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What Makes Blinds a Worthwhile Investment in Your Home?

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Your home windows are a source of natural light, but they also allow in fresh air. When covered with indoor blinds, they can offer you even more. Here’s a sneak peek at a couple of essential benefits you stand to gain by treating your windows with indoor blinds. A Healthier lifestyle Healthy living is not merely about good dieting or engaging in physical activity: it is also impacted by the quality of the space you live in. When left untreated, your windows can let health hazards, like ultraviolet light, which is known to cause life-threatening illnesses such as skin cancer, inside. With blinds that contain ultraviolet light inhibitors, you can effectively block a significant percentage of the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching your interiors, and therefore improve the health standard in your home. Protection of interior furnishings The same ultraviolet light that threats the good health of your loved ones can be the reason why the upholstery on your carpeting, furniture, curtains, and other interior furnishings gets faded over time. Window coverings like indoor blinds can truly prevent the beauty of every furnishing that matters from waning. Energy savings You do not have to spend lots of money on upgrading your current HVAC equipment just to realise energy savings in your home. With the right selection, sizing and installation, interior blinds can prove to be one of the best ways to cut energy consumption. For maximum energy efficiency, these blinds should as much as possible be fitted close to the glass on your windows, and the edges of the shades held near the wall to create an airtight seal. To achieve even better energy performance, install dual blinds, which are dark (heat absorbing) on one side and white or light-coloured (highly reflective) on the opposite side. As a rule of the thumb, the light-coloured surface should face outward (warmest side) in the hot summers and inward (coolest side) in the cold winter days. Convenience If your house is fitted with several windows, moving all over the house to manually open each window wastes time that could be put to better use. By fitting motorised indoor blinds, you can operate your windows at the simple press of a button on a remote-control device. Or better yet, you can lower or raise the coverings according to a plan you define in your home automation system; this way, you don’t have to be present at home in order to operate your...

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Baby Drool On Your Carpet? 4 Quick Actions To Restore Drool-Free Carpets Again

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in Uncategorized |

You love your little toddler, but the idea of baby drool filled with mashed food on your precious carpet is enough to make your cringe. As much as you try to avoid it, dealing with drool is part of your job as a parent. Luckily, some quick carpet cleaning actions should help you restore drool-free carpets again. You’ll probably have to repeat these actions multiple times until your child gets over the drooling stage, so keep this guide handy when you have small kids. Remove Drool From The Carpet Using A Brush Or Paper Towel Brush off the fresh drool from your carpet to ensure that the stain isn’t allowed to sit in your carpet for too long. You may use paper towels or a bristled brush to remove drool quickly from carpeted floors. This will remove the spit-up, but it’s likely that the mashed food from the drool has caused a stain. Add Vinegar To Club Soda In A Spray Bottle The fizz of club soda and the acid in vinegar react with the stains on the carpet and work well to lift them off the surface. Fill these two solutions in equal quantities in a spray bottle and saturate the stain once mixed. Let this mixed solution sit on the baby drool stain for several minutes for the reaction to take effect. Wipe the mixture gently off the carpet using lint-free cloths or paper towels. This carpet cleaning action will reduce the visibility of the stain. Use A Mild Baby-Friendly Detergent To Eliminate The Rest Of The Stain Your toddler probably spends a lot of time on the carpet, so make sure you use mild baby-friendly detergents to remove the rest of the carpet stain. Use a brush to apply the detergent into the stain and let it sit for a while. Be gentle with the brush to avoid harming the fibres. Finish off by removing the detergent with cool water. Your carpet’s baby-drool stain should be practically invisible now. Let The Stained Area Dry And Pepper The Stain With Baking Soda Wait for the stained area to dry completely and pepper the stain with some baking soda. Baking soda doubles up as a cleaner and disinfectant, which should remove the germs and odour from the drool stain. Scoop up the baking soda using a vacuum cleaner to ensure that your child doesn’t accidentally put some in their mouth. Follow these quick carpet cleaning actions if your baby has drooled mashed food on your carpet. And if your small children keep causing carpet stains you can’t seem to lift, don’t hesitate to schedule a professional carpet...

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Greenhouse Lighting 101: Grow Lights

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Establishing a greenhouse for subsistence farming might as well mark the end of your trips to the local grocery store. The greenhouse will allow you to grow different food crops all year round. Grow lights help to supplement the available amount of natural light that will reach plants in the greenhouse. Without these lights, it might be difficult to have an all-year round growing season. Below are three types of grow lights that you can choose for your subsistence greenhouse. Fluorescent Lights Fluorescent lights have been used as grow lights for a long time now.  These lights come in the form of thin, elongated tubes. Smaller versions come in the form of bulbs that have a spiral shape and they’re referred to as compact fluorescent lights.   Standard fluorescent tubes have a relatively low light intensity as compared to other lighting options (e.g. High Intensity Discharge lights). Therefore, they might not be suitable for crops that need higher levels of light intensity. Fluorescent grow lights are often preferred to speed up the germination of seedlings and for the accelerated growth of vegetables within the greenhouse. Fluorescent tubes are installed within separate ballast, while compact fluorescent lights can be installed directly into a light socket. High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lights HID lights have a higher light intensity than fluorescent bulbs. These lights are considered the most efficient in terms of the lumen output produced for each watt of electricity. Various types of high intensity discharge lights are available for greenhouse lighting. High pressure sodium (HPS) lamps and metal halide lamps are the most effective for greenhouse lighting. This is because the two types of lamps produce a spectrum of light that’s closely similar to that provided by the sun. Metal halide HID lights produce light that falls within the blue/violet portion of the light spectrum, while HPS lamps give off light within the yellow/red portion of the spectrum. HID lights must be installed within a ballast. The wattage of the ballast has to correspond with that of the lamp for the lights to work. Thus, metal halide lamps are used to enhance root development while HPS lamps are commonly used to encourage fruit development. LED Lights LED lights are also commonly used as grow lights. LEDs are installed directly into electrical sockets. They’re probably the best option if you intend to install grow lights on your own. LED lights also need to be installed a safe distance away from the nearest crops in order to prevent the likelihood of leaf burn. Light produced by LEDs often falls within the red portion of the spectrum. Red light accelerates the rate at which greenhouse crops flower. For more information, contact an electrical contractor in your...

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Fire Safety Tips for Caravan Owners

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are planning to take a long journey in a caravan, there are a number of things you should keep in mind, but in particular, you should ensure that your vehicle is set to be as safe from fire as possible. Here are some tips and ideas to keep in mind: 1. Make sure the wiring is safe. If you are purchasing an old caravan, look it over to see what type of condition the wiring is in. Check any visible wires and make sure that they are not frayed or worn. If possible, have an electrician look everything over as well. They can check the circuits for you to make sure everything is working correctly. Similarly, do safety checks like this if your caravan has been in storage for a long time — rodents can easily gnaw on wires in storage, creating fire risks. 2. Check fire exits. In case a fire starts, you need to be able to exit the caravan. In addition to the main door, there should be a second exit as well. That could be a window that you can easily push open or break and climb out of. Alternatively, it could be a hatch in the ceiling that works as an emergency fire escape. 3. Don’t block vents. Just as you need a way to escape in a fire, so too does air. If your caravan isn’t properly ventilated, fires may get get out of control more quickly than they would in a well ventilated space. To that end, don’t block any of the vents in your caravan. 4. Have a fire extinguisher. In addition to exits, you need a fire extinguisher. The fire extinguisher should be set up to handle kitchen fires, and it should be stored in an easy to reach spot in your kitchen. Remember that fire extinguishers expire. If you haven’t used yours in a while, check the date on it, and replace it as needed. 5. Store gas cylinders outside. If you power your caravan with natural gas or propane, don’t store those cylinders inside the caravan. There, they could act as an explosion hazard. Instead, make sure that the cylinders, whether full or empty, are stored outside your caravan. 6. Have fire and gas detectors in your caravan. Lest a fire starts whilst you are sleeping, you should have smoke alarms in your caravan. Similarly, if your caravan uses gas, you should also have gas monitors in your caravan. That way, you always know whether or not you are safe. For more information on fire safety practices and equipment you need for your caravan, contact a fire safety expert....

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Should You Choose a Canister or Upright Vacuum Cleaner?

Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are looking for a new vacuum cleaner for your home, your two main style options are a canister vacuum and an upright vacuum. The upright is an all-in-one vacuum where the cord, dust bag, filter, motor, and handle are all in one unit. With a canister vacuum, the body and the cleaning portion of the vacuum are separated. Here are some things to consider when deciding between the two main designs. Canister Vacuums Are More Flexible In terms of getting into tight spaces in your home, canister vacuums are usually better. Since the cleaning portion of the vacuum is separate from the body, it is much more flexible. You can fit it behind your entertainment center, underneath your sofa, and in tight corners that need to be cleaned. With an upright, the entire thing is one unit, which makes it a little more bulky. It is great for the carpet and rugs, but when it comes to tight spaces, like around the coffee table, it gets a little tricky. Upright Vacuums Are Easy to Store Some people believe canister vacuums are easier to store, but upright vacuums are often slimmer. The newer vacuums are made in slim designs, so that they can be stored just about anywhere. Even in a crowded utility closet, you should be able to find a place for it. Some canister vacuums are on the smaller side, but the canister body does tend to be a little bulkier than the body of the upright vacuum. Canister Vacuums Are Lightweight Another bonus for canister-style vacuum cleaners is that they are easier to control. The pushing apparatus that is cleaning the floor is very lightweight, so it is easy to move over different surfaces. You aren’t actually pushing or holding onto the canister, which is really the only heavy part of this cleaner. That means you experience less discomfort and can glide it over carpeting and rugs without too much trouble. Upright Vacuums Prevent Bending Over  While upright vacuums are heavier than canister vacuums, they are more comfortable for some people. For example, if you have a bad back and can’t bend over too much, the canister vacuum is probably not for you. The canister is lower to the ground, and does need to be picked up and moved or rolled occasionally. The handle of the cleaning apparatus also tends to be a little shorter, while the upright vacuum is taller so you don’t bend as...

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Why You Should Have a Zero Turn Mower for Your Residential Landscape

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Uncategorized |

As a homeowner, you know there are a few landscaping and maintenance supplies that you will need. One of these supplies is a lawn mower. There are various designs and styles available on the market, but in most cases, you may just go for the traditional riding or push mower design. Before you do that, consider the advantages of a zero turn mower and how it can benefit your landscaping maintenance and design. Reduced Trimmer Needs If you have a lot of trees in your landscape, you may find yourself having to use a trimmer or a weed eater to cut around the them. This takes extra time, effort and money for fuel to operate the trimmer. A zero turn mower can reduce this issue completely by allowing you to get close to the trees and trim the grass and weeds away without having to stop and use a different tool. You can also use the zero turn mower to get close to flowerbeds, landscaping timbers, and other obstacles that may be in your landscape. Easy on Your Turf One of the complaints that some homeowners have regarding their current lawn mowers is the pressure they place on the turf. If the tires are too small in width or too heavy, they can cause indentations or ruts in the lawn. These ruts have to be filled and new grass placed in order to maintain the uniform look you may be looking for. This is especially true if you have softer top soil. A zero turn mower has wider wheels and a lower center of gravity that puts less pressure on your turf. This means that you can avoid the ruts and other issues that a traditional mower may cause, and you can cut down on maintenance time and money that would be spent on fixing a torn and battered lawn. Various Deck Sizes One of the misconceptions is that all zero turn mowers have the same size deck. The truth is, there are a variety of deck sizes available. This allows you to choose the right deck size for your landscape. For example, if you have around two acres of land, manufacturers recommend a deck size of 48 to 54 inches.  If you aren’t sure what deck size is right for your yard or landscape, consider a consultation with a zero turn mower dealer. These are only three of the benefits a zero turn mower can bring to your landscape. If you aren’t sure if a zero turn mower is right for you, consider your options and a possible consultation with a dealer. They can tell you what may be best, help you with deck size and help you choose the right zero turn mower for your skill...

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Reclaimed Teak Furniture: A Primer

Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Teak is native to the islands of Indonesia, where it has long been regarded as a remarkably useful and versatile wood. It is, indeed, pretty remarkable: it’s one of the strongest woods in the world, as well as one of the most resistant to rot, fungi and mildew. There are plenty of places in Indonesia where as a result almost everything has been built from it for centuries; homes and other buildings, boats and various fishing-related apparatus, railway cars, even shipping containers. As time moves on a lot of these structures are being replaced by ones made of metal, which means that huge quantities of reclaimed teak are now coming out of Indonesia. Why Reclaimed Teak? There are plenty of excellent reasons to choose reclaimed teak furniture: It’s better for the environment. By choosing reclaimed teak, you’re giving an old piece of wood a new lease of life–rather than causing a new tree to be felled. That’s not the only way reclaimed teak will help you help the planet, though: it’s also such a strong and durable wood that you’ll have the same piece of furniture for many years–perhaps even generations. The pieces it creates are truly unique. Reclaimed teak furniture is gorgeous; some of this wood (especially former boat wood) has traces of paint and old markings left on it, giving it a gorgeous mix-and-match style that looks amazing in any warm, Bohemian setting. Even completely plain reclaimed teak has a gorgeous warmth and depth of colour to it that you’ll never find in newer wood. Your new furniture will likely be beautifully worn-in with nicks and marks that tell a story; every piece of reclaimed teak is a work of art, and there’s a depth of history to it that’s beautiful to look at and pleasing to think about. You’ll save a bit of money. There’s no denying that teak is an expensive wood; quality comes at a price, and high-quality teak is never found for cheap. By buying reclaimed teak, however, you’ll be able to get a piece of Grade A teak for much less than it would cost new–making this an affordable proposition for a lot of people who would never generally consider teak furniture for their home. Making Sure You Get The Real Deal With reclaimed teak furniture experiencing such a surge in popularity, there are inevitably ripoffs and knockoffs appearing all over the market. There are two main things to look out for when you’re searching for reclaimed teak furniture: Wood that isn’t reclaimed. It’s true that Grade A teak is generally cheaper when it’s reclaimed–but it’s still more expensive than commercially produced teak of grades B and C. This means that there are a few manufacturers out there selling cheap, new teak and trying to pass it off as reclaimed. Look out for phrases like “reclaimed look” and “recycled style“, and don’t hesitate to ask where the wood was sourced from before you buy. Wood that isn’t teak. There are several woods that look quite a lot like teak to the uninitiated, and the one you’ll most commonly find being used in “teak” furniture is nyatoh. When correctly treated, the two woods can indeed look very similar–for a while. Over time, nyatoh will prove itself to be much weaker and far less resistant...

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How to Keep Your Dog Cool While You Are at Work

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you leave your dog at home alone all day while you go to work or school, you may be wondering if you should leave the air conditioner on for him. Unfortunately, running the AC at full blast all day can increase your energy bill, but turning it off can make your dog hot and uncomfortable. To find a bit of balance, here are some tips and ideas to explore: 1. Turn the AC up but not off. If you want to save energy, you can turn your AC up while you go to work, but to make sure your home doesn’t get unbearably hot, you should not turn it off completely. Instead, try to figure out the warmest temps your pup can handle and set your thermostat accordingly. To figure out which temperatures your dog can tolerate, watch him whilst he plays outside. Take note of the temps at which he is comfortable to run and frolic, and compare those to the temps at which he doesn’t want to play but tends to recede into the shade. Also, watch how your dog acts when you put the thermostat on certain temps. If he always wants to lay near the AC vent, that is a sign that the temps may be too high. On the other hand, if he is looking for a spot of sunshine coming through a window to lie in, the temps may be too cool. Work with a company like ACSIS Airconditioning Warehouse to make sure your AC is functioning efficiently. 2. Create a nap zone in a cool part of your home. Once you have narrowed in on the warmest temperatures your dog can handle, try to create a relaxing area for him in the coolest part of your home. If that is your basement, set a doggy bed down there. Alternatively, use a fan to help circulate the cool air, and give your dog a lounging area beneath the fan. In most cases, you should not use fans when you are not home. They move air rather than cooling it, meaning that they only have a cooling effect if someone is actually in the room feeling the moving air. However, when your dog is home, the house is not empty, and thus, the fans cool your dog rather than wasting energy. 3. Put in a doggy door but make sure it is well sealed. If your dog is home alone all day, he may appreciate the ability to go into the yard as needed for toilet breaks. In addition, if he can go into the yard, it provides a cooling break from your home. In particular, some dogs love to nap in the cool dirt under a shady tree. To facilitate trips outside, put in a doggy door. However, to ensure that cool air doesn’t escape through the door, make sure that the doggy door is well sealed. 4. Take other steps to keep your dog cool. So that you can keep your AC relatively high to save money on your energy bills, you should also take other steps to make your dog cool. In particular, keep your dog’s coat well groomed and trimmed short. Long, heavy fur can make him hot. In addition, throw some ice cubes in his water bowl to keep...

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Long-Term Storage | 4 Quick Steps To Ensure Mould-Free Cushions In Storage Units

Posted by on Jun 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Mould and mildew grow in any location where moisture and humidity is high, which is why you will find them on cushions and other upholstery in damp storage units if you’re not careful. This guide is designed to arm you with quick steps to ensure mould-free cushions when you place them in self-storage units. Vacuum The Cushions To Remove Any Dirt And Grime On Them The first thing you have to remember is that dirt, grime, body oils and other pollutants present on cushions can trigger the growth of mould in the storage unit. Vacuuming is a good way to get rid of these unwanted sediments as a precautionary measure to prevent the growth of mould and mildew on them. Make sure you vacuum the cushions thoroughly by using a brush attachment to remove all embedded dirt from them. Apply An Anti-Mould Fabric Protective Solution On The Cushions Anti-mould fabric protective spray solutions are usually available at most home improvement stores, so you can purchase one if you are planning to store your cushions in a storage unit for the long term. These protective fabric solutions are formulated to fight stains and mould, so you’re serving a dual purpose by fortifying your cushions with them while you’re away. You simply need to spray the solution evenly on the cushion fabric and let it dry before wrapping your cushions up. Wrap The Cushions In Breathable Cloth Covers Before placing your cushions in the storage unit, wrap them in breathable cloth covers for maximum protection. If you don’t have special cloth covers for cushions, any bed sheet or blanket at home should do the trick. The idea is to avoid wrapping the cushions in plastic covers because plastic traps beads of moisture inside. This moisture can trigger the growth of mould and mildew on cushions while they lie in the storage unit. Breathable cloth fabrics allow air to pass through them, so moisture is unable to form. Place The Cushions Away From Walls And Floors The walls and floors of storage units are most susceptible to moisture, so you’ll want to keep your cushions as far away from them as possible if you want to prevent mould growth. You can place cushions over tables, chairs, sofas, boxes and other furniture pieces to ensure that they are not exposed to moisture-laden walls and floors. Follow these quick steps if you’re looking to ensure that your home’s cushions remain mould-free in the storage unit for the long term.  For more information, contact a local company like All Purpose Self...

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5 Energy-Efficient Ways to Keep Your Home Cool in Summer

Posted by on May 31, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Cooling your home in summer can be expensive. The average Australian home uses 40 percent of household energy on heating and cooling. Rather than simply turning the air conditioning to maximum on hot summer days, use these energy-efficient tips to bring the temperature down to a comfortable level. 1. Close Curtains and Blinds Direct sunlight shining into your home can quickly cause rooms to overheat. Close curtains and blinds to block out the sunlight and keep your home cool during the hottest part of the day. If you enjoy looking out on a sunny day, consider investing in slatted or partially opaque sunshade blinds, which reduce the amount of sunlight entering your home while still allowing you to see out. 2. Look After Your Air Conditioner Poor maintenance can cause air conditioning systems to waste energy. Clean the filters of your air conditioner to remove dust and dirt, which can block air circulation. If it’s been a long time since your air conditioner was last serviced, consider booking an appointment with a service company to ensure it is still running as efficiently as possible. 3. Use a Timer and Thermostat During summer, it’s easy to waste a lot of energy by leaving the air conditioning running when it is not needed. Use a thermostat to automatically shut off your home cooling system when the temperature reaches a comfortable level. Many cooling systems also include a timer, which you can use to automatically shut off the cooling when you go to work and turn it back on again when you return. This is much more efficient than leaving the air conditioning running all day. 4. Introduce a Breeze Moving air can feel much cooler than still air, even when their temperatures are actually the same. Use a fan to keep the air inside your home moving. When buying a fan, look for the most energy-efficient models, which use only a small amount of power to move air around your home. Opening internal doors can also encourage air to flow around your home. 5. Insulate Your Home Insulation not only makes your home cheaper to heat in winter, but also reduces cooling bills in summer. Use insulating materials that have a high R-value to reduce heat transfer through your walls and attic space. Investing in insulation now could significantly reduce your energy usage for years to come, leading to lower energy bills and a reduced impact on the...

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What you need to Know about Your Indoor Air Quality

Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Uncategorized |

It is important to understand and calculate the quality of indoor air circulating your house. More time is spent inside the house when at home. Bad indoor air in the house should be a great concern, as it could cause illness and other health complications. Here are some concepts you might not know about air circulation in your house. Indicators of Bad Indoor Air Quality There are common warning signs showing presence of air pollutants that may be destructive in your home: Feeling sick and uncomfortable in the house and better when you leave Poor circulation of air in the house You may spot growth of mould in the house. Humid indoor air that may result to condensation Changes in your health condition after remodelling or renovating your house Stuffy rooms in the house due to poor ventilation Potential Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants Air pollutants may contaminate your house in many ways. Materials and other chemicals in the house have the ability of realising gases and particulates into the circulating air. In cases where there is poor ventilation and free circulation of air, these particulates and chemical contaminants are concentrated in the inside of your home making it uncomfortable. In addition, humid homes create breeding grounds for contaminants. Therefore, major sources of indoor air pollution may include house chemicals such as drugs and detergents, malfunctioned space heaters, outdoor pollution of air that penetrates the house and so on. As a management strategy, dispose any used chemical containers in a safe manner. Measuring Your Indoor Air Quality Measurement of indoor air quality may be done using a VOC (volatile organic compounds) sensor. The tool measures the presence of volatile organic compounds present in the air. Other measurement tools that can be used include a carbon dioxide detector that has the ability to track the presence of carbon dioxide gas in the air, and radon detectors. Improving Your Indoor Air Quality There are various ways you could use to boost the flow of air circulation in your home and improve its quality. First is to enhance the ventilation of your house by opening windows wide and using fans. Kitchen and bathroom ventilation will eliminate any harmful fumes and allow fresh air in your house. For chemical components, choose a specific place for storage in order to separate them. They are active sources of chemical pollutants and contribute largely to affecting purity of indoor air. For more information, contact Air Cleaners Australia or a similar...

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