What You Need To Know Before Buying A Replacement Boiler

Like most things your boiler is an important factor that needs to be replaced eventually.  A new boiler can be a big investment in your home, so you want to make sure you research everything carefully first.  It is not just a case of a new one there are a few things you need to know before buying a replacement boiler.

Most homes in the UK have a gas heating system with a gas boiler.  Although there are alternatives to this too.  These could be an oil boiler, LPG boiler, liquid petroleum gas or wood burning stove which is fitted with a back boiler.  Which one you choose is dependent on what your home already has, or which is preferred for your needs.

The best person to ask which boiler is best for your home is your boiler engineer.  Ask them which ones they install the most and which are the more reliable.  Also find out if parts are expensive once you have the boiler installed as this may change your decision on which boiler to choose from.

Types Of Boilers

The types of gas boilers you can choose from are, (combi) combination boiler, system boiler, heat only boiler.  You should check with your heating engineer for their recommendation which system is best for your home.

All modern boilers nowadays are fitted with condensing boilers.  But there are different systems such as combination, system and conventional.  What is right for you and your home will depend on a few factors.  Such as, how many people you have in your house, how many bathrooms you have, your capacity for locating a water tank in the roof and space for a hot water tank.  All these factors and the overall efficiency of the system need to be taken into consideration.

If you are considering using a solar water heating to help reduce your overall energy bills for your home, make sure you mention this to the person preparing your quote as the hot water tank will need to accommodate this change.

Compatibility

According to Andy from HomeGlow Gas Services “Check the efficiency rating of the boiler.  Your suppliers of the boiler should be able to tell you the percentage efficiency rating.  There is also a boiler efficiency database where you can check too.”

Ask your boiler engineer if your boiler controls are compatible with your new boiler or do you need to replace these too.  If they are quite old if you replace them they could also help the efficiency of the boiler.

Warranty

Warranty is something you need to ask your boiler engineer about.  What comes with the new boiler and what guarantees on the entire installation, including pipework and other plumbing that may be necessary.  Do any warranties include parts and labour? These are all questions which should be asked before you decide on a boiler.

When you buy your new boiler, you will want to go with a reputable company.  Trustworthiness and dependability are the most important factors that will influence which boiler you buy for your home.

Common Signs That You Need Home Heating Repairs

When the temperature drops outside, you’re going to rely more heavily on your home heating. But you probably haven’t had to keep your home warm for much of the year and now that the summer is over and the nights are getting shorter, you are going to be hitting that thermostat a little more often.

As a result you could be facing some substantial furnace issues that could interfere with the operation of your heating system and that may end up leaving you and your family in the cold. So if you are experiencing any type of furnace or HVAC malfunction, it makes good sense to call your local cleveland heating experts and have them diagnose and repair the problems before they become bigger than need be.

However, some issues are more evident than others and homeowners aren’t always aware they have a pressing urgent matter with their heating system, that is until it’s too late and the unit just simply stops working.

But you can get ahead of most of the widely-seen symptoms of a faulty or malfunctioning heating system by keeping an eye and ear out for the common indicators that your heating system is in need of some repairs. If you are experiencing any of the following with your HVAC unit, you should schedule a service call as soon as possible.

Strange Aroma

It’s been a long seven or eight months since you had to use the furnace to heat your home. So when you fire it up after remaining dormant throughout the spring and the summer, some strong and unusual smells are going to be common. But those are supposed to dissipate shortly after your initial operation of the furnace.

If the smells continue long after you’ve started running the heat on a regular basis, that could signal a potential problem. The type of odor you detect could also indicate a pressing issue such as a strong fuel aroma or some new smell that suddenly raises a red flag. Any one of these smells may be due to something serious like a gas leak or something less urgent like an accumulation of dust inside the heating system.

Pilot Light Color

This is where you could be facing a significant problem that needs to be addressed immediately. If the color of your pilot light isn’t the typical blue and it appears to be a different color entirely such as yellow, then you could be dealing with a carbon-monoxide issue that may pose serious health risks for you and your family. Even worse, it might increase the potential combustibility of your unit.

Multiple Attempts to Start the Unit

Older furnaces may prove harder to start as they get on in years. You may need to make numerous attempts at getting the heating system to kick in and if this sounds like something you’ve experienced with your HVAC apparatus, you may need to get a technician into the home and check it out.

The reasons behind the malfunction could be anything from an inoperable thermostat to a wiring problem. Depending on what condition your furnace is in, the repair might be easy to solve and inexpensive to fix.

Weird Sounds

Many furnaces and HVAC systems are going to make odd noises from time to time. But those that are consistently loud and audible whenever you turn on your heating may be trying to tell you that there’s a serious issue with your heating unit.

Much like with the strange aromas earlier, the noises you hear can be indicative of the type of problem you are experiencing. Certain sounds may be nothing more than a worn out belt or a malfunctioning fan, others may be signaling that you have considerably larger and more pressing matters to deal with in the form of broken parts or something that has come loose and needs to be replaced.

Not every sound is similar and some could cost you way more than others. But regardless of the sound itself, any continued noise could be a warning sign that your unit is about to go belly up.

Weak Output

As we mentioned earlier, sometimes you won’t know there’s a problem with your heating until the system just breaks down one random day. These signs are all intended to give you a heads-up as to any problems that may exist. But the most telling of these indicators is a weak output of heated air moving through the vents and into the home.

No heat or a weak flow of air could mean you have a leak in your ducts or a bad thermostat but no matter which one you’re dealing with, they can both be tough problems to fix.

 

Why Triple Pane Windows Make A Significant Difference

When it comes to selecting replacement windows to install in your home, do your research carefully. There are a myriad of options out there and in order to choose the right windows you need to be aware of what’s out there with respect to the number of panes of glass you decide upon. Some window choices are better-suited for some homes than others, but to determine which ones to purchase and install, you need to know the differences between them.

The Number of Window Panes

As you begin to conduct your search for the windows that are right for your home, you will discover there are three overall options with respect to the number of panes of glass. Single, double, and triple pane windows. Each one is rather self-explanatory though their intended purposes may need a little additional explanation.

Single pane windows are about as simple as it gets. They contain just one pane of glass. Double pane have two panes of glass positioned side by side with a layer of thick gas installed in between them. Triple pane have, you guessed it, three panes of glass and the gas in between.

Why the gas? It’s one of the main reasons why many consumers choose double and triple pane glass options for their homes. That gas is very helpful in making those windows more energy efficient, more effective at reducing sound pollution, and they add durability.

Single pane windows are not as widely used anymore, some homes do still have them but you’re likely never going to purchase replacement windows with just one pane of glass. Which leaves you with double and triple pane windows. Now you may find some homeowners who tell you they are perfectly content with going the double pane route. They may say these windows do the trick just fine and they’re less expensive to purchase.

But sometimes three is better than two as triple pane windows do make a significant difference and here’s why:

Improved Energy Efficiency

Double and triple pane windows both bring more benefits for energy efficiency in the home. But where double pane have two, triple have three panes which puts additional barriers in between the interior and the exterior of the home for heat to travel through. Glass is a terrible insulator and your climate-controlled air can seep through it with ease.

But double and triple pane windows are designed to reduce the amount of air that travels through the window and that’s where triple makes a significant difference over its double paned counterpart. Triple pane windows often contain Krypton gas which is hermetically sealed in between the three panes of glass, making it extremely difficult for air to get out, which means it remains inside of your home longer.

As a result, you’re spending less money running your cooling or heating system just to keep the inside temperature comfortable. When you’re running the system less, you’re spending less money on utility bills.

Less Noise Pollution

Another benefit that comes with triple pane windows is the reduction in noise pollution from outside the home. Homeowners who live near high traffic areas that include busy roadways and close-knit living communities may appreciate the significant difference that triple pane windows make in preventing those sounds from being heard indoors.

Here again is why triple pane makes a significant difference over the other options. Three panes instead of two has been shown to be highly effective at lowering the impacts of exterior noise by up to 75%. That can really help out in those regions that have a higher concentration of ambient environmental sound.

Less Sun Damage

Just as triple pane windows can provide increased insulation to keep air from seeping out and noise from creeping in, these windows can also make a significant difference where sun damage is concerned. The sun’s rays can be a nice heat source from time to time but allowing direct sunlight to get into your home can also ruin your home’s interiors and belongings by fading or bleaching them.

This type of damage is just about impossible to repair and that can have a serious impact on your wallet in some cases. But triple pane windows are also very effective at diffusing the intensity of the sun’s light so you can leave your windows uncovered to let the sun shine in, without worrying that it will damage anything like rugs, furniture, and collectibles.

As you can see, triple pane windows are the smart choice as they can make a significant difference on your wallet and your living space.

 

How To Stop Carpet Stains That Keep Coming Back

You called the best carpet cleaning in Omaha, paid good money to have your carpets deep-cleaned with heavy-duty equipment by experts at the task. You were highly satisfied by the work they did and you’re all ready to give them a glowing Yelp review.

But hold up. Those pesky stains that were removed by the professionals have suddenly reappeared out of nowhere. You’re not seeing things, those stains have returned. Now you’re less inclined to write that positive review and you’re ready to get on the phone with your carpet cleaners to give them a piece of your mind.

Before you get on the phone and read your carpet cleaners the Riot Act, you may be surprised to discover that they did the work they were supposed to do and did it well. It’s your carpet that’s to blame. You are correct when you say that you didn’t see those stains earlier but now they’re back and you’re baffled.

How can the carpet replace a stain that deep-cleaning removed just a few hours ago? The answer is “soil wicking”, which can happen when you get a carpet wet even after you’ve eliminated the stains that were set upon the fibers.

What is Soil Wicking?

In order to stop carpet stains from coming back you must first understand why they are returning in the first place. Consider the manufacturing of your carpet. It’s made up of multiple layers piled on top of each other.

You have the fibers or yarn that comprise the soft surface upon which you walk, lie, play, and possibly spill liquids. Beneath that is the primary backing in which the fibers are sewn, under that is the secondary backing which is built from a hard-woven material that makes the carpet long-lasing durable. This is your main culprit when it comes to soil wicking, due to a latex adhesive that is utilized to connect the backings to one another. When you spill something on the carpet, the liquid can permeate this adhesive layer and basically get trapped inside until it dries.

When you wet the carpet again as in a deep cleaning, the moisture used to clean the material can get in between the layers and the spilled liquid that dried in the adhesive becomes “active” again. It’s almost as if you spilled that initial liquid all over again, but instead of coming from up above it seeps up from beneath the backing.

And that’s when your stain returns once again, in the exact same spot.

Solving the Problem

So now that you know what’s causing the stains to reappear, you can target the source and eliminate it once and for all. Here are some very effective carpet cleaning tips to follow so the next time you hire a professional cleaning service, those stains will be well and truly removed for good.

Mixing Your Solution

You need to make a cleanser that incorporates about ¾ of a bucket of warm water and roughly a teaspoon of simple liquid dishwashing soap. Mix well until you start to see suds forming along the surface.

Apply to the Affected Area

You will now apply the soap and water mixture to the stained region of the carpet, being very careful not to flood the carpet and create a larger problem of moisture trapped beneath. Use it sparingly, but thoroughly and cover the whole stain past an inch on all sides.

When you’re done, let it sit and soak for a couple of minutes.

Rub the Stain

Grab a towel or white cloth and begin to slowly and gingerly rub the area to and fro in a circular motion so the cleaning solution has been spread out over the stain evenly. Just be careful not to use too much force or you could end up doing damage to the carpet. Never scrub hard, you don’t need elbow grease for this part of the process.

Soak it Back Up

Get more towels or cloth, even paper towels will do the trick. Press down firmly on the wet area of the carpet and begin to soak the cleaner back into the towels. Absorbing the moisture from the carpet will draw up the offending liquid that has been trapped in the backing adhesive all this time and continues to create repeat stains over and over.

You may need to do this more than once in order to retrieve all of the stain-causing liquid that got in between the primary and secondary carpet backings. Just remember, blot and absorb. Press down on the carpet to make sure you are able to extract every drop that you spilled down there.

 

Can Too Much Cleaning Ruin Your Carpet?

Let’s face it, carpeting is expensive and it can be tough to keep clean. That can lead homeowners to get a little too devoted to making sure their carpet always looks and feels its best. But is there such a thing as “too much” cleaning and if so, can this pose substantial harm to your carpeting?

Well it depends on who you ask and the kind of carpet you’re dealing with in this case. Many homeowners will think about all of the time they spent with carpet selection and the money it cost to buy and install what they chose. So there’s a concern towards protecting that carpet from dirt and stains but, as with anything else, too much of something may not always be a good thing.

So for those of you who love their carpets but are worried about loving them to death, here are some things to consider from your friends at Chem-Dry of Richmond.

Too Much Vacuuming

Vacuum cleaners can have a wear and tear effect on the fibers of your carpet. Each time you run your vacuum over it, you are putting the surface of the carpet under some level of stress. However, this is fine to do once or twice a week, especially if you live in a household where the carpet routinely receives high levels of foot traffic.

But for those of you who are vacuuming every day, you should probably stop doing it. Running the business end of the vacuum cleaner over the fibers, regardless of whether they’re natural or synthetic, can put them under undue levels of repeated stress. Most of these machines have beater bars and brushes that can pull, yank, stretch, and ultimately weaken the fibers along the surface.

Proper Vacuuming Techniques

For those of you who prefer to spend a significant amount of time on vacuuming your carpets each week, you can take some steps to reduce the amount of stress and strain that moving a vacuum cleaner over your carpet can do to it.

For starters, check to see if your vacuum has a variety of height settings. Many of them do and when you change the height you can better preserve the fibers of the carpet. If your vacuum is set too low, the beater bar or brush can have a harsh impact on the carpeting surface. It may also damage the vacuum itself since neither the machine or the carpeting should undergo this type of stress.

Just be sure you’re not setting it too high either, otherwise you won’t actually bring anything up from the surface fibers of the material. Then why bother?

When to Vacuum

Carpets do not need to be vacuumed every day. They just don’t, because half the time you’re not really doing anything to eliminate dirt and grime since you haven’t given it enough time for any to end up in the carpet fibers.

So when is the best time to vacuum? You should do it about once or twice a week, with high traffic areas getting a little more attention on a regular basis. Anything more than that is excessive and you’re not really making much of a difference anyway.

Too Much Deep Cleaning

Much like with vacuuming, deep-cleaning your carpet can also have a wear and tear effect that could end up putting the fibers and other backing materials underneath under excessive amounts of stress. But when it comes to deep cleaning too much, you are running the risk of allowing too much moisture to get into the carpet and become trapped under the backing material and even the padding below.

When this happens, you run the risk of mold and mildew forming and this can be a very hazardous situation for you and your family. Inhaling mold spores can do serious damage to your health and if too much mold grows, you will need to rip the carpet up, remove it, and possibly replace it.

Some homeowners are also concerned about their carpet shrinking as a result of too much deep cleaning and while a carpet can shrink if it’s made of natural fibers, this typically happens due to the professional cleaning service you’ve chosen doing the work improperly. They used too much water in doing the job and have left too much of it behind after “completing” the work.

The bigger concern is allowing too much moisture to get trapped underneath and cause mold, you can worry less about shrinkage. Most of the carpets on the market today are made of synthetic fibers where shrinkage is less likely to occur.

 

6 Flood Water Damage Cleanup Tips

When your home is hit by a massive flood, you are left with a myriad of problems that all need to be dealt with at the same time. But before you do anything, you need to begin to repair the damage. The sooner you do so, the faster you prevent further damage from taking place. While it may not look all that threatening, water can actually be an extremely destructive force on most areas within the home.

But the thing about water damage repair is that you have a lot of things to remember if you are going to be effective at the task. You must keep the water from getting absorbed into or penetrating the floors, walls, beneath carpets, and into the complicated internal functioning systems of the house. In some cases, too much water damage can create a hazardous situation, one that you want to be far away from for fear of being injured or, worse, killed.

So here are six cleanup tips for anyone dealing with water damage centreville to help minimize the effects of a flood, no matter how big or small.

1. Shut Down the Electricity

Before you do a thing, do not set foot in a flooded home without shutting off the electricity. Cut the power supply in the home to avoid getting electrocuted if there is a substantial amount of water sitting in the home. Smaller levels of water may just require you to disconnect or unplug any electrical appliances that could pose a threat if they become submerged.

Always be careful before stepping into standing water as electrical devices and power outlets could also be underwater and a live current might be active.

2. Record Everything

That’s right, you may feel like you’re delaying the inevitable but taking this critical step before you begin the cleanup process can make filing a claim with your insurance company much easier and more effective in helping your recovery efforts.

Take photos of everything around you. You can never get too much documentation proving that you were in a flood and your home and personal belongings were damaged or destroyed. So get plenty of pictures, you can even try to document the source of the flooding. All of this photographic evidence will be invaluable when you file your claim and provide your statement of loss. If you know where the flood originated, be it broken pipe or a faulty appliance of some kind, getting visual evidence to support your claim will be highly beneficial.

3. Moving the Water

You need to get it all out, no matter how much has moved indoors. So once you’ve taken care of the previous two issues with respect to documenting the damage and avoiding possible electrocution, now you may begin the arduous task of flushing the water out.

There are a number of ways to go about doing it, each one largely dependent on how much water you have standing in your home. You can go about it by picking up the water and removing it with buckets if you have a lot of water to remove or get your hands on a good wet-dry vacuum and suck up the water if there is a small amount to eliminate.

But however you decide to do it, do so as fast as you can. The longer you allow water to stand in your home, the more damage you are doing to areas that can be very expensive to repair and replace.

4. Proper Airflow

You have removed all of the water. Now the next step is to dry out all of the parts of the home that were wet. Residual and excess moisture can be just as damaging to your home as gallons of standing water. That’s how you start to develop mold and mildew, both of which can be incredibly hazardous to the health of you and your family.

So now that the water is gone, it’s time to get airflow moving through the affected areas that were flooded. All you need are some fans, some open windows, anything that will speed up the evaporation of moisture that can have devastating consequences on the interior of your home.

5. Total Cleaning

Speaking of possible mold and mildew, once you have completely dried the areas affected by the flood, you need to do a full cleaning of those areas in order to prevent that mold from growing. That means disinfecting anything that was in the water for any length of time. Whether it was your furniture, personal belongings, even the walls and cabinets.

Remember to be thorough, leave nothing to chance. Clean it all with powerful cleansers as even the smallest, most minute detail missed could be a breeding ground for mold later on.

6. Professional Help

Above all, know when you’ve been beat and you are unable to do this work yourself. Hire the right experts to do the cleanup for you, otherwise you could be living in a home that is ultimately unfit for inhabitation.

 

5 Must-Know Outdoor Lighting Design Tips

If you are one of the millions of homeowners planning to install landscape lighting outside of the home, there are five extremely important tips that you must know before you do anything. Ignore these design tips at your peril because if you do, you can be sure your outdoor lighting plan will not be as effective as it should be.

Of course, you could always hire an outdoor lighting service brunswick to do the work for you. But for those of you who are automatically predisposed to doing it all yourself, no matter what the job calls for around the house, than these must-know tips are going to do you a world of good.

1. Devise a Game Plan

So you want to put up some lighting around the house, you’re just not sure where or how to place it. Not a problem. You’re going to begin this process by drawing up a schematic for your lighting arrangement and if you’re not entirely sure what that is supposed to look like, simply look around your neighborhood.

Hop in the car and drive around the area to see how your neighbors have arranged their lighting. You don’t necessarily want to or have to copy what they’ve done but you can get plenty of ideas as to which areas of the home need the most light, which need less, and the type of lighting fixtures they chose.

Getting ideas from surrounding properties will go a long way towards informing the decisions you will eventually need to make about your own landscape lighting scheme.

2. Audit Your Yard

Head back home and grab a note pad, it’s time to go for a walk. You will want to stroll around your whole property, front walk, back yard, patio or deck, garage, front stoop, cover every inch of ground outside the house.

As you wander, make some notes as to the exteriors of your property that will best be served with illumination. What areas are the darkest at night? How much lighting do you want out front of the house? You should also start to think about the types of lighting fixtures you want to install in these locations.

Naturally, this is something you’re going to want to do in the evening. So you can get the best possible idea of what your home looks like in the dark. When the sun comes back up, you can then start jotting down some measurements based upon the notes you made the previous evening.

3. Lighting Styles

You’ve got a wide variety of lighting options from which to choose and making a decision should incorporate a number of crucial factors. The exterior aesthetics of the home, for one. You don’t want to pick a lighting type that clashes with the décor and architectural style of the house. Your landscape lighting should stand out, by all means, but it shouldn’t do so the point where guests and visitors are going to question your taste.

You should also decide on the bulbs you wish to use. LED’s are growing in popularity because they last longer, they’re more energy-efficient, and they are brighter than more conventional bulb options. You must also be sure that your lighting schematic doesn’t interfere with your neighbors. Sometimes a lighting scheme can be too powerful or aimed in a direction that puts the glare into neighboring yards and windows.

4. Identifying Your Electrical Sources

Now that you know where you want to position your lighting and what type you want to use, the next tip you must know is to identify any and all electrical sources and outlets that are available around the outside of your house.

Once you do that, you will then need to decide if you have sufficient power and outlet options to accommodate all of your lighting or if you need to get a landscape transformer. This is a unit that provides ample amount of electrical capacity so you have enough juice to power all of your lights.

5. Overlapping Your Lighting

When you begin to position your fixtures, watch out for creating any pools of light in which two light sources overlap. The result is an overabundance of lighting in areas where there should be a more subtle lighting design. Be careful that you’re not placing your fixtures too close to one another and aiming their illumination in the same direction.

Outdoor lighting should be more subtle and atmospheric, though you may want to make walkways and front steps brighter to prevent guests or visitors from tripping and falling in the dark.

 

Do You Need To Seal Your Granite Countertops?

Granite countertops are popular among homeowners who want to give their kitchens a distinct appearance without the need for putting a lot of care and maintenance into keeping the material looking its best at all times.

You don’t need to do a lot to care for granite, but you do need to be sure that your granite is properly sealed by an expert at the task. That’s because granite is a porous stone and much like other stone materials commonly used for countertops, such as marble, soapstone, travertine, and limestone, the hardness of the material can vary.

The hardness categorizes how easy or difficult it can be scratch or damage the surface of the stone and the more porous it is, the more easily it can absorb moisture that is spilled on the stone material. This is where a potential hazard can arise as a porous stone used for a kitchen countertop that absorbs a lot of moisture could become a breeding ground for bacteria and germs.

The Dangers of Unsealed Granite

Think about all of the foods you prepare in the kitchen, how many of them have harmful germs and contaminants inside? If your porous granite isn’t properly sealed, those hazards can soaked into the countertop and cause a potentially dangerous living situation for you and your family.

Countertops that soak up liquids contaminated with bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli can become infected and that is extremely difficult to disinfect thoroughly. In many cases, if a countertop absorbs too much contamination it will need to be removed and replaced as it will be too hazardous to keep in your home.

Another serious problem that could come up for unsealed granite countertops Chantilly is that too much moisture getting into the stone itself through those pores could have a damaging effect on the appearance and structural integrity of the granite. Kitchens are prone to all kinds of spills of liquids and substances since that’s where food is prepared. It makes perfect sense to have something splash across your countertop.

You just don’t want it to seep into the granite surface. Otherwise you are asking for a whole bunch of problems that you probably don’t want to deal with, time or money-wise.

What to Do

But when you seal your countertops, you are preventing these things from happening which can better preserve the look, feel, and safety of the granite. So while it pays to seal your granite countertop, chances are the countertop you are planning to install has already been sealed ahead of time by the manufacturer. In case you’re not sure, it’s always a good to ask your dealer first. But in most cases, the granite is well-sealed prior to being sold to the consumer.

However, in the event that you have purchased a countertop that has not been sealed previously or perhaps the granite countertop you currently have in your kitchen is showing the effects of worn out sealant or exposed areas, you can apply the sealant yourself. This is not a difficult task to perform.