29 May

The Difference in Cost of Heating and Cooling

The amount of heating and cooling changes depending on location

Every location is going to have different energy cost usages over the months, but usually the summer months cost more than the winter months in terms of energy usage (assuming the home has both AC and heating units).  The obvious answer is that it takes more energy to cool a room than to heat a room, but this begs the question of why? Here is a short explanation of why heating and cooling use such different amounts of energy.

Heating: this hot part of the heating and cooling equation is simple, because heating can simply turn energy into heat. Whether it is a space heater, furnace, or any other source of energy, these units are 100% efficient. A system’s efficiency is based on how much energy is used compared to how much is lost to heat, so when a system’s goal is to create heat then all energy lost in process is still turned into heat. Thus, why heating a room is energy-efficient.

Cooling: To make a room cool the energy within the room must be removed. This means the heat in a system must be evacuated from the system. Energy must be used to do this, so the outside world is heated twice as much when AC is used (from both the heat being moved, and the heat used to move the heat). That is why cooling a room is so energy inefficient. This is also why leaving your freezer open will increase the total room temperature.

The amount of heating and cooling changes depending on location, but due to the laws of thermodynamics the energy cost to raise a room by 1 degree is significantly less than decreasing the rooms temperature by 1 degree. This is in turn why the cost of running an air conditioner is much greater than the cost of running a heater.

29 May

4 Things Your Plumber Wants You to Know

When a plumber needs to get into the walls to fix a pipe

The ins and outs of a plumber’s career are something that they are aware of, but the average person will not know. Since people deal with plumbers so rarely, there are many things that your plumber thinks are common knowledge that you may not know. Here are a few things that your plumber knows that they would also like you to know.

  1. Plumbers Don’t Fix Their Messes: When a plumber needs to get into the walls to fix a pipe, they will not fix that. Were a wall to need to come down for them to fix the plumbing they will not fix it. Make sure you ask what sort of damage will be done before the plumber starts so you can be ready to fix it once they leave.
  2. Turn Off Your Spouts in the Winter: Any faucets outside need to be turned off during the winter to avoid pipes freezing. Your plumber wishes you would always turn off your outside faucets to avoid any risk of your pipes bursting due to ice.
  3. Running Toilets: Many toilet issues from needing new handles to continuously running are easy fixes. Many things that can go wrong with a toilet can be fixed almost instantly and do not require a plumber to be called.
  4. Spending Now Saves Later: Putting off a job now could lead to much greater and urgent repair costs in the future. Much like how not paying for an oil change can lead to needing a new engine later, so cannot repairing your plumbing system lead to it breaking even worse in the future.

While some of this may be considered common knowledge by a plumber, not everyone is aware of these things. There are many more things that plumbers wish you knew, but this list is a decent start.

29 May

Granite Kitchen Countertops and Other Options for Your Home

Granite kitchen countertops are very popular

New kitchen countertops are a great way to update your kitchen.  It is amazing how changing your countertops will completely transform your kitchen and make it look brand new.  Kitchen countertops also allow you to add a different style element to your kitchen without replacing every feature.

There are many different options for kitchen countertops that you can choose from. Granite kitchen countertops are very popular, and they have an elegant and timeless look. Plus, they will never go out of style. You can choose from different finishes, like polished granite and honed granite. Granite kitchen countertops are stain and heat-resistant and provides you with a very durable work surface.

Quartz kitchen countertops are also very popular. Quartz is an engineered stone, so it can come in almost any color. Quartz is very low maintenance and very durable. It is heat-resistant, scratch-resistant, and stain-resistant.

Recycled glass countertops are also a wonderful choice and they will really make your kitchen look beautiful. Recycled glass countertops are made with pieces of recycled glass and other materials bound together with a polymer. Recycled glass countertops come in a wide variety of textures and colors, so you can add a totally unique design element to your kitchen countertops that is very eco-friendly.

There are several options available to give your kitchen a new look. Most homeowners prefer granite kitchen countertops because of the reasons mentioned above. Your local home builder or contractor should be able to give you advise on which type of countertop is best suited for your style and needs.