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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.

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The best types of pool cover you can browse and select

You need to install a high-end cover on your pool in offseason to minimize the work you need to do while reopening it. A pool cover also offers the required security and gives the owner complete peace of mind. There are various types of pool covers available in the market. You can browse the market and choose the  suitable cover .

People take pride in their swimming pools. Here are some of the best pool covers that you can browse and select.

Mesh covers

The mesh swimming pool covers get woven finely so that the debris, such as leaves and sticks, can come on the top so that you can remove it quickly. It might allow rainwater since it’s permeable. It can either be a disadvantage or an advantage based on your requirement. There is no need to pump off the water collected as it drains in the swimming pool. Furthermore, the mesh covers allow a little amount of dirt and dust. It would be best if you cleaned your pool when you reopen it. On the other hand, the mesh covers are robust when you purchase from a reputed brand. To know more about this, you can check out the swimming pool covers Sydney.

woman swimming in poolAutomatic pool covers

The automatic ones make use of the latest technology in mechanics. Hence, it is essential to evaluate whether the pool cover will cater to the climate and space. For instance, the cold elements can stop the automatic pool covers from working well. If you stay in a winter driven state, you need to think about another cover option. However, on the other hand, the automatic covers can minimize the maintenance expenses during the swimming season. For instance, these covers effectively trap the heat, reduce the heating expense, reduce chemical consumption, and reduce evaporation. The automatic swimming pool covers closes and opens every day and keeps it secured from any debris.

Solid winter covers

Several pool owners prefer solid covers as they don’t allow anything to fall inside the pool. The covers are very sturdy. The solid pool cover can also reduce the amount of work you need to do when reopening your swimming pool. You might have to pump off the snow or rainwater that gets collected on the top of the cover. The solid covers are heavy, and you might need help at the time of removal and installation.

Above and inground pool covers

The above-ground swimming pool covers differ from the inground covers. The above-ground covers get fastened to exterior walls making use of winches. On the other hand, the inground covers make use of anchors close to the swimming pool’s perimeter. Ensure to purchase the cover in the correct size. The extra variables, such as rock formations, slides, and foundations, might need a customized solution for keeping the pool covered.

Solar covers

Solar covers are easy to use and take off and trap the solar heat. The solar covers can minimize the pool’s heating expenses. Based on climate and usage, the solar pool cover can reduce energy costs.

These are some of the best swimming pool covers that help you decide the one you need based on your budget.

 

Are you a pool owner? Check also this article:

Tailor Your Swimming Pool with Mosaic Tiles for a Vivid Look

 

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13 Tips For the Perfect Deep Clean

People who keep their homes clean and organized are less likely to get sick and have an overall healthier life.

If a healthier life isn’t a good motivator to get cleaning than I don’t know what is. There’s something so satisfying about taking pride in your space and keeping it as neat as possible. And that includes a good deep clean now and again.

We’ve compiled a list of 13 deep cleaning tasks that will take your house to the next level of cleanliness!

1. Vacuum Under Furniture

If you’re looking to learn how to deep clean carpet, the first thing you need to do is move all of the furniture out of the way.

This task may require you to get some help in order to do it safely, so plan accordingly and get the extra hands you’ll need. Make sure to move them as far out of the room as possible to be able to clean the whole carpet at one time.

A good, thorough vacuuming can do wonders in bringing old carpets back to life. Several, slow passes in an organized pattern will ensure you get the whole thing covered.

13 Tips For the Perfect Deep Clean

 

2. Wipe Down Appliances

The fronts of the appliances in your kitchen likely get a regular wipe down. That’s where you can see the most obvious smudges, fingerprints, and food particles.

But there are plenty of other places on your appliances that could use a good cleaning.

One of the most forgotten areas is the seals on the doors. These rubber areas are magnets for dust and crumbs. A quick wipe with a microfiber cloth should be able to clear things out quickly.

Don’t forget to clean the insides, removing shelves to get to every spot inside. You’ll never feel more proud than opening a sparkling oven or fridge.

3. Dust Blinds and Window Coverings

Blinds, curtains, and shades play a critical role in how comfortable a home is. They aid in temperature control and provide privacy when necessary.

But despite their critical role, they often are forgotten during regular cleaning. 

This may also be due to the fact that they collect dust slowly and don’t require weekly maintenance. Instead, it’s a good idea to set up a regular schedule to keep them from going too long without freshening.

Window coverings need to be cleaned monthly or quarterly in order to keep them looking nice. An easy dusting or washing will do the trick.

 

4. Disinfect Forgotten Areas

The whole point of a deep clean is to get to areas that we don’t normally get to during our routine chores. This should be especially true for disinfecting.

The high-touch areas of our homes (doorknobs, toilets, faucets, and handrails) are great places for germs to live, which is why they are regularly wiped down. But there are several other places around the house that could potentially hold a lot of germs.

It’s a great idea to hire a disinfecting service to come to your home and professionally take care of those areas. 

5. Wash Textiles

Clothes, sheets, and towels get washed all the time. They normally don’t go long enough to get musty or dusty. But there are plenty of other fabrics in your home that don’t get that same treatment.

It’s very helpful to learn how to deep clean a mattress in order to extend its life to keep you comfortable longer.

You may also consider throwing pillows, rugs, or upholstery. These things can all begin to feel and smell stale after an extended period of time without proper cleaning. Just be sure to follow any instructions and use the proper cleaners to avoid damage.

6. Clear Screens

Most people use at least one screen every day. And that’s a very low estimate. But these screens can be very neglected, especially if they’re in difficult places to reach.

A good deep clean will include dusting and polishing your technology screens. You’ll be amazed at how cleaning off the fingerprints will make a huge difference in your ability to enjoy what you’re watching or working on.

Microfiber cloths will be your best friend when completing this task. They are gentle enough not to scratch the screen, but also powerful enough to remove everything.

Double-check before using any kind of cleaner on your screens to avoid permanent damage.

13 Tips For the Perfect Deep Clean

7. Focus on Corners

Dirt and dust love to hide. And one of their favorite places to hide is in the corners. These hard to reach places are the perfect place for the grime to hang out and not be removed.

Typical cleaning doesn’t normally involve vigorous scrubbing or paying real close attention to details.

And that’s why corners are a great place to go when deep cleaning. Floors, doors, and cabinets all have small corners that will collect. So focusing on these areas when you’re sweeping, mopping, dusting, and polishing will create an overall cleaner environment.

8. Remove Extras From Shelves

In order to really get a good deep clean, you’re going to need to remove everything from the shelves. Dust loves to hide and the only way to get it all is to move everything around and get rid of any hiding places.

Not only does this practice help you to get every last bit of dust, but it also may spur you to declutter the area. 

Getting rid of unwanted items is a great way to deep clean as it always leaves the space feeling fresher, lighter, and more breathable. This is a good habit to get into when you’re deep cleaning your kitchen, bathroom, and closets.

9. Overall Clean Carpets

You’ve probably done some spot cleaning on your carpets recently. But you probably haven’t done a good deep clean in a while.

When you look into how to deep clean carpet, there are many methods out there you can try. Anything from heavy-duty machinery to all-natural options. But the key is to be consistent once you find a method that works for you.

Carpets that are regularly deep cleaned will have less damage and have a longer life. They’ll bounce back from spills and minor messes and you can have your beautiful flooring back.

10. Scrub Showerheads and Faucets

We rely on our showerheads and faucets to keep us clean and fresh. But are we doing our part to help them function best?

Cleaning your showerhead is an important job that often gets overlooked because cleaning the tub seems more critical. But doing that chore can change the way you enjoy your shower.

Often the showerhead will get clogged from all the build-up and you miss out on good water pressure. Soaking it in vinegar often gets all that excess grime out of the way. 

13 Tips For the Perfect Deep Clean

11. Rinse Window Screens

There’s little that’s more disappointing than opening your curtains in the morning, hoping to see a beautiful view, and not being able to see out because the screen is so dirty.

Wind, rain, construction, bugs, and regular daily life can all cause a window screen to become dusty and grimy. And if you wait long enough all of that will transfer to your windows, making your view that much more obstructed.

The good news is cleaning your window screens is as easy as taking them out of the window and spraying them off with the hose. Just be sure to allow them to dry fully before replacing them.

12. Erase Wall Marks

If you live in a home with other people (particularly if the other people happen to be children), there are going to be marks on your walls.

Most of the time they go unnoticed and fade into the background of our cleaning routines. But taking a few minutes to give your walls a thorough wipe down can change the whole look of a room.

It can literally restore the paint to its former glory. 

For the tougher spots a magic eraser will usually do the trick but it can take off the finish of some paints, so test a less-noticeable area first.

13. Rinse Air Vents

Typically homeowners will change out air filters for their HVAC system every quarter. This helps to ensure that you are breathing clean, fresh air instead of dust and dirt that’s coming through the system.

But many may miss the dust and dirt that collects in and on the air vents. As air is pushed through small particles can be expelled for you to breathe in as well.

This is why it’s important to spend some time on your vent covers as well. A simple vacuum and wipe should be sufficient enough to get things clean enough.

Give Your House a Good Deep Clean

Not only does giving your home a good deep clean help to get things in order, but it also can boost your mood and eliminate stress. It can help you to declutter your home and maybe even find a few extra dollars hidden throughout.

The benefits of deep cleaning are endless and continue long after you’re done with the actual chores.

If you’re interested in learning more ways to take care of your home, check out our other articles today!

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6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Window Cleaning Service

A house with filthy windows can be an instant deal-breaker with buyers and viewers. A clean window enhances the curb appeal of your house. It makes your living space brighter and feels more welcoming.

A professional window cleaning service can get the job done and save you money and time. But you may need to research a few things like their reviews and window cleaning experience. Read on to learn more about the factors you need to consider before hiring a window cleaning service.

1. Professionalism

Some people pose as window cleaning professionals but are scammers at their core. Luckily there are a few clues that give away if a company lacks professionalism. Below are a few hints:

  • Uniforms
  • Business cards
  • Logo

Almost all window cleaning companies wear uniforms. They also offer business cards showing their name, logo, and what they offer. The logo should also look professional and include a proper company name.

2. Experience

Professional window cleaners don’t have degrees, but they should have window cleaning experience. Skilled cleaners have full training and are experts on handling cleaning projects. Check if the company has been in the industry for long and do a bit of background research.

3. License and Affiliations

Does the company have a valid license to be cleaning your windows? Ask the company to prove to you that they are a legitimate business. It shows that the cleaners have the relevant skills and have gone through proper training.

Be sure to also look for a company that has a relationship with other professional bodies. It proves their quality professionals giving cleaning services.

4. References and Reviews

A window cleaning company should be able to offer you first-person references. They should have a list of references and reviews from social media or review websites. You can ask your friends and family for a company that can help you with your windows.

Many sites, like Yelp, offer reviews indicating the person’s experience. You can also check BBB for complaints and data about their business conduct. If reviews are not great or they don’t offer first-person references, move on to the next company.

5. Complete Equipment

Window cleaning takes much more than wiping the windows with a wet cloth. They should have a host of tools and a cleaning apparatus. Professional window cleaning services usually have top-notch, modern tools.

Check if they have tools like power washers, industry-grade cleaners, and extra extensions. Avoid hiring a window cleaning service that lacks tools or asks to borrow from you. Professionals always offer their services with ready-to-go equipment.

6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Window Cleaning Service

6. Services and Standards

Most window cleaning services expand their services to cleaning roofs and gutters. It’s more efficient and cost-efficient to inquire about combined services. They can help you deal with spring cleaning tasks, especially if you lack time.

Sometimes, window cleaning can be dangerous. A worker needs to use a ladder to reach second to higher story windows. Make sure the cleaning professions have completed their safety training.

 

Choosing a Window Cleaning Service

If you know what to look for in a window cleaning service, the job will have a quality finish. You deserve the best, so take your time to choose a company and do some research.

We hope you enjoyed reading the article! Check out our other lists and posts for more helpful lifestyle and home maintenance guides, right here!

A Homeowner’s Guide on How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs For Good

Stink bugs were originally not native to North America. They were actually an invasive species that were brought over to Pennsylvania in 1998 from Asia.

Have you had some stink bugs that have been invading your home? Or just got rid of an infestation and want to ensure they don’t come back?

Here are a few tips on how to keep these stinky bugs out of your home for good!

Get Rid of What They’re Attracted To

First, you’ll need to get rid of anything that attracts them. Sometimes these bugs seem to appear out of nowhere, but they’ve probably been there for a while and you’re just now noticing them.

These types of bugs love fruit, especially fruit that is ripe. Some people like to keep fruit on the countertops as a centerpiece or just a good snack, but this is actually like an invitation for a stink bug. After you remove the fruit from the counter, make sure that you also seal up any food that is in your pantry so that no bugs can find a way in.

In addition to good fruit, they also love weeds, vines, shrubs, and other native plants. When it comes to plants, they aren’t too picky and will eat just about anything, even parts of flowers. If you have a garden outside that has a lot of plants like these out there, you’re more prone to have the stink bugs find their way into your house.

Seal Off Any Way They Could Get In

Most stink bugs will find a way to get into your home through a tiny crack, but then they get confused and can’t find their way out. After a few stink bugs follow the others’ leads and start making your home theirs, then you’ll start to have problems of an infestation.

To avoid this, go outside and check carefully for any points where they might be able to enter. Look around the utility pipes and the siding of the home. Sometimes they’ll also enter in behind the chimney or underneath some wood sealings.

If you do find any holes or cracks, get some caulk or silicone to make sure that you seal them up.

Use Soapy Waterstink bugs2

If you don’t want to use a lot of harmful chemicals to kill these bugs, try using soapy water instead!

Oddly enough (when a stink bug is threatened) or thinks they’re being threatened, they tend to just drop straight down in defense. Because of this, you can use this to your advantage.

Find a jar that has a wide mouth, and fill it with some soapy water. If you really want to make sure you kill them, you can mix in some vinegar as well. Put the jar beneath a stink bug, and then they’ll drop down right into it and drown.

If you don’t want to spend time looking for them and chasing them, you can also get a wide pan and do the same thing. Find a room that has more stink bugs, and just place the pan in there. Put a light over it so that they all are drawn to it.

Once they go onto the water, they’ll drown in the soap, meaning fewer bugs in your place.

Check Your Outdoor Lighting

We mentioned that they’re attracted to lighting, which is why you should also check your lights outside.

The more exterior light bulbs you have, the more it will act as a lighthouse for homeless bugs. If you don’t want to remove all the lights, you could switch them out for different bulbs.

If you have yellow bulbs, install sodium-vapor lights instead. For some reason, these have shown to not attract as many bugs.

At night, make sure that you close all your blinds and try to keep as much inside light as possible inside rather than out.

Rent a Shop Vac

stink bugs1

If the soapy water doesn’t work, you can try using a vacuum or a shop vac to get rid of them.

When most people encounter a bug in their home, their first instinct is to squish it to kill it. But you should avoid doing this for stink bugs because this is where they get their name from.

When you crush them, they release an odor from their pores that smells badly. So instead of squishing them, try vacuuming them up so you can get rid of them.

Once you vacuum the bugs up, make sure that you seal the bag and throw it away as soon as possible. Some stink bugs have actually escaped from vacuum bags before, which will make it that much harder to get your infestation under control.

If you don’t want to deal with emptying your vacuum bag each time, you could also tie a sock around the hose of the vacuum. Secure it with a rubber band, and then use the suction power of the vacuum to trap the stink bugs against the sock.

Once you have them on there, drop them into a pan of soapy water to kill them.

If none of this works, you can also try calling Affinitypestcontrol.com for some professional assistance.

Learn More About How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs

These are only a few ways to get rid of stink bugs, but there are many more things you can try as well.

We know that dealing with any pest infestation can be stressful and overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone.

We’re here to help! If you enjoyed this article, make sure that you explore our website to find more articles just like this one.