Winter Preparation at Home – Energy Efficient Heating Research

space heater for large room

Winter Preparation at HomeWhen winter is just around the corner, it means every homeowner will start preparing appropriately to combat the chilly weather. There are two options during the preparation process; either you turn on the thermostat of the central heating system or use a space heater. As much as you want to warm up a small space in your house, it is more reasonable to use a space heater rather than heating the entire house.

A space heater can be used efficiently by heating a single space and leave the rest of the rooms cooler. Even though they are so worthwhile during the winter, space heaters can be disastrous if safety measures are not put into consideration throughout. That is why National Fire Protection Association has been in the forefront encouraging homeowners to pay close attention to safety before anything else.

Alright, space heaters are the best alternative supplementary heat for warming a house or office. Since it uses energy, efficiency should be an important aspect to keep in mind when purchasing a space heater. You need to find out whether or not the unit is energy efficient because it makes little sense to waste money while trying to create a warmer environment in your house. Poor quality heaters will not only waste energy but also may run for a long period of time and fail to heat your space as required. On the other hand, the heater should not be too powerful such that you will open windows to let in cooler air.

How Space Heaters Work

space heater safety

The space heater heats a space through two ways; convection and radiant heat. The latter is usually the warmth a room occupier feels in the skin. This means that the occupier will feel warmer and warmer as he or she goes closer to the heater. On the other hand, convection occurs when the surrounding air is heated up. The heated air rises up towards the ceiling while the cooler air (denser air) moves downwards to the heater. The cooler air is heated and starts to rise up towards the ceiling, thus creating a cycle known as convection loop. Through this circulation of warm air, the entire room is eventually heated.

However, some space heaters come with an integrated fan to enhance circulation of heat around the house. This eliminates over-dependence of the convection loop for distributing heat in a room. The fan also speeds up the warming process.

Types of Space Heaters Explained

space heater for large roomGas-and-oil-burning space heaters use natural gas, kerosene, or propane to heat a space. Even though they perform well in heating, they produce dangerous carbon gases. That is why they should be used in well-ventilated rooms or in open outdoors. Those planning to have outdoor parties during the winter, gas-and-oil-burning space heaters can provide excellent climate within your tents.

The modern models come with low-oxygen depletion sensors as safety features. They can detect when the oxygen level is getting too low in a space, and then shut off the fuel flow. The output is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). The smaller units usually have outputs ranging from 4,000 to 9,000, medium units have 12,000 to 30,000, while the largest units have 150,000 to 200,000 BTUs. The smallest models can heat a space equivalent to 200 sq. foot tent while the largest can heat a space area more than 3,000 sq. feet.

The electric space heaters are normally used for indoor heating. They come in different sizes and shapes but they have same performance capabilities.  A poor conductor is used to pass electricity, causing high resistance to produces heat. Some models have an intensive reflective backing to focus radiant heat in a single direction. The high-quality models have safety features such as a tip-over switch, touch sensor, and overheat sensor that shuts the heater off to prevent the occurrence of burns. It also recommended having a heater with a long, heavy-duty power cord, which eliminates the need for an extension cord.

The output of an electric heater is measured in watts. Most of the outputs range from 400 to 1,500 watts. The modern units come with adjustable output feature, meaning that you can change the output over a certain range. Another important feature in electric heaters is the built-in fan, which spreads heat by circulating air through the heater and space. Additionally, the fan ensures a faster heating. There are electric heaters that use a thermostat to enable automated control of the heating. This means you can operate the heater remotely.

Conclusion

During the winter, perhaps you will need to heat a room constantly. This means you may end up spending more money on heating energy. According to research on heating energy consumption, use of gas or pump furnace is more efficient than electric heaters in the long run.

Silencing Your Household Stuff for Better Neighborhood

Silencing Your Household Stuff for Better Neighborhood

In our modern homes, noise has become almost inevitable due to the appliances used on a daily basis. Even though thin walls used to be the cause of “bad neighbors” when it comes to noise, nowadays noise sources are as a result of high-tech audio systems and a variety machines. Many contemporary homes are built using strong concrete walls, but the spaces left allow noise to penetrate to neighboring homes. Family rooms are equipped with surround-audio systems, creating a noisy environment for the occupants and neighbors.

Silencing Your Household Stuff for Better Neighborhood

Noise pollution can interfere with our sleep, add more stress, compromise privacy, and infringe our overall quality of life. Lucky enough, there are ways of reducing noise in our homes. One of the most effective methods is constructing ceilings and walls with soundproofing materials. The idea of controlling noise can involve reducing the noisemakers, which helps to cut the transfer of sound to your neighbors. Soundproofing strategy employs creating sound and vibration absorbing surfaces to reduce noise transference. To achieve a quieter home is not an easy thing, but until you make your home calm the neighbors will continue to raise complaints.

So, here are some of the techniques you can employ to make your home quieter;

Eliminate the noisy hair dryers

noisy hair dryersThis entails choosing quiet appliances. Manufacturers of different home appliances are taking into consideration the need to combat noise by making quality hair dryers that are quieter. The typical hair dryers will make noise, especially when used at night while your neighbors are asleep. Nowadays, hair dyer manufacturers are coming up with high-quality models that produce minimal noise. Additionally, it is advisable to dispose of old hair dryers because they are culprits of noise in many homes. They produce rattling and buzzing sounds, which can interfere with someone’s sleep living the next door. When you notice unusual sound from your hair dryer, fix it or refer to DIY guides online for detailed information.

Use vibration and sound absorbing materials

If your ceilings and walls are made of hard materials, your neighbors will experience noise pollution when you turn on your audio system. This is because hard surfaces tend to reflect sound, and therefore you will be causing disturbances to your neighbor. On the other hand, soft surfaces will absorb sound and vibrations. So, choose the soft materials such as padded carpets and acoustic ceilings rather than the hardwood or tiles. Another cheaper method of reducing noise in and out of the house is through buying sound-blocking curtains. There are a number of leading companies that produce a wide range of acoustic materials. Those drop ceiling systems and acoustic tiles play an important role in reducing sound transference.

Install soundproof doors

Doors are some of the openings through which sound passes. If you want to keep sound from moving to your neighbors, consider installing solid doors. This is an easy task you can handle without calling an expert, especially when remodeling your house. Most of the indoor doors are made of hollow wood, making them ineffective in soundproofing. A composite-core, particleboard-core, or solid-wood doors can be great for blocking sound compared to hollow doors. However, the solid doors are more expensive than the rest but they offer the best sound blocking properties.

Tweak your surround audio system

If you have a low-quality speaker system, the output sound of your surround audio system will be noise. A high-tech audio system is designed to produce good sound but not unnecessary noise, which could be a nuisance to your neighbors. For those who have subwoofers, they have a booming tone with low-frequency. This is noise and can be eliminated by purchasing an isolation pad that is placed underneath the unit to produce better bass tones without vibrating. You can also buy quality speakers that produce great sound without the need to crank up the sound. Additionally, there is always a family member who will want to listen to high volume music. So, buy him or her wireless headphone set.

Install weatherstripping doors

Install weatherstripping doors

In order to reduce the noise passing through the doors, it is vital to install door soundproofing or weatherstripping to offer a seal. The best material is an adhesive-backed foam tape, which is made of a high-density material for sealing. Also, a rubber bulb weatherstripping can seal the spaces around the doors.

Fix floor squeaks and noisy pipes

When the house is quiet especially at night, floor squeaks can be a bother. If your house has squeak stairs or floors, you can find out a DIY guide to fix them. On the other hand, noisy pipes can be a nuisance if they produce a chattering or rattling sounds. This happens when you flush a toilet or when a faucet is turned off. So, it is time to fix the problem by installing a water hammer arrestor on the pipes.boring homes. Family rooms are equipped with surround-audio systems, creating a noisy environment for the occupants and neighbors.

 

Like a Pro – Replacing Your Faucets with Industrial Faucets

Replacing Your Faucets with Industrial Faucets

Replacing Your Faucets with Industrial FaucetsIf you consider replacing your old faucets with industrial ones, be ready to face unexpected challenges. Most popular problems include difficult-to-reach nuts, corroded pipes, and inadequate access to fittings. However, the task of installing a new faucet is an easier task given the directions from the manufacturer. An hour might be enough for the entire installation. What if you are replacing an old faucet? This could be a difficult task, but we shall see some of the ways to do it like a pro.

Before we start highlighting the steps, we shall check the essential tools and materials that will be needed. It is advisable to plan the replacement of the faucet when there are hardware stores open. This is because you are most likely to require at least one part while replacing the faucet.

The project will require the following tools;

  • A wrench set
  • Basin wrench
  • Tube cutter
  • Pliers
  • Pipe wrench
  • Hammer
  • Handsaw
  • Adjustable wrench
  • A screwdriver
  • Some of the materials to be used include;
  • Sand paper
  • New faucet
  • P-trap
  • Stainless steel supply tubes

You need to have all parts required before starting the process. Otherwise, you are likely to make several trips to the hardware shop. In order to prevent the hassle of moving to and from the hardware store, check the checklist of essential parts and the steps discussed below;

  • Replacing Your Faucets Check the shutoff valves under your sink because they feed the faucet. If there are no shutoff valves, it is important to include them. But you need also to check if they are functioning properly – turn on hot and cold water at a time and then shut off. If the faucet allows water drips, the valves need to be replaced.
  • Check the water supply tubes, measure them, and then consider buying new stainless steel ones. Measurement will help you get the correct tubes. These do not kink when routed around objects.
  • Purchase a basin wrench for removing and installing fasteners at the hard-to-reach areas, especially those clamping the faucet components to the sink.
  • For removing the drain lines so that the faucet becomes accessible, a pipe wrench is necessary. You may also require a tubing cutter if the copper tubes need to be cut. However, you can use a mini tube cutter if the copper supply lines are located a few inches from the cabinet. For disconnecting and joining the water lines, open-end wrenches are needed.
  • It is important to make a sketch or take a snapshot of the drain lines layout before disconnecting. This will help you put it back easily.
  • The obstacles that may block access to the faucet are the pipes and P-traps. Pull them out and buy new ones to replace them. Those old chrome-plated lines may break in the removing process. Once you remove them, remember to keep them in a box so that you can use them to match while buying new ones in a hardware store. However, the plastic drain lines can be reused because the wrench may not crush them similarly to chrome-plated drain lines.
  • Now you need to remove the garbage disposal unit. But some homeowners have huge units – 20 pounds. No matter the size, do not be afraid of removing it. Unplug it or shut off the circuit breaker in the main panel if it is hard-wired. Disconnect the unit from the sink.
  • Now disconnect the water supply lines if you have an old faucet. Whether there are no shutoff valves or you want to replace the faulty ones, turn off main water supply valve and use a tube cutter to cut the pipes.
  • Before you turn back the water, ensure the new valves are shut. Use a basin wrench to remove the faucet. If the old nuts of the faucet are difficult to loosen, use penetrating oil to soak the threads. After 5 to 10 minutes, start loosening the nuts once the oil melts the oxide rust. If this does not work, you will be forced to pull out the sink in order to reach the nuts. Start by loosening the screws on the bottom of the sink and then lift it out.
  • As I mentioned earlier, installing a new commercial faucet is not as tough as removing an old one. The new faucet comes with directions from the manufacturer, and therefore you can simply follow the steps given.

Conclusion

It is important to plan what to do with the remaining one uncovered hole. Remember only three out of the four holes are covered, and therefore you can choose to use it for an instant hot water dispenser or for a liquid soap. However, the entire installation should be done while under the kitchen sink when everything is dismantled.

Give Office Chair a Whole Comfort and Reduce Your Back Pain!

DIY Ideas to Make Your Office Chair More Comfortable

An office chair that does not provide enough back support may lead to intensive stress on the user’s back. Those who work in offices are usually affected because the lumbosacral discs experience more weight when sitting than when a person is standing. Therefore, a chair without a back support may cause poor posture, which leads to immense stress on the joints and soft tissues of the spine. According to office health studies, many people who work in offices may either increase or cause lower back pain.

Give Office Chair a Whole Comfort and Reduce Your Back Pain

Apart from sitting in a poorly designed office chair, today’s lifestyle involves prolonged sitting habits. Whether commuting to and from work, watching children’s soccer games, watching TV at home, or working with a computer at home. Such period of prolonged sitting leads to bad posture development such as slouching and hunching over in the chair.  When you shift your weight forward, the stress on the joints, tissues, and discs increase. This creates muscle pain and tension in the lower back. That is why an office chair with adequate lumbar back support is always recommended.

The lower part of the spine above the buttocks usually curves inward while sitting. Due to that lordotic curve, a chair with a lumbar back support enhances good posture by filling the space between the seat and the lumbar spine, thus promoting the inward curve of the spine. If a chair lacks proper lumbar back support, it becomes almost impossible to maintain the right posture. This means the spine and lower back muscles will be working harder to support an appropriate alignment and curvature.

Eventually, your body gets tired and the muscles weaken. They will no longer be able to hold the spine in the right position. In turn, the upper back and the head start leaning forward to compensate the weak muscles. The end result will be a tendency of slouching or leaning forward. So, a good chair with appropriate lumbar back support helps to relieve the muscles from keeping the natural spine curve. This lumbar back support is typically vital for those who sit in office chairs for hours.

DIY Ideas to Make Your Office Chair More Comfortable

DIY Ideas to Make Your Office Chair More ComfortableIn addition to having an office chair with adequate lower back support, there are other ways to ensure that the chair offers more comfort. Comfort is the core aspect of consideration in reducing back pain. Since many office workers sit for a long period of time behind their computers, it is important to have a chair that offers correct support for the neck and back.

Always practice sitting properly

Health experts recommend sitting up and sitting straight while ensuring the feet are on the floor. This promotes proper sitting posture, which can help to eliminate various back pain related issues. Of course, you need to choose the right chair. But it is important to check your sitting habit even before checking features of a chair you want to buy.

Make adjustments to the chair to suit you

Office workers have different tasks to perform using their computers. There are those who spend many hours reading and replying emails while others spend the entire day typing documents. With such diversity in working settings, you need to adjust an office chair to suit your activities. Spare some of your precious time to adjust the seat, height, back, and arms. However, the adjustments may depend on what you are doing on a daily basis.

Consider additional back support

additional back supportIf the chair is not providing adequate lumbar support, you can consider adding a back support, which is attached to the back of the chair. It fits into the curvature of your back while supporting the specific area required. With this additional support, more padding is also provided. Instead of adding a back support, you can choose to buy those high-end office chairs with an adjustable built-in back support.

 

Consider adding a footrest under a computer desk

Your feet also require a proper sitting position. This can be achieved by adding a footrest under your desk, which provides a correct sitting posture. Additionally, the footrest can enhance proper circulation and back alignment.

Consider an Office Chair with Adjustable Arms

Many office workers overlook the aspect of armrests when buying new office chairs. However, the type of chair arms is an important factor that influences your comfort when sitting in your chair. Therefore, having adjustable arms provide adequate support to your arms and eliminate stress on the shoulder muscles.

Check if the chair is designed for you

Most of the chairs in the market are designed for normal persons – with the normal height and weight. However, people are different and a chair that is fit for you may not be suitable for another person. If you have extra pounds or you are taller than average, look for chairs that are designed for such people. The models usually have wider seats and larger cylinders.

DIY Shower Heads – How to Customize Your Shower Head for Better Bathing Experience

Showerhead Replacement

If you interact with various real estate agents, perhaps you have heard them say a good bathroom adds a resale value of any home. This simply tells you how important a bathroom is, especially in our modern homes today. However, what if you have no plans to sell your home anytime soon and you want a great bathroom for you and your family? It is simple; start by customizing and upgrading the shower fixtures because they make an amazing bathroom.

DIY Shower Heads

Upgrading, improving, or overhauling your shower fixtures is the best way to enhance your bathing experience. A relaxing shower is just enough after a tough day because it unwinds and rejuvenates the entire body. A bracing shower in every morning marks a good day kickstart. There is nothing in the bathroom that surpasses a luxurious and revitalizing shower, which is only achieved by having practical and quality showerheads. A custom shower is tailored to meet your needs and tastes, without pricey expenses down the line. After all, showers are the least expensive upgrades in a home.

Many people nowadays prefer relaxing warm showers, especially during the chilly winters. To enhance this experience, a few upgrades or an entire makeover on the shower can do the trick.

Let us look at some of the DIY overhauls and other major improvements you can do to your already existing shower system.

Consider Showerhead Replacement

Showerhead ReplacementOne of the quickest and easiest ways to enhance your bathing experience is through replacing your showerhead. In addition to being the most straightforward, it also the cheapest method to improve your shower experience. This is because there is a wide range of showerheads on the market, which allows people to choose based on their needs. This also allows major customization of bathing experience just by replacing the showerhead. Interestingly, you will not require a professional plumber to assist in the replacement process. It is a DIY thing because the models come with a step-by-step installation manual.

Consider Addition of a Handheld Shower

If your bathroom’s bath bay or bathtub has no shower, it is time to consider adding a handheld shower. Of course, some of the old versioned houses lack showers. But this does not mean you cannot enjoy a relaxing shower just like in any modern home. Simply look for a handheld shower and equip your bathroom. The installation process is a DIY. It is a simple upgrade that does not require expert plumbing skills. It also important to understand that having a handheld shower allows you to direct a water jet to all areas of your body hassle-free. This means a handheld shower is also a good method to improve your shower experience even if you have an in-ceiling showerhead.

Replace Outdated Faucet and Shower System

When you are really in need of a relaxing shower experience, you may be required to replace the showerhead, outdated faucet, and water control elements. This is usually essential if you bought an old house that requires major improvement. However, DIY may be possible for those who have had done a similar job before. For those who may not be able to handle the task, calling a local plumber can save you time for tiled showers. Additionally, some costly mistakes can be avoided by getting assistance from a professional. For the old homes with two handle faucets, you can choose to use a cover plate to hide the holes in the tile.

Add an Overhead Rain Head

Addition of rain head to showers is popular shower improvement ways among many homeowners. This is because people are in need of experiencing a rain-like shower rather than the traditional shower jet. However, some extra plumbing is required to take water up the ceiling. Therefore, it may not be a DIY task to some of the homeowners and therefore calling a plumber can save you the hassle.

 Overhead Rain Head

Install Shower Columns and Panels

Installing shower columns and panels offers price economy and ease of installation. The element of saving money comes in due to the combination of several plumbing features into a shower panel. Apart from saving money on buying each fixture, you are likely to save more time on installation. This is great for a DIY approach as well as a homeowner who would want to hire a bathroom remodeler specialist.

Go for Custom Shower Systems

For those who are intending to replace their shower systems with more complex options, they will probably require a professional plumbing expert. The options are endless depending on what you want. In addition to having body sprays and multiple heads, the shower system can include special lighting and sound systems. Whether you want to replace just the showerhead or change the entire system, the improvement will eventually enhance your bathing experience.

Can Wall Hung Toilet be an Alternative to Traditional Style Toilets?

wall hung toilet at home

Wall Hung ToiletThe wall hung toilets are popularly used in hotels, bars, and restaurants. That is why many people think that these toilet styles are specifically designed for those places. However, more designs have emerged on the market and people can choose from a wide range of wall hung toilet models. The two basic categories of toilets are floor mounted and wall mounted, with the difference fairly simple; floor mounted means that the toilet is installed on the floor while wall mounted toilets are installed on the wall with the tank concealed on the wall.

The floor mounted toilets are usually said to be the traditional models, especially in the US where the wall mounted toilets are not popular. However, these wall mounted toilets are getting a rapid recognition in America for the last few years. Although both of them perform a similar function, their core features and installation process differentiates them. Of course, most of us are familiar with the wall-mounted toilet concept, but we understand little about what actually they are. Some people perceive them as disgusting toilet models.

Benefits of Wall Hung Toilets

Space saving

The element of saving space is a major consideration of installing the wall mounted toilet in your bathroom. The other traditional floor toilets tend to occupy a bigger space, therefore being unsuitable for relatively smaller spaces. Actually, the wall-mounted toilets do not take up any space and could be the best choice to make your bathroom look bigger.

Ability to adjust height during installation

wall hung toilet at homeThis is interesting because you can decide what height is fit for you. When installing a wall-mounted toilet, you can first identify the comfortable height for all your family members. This is vital because many of the traditional toilets do not put into account the needs of tall and aged individuals. With the wall mounted toilet, you can ensure that the toilet is installed at the best height for the best interest of all users.

Easy-to-clean toilets

Due to the fact that the wall-mounted toilets are not attached to the ground, cleaning becomes easier compared to when cleaning a traditional toilet. You do not need to bend when cleaning a wall mounted toilet. There is also a space between the floor and the toilet, allowing you to clean the area beneath the bowl easily. In short, cleaning the toilet itself and the surrounding is just easy due to the installation nature of the toilet.

The water tank is hidden

During the installation process, the tank is usually concealed behind the wall. This makes the toilet appear sleek and simple compared to the traditional models. Your toilet is never congested and could be the best if you have a small bathroom. It is also a nice toilet model that eliminates the traditional style of bathrooms. It brings a simple and beautiful look in your bathroom and the house in general. Additionally, the concealing of the tank is just sophisticated. This reflects the investment worthiness and could elevate the resale value of the house.

A wide range of options

wall hung optionsIn addition to the modest nature of the wall-mounted toilets, they also come in a wide variety of options to choose from. You select softer and gentle curves, rounded edges, square shaped, or sharper lined toilet styles. Due to the availability of different tastes, you can choose what suits your needs, as well as personal taste and preference.

What about the shortcomings? As much as these wall mounted toilets have many benefits, they also possess some serious disadvantages.

First, they are difficult to install. The installation process of a wall-mounted toilet requires special materials to prevent damaging the wall. Given the significant weight of the toilet, you need also to reinforce the wall to prevent pulling down. This means that there is much hassling while to trying to secure the toilet on the wall. Therefore, it is a time-consuming task with relatively higher cost implications.

Second, you need to install the toilet on a firm wall. This comes together with the issue of framing, which may require bolting steel frames to the studs in order to hold the water tank in position. This is important to prevent the tank from falling out of the installed position.

Third, once you have installed the toilet it is important to leave adequate accessibility when the repair work is needed. The wall should be accessed from the bathroom or from a different room behind it. That is why installation may not be as difficult as remodeling or replacing the toilet. This is because a lot of designing, redesigning, and switching drains is involved.

Conclusion

Even though there are a few disadvantages of using wall-hung toilets, the benefits outweigh the shortcomings. There is more to gain from the toilets. Based on the design perspective, the wall mounted toilets offer a contemporary, aesthetic, and sleek appearance to a bathroom.