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How to Save on Gas Bills: 5 Ways to Slash Your Heating Bill

How much do you pay to keep your home toasty warm when the weather gets frightful? If you live in a cold state, your natural gas heating bills could be well over $1,000 each year. Even living in a warmer state doesn’t make gas bills cheap, though—the average Hawaiian spends an annual $770.

Thankfully, it is possible to cut your natural gas costs and use that money elsewhere.

Want to learn how to save on gas bills without freezing to death? Read on for five of our top tips.

1. Seal Cracks in Windows and Walls

As houses settle with age, it’s normal for small cracks to appear in walls, doorframes, window frames, and the like. These cracks are one of the biggest culprits behind cold drafts and lost heat. If you’re looking for ways to save on heating costs, sealing up any openings that shouldn’t be there is the best place to start.

You can use weatherstripping, caulk, or another sealant to fill the holes. Make sure that whatever material you use is both flexible and able to withstand cold temperatures.

2. Don’t Heat Unused Rooms

Are you paying to heat areas of your home that you don’t use often? If so, figuring out how to lower your heating bills could be as simple as closing the doors.

Keep the doors to any guest rooms, storage rooms, dens, and basements closed unless you’re actively using them. You may also want to close the heating vents in those areas and block the gap under the door with a draft stopper. This redirects precious heat to other parts of your house, helping you save energy and money.

3. Improve Your Insulation

When it comes to how to save money on heating bills, there’s no better investment than insulation—especially if you live in an old, drafty home.

Insulation expert JWS Construction LLC recommends using spray foam insulation if you’re upgrading an already built home. It can be installed behind existing walls, in attics and crawlspaces, and under rooftops with ease.

Another thing that you may not think to insulate is your windows. If they aren’t double-paned, consider installing a storm window or applying shrink-film insulation to the glass.

4. Change Your At-Home Habits

If you want to know how to save money on gas bills without buying anything new, try modifying your daily habits. This might be as simple as wearing socks and sweaters around the house, lowering the heat a few degrees during the winter, and turning down your water heater. Cooking and baking food at home can also add extra warmth without using the furnace.

5. Get a Smart Thermostat

The last of our tips on how to lower gas bills is a bit high-tech. If you don’t already have a smart thermostat, it’s time to invest in one. These devices can adjust your heat automatically based on the time of day and whether anyone is home, helping you save big on energy bills.

Learning How to Save on Gas Bills Can Cut Your Monthly Costs

Gas and heating costs add up fast if you live somewhere with cold winters. Thankfully, taking the above steps can help the savings add up just as quickly. Now when your friends ask you how to save on gas bills in their homes, you’ll be able to help them out and show proof that it works!

For more great home improvement advice like this, be sure to read through the rest of the content on our site.

7 Signs You Need a Garage Door Replacement

Garage doors are used almost every day. Even so, they are often overlooked when it comes to home maintenance. They are taken for granted until problems start.

Some issues can be fixed with a simple repair while others indicate a more serious problem.

To help you figure out your next move, read our guide for 7 signs you need a garage door replacement.

1. You Have Broken Hardware, Hinges, and Handles

Over time things just simply wear out. The hardware, wires, and hinges that keep your garage door going up and down will eventually break or become frayed. 

In addition to the safety hazard they present, if any of these items are broken it will keep your door from working properly. It’s better to be safe than sorry and a new garage door is in order.

2. The Dents Are Adding Up

Dings and dents are a common sight on most garage doors. Bumps from a car, a wayward toy, or even the weather eventually take their toll.

The smaller ones can be repaired and the overall look and function remain. However, if they are starting to accumulate faster than you can fix them, it may be time to invest in a new garage door panel replacement.

3. Frequent Breakdowns

Mechanical components will break down from time to time. That’s just a fact of life. The good news is many can be fixed with a quality garage door repair service.

If the problems continue to persist and you start to worry about how safe and reliable the door actually is, it may be time to consider a new one.

4. It Lacks Security

Your garage door does more than just open to let your car in. It is a defense against the valuables in your home and your family.

Older garage door models do not offer the security and safety features of the newer ones on the market. In addition to higher grade materials used in fabrication, many come with sensors and can even connect to a mobile app for remote use.

5. Garage Door Replacement: When It Is Too Loud

Garage doors are never silent, but when you start to hear cracking, creaking, and grinding noises, pay attention.

Some sounds just need a little TLC to resolve, but a persistent loud noise could be signaling the need for a new garage door installation.

6. Outdated Curb Appeal

Maybe your garage door is just plain old and outdated. 

The timely and stylish investment of a garage door replacement cost pays back great dividends in curb appeal and added value to your property.

7. No Longer Energy Efficient

Doors leading into your home need good insulation for all seasons. As your garage door ages, it comes less energy efficient.

A new garage door comes equipped with better seals and weather strips and will help keep energy costs down and your home comfortable.

Repair Vs Replace: The Choice

Knowing when to repair or go for a full garage door replacement often comes down to the benefits of a new one over the constant stress of maintenance. With these 7 tips, the choice should be easier.

For more helpful hints and tips on home improvement, safety, and construction, please continue to check back to our website.

Elevate Your Education: How a Hydraulic Forklift Works

The forklift industry is worth roughly $50 billion and rising.

These forklifts do a lot of heavy lifting in a variety of industries, allowing professionals of a variety of backgrounds to do more with less. As such, you owe it to yourself to learn a little bit more about this machinery and its components.

So how does a forklift work? Continue the points below to learn more about using a hydraulic forklift on your terms.

How Does a Hydraulic Forklift Work?

These forklifts use hydraulic power to lift and carry equipment and materials from point A to point B. They often come with combustion engines that facilitate the hydraulic process so that the machinery can do the heavy lifting.

These forklifts carry heavy loads that would otherwise take several people, and use lots of time and resources. The hydraulic forklifts give you the chance to conduct business smoothly and with less time.

What Are Some of the Main Hydraulic Forklift Components?

One of the first things you will find is that hydraulic forklift comes with several different moving parts. Some of the main parts that make these machines work include the pulley, truck frame, pump, lift handle, hydraulic cylinders, and steering and lifting control systems. The control systems let you lift and tilt loads as needed.

There are also a variety of parts that will secure each load so that there is no breakage or accidents.

What Are the Different Types of Forklifts?

You will also note that there are several different kinds of hydraulic machinery forklifts that you can look into. Some of the different kinds of lifts that you might want to consider renting or purchasing include forklifts for warehouses, those that get rid of snow and ice, boat dock lifts, and recycling forklifts.

Some of these forklifts also serve as machinery movers in construction and industrial operations. These forklifts particularly have heavy lifting capacities and require plenty of expertise.

Get the Most From Your Forklift Use

When you’re trying to get the best from your hydraulic forklifts, you will also need to handle some maintenance and repair work. Maintenance for any hydraulic forklift begins with the way that you take care of the fluids.

Check the hydraulic fluid and have it changed on a regular basis. You’ll also need to tighten and change any parts that are falling apart or giving you issues.

Call in a professional hydraulic machinery contractor who can help you with inspections, repairs, and any other work that you require. 

Shop for the Hydraulic Machinery Purchase or Rental That You Need

If you’d like to get the most out of your hydraulic forklift use, the points in this article will be helpful. As you can see, owning or renting these machines can be useful for any business that you own.

Start researching the machines that you need and put in some offers with professionals.

Consider these points and keep checking back when you’d like to learn more about construction, business, industrial work, and more.

A Car Owner’s Guide on How to Replace a Water Pump

Did you know that the water pump in your car should last between 60,000 to 90,000 miles? If you have the suspicion that it might be time for a new water pump and are wondering how to tell and how to replace a water pump, you are in the right place.

Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of water pumps. 

How Do You Know It’s Time to Replace?

Before you contact a reputable place to order your water pump from like PumpBiz there are a few ways to tell whether you need a water pump or not. If you ever notice a coolant leak near your timing belt it might be a sign that there is an issue with the water pump.

You can also check by pulling the water pump pulley back and forth. If you can easily move it can be a sign that the bearings and the shaft are loose.

How to Replace a Water Pump

If you feel comfortable tackling the task of replacing your own pump then you will want to make sure you start with an engine that is completely cooled down. Disconnect the negative battery post and then drain all the coolant from the engine.

Next, remove the accessory belt from the engine and all the hoses that are attached to the water pump. Find the bolt that is holding the water pump to your car’s engine and loosen it.

Take out the old seal and gasket that is in between the water pump and engine and clean the area. Before you install the new water pump take some time to inspect everything else in the cooling system to make sure everything looks right. Check parts like the hoses and the thermostat.

After inspecting the rest of the cooling system attach the new water pump in the engine and follow the exact instructions for torque levels while you are sealing it. Then, connect all of the hoses and the accessory drive belt to the front of the water pump. Last but not least, fill up the cooling system with the right amount of coolant.

Once the coolant is filled you will want to turn the pump with your hand manually to make sure that it is spinning and operating correctly. In a few weeks make sure to double-check the seal to ensure that it is still sealed tight.

Ready to Replace Your Water Pump?

Now that you know how to replace a water pump and how to tell if you have to replace it, you can decide whether you are up for the task or not. If you do not feel very comfortable taking parts out of your vehicle and doing this yourself, make sure to find a reputable mechanic in your area.

Did our blog post help you out today? Please feel free to browse around the rest of this section for some more helpful reads.

Common Sign of a Broken AC (and What to Do in the Meantime)

Most homeowners dread expensive air-conditioning repairs—or worse, replacing an HVAC system. As much as we wish our air-conditioner would last forever, they can’t.

Routine maintenance and air filter changes can help prolong the life of your HVAC, but what can you do when something breaks? Even a well-maintained AC will experience malfunctions or broken parts. Here’s what to do if you’re dealing with a broken AC and how to what you can do until it’s fixed!

How Do You Know It’s Broken?

The most obvious sign of a broken air conditioner is a lack of cold air. If it stops blowing at all or the air feels warm coming through your vents, there’s a good chance you something isn’t working correctly.

However, there are other signs that your AC is broken or about to stop working. If you notice any of these signs, your HVAC system probably needs a tune-up or repair by a certified technician. Call for maintenance if you notice:

  • Uncharacteristic noises, like squeals, knocking, or loud motor noises
  • No air (or warm air)
  • Frequent, repeated cycling off and on
  • Burning smells

Being alert and proactive with a repair can help prevent more significant (and expensive) issues with a broken AC unit. Call an HVAC repair service as soon as you notice anything odd about your air conditioner, then follow these tips to stay cool while you wait for the repair.

Common Sign of a Broken AC (and What to Do in the Meantime)

What Can You Do To Stay Cool?

One of the worst things you can do is continuing to use your air conditioner if it’s not working correctly. Even if it’s putting out a small amount of cold air, you could save your HVAC system from additional issues by shutting it off until the service technician arrives.

Without a working AC unit, how can you stay cool? Controlling your environment can help reduce the heat in your home while you wait! When your AC unit breaks:

  • Use ceiling or portable fans to circulate air
  • If it’s cool enough outside, open windows to let cooler air inside
  • Minimize activities that create more indoor heat, like cooking or running the dryer
  • Get outside or go shopping!

If the heat in your home increases while you wait for the AC repair person to arrive, spend time outside! A cool breeze and a comfortable spot outdoors can be more comfortable than staying inside a stuffy, warm home. If a technician can’t arrive within a few hours, go shopping or grab lunch at a restaurant to enjoy a place with working air conditioning.

In Austin, contact the professionals at Schneidermechanical.com for prompt service and quality repairs!

Don’t Delay Repairs For a Broken AC

A broken AC won’t heal itself. As much as we hate to deal with expensive air conditioning issues, the best way to keep your system running smoothly and minimize costly repairs is to call a technician at the first sign of a problem.

We hope this information was helpful! Stay cool and check out more of our home improvement articles.

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