addition of solar panels to create heat can further lower energy bills.
4) Moisture content in the home decreases. With the heating equipment under the floor, there's less of a chance of dust and other allergens. The home will seem cleaner and safer.
If you are building a new construction, consider the installation of underfloor heating to keep your house and family warm in the winter. It is a great, green alternative that lasts.
Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Williamsburg HVAC services and Virginia commercial HVAC services.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Importance of Plumbing Inspections

Whether at home or in the office, you rely upon solid, quality plumbing to keep clean water coursing through your fixtures. If a reputable plumbing company took care of installing everything, you shouldn't have any issues, though this doesn't mean you'll never have problems. One way to ensure you never need to worry about clogs or leaks is to have a regular plumbing inspection done, once or twice a year, to check on your pipes, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and outdoor plumbing where applicable.
Why schedule a plumbing inspection? Well, think about it like this: you handle preventative care for things like your health, your car, and your pets, right? Why would your plumbing be any less important? You require good water flow for washing, cooking, and care of your plants and lawn - or landscaping at work. It makes sense to have a professional come in to evaluate the health of your fixtures and setup. You should also note too that:
1) A plumbing inspection can help your resale value. If you are thinking of selling your home anytime soon, that proof of an inspection can help when it's time to determine the value of your home. Good plumbing means a valuable property since a new owner won't have to do much to it.
2) Inspections can pinpoint potential dangers. If a plumbing mechanic spots an anomaly that could worsen into a more expensive problem, you can arrange for a fix that will save you lots of money and headaches down the road. To the trained eye, some things are better revealed - you may not see the same thing a plumber does.
3) An inspection could reveal places where you can save money or apply green practices to your plumbing setup. Remember that trained eye? What if a plumber came in and showed you how it can be fixed so your water and energy bills are reduced? That is certainly worth the time and investment to have him come in to lower future bills.
4) Lastly, an inspection can help you plan for the future. If you're thinking about expanding, your plumbing may prevent it. It's best to know well in advance so you don't go through the trouble of planning a new addition to your home only to find out it will cost more because of these obstacles.
A plumbing inspection for your home and office is designed to head off disasters, help plan for better efficiency in your home's maintenance, and to help you save money. Schedule an appointment for peace of mind.
Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Norfolk plumbing and Palatine plumbing.

Friday, July 15, 2011

3 Most Common Types of Swimming Pool Filters

Seasoned pool owners already know the importance of filtration. In order to maintain a clean and safe swimming environment, you must have working filters in place. Whether you use a chlorinated or salt water system, it's important to have the right filter installed. Let's take a look at three of the most common types of swimming pool filters to help you determine which is best to use in your home in-ground or above-ground pool.

The Sand Filter

The Sand Filter is appropriately because the device holds an amount of sand use for pool filtration. With this device, pool water flows into the filter, through the sand and out the other end. Any debris and dirt carried by the water is trapped in the sand, leaving cleaner water to flow out into the pool. Through back-washing and changing the sand for optimal result, all the bad stuff is removed completely. The sand filter is perhaps one of the best known and easiest types of filters to install and use.

The Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filter

Similarly built to the sand filter, the DE filter instead uses a special substance to clear debris from your pool water. Diatomaceous earth, unlike regular sand and soil, is finer and works well to sieve out smaller particles. DE filters are sometimes known as water polishers for the work they do.

The Cartridge Filter

This type of filter is easily recognizable. Rather than using a grainy substance, a cartridge not unlike one you'd use in your sink or air ducts is used to trap soil and debris. Because of the nature of the design, some pool owners may prefer this type of filter because it's easier to tell when a cartridge needs changing.

The type of filter you use for your home swimming pool will largely depend on a number of factors. What size pool do you have, what is in your budget, and how often you plan to use your pool. The more you swim - especially if you live in an area with a nice year-round climate - the more likely you are to change out filtration. Any pool is a serious investment, so you want to be certain you get the filtration system set up correctly the first time.

When in doubt, consult with a pool service professional at your local supply store. Learn everything you can about the filter you will install in your pool.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Chesapeake pool supplies and Norfolk pool supplies.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Do You Need Renters Insurance?

So you have decided, either because you're not sure if you plan to stay where you are or you aren't ready to take on a mortgage, to rent an apartment or house. That's fine - given the present economy, more people have turned to renting affordable houses and condos based upon their current incomes and needs. If you travel often or have no children, renting offers a reasonable alternative to owning a house. Once you've made the decision on which place to rent, then comes the question of insurance.

Do You Need Renter's Insurance?

As you discuss lease terms with your potential landlord, the question of home care will certainly arise. As a tenant, it is your responsibility to make sure you manage your living quarters well. You may reach an agreement with your landlord where he/she will handle lawn maintenance or other projects - it typically depends on your landlord's involvement in the home's care. Of course, your landlord will have insurance policies on the building to cover certain damages, but those policies don't necessarily protect what you bring into the home. This is why you should consider a renter's policy.

This type of insurance policy covers the items you own within the home or apartment. Your furniture, television, computers - anything of value - is covered and protected in case of damage brought on by accident or bad weather, or theft. If somebody were to break into your garage and steal your bicycle, a renter's policy should cover that asset.

Do you need this type of insurance? If you do own a number of expensive devices or valuable antiques, it would behoove you to carry a policy in the event something does happen. If you choose to rent near a beach or an area susceptible to bad weather, there is a heightened risk of damage, even though it's possible anywhere you live.

Obtaining a Policy

If you already carry a policy for your automobile, you may wish to consult with your agent to see about your options for renters insurance. A premium could be more affordable than you think, and if you keep important equipment for work and play - musical instruments, game console, and MP3 players - you will find the cost to replace something is more prohibitive than if you had a policy to cover its loss.

Most insurance agents that deal with home and automobile insurance will be able to help you with a renter's policy. Take the time to consider the investment for your peace of mind.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach insurance agencies and Norfolk insurance agencies.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Is Your Air Conditioning System Meeting Your Needs?

Where you live, what you do for a living, and what you do at home are but a few factors that determine the usefulness of your current heating and air conditioning system. If you're at home trying to unwind after a long day of work, you want to feel content and comfortable in your surroundings. If you suspect the heat or air isn't working to your satisfaction, you will know immediately just from the temperature in the room. However, the occasional mishap doesn't necessarily mean a replacement is in order. It's important to know which kind of HVAC equipment works best for you.

To better determine whether or not your current setup is working right for you, take into consideration your lifestyle:

Where You Live:

If you live in a relatively warm climate, you naturally depend more on your air conditioning through longer stretches in the year. By comparison, homeowners in northern areas may use heating and air for equal amounts of time, or cut back on A/C if the weather is temperate enough not to require it. Your home's location plays a major role in determining the type of HVAC system you'll require. Consider the year-round temperature and buy accordingly.

Where You Work:

How does where you work affect your home HVAC system? For one, your work determines how long you are away from home on a daily basis. You may work anywhere from eight to ten hours a day, leaving your home unattended. Do you leave the air conditioning on to come home to an Arctic blast? If you are the type to converse energy (and consequently your bills), you may tend to keep your system off for long periods when you're not around. If that's the case, you'll want a system that isn't affect by long periods of inactivity.

What You Do at Home:

When you are at home, are you active? Do you tend to relax on your deck as opposed to your living room, or spend time in the garden more than in front of the TV? If your home is basically the place where you come to sleep until it's time to tackle the next day, you probably don't require a heavy-duty system - rather one that keeps you cool or warm when you most need it. You'll need to decide if an energy-efficient HVAC is right for you. Price accordingly what is available for your budget and be comfortable when you need it.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Newport News HVAC services and Williamsburg HVAC services.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hire a Professional Plumber to Fix Backflow Problems

Every time you turn on a faucet to fill a soup pot, or to run a tub full of water for a bath, you expect what comes out of the spigot to be safe and clean, good enough for consumption. Whether you use your city's water supply or have some kind of well system set up for your home, it's important to make sure everything is working to maintain the proper filtering of your water. When things go awry and you notice your water doesn't look clear or maybe gives off an unpleasant odor, the last thing you want to do is use it for cooking or bathing. You could have a problem with your backflow preventer.

Simply put, backflow is the reverse flow of your main water supply. When your home plumbing works properly, only clean drinking and washing water will flow through your pipes when needed. In cases of severe weather or other damages, anything that faults the pressure that maintains water flow, there is the chance dirty water from storage is drawn into your plumbing. This contaminate flows in reserve into the good water stream, and therefore gets into your pipes and sinks, tubs, and so on. When this happens, it's necessary to contact your plumber for repairs.

Backflow Preventers

Dirty water coming out of the faucet in your first sign that you water needs to be tested, and your backflow device repairs or replaced. Typically your backflow plumbing should be tested once a year to make sure everything is in working order, but it's important to have a plumbing mechanic check it in extreme emergency cases. Make sure the person you hire has certification to work on such devices, which may include a check valve, a reduced pressure device, an air gap, or an atmospheric vacuum breaker.

Because some systems may require specific handling and parts, it is best to have somebody with experience tackle the plumbing job so no further damage is done to your water flow. Make sure the system you have installed comes with a warranty and learn everything you can in the event you need to describe another problem to your plumber should something go wrong.

Without a good backflow device, spoiled water may continue to be a problem for your home. Luckily this problem is easy to spot, but until you get a plumber to come in and take care of your backflow problem, you must refrain from using your tap water until you're certain it's clean enough to use.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Palatine plumbers and Palatine plumbing.