What Exactly is HVAC?

If you are a homeowner it is important that you are smart when it comes to the products and services necessary to keep you home up and running. Heating and air systems are no longer viewed as a luxury feature in a home, but rather a necessity. We hear the term HVAC tossed around a lot when it comes to your air conditioning unit. But do you know what it all really means? We have broken down the acronym H.V.A.C. to help you understand what to look for when it comes to your heating and air conditioning repair in Baltimore.

H Stands for Heat

In Baltimore, Maryland about 4-6 months out of the year you are going to be utilizing your HVAC unit for heating purposes. There are a few things you want to keep an eye on when it comes to heating for your home.

-          Does your unit have enough capacity for sufficiently heat enough water for everyone to use?

-          Is your unit operating efficiently and cost effectively?

-          How often do you replace your system’s air filters?

-          Do you have any items obstructing your floor or wall vents?

-          Should problems arise, do you have a source for supplemental heat?

V is for Ventilation

This is one item that is often overlooked when it comes to your Baltimore heating and air conditioning unit. However, ventilation is one of the most important aspects of an HVAC unit because it reduces outside air infiltration while maintaining air pressure between the rooms in your home. That combination equates to proper air delivery, removal, and overall distribution. Ultimately, this is what keeps the entire HVAC system working.

A and C are for Air Conditioning

This is pretty self-explanatory, but with heat you want to check that your air conditioning properties are operating correctly as well. Here are some tips that we have to avoid costly air conditioning repair in Baltimore MD.

-  Use your landscape to increase efficiency: Shading your home from the sun will help to regulate temperatures in the hot summer months

-  Avoid additional heat generating activities: Need to run the dishwasher or run a load of laundry? Waiting until the evening to do these chores can take a strain off you’re A/C unit during the day.

-  Change the temperature: Turning up the heat 10-15 degrees in the summer or down in the winter for about 8 hours can have a substantial impact. Do this overnight while you are sleeping to let your system rest while you do too.

 

Other important heating and air acronyms to note include:

HSPF - This stands for “Heating Season Performance Factor.” This is a measurement of the level of your heat pumps efficiency. Note, that the higher your HSPF factor, the greater your system’s efficiency. You also may hear of a similar term interchangeably with SEER Rating. This is known as your “Season Energy Efficiency Rating.” Likewise, with this number the higher, the better.

COP – This represents “Co-efficiency of Performance.” This is a ratio that compares your heat pumps heating efficiency to the electrical resistance heating. You heat pump’s COP will decrease as outdoor temperatures become cooler. This means it is becoming less efficient and to a point where heating will need to be provided through electrical heat strips.

Senior Friendly Home Improvements

As we decorate and adorn our homes with trinkets and fond memories, our houses become a part of us. We hate to leave them behind, and moving can be an emotional experience. We especially, all want to live out our later years in the place that we have become the most comfortable. Unfortunately, aging into our senior years comes with certain requirements for a home. Even with 2 or 3 flights of stairs, there are still things you can do to make your home elder friendly. If you need even more help than these suggestions allow, call a home care service to assist you.

Let’s start with stairs while we’re on the subject. You have two basic options when walking up and down becomes too painful on the hips, knees, or other joints. Ramps work great outdoors and can even allow ease of access to wheelchairs and scooters. Indoor stairs seldom have enough length to allow for such a thing though. Electronic stair lifts allow you to sit in a chair and ascend and descend at the click of a button. They come with a price tag of $1,000 to $2,000 though.

Lighting should be abundant and easily accessible. Shower Safety Hand BarIt’s easy enough to bump your hip on a counter or stub your toe in the dark when you are young and able bodied. The health ramifications of these minor incidents can be amplified later on in life. Entryways and common nighttime routes like the hallway to a restroom should be well lit.

Baths and showers are our final safety tip. Grab bars are a must have in the shower, and putting them next to the toilet are incredibly helpful too. Another non-negotiable is non-slip traction surfaces for showers and baths alike. Slipping can result in broken hips and concussions in worst case scenarios. One of the final dangers that we often forget about is scalding from hot water. If possible, use a single lever temperature control system instead of dual hot/cold knobs for more consistent water temperature.

Residential Glass and Window Tinting

More homes are using an increasing number of window panels in their modern design to maximize day lighting. However, more window panels will mean more heat and UV rays entering the home. Therefore 3m Prestige Window Film is specially designed to allow visible light to pass through while cutting out the heat, glare an UV rays. Ultra Violet rays are a major cause of premature aging, skin cancer, fading of drapes, artwork, and even flooring. Window film can reflect away up 99.99% of the suns UV rays, thus providing excellent protection for you and your family, especially for the sensitive skin of babies and toddlers.Residential Window Tinting

3m Film window tint from Midwest Glass Tinters Chicago also reduces up to 97% of the sun’s infrared heat that comes through the windows, leaving your home cool, thus saving energy and money in utility costs. In addition, 3m window film is able to cut annoying window glare to it is useful for studying or computer and television viewing. As there is absolutely no metal in the construction of our window film, you will see no mirror images, reflected back from the interior of your home. Instead, you get a clear, uninhibited view of the nature or cityscape outside of your windows. You’ll be amazed how truer the colors are as well. Imagine going to the beach with a $200 pair of sunglasses with modern polarization. Now every window in your home or business can provide the same vivid visual experience.

Prestige window tinting film also is a great security addition to any home, as is made with microlayered technology that reduces the tear resistance of the film significantly. This makes the window shatter resistant, holding the glass together should anything or anyone try to forcefully push through the window.

Types of Home Siding

One great investment that is very common among home owners is replacement siding for their home. Depending on the type of material that is already installed on your home you could have a wide range of time is required for replacement. There are many different types of siding that you could choose for your home that include wood, vinyl, fiber-cement, brick or stone veneer. Each type of material has its perks and its advantages but it also has a price range difference.  If you are unfamiliar with the term fiber-cement siding then click here to view Arrow Exteriors website for great examples of this quality material. I believe that the other three types of siding are considered common knowledge and we can jump into the benefits of each without much explanation.

  1. Wood has a great traditional look for most homes but this material has some major downfalls. It is very easy to warp and absorb moisture which could lead to rotting wood. Wood siding is also more susceptible to bugs like termites.
  2. Vinyl is very versatile and an inexpensive product to install on your home. This is one of the most common types of siding in the United States although it does have some disadvantages. This material is not very durable during storms or high winds and can actually be damaged very easily.
  3. Fiber-cement is hybrid between wood and vinyl siding in the fact that it is very durable so it will hold up in high winds. The fiber cement is bug resistant, fire resistant, and damage resistant. This product also has a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from. The disadvantage of this product is that it is a little bit pricy compared to wood and vinyl siding.
  4. Brick or stone veneer is a different and great way to make your home stand out in the neighborhood. This product is very durable and has a great look to it but the disadvantage is that it is very expensive and needs to pass certain inspections.

Any type of replacement siding that you decide to put on your home will actually increase the value of your home. This is why we recommend replacement siding as a smart home investment for any home owner looking to increase the value of their home.

Heating and Air Home Improvements

There are many great types of home investments that you could make that will improve comfort and increase energy savings. A great area to invest in is the heating and air system of your home, because it can increase the overall comfort of your home and help increase energy savings. There are different ways you can go about investing in your air system that include – replacing or installing new equipment, upgrading existing units, or improving the indoor air quality. No matter what area you are thinking about improving you will receive added benefits of comfort and savings.

  • By installing a newer condenser unit or air conditioning system can drastically improve the overall quality of the air in your home. If you notice that your air system is malfunctioning or doesn’t heat or cool your home properly then you know that you may to purchase a new system. The newer residential air conditioning models have improved efficiency and energy savings and you can see savings only a few years after installation.
  • If you can’t afford to make a full investment to replace your entire system then you could simply upgrade different parts over time. By taking step improvements you will gain partial benefits but at a lower upfront cost. This is what a majority of home owners do because they are not willing to make such a large upfront investment.
  • There are many different ways to improve the indoor air quality in your home and cut down on the amount of airborne pollutant particles in the air. With proper circulation you will be able pump fresh air into your home and make the air quality greatly improved. This is a lower investment compared to the other two because you can drastically change the indoor air by replacing dirty filters and cleaning the air duct system.

If you have expertise in HVAC then you will probably want to conduct this project by yourself to save you money. There are great experts that provide quality air services and information like Aire Serv. You can view all of their services and ask the expert material for tips on troubleshooting or even installation at http://lasvegas.aireserv.com. With the wealth of information out there you will be able to find the smartest investment for your home instantly.

Benefits of Vent Hoods

Kitchens are a great place to start when trying to improve your home through various home improvement projects. These rooms are fantastic for and easy to make a change that will drastically change the feel of your kitchen area. Home owners that perform home improvements on their kitchen generally enjoy cooking and if you are cooking a lot it is important to have a vent hood over your oven.

If you are the family cook then I am sure you know better than anyone what the benefits of installing a vent hood are. They are used to control the vapors and flames that are created through cooking on ovens. These devices are used for removing smoke, heat, grease, odors, and steam form the kitchen atmosphere allowing the cooking environment from becoming a hectic catastrophe.

You might know vent hoods by a different name like exhaust hoods, extractor hoods, or even range hoods. All modern homes are beginning to install these appliances to help protect your home from fire damage. These appliances are very useful because they will draw all the vapors and airborne food particles that you don’t your family breathing in.

These items are installed over the cooking surface or oven and can be very difficult to install. These items are very heavy which makes the installation very difficult. When installing the one in my home I had to call an appliance expert come and assist me.  I was only able to find one appliance repair company that worked on vent hoods at www.mrappliance.com/washingtoncnty. Their service technician was very friendly and he was able to do a majority of the work without me. I was very satisfied with the service I received from Mr. Appliance I will definitely contact them in the future to an appliances that I need repaired.

After the installation of the vent hood the benefits were almost instant. The first meal that my wife cooked the vent hood prevented a large majority of steam from filling the kitchen. With very minimal window openings in the kitchen steam would always fill our home and it would cause a lot of irritation with the family members.

Recycling Home Décor Bathroom Concepts

 
Are you looking to update the look of your bathroom but you don’t want to invest a lot of money into expensive bathroom fixtures? Create your own one of a kind bathroom vanity by reusing an old dresser. It sounds like a crazy idea, but it actually works. Let me explain how. First you are going to want to gather your resources. You will need the basic home repair tools such as drill bits, tape measure, level, saw, sander, screwdriver, and wood glue. Then, you are going to need to dresser itself. Make sure it is the appropriate size to hold the bathroom sink you desire. Then, and possibly the most important step, make sure you have an expert plumber on hand to help you with plumbing complications.

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  1. If you don’t have an old dresser on hand you can visit any flee market, antique shop, or estate sale and discover great finds. After finding the dresser, the first thing you are going to want to do is make sure it is clean and in the best condition possible.
  2. Next, you are going to measure and cut out the top drawer so you are able to fit the sink’s plumbing pipes. With the second drawer, cut the back off and move it forward to shorten the drawer.
  3. Paint the dresser your desired color. This is where you can get creative! Truly make this a statement piece or leave it with its original finish for a vintage look.
  4. Then, mark the placement of your sink and faucet fixtures. Once you have drawn your outline, drill a hole to get you started and finish the cut with a jigsaw.
  5. Lay your tile. Using clear adhesive, start from the center outward and lay the tile on the vanity top one at a time. Once the adhesive has had enough time to dry, seal the vanity top.
  6. Lastly, place the sink using clear adhesive to help keep the sink in place. Have your plumber check the holes in the sink to make sure they line up so you avoiding leaking through the tile.

Residential Electrical Upgrades

Any home owner can tell you that one of the best investments that you can supply home is by the electrical work. There are many different electrical upgrades that you can conduct on your home to increase the value of your home that include exterior lighting, interior lighting, and panel upgrades. By having your home electricity properly wired and installed correctly will lead to more aesthetic appeal and greater energy savings for your home every month. Residential electrical improvement can be a very cheap investment with a very high payoff.

Exterior Lighting

Exterior lighting installation can create a brand new look for your home during the night time hours and potential home owners will love to see that their home will be well lite during the dark hours. Not only will exterior lighting give your home a great new look but it will also increase the safety and security of your house during the night. You will have well lite pathways to and from your driveway and if you have a windy driveway then illuminating it with lights will prevent guests from driving on your lawn or into a ditch.

Interior Lighting

By installing new light fixtures or even dimmer switches in your home can help save on the energy costs of your home every month. It will also add great accent to certain items in your home like art work or even on a statue. By installing dimmer switches you will be able to adjust the amount of light that you are using depending on the natural light coming into your home.

Panel Upgrades

Upgrading your electrical panel will allow your home to use a larger amount of electronic devices. This will prevent your home from blowing a fuse or keep you from traveling to and from your breaker box to switch a fuse back on.

All of these great investments begin with finding the right residential electrician like the ones at Mr. Electric. I have found that all the electricians at Mr. Electric to be highly qualified and experts in all things electric. They installed interior and exterior lighting in my home about a month ago and I haven’t had any issues with the installed items.