Home Improvement Tips

It’s common when you’re living comfortably to enjoy the moment, and sometimes forget the little details that need improving. Your home can slowly become full of appliances and areas that need that little bit of extra TLC- so don’t put it off forever. Follow our 5 top tips for maintaining your home in 2019 before it’s too late.

Clean the air conditioning filter

Depending on where you live, most homes are now fitted with air conditioning units to aid you through the hot summer months. With the endless benefits of having one in your home, it’s no shock to why over 1.6 billion air-cons are installed throughout the world. However, it’s essential to stick to air conditioning regulations whether you are a small homeowner or commercial property developer, and one thing that stands out is a dirty air conditioning. Cleaning your air conditioning filter is essential for it to run with the highest efficiency, as dust and bacteria can restrict airflow and stop it cooling down as it should. You should clean your air conditioning filter before the summer (when you start to use it more frequently) and then once a month while it’s in regular use. However, a quick wipe down won’t cut it when giving it a clean, so follow these steps for an easy and effective way to clean your filter:

  • Remove the filter. Turn off the electricity source and take off the cover of the unit (usually done by releasing the push tabs or loosening the screws). Then remove the filter by sliding or releasing the clips.
  • Submerge the filter in lukewarm water. Add a mix of washing up liquid and warm water to a bowl and leave inside for 15-30 minutes for best results.
  • Spray the filter. Mix up a solution of equal parts vinegar and water into a spray bottle and cover the filter. Leave for 10-15 minutes, and this will kill off any harmful bacteria.
  • Allow the filter to air dry; this could take several hours.

Check your plumbing system

Keeping water at free flow through your pipes is essential to make sure you can access clean, fresh water all year round. Following these tips will ensure you don’t have any big problems when the weather changes:

  • Never pour fats and oils down the drain. Think of your pipes as your arteries, to keep everything flowing correctly they need to be open. Fatty liquids or oil will accumulate in your plumbing and cause clogs- just the same as it would in your body. The easiest way to prevent this is by altogether avoiding oil near your sinks, but in case of an accident, run hot water and washing up liquid down you drain (immediately) to emulsify it.
  • Invest in a hair strainer for the bathroom. Whether you live with women or are a woman, we all know the struggles of wanting to run a bath or shower but the water not flowing correctly due to clumps of hair stuck in the drain. Moreover, it’s not an ideal job to fish it out with your hands, especially if it’s not your own. A hair strainer will catch all the clumps before it reaches the drain, which enables easy removal and disposal.

Window Insulation

If you’re wondering why your energy bills have increased dramatically, drafty windows may be an issue. If cold air is entering through poorly sealed windows, then it can cause a nasty draft in the winter season that can not only be uncomfortable but raise your energy bills and create long term health issues. The caulk line is the rubber piece that insulates your window, and if this is looking dry or cracked, then it’s a significant insight into what the issue is. To change your caulk line is easy, remove it with a sharp knife then run a new one across the open seam.

Heat and Cool More Efficiently

An easy way to save money (and cold feet!) is to monitor your heating routine. Depending on how old your boiler is, could mean it’s time for a boiler replacement. However, new boilers can still lack in efficiency, especially if you’re not studying your thermostat carefully. To help you understand and regulate your heating usage, smart thermostats such as Nest can help you. Nest and other smart thermostats learn your living routine and programmes itself accordingly, therefore saving you time and money. If you don’t want to splash the cash on new technology, you need to manually plan out what temperature you need to set your boiler at, and when you need it most. Using your heating sparingly will extend the life of your boiler, and save you more money to invest elsewhere.

Pest Prevention

Especially in summer months, you will find a high increase in the amount of ‘pests’ lurking around your home. It can be uncomfortable and create anxiety for your friends and family, so it’s better to exterminate and prevent sooner rather than later. Common pests in your home can include:

  • Rats and Mice
  • Bed Bugs
  • Flies
  • Wasps
  • Termites

In severe cases, the easiest fix is to call out pest control services, which are cheap and easy to find. However, do try and use preventative measures such as boric acid and Orange Guard before spending your money.

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This guide to home maintenance tips will keep you content in your home all year round, no matter the weather or what life has to throw at you. It’s essential to keep good care of your home, as it will then take care of you.

Preparing Your Home For A Storm

Storm season in the United States hits its peak time during the summer months. According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane season begins in May and strengthens from August to October. Anyone who’s been inside a dangerous storm knows that this type of weather is no joke. While your family and pets should be your top priority during a natural disaster, careful preparations should also be made to take care of what is generally considered everyone’s most valuable, tangible asset: your home. With winds that can reach over 74 mph, a speed that’s almost as fast as what’s required for a plane to take off, storms can cause severe damage and casualties. Don’t wait until a storm hits to deal with potential damage, or you’ll be in for quite the rude awakening.

Hurricanes are violent storms that are fueled by two simple ingredients: water and heat. These two simple ingredients when put together have caused some of the worst natural destruction the world has seen. If you own a home near the ocean or by large bodies of water, the chances that you will come face to face with an out of control storm are significantly higher. Even areas that are not likely to be hit by the brunt of these storms can find themselves facing torrential rain and dangerous flooding. And because homeowners living in these areas aren’t used to dealing with major storms, their homes are less likely to be ready in case of a weather emergency. The following points address important topics to keep in mind when preparing for a possible storm.

Steps to Protect Your Home

Steps should be taken to protect your home for numerous reasons. For one, storms can cause expensive damage to the exterior, interior, and roofing of your home. The following points are some actions that should be taken to safely secure your home:

  • Cut down large trees and weak branches that could fall onto your home.
  • Replace rocks and gravel with shredded bark, a material that will be less likely to cause serious damage to your property.
  • Replace windows and glass doors with tempered glass, which is stronger than other types of glass and can withstand strong winds and direct hits. Tempered glass is also safer than other kinds of glass because if it is shattered, it breaks into small circular pieces rather than sharp and jagged shards, preventing injury and providing easier cleanup.
  • Install storm shutters if you live in areas where storms with strong winds occur frequently. This will help keep your family safe indoors if a window does shatter during the storm.
  • Clear your porch and yards. Move inside any furniture that could easily be blown away and break into windows from the outside. Furniture to bring inside include bikes, grills, wood tables, and more. Considering that the strongest hurricanes can pick up cars and throw them through the air, your outdoor furniture isn’t likely to withstand its power. We buy houses Port Orange Florida.

Guarding your Garden

The safety of your plants shouldn’t be overlooked if you have the time to make the necessary preparations. You’ve taken the time and effort to grow and nurture these plants, and you don’t have to give up on them even if a storm is coming. To help your garden survive a storm, create shelters to guard your plants against heavy winds and rain. The most efficient protection is provided by hothouses, but because these can be a heavy long-term investment, you can also protect your plants by stretching nylon sheets above them. Just as when protecting the rest of your home, remember to bring inside chairs and tables, amongst other objects that could be easily blown away. This will prevent your plants from being knocked over. It is also advised to bring inside pots and delicate plants that need more security.

Know the Difference Between a Hurricane “Watch” and “Warning”

The difference in a single word can mean the difference between “there will be some rain all week” and “get out of the city” when it comes to hurricanes. It’s important to watch the news to be alerted to weather alerts. One weather alert is a hurricane watch, which indicates that a hurricane is yet to hit, but certain conditions could lead to its creation. These type of alerts are announced about 48 hours before a hurricane is expected to form, which allows time to make any necessary preparations for both you and your home. On the other hand, a hurricane warning is a whole different ballpark. Warnings indicate that a hurricane has already started or is about to occur, so drop any preparations and check to make sure you have emergency supplies and get to a safe place.

Review Your Insurance Policies

One essential preparation that can be overlooked before a storm due to its intangibility is your home insurance policies. As scary as it may be to think about what could happen to your home, it’s wiser to be safe than sorry and check. Reviewing your insurance policy should be a priority on your storm season checklist. Homeowners insurance will cover temporary repairs caused by hurricane damage, along with expenses incurred by necessary relocation costs if the damage makes it impossible to live in your home. However, these insurance policies often do not include coverage for flood damage. If you live near the coast or are located in an area where flooding occurs frequently, you may need to insure your home against water damage and purchase a separate policy for this.

No one can stop a storm from happening; the only way to protect your home and family is to be prepared. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn about the potential health and safety risks after a storm or flooding has occurred, and advise homeowners against taking on cleanup jobs that may be too dangerous. The best choice is to seek help from experienced and qualified professionals who know how to handle natural damage restoration and leave it to them to deal with mold removal, along with other damaged property and jobs after a storm.