Articles for October 2016

New Fireplace Features To Look For

New Fireplace Features To Look ForFireplaces have a very long history. Their existence dates back from the prehistoric times. They were once used for heating a dwelling place, for heating water and for other domestic uses. But as time goes by, the use of a fireplace have become more modern. Modern fireplaces are now mainly used for creating a relaxing ambiance and for heating a room. New fireplace features like better heat efficiency are introduced in the new models. But there are also other important new fireplace features that you need to look for when you are purchasing one. It’s important that you need to understand these features, know how they work and how they can be beneficial to you.

Fireplace Fans

This is an important feature that you must look for in a modern fireplace. The purpose of having a fan inside a fireplace is not to produce more heat but to ensure that the heat being produced will reach the area where it’s needed. To be clear, putting a fan inside a fireplace doesn’t cause it to produce more heat, but it can help to ensure that more of the heat being produced actually reaches the space where it’s desired.  Fireplaces are usually installed in recessed alcoves with one of it sides exposed to the outside air. Installing a fireplace this way not only helps in reducing fire risk but it also allows the heat produced from the fireplace to reach interior areas in the house.

Fireplace fans and blowers will draw air from vents in the underside of the insert and then push that air out from the top, making sure that the heat is distributed evenly. Having fans in your fireplace will also improve the quality and circulation of the air inside a room.

Catalytic Converter

Fireplaces must also have a catalytic converter inside them. A catalytic converter is essential for reducing the amount of smoke coming out from your chimney. This also increases the heat being produced while reducing the amount of wood being burned in the process. However, not all fireplaces come with this important feature. With a catalytic converter you can use less wood while still getting a lot of heat which in turn helps you in saving money from buying too much wood as a fuel source for your fireplace.

These are only two of the most important new fireplace features that you need to look out for. These two are even more important if you are using your fireplace as your primary heat source. But if you have a reliable source of cheap firewood, then having one of these two features can still help you in saving money.

Fall Maintenance for your AC

fall-maintenance-for-your-acGetting your home ready for fall and winter takes a bit of preparation.You should get your AC ready to rest for a whole season. This maintenance can be simple or a bit more tedious depending on the type of AC you have. You should always call a professional if you have any concerns about your AC.

Portable AC

The simplest of these is the portable AC, all you need to do to get it ready is remove it, clean it, and store it until you need it again. Cleaning it is as simple as dusting it off and checking the filters!

Centralized System

For a centralized system you will need to change out the filters and inspect the entire system to make sure it is clean. Having a professional do this cleaning can really help keep your home healthy throughout the winter season. For best results you should clean out your system twice a year and also replace the filters twice a year.

Outdoor Units

If your unit is outdoors it may require a bit more maintenance. Start by turning it off, this will make sure it does not kick back on when the temperature rises. Next take a hose and rinse all the debris off the unit. Let it completely dry. You also need to take care of the pipes. Cover exposed pipes with foam to keep them from freezing. You can keep foam pipe covers in place with duct tape. Good, the pipes are covered and the unit is clean you should now cover the unit itself. You can purchase a plastic or vinyl cover for the unit. You want it to be waterproof and designed to cover an AC unit. Make sure the cover is secured to the unit, you can use bungee cords or rope to help with this.

You may think that you are finished with the maintenance now but actually you still need to check up on the unit throughout the season. Make sure there are not more debris on the unit and that the cover is still secure.

Humidity and your Wooden Furniture

Humidity and your Wooden FurnitureThe relative humidity in your house can drop by 13% once you start using your heating systems during the winter season. This makes the air inside your house to be dry. Its effects may not be felt immediately by the people living in the house but its effects can be seen immediately on some of your things. Your wooden furniture is the ones that receives the most negative effects by low indoor relative humidity. Low indoor humidity can suck all the moisture causing the wooden furniture to receive permanent damage which causes them to crack and split.

The dry air that resulted from low indoor humidity will suck moisture from its surroundings and the most likely to be affected are your wooden furniture. To avoid this from happening, you need to be sure that the indoor humidity must stay around its right level which is around 35%. If the indoor humidity stays at the right level, the moisture in your wooden furniture will also remain constant.

Negative Effects of Low Indoor Humidity

  • Your wooden furniture, walls, doors and windows will crack or split.
  • Your wooden doors will have gaps and will also no longer fit tightly.Your hardwood floors will also have gaps in them. Gaps between the boards in hardwood floors.
  • Your hardwood floors will also have gaps in them.
  • Your wooden chairs will become wobbly.

There are two factors which can help you identify how dry air rapidly affects your wooden things inside your house. You can determine it by taking a look at the pore size and the surface hardness. For example, hard wood will not lose its moisture as fast as the softer woods. A furniture will not also lose its moisture immediately if you coat it with a sealer and lacquer.

But it is still possible to save your wooden furniture from the effects of dry air by rubbing them with a quality furniture oil as protection. If the wooden furniture already has a crack, there’s not much that you can do for it.

The only thing left for you to do is to restore the indoor humidity to its right level right away. You can install a humidifier in your house especially the type that can automatically adjust the humidity level. You can also try limiting the number of times you are using your home’s heating system if you don’t want the indoor humidity level to plummet.

You should learn how to protect your wooden furniture too from certain factors especially low indoor humidity. Once you know that winter is coming, you need to make some precautionary measures to help protect the safety of the wooden things inside your house. By doing so, you’ll be able to make use of them a lot longer!