Make Your Garage Stand Out From the Rest

How To Check And Clean Condenser Coils

Servicing your own air conditioner is a great way to save some money. Often times, you will call out an HVAC professional to service your AC unit and you will find that the problem was something that was very simple to fix. In many cases you may even be able to figure out and fix the problem on your own. This article explains a few things that might be reducing the effectiveness of your AC unit. You can make these simple checks and repairs on your own, without any special tools or equipment.

Locating the Condenser Coils

The condenser coils are vital to the operation of an AC system, but many people don’t even know where they are. The exterior unit of a central HVAC system is often referred to as the air conditioner, but it is technically the condenser unit. It is responsible for condensing hot air that the fan creates. This helps cool down the unit and suck warm air out of the house. The actual coils that are responsible for the condensing are on the outside of the unit. Whether your unit is square or circular, the entire outside is lined with the coils. These are thin sheets of aluminum with tiny ridges that are called fins. The tiny space between the fins is a common place for dirt, leaves, dust, pollen and hair to get stuck. This clogging can hugely reduce the efficiency of your unit.

Cleaning the Coils

The best way to improve the functionality of your coils is to clean them. First, you need to first turn off the power to the unit. Turn off the thermostat and cut the power at the breaker (just to be extra safe). Now, lightly soak the coils with a water hose. Next, you can spray on a basic cleaner or degreaser. Just use your favorite all purpose cleaner. Spray it on thoroughly and let it soak into the coils for several minutes. Then, with a strong stream of water, spray out the soap. This will hopefully wash away most of the dirt. Don’t scrub or rub the coils because they can get bent, becoming even less efficient. Let your unit dry out a bit before turning it back on and testing it out.

As you can see, this job is not very difficult or time-consuming. Clean coils will contribute to a better running machine and hopefully cut your energy bill.

However, if you have a more complicated AC unit issue, it would be best to call in professionals, such as those at Metro Air, who have the proper tools and experience to repair the unit. 

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Three Reason To Replace Your Old Roof With One Made Of Metal

Roof have many challenges they need to put up with. For starters, they must be able to withstand the constant heat from the sun all year long, with UV rays that can make materials like asphalt become brittle and crack. They also must withstand other hazards like wind and hail. Even snow can put added weight on a roof with the potential to cause a roof collapse, with the cold temperatures also causing issues with ice dams. If you need a new roof for your house, metal may be the solution to all of these problems.

Hail and Wind Resistance

Hail has the potential to make a hole in asphalt shingles, while wind is able to rip shingles right off a roof. If your home is in a climate that sees these two weather conditions frequently, you should avoid using inexpensive asphalt shingles and replace the material with something better.

With a metal roof, panels will be secured to the roof using screws, and they don’t have loose edges or seems that allow wind to get caught underneath the material. Metal roofing can take on the toughest winds without leaving any damage behind as proof. If hail is a problem, you can use a thicker gauge of metal that will withstand the debris like an armor plating.

Snow Protection

Climates that see high snow accumulation during the winter can have a problem with excessive weight that overwhelms the roof’s trusses. Materials like asphalt and cedar shakes have surfaces with a lot of friction, which keep snow on the roof instead of allowing it to slide off. Metal roofs have a surface that is low-friction, which helps prevent snow accumulation on a roof. It can also help prevent your roof from collapsing during the toughest winter storms due to not having as much weight on the surface.

Material Longevity

You’ll most likely see 15-25 years out of asphalt shingles, and up to 40 years from wood shakes. Fortunately, metal has a very long lifespan, with the material lasting over 60 years, which is 2-4 times the estimated lifespan of asphalt. Since the average homeowner stays in their home for about 13 years, a metal roof could be the last roof you ever purchase.

When you consider all three of these reasons, you’ll see that metal roofing is an excellent choice compared to the alternatives. The material may be more pricey, but it will be a higher quality material with several additional benefits that make it worth getting. For more information, contact companies like Slaughter Roofing Co.

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Simple Solutions For Adding Privacy To Your Patio Doors

Many homeowners enjoy the added space an outdoor living area can provide. To allow for easy access from your home’s interior to your outdoor living space, you likely have a set of patio doors. These doors allow you to conveniently access your yard, but they can also make you feel like your privacy is being compromised.

Here are two simple solutions you can use to help you make your patio doors more private.

1. Swap out the clear glass window panes in your patio doors for some frosted ones instead.

Large glass panes allow a lot of natural light to flow into your living space, making them popular design features when it comes to patio doors. Unfortunately, clear glass panes don’t allow for much privacy.

If you don’t want to sacrifice the natural light glass patio doors provide but you need to make your doors more private, then swapping out the clear glass for some frosted panes can be beneficial. In order to save some money, you can even use your existing glass and some frosted glass spray paint to achieve your desired result.

Simply tape off the frame of the windows in your patio door and apply a layer of frosted glass spray paint. Allow the paint to dry, then repeat the process until you have reached the opacity that allows you to feel secure inside your home.

2. Use contact paper to create a decorative design.

Contact paper can provide the same type of opacity as frosted glass, but the results are not permanent. If you want to turn your patio doors into a decorative focal feature without compromising your access to natural light, then creating a design using contact paper could be a viable solution.

All you need to complete this simple project is a template in the design of your choosing, some scissors, a pen, and a lot of patience. Trace your template onto the contact paper several times, then carefully peel away the backing on the contact paper and apply the shapes in a decorative pattern.

When you want to swap out the pattern for something new, simply peel the contact paper away from the windows on your patio doors and start the process anew with a different template.

Finding creative ways to make your patio doors more private doesn’t have to be difficult. By using frosted glass spray paint or contact paper, you can easily make the glass in your patio doors more opaque without preventing natural light from flowing into your home.

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Tips For Pruning Flowering Cherry Trees

Flowering cherry, Japanese cherry, Kwanzan cherry – no matter what you call these ornamental trees, they are a beautiful addition to your home landscape. Flowering cherry trees are not true cherries. They won’t produce any fruit. Instead, they supply a profusion of pale pink flowers in spring that look like cherry blossoms. These give way to a rich green summer canopy of leaves. Ensuring the tree is pruned correctly is the key to making sure each year delivers the maximum amount of blossoms.

Tip #1: Begin Early

You should begin pruning the first year after planting to make sure the tree is trained up correctly. In the early years, pruning is relatively simple. You will trim off any nearly vertical branches, selecting only one vertical branch to be the main leader, or trunk, of the tree. Next, you will remove any small twiggy lateral branches that try to grow beneath the main canopy. The goal is to keep the bottom third to one-half of the tree free of branches until you have a strong canopy.

Tip #2: Prune at the Right Time

Late winter is the optimum time to prune, before the leaves or flower buds begin to open. If you are concerned about trimming off your blooms, you can wait until after flowering is over, but this will leave the tree more susceptible to the insects and diseases because they are more active in warmer weather. If there is damage to the tree, you can do a cleaning up prune at any time to fix the problem.

Tip #3: Choosing Your Tools

For young trees, you will probably need nothing more than a strong and sharp pair of bypass pruning shears. For older trees with branches thicker than your thumb, a small pruning saw may also be needed. Flowering cherries can be susceptible to disease from pruning wounds, so you should also be ready to prevent these. The simplest way is to carry a solution of diluted bleach in water in a bucket. Rinse off your pruning tools in the solution after each cut to minimize the chance of infections.

Tip #4: Maintain Your Framework

As the tree matures, you likely won’t need to worry about maintaining your leader anymore, and the growth of twiggy lateral branches on the trunk also diminishes. At this point, your main job is to maintain the internal framework. Look for any branches that are crossed and rubbing, and then cut back one of these to its main branch. Also, trim out any damaged or dead branches.

These tasks will help keep the interior of the tree open to sunlight and air circulation. It’s best to otherwise allow the tree to take its natural form. Heading back or topping just results in unnecessary cuts that can leave the tree open to infection. For further questions, contact a local tree service or hop over to this website for more information.

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4 Tips For Keeping New Carpet Looking Great

There are many benefits to having new carpet installed in a home–it is soft on the feet, provides insulation and helps keep a house warm, and also reduces household noise. But if you’re having new carpet installed in your home, it is essential to know how to properly care for it in order to extend its lifespan and keep it clean for as long as possible. Use the following tips to keep your carpet looking fresh:

Say No to Shoes in the House

Wearing shoes on new carpeting is an easy way to cause stains and break down the carpet fibers. The soles of shoes pick up all kind of things outside, such as oil, dirt, and debris, and when shoes are worn while walking on carpet the contaminants are transferred to the fibers. An easy way to prevent your carpet from becoming soiled by dirty shoes is to make a no-shoe policy in your home. Walking on carpet with bare feet is technically fine, but some people opt to wear socks or house slippers indoors to prevent natural skin oils from the feet from being transferred to the carpet.

Vacuum Properly

Regular vacuuming is very important in keeping a carpet clean and free of trapped debris, but the quality of a vacuuming job is very important. Too many people quickly run a vacuum over the carpet in their home, but they push the vacuum too fast so it doesn’t have time to properly clean each fiber and suction up all the dirt, dust, and debris. If you’re serious about keeping your new carpet looking pristine, give yourself extra time when vacuuming. It can be helpful to slowly pass the vacuum over one area several times to ensure that the carpet is as clean as possible.

Be Prepared to Clean Up Spills Promptly

Unfortunately, spills happen, and when they occur on your carpeting, it is essential to clean them up as soon as possible to prevent permanent staining. In order to do this, it is a good idea to always have a container of carpet spot cleaner on hand so you can clean up fast. Most new carpet comes with a warranty, so take the time to contact the carpet manufacturer for recommendations– the last thing you want is to void your warranty because you used the wrong type of carpet stain cleaner.

Schedule Regular Carpet Cleaning Service

No matter how well you take care of your carpet, it still needs professional cleaning on a regular basis. The machines that professional carpet cleaning companies use are designed to deep clean each carpet fiber in a way that a vacuum can’t. It is generally recommended that carpeting be professionally cleaned at least every 12 to 18 months. If your carpet is very light in color, experiences a lot of foot traffic, or if there are pets in the home, it may be necessary to have the carpet cleaned more often. For more information, contact a company like Conscientious Carpet Care.

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How To Install A Custom-Made Glass Shower Door

Glass shower doors can add a lot of ambience to a restored bathroom. You can have a custom glass shower door company make the door for you and ship it to your location so you can install it yourself to save a little money on the bathroom restoration project. Here is how you can install a custom-made glass shower door in your bathroom.

You Will Need:

  • Glass Door Kit
  • Hacksaw
  • Drill
  • Screwdrivers
  • Silicon Caulk
  • Caulk Gun
  • Level
  • Wall Anchors

Step One: Install Base Track

Place the base track along the top of the shower curb if it’s a walk-in shower, or along the top edge of the bathtub is it’s going to be a combination shower/bathtub setup. Make sure the track runs evenly along the curb. Mark an outline of the track with a pencil on the curb.

Remove the track and lay down a bead of silicon caulk between the pencil markings and set the track back into place. Allow the caulk to dry.

Step Two: Install Side Rail

Set the side rail against the wall. Use a level to make sure the rail is straight up and down. Mark the anchor holes for the screws in the track with a pencil on the walls. Mark the inside and outside of the rails with the pencil. Remove the track.

Drill out the anchor holes with a power drill. Insert wall anchors into the holes. The wall anchors will keep the holes from deteriorating as you use the shower door. If the screw holes deteriorate through constant usage, the screws will loosen and the rails could fall off the wall after you’ve used the shower door over a period of time.

Place a bead of caulk on the walls between the markings for the rail sides. Set the rail back into place and insert the screws through the holes in the rail and into the wall anchors.

Step three: Install Door Jamb Rail

The door jamb track is used to connect the hinges to the shower door frame. Install the door jamb the same way you did the side track on the opposite wall directly across from the side rail.

Step Four: Install Glass Door

You will usually need a helper to hold the glass door up while you connect the hinges of the door to the door jamb – these locations will already be marked on the door jamb rail.

Step Five: Install Top Rail

Close the door and set the top rail in place on top of the frame. Screw the top rail to the frame.

Step Six: Caulk Seams

Place a bead of caulk all around the seams where the shower door frame meets the walls and shower curb. You can smooth the silicon by dipping your finger into some water and sliding your finger along the caulk on the seams.

Wait until all the caulk dries before using the shower.

For more information, contact a company like Wildwood Glass Company Inc.

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Does Your Child Have A New Car? Make Sure You Check The Windshield Periodically

If you child has a new car, you are likely very apprehensive about letting them drive on their own. There are things that you can do to help them stay safe while they are in their car to help you feel a little better. One thing you can do is to check the windshield periodically to make sure there are no problems with it. A windshield provides up to 30% of the car’s structural strength. If your child is in a collision, it can prevent them from being tossed out of their vehicle. It also functions like a roll bar if their car rolls over. This is why maintaining the integrity of the windshield is very important.

Look for Windshield Chips

Look over the windshield carefully and look for any small chips. Use a magnifying glass to help you find the chips, as they could be difficult to see if they are in the corner or they are very small. One chip can lead to a crack that spreads across the windshield, so it is much easier to get the chip repaired now.

The windshield glass is made up of two layers of glass with a layer of vinyl between them. If it is raining, moisture can get underneath the chip, weakening the glass. If the temperature outside drops to below freezing, this moisture will freeze, which causes the chip to expand.

Simply driving over a speed bump can cause the chip to turn into a crack. When the car hits a bump of any kind, this puts pressure on the windshield.

Repair Windshield Chips

There are windshield repair kits that you can purchase. These kits come with step-by-step instructions, curing film, resin, and a tool to smooth out the glass.

It still may be better to take your car in for professional repair, however. You may not use the repair kit correctly, especially if you have never done this before. You do not want to take the chance that the chip is not completely fixed. You should also take it in for repair by a professional if the chip seems to be deep into the glass, such as if flakes of glass have fallen off.

A car technician will have professional equipment to completely fix the chip. It may take you at least an hour or so to use the repair kit, but the professional can complete the job in only a few minutes.

Ask your child to check their windshield if a rock or some other debris hits it while they are driving, as these things can cause a chip.

For more information about windshield repair, visit websites like

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