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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Furnace Humidifiers

Conditioning the amount of moisture in the air with a furnace humidifier is necessary for your family’s health. Dry air in your home can make your throat feel dry, and cause or aggravate respiratory ailments.

Inadequate humidification during cold weather is one of the major causes of respiratory infections. The heating seasons causes people to begin having repeated attacks of winter colds. Winter is blamed for these problems, but the actual cause is dryness, which develops in the membranes of the nose, throat and bronchial tubes. Relative humidity also has a significant effect on controlling the occurrence of airborne infections.

The one thing we can do about alleviating some of the discomfort of colds, dry noses and dehydrated skin is to install a humdifier in the home, where we spend most of our time. Actually, for many, dry air is an air-quality issue. Dry air promotes the growth of some bacteria, viruses and respiratory irritants that in sensitive individuals cause conditions worse than dry skin. Adequate moisture enables the body’s immune system to defend better against indoor respiratory pollutants and irritants.

Humidity in the home will affect your comfort. Since the air in your home is always trying to reach its saturation point, it will absorb water wherever it’s found, that means it is stealing moisture from the bodies of you and your children, your pets, your furniture and even your house plants. By giving up moisture to the air, your skin, throat and nasal passages dry out and crack leading to various physical discomfort. That’s why many doctors recommend furnace humidifiers for allergy and asthma sufferers.

Virtually everything in your home made from wood contains some moisture. As dry air sucks that moisture out, the wood shrinks and cracks. Hardwood floors separate at the seams, furniture shrinks and cracks, and doors warp and no longer fit their frames as the moisture is drawn off.

Also, perhaps the most annoying effect of dry indoor air is static shock. How many times have you shuffled across the carpet, only to be rudely surprised by the crackle of static as you reach for the light switch! It’s no fun when it happens to you, and even less so when you reach out and “zap” a loved one. With the capacity to hold a static charge up to 20,000 volts, your body can also wreak havoc on home computers and other sensitive electronic devices. By maintaining indoor relative humidity at 35 percent or higher with the use of a humidifier, static shocks are greatly reduced.

Yes! Proper relative humidity helps you save energy costs. Warm, humid summer air feels hotter than it actually is because of the moisture it contains. That same principle applies to your home in the winter. By keeping the relative humidity inside your home at an ideal level, you can turn your thermostat down a few degrees and still feel comfortable. Dialing down your thermostat just three degrees can reduce your heating bill by as much as 5%.

Roof Materials For Log Home

Laminated Fiberglass Shingles: Also called architectural or dimensional shingles, this shingle is still made from a mixture of asphalt and fiberglass, but is built much thicker, giving it a more three-dimensional look. Architectural shingles make the roof look more textured, are larger than a standard shingle, and come in an amazing variety of shapes. They are usually guaranteed for 40 years and could easily cost twice as much as standard asphalt shingles.

Metal Roof: Metal is one of the more sought-after roofing materials for log homes. Usually made of steel, aluminum or copper, the most commonly discussed metal roof is the standing seam – sometimes called vertical panel – roof. You can also get metal shingles that resemble cedar shakes, slate, or tile. There are several advantages to using a metal roof, not the least of which is its fire resistance. These roofs are also remarkably lightweight, and stand up to hurricane-force winds. This roof will generally cost about $100-$600 per 100 square feet (very big range of materials and composition). Life expectancy is anywhere from 30-50 years up to 100 years.

Cedar Shakes and Shingles: The difference between a Cedar Shake and a Shingle is that, generally, the shingle is sawn on both sides and the shake is hand-split on one (or both) sides. The shake tends to be thicker. Cedar looks picture-perfect when installed, and will age to a beautiful gray, given the right environmental conditions. However, it is prone to moss and mildew, and the shingles have been known to curl. To combat their inherent vulnerabilities, many brands are treated to prevent mildew, and others are treated for fire retardancy. The average life expectancy is about 25-30 years and could cost $400-500 per 100 square feet.

Concrete Tiles: You’ll find a lot of concrete roofs in Europe. Needless to say, they are incredibly durable and fire-resistant, and because concrete takes stain so well, you can find it in up to 50 colors. Of course, this is a hefty solution for a hefty home: figure out about 1000 pounds per 100 square feet. Concrete roof tiles come in several profiles, and have a life expectancy of about 80 years and can cost around $200-400 per 100 square feet. There will be extra expense for beefing up the rafter system to support the weight.

Clay Tiles: When you mention clay tiles, most of us think of the half-round shapes on Spanish Mission buildings. Think no more! Clay tiles are flat, interlocking, rectangular, slabs… and of course barrel-shaped. You can get them in solid colors or blends, textured or smooth. Figure about 1000 pounds per 100 square feet. They have a life expectancy of about 50 years, and can cost $400-$500 per 100 square feet.

Slate: Complex, durable, and beautiful, slate has a life expectancy of 60 -125 years, and more. Your standard slate is about 1/4″ thick. The slates are overlapped so that the bottom edge of the slate is actually covering two additional layers, and less than half of the slate is exposed. This standard thickness will weigh about 750 pounds per 100 square feet. Modern variations of slate roofs are: Rubber Slate (post-industrial waste) and Engineered Slate (marble dust and polyester resins). A real slate roof can cost up to $1000 per 100 square feet installed.

Air Duct Cleaning

The standard answer in this industry is as I mentioned above, every 3 to 5 years however, one must take several things in to consideration, a more frequent air duct cleaning should be performed if:

1) there are smokers in the house

2) there are shedding pets in the house

3) there has been recent remodeling work

4) there are numerous occupants in the home

5) you are not very tidy

6) the cold air return vents are located on the floors versus on the walls

7) you are moving into a new home

these are just a few of the reasons why one might consider a more frequent air duct cleaning schedule.

If you are unsure as to weather or not you are due for an air duct cleaning, I suggest that you remove one of the cold air registers in you home and have a look inside, If you don’t like what you see then hire an air duct cleaning company.

Install Laminate Floors

A level, no-bounce sub floor is the prime requirement for installation. If the sub floor is made of wood then it must be ensured that the moisture content there is not more than 12%. Moisture barrier is also not to be used over a wood sub floor or sub floor of wood product. Sub floors of other material should be necessarily dry before installation. While cutting planks, sawdust is created. This contains aluminum oxide that can scratch the floor. So, the planks should preferably be cut at a place away from the installation site.

Though essentially the installation guidelines of most manufacturers are the same, some fine differences exist regarding aspects such as gluing. One needs to be careful while following instructions. The tapping block can be used to get the planks together. The planks will go together easily if glued properly. In no case should the boards be banged together. Chipping or raising of edges may crop up in such cases.

A gap along the perimeter of the installation of a quarter inch should be accounted for. The floor should not be touching a wall, nor should it be too close to it. If the planks are installed parallel to incoming light it imparts greater aesthetic value. In narrow rooms, however, planks look better if installed parallel to longer walls, whatever direction the incoming light might happen to fall.