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Tinley Park, IL

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Residential and Commercial plumbers and plumbing contractors available in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, Midlothian, Oak Forest, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, and the surrounding Chicago South Suburbs. 24 Hour Emergency plumbers.

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Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing Blog

Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing is Tinley Park, Orland Park, Oak Forest, Midlothian, Orland Hill, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, Crestwood, Palos Heights, Oak Lawn, local plumber. Read our blog for advice, tips, a good laugh, and basic home improvement.

**We are moving our old blog to our new and improved website. Too see all our posts visit kevinszabojrplumbing.blogspot.com

Filtering by Category: June 2018

Home Move: How To Make It A Breeze

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Crestwood Plumber

Home Move: How to Make It a Breeze

No matter how big your home is or how far you’re going, moving is always stressful and tiring because there are so many things you have to keep in mind at all times. However, if you get organized and think in advance, you’ll be able to do it in a successful and, more importantly, relaxing way. Here’s what you need to do in order to turn your move into the best day of your life.

Make a Playlist

Making packing playlists might seem obsolete and too simple to be effective, but it really is the best way to put yourself in a cool mood and have some fun. What you actually need are two playlists – for packing and unpacking – so divide your favorite songs into those that make you dance and those that keep you cool, respectively. Remember that music has a positive and soothing effect on our psyche, so it will definitely keep you motivated and relaxed during the move.

Think In Advance

Just because your dressers are full of clothes doesn’t mean you have to take them all out – you’ll just be putting everything back in as soon as you settle into your new home after all! That’s why wrapping the dresser and moving it with the clothes still inside makes much more sense. All you’ll have to do afterwards is refold everything, and you’re good to go.

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Get Some Help

While doing everything on your own might be empowering and cool, it’s not the easiest way to go. You should seek help from your friends and family, and they’ll all be happy to help you pack, move, unpack, and open a bottle of champagne!  If you’d rather just celebrate with them instead of organizing them to help you, there’s a solution for it, too.

Lots of people do hire professionals who will take your possessions from point A to point B quicker and safer than you ever could. That’s why you too might want to consider getting in touch with experienced pros, as these removalists from Sydney’s eastern suburbs, who even offer packing services and insure every shipment, ensuring that your move goes as smoothly as possible.

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High-priority

Even if you don’t own priceless diamonds or necklaces, you still have a number of items you consider essential and high-priority – things like documents, clothes, work outfits and shoes. These don’t sound like much, but the point is you might need all of these the moment you arrive to your new home, and not knowing where they’re packed will seem to be the worst thing in the world. So, label your high-priority box and always keep an eye on it during the move.

Small or Big?

Moving boxes come in various shapes and sizes and they’re suitable for lots of things, but when deciding whether to go small or big, the rule of thumb always suggests the former. The reason is quite simple: smaller boxes are easier to handle and they can be stacked up perfectly. This helps you save a lot of time loading and unloading them, so opting for a bigger number of smaller boxes instead of a handful of huge ones definitely makes more sense in the long run.

Being so stressful and complicated, the entire moving process is full of potential mistakes you need to avoid if you want to save your time, money, focus, and energy. Therefore, plan every step of the process in advance, think what might go wrong, and eliminate the issues that are most likely to occur; check whether all your possessions are secured and tightly packed within the boxes, but keep in mind that individual boxes shouldn’t be too heavy because you’ll get tired carrying them around. After dealing with all of these issues, you’ll be ready to hit the road and start your new life in your new home!

Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors   

 

How To Save The Earth With Sustainable Construction

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Green Construction

How to Save the Earth with Sustainable Construction

In our attempt to do whatever we can to preserve the environment and diminish our negative impact on the world around us, so that the generations to come will also be able to enjoy living on this magnificent planet, we really need to pay special attention to the way we build new facilities. It’s clear that the need for new residential and commercial facilities will never go away. The rapid growth of the population will even put more strain on those in charge of planning and construction to provide suitable, yet eco-friendly objects. So, what is it that all of us should take into account when it comes to sustainable construction?

Construction Material

Regular construction is known to be using around 50% of non-renewable resources, which is why finding their eco-friendly replacements is of utmost importance. The search for such alternatives has led to some old, yet natural solutions. First of all, there is natural stone, a beautiful and durable material that can be used for various constructions elements, from décor to insulation cladding.

Another green option is brick, which is popular because of its durability and simplicity of production and use. Finally, there is wood, but you really need to be careful with this alternative. Namely, some trees need a long time to grow fully, which means we would be depriving the planet of much-needed help for a long period. Instead, we should focus on those that don’t need so much time, but are equally good to be used in construction.

HVAC Systems

When it comes to energy consumption, there is no system that consumes more energy than the HVAC one. Managing to introduce an energy-efficient system would not only save a lot of money on bills, but we would also be doing our planet a huge favor. That’s why we should focus on passive radiant and solar heating, for example, if we want to use as little energy as possible to keep our buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Also, we could reuse indoor air if we apply a system which combines photo-reactive chemicals and ultraviolet light.

Lights

Probably one of the easiest changes we can implement if we want to go green is to replace traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient and longer-lasting LED bulbs. They may cost more, but with the savings made and their durability, they will soon pay off. These lights can be used both indoors and outdoors, though you might need to rent reliable aluminium scaffolding to reach each and every bulb that needs replacing.

Insulation

Over the past several decades, we’ve learnt that many insulation materials used in the past are actually toxic and that they need to be replaced with safe, healthy and green alternatives. Needless to say, the best option is to go for natural materials, such as wool, cellulose, hemp and wood. Some of them need additional treatment before installation, but they offer great versatility and excellent insulation. A properly insulated construction will save a lot of energy and money, which is the ultimate goal of going green in the construction industry.

Water Reuse and Supply

Experts agree that water is the most precious natural resource that needs our full attention. It’s estimated that more than buildings use more than 13 percent of world’s potable water, which is why it’s important to lower water usage. Some modern buildings have been designed to efficiently manage water consumption, harvest rainwater and reuse grey water. Some even have on-site sewage treatment system, which removes contaminants from wastewater, which means the treated water can be reused.

Whatever we do in terms of constructing energy-efficient buildings and houses is undoubtedly beneficial to the environment. Still, we shouldn’t settle for only minor changes in the way we build, but strive to make as much impact as possible. After all, it’s only through the joint effort of all people around the world that we can make a difference and save our planet.

Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins 

Green Attic Renovation Tips and Tricks

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Plumber in Crestwood

Green Attic Renovation Tips and Tricks

Attic renovation and re-purposing is a great way to add some extra living space to your home without any big investments. But, how you conduct your reno in a green and eco-friendly way? Well, here’s how!

Boost Insulation

A lot of energy is wasted through the attic, which you don’t even realize until you start spending more time up there. So, if you want to stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer and still have a full wallet, you must insist on good insulation. This will reduce the need for cooling and heating (which is great for the environment) and allow you to save some extra money!

Boost Natural Lighting

Most attics don’t get enough natural light, even though there are efficient and aesthetically pleasing ways to let the sunshine in. So, make sure to increase the light in your attic during your renovation with skylights and sky tubes! If you opt for skylights, you’ll get plenty of light and natural ventilation options, but they might take up too much ceiling space. Sky tubes, on the other hand, take up very little space, give good lighting but don’t really allow any fresh air to enter your attic. Just make sure your attic natural light sources are well-insulated and sealed to prevent any energy loss.

Invest In Good Flooring

If you want to have a safe space for living, fun or just storage, you need to install some sturdy flooring. It’s very important to aim for quality attic flooring, because it will last you practically a lifetime and endure a lot of wear and tear. It’s much more cost-effective and better for the environment if you don’t have to repair and replace your flooring every few years! Also, make sure to improve your flooring insulation to reduce noise that transfers downstairs. Thick insulation will greatly hush up your footsteps and provide good thermal insulation as well. Carpets and rugs also help keep things cozy and quiet!

Buy Energy Star Appliances and Gadgets

Are you turning your attic into a game room? Or are you adding an extra bedroom? Well, no matter its purpose, you will certainly need a few appliances and gadgets in your newly renovated space! So, make sure to keep your eyes open for Energy Star labels which guarantee that your new electronics are much more energy-efficient than your traditional ones.

Reduce VOCs

If you want to create a healthy and eco-friendly attic space during your renovation, you must pay attention to what kind of paint you use. Most traditional paints release volatile organic compounds or VOCs that will leave your space smelling unpleasant, pollute the environment and even cause all sorts of health issues when inhaled. Luckily, you can find different low- or zero-VOC paints on the market that are almost completely odorless, harmless to the environment and the human health and offer great coverage and vibrant colors!  

Buy Reclaimed Furniture

Sure, furnishing and decoration are the most interesting parts of every renovation, but don’t get too carried away with buying new pieces! New and shiny products fresh from the store aren’t always better. Consider getting reclaimed furniture and materials instead! They will serve the same purpose, help keep landfills empty and give your attic a unique vibe and character. Plus, these materials and furniture pieces are also much cheaper.

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Opt For Natural Decoration

Your attic decoration can also be more eco-friendly, especially when you employ nature as your décor! For instance, plants have a strong aesthetic presence, add a pop of color to any space and help purify the indoor air. Another way you can use nature as decoration is with driftwood. It fits into any space, especially Scandinavian style design, it’s free and completely natural! So, next time you visit the beach, bring a few interesting finds and put them in your attic!

Once you’re finished with your attic renovation, you’ll have a beautiful space that’s eco-friendly, energy-efficient and healthy. So, get to work and give your attic a new life and purpose now!  

Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins 

Home Improvements: DIY or Hire Professionals?

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Plumber in Crestwood IL

Home Improvements: DIY or Hire Professionals?

Whenever there’s a home improvement project to do, most of us get splitting headaches over the cost of it. Logically, we all want to go through with the improvement at the lowest possible cost. One way we try to lower the cost is by doing part of the work ourselves. But, where do we draw the line? Which improvements are too much for us to take on? Here are some ideas and tips.

Making a Plan

With any renovation you do on your home, you need to have a solid plan first. You need to know how to approach the project, what phases it consists of, how long it will last, how much it will cost and what materials you’ll require. When making such plans, the best you can do is pay a professional to do it for you. You need somebody who has experience in organizing and assessing the kind of upgrade you want, and there are many such experts in any of Australia’s big cities. Even if you do have some of the necessary skills to do it, there might be important things you’re overlooking, which can cause damage and create additional cost.

Buying Materials

There are projects which you will require professionals to finish, but you can do a part of them yourself. One thing you can save money on is going out and finding your own appliances, equipment or materials for the renovation you’re doing. You can take it upon yourself to pick things like tiles, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, or even doors. This way you can compare prices and materials, and even explore what the flea markets in Sydney have to offer, which can save you some money. However, as mentioned above, before you buy anything, consult an expert to learn exactly what type of material is best for your home, how much of it to buy and when the best time to buy it is.

Moderate Demolition

Although you shouldn’t bring down any walls of your own accord, there is some demolition you can do yourself. For example, you can remove your old cabinets, various appliances, tiles in your bathroom, or different fixtures. The important thing is that you don’t tear down anything structural, and that you know when things are getting too much to handle. Even though there are things that seem simple to do, you’ll find that hiring professionals is a better way to go. One of those things is taking care of the waste once you’ve done the demolition. Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplicity of the job. Finding an adequate vehicle to drive it all away and a place to dispose of it legally can be complicated, while paying for professional rubbish removal in Sydney is the fastest and most efficient solution to your problem.

Plumbing, Electricity and Gas

These three types of work are especially tricky and require a lot of skill and knowledge to do properly. So, even though you’ve been able to hook up your washing machine or fix your dripping tap, you shouldn’t go changing the pipes inside your walls. Likewise, even though you know how to turn off the electricity in your home and change a light switch, you should under no circumstances do any wiring if you don’t have the knowledge to do it. Electrical and gas works are especially dangerous, since you can get electrocuted or accidentally start a fire and then spend much more on the repairs and damage control than you would have if you’d just hired a professional to begin with. Furthermore, if you live in Sydney, you need an electrical permit to do any sort of electrical wiring, which is why you should restrain from doing any of it on your own. All in all, if you have any plumbing, electrical or gas work that needs to be done, hire a professional to do it safely and thoroughly.

If you’re restoring any part of your home, think twice before doing anything yourself. If you don’t have the experience or the competence to do it, don’t hesitate to find a professional to do it for you.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith

 

7 Tips To Keep Your Basement Dry 

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Crestwood Plumbers

7 Tips to Keep Your Basement Dry 

Dampness in the basement is an issue that the majority of us will face at one moment in life and when that happens, we need to be ready to act quickly to prevent any lasting damage. In order to be able to achieve this, we need to be well-informed on possible water problems and find the best way to keep them from occurring. In order to help you out with this, we’ve prepared a list of seven amazing tips on how to keep your basement dry. Let’s take a look!

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1. Get Rid of Excess Humidity

Indoor humidity is a common problem which makes it hard for us to keep our basements moisture-free. It’s essential to address the issue as soon as possible before it leads to the appearance of mould which can ruin the walls. You can start by sealing leaky dryer vents with foil tape since this will prevent humid air from getting into your basement. Furthermore, feel free to give a dehumidifier a try as well since this device has been shown to effectively absorb excess moisture and thus keep this area dry. Finally, don’t forget to close your basement windows whenever it’s wet outside.

2. Pay Attention to Landscaping

Another issue which can occur is that water starts accumulating around your foundation and then getting into your basement. In order to avoid this inconvenience, you must make sure to improve your landscaping so that the ground would slope away from your house. Only this way will you be able to get rid of all those stubborn puddles which form after every rainfall.

3. Opt For Water-Resistant Paint

Moisture and condensation can weaken our basement walls and make them look rundown. Luckily, we have a solution for you – water-resistant paint. Even though it may require a larger investment, it will definitely pay off in the long run since you won’t need to repaint your entire basement every year.

4. Install a Quality Drainage System

If you want to be on the safe side and keep your basement 100% moisture-free, then a high-quality basement drainage system is your number one ally. It is designed in the form of drainage sheets that serve to protect the foundation as well as the underground structures. Additionally, its vertical stud structure is created in such a way to effectively capture high water loads and thus keep your basement safe.

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5. Plug All Holes and Cracks

Even though plugging holes and cracks in the foundation is not a permanent solution to potential leaks, it will definitely help reduce moisture in your basement to a certain extent. So, no matter how small these cracks may seem to you, you should patch them up as soon as possible with hydraulic cement that has been shown to be the best option since it is resistant to water. However, in order to achieve the best results, make sure to clean the surface carefully before applying it and use a mechanical mixer in order to get a uniform blend.

6. Install Downspouts and Gutters

The lack of an efficient system for accumulating rain and melting snow can be a serious issue and prevent you from keeping your basement dry. So, instead of letting all that water just pour down your home until it reaches the foundation, don’t hesitate to redirect it by installing quality gutters and downspouts which should be at least five feet away from your home’s structure. Owing to them, you won’t have to worry that your basement will end up flooded during sudden summer storms.

7. Insulate Your Pipes

Last but not least, insulating your cold-water pipes will definitely prevent condensation and consequently reduce humidity in your basement. On top of that, you won’t have to deal with constant water dripping from the pipes that can slowly turn your well-maintained basement into a real swamp. What’s even more important, foam pipe wrap which is mainly used for this purpose is extremely affordable and will even keep the pipes from freezing during the long winter months. In other words, this is a small investment that will pay off in the near future.

As you can see, keeping one’s basement free of humidity and water that is coming from the outside doesn’t have to be hard at all. However, you need to create a list of priorities and focus on most permanent solutions to the issue. Lastly, remember that reacting promptly is what matters the most so don’t turn a blind eye even on the tiniest leaks and wall cracks.

About the author:

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home décor, and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

 

Basic Knowledge About Waterproof Membrane Sheet

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Plumbers in Crestwood IL

Basic knowledge About Waterproof Membrane Sheet

Is this a first time ever that you are hearing about waterproof membrane sheet? These membranes are rather considered as an important part of the constructional field currently. These membranes are thin layers of some water tight elements, which are primarily laid over surface. This layer is primarily continuous and will not allow water to pass through anyway. These are perfect to be placed on flat terrace, where it can be laid right on top of structural slab or even below the finish tiles.

The main aim of this sheet is to ensure that water does not get the chance to seep into structural slab. The membranes and tiles are to be laid over the filler material, which is then sloped properly to ensure that water gets to flow into drains and sumps. Any water remaining as puddles over tiles can seep into slab with time. So, it is mandatory to avoid puddles in anyway possible.

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Composition and more to know:

The current membranes are primarily constructed using thin waterproofing material layers. Most of the sheets are 2 to around 4mm thick. On the other hand, there are some essential forms of membrane types, which are practically divided into 2 variations. Those options are liquid applied and sheet-based ones.

  • Most of the time, it is mandatory that the waterproofing material sheets needs to be flexible, strong and elastic at the same time.
  • It has to be tear resistant so that it can stretch for covering cracks and also for moving with building.
  • In case the membrane is exposed to sun, then it must be UV stable.
  • On the other hand, the waterproof membrane sheet needs to be flexible enough to take over any shape on which it is laid out on.
  • It should also have the capability to turn up and be even over walls along with some of the other constructional features.

For the PVC waterproofing thin layers:

In some instances, you have to select the PVC based waterproof membrane sheet. This is simply the best modernized roofing material, which is made out of high quality and flexible polyvinylchloride. Mainly depending on application area, there needs to be unreinforced and reinforced membranes on the sheet.

  • The reinforced membranes will have reinforcing base designed by polyester mesh or even the glass fiber. It is primarily used for waterproofing of the current roofs. These materials are known to have increased durability, which becomes a significant factor to check out for.
  • On the other hand, you have the unreinforced membranes too, which are designed to be flexible in nature. These items are known to have test resistance and can also be used for the waterproofing of the present underground tunnels, structures and even for swimming pools.

The positive side to consider:

There are some positive waterproof membrane sheet options available, and those are placed at the exterior part of a structure. It can easily be applied above, below or even at the grade to surfaces which might otherwise get wet due to weather conditions like rain or snow. It can even be used for protecting the surrounding soil at the same time.

Positive waterproofing has always been proven to be a critical step for the current construction platform. It is mainly because it helps in preventing moisture and also protects some of the structural components. Some of those options are steel and concrete. So, if you are trying to protect surface from corrosive chemicals and freeze thaw cycles, then you might want to head for the best waterproof membrane sheet in town. You can log online to get hands on some.

Guest Contributors, Amelie Lawrence

The 5 Appliances In Your Home That Use The Most Energy, and Their Alternatives

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Plumber in Crestwood IL

The 5 Appliances In Your Home That Use The Most Energy, And Their Alternatives

It is of utmost importance that every home be energy-efficient for many reasons.

  • First, an energy-efficient home will save you money since you’re able to maximize the energy used while wasting very little to none.

  • Second, energy-efficiency will make any home more comfortable to live in, especially under extreme weather conditions.

  • Third, an energy-efficient home has a higher resale value compared to one that isn’t. After all, no one wants to live in a house where they’d end up with skyrocketing utility bills.

  • Fourth and most important of all, an energy-efficient home helps the environment.

There are many different ways that you can do this. For instance, you can start by gardening in more energy-efficient ways, like collecting rainwater in a water butt. You can then use the rainwater to water your plants and lawn, instead of relying on tap water.

Dealing with your outdoor space is pretty easy and straightforward but, what about the inside of your home?

It can be challenging and sometimes expensive to make your home energy-efficient from the inside. However, it has to be done! You could start with the structure of your house, like locating areas of poor insulation. However, this can be a tough job, and usually involves having one of the different types of building survey carried out, making it a slightly bigger and more expensive job.

Instead you might want to start with a slightly easier route, and one good way to do this is by checking your appliances. Finding out which ones use the most energy and doing something about it will get you one step closer to an energy-efficient home.

Fridge-Freezer

This is probably the most commonly used appliance in any home. Without one, your food will spoil quickly, creating more waste. However, it’s also true that they are the most expensive (including operational costs) electrical appliances since they run 24/7. In fact, fridge-freezers usually account for at least 5% of a household’s annual energy bill.

Unfortunately, there is currently no alternative option to using a fridge-freezer. You can give up on using one if you really want to. However, that would mean frequent visits to the supermarket to buy exactly what you need.

Many people wouldn’t want to go that route so instead, see to it that what you’re using has an energy rating of at least A+ (A+++ is the highest).

Old fridge-freezers are power hungry which makes them not so ideal if you want an energy-efficient home. Other than that, you can also do the following:

  • Replace the rubber seal on the door as it’s prone to wear over time and can let warm air inside.

  • Place your fridge-freezer away from sources of heat such as the range, oven, or dishwasher.

  • Think carefully about what you need before opening the fridge-freezer. Frequent opening allows cool air to escape and warm air get in.

  • Don’t put too much stuff in your fridge as this means it will need to work extra hard to keep everything cool.

  • Familiarize yourself with what needs to be kept in the fridge and what doesn't.

Lighting

It is a no-brainer that LED lights cost much less compared to their traditional halogen or incandescent counterparts. The initial costs may be more for LED lights, however, being able to save up to 90% on your energy bills is not a bad trade.

In addition to using LED lights, installing solar lights in your outdoor space will save you even more money and make your home more energy-efficient. Do this, and you’ll reap the benefits of having solar lights in your garden in no time. What’s more, they’re cable free so you can put them wherever you want!

Energy-efficiency aside, solar lights are also good for the environment. Not having to rely on grid power to illuminate your outdoor areas means that you’re also reducing your home’s carbon footprint.

Heater

One of the biggest household expenses, especially during the colder months of the year, is the running cost of central heating. There are many different factors involved in calculating how much of your money goes into heating your home. However, regardless of what kind of heating system you use, it still adds up. Prices can range from £708 for oil, to nearly £2,000 for electric!

Unless you live in an area that uses renewable energy sources to keep warm, like biomass boilers, solar thermal panels, geothermal heating, you’ll have to make do with what’s available.

The good news is that heat pumps are considered extremely energy-efficient against other heating systems. It’s a device that works using a very small amount of electricity, and there are even reversible heat pumps that can keep your house cool during summer.

If switching to a heat pump is not possible, instead try having carpet or large rugs throughout the house instead of hard flooring. Carpets help to insulate each room, keeping them warmer and conserving energy during the colder months.

Additionally, go for pure wool carpet that’s chemical free. Amongst the many benefits of pure wool carpets is that they won’t ‘off-gas’, unlike standard carpets that are riddled with chemicals. This makes them ideal especially for people who suffer from asthma or other chemical sensitivity issues.

Tumble Dryer

Another electrical appliance that you need to be careful when using is the tumble dryer. Admittedly, using one is the easiest way to get your clothes dry. However, it does consume a lot of energy, especially if what you have is an outdated model.

So if what you’re using is an ancient tumble dryer that was passed down to you, don’t think twice about replacing it. An inefficient C-rated model will cost a lot more per load compared to one that’s A-rated.

Alternatively, use a clothesline whenever possible instead of a tumble dryer. It may not always be possible due to the weather, so planning ahead is essential. If a warm sunny day is forecast, take advantage of not having to use your tumble dryer to dry your clothes. The sun is free and efficient!

Dishwasher

A dishwasher is another appliance that’s found in most households. The convenience of not having to worry about the dishes after meals is what makes a dishwasher seem like a necessity. However, it uses a lot of water and electricity to operate that can cause your utility bills to go up.

The only alternative to using the dishwasher is hand-washing the dishes instead. Make sure to fill up a bowl instead of keeping the tap running, else you will waste a lot of water.

In cases where you have to use the dishwasher, make sure that you aim for a full load each time to save energy from multiple uses. However, be cautious not to overfill it, or you risk the dishes not being cleaned properly.

You can also switch to a dishwasher that has a high energy efficiency rating (at least an A). But if you’re not willing to do the switch, you can use the energy-saving feature that comes standard in all dishwashers. It might be a longer cycle but at least less energy is used in the process.

Make Use Of Alternatives

The worrying thing is that these 5 appliances are staples in most homes, meaning we could all be wasting lots of energy, natural resources, and money!

Switching to energy-efficient models and methods has never been more important, both for our pockets and the environment. Make sure you’re doing you bit to keep your costs down, and save the plant.

Guest Contributor, Kevin Hilton

Home Plumbing System: Maintenance Considerations

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Plumbers in crestwood

Home Plumbing System: Maintenance Considerations

Plumbing can be seen as the cardio-vascular system of your household. As long as it is properly maintained, everything should run smoothly, but a single problem, no matter how small, can lead to a cascade of disasters that will sabotage your home. When compared to all the bad scenarios (and there are plenty), maintenance sessions take only little time and they have an enormous impact on the state of your home. When it comes to your home plumbing system, here are some important maintenance considerations for your peace of mind.

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Bathroom and Toilet

When it comes to home-plumbing systems, there are two zones in the household that are particularly sensitive to malfunctions – the kitchen and the bathroom and/or toilet. Faucet and shower leaks can appear to be minor issues at first – a few drops here and there – but they usually grow to present truly debilitating problems that lead to costly replacements. Be on the lookout for these seemingly innocuous first symptoms and act immediately.

There is a high chance a lot of your bathroom problems are caused by limescale, so either make your own DIY limescale removal solution or purchase a more potent one if the problem is drastic. Debris cleaning is something you can largely tackle yourself, but if clogs are persistent even though you’ve cleaned up what’s visible, it is high-time to call a professional to the rescue!

Toilets are especially tricky since most people tend to avoid a “hands on” approach to fixing problems because they are repulsed by them. Still, toilets tend to go runny after a few years of use (if you are lucky) which means maintenance is inevitable at a certain point in time. Running water in the toilet actually wastes incredible amounts of clean water over the span of a single month, which means your bills will not only skyrocket, but your ecological footprint is also becoming quite destructive. If the toilet begins to run, fixing it should be your number one priority.

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Kitchen

Kitchen areas can be especially tricky for checkups as they are mostly over-cluttered zones where several aspects of a household’s infrastructure meet. In order to secure a thorough investigation of the kitchen, you need to find an experienced professional, like this plumber from Canberra, who can easily detect the hotspots and perform any required repairs. Just make sure you communicate everything you know about your plumbing system to your designated plumber so they can know how to engage.

For example, there are usually parts of the wall where piping diverges at a ninety-degree angle – this is an important thing to point out, especially if you know where these areas might be located. You should also do your own checkups from time-to-time. It doesn’t take too much skill to notice kitchen sink leaks or garbage disposal jams. If the problem is beyond something you can repair, you and the plumber will save precious time if you know exactly where the issue lies.

Homemade drain cleaners can stave off a lot of malfunctions and clogs, but they are not all-powerful. The elusive and dreaded “phantom leaks” can usually be noticed through inconsistent water pressure and the appearance of water in uncommon areas. This is a red flag that should prompt you to call the plumber immediately.

When it comes to home plumbing maintenance, you can easily compare what you need to do with visits to the doctor – in order to stay healthy, you need to pay your designated clinic a visit at regular intervals and stay consistent. The same goes for plumbing, only you have to find your “home doctor” in the form of a plumber who will maintain your system and do checkups at least twice a year. One of these sessions might actually reveal a problem that could have cost you quite a dime and a whole lot of nerves.

Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors

 

Green Up Your Property In 2018

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Green Up Your Property in 2018

There is no doubt that humanity is paying for the centuries of reckless use of Earth’s resources and troublesome treatment of the environment. Now is the time to get our act together and start thinking more responsibly, starting from our homes. Greening up your property is a win-win deal because you will make your home healthier and cut your energy bills, and all that while contributing to the preservation of our planet. If you want to join the good fight, here are some tips on how to make your dwelling more eco-friendly and energy-efficient.

Check Your Insulation

Insulation is one of the most important elements of an energy-efficient home. While your property probably is insulated, that doesn’t mean the job was done well. In fact, it is highly likely that a large portion of heat or cool is going out through air gaps around your doors and windows or improperly installed insulation materials on the walls or the attic. If you are going to change or upgrade the insulation opt for eco-friendly materials like icynene, cellulose or sheep’s wool.

Opt For Energy Star Rated Equipment

Kitchen appliances, washer, and dryer suck up a lot of energy and significantly increase your electricity bills. Energy Star rated equipment consumes considerably less energy. The same goes for windows. By opting for double or triple glazed windows, you can save the heat and cold from leaving your house and wasting energy.

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Reconsider Your Electricity

Start by getting an energy audit to see where your electricity goes. We all know electrical malfunctions can be dangerous and quite annoying, but they can also drain the energy faster than it is normal. In Australian household, it has become perfectly normal to perform an energy audit when purchasing a new property or remodeling the old one. That’s why you can always find a professional Sydney electrician available 24/7 for audits and repairs.

Change The Lighting

Speaking of electricians, while you are having one in your house, it would be a shame not to ask them to change your old incandescent lights for new CFLs or LED bulbs. Compared to the incandescent bulb, LED lights can last up to 21 times longer and use the seventh part of the electricity, and save you $129 per kilowatt.

Be Responsible With Water Consumption

Water is just as important resource as electricity is. To make sure you are using it thoughtfully, first, check with your plumber for leaks, and then consult about the installing low-flow shower heads and faucets, and consider a low-flush toilet.

Use Sustainable Materials

When was the last time you thought about the materials used in your home construction? If your answer is ‘never,’ don’t worry, you are not the only one. However, it is a thought worth considering, especially because these materials can be toxic or harmful for the planet. Some of the sustainable materials you can use for flooring and furniture are reclaimed wood, glass tile, bamboo, cork, wool, and Marmoleum.

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Detox Your Home

Regardless whether it is because of the hazardous materials, volatile organic compounds in the wall paint, dust mites, tobacco smoke, mold, mildew, or other factors, the indoor air can be polluted with a variety of toxins. First, inspect your home for potential threats and remove them. After, you can make sure the air is clear by introducing houseplants – the natural air purifiers and, if there is a need, by using a HEPA air purifier.

Harness The Natural Energy

Why waste electricity when we already have renewable energy handed to us almost on a plate? By installing a rainwater collector, you can have free irrigation water, or if you invest in a UV filter, even drinking water. Also, you can use solar panels or wind power to generate electricity or heat.

Greening up provides immediate benefits for you and your family. Looking at the bigger picture, it also contributes to a happier and healthier future for the entire planet. That’s why you shouldn’t wait a day to start making the change. Use these tips as your guide to a better and greener tomorrow. 

Guest Contributor, 

Will Sandford Guest Contributor.jpg

Will Sandford is a Sydney based wood architect, blogger and contributor on interior design and ecology blogs. Besides that, he is also interested in home improvement combined with green technology. In his spare time, Will enjoys surfing and rock climbing. He is also a regular contributor to SmoothDecorator. Connect with him on Twitter.

 

How to Improve Your Household in 2018

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How to Improve Your Household in 2018

Every home evolves over time. After the building is finished, most people consider it the end of their worries when it comes to taking care of it – except the small maintenance obligations here and there. However, if you’ve lived in one household for longer than a decade, you know this is not true. It’s not only a matter of maintenance, it’s about practicality and moving along with the times. If you think your house is ripe for a “facelift” project of some kind, here are some handy ways to improve your home in 2018.

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Make the kitchen cleaner and brighter

The kitchen is the heart of every home and it reflects your attitudes towards your own household. It is usually the one chamber in the house that sees most activity and it is therefore hardly ever completely clean. However, you can make sure at least some basics are covered.

Stoves, counters that surround the kitchen sink as well as the walls above them are usually covered in stains and the more you postpone the cleaning, the bigger feat it will be to clean it up. Making your kitchen brighter might appear counterproductive in that regard, but it actually helps.

For example, if you cover your counters and the walls above them (the stretch between the counters and hanging cupboards) in porcelain tiles, you will reap multiple benefits. For one, porcelain is not only robust, it is easy to clean. Two, if you choose to go with white, you’ll have a much more airy, open kitchen which you can show off proudly to guests after a noticeably shorter cleaning session.

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Let the sunshine in

Sydney is known for its “sunny disposition”, so why not utilize it? After all, letting the sunshine in has multiple benefits. First of all, it will make the colors and contours of your interior design pop with unimaginable vivacity. More light makes every house look more stylish and joyful.

Furthermore, the natural light makes the residents happy too – as it encourages the secretion of happiness hormones. Therefore, opting to replace your regular patio doors with high-quality glass bi-fold doors from Sydney is win-win in every conceivable way.

The same goes for bigger windows – and if you can accommodate for wall-high glass windows that stretch from floor to ceiling (in other words, without attracting the unwanted neighborhood attention), you’ll benefit from it greatly.

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Go green with light

While we are still on the topic of brightness, replacing your entire light grid with LED light bulbs might be the best possible choice to improve your home. The advantages of LED light bulbs are numerous and undeniable. They spend 90% less electricity than your regular incandescent light bulbs and they use almost a 100% of their energy to produce light. This means that no energy is wasted on heating up, which is a godsend during slow and smoldering summer days in Sydney.

Furthermore, they are a far less toxic solution than CFL light bulbs – which are admittedly not dangerous for as long as they don’t blow out. Still, why would you risk it? After all, the LED light bulb can last for up to a whopping 20 years, which is an insane margin of difference when you consider that you have to replace regular incandescents every few months. Therefore, you will save money on purchasing new light bulbs in the long run and save a ton on the monthly electric bill – which can truly be a financial killer within the Sydney city limits.

Spruce up your outdoors

Just a few minor changes to your immediate outdoors can make a world of difference when it comes to improving your home. For one, adding a motion-detecting light above your front and patio door is a welcoming life hack when you are returning home late, plus it is a good scare-off for potential intruders. If you add a cheap security camera right next to the motion sensor light, you’ll definitely be burglar-proof.

Additionally, purchasing a foldable awning and placing it right above the front and the back porch will protect your windows from direct South Pacific sunlight while still letting the daylight in, plus it will give you a nice little spot for the outdoor layabout mode.

Letting your home fall into disrepair is something that can easily happen if you are too preoccupied with other matters, but you should always be ready to lend it your full attention. In many ways, the house is like a child – it thrives when you show it devotion and care. You should always envision the house you’ve moved into as the basis for creating something more personal – if the household is fashioned to your own taste over time, both you and it will benefit immensely.

Guest Contributor, Diana Smith