5 Ways to Save Money on Air Conditioning
Summer in the Pacific Northwest is about to heat up and you may already be using your air conditioner!
If your air conditioner was not working as well as you would have liked last year, you may be considering buying a new one. Before you panic at having to make a large investment, let us relieve you of some of the sticker shock. Today’s technology has vastly improved both the function and efficiency, so owning and operating a new air conditioner may be more affordable than you think.
Check out these 5 ways to save money on a new air conditioner:
Look for financing options
Many companies offer financing options that allow you to break up the purchase price into monthly payments. This may help you afford more efficient equipment that will save you even more money on energy costs over the life of the unit.
Choose high efficiency equipment
A general rule of thumb is to purchase the most efficient air conditioner you can afford, because that efficiency will pay off over the life of the system. Look for Energy Star ratings that often come with rebates and other incentives. Depending on the age and efficiency of your old unit, you may find that when you combine the cost of the new air conditioner with monthly savings, you are actually spending less.
Get the right size.
Accurately measure the size of the unit your home needs for optimal performance based on multiple measurements and factors — not just square footage. This is key to ensuring that your air conditioner will perform properly and without excessive wear and tear. Improperly sized air conditioners will work harder, use more energy and break down sooner. (Trust us, we use air to dry and cool on a daily basis!)
Place the outside unit on the north or east side of the house
Locating the unit out of direct sunlight, but with plenty of room for air to flow freely (about 2 feet on each side and 4 feet of clearance on the top). This will prevent debris from creating clogs and causing mechanical failures, and also ensures that a sufficient supply of fresh air is reaching the unit. Keep plants and shrubs neatly trimmed and make sure the area remains free of leaves and other debris.
Maintain the AC on a regular basis
Protect your investment with regular maintenance every year and call your HVAC professional when issues arise. This will go a long way toward keeping your new air conditioner in great shape for many years to come, so you won’t have to replace it any time soon.
6 Rock- Solid Reasons to Pick Concrete Flooring
Bob Vila has some great home Advice, so we thought we'd take a cue from him on concrete flooring.
According to Bob, the list of reasons to have concrete is as follows:
- Strength and Durability
- Factory and warehouse buildings around the world share at least one thing in common—concrete floors. There’s a simple reason why: The material stands up easily to hard use, whether under the wheels of a forklift or the soles of your shoes. Drop something on it, and concrete flooring doesn't crack or dent. Drag something across it, and it doesn't get scratched. Resistant to fire and moisture, stains and odors, concrete flooring can last at least a lifetime, requiring nothing in return except regular cleaning and occasional resealing and/or waxing. Plus, if patching ever becomes necessary, a rapid-setting formulation like Rapid Set Cement Allmakes repairs quick and easy.
- Lots of Looks
- No one would blame you for thinking of concrete as coarse in texture, gray in color, and drab in overall appearance. But the fact is that with advanced manufacturing from the likes of CTS | Rapid Set, along with improved methods of installation, concrete can take on any number of compelling looks. For example, after it's been poured, concrete can be scored, stamped, or dyed. Later, once the concrete has cured, the finishing options broaden to include painting, staining, and etching. Whether you favor a glossy, one-color surface or an artful, one of a kind, multi-colored floor with a matte feel, you can achieve your vision with humble concrete. The aesthetic possibilities are virtually limitless.
- Low Cost
- Given the structural modifications necessary to support its substantial weight, concrete flooring can be prohibitively expensive to install in certain locations—the upper level of a home, for example, or the ground floor of any house with a basement. Typically, budget-minded homeowners pursue concrete flooring not with a fresh pour, but by removing the floor that currently exists over the slab foundation. Once that's out of the way, the only costs are elective ones. If you desire, and if you balk at doing the job yourself, you can hire a pro to refinish the exposed concrete surface. Expect to pay anywhere between $4 per square foot for a straightforward job up to around $12 or $15 for highly decorative faux finishes.
- Endless Versatility
- In contrast to almost any other type of floor, long-lasting concrete rarely requires replacement. If, however, 5 or 10 years down the line you decide that you no longer like the look or performance of your concrete floor, you are by no means stuck with it. On the contrary, in those instances where concrete makes a practical flooring choice in the first place, it requires little commitment. When you tire of a concrete floor, you can always change its appearance by refinishing it—or finishing it for the first time—to achieve a different effect. Alternatively, you can return the floor to blank-slate condition, using a cutting-edge product like Rapid Set NewCretethat imparts a pristine, like-new appearance. From there, you can either leave the concrete as is or install another material over it.
- Pet Friendly
- It’s true: Fluffy or Fido might prefer the cushiony comfort of carpeting or the warmth of hardwood. But if like many homeowners you are first and foremost concerned with protecting against pet damage—scratches and scuffs, odors and stains—then you couldn't hope for a flooring material more impervious to the wear and tear caused by cats and dogs. Unlike carpeting or wood—indeed, unlike many other types of flooring—properly sealed concrete simply can't be ruined by a pet. You'll need to clean up accidents, of course, but you can leave aside the special remedies. Doing a thorough cleaning job on concrete requires nothing more than a mop and a bucket of soapy water.
- Healthy Home
- It almost seems strange to discuss flooring in terms of its effect on home health. Then again, in a flooring market saturated with so many products that off-gas harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds), it’s well worth noting that properly sealed concrete does nothing to detract from indoor air quality. It's also crucially important to know that different manufacturers use different processes to produce slightly different concrete mixes. Nonmetallic, with no chlorides added, Rapid Set Concrete Mix stands out from the rest as one of the most ecologically sensitive concrete products out there. In fact, compared with regular Portland cement, Rapid Set boasts a 65 percent smaller carbon footprint!
Please reference: http://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/6-rock-solid-reasons-to-pick-concrete-flooring-50359/strength-and-durability#.V7_Sq2VeBBw
Prepare Your Home For A Wind Storm: Top 6 Ways To Protect Your Home!
Top 6 Ways To Protect Your Home From Wind Damage In the Seattle Northwest
Wind storms can be very damaging to your home or property if you are not prepared. Unfortunately, we rarely get much warning before a large wind storm so it is critical to prepare your home ahead of time. Routinely checking, fixing or updating areas around your home can make the difference between a hundred dollars and thousands of dollars in damages.
Here are six ways to prepare your home before the next storm hits Seattle:
- Is your roof in good shape?
- Your shingles should be nailed down properly and all secured together.
- Replace any missing shingles immediately.
- Make sure your garage door is secure.
- Sometimes this means hiring a company to inspect your garage door to ensure it is properly secured and functioning well.
- Secure all outdoor items.
- Grills, patio furniture, trampolines, etc. These items can cause a lot of damage if the wind is strong enough to pick them up.
- Ensure your gutters are properly secured and clean them out regularly.
- Clogged cutters can create water damage to your house. They are also more likely to break in a high wind storm if they are weakened by heavy debris.
- Are your windows storm proof?
- Installing storm proof windows can make a big difference in protecting your home from high winds and hail from a storm.
- If you don’t have storm proof windows, consider installing steel or aluminum shutters on your windows or sliding doors to protect them from flying debris.
- Remove or trim/maintain trees around your home.
- Trimming your trees of dead wood can help prevent large branches falling during a wind storm.
Be sure to routinely check and maintain your home so you are ready before the next storm hits the north west. However, if you do find yourself in need of help after a storm, call SERVPRO of Seattle Northwest. We specialize in restoration and water damage repair in the Seattle Northwest area. Call us after a storm and let us take the stress off of your family! We will make sure it's like it never even happened!
Water Damage Timeline
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Seattle Northwest provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of SERVPRO of Seattle Northwest arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 206-542-1226
Water Damage Timeline
· Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
· Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
· Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
· Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
· Drywall begins to swell and break down.
· Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
· Furniture begins to swell and crack.
· Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
· A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
· Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
· Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
· Metal begins to rust and corrode.
· Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
· Paint begins to blister.
· Wood flooring swells and warps.
· Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
· Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
· Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of Seattle Northwest
SERVPRO of Seattle Northwest specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
SERVPRO® Pledges Ongoing Support to the American Red Cross Disaster Responder Program
SERVPRO® Pledges Ongoing Support to the American Red Cross Disaster Responder Program
Red Cross recognizes SERVPRO for their contribution to disaster preparedness and recovery efforts
Woodinville, WA (Grassroots Newswire) June 1, 2016 -- The American Red Cross recently recognized SERVPRO®, a cleanup and restoration company, for participation in its Disaster Responder Program1. As a Disaster Responder Program member, SERVPRO pledges a donation to the Red Cross in advance of disasters, allowing the organization to respond quickly and effectively to nearly 66,000 disasters annually, most of which are home fires. SERVPRO is entering their third year of partnership with the Red Cross; their donations to the organization to date exceed one million dollars.
According to statistics cited by the Red Cross, seven people die in a home fire each day in the U.S. Aiming to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent by the end of 2019, the Red Cross launched a Home Fire Campaign in October of 2014. The support of SERVPRO and other Disaster Responder Program members allows the Red Cross to pursue their home fire prevention goals while they continue to provide critical services to disaster victims.
“One of the reasons home fires account for the majority of the disasters the Red Cross responds to annually is that the risk for home fires exists all year long,” said Travis Ells, owner of SERVPRO of Seattle Northwest. “Statistics compiled by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)2 show the majority of home fires are related to unattended cooking accidents – and cooking is something most people do every day.”
Although SERVPRO’s business is helping business and home owners recover from fire, flood and other disasters, the company and its franchisees actively support disaster preparedness education, including fire prevention efforts. When disaster does strike, their relationships with major insurance companies combined with industry-leading job-management technology help smooth the path to rebuilding and restoration for home and business owners affected by the unexpected.
“SERVPRO’s commitment to the Red Cross Disaster Responder Program means that, when disaster strikes, homeowners can count on the Red Cross to address their immediate needs and supply essential services,” said Ells. “Once the immediate emergency is under control, homeowners can count on the expertise of restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Seattle Northwest to help them restore their property and move forward with their lives.”
For fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com. For more information on SERVPRO® of Seattle Northwest, please contact Travis Ells at (206) 789-2300 or lyork@SERVPRO10027.com.
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services, and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO® System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.