Category Archives: Home Improvement

Home Improvement

6 Heat Pump Problems You Should Be Aware Of

Published / by Gryffin / Leave a Comment

A heat pump is an important part of the air conditioning system in your house as it transfers heat in and out of your house. Heat pump repair is also important if it breaks down to ensure that the temperature of your house is maintained. Here are a few common heat pump problems.

Heat Pump Not Turning On

A heat pump is responsible for carrying hot air in your house in winters and vice versa in summers. If it breaks down or doesn’t turn on then your house will not be able to reach the desired temperature. It usually happens when the current fails to reach the heat pump. You must check the wires that power up the unit and if you see any worn-out wires then you should probably call a heat pump repair service. It is not necessary that the problem is always in the wiring; sometimes it is far simpler like the thermostat not turned on. Check on the thermostat and the circuit breaker for trips before checking the wires.

Home Not Getting Warm

If you find that the heat pump is on but the home is not getting warmer in any way then there are many possibilities that can occur. For instance, the air filters might be clogged up and they need to be replaced or cleaned out. Dirty filters and coils cause blockage in the path of the air which results in lower efficiency.

Another reason might be that the thermostat is set at a lower temperature than it should be.

When you have checked these common mistakes and it still doesn’t feel warm then inspect the source of the problem. It is possible that the refrigerant or any internal component must be broken down. Note that if you are new to the heat pump and you are expecting it to warm your home like a furnace would do then it won’t as they produce less heat than a furnace and more heat than the fireplace on your patio.

Heat Pump Is Constantly Running

Another problem that is common in heat pumps is that they won’t turn off. There are a number of problems that could be linked with the heat pump being run constantly. Heat pumps actually run for a long time in winters to keep your house from becoming a refrigerator. However, if it keeps on running even in normal weather, it might be the cause of a dirty system or a leaking refrigerant. If you find yourself in this situation then you should probably call for heat pump repair.

Cold Air Instead Of Hot Air

A problem of a house not getting warm is completely different when cold air is flowing from furnace in cold weather. As said before, heat pumps don’t generate as much energy as you would expect from a furnace but having cold air-flown from the vents is a different story. Check your thermostat immediately for any sort of problem like accidentally setting a low temperature. If the temperature is okay, try putting it into an emergency heat mode and see if it works. Also, you need to check the heat pump outside for any ice that might have frozen it. When it freezes, heat pumps go into the defrosting mode to melt the ice which blows in cool air for a while so it might be completely normal.

Rattling Noises

This problem is usually found in an old heat pump. Look for any loose hardware like loose screws on the panel or vents. If there are any serious noises other than just rattling sounds like grinding or squealing then you must stop the heat pump immediately and call a heat pump repair service to look into the matter.

Iced Heat Pump

Your heat pump is outside and usually in winters, it can freeze itself by having the ice accumulated on it. It is a common problem and there are measures to prevent it like defrosting. However, if the problem is serious like the unit is not defrosting or the fan is problematic which is not letting the heat pump to get heated then heat pump repair is imminent before it causes serious problems.

These common problems can be easily dealt with if you just call your local heat pump repair Long Beach services.

Some Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Drains

Published / by Shepherd / Leave a Comment

Common causes of drain clogging include food waste build-up, accumulation of grease, and chemical concentrations. When things get worse, drain the assistance of local drain cleaning services is required. On the other hand, minor clogs can be eliminated using some at-home tools and methods.

However, drain cleaning is not as simple as it sounds. There are a number of precautions that you will have to take. On top of that, there are a number of techniques that you should know.

The Do’s and Don’ts of drain cleaning

Due to a clogged drain, your sink will begin to fill up. This is because the water will have no place to escape from due to a blockage from chunks of food, grease, and grime. In general, you will not even realize that your drain is getting clogged up until it begins showing.

Indeed, clogged drains can cause a lot of inconveniences and cleaning them can be a hassle. Often at times, you may want to take cleaning matters in your own hands

In this regard, there are a number of do’s and don’ts when it comes to drain cleaning. In this article, we aim to touch these precautions briefly in order to make it easy for you to remove drain clogs.

These include:

Do not use a drain cleaner from the store

The drain cleaners that are sold in stores can certainly help you in clearing the drain. However, in that process, these chemicals can damage the drain pipes. Hence, regular use of a store-bought drain cleaner should be minimized. As a result of the continuous pipe damage, you may have to make costly repairs after a few months.

Do use sewer jetting to clear off the sewer lines

Often at times, a drain blockage is not a result of clogging in the pipes. Rather, it is a result of clogging in the sewer lines. In case you have tried everything and yet your sink still fills up, chances are that the sewer lines are clogged further back.

You may have to use jet cleaning to clear off the sewer lines. This process is also referred to as sewer jetting, in which experts make use of high-pressure water to clear off waste, and debris in the sewer lines.

Even though you can rent sewer jets, we do not recommend you to carry this process out on your own. Better yet, leave this task to the sewer experts and plumbers. This is because such pieces of equipment have some general usage guidelines that a layman is unaware of.

Do not try snaking your drain

A drain snake is yet another technique used to clear the drain pipes. In this technique, a flexible yet rigid cable is used to pull out chunks of hair, food, and debris that is clogging the drain up.

This is one of the few techniques that are safe to use. However, experts still recommend homeowners to not to try it especially in case the clogging is further back in the drain. This is because if this process is not done right, the drain pipes can become damaged. Ultimately, this can lead to costly repairs.

Do take the help of experts

Remember that your best way out of things that you have no knowledge of is to get help from a professional. If you look around, you will find plenty of drain cleaning companies Westchester. Experts at these companies can get the job done in a safe and effective manner, using techniques that laymen have no training.

Ending note

Drain cleaning is not a very complex process. The only risk involved in drain cleaning is that of damaging the drain pipes. Often at times, laymen end up damaging the pipes which result in costly repairs later on. In case you are confident about it, feel free try cleaning the drains yourself. Otherwise, consider reaching out to an expert.

 

How To Prevent Chimney Heat Loss

Published / by ZCBN / Leave a Comment

Have you ever noticed that on a cold wintery night, your fireplace is not giving as much heat as it should and then you consider the need for a chimney contractor?

How Does A Chimney Works?

When the fireplace or the chimney is in use, the wood needs fresh oxygen to burn for fire, which causes the harmful gases to escape out of the chimney for safety purposes. The direction of the airflow is upwards which causes the cooler air from the different parts of the room to be drawn towards the fireplace, creating a cooling air direction. The combustion of the burning wood causes the gases released to escape up the chimney which also takes with it the warmer air created. This means that whatever warmth you feel in front of the fireplace is even less than a quarter than what you should feel, while the rest is lost through the chimney. Even when the chimney is not in use the heat is constantly escaping from the chimney and for that, you will need to get your chimney leak repair by a chimney contractor.

Ways To Prevent Heat Loss

  1. To keep your expensive warmth and heat inside the house on those terrible cold nights, you will need to take preventive measures to minimize heat loss. Firstly, you should get your chimney assessed by a chimney contractor for any flaws or leaks which are causing more heat to escape and get your chimney leak repair. Secondly, you should not consider increasing the heat by putting more wood but the strategy that should be followed is to minimize the convection current that is created from the room to the chimney.
  2. One solution for this is to put an electric blower and a glass barrier. You will not be able to completely stop the convection current that is being created, but you will be able to minimize it to some extent and could retain the radiant heat within the room. The blower will help to provide more warm air inside the room from the fireplace while the function of the glass barrier is to slow down the speed of the cooler air that is being drawn towards the fireplace, thereby reducing the convection current being created.
  3. When the fire is burning, you can keep the damper partially closed as this will prevent creating a stronger convection current and cause less cool air to escape thus retaining more heat inside the room.
  4. A fireplace insert is another viable option. An open fire draws air from the room while a fireplace insert is a closed system which has vents to draw air from the outside and it tends to radiate more heat inside the room.
  5. You can also retrofit your open fireplace. A retrofit basically is a slightly closed system or box for your open fireplace which has vents to draw air from outside. This way you can have the feel of the traditional fireplace and prevent your heated air and warmth to escape outside your house.
  6. A flue sealer or a chimney plus is another great option. What is it? It’s a removable plug that stops your house’s warm air from escaping outside the chimney. It is an inflatable device made of plastic and should be placed just below the damper. It will inflate and create a tight seal. No professional installation is required as you can attach it yourself but make sure to clean it before installation as dirt can prevent a tight seal.
  7. Installing doors and covers on the chimney opening and the fireplace is another way to prevent warm air from flowing out the chimney. They are easy to install and provide a tight seal which causes warm air to stay inside the house.

Apart from these solutions, you also need to check if there are any other leaks and openings in your house which is causing the warmth to escape. You should also get your chimney thoroughly checked and get any chimney leak repair to minimize heat and energy losses.

Four commonly used tree stump removal methods explained

Published / by ZCBN / Leave a Comment

One must accept that it is not a simple thing for tree stump removal. The absolute foolish thing one can do when some tree stump has to be removed from his property is to try to do it himself.

Tree stump removal explained

As you may not be having the right tools and know how to carry out the cutting of the tree as well as the stump you may find it as a very difficult and tiring task. You may not be able to do it efficiently and easily. There are four most commonly used tree stump removal methods for removing the stump of tree. They are explained one by one below.

Chemical process – Tree stump removal

There exist some chemical substances that can be used to speed up the rotting process of the stump of dead trees that makes it easily removable. Anyone can buy these chemicals from a local hardware shop where gardening materials are sold. The standard chemical used for stump removal is potassium nitrate which is very helpful in expediting the decomposition process of dead wood. Some others may be using fertilizers rich in nitrogen so that growth of bacteria leading to gradual decay of the stump is fastened.

Pros:

  • It is very easy to use. All one needs to do is to drill holes in the stump so that chemicals can be placed inside the holes and allow it to get rotted.
  • This is a less expensive method costing only less than $20.

Cons

  • This method can be dangerous if the home owner has pets or kids in his home or around as the chemicals used are strong.
  • Chemical process needs more time to get completed. It may take weeks to months or even more.

Mechanical process -Tree stump removal

In mechanical process stump grinders are used to grind the stump and remove them. Stump grinders are machines that have sharp rotating teeth that can be used to grind the dead tree stumps easily.

Pros

  • Using of stump grinders makes the process very easy and quick.
  • No special skill is used to operate this tool. Any labourer can easily and effectively use this equipment.

Cons

  • Units that are available for rent are smaller ones. Commercial ones are more powerful and efficient. If you do it using rented ones it may take more time for completion.
  • Rental versions are designed to carry out removal of one or two stumps only that are lesser than ten inches in diameter. You will be in trouble if the tree stump is of more diameter.

Manual- Tree stump removal

Manually digging out the stump will be a great workout for anybody who is also interested in reducing the body weight or becoming more muscular. Only a shovel for digging, some kind of sow for cutting the roots, pickaxe, protective gear etc are needed as tools for carrying out the sump removal manually.

Pros

This method is very cost effective

It will give a tough cardio vascular work out for the person who carries out manual stump removal.

Cons                

  • It is physical work and is potentially dangerous too. If you are careless there are chances of getting injured.
  • Manual tree stump removing can be applicable only to small trees. For trees that are huge      attempt to  manually  remove the  stump may not work.

Natural process- Tree stump removal

When damaged trees are allowed to decay and decompose naturally, it is known as natural stump removal. Covering the stump with soil, fertilizer etc can speed up the process of natural decomposition and decaying. As the fungus and bacteria flourish the tree trunk gets removed in several month’s time. Using fire to remove tree stump is another popular method. As it can lead to dangers it is not advisable. Pulling the tree stump using a powerful pick-up van is an amateur method and hence not recommendable.

If one can afford to spend some money it is always better to engage one professional tree removal company near me to carryout the tree removal operation considering the importance and serious consequences that may follow if the work is done by unprofessional or amateur workers.

8 Lovely Patio Ideas

Published / by ZCBN / Leave a Comment

You can hire Patio contractors or do it yourself if you are creative enough to décor and have some change at your home.

Patio construction tips

I have listed some easy patio tips below to convert your normal space into stylish outdoor getaway.

Installing Fireplace

It is a good addition in your backyard if you have chilly nights and a pleasant day to warm up your hands and enjoy quality time with your family. You can place a table with few chairs around the fireplace to arrange seating with some green plants around to beautify the space.

Putting Rocking Chairs

If you have a big space area, then putting some rocking chairs and shams on stoned floor will give you an amazing party styled feeling. You can also seek help from stone patio contractors to guide you in designing the area as per current trends of décor. Adding a table on the side to serve some snacks or food will be a plus point in patio to enjoy with your loved ones.

Try Some Fresco Styled Dining

You can use an old umbrella to be fixed on the round shaped table with some chairs around it. A patio contractor can help you well in setting up this arrangement by providing a French umbrella from flea market with a scenic green plants on the back wall and fresh flowers on the table will add some great beauty in your patio area. Using wooden or cane netted chairs with table covered with a soft cotton fabric in bright colors will look more pretty in this arrangement.

Adding Green Plants and Nylon Curtains

If you want to add some delicacy in patio area with romantic essence, then nylon curtains will help you a lot to make your plan into reality. Firstly, you can add more greenery with addition of several plants and some colorful flowers to make a scenic place. And using S-shaped metallic chairs around a small square shaped table with look good with the above décor. While using some chandelier lights around the chairs and putting a light-colored nylon curtains in the background will make it extremely picture-perfect place to plan a date night with your spouse.

Adding Sofas with Bolsters and Cushions

Your stone patio contractor will help you to select an appropriately sized sofa for your patio space with some good designing as per your budget. You need to use stoned floor with some wooden shade above as your sofa fabric can be damaged with more exposure to sun in summer season. While using some fancy cushions and bolsters on sofas arranged with a center table will give a good feel to have some snacks and enjoy with your loved ones. You can also put some candles on the sides of the sofas to add some fancy lightening and soothing effect in your evening décor.

Addition of Caned Swing

You can add a hanging cane swing in your patio area with some metallic chairs and table on other side will give an overall prettier look in backyard. Your patio contractor may help you to arrange a carpeted floor with some relaxing cushions on chairs and a swing to make a relaxing environment to enjoy your summers. And adding some greener plants in the back wall and sides of a swing will create a prettier patio with a soothing feel.

Selected Colors Themed Patio

Well if you chose one color or a combination of some colors then you are surely going to have a professionally designed patio to give a themed look. If you have a big family, then choosing purple with off-white color will look good with your sofa set and the background plants and flowers. While if you have a small family or just a couple then keeping maroon shade with some golden touch will make it look fresh and prettier.

Add a Big Tree with Beautiful Flowers in Center Part

You need a professional designing when keeping a tree in center and you can take help from your stone patio contractor long island to guide you here. It will put a calm and soothing effect when you will have a big tree with beautiful flowers in center with some table and chairs around the tree.

DIY solutions for some of the most common freezer problems

Published / by ZCBN / Leave a Comment

Sometimes you may feel that your frozen food has lost its chill.  At other times you may notice that your freezer is making some moaning or groaning sound. When these problems are noticed, one often feels that it is the time to call for technician from commercial ice maker repair services or similar other services. Before resorting to the help of such professionals it is better if you can try your hands in a smaller way and solve the problems noticed. In this article, I am going to give some tips regarding how to manage some common problems experienced by the home users of freezers.

Commercial refrigerator repair

Most common reason for the noises from the freezer can be connected with the evaporator fan motor.  Noises can also be created by the following causes.

  • When the appliance goes through defrost cycle, sizzling sounds can be heard
  • Clicking sound will be produced by the ice maker when it produces ice
  • When water drains from the coil during defrost, it can produce gurgling sound
  • When the fan ramps to high speed, a swishing sound will be produced

When dealing with sound problems of a freezer one should consider whether there are any other issues also. It includes questions like whether the ice maker is working, whether the required temperature is maintained by the freezer whether it dispense ice and water etc. Diagnosing   noise complaint is a difficult task as the humming noise noticed in the night can change to a buzzing sound in the morning.  A loud sound in the night can seem like a mild sound in the morning and the like. Sounds coming from the appliance can change depending upon various conditions at a particular time. If the sound is produced due to any other problem, the sound will vanish as the problem is settled in due course of time.

Heavy build up of frost n the freezer

By replacing the defroster the problems related to frosting can be eliminated. If the frost is formed around the gasket of the freezer’s door, it can be due to the improper closing of the freezer door. Check whether anything like packaging items are preventing the proper closing of the door or whether any food material is sticking out more than usual. Check whether the freezer temperature is set correctly. Lower freezer temperature can be the reason for the formation of snow. Make sure that the refrigerator temperature is around 37 ° and the freezer temperature is around 0° F.

If the frost building is on the back, where evaporator coil is situated then it shows some issues with defrost cycle.  It can be a defective heater, defrost sensor, bimetal, defrost timer etc. For pinpointing the defect trouble shooting by professionals will be required.

Water leaking on to the floor

This problem often happens as a result of the drain of the defroster getting frozen.   The other reasons for finding water on the floor can be one of the following:

  • Melting of dropped ice cube
  • Spilled drink from a glass

If the shut-of valve is the cause for the leakage of water it has to be replaced immediately. The condensation pan needs to be replaced if it is missing or damaged.

 Freezer is not running

The common cause for such problems can be electronic controls which have to be replaced in this case.

Freezer not working

This often can occur due to faulty electronic controls. Replacing will almost solve the problem.    Before that check whether the freezer light and power light indicator are working?  If not it is clear that power is not flowing to the appliance. Now you can verify the appliance controls and set them properly if necessary. New appliances often have a demo mode which is used only for showing the appliance to the prospective buyers without using the cooling system. There will be some instructions in the owner’s manual how to change a machine from demo mode to normal mode. Also check whether the appliance’s temperature has been set to 0° F and the temperature of the freezer has been set to 37°F. Also set the mechanical controls to mid-point level. One can also refer owner’s manual if some clarification is needed.

In this way is a person is interested he can study many DIY works and save money by avoiding the costly services of commercial appliances repair Fairfax agencies.

How to make your cooler more efficient and long lasting?

Published / by ZCBN / Leave a Comment

Summers are very tough in some parts of the world, especially in countries situated near the meridian.  In such countries temperatures often rise up to 45 degree Celsius. People in such countries often depend on air coolers to fight with the summer heat. They are very cost effective and they really provide comfort to the people in such countries. The increasing temperature in such countries remind us about the importance of using air coolers in the most effective and efficient manner. In this article I am going to state some important points following which one can achieve the above mentioned result and make him safe from the clutches of technicians like commercial refrigerators repairs.

Know about commercial refrigerator maintenance

Providing proper ventilation in the room will make the use of the air cooler more efficient and effective. It is a common misconception that keeping air coolers in closed spaces make them work more efficiently. Air coolers work on principle of evaporation by blowing air through water-soaked cooling pads. Therefore it should be possible for the air to flow smoothly. Keeping air cooler near to a window is the best place for it to be placed.  Hot air helps faster evaporation and the air blown out by the cooler becomes colder also. Good ventilation in the room where the air cooler is placed is essential for pushing the humidity out.

Add ice

Adding ice in water in the tank can increase the cooling efficiency of the air cooler. Some coolers are coming with dedicated ice compartments. Ice in water make pads cooler, and help cool air to pass through them. But this will be effective only when you sit closer to the cooler. But in the long run its effectiveness may decrease. Adding too much ice can also decrease the rate of evaporation thereby tampering the efficiency of the cooler. When very high temperature is experienced adding of ice can be useful and effective in increasing the efficiency of the air cooler.

Saturate the cool pads

Another technique to increase the cooling effect is to run the pump while the water tank is being filled. This will help the water to run through the cooling pads and soak them beforehand. After the tank is full one can run the fan. This will help the cooler to start cooling the air immediately after it is switched on.

Other important things to consider

There are some seemingly unimportant matters which can help you to increase the cooling efficiency of your air cooler if done at the appropriate time and manner. One such thing is shutting the drapers in the room and thereby preventing the heat from entering the room. Another similar thing is switching off the lights and other appliances. Also make sure that your air cooler is installed at the appropriate place so that it will help in lowering the average temperature of the room effectively and at the same time provide cool air to everybody in the room.

Commercial refrigerator repair technician

It will be better if you can improve the life span and efficiency of your air cooler by checking it regularly. It will also help to keep it ready after rectifying defects, if any, for using it in summer.  Cleaning the pads is the first thing to be done in this regard. The pads would have been filled with dust and pollen overtime.  It will be better if you can clean it once in a week with the help of a brush. If you find that a lot of dust has accumulated then it will be better to replace it immediately. Similarly water tank also should be checked and cleaned.

One should also make sure that there is no leakage in the water tank. The fan blades can be made cleaner by a quick swipe with a dry cloth and this will help to improve its efficiency. Regularly servicing the cooler is a good practise to increase the life span of your cooler. If you are very careful about the up keeping of the cooler and carry out the processes which I have mentioned earlier then you can be sure about the security and safety and long life of the air cooler. You can also hope of saving much money towards walk in cooler repair Arlington service charges.

Granite vs. solid surface countertops

Published / by Admin / Leave a Comment

The two most widely used kitchen countertop materials are granite and solid surface countertops. Each comes with certain benefits, maintenance and aesthetic role to play.
Granite Countertop

  • Granite countertops are 100% natural stone unearthed from the earth. Stones like Feldspar, quartz, mica are various forms of granite.
  • It is heat and scratch resistant. Minor scratches can be fixed easily.
  • Granites are porous in nature and may require periodic sealing to avoid staining. Daily maintenance includes washing with a pH cleanser and wiping spills immediately.
  • Granite countertops may require seams and comes with several edge profiles that can be expensive.
  • Since every piece unearthed has a different color and pattern, no two slabs can look the same, thus giving a unique design to your kitchen. This granite can be polished.
  • Granite comes in different price range.
  • It does not come with a warranty unless provided by the installer.
  • Solid Surface Countertop
  • Solid Surface Countertops are man-made, a blend of acrylic or polyester plastic is stuck together with colorants. When heated, the resin turns liquid and the counter can be fashioned into any desired shape.
  • Since it is nonporous, it does not need any sealing and can be washed with any cleanser.
  • It is seamless, therefore, countertops can be installed properly, leaving no crevices for bacteria to breed. Unlike granite, this material is FDA approved for food preparation.
  • It comes in uniform color and pattern. If you do not like a variation or solid color, solid surface countertops can lend a simple look.
  • Scraps from cutouts can be joined together for a backsplash or another countertop. It is more economical than granite once the edge profile and cutouts are done.
  • It is not radioactive, unlike some natural stones and does not have asbestos.
  • Hot pans can melt, break or surface can get discolored.
  • It is prone to deep scratches, dirt and moisture can easily settle down. Scratches can be easily sanded. A damage or an entire section can be cut out or replaced easily. If you are planning to sell your house, the top can be re polished to look new.
  • Prices can vary based on colors, which can be expensive than granite countertops.
  • It comes with a warranty.

Contact a granite countertop contractor to help you decide between granite and solid surface countertops.