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How To Replace Your Windows With Windows That Are Better For The Environment

Windows are a major source for energy to enter and leave your house, so replacing your current windows with something more energy efficient is one of the best ways to help save the environment and reduce your energy bill at the same time.  Windows are also going to be a major source of pollution on the production side of things. With that in mind, here are a few windows you can use as a replacement for the standard type that will be more efficient and better for the environment in every way.

Vinyl Windows

Vinyl Windows are better for the environment for a variety of reasons. For example, according to Energy Star, the production of vinyl window frames requires three times less energy than what it costs to create windows made of other materials like aluminum.

In addition, vinyl windows can last for a long time, up to several decades, whereas other materials made of cheaper metals could break down in just a handful of years.  Vinyl windows also have the advantage of not producing toxins that pollute the environment the way many windows that use metal frames do.

In addition, vinyl windows come mostly from the benign material salt. Production from vinyl only contributes 0.3 percent of the annual use of oil and gas.

It’s also easy to recycle vinyl, unlike with many other types of windows where the effort to recycle them is much more difficult. Many vinyl window companies even offer long warranties, including some lifetime warranties.

The fact that vinyl is a low conductor of heat also means that you’ll need to spend less heating your home since more heat will be retained.

Double Glazing

Double glazing technology helps to cut back on the amount of energy that passes between your home and the outside world. By having two panes of double-sided material made of glass, you can trap a pocket of a gas like argon in between that makes it difficult for heat to escape.

This is because argon is an inert gas that doesn’t interact as well with heat like other gasses. The trick is to make sure that the window is sealed enough so that none of the gas escapes. This technology can help reduce the amount of ultraviolet radiation that enters from the outside by up to 98% when paired with other technology like low energy coatings.

Windows can contribute up to 50% of the cooling or heating of a house, so using greener windows will reduce your indirect contribution to pollution through energy use by a considerable amount. 

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Shake Down—How to Check Your Gas Furnace & Gas Hot Water Heater After an Earthquake

Earthquakes can strike at any time and deliver a tremendous amount of force. When a strong earthquake occurs, obviously the effects near the epicenter can be catastrophic. Farther away from the center of the earthquake, however, a large percentage of the people who experience the shaking may not notice any damage at all.  

Because damage can be subtle, its important to check your home for safety issues after all significant earthquakes, especially if you have gas appliances such as a furnace or water heater. Here are some tips to help you know what to do once an earthquake is over before resuming your normal routine.

Trust Your Nose

The first thing you should do is determine if you smell gas. Natural gas providers intentionally add a strong odor to the gas they supply to make it obvious if there is a leak. This sulfurous (think rotten eggs) smell is a sign of danger and if detected you should leave the building immediately and contact your utility company’s emergency number. If you can’t reach the utility company you should call 911.

If you smell gas it is also important not to use any electrical appliances, including switching on or off lights, as even a small spark could cause an explosion.  

Did Anything Move?

Assuming you can’t smell gas, go ahead and begin inspecting your appliances for damage. Start by determining if your furnace or water heater have changed position at all. Is the hot water heater leaning or tilted? Has the furnace shifted position relative to the ground or ceiling? Any significant movement may be an indication of damage.

Check Your Connections

Once you’ve established the appliance hasn’t been moved out of place by the shaking, begin checking the connections on both the furnace and water heater, paying special attention for any dripping from water connections or for any hissing sounds from gas connections. Do not use a match or other flame to detect gas leaks, as this could also trigger an explosion.  

Inspect the Ducts and Vents

Even if the actual units appear to be in good condition, you will want to check the ducts and vents before operating the appliances after an earthquake. Use a flashlight to follow visible duct work to see if any of it is no longer well-aligned. It’s also important to inspect the inside of ducts, especially those used for venting or chimney purposes, to ensure they are free from debris.  

Bigger Picture

While the inspection of your gas utility appliances may not reveal any damage, be sure to also take into account any overarching factors that may affect the safety of operating them. This would include any significant structural damage to your home (even if your gas wasn’t clearly impacted) as well as any instructions from local civic leaders.

Taking time to carefully inspect your gas water heater and furnace is an important way to prevent expensive and dangerous damage to your home after an earthquake and should be done after any substantial shaking, even if there isn’t any obvious damage. For more tips and suggestions, talk to experts such as Kook & Son Inc.

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Understanding Power Supply Failure And Reset Techniques

There are many things that virus removal programs, tune-ups and cleaning can accomplish. Unfortunately, when failure reaches into the electrical components of a computer, it may take the specific skills and troubleshooting path of an electrician to solve the problem. A few electrical troubleshooting techniques for computers can help you get to the bottom of the problem and provide a fix or replacement without buying an entirely new computer.

Power Supply Unit Failure May Be Temporary

The power supply is the first point of electrical supply for a computer, responsible for converting an electrical signal into something that the rest of the computer can uses.

When a danger such as an electrical storm or power surge from a power utility company comes through the system, the power supply is also the first component in danger. Thankfully, the power supply comes equipped with a system of fail-safes to protect the rest of the computer.

When a dangerous electrical surge enters the system, the power supply’s safety circuit can break in anticipation of the high surge. Unless the surge of power is dangerously high—which can happen often enough to warrant a more reliable power supply—the dangerous electricity will not reach the rest of the system.

You’ll need to replace the power supply, which is a more affordable repair than buying an entirely new computer. Thankfully, newer power supplies have an even better protection for you.

Power Supply Reset After Dangerous Electrical Threats

In more modern power supplies, there is a switch that turns off the power supply without causing physical damage. If your computer isn’t turning on, you may need to simply reset the power supply.

Use the following steps to perform a power supply reset:

  1. Unplug the computer. Remove any detachable power cables and physically unplug the computer from the wall or other power supply.
  2. Press and hold the power button. Hold the button down for at least 15 seconds, but no longer than a minute.
  3. Release the power button.
  4. Connect the power cable and computer to the wall socket.
  5. Press the power button.

If the computer does not turn on, try another power cable or connect to another wall socket. Power cables can be damaged in electrical surges without any noticeable outside scarring.

The wall socket may not be producing any power, or the supplied power may be too low or irregular for the power supply to work.

If you notice damage inside the power supply, contact an electrician. Information Technology (IT) technicians are generally not trained for power supply troubleshooting, as the internal components of a power supply contain lethal latent power and require electrical training. Talk to an electrician, such as Manchester Electric LLC, for more information.

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Incorporating Artificial Turf Into Your Next Outdoor Home Improvement Project

If you have a few projects that you need to complete around the house, the first part of the planning process involves picking what materials to use. Choosing something that is eco-friendly and functional allows you to get the look you want and help reduce your overall carbon footprint at the same time. Artificial turf is one type of material that is versatile and useful in many outdoor home improvement projects. Here are some examples of spaces you can use it in.

Backyard Doggie Play Area

If you have dogs, no matter what size, chances are they love to spend time in the backyard. While exercise and playtime is essential to canine happiness, it may not end well for your kitchen hardwoods or living room carpeting when they come back indoors. Tearing up an existing grassy area may be the solution. Adding artificial turf will help make cleanup easier outside as well as inside. Long-lasting and durable, most artificial turf areas designed for pets are non-absorbent for spills and easy to clean and care for. You will also eliminate muddy paw prints and cut down on the risk for flea and tick infestation. A professional landscaping contractor will grade the backyard area, level it out, apply the turf and create a durable space for your pets to play and relax.

Custom Golf Tee Box

If your spouse has created more divots in your backyard then you can count, it may time to install some artificial grass. There are many varieties of synthetic grass that can be used for a high traffic area—such as a tee box or mini golf green. If you want to set apart an area of your yard for a custom tee box, a landscaping contractor will be able to measure and install the artificial grass to your exact specifications. From there, the area around the turf can be landscaped per your budget needs.

Improved Playground Space

Artificial turf can be beneficial to your child’s outdoor playground area. Because busy kids often take many tumbles as they play throughout the day, it’s good to have a soft place for them to land. Many turf areas can be padded to provide an extra layer of protection for children as they carry on with their outdoor activities. Cleanup is a breeze and only requires a simple hose down as needed. Turf also eliminates the need to mow around several intricate pieces of playground equipment.

Faux Backyard Patio

If you’ve been looking for a natural-looking solution for a backyard patio area, grass can be hard to keep up with and weeds can quickly take over by leaps and bounds. Artificial grass is a great alternative to natural grass for a backyard patio that requires minimal upkeep and maintenance. Choose from different colors to match your outdoor decor or keep it a natural green color that will match almost anything. A patio space that is raised off of the ground and then covered with synthetic grass provides a long-lasting patio area for entertaining and enjoyment.

Artificial turf comes in a variety of colors and styles. Ask your local landscape contractor about the best solution for your specific backyard project.

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Should You Repair Or Repave Your Asphalt Parking Lot?

Over a period of time, any asphalt parking lot is going to take a serious beating. In addition to all the vehicles causing damage, the weather is not an asphalt parking lot’s best friend either. The ice, snow, and freezing temperatures will cause all sorts of damage to your parking lot. The water will make its way deep into your parking lot through any cracks regardless of how small they are. As the temperature drops, the water will freeze. This will cause the asphalt to expand. When it expands, the cracks will get worse. This is why asphalt parking lots are riddled with potholes, cracks, and other forms of damage. In this situation, should you repair your parking lot or just repave it?

Repairing versus Repaving

When everything has been said and done, the decision you make will be based on a combination of the overall condition of your parking lot as well as your budget. You may find yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to excavate the entire parking lot and have it replaced. If the damage is minimal, you may be able to get away with just having the cracks filled and a little patchwork done.

Consider the Cost

As you are making the decision, you need to think about how much it will cost to replace your parking lot versus how much it is going to cost you to maintain what you currently have. Even if you do the patchwork and fix the cracks, are you going to have the same problem at the end of next winter? Will you find yourself in a situation where you need the parking lot repaired again? Then, you need to ask yourself if having your parking lot repaired every winter is really cheaper than just having it replaced.

Ask an Expert for Help

Fortunately, this is not a big decision you have to make on your own. Any paving company. such as Hals Construction, would be happy to evaluate your parking lot and give you an honest assessment of what you should be doing. They can tell you how much maintenance the parking lot would need and how much it will cost versus just replacing and repaving it instead.

Asphalt Does Not Last Forever

The most important thing to remember is that asphalt is not an indestructible material, and it is not going to last forever. Every one to two decades, you will need to have your asphalt parking lot excavated and replaced. Once an asphalt parking lot reaches the end of its life expectancy it can become a safety hazard, which would open you up to lawsuits far more expensive than the cost of having your parking lot replaced. 

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Repair A Torn Screen In Your Bathroom Window

If the screen in your bathroom window is torn, you can patch it so that you can open it when you want to cool down the room or enjoy the fresh air from outside. This may not be a permanent fix, but it will allow you to open your window without any worries until you decide to have a new screen installed. 

Use These Items For The Repair

  • replacement screen material
  • thread (that matches the color of the screen)
  • sewing needle
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • masking tape
  • ammonia mixed with water
  • cloth

Prepare The Area

Remove the screen from the window and place it on a flat surface. If the torn area is ragged, clean up the edges by trimming them with scissors. Wash the surface of the screen with a small amount of ammonia that has been diluted in a bucket full of water. When finished, rinse the screen off with plain water. When the screen has dried, measure the area that is going to need to be repaired. Cut out a piece of replacement screen, but make sure that it is a little bit longer and wider than the torn area so that it covers the damaged area completely. 

Attach The New Piece 

Line the new piece of screen up with the original screen. Secure it to the screen with masking tape. Once you begin sewing, you can remove the tape so that you can see where you are placing each stitch. Insert the thread in the needle and pull the end through so that it meets with the opposite end. By doing so, the thread will be doubled, giving each stitch extra strength.

Begin by pulling the needle up through one of the holes and pushing it down through the next one, while pulling the string tautly. Continue stitching around the piece of replacement screen. Once you have stitched all the way around it, knot the end of the thread and trim it closely to the screen.

Care For The Screen

Insert the screen back into the window. You can open your window whenever you would like to let fresh air in. Because you used thread that is close in color to the screen, the replacement piece will not stand out and the damage will be virtually undetectable. Care for the screen as you normally would, but be gentle when cleaning the area that was repaired. The replacement piece will hold up until you have a new screen installed. When you decide to replace the screen with a patch-free version, work with professionals such as the folks at Glass Impressions.

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Does Your Asphalt Roof Need To Be Replaced? This Is Why It’s Best To Hire A Roofer To Find Out

If you think your asphalt roof is getting old, but you have no idea when it was installed, it’s probably a good idea to have it inspected. An inspection is also a good idea after a season of heavy storms and strong winds. You can inspect the roof yourself, but you may miss important warning signs. If you don’t know what to look for, or what roof damage looks like, then it is much better to hire a professional roofer like East Texas Roof Works & Sheet Metal LLC. to do the job. Here are some reasons it is best to let a contractor handle your roof inspection.

Roof Damage From Walking On Shingles

Assuming you are able to climb on your roof to look around, you must be very cautious where you step. You don’t want to walk around aimlessly because you could damage the shingles. A professional knows exactly where the most susceptible areas of your roof are located, and he or she will check those first, and limit walking on the roof as much as possible.

Safety Concerns

If your roof has a steep pitch, you don’t want to climb on it without a harness. Even a low pitched roof is dangerous if you slip or trip. When you hire a contractor, you don’t have to worry about the risk of falling off the roof, or off a ladder. Another reason that climbing on your roof is dangerous is because you may get too close to power lines. If you use a metal ladder, you want to keep it well away from where the lines attach to your roof.

Recognizing Damage

If you see black shiny patches on your roof, you may think your roof is just dirty. Or maybe you’ll think the shingles are ruined and need to be replaced. If the patch is algae, it can be cleaned off without damaging your roof. If your shingles have moss growing on them, it could indicate rotting that extends down to the wood deck.

In addition to looking for damaged and curled shingles, you’d need to get a feel for the wood deck too. If it has a spongy feel under your feet, it could be rotting. If you don’t know what a roof is supposed to feel like when you walk on it, you could miss this important sign.

You’ll also need to look for rusted or missing flashing, broken gutters, seals around vents, and cracks in shingles. In other words, inspecting a roof entails much more than scanning for missing shingles with your binoculars. A contractor has the experience to know what a roof should look like. When something is wrong, it will be immediately obvious to him or her, while you may miss the significance of the sign. That’s why it’s probably worth it to hire a roofer to inspect your roof rather than rely on your DIY skills. Then if there is a problem, it can be fixed right away before leaking rain causes problems with your roof, deck and attic.

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