How to Insulate Your Windows on a Budget

How to Insulate Your Windows on a Budget

Insulate your windows this winter with some of our easy tricks that can make you save cash and stay cozy!

Photo: Via Pinterest

Winter is already in full swing and many homeowners have already powered up their furnaces. If that’s the case in your home as well, did you notice an increase in your heating bill? There are many reasons for that and it usually amounts to a furnace in dire need of a repair.

However, there’s one more common reason people tend to forget about or not know about at all. You would be baffled to learn how much energy you waste on heating with improper insulation. Leaks that let the warm air out can result in an increased heating bill and the feeling that no matter how high you crank the thermostat, your home is never warm enough.

Windows can let a lot of hot air out, especially if they are old, thin or single-pane. However, the good news is that replacing them will significantly cut down the money you spend on heating. Even though the initial cost of upgrading your windows might seem too high, in the long run, it will more than pay off.

But if you cannot budget a full-on window replacement, there are some cheaper and almost equally effective alternatives. In this article, we’ll give you a couple of ideas on how you can prevent losing heat to your old windows on a budget.

Add Storm Windows

Installing new windows that are energy-efficient can be an expensive endeavor. Fortunately, storm windows provide a cheaper and an equally effective alternative. These windows are installed on top of your old window exteriors. They help minimize draft and create an extra layer of insulation.

These windows are available in various sizes. However, if the windows in your home are custom made, chances are you are going to need custom made storm windows as well. Installing them can also be tricky if you live in a two-level house. Due to all the safety concerns of this type of project, it’s best that you leave the installation to the professionals.

Another downside of storm windows is that you are going to have to replace them after a few years. Unlike them, new energy efficient windows can last for decades. That’s why it’s a good idea to have these windows installed temporarily to give you a chance to save up for the real deal.

Fill in the Gaps

There is a chance the issue could be resolved simply by filling in the leaks on your existing windows. The gaps could have developed spontaneously over the years or might have been a result of improper installation. To maximize your homes heating and cooling you’ll need to fill in the leaks with spray foam insulation. You can even do this on your own as it’s fairly easy.

You need to take the window frame off, seal any leaks and then return the frame once you’re done. You might have to repaint the area around the windows after you’re done.

Upgrade Your Windows

The most affordable solution to your insulation problem is to reinforce the windows from the inside. You can use a weather strip or an insulation kit. These are fairly inexpensive and can save you a lot in new windows. However, they may not be as pretty to look at.

If none of these work, then perhaps the problem is not in your windows, but in your heating system. To schedule a furnace maintenance appointment contact Action Air Conditioning & Heating of San Diego at 4455 Murphy Canyon Rd Suite 100–5, San Diego, CA 92123, USA; 800-400-4152

Can Your Pool Stay Open Year Round?

Can Your Pool Stay Open Year Round?

If you are fortunate enough to have a pool in your back yard, you know how much time and effort goes into maintaining it during the swimming season. But at the same time, you know how much it helps you relax and cool down during the hot summers.


Photo: Via Pinterest

But now that the summer is over, most people are looking on how to get their pool ready for winter. However, is it possible to keep your pool open for the whole year and not deal with the long and tedious process of closing the pool?

As it turns out, you can have your pool all year round, provided that you live in the right part of the country. If the area where you live doesn’t freeze over, you have a good chance to realize this dream.

Have Pool Heaters Installed

Your main goal is to keep your water warm enough not to freeze over and to have it comfortable enough to be able to swim in it. So, the most obvious solution are pool heaters. If you are designing and building your own custom pool, you can instruct your designer to install them right from the start. Companies like http://www.socalcustompoolsandspas.com/ will be more than glad to make all your pool requests a reality.

If you already have a pool without these water heaters, you can still have them put in retroactively. They may not be able to be hidden and subtle as they would be in the first case, but you will achieve the goal – your pool water will be warm enough.


Photo: Landscape Genius

Thermal Blankets Can Help Too

The problem with pool heaters is that they are quite costly to run all day every day. In the end, they may cost you so much that you will be forced to look for an alternative. Fortunately, thermal blankets are what you are looking for. These films are able to harness the heat of the sun to warm the water. They are not as effective as the water heaters and they only work for the daytime, but they are significantly cheaper.

The best option is probably to use the combination of these two methods. You can use the thermal blankets at times you don’t want to use your pool for swimming, and only turn on the pool heaters when you decide to swim.

Keep Your Pool Equally Clean

Cleaning the pool is a tedious job with no end, but if you want it to be clean and enjoyable, you have to do it or pay someone else to do it. The same goes for the winter. If you wish to have your pool open even during the cold part of the year, you have to extend your maintenance to these months as well. You need to keep your pool clean even when you’re not using it to manage bacteria growth that can be harmful in the long run.

The fall is probably the critical time, when a lot of fallen leaves can find their way into your pool, and the wind isn’t helping either. However, if you don’t clean them regularly, they will clog your pipes and cause you a lot of headaches.


Photo: My Pool Guide

Turn On Your Pump

The water pump should be turned on from time to time in order to prevent the freezing of the water. Water is far less likely to freeze when it is moving. Just make sure that you don’t forget to do this since frozen water can cause a lot of damage to the pool.

If you are unsure that you will remember to do this in a timely manner, you can always install an automatic system which will do that for you.

Keeping a pool running throughout the winter is not impossible, but it does require a lot of attention. However, the prestige which comes with having a pool open in the winter cannot be topped.

5 Office Design Trends That Help Boost Productivity

5 Office Design Trends That Help Boost Productivity

Are you redecorating your office space at home or at your workplace? Here are some ingenious office decorating trends that could help you work and feel better!


Photo: The Every Girl

Modern office spaces are nothing like the cold, alienating workspaces we see in vintage movies. In many ways, we have young entrepreneurs and designers to thank for the office design switching from discouraging fun to using it as one of the main sparks of creativity and productivity. Modern offices are all about open, inviting layouts and mobility. Long gone are the cubicles, with more and more companies opting in for an open floor plan.

If you think workers having fun can be counterproductive, you are sorely mistaken. New designs have proven to boost productivity and make work less of a chore and more of a place to be. In this article, we’ll share some of the most inspiring modern office design trends that are sure to increase productivity and motivate your employees to come to work with a smile every day.

Freeform Lounge Zones

You should create lounge zones to help employees relax better while on their break. Your employees should be able to use the space to chat, read the latest news or just rest their eyes. Your lounge area should invite workers to rest when they need to, not create the opposite effect and chase them away.

The message here is that taking breaks during work is not a bad thing. Sometimes, employees need breaks to recharge their batteries after hours of staring at a screen. While it might seem counterproductive, encouraging breaks has proven to increase productivity. A good employer knows that working longer doesn’t necessarily mean working better.


Photo: Hardenburg Designs

Flexible Furniture

Workers are generally more productive in flexible working conditions like flexible working hours and the ability to work from home. But flexibility does not need to stop there. Flexible furniture like modular pieces or adjustable sit-stand desks are bound to increase productivity. The number of combinations are only limited by your imagination. You could also add mobile walls, so workers can have privacy when they feel like it quickly and easily.

Use the Right Colors

It is a well-known fact that colors can boost productivity at the workplace. But you have to know which colors to use and where. For example, blue is generally considered as a productivity booster that helps employees concentrate. It is therefore a great color to paint your office walls and use to accentuate desks. On the other hand, green does not tire the eyes and is therefore a great way to create your dream office space. Yellow can help boost creativity and is great for a designer’s office while red stimulates blood flow and invokes emotion and is therefore a great color to draw the eye to something important in the office.


Photo: Lady and the Blog

Create Shared Workstations

Some people prefer to work alone, while others thrive in groups. That’s why you should give everyone the opportunity to work in an environment that fits them. To that end, consider adding shared workstations for teams that work better together. This should be an area where teams can brainstorm or work together away from their own workstations. Creating shared workstations is also a great way to free up space in your home, and create one office space for everyone.

Add More Plant Life

Plants are also one decorating detail more and more modern offices are adding to their décor. And for a good reason. Plants have been proven to increase productivity by a staggering 12 percent according to a study conducted by the Washington State University. But even without this handy boost, plants are a mandatory addition to every office as they breathe in a breath of fresh air and liven up a room.

If you’re looking for functional and stylish office furniture contact Shore Office Warehouse at 9530 Cabot Dr, San Diego, CA 92126; 858-271-8645

Protect Your Home from Water Damage This Winter

Protect Your Home from Water Damage This Winter

Water damage is a terrible and expensive accident to happen in your home. However, it can be even trickier and more annoying when it happens in winter. Not only is it more difficult to dig around for a burst pipe in the cold ground, but it is also more difficult to detect the problem in the first place.


Photo: Barbara Davis

However, you can do a few things to ensure that your home is safe from water damage this winter. If you need more information about water damage, consult this handy article https://www.emergencyhomesolutionsoc.com/water/damage/newport-beach/.

Turn Off Your Water Before You Go Away

Even if you are leaving for a short time, you should turn off your water supply. This piece of advice is particularly important to people whose areas freeze over for extended periods of time. If the water in those pipes freezes, it will expand and ultimately break the pipe. Once it thaws, the point where the pipe burst will become the leak.

You may stay unaware of this leak for a long time, which will cost you both in water bill and in potential damage which you can’t prevent. However, if your water is off, you will be safe from this kind of damage.

Get a Leak Detector Device

Even the smallest leak can escalate and cause serious damage over time if left untreated. Fortunately, there are devices which can help you catch a flood or any other type of water damage before it actually does any significant damage. There are also leakage detection services that can help you get to the bottom of your problem, quickly.

The simplest ones just measure the amount of moisture and warn you if something changes drastically. However, more advanced detectors can measure the water consumption of your household and notice if the consumption increases noticeably. This could be an indicator of a water leak. All you need to do is call in an expert and have it checked out.

Get a Water Line Checkup Annually

Just like with many other things in your house, your water pipes are in constant use throughout the year. Over time, this constant use can cause wear and tear. You can learn about that the easy way or the hard way. The hard way being when the water damage occurs.

However, an annual checkup will significantly lower the odds of any leaks happening. Professional plumbers have various tools and equipment which helps them identify potentially problematic areas and resolve the problems before they become too serious and cause you significant financial expenses.

Get Sewage Lines a Checkup As Well

Sewers tend to be out of our minds for the most part. And that’s a good thing. However, at times, sewer lines can get blocked for one reason or the other. Especially if you use a lot of disposable products, like wet wipes and flush them. Recently, London had a serious problem with that kind of situation.

However, you can prevent such a blockage happening in your part of eh line by simply adding a sewer inspection to your annual house budget. It is a relatively quick and non-invasive process which can determine the state of your sewer lines and detect any potential problems before they cause a mess.

Clean Your Gutters and Roof

Even though most people think that water damage only comes from your water pipes or sewer lines, they seem to forget the gutters. If your area is prone to strong rains or heavy snowfalls, you need to ensure that all the water which falls onto your roof has a place to go. Make sure that your gutters are both clean and large enough to support the flow.

When it comes to snow, your roof needs to be strong enough to support the additional weight of the snow as well as the volume of water created when the snow melts in the spring.

 

Tips When Filing an Insurance Claim for Your Home

Tips When Filing an Insurance Claim for Your Home

Keep your home and belongings safe by filing an insurance claim on your home. Here’s exactly how to do it the right way!


Photo: Pinterest

One of the last thoughts on your mind should be your homeowner’s insurance company giving you a rough time regarding your insurance claim. Here are some simple tips when dealing with your homeowner’s insurance claim regarding damage sustained to your home.

Get Covered with an Insurance Company

If you had to evacuate due to substantial damage to your home and or dangerous living conditions, you probably did not have any time to grab essentials including, clothes for work and or school, toiletries, etc. These types of property may have been wholly diminished in a natural disaster and or fire. Contact your insurance company and ask that they reimburse your damages and to send a check to wherever you may be residing at the time. This is so that you may purchase your necessities without the need to wait for your full insurance coverage. Tip: If you’re area is prone to flooding, consider purchasing a sump pump to minimize the damage.

Always put your needs first, be sure to not go overboard on what you need, be courteous and practical with what your necessities are as many insurance companies will refuse or be frivolous with reimbursing you. For example, you need work clothes (slacks, dress shirt, etc,) don’t assume you will go to a high-end store in town to purchase these items. The advance will be deducted from your total insurance claim amount you will receive when the claim is completed, so be sure not to hurt your end claim amount.

Document all of Your Stuff

If you’ve just bought a house, make sure to document all of your belongings in case of a disaster. When a disaster occurs, it will be easy to list everything you have lost. This may take some time and effort from everyone in the household. You will want to be sure that when making this list you start as soon as possible so you can remember everything you have lost before filing your insurance claim.

Never throw anything away. It is always easier to prove that what you have lost was in the household at the time of the disaster and or fire. If you hold on to these items such as family belongings, or even home decor items until your Public Adjuster they may be added to your claim, which will be valid proof it was there and lost during the incident. This will help compensate the loss of all items in the home at the time of the incident.

FILE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

Filing your claim as soon as possible is key. Most insurance companies will require policyholders to submit their claims as soon as they can. Contact your homeowner’s insurance agent and or company immediately to begin the claim process. The said insurance company will require to provide and submit “proof of loss claim.” The form which will include all items lost at the time of damage, and include their value. Your immediate action is most important if there were many homeowners affected within your area. If not done in a timely manner, you could be at the bottom of the list of insurance policyholders who have filed their claims.