Find A Great HVAC Contractor

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning, colloquially called HVAC is the technology that makes your house comfortable to live in. The same technology finds application in vehicles. It is absolutely essential to design comfortable living spaces and offices. We have come a long way from the traditional boilers and modern technology needs experts for proper installation, operation and most importantly maintenance. It is thus imperative to find a great HVAC contractor for all your work.

One of the best places to find a great HVAC contractor is an organization comprised of members from the profession. The most prominent of these organizations is the ACCA i.e. Air Conditioning Contractors of America. This is the largest national organization and has chapters in every state. It maintains exhaustive lists of its members and can be very useful to find qualified professionals in Maryland and other trusted contractors. Another similar association is the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, shortened to SMACNA. This is an international association and can help you find a good contractor just about anywhere. There are also many other smaller organizations. These can not only serve as a source of good professionals, but can also prove to be an effective way to gauge a professional’s quality. If a professional is affiliated to any of these organizations, it is an indirect seal of competence.

You can also find some very good HVAC contractors on online directories. Along with the contact details of the contractor, they also feature honest reviews on the pricing and service of the contractor helping you make your decision. You should also try to work backwards. What this means is that while you try to find a good HVAC contractor, you should also look at any complaints filed against the contractor in recent times. If there are none, you should hire the contractor.

Plumbing Emergency: What to Do When Your Water Heater Leaks

Most of us have been there at one time or another: That moment when you’re confronted by an unexpected plumbing emergency. That was the scene in my Orland Park, Illinois home last week. I lost several precious minutes because I wasn’t immediately ready to handle a leaky water heater, and keep things under control until professional plumbing help could arrive.

So I thought I’d jot down some notes, some things I’ve learned over the last few days to ensure that I’m not caught unprepared the next time an emergency strikes. Maybe I can share some information that might help you, too, in a time of need.

In most plumbing emergencies that involve a leak, your first course of action should be obvious: Shut off the water. That often involves shutting off the main water valve to your house. If you don’t already know exactly where that main valve is, you need to find it. Equally important: You need to know how to turn off that valve. Sometimes you can turn a knob by hand; more often, you’ll need a curb valve key, and you can buy one inexpensively at your local home improvement store.

Occasionally, your water heater will be the source of the leak. Again, you’ll want to shut off the water. This can usually be done by shutting off the valve immediately over your heater. If this can’t be done, you’ll need to shut off the main valve.

Shutting off the water to your water heater is only half of what you need to do – you also need to turn off the heat. This is critical. Without cooling water, a water heater can overheat and its tanks can be severely damaged or burst – probably a much bigger problem than the leak itself. If you have an electric heater, turn it off by flipping the switch on the breaker box. For gas heaters, look to the bottom of the heater for a red-handle atop a black or yellow pipe; turning this handle 90 degrees should cut off the gas.

Once the water is shut off, and the heater is turned off, you can turn your attention to diverting the water. Again, look to the bottom of the heater. This time, you’ll want to find the drain value. Ideally, you can connect a garden hose to it, open it, and route the water out of your home. If not, find something to catch the water so it can be removed before it leaks out.

Let’s say that your water heater has already overheated; a telltale sign will be scalding hot water coming out of your faucets. This time, you’ll need to shut off the water heater’s heat as referenced above. But don’t shut off any water valves – you want that heater to cool off. Instead, open faucets around your home to provide a release for that dangerously hot water. Then waste no time before you call that emergency plumber in Orland Park, or wherever you may live.

Hopefully these suggestions will help prepare you for the day when your water heater acts up. I wish I’d been more prepared. But I can say that I did the most important thing to do in any plumbing emergency, and that’s keep your cool. I kept my head, and while I lost precious time looking things up online, I was able to calmly deal with the leak in a matter of minutes.

Here’s to hoping that this article buys you a few extra minutes, and helps you deal swiftly with your next plumbing emergency.

Preparing your AC for Summer

There are many different ways to prepare your home air conditioner for the upcoming summer months. With your ac system laying dormant during the winter months could cause issues going into the warmer months. Before switching your Air Conditioner on for the first time there are certain maintenance issues you should check. These include checking the integrity of your system and making sure that there isn’t anything obstructing the moving parts. You also need to make sure you check the electrical connections to make sure they are still properly sealed and connected. Besides the obvious issues I wanted to bring up some topics that are not thought off to often.

Check for Air Leaks

During the winter months certain areas of your home could have become compromised and by making sure that they are sealed correctly can help you save money on your energy costs. Make sure you go around the home and caulk around windows and doors. This will ensure that no air escapes your home preventing your air conditioner from over working.

Clear Out Door Unit of Debris

Take the time to walk around your outdoor unit and check for obstructions inside of your fan. This could include leaves or sticks that was somehow wedged inside during the winter time. Make sure that the area around your unit is clear of debris so that you system will have proper air flow.

Setting a Higher Temperature

Make sure that you don’t start your air conditioning off at a difficult task, such as setting your thermostat to 60 degrees. Set your ac for a higher temperature to make sure that everything is running properly and over the week gradually decrease the temperature making sure that your system can meet the expectations.

If you are looking for a professional perform routine maintenance on your system then I would suggest contacting Aire Serv at They also provide a wide range of self-help tips to help you get started. They provide very reliable information and services for all residential and commercial homes and businesses that you can trust.

Remodeling your Home Plumbing

When thinking about remodeling it is important to make sure that you plumbing is always in tip top shape. An optimal plumbing system will improve the quality of your water and your water costs. There are many signs that can signal the need for repair or replacement. Some plumbing issues can be easily solved by tightening a bolt, while some require a more in depth approach to solve the issue. If you ever find yourself in need of a great plumbing service then click here. I have used a plumbing company called Mr. Rooter for all of my plumbing emergencies and they have gone above and beyond to solve my problems. But let’s check out some signals that may mean repair or replacement for your piping system.

  1. If hear a screeching sound coming from your kitchen or bathroom faucets when turned on you may have an issue. This sound is created because somewhere in the plumbing line there is a buildup of air. One way to try and solve this is by opening every faucet in your home and turning you master water valve off. This will allow all of your pipes to clear of water and then refill back to proper pressure.
  2. When experiencing low water pressure from your sinks or bathtubs then you may find yourself in bad plumbing situation. This issue could arise form clogged pipes, which prevent the proper pressure of water to travel through the piping. Unless if you are able to clear the clog yourself you may need to call an experienced plumber.
  3. Finding pools of water under your sink or underneath your water heater can mean that some of your piping is leaking. This can be an easy fix done by most home owners by simply tightening bolts or possible reinforcing some connections.
  4. Gurgling sounds from your drain could also mean that you have a blockage or trapped air in your piping. Once clog is removed then you the gurgling sound will disappear and you won’t have to be annoyed by the sound any more.

Remember to take safety precautions when performing home improvement projects. Safety should be the number one priority for all home owners. If you find yourself out of your element then give a professional a call.

Reliable Services for Window Tinting in Indianapolis

window-tinted-homeIf you’re looking for a reliable service provider for Indianapolis window tinting, you might find it useful to do a little bit of “homework” to find out which companies to do business with. These tips will help you “separate the wheat from the chaff,” as it were.

Product Range

The first consideration is how well the tinting company can source top-quality products for you. As experts in the field, they should be able to get you the right product for your needs. This may be in the form of tint film of the right opacity or UV protection; it may be getting you a film at the lowest price possible; it may even be as simple as providing you color options for window tinting. The point is: can they get you what you want or need at the right price point?

Professional Service

This includes aspects such as how quickly the job gets done, whether their final bill is in line with their initial estimate and so on. It also includes their responsiveness when you first get in touch with them: Did they answer your email within one business day; did they call you back right away when you left a voice message, etc. Professional service means customer focus, so if they’re focused on the customer; their professionalism automatically falls into place.

The Right Price

This doesn’t always mean ‘cheapest.’ Any company that does professional window tinting can claim to be able to give you the best price, but is that really true? Are they giving you a low price by compromising on quality? This is an important question; the best price means the most competitive price for comparable quality – not the absolute lowest.

These three tips will guide you straight to the contractor that provides the best quality at the best price point possible.

Great Accent Lighting

There are many different ways in which to improve your home through lighting elements. One way in which you can brighten up your home is by installing under cabinet lighting or low hanging light fixtures. When thinking about different styles and looks for your kitchen these two can really enhance the look of your kitchen area. You want to make sure that your kitchen is well lit not only for comfort levels but also for safety reasons as well. If you kitchen is very dark then you could end up cutting yourself with kitchen ware due to the lack of light.

Under cabinet lighting is a great feature because they will be on a separate switch and can accent certain parts of your kitchen. They can help showcase your beautiful counter tops or stainless steel appliances. You can use this lighting to draw guest’s eyes to certain locations of your kitchen. Installing this kind of lighting is not as easy as installing one light fixture. If you are in need of an electrician then I would contact Mr. Electric of Lafayette. They provide world class customer service and rival all other electrical service companies in the area. Their electricians can solve any electrical issue you may run into while remodeling your home.

Another great way to add accent lighting to your kitchen is with low hanging light fixtures. Like the under cabinet lighting it can add emphasis on a certain parts of your kitchen. If you have a kitchen island that you want to draw emphasis to then you can install a low hanging light fixture right above your island.  This will also help with cooking because your work station will be well lit.

You can use both of these types of lighting when remodeling your kitchen and it will add that little something extra you are looking for in your home. There are many different types of lighting you can use for your home but nothing will work as well as these two items for your kitchen vibe. I hope you found this article to be very informative and applicable to your home remodeling needs.

Finding Replacement Windows in Houston

My wife and I have owned our home in Houston for 21 wonderful years.  It holds a lot of memories being one of the first homes built in our neighborhood.  We’ve seen new houses built and remodeled all around ours through the years, but the most we’ve ever done with our home was occasionally put a new coat of paint on the outside.  I guess you can say that we are somewhat objective to change.

We can’t keep this mindset up for long though when we are faced with a serious problem such as worn out windows.  We noticed this in about late December that our home wasn’t getting warm enough even with our heating system working correctly.  We found out that we were experiencing leakage from some of the windows which allowed cold air to get into our home.  Well after 21 years, our windows were bound to wear out sooner or later.  It was time to find a company that installed replacement windows.

vizion replacement windowsAfter doing some research online, I came across Vizion Windows who installs replacement windows and doors in Houston, Texas.  I was impressed, the moment I visited their website when I saw immediate examples of their work in a slideshow along with detailed, positive reviews from real customers.  I chose Vizion to replace my old windows because their professionals have about 30 years experience in the window replacement industry.  My home is my treasure, so if I’m going to have people come into it to do such an important job, I want it done by people who know what they are doing and are passionate about it.

The experts at Vizion stand out from the competition by only specializing in high quality replacement windows.  A company that focuses on doing one thing for a long period of time usually means that they are good at it.

It didn’t take us long to call set up our appointment.  The day of installment was stress free due to the experience and professionalism of the crew members who arrived at my home.  The team at Vizion is passionate about what they do, and it really shows from the moment they walk in your door.  When the job was done, I had beautiful new windows that were energy efficient and added extra value to my home.  Being one of the residents living on this block the longest, we can easily recommend the experts at Vizion to our neighbors for professional window replacement.

Why Granite for Counter Tops

What is one thing that tends to stand out in any home?  Granite counter tops!  They look beautiful, they feel sturdy and clean, and they last forever.  One thing I’m really glad that I invested money into for my home is definitely the beautiful granite counter tops that are now throughout my kitchen and bathroom.  Although not many people know where to go or who to ask when it comes to considering replacing the existing counter tops you may have now, with ones that are made from granite.

Benefits of Granite

Granite is not only beautiful, it’s also durable when properly cared for, and can last forever.  One of the best things about granite, though is that its relatively simple to clean, and is great for sanitary surfaces.  Unlike porous surfaces that can harbor bacteria and microbes and viruses, granite is a relative solid material that doesn’t pose a risk to your health.  A mild detergent and warm water is sufficient to clean it, and if your frequently working with raw chicken or have children running around, then you can fight off bacteria by just having granite as your counter top of choice.  Not only does it provide these benefits, but if you ever consider selling your home, it adds immense value to your property and how pretty things look to prospect owners.

Who do you call for Granite Counter tops?

Well, I wouldn’t recommend starting at Lowe’s or any other generic hardware store.  They are going to very overpriced, and the installation won’t be nearly as good as should be.  There is one company here that I’ve relied on for my switchover and I’m really happy with the job they provided.  Granite Source Inc. was great, and they have a location close by here in Richmond.  They came out and provided a one on one consultation complete with measurements and a quote for both the granite and the installation service they provide as well.  If you are considering reshaping your kitchen a little bit, or want to have something fancier than the current layout, they can help with that also.  Of course, I still recommend doing your own research and picking out the company that you feel comfortable with, but for the residents in Virginia, you are more than likely going to wind up making a phone call to them, so save some time and check out their website.

Appliance Repair Tips

Once upon a time people were perfectly happy hand washing dishes and hanging clothes up to dry. Most of our lives have evolved to use every second of free time we have to pursue jobs, passions, or the daily responsibilities of having a family. When a major appliance like a washing machine or refrigerator suddenly stops working, it is a tremendous inconvenience to things that we are so focused on maintaining.

I consider myself to be pretty well equipped to fix most common malfunctions or mechanical problems, but it is often the case that the time it takes me to research the problem and buy parts for the appliance repair, it isn’t worth it. I have recently started using an appliance repair company in Boise to take care of more complicated problems. If I accurately describe the name brand and symptoms of the appliance, they can almost always bring all the necessary parts and fix it in close to an hour’s time.

It is a good practice to ask the repair technician to share some specifics about they are doing. This helps you keep price quotes honest, but also increase the chances that you could repeat a similar fix in the future. One time I learned that my dryer wouldn’t turn on just because there was some build up on the inside of the door that stopped the locking system from completely closing. As far as the machine knew, the door was still open, and thus wouldn’t turn on.

Some common first steps to fixing dryer problems include:

Cleaning the lint screen if clothes are taking longer than average to reach a normal level of dryness.

Wiping moisture the automatic sensor can also help correct this kind of problem.

Finally, clean the exhaust vent on the outside of the machine and ensure the exhaust pipe is set up correctly to allow air flow to and from the appliance.

Finding Plumbers in Manchester NH

Hiring a trained plumber isn’t as simple as calling up the first tradesman in the book. To ensure that you’re getting a quality service from a professional, then it goes without saying that you’ll want to save yourself from any unseen future stresses and have the job done swiftly and effectively. Before hiring, you’ll need to make some careful considerations before hiring plumbers in Manchester NH.

Pipe up! Things to be aware of before hiring

Finding a plumber who has the right combination of experience, flexibility and a good price doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. Investing a little extra time and doing your research about local plumbers in Manchester NH is well-worth it: A badly-done plumbing job could potentially cost you a small fortune. Faulty plumbing not only mean that your water supply may be compromised, but you also run the risk of more serious problems – leaks, floods and resulting water damage can cost thousands. For this reason, you should make sure you’re hiring the right man for the job.

One of the first things you’ll be thinking about is probably going to be the balance between price and quality. Can you get receive a quality service at the lowest possible quote? Although cost may not be a deciding factor, you can ask around for a quote to get an idea about how much you should expect to pay. You should also enquire about a plumber’s schedule. For work which needs to be attended to immediately, this will probably narrow down your options.

While most professional plumbers receive their trade through word-of-mouth, there arezother ways to figure out what to expect from your plumber. One of the most telling signs is a plumber who can provide you initial reassurance that they are fully aware of plumbing codes and regulations. Your chosen tradesman should be qualified and – on your demand – should be able to provide you with a qualification certificate. You could also ask your top candidates for references and customer reviews, some of which may also be available online.