Why Engineered Wood Floors are the Best Flooring for Your New Home

Choosing the best flooring for your dream home is not an easy task. There are a wide variety of flooring options available in the market, and it is sometimes frustrating to select the right type of flooring. Engineered wood flooring is a cost-effective and eco-friendly flooring option to add a touch of elegance to your new home. Read more about the unique features of engineered wood flooring below:

  1. Engineered wood is eco-friendly

With increasing focus on green lifestyle, homeowners are looking for eco-friendly hard flooring to make their homes truly green and environmentally-friendly. The appearance of engineered wood flooring is almost the same as that of solid wood flooring but the manufacturing processes are quite different.

Image Source: https://lifestyleflooringuk.co.uk/blog/post/five-benefits-of-linton-engineered-wood-flooring

Engineered wood flooring is made up of a thin veneer on top of a less-expensive plywood. This distinctive style of manufacturing not only helps in conservation of natural wood, but also makes the flooring both cheaper and stronger. A new industry trend is to replace plywood with recycled wood fiber mixed with stone dust which provides additional dimensional stability.

  1. Ease in installation

Engineered wood flooring offers installation advantage as it is easier and cost-effective to install than traditional hardwood floors. The wide range of installation methods include stapling or nailing, fold-and-lock, or glue. The ease in installation makes it ideal for both DIY and professional installation.

Engineered wood floors are milled with tongue and groove (T&G) construction in which the planks are fitted together, like puzzle pieces, with each row held down by the row next to it. T&G milling allow the floors to be stapled or nailed down, glued, and sometimes floated. The versatility of engineered wood can be gauged from the fact that it can be directly installed over a concrete subfloor or on top of old hardwood floors.

  1. Better resistance to moisture

Engineered wood is more capable of fighting moisture than conventional wood floors, primarily due to its dimensional stability which prevents warps and other deformities when it comes into contact with water. The relatively stable structure of engineered wood is provided by the cross-wise layers of plywood fibers which is in contrast to parallel fibers of hardwood.

The moisture-resistant nature of engineered floors makes it well-suited for moisture-prone areas like bathrooms and basements. The ability to withstand moisture means engineered wood is more durable than conventional hardwood floors.

  1. More resistant to temperature changes

Compared to traditional hardwood floors, engineered wood floors have better capabilities to resist temperature changes. The multiple-ply plank design facilitates its expansion without compromising on its structural strength and stability. The hardwood and plywood layers are bonded together under heat and pressure which negates the natural tendency of hardwoods to expand, contract, warp, or cup when exposed to temperature changes in certain areas, like utility rooms.

  1. Amazing range of styles, grades and finishes

Engineered wood floors can adapt to your lifestyle as well as your budget. It is available in a wide array of styles, like oak and maple, and diverse range of multiple finishes including matte, semi-gloss, and high-gloss. You have the option to go for cost-efficient tough, lacquered floor or to choose the top-quality oiled version. You also have the liberty to choose a rustic or a time worn appearance, depending on your preferences.

Conclusion

Engineered wood floors is a cost-efficient, durable, versatile and eco-friendly alternative to traditional flooring options, like hardwood, laminate and parquet flooring. Its ability to withstand moisture and temperature changes makes it well-suited for all kinds of residential and commercial buildings. The easy installation and hassle-free maintenance of engineered wood flooring makes it attractive for an amateur DIY buff as well as for a professional interior decorator. To sum up, engineered wood floors are a logical alternative to provide elegance and creativity to your new home.

Newly-Launched Inventions That Can Help Homeowners Save Energy

Domestic energy efficiency has advanced a long way over the last few decades. Despite our overall energy consumption increasing by just over a third since 1980, on average our homes consume around 10% less overall. How can this be the case when we have so many more electrical appliances? Back in 1980, not many homes had more than a single TV, and computers and mobile phones were essentially non-existent. Yet somehow they used more electricity!

The answer to this question comes down to one simple principle. Energy efficiency. Government regulations and technical advances led by the private sector have resulted in appliances that are simply more sustainable. Throw in a better public understanding of the importance of reducing carbon emissions, and also the use of money expert comparison sites to track the expense of powering a home, and it the picture becomes a little clearer.

Expect to see this trend, become ever more prevalent in the near future, as sustainability has become a huge industry sector that continues to rapidly expand.

Here’s a selection of the most recent technologies that are already helping homeowners save money that we can expect to become common place over the coming years.

1. Smart Homes

At first glance, you may wonder what the point is in buying a new domestic appliance that is advertised as ‘internet connected/ready’. After all, who is going to need a web compatible refrigerator or air conditioning unit? It is increasingly common for newly released appliances to boast this feature because in the coming years, our homes are going to be much more connected than at present. Being able to monitor and control energy expenditure remotely via smartphone is a tech that is already with us – but these are still the early days.

The next big step forward is going to be the implementation of wireless sensors throughout the home. These will connect all the appliances in the home to a centralized control panel which will automatically instruct how they interact with the energy supply.

For instance, appliances not in use, but on ‘standby’ mode will be entirely disconnected from the power supply when nobody is at home. Heating and air conditioning use will be precisely measured according to the ambient temperature. Just these two examples – and there are many more in the pipeline – are set to shave a considerable amount of household energy consumption in the very near future.

2. Next Generation Home Insulation

The US Industrial Science & Technology Network takes the approach that heating and cooling costs can best be reduced by simply developing superior insulation. While still at the development stage, these are promised to be far more efficient at preventing heat from escaping.

As may be expected, they are also going to be environmentally sound and most likely comprised of recycled foam materials. Should these be proven to work, there is a very good chance they will become the industry norm for new build and redeveloped housing in the years to come.

3. Reflective Roofing Materials

While insulation is ideal for maintaining an ambient temperature what about those who live in warmer climes? Everyone knows how expensive it is to run air conditioning 24 hours a day, but there have been considerable recent advances in reflective rooftop materials. Currently, these work by using special pigments that are coated onto the roof in order to reflect sunlight and heat.

The next generation in development will use fluorescent pigments that look likely to be up to four times more efficient. So for those who reside in areas where effective air conditioning is essential around the year, these new materials may well be an absolute godsend.

4. Magnetocaloric Refrigerators

A fridge powered by magnets? Close, but not quite. Refrigeration technology has barely changed or advanced since they were first introduced. Modern fridges still rely on vapor compression, which unfortunately requires chemical coolants that are notoriously bad for the environment.

Next generation models are going to be able to make use of water-based coolants that make use of the magnetocaloric effect. In layperson’s terms, this is the use of magnets to alter the magnetic field which can provide an extremely energy efficient cooling effect. Expect this to become commonplace in the coming years, thanks to their potential in enormously reducing energy expenditure and carbon emissions.

5. Much More Efficient Heat Pumps

Considerable progress has been made by the US Building Technologies Office in developing heat pumps that essentially move heat throughout the home. There are three models in design that promise to considerably reduce expenditure on heating while also significantly reduce carbon emissions. Standard gas boilers/furnaces are notoriously expensive and inefficient.

  • A low-cost gas-based heating pump could massively increase efficiency and result in lowering heating costs by a staggering 45%.
  • Multiple function fuel based pumps designed for domestic use can still save an estimated 30% with the added bonus of also providing more efficient water heating.
  • Natural gas based heating pumps connected with air conditioners aim to use a very low emission boiler to cater for all domestic needs regardless of the season. Of all three options, this is the most complete package and the one most likely to become widespread in the coming years.

These styles of heat pumps are also going to be used to significantly reduce the energy used by clothes drying machines. General Electric has been already near completing their first gas pump compatible dryer. This is intended to reduce the energy consumption of perhaps the least efficient appliance in the home by up to 60%.

6. Even Better LED Lighting

Energy saving lighting may have become the accepted norm in many households, and the good news is that it is set to become even better. At present these are up to 85% more efficient than old fashioned incandescent bulbs, but the next generation – scheduled for a few years time – promise to double their efficiency. An improvement up to 230 lumens (from the current 115) is forecast.

8% of all electricity consumption in the USA are due to lighting homes and businesses. Having that figure will make for a huge national saving and reduction of energy costs across the board. (Source:https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=99&t=3)

7. Advanced Window Insulation

While still in development this may not sound like a huge advance, but could well result in enormous net energy savings down the line. Using microprocessors and sensors to measure sunlight and radiant heat, these are going to automatically provide shading to assist with providing ideal natural lighting and also assist with heating. Expect these to be integrated with the general smart home system outlined above in due course.

Final Thoughts

So there we have seven of the most exciting and interesting developments that we can expect to see in the home over the coming years. While some are already in production while others are just passing the prototype phase, the future is looking positive in terms of reducing emissions and better managing energy consumption. Energy efficiency is here to stay and these developments will likely only be the tip of the iceberg compared to what we can look forward to over coming decades.

5 Energy Saving Tactics for Homeowners and Businesses

There are many easy ways to save money and electricity every month around your home. And as you will see from the following examples, they don’t all require you to downgrade your lifestyle or make major sacrifices in your everyday life. Some of these energy saving tactics will apply more during hot times of the year or cold times, but most will serve you well all year long.

save energy concept

And keep in mind that many of these energy-saving tips can apply just as well to businesses trying to save money as they do to homeowners.

1. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances

Your major household appliances use up a lot of electricity year-round, so when it comes time to repair or replace one of them, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient model. Many manufacturers make refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges, washing machines and dryers that meet or exceed EnergyStar guidelines and can save you hundreds of dollars per year in lower energy bills.

2. Eliminate Electricity “Leaks”

Most homeowners are aware of water leaks in their homes such as leaky faucets, cracked garden hoses and poorly sealed pipe fittings in the walls. But your home could also be leaking electricity every day.

A lot of electricity gets wasted needlessly due to so-called “energy leaks”. These could include appliances that draw power 24/7, even when not in use. Other energy leaks could be simple things like leaving the lights turned on in empty rooms or falling asleep with the television on.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to reduce energy leaks without putting a drain on your lifestyle, such as using power strips, timers and motion sensors to cut off these devices when nobody is using them.

3. Improve Your Home’s Insulation

Another factor that drives up your monthly electric bill is the hot or cold air outside making its way into your home. There are two main ways to address this:

  1. Seal your doors and windows
  2. Put in better insulation

If your doors or windows are old and have cracks or holes, then go ahead and get those replaced. Double-paned glass windows and sliding doors can add an extra layer of protection to regulate your internal temperature.

If there are any gaps around the perimeter or frame of your doors and windows, then replacing the weatherstripping should seal those off easily. This is actually good DIY project for beginners that will only cost you a few bucks and a few minutes per door/window.

Replacing your insulation can be a big job and will likely require some professional help, not only to get the job done right, but also to ensure compliance with all building codes and regulations. The main question for you to discuss with your chosen contractor will be to decide what type of insulation will work best for your needs and your budget. Common materials include natural fibers, plastics, foam, minerals and fiberglass insulation.

When hiring a contractor, be sure they include air-sealing services in the estimate, since leaks, gaps and cracks in the walls, ceilings and floors should be done prior to putting in the insulation. Some insulation types, such as fiberglass insulation, are installed using techniques that literally blow the materials into place and do an excellent job of sealing off leaks.

4. Properly Use and Maintain Your HVAC System

Your heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system can also make or break your power bill every month, especially during the winter or summer seasons. These heating and cooling systems are comprised of many motors and moving parts which are subject to wear and tear and will require ongoing maintenance.

While your HVAC system is designed to last for several years, some individual components can become worn out and create inefficiencies which overload the entire system, wasting energy and causing additional damage. So you do need to be diligent in maintaining or repairing these systems as needed. Many HVAC repair companies in your area offer free inspections of heaters, air conditioners and centralized ventilation systems, so take advantage of those when they are available.

5. Use Green Building Materials

When constructing a new home or adding on to your existing property, using green building materials can also help you save money on construction costs. Here are some examples of commonly-used green building materials:

  • Recycled steel and wood
  • Reclaimed doors, windows and lumber
  • Plant-based polyurethane foam
  • Bamboo
  • Wool

While you might not see much difference on your own personal utility bill, using building supplies made from recycled or reclaimed materials can save money on construction costs. And you can also save a lot of energy and resources on a larger scale – at the community level and eventually global level. Plus, many reclaimed material just a nice aesthetic to your home.

Saving energy at home can be easy, and with a little creativity and investment you don’t necessarily have to make any radical changes to your lifestyle either. Pick one or two of these energy saving tactics and put them to use today.

9 Brilliant Tips To Save Energy In The Winter

When those winter months come, it can feel great to blast on the heating. That feeling of being cozy in your home while it’s freezing outside is something many people love about winter. That’s until you see your energy bill and realize all of that energy has come at a steep cost.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here we look at 9 brilliant tips that are going to allow you to stay warm in your house while saving energy. This will be much better for the environment and also much better for your pocket.

1) Cozy clothing

We’re not suggesting that you have a coat, scarf, and gloves in your home. Rather you can wear jumpers, thicker pajamas and winter socks. This will allow you to be comfortable in your clothing while also giving you the ability to turn down your heating by a couple of degrees.

Also getting thicker duvets for bedtime and nice throws for snuggling up in front of the TV can help keep you warm without your boiler doing all the hard work. You always want to be comfortable in your home but sometimes that can be done without adjusting the heating.

2) A 21st century Christmas

The holiday is a wonderful time of the year and many people love putting up a vast array of Christmas lights. You don’t have to be a humbug and take them down; instead, you can do it all a little more efficiently.

In these modern times, you should be using LED bulbs for those lights. Many people are still using their old bulbs which are much less efficient, and also more unreliable. Also, put your lights on a timer so that they only come on when it gets dark and go off at bedtime.

3) Use a space heater

Do you only stay in one room during the day or evening? Heating just one room instead of them all could save you a huge amount on your energy bills.

To make the most of this you can turn off the heating in your home and switch on your space heater. This will prevent a huge amount of waste. This shouldn’t be confused with using a space heater on top of your heating as this would be more inefficient.

4) Maintain your humidifier and HVAC systems

Over time your air conditioning, heating, humidifier and energy systems will become less efficient. It’s always a great idea to service your systems such as a furnace humidifier, see if any parts need to be replaced and then enjoy their greater output.

A lot of energy can be lost by devices that are either outdated or in need of a service, with your boiler being a great example. It’s usually easy to check this yourself or call out a professional to do it for a small fee.

5) Seal any leaks

If there is a draft coming through your home, then you need to block it. One common area of concern is basements and sealing leaks will prevent the warm air of your home escaping outside.

Other areas such as doors could benefit from a draught excluder and if you have inefficient windows, using quilted curtains can prevent drafts. If you’re not sure where drafts are coming from, using an infrared thermometer can be a huge help.

6) Keep a stable temperature

Some people can fall into the trap of switching their heating on, getting too hot, switching it off and opening a window, then switching their heating back on when it gets cold. If you repeat this process, not only can you get uncomfortable, but it’s a huge waste.

The best solution is to get a thermostat that you can time. You need to know your ideal temperature and use this for when you’re at home. You will also be able to turn your heating off when you’re out of the house and down when you’re sleeping.

7) Use solar energy

There are many misconceptions about solar energy, with one of the biggest being that it only works in warm climates. The reality is that all they need is sunlight, even if it’s freezing outside. They also don’t need direct sunlight to be powered up.

If you live in a spot where you have the space and budget, then it doesn’t matter what the temperature is. While a solar panel won’t be as effective if there are fewer daylight hours, they can still provide a huge boost of clean energy in those cold winter months.

8) Avoid your tumble dryer

You can’t put your clothes outside to dry and therefore you put them in your tumble dryer, it makes sense. This they are brilliant for getting the job done quickly but use up a huge amount of energy in the process.

If your radiators are on, then you might as well use them. If you don’t need clothes to be immediately dried then they are only going to take a few hours in front of a radiator and you’ll save a lot of money.

9) Don’t block radiators

Okay, this is a direct contradiction to the point before but with clothing it is different. If you have a bed or other piece of furniture in front of a radiator, it will have a hugely negative impact on its ability to heat your room.

You need to allow the radiator to heat the air around it and then give enough space for that air to circulate. In terms of circulation, if you have a ceiling fan then it’s a good idea to put it on reverse and in its lowest setting. Hot air rises and a ceiling fan, when used like this, can push the hot air back down into the room.

11 Ideas for Easier Recycling at Home

Going green isn’t just meant for Earth Day. Going green is a way of life. However, Earth Day is a day we pause and commemorate, acknowledge and support environmental programs and Earth-saving strategies. It is also a great day to commit or recommit to employ earth-friendly practices in your life, at home and in the office. There are countless things you can do to “go green.” Most of these things are ease to incorporate into your life. Recycling is one of the easiest ways to go green. Recycling is the process of obtaining or retaining waste and converting it into usable, new materials. Some things that can be used to recycle are:

Recycling is actually a great way to conserve raw resources into energy. Recycling at least one ton of paper can save 7,000 gallons of water and 17 trees, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

As you see, recycling is an effective and simple way to help the environment. It is something the entire family can do too. Before recycling, call your local waste management services. Determine how to you need to sort and pack items for recycling. In addition, you want to know what day or days the waste management services collects recycling. Check with them to find out where you safely dispose of light bulbs, hazardous materials and batteries. These cannot be recycled or put in the trash.

Your local waste management service has different rules about how items must be sorted, cleaned and packaged. Metal, cardboard, plastics, aluminum, glass and paper can be recycled.

It can be tricky to recycle plastics because some can break down easier than other plastics. The number located on the plastic item will determine if it can be recycled. It will also determine if the plastic can be picked up for recycling.

Source: Fix.com

Although plastics are trickier to sort and recycle, it’s important to dispose of them properly. One important factor to establishing a recycling a program at work, school or home is to create a system that works for everyone. Here are a few favorites we like:

Source: DIY Swank

Recycling is about convenience, convenience and more convenience! When incorporating a successful recycling program, make bins easily accessible. They should be in an area that is easily visible and used like the utility room or kitchen where they can be seen and used.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Now, if you need a simple recycling system everyone can follow (even kids), use caster and baskets. These are easy to access and use. They slide out of site when not in use.

Source: Family Handyman

Use space by going vertical. You can hook bins on walls to utilize space. It will be easy to sort and store.

Source: Sweet Haute

Another way to make a successful recycling program is to make it fun. Use stylish bins and trash cans to recycle items.

Source: Sweet Haute

Another way to make a successful recycling program is to make it fun. Use stylish bins and trash cans to recycle items.

You may not have time to personally decorate trash cans by spray painting them. How about using printable labels. These labels can go generic bins to help separate recyclables.

Source: Lil Blue Boo

Batteries are not to be recycled. They cannot be put into a trash can for non-recycling either. Instead, they should be properly thrown away at a collection center or a participating auto part store. The same thing should be done with light bulbs.

Source: Sawdust Girl

Make a special area of your home or office to use as a personal sorting center. This is where you can sort and clean recyclables. You may want to look at some personal recycling centers to get an understand of what you need.

Source: I Should Be Mopping the Floor

Many people do not have an area they can keep bulky recycling or trash in the home or office. If this is the case for you, create a dedicated spot in the garage or other area. It won’t take long before your family or co-workers are pitching in to recycle.

Recycling is full of great ideas to help the environment. Find the ones you like. Used them in your successful recycling program.

4 Hacks to Make Your Next Home Greener

There is a huge spotlight on the construction industry when it comes to green initiatives – and rightly so. After all, this is one of the biggest contributors to all of the sustainable problems that the world faces. However, this increased focus does prompt some problems. It can make some people believe that going green in the home is out of the question – and is only going to be achieved through some really costly implementations.

Granted, there are some major infrastructure projects you can invest in if you are building a home, with solar power and ground source heat pumps tending to grab the headlines. At the same time, there are smaller wins – and these shouldn’t be underestimated, such as solid wood flooring. In fact, if everyone was to invest in these, we’d suggest that the typical carbon footprint across cities such as San Diego would drop substantially.

Taking this into account, let’s now take a look at some of the quick, green wins you can succeed with as you bid to make your next home more sustainable.

It starts with the placement of your windows

As we work with our architect in the initial design phase of our project, many of us are more concerned about the size of our bedrooms and so on.

A common afterthought is the placement of windows. Sure, some people might think about this as they consider natural light implications – but it’s time to think bigger.

Let’s not forget that as well as allowing rooms to heat naturally, windows are something that lets warm air escape. It means that their position is crucial, and treating them as an afterthought is asking for a completely inefficient dwelling.

Never forget insulation

In some ways, we were almost tempted not to include this next point. After all, insulation is an old classic when it comes to energy efficiency. It is something that has been suggested for years, mainly because it is incredibly cheap to implement whilst also being very effective.

Of course, it’s always easier to install insulation during the early phases of a project. Try and remember to focus on the roof and walls; this is where most of your heat is lost and is where you can make the biggest difference.

It’s not just about energy; think water as well

A lot of today’s guide has looked at energy, and rightly so. We are also going to dip into a point about water consumption, though.

This is something that often gets forgotten about, but the benefits are substantial. A lot of older, traditional bathroom fittings are anything but efficient – they deliver water at a ridiculous rate, and ultimately waste it.

If you turn to modern-day solutions, you’ll find that you can save gallons every year. Suffice to say, this isn’t just going to benefit your environment, but your pocket as well.

Your roof is crucial

Finally, if there was just one area of your next home to concentrate on, your roof should be up there as a priority. Nowadays, there are all sorts of materials that can help your plight. For example, for those of you who reside in hot countries, you can turn to roofs with reflective paint to deal with the heat somewhat. Green roofs are another solution which are surging in popularity but in truth, the list could go on.

Recommended Green Resources:

The Impact of Smart Homes on Generations

America is already feeling the impact of smart homes. A large industry based on this technology is forming. But, what is the effect of it on the different generations? Here you can find a brief discussion of the impact of smart homes on generations.

What is a Smart Home?

Smart homes consist of all the different smart products owned by the user. These products are interconnected. It makes use of the internet to connect to other products. This technical feature is called the Internet of Things (IoT).

There are all kinds of products. Every room or space in a home can be automated by smart home products. You can even install smart devices into your backyard like smart lawnmowers and irrigation systems.

Benefits for all generations

Smart home products are designed to benefit its users. The technology is developed for all generations. So there are benefits to its use that applies to everyone.

These benefits include:

  • An increase in comfort of the user’s lifestyle.
  • Increased life expectancy caused by the usage of these products (i.e. smart security products).

Impacts on different generations

Three larger generation groups have been defined for the purpose of this discussion. It’s been split into the retirees, the working force, and the youth.

Retirees

Smart home products can connect to all kinds of services and devices. Elderly people can enjoy minor medical check-ups from the comfort of their homes. Video calls and domestic smart medical equipment can supply all the information a doctor needs. Doctors can keep an eye on patients that are too far from their offices.

Retired people can make use of smart home technology to automate simple tasks. Grocery shopping and other basic services are accessible through these products. Retirees will enjoy the improved elderly care and greater access to basic services caused by smart homes.

The working force

Smart home products like smart thermostats have been known to save its users an average of 20% in yearly warming and cooling costs. According to a study conducted by SafeAtLast, 57% of American smart home owners save about 30 minutes per day. Automating your home will save you lots of time and effort in the process.

The working force who owns smart home products will be more productive. They will also have more cash on hand due to extra savings. Smart homes can help to create a wealthier economy by assisting the working force.

The youth

The youth of today is the promise for tomorrow. Smart home technology is indirectly designed to increase the life expectancy of its user. All these benefits will help to cultivate a better tomorrow. The youth who grow up with smart home technology will have an advantage over their lesser privileged youths. Though, the psychological effects of this technology (over the long term) is yet to be studied.

Conclusion

This technology wants to make your life better. It will benefit every generation. Give it a try to experience the benefits yourself. Read on to for interesting facts on smart homes.

Efficient Air Conditioning: Save Money by Treating Your AC Unit Right

Without a doubt, one of the reasons why so many homeowners are hesitant about the use of their air conditioning unit is due to the potential spike in the utility bills. While it is understandable to want to save money on an AC unit, it makes no sense to have an AC and never use it. It can be challenging to be comfortable in a warmer climate without the help of air conditioning, but a rising utility bill should not deter you from using it when you want to.

That said, there are some ways to help ensure that you are making the most of the unit you have. While services such as Elite AC Repair Austin are there for the more severe issues that can pop up, here are a few methods to help you save money by treating your AC unit right.

How you handle the ventilation in your home can make all the difference

For example, there are plenty of houses with furniture that ends up blocking the vents, stopping air from effectively moving freely around the home. While it might not be such a big deal, when you are trying to utilize your AC unit to cool things down, it can result in an uneven experience. Before starting, it would be a good idea to check and ensure that the vents in your house are not blocked or clogged in any way.

Purposefully blocking ventilation can have its advantages

Once you are confident that everything is in order, there is still the question of which vents to block when the AC is on. After all, there are areas of the home that do not need to be cooled down – such as the basement. By blocking the ventilation in certain areas, you can cool other rooms much faster and save money at the same time.

Understand exactly when to have your AC serviced

There are plenty of situations where it seems like the best course of action would be to use a service such as eliteaustinac.com. That said, understanding which situations merit the intervention of a professional can save you plenty of money in the long run. For example, a leak might not be so bad, but it could end up leading to mold as time goes on, eventually turning into a health hazard for you and your family.

There is also the issue of odd smells, as well as the lack of cold air. If you want to save money, it would be a good idea to have your unit serviced by an expert in AC repair in Austin as soon as possible.

Aside from the tips above, ensure that you keep the condenser clean by washing it with a garden hose every now and then. If you are curious about where to find quality AC units, Trane can help provide you with the best air conditioning units around. The tips above will help you save money while simultaneously giving your AC the treatment it deserves!

Three Ways To Improve Your Bathroom

Both the first place we visit in the morning as well as the last stop before we go to bed, bathrooms are used as regularly, if not more so, than any other room in the house. So why don’t we dedicate the same amount of time and resources to making it as aesthetically and practically successful as, say, our kitchens? Besides helping you re-evaluate the importance of the bathroom within the home, we are here to help you enact some changes that will not only improve the appearance of your bathroom but its utility too.

Boost water pressure and flow with a shower pump

A shower is an almost inviolable component of the daily routine and ensuring that it works as efficiently and effectively as possible is imperative. There are a number of different ways this can be achieved. The one change you should be prioritising is the addition of a shower pump. Without sufficient water flow and water pressure, a shower fails to be enjoyable. A shower pump can remedy this.

The kind of shower pump you will need however depends on the positioning of the water tank in relation to the pump. Efficient negative head shower pumps have the ability to act against gravity and will work regardless of their relative position to the accompanying water tank while positive head shower pumps will only work when positioned above or equal to the water tank.

Similarly, you need to determine whether your home is better served by a single or twin impeller pump – the difference being that twin impeller pumps are more adept at propelling water from far apart cold water and hot water tanks.

Ventilate your bathroom and ward off threat of damp

Bathrooms are invariably seen as somewhat of an afterthought when it comes to allocating space within a home. Often, but not always, cramped and confined, small bathrooms do little to hamper the presence of moisture in the air that will eventually condense to form water droplets on the cooler tiled or even wallpapered walls which can lead to host of damp problems.

The best way to impede the appearance and advance of damp is to properly ventilate your bathroom. Outside of taking a hammer to the walls to create a custom-made window, your options are relatively limited. The most inexpensive and practical solution is to install an extractor fan or purchase a dehumidifier. Either will help to remove excess moisture – preventing the development of damp and mould in the process.

Lighten up your bathroom

A complete bathroom décor overhaul can be expensive and time-consuming. Sometimes small alterations can be just as transformative. Electing to lighten up the room is one such example.

Going for lighter hues and tones throughout your bathroom creates the illusion of space, leading to a more spacious and airier-feeling room. This modification doesn’t necessarily require a top-to-bottom repainting; putting up posters, investing in a new and expansive mirror, and altering existing cabinets with fresh exteriors can elicit the same kind of response.

Everything You Need to Know About Solar and The Urban Heat Island Effect

As cities grow, open spaces, trees and other greenery, and other naturally occurring surfaces diminish, replaced by concrete and asphalt surfaces. When this happens, the heat absorbed by these surfaces has nowhere to go, and so is radiated and reflected into the immediate surrounding areas. This creates an urban heat island.

This leads to an increase in heat in the immediately surrounding areas, making temperatures a few degrees hotter than the actual weather. This causes discomfort to residents of the area and can also incur damage in the form of heat-damaged structures.

There is also a human cost associated with urban heat islands. Heat-related medical emergencies such as heat stroke become more prevalent in such areas as the heat can go up to dangerous levels. The EPA has taken stock of this phenomenon and is now advising cities to take steps to mitigate it. One such way is the use of Los Angeles solar as a means of making cities cooler and more comfortable to live in.

How does solar minimize this effect?

Cool Roof Strategy

A cool roof strategy is a one that seeks to use heat absorbing and/or dissipating roofing materials and technologies. Typical roofs use materials that either reflect or absorb and radiate back heat. Conversely, cool roofs, like solar, can help absorb sun rays and convert them into beneficial energy.

Solar excels at this because of the way the cells are designed and organized to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight. Solar roofs are also designed to trap this heat rather than radiate it back into the environment, something that can help reduce the amount of secondary heat being released into the environment.

Reduced Construction

When solar roofs are implemented, there is usually a reduced need to construct structures that support the traditional electric grid. Such a scenario can play out in several ways. If a new estate is being built with nothing but solar power, there is a possibility that some open spaces can be retained as fallow ground in places where utility implements would have been installed.

While the gains at this level would be marginal, implementation of this strategy across several thousand estates can help move the needle in reducing the urban heat island effect.

Combination Approach

This approach offers the greatest promise of reducing heat in urban settings. By combining the cool roof strategy with other strategies like green roofing, planting more trees and vegetation, cool paving and general smart city growth, a lot of ground can be covered.

Planting more trees and vegetation will go a long way in reducing heat in urban settings.

All these strategies have one thing in common in that they all absorb and dissipate heat in an efficient and sustainable manner. The EPA recommends these measures, among others, to cities grappling with the urban heat island effect or anticipating it as open spaces and greenery levels go down.

Many cities have a high incentive to deal with this issue because of its effect on residents and visitors to the area. If street-level temperatures are unbearable, it is possible that tourists and potential new residents may shy away from the area in favor of other cooler cities.