Tuesday, May 31, 2011
If there isn't one to catch then make your own.An outdoor ceiling fan is nice but sometimes all it does is move warm air around. A pedestal fan set to oscillate will really create a cooling breeze and the comfort level will rise tremendously.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Something to consider when trying to keep your cool this summer might be a patio misting system. These can lower the ambient temperature of the desired area by 10 degrees or more. They consist of misting nozzles coupled to a home water system and a simple network of hoses. The water consumption is very low and the installation can be completed with a minimum of tools and experience. Not too terribly expensive and worth it just to keep your cool outside. Clogged nozzles are a frequent bugaboo but easily remedied. Filter systems are available to keep this inconvenience to a minimum.Stay cool!
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Sometimes when it gets hot we have the impulse to crank the air and kick back. This you should not do. Take the time to cool down first. This is a holiday post so I couldn't come up with anything much of relevance but check it out tomorrow.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
When you get the vacuum out to do the blinds and upholstery try to remember to clean the ceiling fans too. Not just the blades but the backside of the motors where they draw in air. They get clogged with dust and lint which makes them run hot and inefficiently. An in efficient fan uses too much energy for the benefits it delivers.
I can ramble on endlessly about anything but would rather talk about what is important to you. Which I can't do if you don't talk to me. So what I am going to do is tell you about the obvious that gets overlooked beginning with pipes. If they are outside or exposed insulate them soon. Why you ask? Well since no-one is asking I'll tell you anyhow. It's a whole lot easier to do a good job now than it is after the first hard freeze warning when you can't feel your fingers. Plan now for the future to make the future easier on you. Plus you get the added benefits of insulated pipes in the summer as well.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I just thought of something. And if I just remembered I'll bet a lot of others forgot too. If you have a fireplace and the season is over make sure to close the damper so your A/C isn't going up the flue. Just make sure Santa isn't stuck in there first.
As I mentioned in the last post light bulbs emit heat that your A/C is forced to deal with. This is true of any appliance. Computers,TVs,DVD players, etc,etc. Nowhere is this truer than the kitchen with its range/oven and refrigerator hummin. So get outside and cook the hot stuff if you can. With a gas or electric grill you can keep a lot of hot air outside where it belongs. Think about it. You pay for the energy to produce the heat anyhow why should you pay for the energy to get rid of it also? Save the heavy oven work for winter when it will actually help heat the house.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Turn it off if you aren't using it. Our parents were right we're not trying to cool the outdoors so keep the doors shut. But times change and more than likely the kids (if they are even home) will be inside and plugged into something. But somethings don't change like a light bulb that isn't on doesn't use any power. Also if that light bulb is of the CFL variety rather than incandescent it doesn't use as much energy when it is on. Another thing about CFL bulbs is they don't generate nearly as much heat for the A/C system to overcome.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Can you hear it? That is the sound of your money being sucked out of your bank account. Higher costs of energy coupled with everything else is bleeding you dry. But there are ways to slow the hemorraghing at your end even if the power company is mercilessly raising rates while pleading rising costs and not greed as the reason. I'll try to stay out of the politics and double-dealing aspects of why you're getting shafted (unless you ask). I'm not here for that. I am here to help you find cost effective ways of lowering your usage while still maintaining comfort.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Save yourself!(And your furniture) Plus gain the benefits of reduced A/C usage. There are DIY window tint kits that require little more than a squeegee and window cleaning implements to cut down immensely on the heat and UV rays transmitted by your windows. If you don't wish to tint your windows perhaps consider blackout shades that can be drawn during the worst of the heat and glare.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Holy %#*&! Stuff starts getting expensive quickly! But knowing what to do and knowing when to call for help are both equally valuable skills. As a general rule if you can screw it up and haven't it's because you haven't tried hard enough yet. Another good rule is if it needs to be done now and done right consider hiring a pro. There is a big difference between living with a bad paint job till next weekend and trying to keep your ceiling from caving in becaused of a botched patch
Monday, May 16, 2011
Once you have identified all the trespassers and their entry points as well as sealed up any ductwork leaks. (duct tape duh!) Fixed displaced insulation and made sure the exposed electrical isn't rat gnawed now is the time to get out, take a break and think about your next step. It should be obvious if you've been thorough in your inspection. Something is going to strike you as needing immediate attention and since you took good notes you won't forget anything. First and foremost you want to address any immmediate threats to the home. (again duh!)
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Well you finished the roof inspection and checked out the ductwork. Hopefully you found all to be in good order and not in need of attention. What's next? A cold beverage? Nope. Look around and see what spent the winter up there and initiate eviction proceedings. Look for disturbed insulation,rat droppings,nut shells,snakeskins and any other evidence that you are not alone. Have a look at any exposed wiring and junction boxes to be sure they haven't been chewed by vermin or children. And finally see if you need to rearrange or replace any insulation.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
So you've got your stuff together and you are ready to go up top. I forgot to tell you to bring a sharpie please do that. OK the primary mission is to check for problem spots underneath the roof decking. The biggest offenders are where there is any penetration of the roof itself. I.E. plumbing vents, skylights, chimneys etc,etc. Since you are up here and already sweaty make it worth your while and check the other stuff too. Since you remembered to turn on the A/C fan before you came up you can check your ductwork for leaks. Allright! Holler at someone to turn the fan on so you don't have to get down and do it. Now, holding that piece of paper by one corner gently pass it around all sides of the ductwork. If it catches a breeze then you have a leak to mark with the sharpie. Stay tuned for other fun attic stuff next.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
OK so you're heading up to check stuff out. You've picked a cool time of day and are dressed appropriately. So before you go get your tools together. Here is what you'll need.#1 light and a good one you need to really see things and that penlight with the half dead AAs isn't gonna cut it. #2 screwdrivers phillips and standard. These are for poking suspicious places and to secure loose stuff.#3 a sheet of paper. You are still taking your notepad and pen but the sheet of paper is going to potentially save you$$. Now you can do this 2 ways and it is up to you how you do it. Not only are you looking for leaks but you are looking to correct the obvious stuff too.
Monday, May 9, 2011
As I said in my last post a quality inspector doing a roof inspection will want to have a look at the underside and framing. This is the first place that problems manifest themselves. If you are handling it yourself you are going to have to get up there and spend some time. The best time to accomplish this is Early in the morning when it is as cool as it's gonna get. If it's a rainy day that is even better because that is a good time to spot any obvious leaks. You'll want to dress for the occasion in long sleeves and trousers if you have fiberglass insulation. Now since you are going up, there are a few other things to accomplish and you might as well do them now. The attic is home to some key components of a homes mechanical systems and I'm not talking about the Christmas decorations.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
This one is important but may need to be farmed out to a pro. However on a single story home with a low slope, and good ladder,shoes ,balance and insurance if you are in decent shape you can do this yourself. You are looking primarily at the overall condition such as age and weathering of the roofing material. You also will be closely inspecting where any two rooflines come together. Where any wood comes in contact with the roof you are looking for rot, peeling paint, etc. These areas are often the most neglected due to the inaccessibility of their location but they often take the most abuse from the weather due to their exposure. If you have any doubts at all about the safety of doing this yourself hire a professional home inspector. They know what they are looking for and will often cut a break on the price if all they have to do is the exterior of the roof. However a good one will often insist on doing an interior inspection of the attic to determine the soundness of the inside structure.
Friday, May 6, 2011
To do a proper inspection first clear away any and all vegetation,debris,etc away from the house. If it's not part of the house it shouldn't be there anyhow. Next get your grubbies on cause you'll need to spend time on your knees. Examine closely the spaces between the siding and the slab or where the stucco meets the earth. These are primary entry points for moisture and insect intrusion. Make a note of any spots that need to be sealed and any insect evidence needs to be addressed as well. Termites are best left to the pros but you can handle ants and roaches yourself. If you can't tell the difference guess what? You're not alone and need the pros.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
OK you've been around the house and written down any problems of note. What? OK I'll wait while you get your notepad and catch up. Soooo... there are a couple of spots that are of particular interest to you. #1 The foundation, especially if you live in a frame house with siding. Work your way around the entire perimeter of the house and carefully inspect for bugs, wood rot, and any other obvious problems.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Did you clean it or did you CLEAN it? Did you pay attention to the sticky bits that were stubborn? Here in Fl we have a term called WDO's which is a catch-all term for anything alive that can eat your house....Ewwww! These include but are not limited to Insects,rodents, Fungi,mold or the Fl state flower mildew. Anything that was tough to clean or simply fell off warrants closer inspection if was something other than just dirt then it's time to go to work.
Spring is in the air and it's time to spruce up the ol homestead. Maybe a new coat of paint is in order, or maybe you are blessed with one of those "maintenance free" exteriors. Since there is no such thing as truly maintenance free the first step is to clean it! Clean it well and inspect it thoroughly for the little things that can be addressed before they become big things.