The Facts: Investing in Portable Air Conditioners

The Facts: Investing in Portable Air Conditioners

A portable air conditioner can seem like the perfect solution on a hot summer day. They are relatively small, easy to move from room to room and cost significantly less than a fitted air conditioning unit.

However, is a portable air conditioner really a good investment? When you start comparing them to the industrial air conditioning option available you’ll realize that it’s not quite as good as it appears to be.

How The Portable Air Conditioner Works

The basic operation is the same as any fixed air conditioning unit. The air is sucked into the unit and cooled as it passes over the liquid-filled coils. This creates cool air. Of course, cool air holds less moisture, the warm and moist air needs to be expelled.

With fixed units, the air is expelled outside because the unit is outside. However, portable units rely on a hose that is hung out your window.

Cooling Efficiency

An industrial air conditioner is designed to cool a specific sized space. The space is generally sealed, allowing the air conditioner to work efficiently and surprisingly quickly.

This is not the case with a portable air conditioner. It may not be powerful enough to handle the space it’s been put in. In addition to this, the room is never sealed. The exhaust pipe on the air conditioner must go out the window, this allows some warm air to come in from outside. This can make it difficult for the portable unit to cool the room effectively.

Even if it does cool the room it will use more energy doing so. It is simply not as efficient and, over time, will end up costing you more than a fixed unit.

Ease of Movement

Although portable units are intended to move between rooms effortlessly, there are two complications you need to be aware of.

    • Access to Outside

      No matter where you put it the portable unit needs to vet outside of the house. The hose is generally short, meaning that your unit needs to be near a window and a power socket.

      As mentioned, this reduces the efficiency of the machine. To avoid this you can have special plates fitted to windows, blocking outside air and giving a vent attachment point. But, using these makes it even harder to move the unit around.

    • Weight

      Portable air conditioners are not light. They are usually on heels which makes moving them fairly easy on one level. However, if your home is on two levels you’ll find they are very heavy to carry up and down the stairs.

    • Noise Level

      You also need to consider the noise level of a portable unit. It is surprisingly loud, making it difficult to undertake many other tasks. This is in stark contrast to the fixed units, the main unit is on the wall outside your home, keeping the noise outside.

      This can make a big difference to your enjoyment of the cool air in your home.

How to Identify Bedbugs and Get Rid of Them

How to Identify Bedbugs and Get Rid of Them

Bedbugs are a serious public health problem across the country today. Cities like Baltimore and Washington D.C. commonly attempt to raise awareness of these disgusting creatures. The reality is that although most people are not going to experience problems being bitten by bedbugs, some people can suffer serious allergic reactions from them.

The difficulty with bedbugs is they can survive for months without a blood meal. This makes them extremely hard to get rid of without professional help.

The Main Signs of Infestation

Bedbugs are extremely small, which makes them difficult to spot. There are, however, some telltale signs you can look for on your bed.

The main signs are dark spots, which are bedbug excrement. You may also notice a musty odor, which comes from the scent glands of the bedbugs.

You may also notice bloodstains on your sheets and pillows. This is from where the bedbugs have fed on you during the night.

If you notice any of these signs, call an exterminator to confirm that you have a bedbug infestation.

Bedbugs are Never Far from their Hosts

What makes bedbugs so effective is their flattened bodies make them resilient hitchhikers. Although bedbugs were practically unheard of for more than 40 years in the U.S., the growth of international travel is said to have brought them back.

Although bedbugs are difficult to spot with the naked eye, their great weakness is they are never more than six to eight feet from their hosts. This makes an infestation relatively easy to treat.

Most bedbugs are somewhere on the mattress or the bed frame. Sometimes they can infest closets and the cracks in walls, however.

Should You Treat Bedbugs Yourself?

Many guides do say that you can simply clean your clothes and scrub your bed, but non-professionals may find it difficult to eliminate the infestation entirely.

Bedbugs breed slowly, but the fact they can live for more than six months means colonies can grow quickly. Failing to remove 100% of bedbugs guarantees that they will return sooner or later.

In this case, it is always best to call a professional pest control company. Bedbugs remain the most common type of domestic infestation in North America, so you know you will be in good hands.

Does This Mean My Home is Dirty?

Homeowners often respond to infestations by savagely cleaning their homes. The most common myth is that bedbugs thrive in dirty houses. This is untrue. Bedbugs do not care whether your home is dirty or sparkling clean. They can thrive in both environments, which means the cleanliness of your house does not play a role in whether you will get a bedbug infestation.

The only way to eliminate a bedbug infestation is a chemical treatment, and for this, you need to call a professional exterminator.

Conclusion

Stop waking up with red welts all over your body by getting in touch with a professional exterminator. They will be able to effectively and safely remove any bedbugs present within your home.

Have you experienced a bedbug infestation in your home?

Top 4 Ways to Save Money On Your Electricity Bills

Top 4 Ways to Save Money On Your Electricity Bills

Do you think you spend more than necessary on electricity every year? You aren’t alone.

Having a more energy-efficient house is a growing concern for most people. People are investing in more energy-efficient solutions to both save money and help the environment.

If you think your electricity bill is too high, you need to look at ways to reduce your power usage during the day. Below are seven ways you can save money on your electricity bills, so keep reading to learn more.

1. Turn Your AC and Furnace Off When Not Home

Heating and cooling make up a large part of your electricity bills. It takes a lot to keep your home at a comfortable temperature all the time. The question is, do you need to keep it comfortable when nobody is home?

Turning your AC and furnace off when nobody is home can save you on your electricity bills. Of course, you’ll need to remember to turn things off when you leave. That’s where a programmable thermostat comes into play.

A programmable thermostat gives you the ability to schedule your home’s climate. It will save you money during the day and make sure your home is comfortable once everyone gets home.

2. Reinforce Insulation

If it seems like your electricity bills aren’t going down no matter what you do, you might be asking yourself how to reduce the cost of electricity and get it to work. One big reason your bills might not be going down is your insulation.

Your insulation is the materials in your attic and walls that help maintain your home’s climate. It keeps warm air in and cold air out. If your insulation isn’t working, it takes more work to control your home’s temperature.

You’ll need to reinforce your insulation to increase its effectiveness. Once you do, it won’t take as much energy to keep your home’s climate comfortable.

3. Use Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Light bulbs don’t seem like the type of thing that uses a lot of electricity. However, once you count the total number of lights in your house switched on all the time, they can use a lot of power.

Switching to energy-efficient bulbs can help this problem. Not only will they save money, but they’ll also last longer than a traditional bulb. They cost more money upfront but will save money in the long-run.

4. Seal Your Windows

New windows work great when you first install them. There aren’t any cracks that cause air to leak in, and they keep a good seal when closed. The problem is that your windows can deteriorate over time.

Check your windows to see if you feel any cold or warm air leaking in. If it’s a small leak, you can seal it on your own. However, you might need new windows if the damage to your windows is too severe.

Now You Know How to Save Money on Your Electricity Bills

Many people wonder how they can reduce the cost of electricity but never take action to do so. However, now that you know how to save money on your electricity bills, you have what you need to get started. There are more power-saving tips out there, so keep optimizing your power usage to get your bill as low as possible.

Are you interested in other ways to improve your home’s value? Read our latest blog posts to find our best advice.

What is a Forstner Drill Bit?

What is a Forstner Drill Bit?

Forstner drill bit has a flat hole at the bottom that makes it possible for various hardware installations that require precision for depth and mortise joint. The feature makes it possible to drill holes in difficult angle, overlapping holes, and for making holes on the material edges.

The Forstner drill bit was an invention of Benjamin Forstner sometime in the 1800s. He made a cutting rim or teeth-like structures surrounding the perimeter. The original invention had a sharp projection at the center. The drill works with bits of up two 2-inches in diameter but cannot be smaller than 1-inch.

On the downside, the Forstner drill bit tends to slide on the surface of the material you are working on. For the best results and limit skidding on the material surface, use it as a drill press. Otherwise, the Forstner drill to drill overlapping joints because the outer cutting rim controls slipping into the next hole.

The bit is stable when you use a drill press, you can get straight and true edges when drilling a hole that is partially exposed. It is even possible to say that the beat came way ahead of its time because the nature of work the bit is handling came in many years after its invention.

How Valuable Is a Forstner Bit to a Woodworker

Should you consider yourself lucky for purchasing a whole set of Forstner bits, the bits perform an excellent job in many situations. Bear in mind that the Forstner bits have special qualities that will make your work neat. One important value you will get here is its long- term benefits in if the only work you do aligns with woodworking.

The cost of a Forstner bit may costly and may force you to buy a bit for specific purpose every time you need one. In comparison with other, affordable bits that do the same and you can buy in bulk, the Forstner bits seem durable and are not easy to replace.

What Makes Forstner Bits So Special

Forstner bits are optimized for woodwork applications. They produce precise cuts and leaves edges with clean holes. There exit design has been on the focus of taking them out of the hole with a minimal tear. They are one of the leading hole boring tools in woodwork.

The drilling of a flat-bottomed hole makes them a favorite in most hardware shops that require a precise depth for a mortise joint. A wide outer rim guides the Forstner bit, which is not common with other bits that follow the tip. The wide outer rim is useful when you want to drill holes angles that overlap as well as holes on edge.

Forstner bits are suitable for drilling overlapping guided angled holes on rectangular mortise or on materials that require precision bonding. The bit seems to be the only choice for neat and large holes, making the prospect of owning a Forstner bit a reality.

Owning one or a set of Forstner bits is as simple as walking to your trusted hardware dealer.

Guiding the Forstner Bit With a Portable Drill

Get at least a plywood or a scrap of wood about ¾ inches thick.

  • Two clamps for holding the bit in position.
  • Cut a piece of wood from the scrap or the plywood to a usable size and leave room for clamping.
  • Setup the drill and fix the Forstner bit. Make adjustments to ensure the bit will go all the way to the desired depth.
  • Clamp the wood on the surface where drilling will take place. Confirm that the Forstner bit is long enough to cut through the entire board.
  • Drill the hole through the piece. The bit may skid but not far enough to interfere with your work. Once the bit passes to the other side, keep drilling until you are satisfied with the size of the hole.

Final Word

The few qualities that make Forstner bits indispensable in some situations explain the reason behind its more than 150-year history. The particular design of the bit enables their use in the drill press but you can introduce clamps and use them with other kinds of drills. The clamps will hold the Forstner drill in place when drilling. Finding a good set of Forstner bit is a challenge right from the size of the hole to make to the durability of the set make the desirable list endless.

Is It a Good Idea to Fit Fly Screens to Your Home?

Is It a Good Idea to Fit Fly Screens to Your Home?

Flies are a nuisance. The moment the weather starts to improve they will start to appear. They have an uncanny knack of flying around you, often without touching you, but enough to be unsettling. They also seem to be impossibly fast, making it difficult to catch them.

Of course, the real issue is that flies carry an array of diseases. They are known to carry typhoid, cholera, and a variety of other serious infections. Flies can pass these infections onto you if they ‘bite’ you. In fact, flies aren’t capable of biting.

When they land on a surface, feelers in their feet tell them if the service is food. If it is they spit acid onto the surface and then suck it up, with the dissolving food. The pain of a fly ‘bite’ is simply the tube entering your skin ready to suck food up.

Of course, living on a liquid diet also means they constantly need the toilet, and leave it everywhere behind them.

If you’ve ever been bothered by flies at home you’ll benefit from fitting flyscreen doors and windows. Here’s why:

Protection From Flies

The most obvious reason is to protect you and your home from flies. Fly screen are mesh coverings for your windows which stop the flies from entering but still allow the air to enter your home. This is important in the height of summer when airflow is necessary to reduce the temperature in your home.

A fly screen is the perfect way of protecting your home and loved ones from flies. Of course, they also keep many other pests out of your home.

Security

Alongside flies trying to get in your home, there are plenty of people that will happily take your valuables from you. Fly screens offer an extra layer of security in your home, making it more difficult for anyone to break in.

Although they may not be the strongest form of security, anything that makes your home more difficult to break into will make it safer.

The Look

Fly screens and doors are available in a wide variety of styles, you’ll find something that suits your individual tastes and the style of your home. In fact, the right fly screen can make your home look even better than it did before.

This will help to remind you of why you love your home but, it can also be beneficial if you’re thinking of selling. Having fly screens means there is one less thing for buyers to worry about.

Durability

Fly screens are very durable, perhaps surprisingly so. Once you invest in them they need very little care and they’ll last for years. This makes them a good investment for your home on many different levels.

A fly screen may seem like a small investment but it serves a useful purpose. Not only does it keep flies and other pests out, but it also allows you to see out while maintaining airflow into your home. That alone makes them worthwhile.

When to Call a Plumber for a Clogged Shower Drain

When to Call a Plumber for a Clogged Shower Drain

Any households that include someone with long hair are familiar with the nightmare that is a clogged shower drain. Water begins to back up slowly at first, but a few minutes into your shower, you suddenly realize you’re taking a bath.

When your shower or bathtub drain is clogged, time is of the essence. The longer you let it sit, the more debris will get trapped and the worse the blockage will get.

What are the signs you can stick to a clogged drain home remedy, and when is it time to call in a plumber’s expertise? Here’s how to decide what to do about a backed-up shower.

Things to Check First

In some cases, the cause of a clog is simple to clear. Start by turning off the water and waiting for as much of it to drain as possible. Then, use a screwdriver to remove the drain cover and examine the mouth of the pipe.

The most common culprit of shower drain clogs is hair, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to pull out the hairball without any specialized equipment. If it’s just out of your reach, grab a plastic zip-tie and use scissors to cut it like a feather. Twist it to make the “teeth” stick out and use it to fish out as much of the hair as possible.

What if removing the visible hair doesn’t fix the problem? Clogged drain cleaner from the grocery store is most people’s go-to solution, but it isn’t always the best choice. Chemical drain cleaners are corrosive to pipes, hazardous to your health, and might not even fix the real source of the problem.

Instead, try a combination of natural drain clog remover (baking soda followed by white vinegar) and a flat sink/shower plunger.

When Should You Call a Plumber?

If the water doesn’t go down or still drains slowly after you try the above methods, it’s time to call for reinforcements.

A plumber can help you find out more about the root cause of your backed-up drain and fix the problem from the source. The signs that you need to call a plumber include:

  • standing water that won’t drain
  • a foul odor coming from the drain
  • the backed-up water is contaminated with mold or other hazardous substances
  • you have an old or damaged plumbing system
  • the clog is accompanied by a leak
  • other drains in your bathroom are also clogged
  • you can’t see the source of the clog and home remedies don’t work

Calling a plumber will not only help you deal with the current issue, but it can prevent future problems as well. This can often save you both time and money in the long run.

Don’t Ignore Your Clogged Shower Drain Any Longer

Dealing with a clogged shower drain isn’t anyone’s idea of a fun afternoon, but the longer you let it go, the worse the clog will get. As soon as you notice water beginning to back up, follow the tips on this list. Call a plumber if it isn’t something you can take care of in a few minutes or if you can’t see the source of the clog.

Are you in need of more home care advice? Keep reading through the other articles on our site for a collection of helpful tips and tricks.