Home & Garden

Keeping Your House Warm in the Winter Months

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In the coming cooler months, keeping your house warm can be an issue. Some houses are very expensive to heat because they may have flaws in the insulation, windows, or doors. By making a few small improvements you can keep your home several degrees warmer. As an added benefit, many of the tips below will also increase your energy efficiency and keep your energy bills low.

Insulate

Insulation is fairly cheap and easy to install. There are many areas in your home that could benefit from proper or added insulation. Some areas that often lack used lawn tractors for sale include:

Basement and Attics – By adding a layer of insulation to your basement and attic you will help the primary living areas of your home stay warm. Even if don’t you use your attic or basement on a daily basis, adding insulation will help keep heat from escaping the house. This will keep each room warmer longer, preventing you from having to keep the heat on constantly.

Pipes – The more your hot water heater has to work to keep your water warm the more energy you waste in escaped heat. To keep heat where it is needed most, and keep your water hotter for longer periods of time, insulate the pipes in your basement and underneath your home. This will also prevent outdoor pipes from freezing in the winter.

Fill the Gaps

Before winter begins, walk through your home both inside and outside to look for any cracks or gaps that may need to be filled. These areas could be allowing cold air in or letting the heat in your home escape. The location and size of the crack or gap is will determine the type of filler you will need to use to close it. Also take a look at your heating ducts to see if there are any cracks that can be covered with heavy-duty electrical tape.

Seal Drafty Windows and Doors

If you have used riding lawn mowers and doors it can be expensive to have those all replaced. If you are not able to replace any windows or doors, you can seal them with weather stripping. If you have sealed your windows but your windowpanes are still allowing cold air in, purchase indoor window insulation. These kits allow you to apply a plastic coating to the interior of your windows that will help to keep warm air in and cold air out. All you will need is a kit, a step stool or ladder, scissors, and a hairdryer.

Service Your Heating Units

Another good thing to do before the winter season kicks off is have your heating units inspected and have any annual maintenance completed. This could be a water heater tune-up to make sure it is working at its full capacity. And you may need to change or clean your air filters to ensure that you don’t overwork your furnace and waste energy. If you are not able to service your units yourself you can hire an outside contractor for general maintenance and tune-ups.

Each of these heat saving ideas will help keep your home toasty and warm in the fall and winter months.

Home & Garden

How I’m Spending My Sunday Morning

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Good Sunday Morning. I’ve been reading a few different news sites this morning, just casually sifting through the pseudo news that the liberal media loves to pump out as the truth these days. I found two articles on the same site that I want to mention briefly. Article one has to do with a Muslim doctor from Canada who was removed from a flight originating in San Francisco. He was removed from the aircraft in Denver. All I can say doctor is that you had better get used to it. So many people are now playing the race card, saying that they are victims of racial profiling.

You bet you are! As far as I’m concerned, that’s just too bad for these folks that have to ask do male cats spray. If they have to face these kinds of things at any airport, for the good of all of the other passengers, then I say good work, security people. I can understand these people’s aggravation and resentment. Not all Muslims are violent people of course. But, the rest of the passengers have no clue as to what these people are thinking or planning, better to side with common sense and caution, than to have families falling from thirty five thousand feet, while they are on fire from an explosion.

There was no fighting or racial slurs exchanged according to the article, but can you blame these people for over-reacting? Every time I’ve flown since 9.11.01, I’ve always been on alert as to who’s around me. If anything were to look suspicious, I would certainly make the cabin crew aware of my suspicions. I have no intention what so ever of flying again. I won’t submit to a near-body cavity search! What I mean is that I won’t submit to being treated like a terrorist any longer.

The reader’s comments on this article were surprising. Some were really offended by the mutinous passenger’s reactions. On the other side of the coin, if I were confronted with the same scenario, I may have very likely got off of the aircraft myself.

Bored At Home

Hopefully I will be on the way to my gal’s place in a while, I’ve had enough of sitting around here all weekend! No kids, no nothing. Well, at least I wrapped up the changes to Michigan Blog’s appearance this morning. I did a bit more tweaking after last night’s efforts, hope y’all like the way things look. My hernia is bothering me a lot this morning, it’s tender and bulging out a lot more than last night. Ouch. Three more days and I’ll be under the knife. I’ve got to work though, Monday and Tuesday… It’ll be an exercise in slow motion lawn mowing because the faster you ride, the harder the ponding your body takes. Lovely isn’t it?

After the surgery, I’m off of work for two entire weeks. Two weeks of complete boredom! I’ll have to get creative to stay busy… How about vacuuming and dusting the house every day? Yeah, what fun eh? At home I’m having to deal with cat urine – why is my cat peeing everywhere?

BTW – I looked again at Michigan Blog in the Internet Explorer browser after completing the changes to the site – I’m telling you folks, if you want to see Michigan Blog how it’s actually supposed to look, then you must use the Firefox browser. Michigan Blog looks like shit in IE I’m sad to say, and better than ninety percent of my visitors are unfortunately running this lousy browser, too. Sorry, nothing personal meant by that! But the teletype font doesn’t render all the way down in any post, borders are wrong or missing, there are too many errors with IE to tell you all of them right here. Try Firefox anyway, you won’t miss your IE browser. Internet Explorer sucks!

Well, how about something from my inbox to entertain you??

Home & Garden

Tips for Maintaining Your Water Heater in Top Condition

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The quintessential water heater is an electrical appliance that is relatively easy to maintain. There are two kinds of water heaters that are available for home use. The gas heater uses gas to fuel a burner to heat up water while the electrical variant makes use of a heating element to heat the water in a storage tank.

Regular Checks for Optimal Performance

Water heaters do not require much maintenance, very similar to the always reliable frost green Kanken. Simple home maintenance for these appliances includes insulating the pipes to prevent heat loss, checking the pressure valves, and checking the fuse and circuit breaker for proper power supply.

Possible Problems and Causes

  • Water temperature not alright.
  • Not enough hot water.
  • Odor and sound.

The causes for the problem can be easily detected even through home maintenance. If the water is too cold or too hot, the reasons could be a faulty thermostat, problem with the heating element or even because of an improper power supply. Replacing a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker may just be the solution to the problem. If the problem is with the thermostat or the heating element, part replacement may be required.

The cause for insufficient water could either be leaks in the inlet as well as outlet pipes or simply unnoticed increase in usage. This needs to be checked and the necessary repairs need to be carried out. It is essential to keep watch on the quantity of hot water being used. Setting the thermostat to an optimum temperature is also a good way to save on fuel and safe especially in the case of homes with children. It can preen accidents from scalding hot water.

Leaks need to be checked for and fixed as soon as possible. When left unattended, it can strain the heater and cause damage to the heating filaments as well as the burners. Fuel consumption and the electricity bill show a marked increase.

Foul odor is often the result of water reacting with the anode in the heater. This can even lead to bacterial growth. This problem may be solved by draining off the water completely before restarting the heater. If the problem persists, replacing the anode is the only solution. Follow manufacturer instructions to replace the parts safely.

Sediment build up over time is also a cause for odor and sound. In fact, this even causes more fuel to be used up for heating and reduces the efficiency of the heater. Flushing the tank once in a while at regular intervals helps avoid this problem.

Safety Precautions before Repairs

These appliances do not have any moving parts, just like the Kanken backpack; however some precautions need to be taken before maintenance. In the case of gas heaters, shutting off the gas supply is very essential before any maintenance. The burner may need some cleaning if there is problem with heating. Sediments and blocks in the burner could be the reason. The flame needs to be then reignited. Sometimes the thermocouple that starts the ignition could be faulty and may need replacement.

In the case of electric water heaters, switching off the power supply and draining the water from the tank is very essential before maintenance. Parts that are being replaced should be certified for the appliance. This not only safeguards the appliance but also ensures best performance as well.