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What Size Tankless Water Heater Do I Need?

A home with a tankless water heater

Tankless water heaters have become popular as more homeowners look for energy savings and more sustainable appliances. Compared to traditional tank water heaters, tankless units save homeowners about 30 percent or more on their energy usage for such a unit.

Traditional tank water heaters use energy–whether fueled by electricity or gas–in standby mode. They hold the hot water in reserve, waiting for someone to need it. How does a tankless water heater work? Tankless models heat the water as needed. You will have a momentary delay while the hot water runs through your pipes, but generally, no more heating, depleting and waiting. But, how do you know what size water heater you need if you go tankless?

If you have a tankless unit that is too small for your needs, you will run out of hot water when you might need it the most. If you purchase a unit that is too … Read Full Post »

Landscape Tree Lighting Tips and Ideas

A house with landscape tree lighting

Have you dreamed of having a beautifully curated lawn that adds to your home’s curb appeal? One of the best ways to accentuate your lawn is to use landscape tree lighting.

Highlighting your trees with in-ground spotlights creates a beautiful ornamental centerpiece on your lawn. You can also use downward lights to create unique effects and add light to dark areas of your lawn.

Besides adding visual interest at night, landscape lighting also increases your home’s security and makes it more welcoming. You can also use outdoor light to accentuate other areas of your lawn, such as your plants and flower beds, deck, pergola and pool.

Finally, small walkway lights create a beautiful effect on your lawn. They even make it safer to navigate dark pathways. Follow the tips below to create a stunning visual effect with landscape accent lighting in your yard. Then, contact a professional landscaper to create a customized outdoor … Read Full Post »

Toilet Making Noise: What’s Wrong?

a toilet that is making noise

Is your toilet making weird noises by itself? Maybe you hear a loud banging sound after you flush or notice spooky “ghost flushing.” There are several reasons why your toilet is speaking for itself, and they usually indicate a problem with your plumbing.

Some toilet noises are quick fixes, while others require a deeper investigation into your home’s pipes and plumbing. The first step to solving the problem is identifying your toilet’s noise: a bang, gurgle, flush, hiss or vibration.

One of the most common types of toilet noises is a loud groan from your pipes after you flush. This sound is usually a sign of constriction in your waterline. To solve the problem, you must identify the location of the clog. Contacting a professional plumber is the best way to handle this situation because they are more educated on piping problems.

Finally, another common toilet issue that confuses homeowners is when the … Read Full Post »

How Does a Furnace Work?

a home with a working furnace

A furnace is one of the most important elements of any home, providing heat and comfort throughout the colder months. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the appliances in a home that homeowners don’t understand all that well.

Understanding at least the operational basics helps you understand how your heating system, and even your larger HVAC system, works. This gives you an educated head start if and when a heating situation arises.

Understanding your heating system can also help you evaluate the need for professional HVAC assistance.

How A Furnace Works 

There are many different components of a heating system that work together to heat your home. Here are the steps involved in how a furnace heats your home.

  1. Air is collected from the return register and passes through an air filter to remove particles.
  2. The furnace starts when the thermostat signals that the home has dropped below the desired temperature.
  3. The ignition starts the burner and flames … Read Full Post »

Pavers Versus Concrete: Which Is Best?

paver

As the seasons change, you might be looking to complete landscaping projects. One popular project is building a patio, perfect for spending time around a fire pit or lounging in patio chairs. There are a couple of ways that you can build a separate outdoor area for such activities, with either patio pavers or concrete as a base. But which one is better? Each one has its pros and cons.

Concrete Appearance

First, let’s look at concrete. You can get concrete in one of several ways: poured, in premade slabs or in prefabricated blocks that have the look of pavers. You can also choose different options for finishes, from smooth to lightly textured to a stamped concrete that looks like anything from pavers to stone to wood and has texture that provides traction. A landscaping professional can show you all your options and help you choose what is best for your space … Read Full Post »

When to Mow New Grass

freshly cut gras with landscape outlining fence

A lush, green lawn is a goal for most homeowners. Beautiful, thickly growing grass improves curb appeal. It also makes you want to spend more time outdoors. As springtime nears, you may be thinking more about lawn care. It’s important to know when to mow new grass, so you can maximize its healthy growth.

When your existing grass gets thin or damaged, it makes sense to lay new sod or plant new grass. But how should you care for the new grass once it starts growing? If you mow it too early, its roots can be damaged. The mower blades can actually yank the young grass right out of the ground. The new grass blades can also be damaged by being cut, unless they’ve had time to get thicker and stronger.

This is why it’s so important to mow new grass at the optimal time, to keep it as healthy as possible. … Read Full Post »

The Different Types of Insulation

TAP, which is a type of insulation, in an attic

When the temperatures are high or low, we count on insulation to help us be comfortable in our homes. It’s important to learn how insulation works and what type suits your specific situation best.

The first thing to know is that insulation has an R-value. This measures how resistant the insulation is to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more resistant the material is to heat transfer. The recommended R-value varies according to where you live, the type of insulation you have and its thickness and density.

Typically the higher the R-value, the better the climate control and energy efficiency. Most homes have insulation in the attic and under floors that are above unfinished basements or crawl spaces. It is most effective when placed along exterior walls and basement walls. It can also be helpful to add insulation to attics and crawl spaces. Regardless, it doesn’t matter if your home is … Read Full Post »

Rodents in Florida: Identification & Control Guide

mouse peeking from dirt hole

Florida is home to a variety of rodent species, including rats, mice, squirrels and others. It’s valuable for Florida homeowners to learn how to identify the different types of rodents they may encounter.

Some rodents in Florida, such as house mice, roof rats and Norway rats are more commonly found indoors than others. Noticing the signs of these rodents can help homeowners catch an infestation before it can get out of control.

It’s also important to know about the appearance, habits and diet of Florida rodents. Rats and mice are excellent climbers, swimmers and jumpers and can make their homes in a variety of locations in your house.

Finally, learn simple ways to deter mice and rats from entering your home. If you already have an infestation, call a pest control specialist today.

Types of Rodents in Florida

Several types of rodents call Florida home, and it isn’t limited to mice and rats. Here are … Read Full Post »

Identifying Mouse Poop Versus Roach Poop

a cockroach near cockroach droppings

When you find strange droppings around your home, you want to know exactly what kind of pest you’re dealing with. Knowing what you’re dealing with is the best way to know how to get rid of an infestation. To identify mouse poop versus roach poop, it’s important to know what each type of poop looks like and where it’s commonly found. Fortunately, there are several key differences between mouse poop and roach poop that can give you clues as to which pest is infesting your home.

Appearance

Both mouse poop and roach poop are medium to dark brown in color. Mouse poop is about the size and shape of dried grains of rice, and poop from bigger roaches can be almost as big as mouse poop. But a key difference between them is that mouse poop is pointed and pinched off at the ends. Roach poop, on the other hand, is more … Read Full Post »

Why Do I Have Low Hot Water Pressure?

a bathroom with low hot water pressure

You go to wash dishes or take a nice, hot shower—only to realize when you turn on the water that the pressure is low. Having low hot water pressure is annoying, but it can also be a sign of a real problem that needs attention. It’s often best to resolve the issue as soon as you can. Otherwise, it could become an even bigger problem that is harder and more expensive to fix.

Before you start troubleshooting the cause of your low hot water pressure, it’s a good idea to check in with your neighbors. Is your house only affected, or are your neighbors experiencing the same thing? If the low pressure seems like a sudden problem, instead of something that has developed gradually over time, it could be something affecting the whole neighborhood.

Sometimes there is a larger-scale issue like a break in a nearby water main. Other times, the city … Read Full Post »