Is there Any Difference in Air Filters? Cost Vs. Efficiency

Air Filters

Air filters are one of the most important components in an air conditioning system and keeping it running efficiently. The air filter serves as a device that filters out particles such as dust, lint, pet dander, pollen, dust mites, bacteria, mold spores, smoke, smog, allergens, odors, etc. The air filters are also the easiest way for you to maintain your air conditioning unit. There are many aspects to consider when choosing which type of air filter to use in your home, as there are several different types of air filters to consider.

In choosing an air filter for your home, you should consider the specific needs of your family, such as if you or your family members have allergies, if you have a pet, where you live, etc. All of these different factors will impact your decision on the type of air filter you choose for your home. This article will discuss the top rated air filters and their uses. Below are some of the most common types of air filters and some specific facts about each one, which will hopefully help you make a more informed decision about your air filter choice.

Basic Pleated Filter

The first type of air filter to consider is the basic pleated filter. The basic pleated filter is a very efficient filter. The basic pleated filter is effective at catching both larger and smaller particles and is fairly inexpensive. This filter typically costs $3-$5 in most retail stores. The pleated filter helps to reduce energy costs because it filters out more particles than a standard filter in that they filter our more particles, which keeps the air conditioning unit cleaner than standard filters. This filter will need to be replaced every month.

Flat Panel Fiberglass Panel

The next type of filter to consider is the flat panel fiber glass filter. This type of filter is the most cost efficient type of filter you can get, which makes it the most commonly used type of filter. The fiber glass filter typically costs under $2 at most stores. This filter is the most useful in protecting the air conditioning unit if it is changed on a regular basis.

However, it is the most ineffective at keeping out particles. While this filter is designed to catch larger particles, the smaller particles are often not able to be filtered out, which can lead to more wear and tear on your unit. These filters should also be replaced at least once a month.

Electrostatic Filter

The next type of filter to consider is the electrostatic filter. This filter is a newer type of filter that is charged with an electric current during the manufacturing process. This electric current helps to attract more particles and smaller particles than other filters by acting as a magnet. The electrostatic filter is more expensive than most filters. It will cost you approximately $7-$11 in stores.

However, this is a small price to pay considering the highly efficient job it can do for your system. The electrostatic filter will also offer you more savings in the long run because your system will run more efficiently by keeping it clean. The electrostatic filter does not need to be replaced as often as other filters. It can be replaced every few months as opposed to every month.

Hopefully this article has given you some valuable information in which air filter will work best for your needs. Be sure to keep in mind your family’s needs and the filter you choose should work out great!

How Common Air Conditioner Problems Can Ruin Your HVAC System

Air Conditioner Problems

The HVAC system in your home is one of the vital pieces of equipment to your comfort and relaxation. When the system is working great in the home, everyone is happy. When you have problems with your system, it can lead to high costs and cranky family members.

Keep your entire family happy and cozy by taking care of your unit. Learning the common issues that arise from your HVAC system and stopping them before they start can insure you are all comfortable. Check out these common issues and see how they ruin your system before you stop them.

Improper Refrigerant Levels

The cool air in your system comes from the proper refrigerant levels and the system being charged. When you have improper refrigerant levels, it can cause hot air to blow through the system. It will also make the system run constantly as the thermostat says the temperature is above what you have placed it at. This can wreak havoc on the system and wear it out eventually. Keeping these levels properly charged and right for your system is critical to avoiding the damage it causes.

Improper Air Flow

When a filter is blocked or a duct is blocked it can cause improper air flow in the system. This means your system is working harder to do the job it is supposed to do. If this continues you can wear out parts on the system and cause yourself higher repair costs. Keep your filters changed out and make sure you have annual cleaning and maintenance performed on the system.

Lack of Maintenance

One of the most critical parts of your HVAC system is the maintenance each year. When you have a lack of maintenance, your small tiny repairs can turn into huge disasters. By having the maintenance done on a regular basis you can avoid the costly repairs that can add up quickly. These repairs being left undone can ruin your system and what could have been inexpensive now results in replacing the whole unit.

Short-Cycling

This is a problem that can burn out your HVAC unit and raise your power bills considerably. Short-Cycling is a process where your system turns on and off too quickly. It has a regular pattern to keep your home cool but this makes it more frequent. You’ll notice the system coming on and off quite often and this can wear out your system. It happens if the unit is oversized or at times when your evaporator coils may be iced over.

Drainage Problems

Another main problem that can ruin your unit is drainage problems. When the humidity outside is high your condensate drain can be quite full. Debris can also block the drain and cause problems with the unit. You want to make sure all the debris and dirt is out of the drain and that is doing as it should.

These are just a few of the common issues that can arise with your HVAC system. They can be easy to fix and stay on top of but can ruin a system if not taken care of. The most critical component is your regular maintenance of the system. Be sure it is checked each year and fix repairs as they arise. This will lead you to less problems in the future and maximizing the potential of your HVAC system.

If you’re not already on regular maintenance, discuss this with your HVAC Company. They can help you avoid long term problems and make sure your system is in top notch condition. Also be sure your filters are changed each month and that you make visual inspections throughout the month as well.

An Automatic Sprinkler System Is Your Ticket To A Beautiful Lawn

Lawn Care

If you own your own home or a commercial property, an automatic lawn sprinkler system is a great way to save time and money. Automatic sprinklers save you money on energy costs because they use only the right amount of water and if you own a business, a sprinkler system will make your property look its best which will actually start making you money.

Only hire a professional lawn care company to install your automatic sprinkler system. A lawn care professional will go out of their way to provide you with the best system possible. First they will visit the site and conduct a thorough study of your lawn, including soil type, any inclines or declines, exposure to the sun at different times of day, and any surrounding trees or plants. Then they will draw up a detailed site map and the sprinkler positions and irrigation system will be plotted out. After that, the system will be installed and tested. For a dependable estimate, visit the EZ Lawn Sprinklers website and see what they offer. EZ Lawn is a trusted name in the Toronto lawn care industry.

Professionally installed sprinkler systems run on a timer so that your lawn is watered at the optimal time of day and only for as long as necessary. They also have a built in sensor that will tell the system if there is already enough moisture in the soil from a rain fall. The system will adjust accordingly. This is a crucial feature and one that most laymen wouldn’t be able to take into account without some help. Over watering a lawn can be just as detrimental to it as under watering.

There are a variety of automatic sprinkler systems that only use a little water. However, the key to a good lawn involves maintaining and monitoring the sprinkler system periodically so that the property can get the correct amount of water that it needs.A traditional sprinkler system has a pop-up spray head. The nozzle can be adjusted to a full, half, or quarter circular motion. The only disadvantage to using a spray nozzle sprinkler is that it is less efficient than a rotor nozzle sprinkler.

Automatic sprinklers also help homeowners save time. The process of watering a lawn with a hose wastes a lot of time because the hose must be moved every 20 minutes. A sprinkler remembers every area that requires water. As a result, the system uses less water each time it waters the property. If you have a large property, installing a sprinkler system is the most efficient option.

A home is a financial investment, so spending a bit of extra time and effort to maintain is well worth it. When a lawn is not maintained, it can decrease the market value of a home. This is why homeowners install automatic sprinklers; when a lawn is healthy, the property will increase.

Three Top Home Safety Tips for the Summer

Home Safety Tips

With the nice weather well and truly here, we can confidently say that summer is on it’s way – hooray! Gone are the long nights and miserable days and for many of us, our summer holiday is only weeks away rather than months. Of course, with the arrival of summer, this ultimately means that many of us will be leaving our homes empty for a week or two which, as we know all too well, can often be an invitation to burglars to see what we’ve got and help themselves.

There are, however, a number of quick and easy tips you can implement to help keep your home safe and secure and we’ve teamed up with MPL Locksmith Training to bring you just three of these.

1. Don’t Advertise That You’re Going Away

One of the most common reasons for homes being burgled is the fact that, one way or another, they’ve advertised that they’re away. This is a big no-no and it’s important that you ensure you’re not giving it away that the house is unoccupied. Of course, a burglar would much rather target a house that is empty than an occupied one. It’s easy to make sure that your house looks occupied even when it’s not by:

  • Using timers on lights to follow a normal pattern of living.
  • Use the same timers on the TV or radio.
  • Consider automatic curtain openers or have a family member open and close each morning and night for you.
  • Have calls forwarded to your mobile if possible as it’s not uncommon for burglars to call a home phone (if you’re in the phone book) to see if there’s an answer.
  • Ask a neighbour to put the bins out for you.

These are all easy and simple to implement and can go a long way to protecting your home. In addition, the obvious is to make sure you don’t advertise on social media that the house is empty!

2. Make It Hard For A Burglar To Enter Your Home

Always ensure that your home is as difficult to enter as possible. Multi-point door locks, as an example, are far harder to force entry through than a standard mortice lock and, as such, it’s important that you take this seriously and ensure your home is properly secured.

Of course, the obvious is to always ensure that doors and windows are locked before you go away and any glass panel or window in a door which is closer than 42 inches to the lock needs to be reinforced with security film to prevent a window being smashed and the lock unlocked.

3. Don’t Leave Keys In View Of A Door Or Window

Whatever you do, don’t leave spare keys in view of a door or window. It’s not uncommon for burglars to use a hook or similar through your letterbox or open window to fish the keys off the side, only to return at a later date.

This isn’t just when you’re away but standard practice throughout the year. Don’t become an easy target – make it as difficult as possible for a burglar to enter your home in any way and they’ll give up before they’ve even tried!

At the end of the day, too many of us fail to take home security seriously however with just a few simple tips, it’s easy to secure your home and ensure you don’t become a target or even worse, a victim of crime!

The Ultimate Product in Hot Tub Convenience

Hot Tub

Over the past few years, hot tubs have been gaining in popularity faster than any other leisure item, due in part to the fact that they’ve not only dropped in price to become affordable for your average person but also the fact that they’re being brought to the attention of the wider population a little more than they once were.

Many people are wanting to take advantage of owning their own hot tub, but what do you do if funds are tight or you don’t want a hot tub as a permanent feature in your garden? Well, one solution to this problem would be to go for a “Spa N A Box” instead, something which we first saw over at www.aquaspasupplies.co.uk.

The ‘Spa N A Box’

Purchasing one of these items could solve all your problems and be just the product you’ve been longing for. With the ’Spa N A Box,’ you could share it with another member of your family or even your next door neighbour or friend, as being completely portable it could be transported between properties when you need to.

It’s not only convenient for transporting but also for storing, meaning unlike standard hot tubs, you won’t need to keep it up permanently throughout the year.

One Third of the Cost of a Standard Hot Tub

With this innovative product coming in at around a third of the cost of a standard hot tub, it will allow you to experience all the benefits but without all the cost, something which is the only thing putting many off making a purchase.

Get All the Benefits

Hot tubs and spas are the ideal way of treating many different health problems, so if you suffer from arthritis or perhaps insomnia but aren’t sure if it will help you in the long term, by sharing your portable hot tub with someone else you won’t need to commit to all the expense by yourself.

For convenience, your portable hot tub can be set up in around 20 minutes and plugs into a standard household socket. It only takes one person to do this and requires no tools. Simply slot the sides together, add the liner and fill with water. It has a thermostatically controlled 1 KW heater and a dual thermal soft cover with the option of an additional hard cover to keep in the heat when not in use.

Like a standard hot tub it also has massage jets and a filtration system to keep the water clean. It can seat 4-6 adults yet it only measures a compact 185 cm. When not required it can be easily packed away into two boxes for storage or transportation. It certainly is the ultimate in hot tub convenience.

Above all else, this is the ideal solution that many have been looking for years. It allows you to experience all of the benefits of owning a hot tub without the price tag typically associated with them – for many, it’s win all round!

Get the Room You Want With Your Own Furniture Ideas

Furniture Ideas

Many homes come with pretty standard rooms. If you live in a modern house chances are you’ll have no uneven walls or peculiar angles to deal with, but for those who live in a period property, or if you’ve maybe had a loft conversion, it can be a different story altogether.

Sloping ceilings can make it very difficult to accommodate mass produced furniture and you can often miss out on much needed storage because of this. However, there is a way of overcoming this problem and that’s to find a manufacturer who will supply you with items built to your specification; bespoke furniture.

As such, if you need a wardrobe that is narrower than standard, or perhaps not quite as tall as usual, or if your chest of drawers needs to fit into a certain space then it’s certainly an option well worth considering.

Bespoke furniture has, to many, become all the rage in recent years, if only due to the fact that a number of fine designers and manufacturers have taken themselves to market and are offering not just high class furniture but also that which covers the practical side.

Not All Manufacturers Offer Bespoke Furniture

Of course, not all manufacturers offer this level of service and you certainly won’t find cheap furniture manufactured by some of the well known international companies available as bespoke options, however if you’re looking for quality solid wood furniture and are prepared to pay a premium for having pieces designed and manufactured which meet your own specific needs and requirements, it’s by far the best option and one which will see you end up with furniture which lasts a lifetime.

Why Natural Wood Is By Far The Best Option

Opting for bespoke furniture which is crafted from real wood instead of the imitation variety will naturally put the price up, but considering that you’ll get a piece of furniture manufactured to fit a particular space and built to a high standard with properly constructed joints etc, it’s well worth the extra money, as far as we are concerned.

Add to that the fact that it will last for years and will improve in appearance as it ages, there is really no comparison with the cheaper alternative.

We’ve recently discovered both Essex based bespoke furniture manufacturer Priest Brothers and London based Barbara Genda, both of whom offer some of the finest pieces you could hope to have designed, yet in two very different styles.

Of course you’ll also be able to team your bespoke items with standard items too as most unusually shaped rooms can also accommodate standard items as well.

However it’s certainly a valid option when it comes to furnishing your home in the way you want it. It offers a whole host of opportunities and, as far as we’re concerned, a fantastic solution to ensure your furniture works FOR YOU, ensuring you don’t have to work your lifestyle around your furniture.

Choosing the Right Pillows for a Great Night’s Sleep

Pillows

It’s hard to overestimate just how important our pillows are to providing us with a great night’s sleep. Unless we get good support for our head, neck and shoulders, a good sleep is almost impossible.

There are many different types of pillow, each one suited to a particular sleep style, so how do you choose the right pillow for you? Let’s begin your search for the perfect pillow by identifying your sleep style.

Back Sleepers

This is widely considered by the medical profession to be the best position to sleep in. Sleeping on our backs helps to keep the spine in a straight alignment and spreads our body weight evenly across a wider area.

If you sleep on your back, using just one thin pillow will provide you with the support you need. Be careful not to use pillows that are too deep – this pushes the head forward towards the chest, creating a pressure point and restricting the airway.

The good news for back sleepers is that they have the widest choice of pillow types available to them. There’s a good choice of Silentnight pillows at sleepy people.com with many suitable pillow types for you. Remember to look for fairly low profile pillows with your preferred filling type inside.

Side Sleepers

According to an WebMD article on sleep positions, 63% of us find it more comfortable to sleep on our sides. Side sleeping means that our pillow needs to bridge the gap between our ear and shoulder. This means that you’ll need a deep, firm pillow, or possibly two pillows to do provide you with the levels of support you need.

Contoured pillows, usually made from memory foam, are perfect for side sleepers. Their shaped profile is designed to fit into the space between our neck and ear offering complete support without painful pressure points.

Stomach Sleepers

Sleeping on our front means that our faces are pressed into our pillow in a way that often restricts our airway. This can mean a restless night’s sleep, with frequent changes of position to keep our airway open.

Providing you do not have a latex allergy, a latex pillow is good for stomach sleepers. Latex pillows have a vented construction that means they are breathable, allowing greater airflow through the pillow and easier breathing.

We hope our guide has helped you in your search for a better pillow and that you’ll soon be getting a great night’s sleep on the perfect pillow for you.

Ready-Made Curtains Ideal to Create a Cosy Bedroom

ready made bedroom curtains

There’s no doubt a bedroom is the favourite room in the house. After all, the average adult sleeps at least seven- to eight-hours-a-day. A hallmark of a warm and welcoming bedroom is its cosy factor. You may not be ready for a complete overhaul and redesign, but you can make a dramatic statement while bringing design intimacy into the bedroom.

The Basics

Five basic ideas can kick-start your project:

  • Embellishment
  • Window Treatment
  • A New Light Source
  • Wall Colour
  • Accent Pieces

Embellish

Embellish your wall with designer decals, but be judicious. Use these sparingly or you risk your walls resembling gift-wrapping.

Curtains and Trim

Another brilliant switch to cosiness is to change your window treatments. Consider an alternative to what you currently have. If you have curtains, consider shades or visa-versa. Search the web for deals, with keywords like ready made curtains UK. You’ll be able to take your times and look at the many options available.

There are shades available which can conserve heat in your home, while adding a fresh new look. An energy saving option like blackout curtains is another way to keep your master-bedroom temperature consistent. Even if you have blackout curtains, the curtains you choose for your room can be any colour or texture. Natural fibres, likes cotton, silk and wool add texture, and a more voluminous curtain furthers a cosy atmosphere.

Walled In

The most obvious quick fix is to change the colour of the wall paint. It’s a given that darker colours create a more closed-in, warmer feel. You can mix it up by accenting one wall in a different shade. When considering paint, look into non-toxic options without the strong scent of formaldehyde.

Smell of Success

Speaking of scents, there are many varieties of methods to bring new scents into your bedroom. The traditional candles work, but it’s important to not just buy the cheapest candles available. In addition to the obvious no-lead-in-the-wick, you will find that quality wins out. Not only will a good quality candle burn all the way to end, but it won’t leave soot on your walls and won’t be toxic. Incense is another, and perhaps safer way to bring scent into the room, but not as safe as a reed diffuser or non-aerosol sprays.

Accented

Accent the room with pillows, throws and candles – again, you do not want to fill the room with “stuff.” That’s not cosy, it is just clutter. A new deep-pile or soft rug, next to your bed, is a great way to get out of bed and feels terrific on your feet. For wall décor, while you don’t want it to match the new colour of your walls, but you want to highlight it by items that feature coordinating colours.

Ultimate in Cosy

Whether you’re influenced by the bold statements of beds on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” or have always wanted a storybook effect, a draped effect around a bed may be the ultimate in cosy. It’s hardly a new concept – called, alternately, draped, canopy, four-poster or bedstead-style beds — have been around for centuries. For sheer opulence or to create privacy for families who had to share sleeping quarters, curtains surround a bed is both intimate and dramatic. You’ll certainly be able to use the search suggested early, ready made curtains UK to find bed curtains to coordinate with your actual window curtains.

If your master bedroom is too small to accommodate your curtained bed in the centre of the room, consider placing it adjacent to a wall or window. We suggest you allow space for in-and-out of the bed on either side so be sure, unless you are a single person who doesn’t mind a single-side access. If you opt for this the accompanying hardware will vary, but not by much.

It can also be practical. You can get a similar effect by attaching a large Mombassa circular net on the ceiling over the bed and letting the sheer netting fall around – for those who live in hot or humid climates; it is an ideal protection against mosquitoes, too.

What Power Tools You Need To Redecorate Your House

Power Tools

Redecorating your home is a good idea, including renovations, remodeling and more. Depending on the scope of what your project needs to be, you are going to need to have a lot of power tools in place.

The power tools that you will need run the gamut of changes will definitely give you a fighting chance moving forward, and it all starts with understanding what your wants and needs are for your project. If you’re going with a complete overhaul, then you will need a lot of tools.

However, if you’re going to just change small things around, you may not need too much. Whatever the case is, the following are some power tools that you should look into getting as you move forward.

Power Drill

The first thing you need is a portable power drill. This becomes absolutely necessary if you’re going to need to screw anything. Whether you are putting up a picture, or you’re building new furnishings, a power drill will save you time, and headaches.

Do not work within the concept of a hand cranked screw driver, it will drive you mad. Look for power, and portable solutions that have interchangeable drill bits for best results.

Portable Jigsaw

The jigsaw is a great tool to have in place, because you can cut curves and different options fast. This becomes a wonderful element for cutting along patterns in drywall and wood alike. If you’re building a backsplash or an accent wall, this becomes a tool that is absolutely worthwhile. You’re going to find that the blade can move with ease across several components and give you curvature that would otherwise be impossible.

Paint Sprayer

Paint is an important aspect of your home’s redecoration project. As such, you could either go old fashioned and use a roller, or you can use a paint sprayer to isolate molding and more. You can get a more precise color finish and move through a room’s interior color choices with a much better transitional element overall.

Circular Saw

For those that are doing heavy projects, you’re going to need to get a circular saw. You need this to cut precision elements on the fly. While a jigsaw is good for curves, this is going to give you power to split 2 x 4 and other wood pieces.

Not only will this come in handy with larger wood pieces, it will also give you something powerful to cut through PVC, and other elements. A good circular saw becomes a standard amidst the tools you want to have around when redecorating.

Nail Gun

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as using a nail gun. This will speed up the remodeling process and installation of almost anything you need to do to redecorate. Nail guns are dangerous, so be careful when using these for the first time.

The above are just a handful of tools that you are going to want to have power with. Aside from these, make sure that you have a good tool belt with measuring tape, hammer, nails and more.

BLANCO Kitchen Sinks – How to Choose the Right One for Your Home

BLANCO Kitchen Sinks

Are you planning on remodelling your kitchen, or looking for a change in your kitchen sink? With the wide range of models in the market today, making the right choice could be time-consuming and stressful. Not to worry, I have had my fair share of experience in looking for kitchen sinks and can help you out with suggestions.

Firstly, you’ll need to decide on what you want based on your budget, space in the kitchen, and how tough you are on your sink. 😉 Yeah! Some people tend to throw in their pots and pans, and even transfer hot pans into the sink directly off the cooktop. As we all know, a sink and a faucet is a basic necessity in every kitchen, and it’s important to evaluate the various options available before you zero in on one.

When I went shopping for my kitchen sink, the person at the store asked me several questions. He asked if I multitask in my sink, and if I wash utensils as and when I use them or prefer to wash them at the end of the day. At first I was confused by his questions, but later I got to know that he had a point. He said that he recommends kitchen sinks to customers based on how they plan to use it, as it can really make a big difference.

There are a few people who say that you’ll have to compromise on look and design while choosing a sink that will work best for you. Well, I recently bought a BLANCO sink and did not have to compromise on anything this time. 🙂

BLANCO is well known around the world for its faucets and sinks and has been in the industry since 1925. They initially started with parts for cookers and water bottles but have also made and sold millions of sinks.

Here are some criteria you need to keep in mind while choosing your BLANCO sink.

Based on Material:

Stainless Steel Sinks

BLANCO’s stainless steel kitchen sinks are made from premium grade steel and come with a satin polished finish, which is created by an extensive polishing process. The sink has a luxurious look, and is smooth and easy to clean.

SILGRANIT Sinks

SILGRANIT sinks consist of 80% granite and come in beautiful colours and elegant designs. They are stony to touch and are heat resistant up to 536 °F. The sinks are highly durable; they don’t fade, and are resistant to scratches, heat and breakage. They are resistant to acid and alkali solutions, and offer easy maintenance.

CERANA Fireclay Sinks

These sinks are made using hand-finishing techniques and high-firing temperatures, and are designed to resist scratching, chipping and staining. These sinks come with beauty and durability combined. The surface of these sinks is lustrous and does not fade. It is long-lasting, rust-resistant, and shock-resistant, as well.

Based on Installation Method:

Undermount Installation

Do you plan to install your sink bowl from under the countertop? You can try this installation method if you are going in for a marble, engineered stone or granite countertop.

MicroEdge® Installation

This technology gives you a virtual flushmount look that owes its elegance to the 1.25 mm sink rim that sits over the countertop. The sink requires expert handling and can be flushmounted or topmounted, preferably by solid surface specialists.

Drop-in Installation

This kind of installation method suits all kinds of countertops and is the traditional way of installation where the sink is inserted from above the countertop.

Stainless Steel Apron Front Installation

This method has been around for 80 years and is sure to go well with all kinds of decor.

Fireclay Apron Front Installation

You can choose between a rounded front for a traditional look, and a squared front for that present-day stylish look.

There are a few other things to keep in mind as well. You’ll find that standard kitchen cabinet sizes start from 9″ in width and go on to 12″, 15″, 18″, 21″, 24″ etc. Before you buy your sink make sure you measure your cabinet size. Another aspect to keep in mind is the bowl depth; this is something you must consider especially if you use utensils like tall pots.