A properly serviced and running HVAC system is vital to ensure that you don’t have skyrocketing energy costs. A faulty HVAC system can cost any homeowner a lot of money in costly repairs, not too mention the time spent feeling uncomfortable if it is too cold or hot. Keep your HVAC system running right, and with the tips below it is a great start, so continue reading.

Make sure you check the filters in your air conditioning unit. This is important because checking your filters could make the difference between inexpensive repairs and more expensive ones down the line. Try to put it into your monthly schedule so that you don’t forget to check the filters regularly.

When a contractor gives you a list of references, be sure to make use of it. Call the people on the list and ask about the quality of the work, how closely they came to their quote and whether or not the work was completed according to the promised timeline.

If you have condenser units outside your home, be sure to clean out the debris from them often. You can never tell when things will pile up, especially following rain or wind storms. These can wreak havoc on your units. It could overheat and cause a disaster with your unit.

Do you hear a clicking sound when your fan is turning? This may mean that there is something in the way of the blades of the fan. If it gets so bad that the blade bends, you must replace it, just unbending it will leave the fan unbalanced and can cause further issues.

In order to avoid having any problems with your air conditioning unit, keep all vegetation at least two feet away from the outdoor unit. The unit should be clear of any vegetation on all sides and above. When you mow the lawn, aim the grass clippings away from the a/c unit. This will prevent grass getting inside the a/c and making it malfunction.

In order to cheaply cool your home, turn the temperature up. If you take a few showers a day or just drink a cold ice water, you’ll find that you’re saving a lot of money on your utility bills by keeping the thermostat a little higher than usual in your home.

If you currently have a manual thermostat, consider installing a programmable one. You can set your system for different temperatures depending on time of day and if anyone is home. Also, you can set upper and lower temperature settings to allow for a comfortable range of temperatures so that heating and cooling don’t kick in when not needed.

You do not want your living environment too hot or too cold, and having a good HVAC system that is running how it is supposed to is key. Thankfully, you just learned some helpful tips that showed you how to spot problems, along with how to properly maintain your HVAC system. Keep these tips in mind as you perform regular maintenance on your HVAC system.…

Considering that termites cost homeowners more than $5 billion in property damage each year, Springfield residents owe it to themselves to know them and take a proactive approach to protect their homes from the devastating damage the pests cause. Termites can cause considerable damage in a very short time span, resulting in thousands of dollars’ worth of damage that homeowners are left to pay. When you call a professional for residential termite control Springfield IL, worries are gone.

Signs of a Termite Infestation

Hollowed or damaged wood behind walls, underneath floors, and on the exterior of the home’s structure indicate the presence of termites. Termites chew through wood searching for cellulose to munch upon, which often leaves grooves behind. Don’t ignore this common sign that you have termites lurking around your property.

Look for discarded termite wings near doors, windows, and other entry-access points. Termites actually purposely discard their wings since they no longer need them once they land. Swarms of termites may also gather around these same areas, especially if there is an air conditioning unit nearby.

Look for mud tubes where the ground meets the house or other wood sources. Subterranean termites create mud tunnels to travel underground and transport and hide their food source. The tunnels help create a suitable environment for the termite since it depends on certain environments to thrive.

These signs are the most common indicators that termites are in or near your home. Other signs may also indicate termites, so keep an eye out for anything unusual at your home. Many times termite infestations occur without any noticeable signs. It’s better to schedule an annual inspection from a professional termite control company to make sure your home is safe and free from this pest than to simply hope for the best. Termites can destroy a home from the inside out if you don’t take the proper steps to protect the property.

Is Your Home At-Risk?

Don’t wrongly assume that your home is not at risk for a termite infestation. So many homeowners make the mistake and pay for it when all is said and done. Every home is at-risk for termite infestation, including brick houses. Don’t assume that your home is safe simply because you don’t notice any signs of an infestation. And, take the proper steps to ensure that your home is free from termites. Some of the steps that you can take to keep your home free from termites include:

– Do not allow moisture to accumulate near the surface of the home
– Remove all wood from the property, including cardboard and tree stumps
– Don’t use mulch on your lawn or in the garden. If you must use mulch, use it sparingly.
– Reduce crawlspace moisture and humidity

Termites are a big problem in the state and across the U.S., but that doesn’t mean they must rain on your parade. Keep a close eye on your home, schedule those annual inspections,and keep your home pest-free!

Did you know that faulty air chambers might be why you are hearing a hammering sound in your pipes? The noise is known as water hammer and it may mean that water has entered your air chamber. Here are some tips to help you fix your problem.

If you have issues with the plumbing making a hammering sound when you turn it off, check your water pressure. Any time your water pressure is above 80 PSI, you will hear extra water noise. This can be easily solved by the installation of a pressure-reducing valve, which can be done by most homeowners.

Be careful about using liquid clog cleaners. These liquids can contain chemicals that are extremely bad for your pipes. Instead, use a snake or a plunger to dislodge any clogs you might encounter. Be sure to try these things before giving up and calling a plumber, who will probably re-perform those same acts.

In order to avoid unsightly and unnecessary clogs in your shower, invest in a drain strainer. This cost-effective addition to your shower will gather your hair before it makes it to the drain, and limit the chances that you will find yourself showering while standing in a clogged up mess.

You need to winter-proof your house. You have to make sure you switch of the master circuit breaker or the shut-off valve before you leave your house. Since one small hole or congested water can quickly freeze and cause pipes to break and expand, you need to drain and open all outdoor and household water lines.

Frozen and bursting pipes from harsh winter weather is a problem that no-one wants, so plan now to winterize your exterior faucets and pipes against freezing conditions. A simple way to accomplish this is to find the exterior water shut-off valve located inside your home (often located in the basement). Turn off the water valve to stop water flow, and then open up the outside faucets to drain out any water that has collected. Be sure to turn off the outside water faucets tightly after the water has drained out. Take in any hoses you may have outside so they don’t crack from the cold weather.

If a plunger is ineffective, you might be able to do the trick with a bucket of warm water. Do this every time the water level gets too low.

There are many ways to unclog a drain. You can try plunging it at first. If that doesn’t work try using a chemical agent from the store. Before you go and spend money at the store though, if you have baking soda and some vinegar handy, you can mix those together and pour them in the drain and try to plunge that but if all else fails they have stronger remedies at your local hardware store.

You know what can cause that hammering noise, plus a lot more plumbing information. You just saved yourself a lot of money if any of those issues became unbearable or resulted in broken parts. Take time to read back over this article periodically to make sure that you are on top of your plumbing skills.…

Some of the best-tasting food you’ll ever eat can be grown in your own back yard. Think of the variety! A ripe, juicy watermelon or a fresh, crisp carrot, can add to your meal. Not to mention the money you can save growing your own, verses the grocery store. In addition, you can grow you produce naturally, without enhancers. Following are some tips to help you become an organic gardener:

When choosing plants, pick those that produce a high yield. There are genetically modified plants that resist cold and/or disease. These often give higher yields due to higher survival rates.

Plant crops compatible with each other in order to add even more efficiency to your garden. Plant crops that take longer to mature next to faster growing varieties. You can also get ahead of the season by planting cooler climate crops in the shade of larger summer crops. Greens such as lettuce do great in the shade of a large tomato plant.

Organize your garden so that all your plants are exposed to the sun most of the time. Your house or your trees cast shadows: keep in mind that these shadows move throughout the day. You ideally want your plants to be exposed to the sun in the morning and the afternoon, but not around noon, especially in the summer time.

When and why should shrubs be pruned? Most shrubs need pruning to increase flowering. Deciduous spring and early flowering shrubs should be pruned immediately after flowering. Cut back old wood to encourage new growth. The buds for next year’s flowers will appear on this new wood. Late summer flowering shrubs should be pruned in spring. They will produce flowers on the shoots that grow immediately after pruning. Winter flowering shrubs simply need pruning in early spring to clean up any dead or diseased branches.

For showy flowers throughout the spring and summer, plant plenty of bulbs. Not only are bulbs hearty and easy to grow, but they’ll continue to grow as time goes on. Different bulbs bloom at various times, so choosing appropriately, you may have blooms early spring to later summer.

Before starting a garden, it is important that you have a plan. Without one, your garden may not come out the way you want it to. Some things to plan out include where to put the garden in your yard, what you want to grow, and whether to start from seed or plants.

Vegetable water makes a wonderful fertilizer. Next time you boil or steam your vegetables to eat, set aside the cooking water. This water is chock full of nutrients, and will provide a nice, nutritious boost to your garden. Make sure the water is thoroughly cooled first hot water can damage and even kill plant roots.

Follow the above suggestions to help you with your organic garden. Think of the benefits you get by gardening the natural way. Maybe the nutrition is your primary concern, or perhaps you are looking for a way to cut cost. Whatever the reason, enjoy taking a bit out of that ripe, juicy watermelon or a fresh, crisp carrot!…

If your roof has been damaged by hail or high winds, or if it is starting to leak, you need to find an experienced roofing company to make the needed repairs. How can you know which contractor to trust? How much should you expect to pay? To answer these and other questions, keep reading.

Always make safety your first priority when it comes to fixing your roof. The weather is key to whether or not you should be up on a roof. Put a bucket beneath the leak until it stops raining, and work on the problem after the roof has dried out.

One of the biggest foes of your roof is ice. When gutters back up and freeze up, they can push the shingles and even wood up off the top of your house. Once that ice begins to melt, it will leak inside and rot out your home. Watch for ice build up and fix the problem quickly.

When there is a crack in a shingle, you must replace it. In fact, any cracking usually means that you’ll have to replace all of the shingles as they’re likely to start cracking too. Whether it be from inferior materials or improperly installed shingles, you’ll save yourself many problems by getting it all replaced.

As you prepare to get your roof replaced, remember that there are a lot of nails up there. That means that as shingles come off, nails are going to become loose and fall to the ground. Most contractors will place a tarp down to catch as many loose nails as possible. If your contractor does not do this, question them about how the nails will be found and removed from your property.

Since replacing your roof can be one of the most expensive projects besides the cost of the home itself, make sure you know who you’re hiring. Avoid the temptation to hire a friend of a friend, or inexpensive “handymen.” Look for a licensed contractor who guarantees his work and comes with many good reviews and recommendations.

It is important that you ensure the roofing contractor you are considering provides high-quality work. You may want to ask your friends or family for suggestions if any of them have had their roofs done. It is important mainly because you won’t want to have your repairs be done poorly, as they will only cost you more in the future.

Measure twice, cut once. If you will be doing your own roofing job, you want to make sure your measurements are correct. This will save you both time and money. You can assure your measurements are accurate by taking the extra time it takes to measure two, or even three times.

Repairing or replacing your roof is not something that you can easily delay or just do by yourself. You need professional help to have it done right. This is why it is important to educate yourself about roofing before it is too late. Remember the information you have read here the next time you need work done on your roof.…

In the gardening world, it is important to to try to grow and maintain the best plants that you can. That is where smart gardening techniques come in handy. This will help you grow the most plentiful, beautiful and healthiest plants that you can. Follow these tips to become a better gardener.

Save money by drying the seeds from your annuals to plant next year. Petunias, zinnias and impatiens are just a few of the flowers from which it is easy to extract and save seeds. You will have to extract the seed pod from some flowers, and wait for it to split open. With others, such as marigolds, you will have to open the flower and extract the seeds yourself. After extracting the seeds, let them dry for at least a week. Place them in a jar with a rubber seal, and add silica gel pouches to keep them from absorbing moisture. Store them in a cool, dry location until you’re ready to plant them next year.

Put compost down on the soil in your garden about two weeks to a month before you plan to plant. This allows the compost enough time to integrate with the soil. Giving the compost time to stabilize means that your soil pH will be steady enough to test, and your plants will be ready to thrive when you plant them.

When you’re picking vegetables from your garden, choose to harvest them when they are at the peak of ripeness for the best flavor and the most nutrition. It is best to pick vegetables and fruits in the early morning, because they are still full of moisture and nutrients. With only a few exceptions, anything that you’re not going to use right away can then be preserved by chilling in the refrigerator.

If you are introducing children to gardening, start them off with an herb garden. Herbs are easy to grow and you can start them in containers, which are easier for children to handle. When children see that the herbs they grow can be used in your cooking, they will be very proud of their accomplishment.

Make sure you read the labels on any weedkillers or pesticides that you use in your garden. Follow the directions closely. Using too much of a chemical can be dangerous to your health and the health of your garden. Failing to read the label might also mean that you get the wrong chemical for the problem that you’re having, polluting the ground around your garden for no reason.

Determine what kind of pests you have in your garden before you apply a pesticide spray. No one pesticide can handle every pest problem and you might end up killing off the pests natural predators which will make the problem worse.

As you can see from the previous list of tips, gardening can really be an enjoyable hobby or career. It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of maintenance and a lot of patience, but it is all worth it in the end to have a beautifully maintained garden.…

Many people don’t think about their HVAC until it’s too late. When the worst happens, the situation is urgent. Finding someone to repair your existing system or install a new one can be tricky. The tips that follow will help you do that and much more!

Get any agreement with an HVAC contractor in writing. Some contractors try to skip over this step and charge customers a fortune. If you have a certain price and warranty in writing, they cannot go back and change this information. If they do, they could have a lawsuit on their hands.

If you want to know more about efficiently heating or cooling your home, go online and download the ENERGY STAR Guide. It provides information for homeowners to learn more about how they can save money while still keeping their home comfortable all year round, so it is a worthy ready.

One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a new heating and cooling system is the manufacturer’s warranty. Units come with a variety of warranties. Choose one with a long warranty for maximum long term savings. Generally, it is advised that homeowners should purchase the extended warranty if one is offered.

When the weather cools down, turn your outdoor condenser off. The unit will become damaged if you do not take care of it. This simple tip will help keep the system running efficiently for many years to come.

Sometimes, it can be hard to figure out if your HVAC system needs to be fixed or needs to be replaced. If your system frequently breaks down, is always turning on or off on its own, or if your bills are too high, it may pay to have it replaced. Otherwise, little things can just be fixed.

If you are looking to save money with your HVAC system, consider turning down the air conditioner in the summer and turning the heat down in the winter. Putting on a sweater on a cold day can save you a ton of money on your utility bill, as can enjoying a cold drink instead of heavy air conditioning use.

If you want to cool your home in the summer without using your air conditioning on full, consider installing fans in your home. An attic fan can blow hot air out while sucking in cool air into your basement, and ceiling fans help distribute the air in your rooms evenly.

To save money on your HVAC system, turn the air conditioning down at night and let your home warm up a bit. To keep yourself cool, use a chilling water-filled pillow to cool down your head and your whole body as a result. This combined with a fan will keep you from overheating while saving on your utility bills.

Consider all of your alternatives before installing a central air conditioner. You can only cool certain rooms, use whole-house fans, or even make use of a geothermal system. The more efficient the system you set up, the less you’ll spend on utility bills over time as you use it.

Now you know a lot about HVAC care. Next time you have trouble with your unit, you will now be much better prepared. Remember the tips here to help you with HVAC systems.…