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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

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6 Common Culprits Behind an Unexpected Energy Bill

RH Business Marketing Solutions

Crestwood Plumbers

6 Common Culprits Behind an Unexpected Energy Bill

If you recently opened your electric bill only to see an astronomical figure, chances are, once you picked your jaw up off the floor, you asked, "Why is this so high?" Multiple factors can impact your overall bill. Aging appliances, several devices left plugged in constantly and leaky windows and doors can result in you paying much more.

The good news? You can reduce your electric bill by following the six tips below. Stemming the flow does require you to be a bit more conscientious about your behavior, but it will save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. Here's what to look out for and how to solve each issue.

1. Have You Recently Bought New Electronics?

Many people leave electronic devices plugged in and turned on all the time, even when these items are not in use. If you live in a four-person household where everyone has a laptop and tablet, that's a lot of devices!

Save money by powering down devices when they're not in use. If you need the ability to hop on a laptop in seconds for work or school, at least put them in sleep mode. Better yet, power them down and shut them off altogether, especially at night. Doing so saves energy and helps protect devices from hackers who need sophisticated tools to power devices on remotely.

2. Your Fridge Gasket Is on the Fritz

Did your mama ever tell you, "Stop standing there with the refrigerator door open! What, are you trying to cool the whole neighborhood?" While she was right — holding open the fridge trying to decide what to eat does waste energy — another culprit may lurk behind your astronomical electric bill.

Your refrigerator gasket refers to the springy plastic material that seals when you close the door. If this seal breaks down with age, you'll lose a ton of cooling out the cracks. Luckily, you can replace your fridge gasket quite easily, and all you need is a screwdriver, an Allen wrench and some petroleum jelly (plus the gasket itself, which costs about $75 at most hardware stores).

3. Your Appliances Are Aging Poorly

If your appliances are older overall, you may need to replace them to save energy. Today, every appliance comes with an ENERGY STAR® rating that gives crucial information about how much electricity the appliance consumes. As a result, engineers now design appliances double or more the efficiency of earlier models.

Are you a renter whose landlord refuses to upgrade? You can still save money and energy. Simply invest in a countertop microwave and toaster oven, and hand wash dishes instead of using the dishwasher (except for with large loads, like Thanksgiving dinner cleanup).

4. Your Air Filters Are Filthy

Be honest: How often do you change your air filters? Experts recommend changing them once per month, less often in the summer if you have a heating-only system. If you have pets or smokers in the residence, you should change them monthly year-round.

Filters cost less than $10 at many grocery and hardware stores. If your filters become clogged, the reduced air flow through your heating and cooling system can cause your heat exchanger to overheat and shut off too quickly. This issue will cost you approximately $175 to repair, and in the meantime, your house won't feel warm even as your electric bill soars.

5. Air is Leaking out Windows and Doors

Take a look at your front door (go ahead, do it now!). Do you see light leaking through cracks between the frame and the outdoors? You're bleeding heat and AC right out to your neighbors if you do. Unless you have a vested interest in keeping your front porch squirrel visitors happy all winter, invest in some inexpensive weather stripping to save significantly.

Do you feel hot or cold when you're sitting near a sunny window? If so, you may need to upgrade your windows. Renter? Instead of improving your landlord's property (they get enough of your hard-earned money), invest in some blackout curtains. These curtains can reduce the amount of heat transferred by your windows by as much as 24%, and as an added bonus, they reduce noise from outside, so urban dwellers rejoice!

6. You Need to Call an Electrician

Finally, if you've unplugged and checked the items above, you may need to call in a pro. An unusually high electric bill can indicate a problem with the meter or a short somewhere in the house. Since electric work carries a fire hazard, let a licensed professional do the work. This requirement is one area where renting has advantages — structural issues such as electric shorts are the landlord's problem to deal with.

Cutting Your Electricity Costs

There's no need to pay astronomical electric bills to feel comfortable in your home. By identifying the culprits sucking your energy like vampires, you can save money and protect the planets' resources.

Guest Contributor, Holly Welles

Holly Welles is a home improvement writer who believes anyone can make the most of their space. You can find more of her work on her blog, The Estate Update.

 

Senior-Friendly Bathroom: The Essentials

RH Business Marketing Solutions

homewood plumbers

Senior-Friendly Bathroom: The Essentials

For ageing adults, performing basic everyday activities and using facilities, such as the kitchen or the bathroom, is becoming increasingly difficult with each passing day. Not only that but being able to take care of their daily activities safely and effectively can also be compromised by their diminishing health and mobility.

This is especially true when bathrooms are concerned, as they pose one of the highest safety-risks in any home. That’s precisely why people – as they get older – usually opt for a bathroom remodel, aiming to create a safe environment they can later use without any major hindrances. With that in mind, here are some senior-friendly bathroom essentials you should definitely keep in mind.

Replace regular faucets with lever faucets

Stiff joints are one of the things that are sure to welcome us once we get older. With it comes the inability to use your hands properly and, more often than not, it’s followed by light tremors and shakes. That’s why, if you’re remodelling a bathroom for your senior loved one, you should install lever-controlled faucets in order to make things at least a bit easier. These completely eliminate the unnecessary twists and turns that can be quite difficult for the elderly.

Opt for a walk-in shower instead of the bathtub

Next, having to climb into a bathtub in order to take a bath is literally impossible for some elderly. That’s why you should consider installing a walk-in shower so that they can enjoy a warm shower without having to overcome significant difficulties. Additionally, consider adding a sprayer attachment for their showerhead, so that they can detach it and hold it in their hands while showering which will make things much, much easier.

Don’t forget the grab bars and rails

Furthermore, install grab bars and rails throughout their bathroom to introduce an additional level of safety. If you provide them with something they can grab onto every time they feel unsure on their feet, you will make the entire bathroom-using experience far more pleasant. Some of the places you should definitely install these are the shower and the toilet area, but you can add them to other areas as well.

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Make sure that the bathroom is light

Having lots of light in any room not only makes the room look nicer but it also makes it much safer to use. That’s why in a modern aged care facility the bathrooms are always well-illuminated and bright. Therefore, aside from the natural light, you should make sure that you introduce plenty of artificial lighting options in your senior’s bathroom to prevent any mishaps and make the bathroom safe to use.

Raise the toilet

Another thing you should consider is installing a raised toilet so that your senior loved one can use it as comfortably as possible. The reason behind this is the fact that seniors usually experience difficulties when having to sit down and get back up, so raising a toilet for just a few inches will make the world of difference.

Don’t forget the non-slip bath mats and rugs

Finally, the bathroom floor can be quite a dangerous place, especially for people whose mobility is somewhat impaired. That’s why you should make sure you cover the bathroom floor with quick-dry non-slip rugs and even cover the inside of the shower with non-slip bath mats. This way you’ll reduce the possibility of accidental slips and falls that can have some quite serious consequences.

Therefore, if you’re ever in the need to redecorate a bathroom for your senior loved one, or you’re simply thinking ahead and you want to create a safe oasis for yourself once you get older, keep these ideas in mind. The bathroom can become quite a dangerous place once you get older so taking steps to make it safer to use is always a good idea.

Guest Contributor, Lillian Connors