Month: July 2018

Solid v engineered oak flooring: which should you choose?

There is little to choose between solid oak flooring and engineered hardwood oak flooring in terms of looks. However, they are manufactured very differently. Here we explain the pros and cons.

Image Credit

Solid hardwood flooring

Solid hardwood flooring is made from an individual solid piece of wood, cut out of the tree trunk and then sawn into planks by a machine. There are variations available, depending on the type of wood you want.

Solid hardwood flooring suits areas of high use, as it is possible to sand it down and refinish it multiple times. However, the planks may be damaged by moisture and will expand in a cold room, and shrink in a hot room. This type of flooring is therefore not recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, conservatories or places with underfloor heating.

Engineered hardwood flooring

Some people mistake engineered hardwood flooring for laminate flooring. However, engineered hardwood flooring consists of multiple layers. A top and bottom layer of natural wood sandwich a central part typically built out of five to eight layers of plywood, crisscrossed in different directions.

Image Credit

Engineered hardwood flooring does not expand and contract much, ensuring that it suits rooms subject to moisture, like the kitchen and bathroom. Conservatories and rooms with underfloor heating are also suitable.

The disadvantage of this type is that it cannot be sanded and refinished as often as solid hardwood flooring – perhaps three or four times in its lifetime – so it does not suit areas with high footfall.

Engineered flooring is available from https://www.woodfloorwarehouse.co.uk/engineered-flooring.html.

For more on wooden floors see:

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2006/feb/04/lifeandhealth.consumerandethicalliving.

Your subfloor’s moisture level

It is vital that you measure the moisture level of your subfloor. This is the layer that bisects decorative flooring such as wood, carpet or tile, and the structural parts (joists and foundations). If laying a solid hardwood floor, you need a reading of 2-3% maximum moisture content, as well as 35-40% humidity. If your percentages are greater than 2-3%, then an engineered hardwood floor would be best. Check with the manufacturer since a floor’s maximum moisture level can vary.

Costs

Solid hardwood flooring usually costs more than engineered hardwood flooring, due to the high wood content. If it fits your criteria, it can be a worthwhile lifetime investment. However, if your budget has constraints, choose engineered hardwood flooring as the upfront cost is less.

 …

Which tools can one use to detect gas leaks

The use of natural gas is now common due to its convenience but when it comes to a gas leak, the effects can be devastating since it is a potential fire hazard and highly dangerous when inhaled. Although natural gas has no odor, suppliers add an unpleasant smell to the natural gas to help people notice every time there is a gas leak. However, it is still difficult to detect the gas line leak especially if you have strong scents in your house or if your smell senses are not that sharp. It is therefore necessary to have gadgets that can help you to detect gas leakage. The following are the tools to use in gas detection.

First Alert Digital Alarm

Unlike most detectors, this is a multi-gas leak detector which gives you easy of understanding information on the type of gas detected and the level of leaked gas. It has a battery as a backup in case of power outages providing full-time services and it can show which gas has been detected including carbon monoxide, methane, or natural gas. It uses an electrochemical multi-gas sensor. If you are looking for a gadget that can detect multiple gases, then you don’t have to search anymore. This detector will do a perfect job.

Brass Craft Detector

This is a portable type of detector which is used when one suspects there is a gas leakage, during equipment maintenance or wants to test for a gas leakage. It has a set of red and yellow lights that indicate the levels of gas leakage and it also has an alarm that goes on when the gas level reach critical levels. It is an affordable and the best budget gas leak detector.

Test Instruments

This type of detector is convenient and simple to use since you don’t have to deal with guesswork. It has a gooseneck sensor that helps detect the exact location where the gas is leaking from, that is, around corners, vents, holes and through cracks. The green light provides you with a very clear way of knowing when you are dealing with a gas leak.

Household Alarm

It is mounted onto the wall for easy access and is used for detecting natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas. If it senses any gases, the sensor triggers an alarm that shows the gas levels are abnormally high. It has a clear OLED screen that shows the level of concentration of the gas. It is advisable to keep a constant check on the levels of the gas concentration during normal days to be able to tell when there is a rise in the readings. This is the best natural gas detector.

Once you detect a gas leak, you should call an expert to fix the problem since gases can be very dangerous to deal with due to their nature of exploding if not handled with caution. Before the problem is fixed, you should open all doors and windows for ventilation, turn off the gas …

How to Improve Your HVAC System

HVAC units are built to withstand all sorts of abuse and continue running, but not forever. Surely, you’ll expect it to continue its job it in a way that’s both efficient and cost effective. This means maintenance is required to extract maximum efficiency.

Yet, besides calling in a technician for annual checkups, there are three HVAC maintenance tips every homeowner should follow.

1. Change the FiltersFilters are an essential part of the HVAC system, and it is recommended to clean every 15 to 30 days depending on the use of the system. These filters prevent trapped particles and contaminants from circulating around the home. Because biological contaminants are reproduced more easily by the humidity and temperature conditions in the home, filters are an easy way to keep internal air clean.

Dirty filters are often linked to recurring respiratory issues within the home. The most recurrent issues are often difficulty breathing, headaches, skin rashes, and increased incidences of colds and respiratory infections. Changing dirty filters can result in improved health.

2. Clean Air Ducts. The ducts that lead to and from the HVAC units, located throughout the home can carry a countless number of pollutants and organisms imperceptible to the naked eye. These particles play a fundamental role in your comfort and health because as air is circulated throughout the home, so are these particles.

Cleaning ducts not only improves internal air quality but can also decrease energy costs. Studies confirm that layers of dust within the ductwork slowdown the productivity of the HVAC system, so maintenance often increases the longevity of the equipment.

3. Checking Vicinity of Equipment. It’s also very important to take care of the immediate vicinity of the equipment. Vacuuming around the HVAC equipment to ensure there’s no buildup of dust or other obstructions will help keep air flow at maximum efficiency. Also, removing weeds, plants, and other vegetation outdoors from around the equipment is equally important.

External components that are too close to the equipment could interfere with the fans, causing the equipment to malfunction, so it’s important for homeowners to perform checks to make sure the system is in good condition.

When Does Your System Need Maintenance?

While it’s certainly difficult these days to choose where to put your pennies, a through maintenance or service repair can also help you save on your electricity bills. HVAC systems require continuous maintenance to prevent deterioration and improve their operation.

It is recommended to perform maintenance once a year, but you can also take advantage if you are going to change from cold to heat or vice versa for general maintenance.

Failure to perform preventive maintenance can cause damage to high-cost components such as coils, compressors and motors. Generally, an annual preventive maintenance program is recommended for your system, so any failure would be detected in time, and this translates into a lower cost for you.

Optimized Equipment

HVAC systems are designed to operate exhaustively, but if maintenance is neglected, the unit may not …

Does Your Pet’s Hair Affect Your HVAC System?

There are several things you can do to improve the health of your air conditioner. There are a lot of threats in your home that can decrease the effectiveness of your air conditioner, clog it, slow down its function, and even break it down over time. One of the most commonly faced threats to your air conditioner is pet dander. The pets we love and adore have thick coats with coarse hair, which is perfect for clogging up your heating and air conditioning system.

Here, we will explain how to handle the amount of pet hair and dander in your home to ensure that your pet’s natural habits, and their hair, does not negatively affect the quality of your HVAC system, and how simple steps can protect it for many years to come.

Air Borne Allergens and Your Pet’s Dander

The reason a large percentage of the population has an allergy to furry pets is because of their dander. Dander is made up of microscopic pathogens that infiltrate the nasal passages and cause the symptoms we experience in an allergic reaction. When pets shed their fur, dander sticks to the individual hair shafts and travel along with it until it can break free from the hair. Both the pet dander, and the pet hair can be pulled into your HVAC system.

Since dander is microscopic, not all pet dander is caught in your air conditioner’s filter. This leaves it free to float around in your home and be recirculated through your home continuously. Over time, this can make your allergies unbearable.

Solving the Airborne Pet Dander Problem

Even though your HVAC system is capable of transporting pet dander through your home, it can easily become a strong ally in the fight against allergies. Your heating and air conditioning system is the respiratory system of your home. It pulls air from inside your home through the primary intake vent and pulls it through the air filter that you have chosen to install, adjust the temperature of the air, and circulates it back into your home. By choosing the right air filter, you can ensure that the allergens plaguing your family are filtered out and trapped instead of recirculating them back through your home.

If your air filter is clogged, dirty, or low-quality, your air conditioner will struggle to filter the air. A clogged filter restricts the air flow from the primary intake vent, which puts added stress on the various components, reducing the life of your system. It can also increase your electric usage dramatically. There are several things you can do to effectively reduce the amount of strain placed on your HVAC system, but the two most important steps you can take are vacuuming regularly and changing your filters often.

Vacuuming your home regularly to remove pet hair and dander in your household fabrics can reduce your family’s allergies and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Less pet hair in your home means less pet hair that can get …

Why It’s Important to Replace Damaged Garage Door Springs

As a homeowner, you probably already know that it is important for you to maintain and take good care of your garage door. However, if you are dealing with faulty garage door springs and have found yourself wondering how much should it cost to repair door springs? Then you could be thinking about putting off this repair. Even though it might be tempting not to have this repair done quickly, there are a few reasons why it’s critical to make garage door repairs as soon as possible. These are a few reasons why this is the case.

A Damaged Garage Door Can Be Dangerous

First and foremost, you should know that garage doors can be dangerous. If you keep your garage door in good condition, however, you can help prevent accidents. For example, by replacing damaged garage door springs, you can help ensure that your garage door doesn’t come crashing down on top of one of your children or someone who is visiting your home. Since safety is probably of the utmost importance to you and your family, this is reason enough to think about having your garage door repaired as soon as possible.

Additional Damages Could Occur

Another thing that you should know is that if you do not replace your damaged garage door springs in a timely manner, there is a chance that additional damages could occur. If your garage door comes crashing down because the springs aren’t in good condition, for example, it could cause other components of your garage door opening system or your garage door itself to be damaged. If the door falls on top of a vehicle or something else of value, you also must worry about costly repair issues. Therefore, by going ahead and paying to have your garage door springs replaced now, you can save money by preventing other expensive repair issues from being a problem as well.

It’s Important to Maintain Your Garage Door to Maintain Your Home’s Value

Lastly, you must think about what you must do to maintain the value of your home. After all, if you don’t properly maintain your home — including your garage door — then it could affect things like how easy it is to sell your home and how much you are able to get when you sell the house. By keeping up with garage door repairs and maintenance, you can help prevent your garage door from causing a problem when and if you decide to put your home on the market.

As you can see, there are a few reasons why it’s important not to put off repairing your damaged garage door springs. Also, remember that this is probably not a task that you are going to want to take on by yourself. Instead, consider working with a professional who specializes in repairing and maintaining garage doors. Then, you can avoid all the problems that can go along with faulty garage door springs and can help ensure that your garage door springs are …