Chimney Maintenance 101: When Do You Need To Clean It?

One of the reasons you purchased your home was the beautiful chimney in the family room. It is a focal point of the house, and in the cold winter months, it is the place everyone gathers around. As spring approaches and brings with it warmer days and nights, it may be time to check into routine chimney maintenance. Do you know when you need to clean your chimney? If you don’t keep it in tip-top shape, it may wind up failing and catching on fire.

How Often Does a Chimney Need Cleaning?

Unlike other appliances or elements of your house, there is no recommended or fixed schedule for getting your chimney cleaned. If you use it very often and the wood does not always burn completely, it may cause black smoke to become trapped inside the inner workings of the fireplace. This smoke contains a chemical called creosote. It is the creosote buildup you have to get cleaned using chimney cleaning Washington DC.

How Can You Tell the Chimney Needs Cleaning?

You can tell when it needs servicing by doing a visual inspection. First, you want to make sure there is no draft blowing down the chimney. If there is, you will need to reverse it by ventilating the inside of your home for a bit. This is so you don’t get the creosote blown down on you when you stick your head in to take a peak. Use a flashlight to increase your field of vision. Take a sharp object and scratch at the black deposits around the flue and above the firebox. The deeper the scratch, the more buildup you have. The rule of thumb is service your chimney when the scratch is 1/8 inch deep or more. If it is 1/4 inch deep, do not use the fireplace until it gets serviced.

Keeping your family safe from an unfortunate accident is your top priority. Getting your fireplace and chimney serviced can help it stay in working order.

Mosquitos: How to Eliminate or Prevent Pesky Pests

Mosquitos aren’t just annoying; they can also pose a serious health risk and spread a wide array of diseases. If you live in an area where mosquitos are prevalent, it’s important to follow a few simple tips to keep them away from your yard, garden, and home. By following these steps, you can either prevent these pesky insects from bothering you or eliminate them so they no longer pose a risk to you and your family.

Look for Standing Water

The key to preventing mosquitos in the first place is by not allowing their larvae to form and hatch. You can do this by taking a quick survey around your home, making sure there is no standing water. Dump and turn over old tires, buckets, and toys that might be collecting water. Without this water, the larvae cannot survive.

Simple Ways to Kill Larvae

There are a few easy things you can do if you discover mosquito larvae around your home. Add a layer of oil to any items with standing water, and it will suffocate the larvae to keep them from hatching. A more natural option is apple cider vinegar, which will kill the larvae within 24 hours or less. Other options include dish soap, shampoo, or bleach. Adding these to the water should kill off the larvae.

Call a Professional

If it turns out that you have a serious, ongoing mosquito problem, you may need to contact a local pest control company. If you happen to have a pond near your home, they may need to apply a special mosquito pond treatment that can kill off both larvae and any hatched mosquitos that return to the pond.

Keep Plant Life Under Control

Many pests, including mosquitos, like to hide in thick greenery and plant life. Keep your landscaping neatly trimmed, particularly near ponds and water shorelines. Make sure trees are properly trimmed and that branches are not growing close to windows and doors. By making sure your plants are kept up, you can help to keep the mosquito population at bay.

Even though they can be found in large numbers, there are simple things you can do to eliminate or prevent mosquitos. Enjoy your time outside this summer and beyond by following these easy tips so that you can enjoy your spring and summer mosquito-free.

Three Reasons Why Your House Isn’t Warm This Winter

Outside, the falling snow creates a picturesque view of white that seems to reach far beyond your yard. As you watch it from your window, you hear nothing. Yet, it gives you a sense of peace. Or, it would if you weren’t shivering right now.

Heat Without Warmth

According to the thermostat, you should be toasty as you watch the snow fall. However, no matter how much you raise the temperature, it’s still cold. You’ve checked the HVAC unit several times and the pilot light is at full power. But when you put your hand over the vents, very little warm air comes out.

The Source of the Problem

Before you call for a repair service, you want to do some investigating. In the end, the problem could be something resolvable in a few minutes. Then again, once you’re done, a call to a company like Comfortable Climate might take place.

Thus, here are three things to review in order to determine why your house isn’t warm this winter.

1. A faulty thermostat could be the basis of your issues. While the display says it’s 70 in the house, the true temperature might be 10 degrees cooler. The thermostat’s cover needs to be securely attached to the connectors to maintain power. If this looks good, then check the display for a battery replacement warning.

2. A dirty filter is the next place to look. As dust and debris accumulate on the filter it no longer has the ability to push the good air through. Hence, it won’t move up to the other vents inside your home. The simple solution is to replace the filter with a new one. Just make sure it is the correct size.

3. Clogged vents also halt the flow of air. And, if your filter is dirty, there’s a good chance the vents are the same way.

If the vents are clogged or the other troubleshooting steps don’t pan out, then contact an HVAC repair service to come out, determine the issue, and provide a cost estimate.

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Improve Your Home For the New Year

For homeowners, there is never a bad time to work on improving your home. After all, your home is probably your biggest investment, as well as being the place where you spend most of your time with your friends and family. However, if you feel like you are stuck and have not been keeping up with all of the home improvements that could make your house better, one of the best times is around the beginning of the new year. If you are inspired to make a change for New Year’s, here are some suggestions to help you to get started.

First, consider to get rid off any pest with The Critter Team services, they can take care of any domestic pest for you, making big changes that you may have been putting off but that will dramatically improve the quality of your home. Don’t try to do it yourself unless you are an expert or if you have experience in the field. While it may be a good idea to try your hand at superficial improvements, leave the major changes to the pros. For example, if you are looking into garage floor resurfacing options you should call local experts to help you find the best option for your needs. Making a big change to your home before the new year can help you to feel like you are starting off on the right foot and giving your home the attention that it deserves.

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If you are not up for making a major improvement or if your home is in pretty good shape already. A fresh coat of paint can change the way that you feel about your bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, or another area of your house.

Now is the time to make the most of the home that you have. This new year, make the improvements necessary to make the lovely and beautiful house that you deserve.

Possible Reasons Why Your Family Regularly Runs Out of Hot Water

Even though your water heater is supposed to provide you and your family with a good supply of hot water for showering, washing dishes and other things, you might find that hot water is actually a hot commodity in your household. If you’re always running out of hot water, you could be wondering why. The reason for this can vary from household to household, but these are some of the possible reasons why your family might not be getting enough hot water from your water heater.

Your Water Heater is Too Small

Water heaters come in all different sizes. Smaller houses generally have smaller water heaters, since there usually is not as much of a demand for hot water. Bigger homes with more bathrooms, on the other hand, generally have larger water heaters. It’s possible that you don’t need water heater repair in Houston at all, though. Instead, your water heater might be too small for your family, and it may need to be replaced with a bigger water heater or supplemented with a tankless water heater.

You Aren’t Spacing Out Use Enough

Even if your water heater is the right size for your house and your family, you might still have trouble with your hot water supply if you aren’t spacing out your family’s use enough. Making sure that there is ample time in-between long showers within your household is one key way to ensure that everyone has enough hot water.

There’s a Problem with Your Water Heater

If your water heater is old or damaged, then that could be the source of your problems. You may need to have your water heater replaced, or you might have to call a professional to come out and repair it for you.

Hot water shortages can be a big pain for you and your family. Once you figure out the cause of the problem, though, you can make changes so that you and your family will always have the hot water that you need.

Crafty Creations In The Basement

One of the ways that you can upgrade your basement is by creating a bar area where you can enjoy a few drinks either by yourself or with your friends. Hang lights from the ceiling over the bar area and over a small table in the basement so that it looks like a bar you would visit in town. Consider brick wall designs to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. You could also put a television on one wall so that you can enjoy watching your favorite sports while you’re having a drink or two.

Create a fun and inviting place in the basement to watch movies with your family. Put a large television on one wall so that it’s the focal point of the room. You might have to get a little creative, but an oversized colorful couch with large pillows is a fun addition to this kind of room. The couch should have plenty of space for everyone to lounge together to enjoy the movie while eating a few snacks. This would be a fun way to spend time with your kids or for your kids to have their friends over to your house without running around from one room to another.

If your kids need a place to study instead of sitting at the kitchen table, then make a few quiet nooks in the basement. When you’re talking to a basement remodeling Chicago IL company, offer a few ideas about the sizes of the personal spaces that you need in the basement as well as the colors that you want to see so that your children feel relaxed while studying. Aside from the areas where children can study, you can also create a space that is bright and entertaining. Paint each wall a different color with large dots on a white wall. Put a colorful rug that matches the colors of the wall on a laminate floor. With a bookcase, a table and chairs, and a few beanbags, this can be a room in your home where children want to read or spend time with each other after school or on the weekends.