Solar Energy: The Advantages of Solar Power for your Home

Generally, people will think about changing out their floors, putting on a new roof, adding new paint, and just general work and upgrades on the house when you say home renovation. And some people will think about issues like heaters, air conditioners, and also pipes. But when you are doing some home improvement work to your house, you may want to consider solar energy and the benefits it can provide to you. One of the main reasons why you will want to consider solar energy is the simple fact that it can provide you with power for free, so you will not have to pay for it.

A huge advantage of using solar energy is that it will boost the value of your property by quite a lot. You can see any where up to a 157% increase in the value of your property, by simply using solar energy on your home. Besides boosting the value of your home it will save you a ton of money on your energy bill as well.

When you are selling your home, having a solar energy system connected will help sell it faster as well. And people are more willing to pay more money for it. People love a home where you will be able to save a lot of money owning because you do not have to worry about energy bills. This is becoming more and more appealing nowadays because the price of energy is constantly going up and there is no sign of it going back down. So with a solar energy system connected, you could have done everything you normally do but without having to worry about breaking the bank in the process. You can also receive energy credits as well from having a home that is very energy efficient, which is always a nice thing to have. And another aspect to keep into account of is that homes that are equipped with solar energy systems normally outsell conventional homes, because the many benefits and advantages that come included with a home that has this system.

So there is a lot of renovations you can do that can boost your home’s equity, but none of them are nowhere near as effective as installing a solar energy system to the house. This system will not only save you money but it can make you money as well, so there is no reason why you should not install solar energy right now.


Ways Home Insulation Can Save You Money

ac repair tampaJust like a car which needs an engine and other important parts to operate, your new HVAC also requires a well-insulated home for maximum smooth and efficient operation.

Contact your local ac repair tampa contractor who can give you good advice on insulation.

Efficiency is very paramount in HVAC systems. The efficiency of these systems is affected by their age as well as home insulation. Therefore, if you are a homeowner, you need to insulate the empty gaps in your house such as walls, ducts, windows, rafters, among other parts for steady room temperature maintenance.

However, home insulation isn’t limited to just those functions. From here, you will get to know more about home insulation- further advantages, types, costs and how to insulate your home properly.

 

Reasons for home insulation

Proper home insulation helps an HVAC to experience less resistance. When a house isn’t well insulated, warm air produced by HVAC escapes, compelling the system to overwork thus increased energy bills and/or HVAC damage. If an HVAC system fails due to poor insulation during the extremely cold months, your family may develop health issues due to the coldness. Therefore, lack of proper home insulation may cost you a lot; both regarding money and health.

Parts to Insulate

Ensure that all the parts of your home that are connected to the exteriors are insulated. Such parts include attic, roof, windows, walls, ducts, doors, floors, and ceilings.

Types of Home Insulation

The types include:

  1. Fiberglass Insulation: This is the most prominent type and can be bought in the form of batts or loose fill. Batts are woven insulation blankets with a paper or foil to protect them from moisture. Batts are easy to install. Apart from being relatively cheap, fiberglass is also resistant to fire and water.
  1. Mineral Wool Insulation: Although the structure of mineral wool is almost the same as that of fiber glass, the former is more costly and harder to find than the latter. However, mineral wool settles with time and becomes sticky when wet, making its insulating function less effective.
  1. Cellulose Insulation: Recycled papers are the major components of cellulose. It comes as a treated loose fill product which resists pest and moisture damage. Nevertheless, cellulose insulation loses its effectiveness and also becomes heavy and compacted when it absorb moisture.
  1. Spray Foam Caution: this is a product of polyurethane which is as a result of a mixture of two chemicals whose application is done with a hose. The disadvantage of this insulation is that it can cause a foul smell as well as health and breathing problems if it is not installed correctly.

Costs associated with home Insulation

The total costs for insulating a home differ depending on the method and insulation type utilized. Although many people who own homes do the insulation on their own, it is important to involve an expert to determine the exact requirements. This is particularly paramount if the local building codes influence the insulation.

Insulate your home and see your savings increase

Just like the majority of projects, as a homeowner can save some money if you install your home insulation on your own. However, hiring a contractor can help you in saving time and resources. This is because the expert will come up and use the exact materials needed. The use of an appropriate amount of materials leads to reduced energy consumption thus less energy bill. Besides, your contractor will install the insulation in such a way that there will be reduced fire risks in your home.

Approximately, your HVAC accounts for 70% of your total home power bills. Therefore, you can significantly cut your energy bills by having your home properly insulated. As you consider insulating your home, remember to get the best type of insulation.

Contact a local HVAC expert to test the insulation of your home.


Your Guide to the 3 Different Types of Pavers

Before you start with your pavers project, it is very important that you identify the best type of paver stone that will suit your space best.

Take note that they are not just a valuable addition to the aesthetic value of your place; they are also among the best alternatives to concrete that you can have.

Interlocking paving stones are locked together so that there will be nothing that grows in between them and they are also designed to shift in accordance to the ground so that cracks can be prevented. This way, homeowners would have the chance to choose the right one that goes perfectly with their taste and preferences. As we have mentioned, you have to know about the different paver types before you get on with any pavers project.

Tumbled Pavers
When we say tumbled pavers, we are referring to the type of paver that you usually see when you go around to shop for standard pavers. They are in demand because of the natural, antique look that they have, which resulted from a process that wears down their shard edges.

After you complete this particular process, it would look like the paver stones have been tested through time because the edges were broken or chipped. If you want your place to have some sort of old look or feel, the tumbled pavers is the right one for you.

Textured Pavers
Compared to tumbled pavers, this particular type are textured and this is what you should get if you are into a more custom and expensive appearance. This is usually used in pool areas because the texture they have helps avoid accidents like slipping or falling.

Smooth Pavers
Smooth pavers are what you should get if you want to have a cohesive look in your space since they will give you a smooth and solid surface. They can be used in your driveway, for your walkway or even your patio if you want things to have convenient symmetry. If you are looking for a classy, polished look, this type of paver is the perfect one for you.

If you are trying to look for the best place to get the pavers you need for your home, you just have to log into the Internet and start searching for paver specials. There are a lot of affordable deals and discounts that you can avail to. They can also help you save a great deal of money if you are handling a major pavers project.

You also have to make sure that you have the right contractor to help you. There are so many reviews that can help you when it comes to selecting the best one and there is also a chance that you will be pointed to those who received an Angie’s List Super Service Award, an award given to outstanding services providers in this field.


Improving your Pool with Pool Decking

There are a lot of things you will want to think about when it comes down to pool decking. Such as this is a great place to relax on a nice day next to your swimming pool. Also, you can have pool decking with any kind of swimming pool, so it does not matter if it is an in ground pool or an above ground pool. The decking will usually be part of the in ground pool, while for an above ground pool, you will need to add the decking afterwards. One important thing you should consider when it comes down to pool decking, is that it is very important that it is smooth and cool, so you will not burn your feet in the summer.

There are plenty of materials you can use for good pool decking, such as concrete, stone, tiles, composite, or even wood. They will all have their textures as well, so make sure you can find a material that will match your home and pool.

An important thing you will want to think about when you want to install pool decking is to ensure that it is actually slip resistant. In order to make your pool decking slip resistant, you will need to use a rough paint or stain so your feet can grip the decking.

The last thing you will want to do is refinish your decking each and every single year. So you may want to consider aluminum decking or plastic vinyl decking, because this is a material that once it is installed, you will never have to worry about it again. You will still need to do maintenance but this just means cleaning it off every once in awhile. There are a lot of benefits from using this material though, because it will not decay, rot, or attract insects. And the best part is that there are no chemicals to worry about, which is always a good thing when you have younger children around the pool.

If you want pool decking that matches the house, then it is possible to use materials that looks like real wood and can mimic your home. This is great because it can tie your pool into your home and improve the overall appearance of the house. And that is some of the basic facts and some of the benefits regarding pools and pool decking, because this is without an important addition to any house.


Bringing your Old Patio Back to Life

There are a lot of options available to you when you want to bring your old patio back to life.

There is actually a lot of ways you can refurbish and renew your patio.

Using it for a Fire Pit

If you have a patio that is not covered, then you may want to build a fire pit out there, because with just some folding chairs you can have a wonder time. You may want to hire a professional to build the fire pit for you, especially if you want it to look like it is part of your patio, and has a clean professional look to it.

Using it for a Gazebo

Another great way to refurbish your patio is by using the floor as the foundation and then building a gazebo on it. There are a lot of methods you can use when building a gazebo because you can use lattice, trellis, wrought iron, PVC, and also wood. There are quite a few different styles of gazebos you can choose from as well such as Victorian, Chinese, and many others.

And in order to make the patio look even more amazing you can add furniture, you can place a fire pit, you can put some plants, and you even add some curtains to make your gazebo look amazing and elegant.

Putting your Indoor Furniture on the Patio

Believe it or not but it is popular for people to use indoor furniture on their patios. You can out a lot of different kinds of furniture out there such as reclines, easy chairs, sofas, pillows, anything you can imagination to make your patio your own private oasis. Just make sure you have some kind of patio cover to protect the furniture from the weather.

In order to make your patio even more amazing, you can install some grills and a cooking station.

Using Awnings

If your patio is a space that you simply cannot use because of the weather, then you will want to consider installing an awning. An awning will protect the patio and you from anything that Mother Nature throws at you.

Seasonal Uses

You can also decorate the patio according to the season, which is a great use of the space and it affordable to do as well. So if it is Christmas then you may want to put some snowmen there or if it is Halloween, then you should consider placing some jack-o-lanterns.

For some further ideas for your patio, check out 4 Creative Design Ideas For Concrete Patios in San Francisco.

As you can see, there are quite a few different things you can use your old patio for. Just be creative and think outside of the box.


The Effect of Trees on Social Beings

Trees and Healthy Living

Trees will and always have been fulfilling a lot of necessities of humans. Apart from providing food and shelter they are the nature’s way of providing us oxygen. We all learn as children the importance of trees in our lives and how they affect us. What we forget is how to protect them from diseases and how to take care of them. Not only do they affect us physically but also emotionally. “The peaceful environment, the sounds, and the way they bring about the natural element to our fast worldly lives is incomparable” Eric Martin

treeimpactonus

Lasting Effects on Social Beings

Trees not only provide oxygen but also improve the quality of air surrounding us, supports wildlife, controls the climate and much more. Don’t you like to walk and jog around trees? That’s because the nature has a powerful way of keeping us close and connected, inspiring us of its beauty. We find peace and to keep that peace we must maintain our trees by giving them proper professional care. Only then the trees we dearly love will stay healthy and will keep benefiting us in many ways.

Research shows that trees have a great psychological effect, it is said that trees and wildlife can help people with nature-deficit disorder”, many of us not familiar with the term but are most certainly suffering from it. It is the disorder caused by being indoors all the time, away from nature. Improved results have been observed with patients who are more close to nature. Another research study shows that places with greenery and trees has less crime rates and more social interactive behavior. All these effects combined play an important role that cannot be challenged.

Maintain Trees for Better Living

Then we should not ignore the fact that trees are more beneficial to us than what we thought so. To keep them healthy we must take some serious actions. Keep them under observation, prune and trim when required. Ask for a professionals http://treesurgical.com/arborist-chicago help from time to time.

Never ever delay any tree services because that is going to cost you a lot more. Enjoy and be inspired by nature’s treat without having to do anything at all.


How To Plant Fruit Trees

cherry-treeFruit trees need special attention in the first years of existence in order to guarantee proper production and a normal development. Knowing how to plant fruit trees is an essential skill for anyone wanting to create an orchard from zero or just wanting to replace the old trees in the backyard.

Planting fruit trees is not a difficult at all, but certain preparatory actions are needed in order to ensure success. Access to correct knowledge and acquiring the right set of skills is mandatory, as there are multiple sources which pretend to be pertinent in the matter.

Planting fruit trees starts with selecting the type of fruits you want to obtain. Although trees can be planted from seed, best results are obtained with saplings which are grafted so that they produce a superior quality and quantity of fruits. Selecting the planting season is again important and you can choose between late autumn and early spring. Ideal conditions for planting fruit trees include a sunny spot and a sufficient depth of soil. It is also important to avoid planting in low areas where water might accumulate for larger periods of time in the raining season. If water drainage is poor, roots will rot in the ground.

The whole should be dug larger than the actual room needed for the roots in order to break the soil and allow easy roots development. Adding compost at the base of the fruit tree upon planting should be done with extreme care, as some types can burn the roots. It is important to ensure that the roots are fully covered by soil and therefore gentle press around the trunk is recommended. Soil which accommodates the newly planted tree should be compacted enough in order to allow contact between the roots and the soil, but without damaging them.

If you would like to find out what kind of regular tree service fruit tress require check out this site. In order to yield the expected results it involves regular check-ups, providing the needed humidity, and protection against parasites and other negative conditions. Tree service can also include soil improvements in areas in which the soil is lacking nutrients and is unable to support extended vegetation. Collecting just the fruits year after year is not enough to guarantee long-term survival and it is quite possible for fruit trees to encounter several problems during their lifetime.

Tree pruning is usually perceived as a counter-intuitive action by most amateur horticulturists. Pruning is the name given to the set of actions which target the removal of parts of the tree such as branches. The main purposes of tree pruning are deadwood removal, controlling and directing growth, maintaining health, reducing the risk of falling branches, as well as increasing the yield of quality fruits. Reducing the overall height of a tree is another reason behind pruning, as well as allowing a better circulation of air. Superior yields are obtain when tree pruning removes excess branches and allows better light access.

Tree service and tree pruning are actions easy to make on fruits trees which are young and have a limited growth. But when it comes to larger trees, both tree service and tree pruning can become difficult. The need to climb and use heavy saws can take the job out of the hands of the inexperienced. Fortunately, it takes a considerable number of years since planting, before trees reach a development which makes tree pruning difficult. In early years, tree pruning is quite easy, and involves a couple of branches to be cut off. Nevertheless, decision regarding tree pruning should be taken with special attention, as this has the ability to influence later development.

When tree pruning is done, it involves building a strategy of how the fruit tree will be allowed to grow. Most common goals of tree pruning are promoting vertical growth by eliminating downwards branches, and making sure that branches form a symmetrical and proportioned canopy. Branches which intersect or grow towards the center of the tree should also be removed. Symmetry is especially important for avoiding tree overturning in the case of strong winds.

Tree service and tree pruning are actions which can guarantee the successful development of a newly planted tree. Nevertheless, they require the implementation of correct knowledge and skills.


Learn How to Grow Cantaloupe in your Backyard Garden

CantaloupeRaised bed, square foot, or backyard planter, learn how to grow cantaloupe right now!

Cantaloupe is a delicate, summer grown vegetable. Cantaloupes takes three months to harvest at maturity.

Cantaloupe also goes by the name muskmelon, due to its aroma.

You can start cantaloupes from seeds, directly in your garden soil, or you can use transplants with equal success.

Cantaloupe Germination

You must plant the melons after any chance of frost has passed. The fruit does not tolerate cold, so be cautious when trying to get a head start on your transplants.

To get a head start, use black plastic or floating row covers to retain the Sun’s heat.

If starting from seeds indoors, do not transplant your seedlings more than once, and do not allow the plants to become too large, as they will have their growth stunted.

Cantaloupe Seedling

Growing cantaloupes from seed is simple. It is a fairly large seed, so sow it a bit deeper in the soil, say one inch.

Growing melons in containers is only feasible if you have a trellis for the vine to attach to.

That’s the same philosophy used in square foot gardening, where the cantaloupe is planted in the end of the bed, attached to netting and a frame.

Cantaloupe Plant

In the wild, the vines grow up the sides of hills, growing the fruits on the ground, much like a pumpkin.

You can grow as much cantaloupe as you want with your hills, or one per trellis for your raised bed gardens.

When the plant begins to send vine shoots out, you can give it a boost with some nitrogen rich fertilizer.

Young Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe likes the hot, so it should not be a stretch of the imagination that they don’t do well in over watered gardens, or where drainage is not ideal.

That being said, they do not tolerate drought well, either.

When the green disappears from inside the webbing on the rind, the melon is ripe, and ready to be harvested.

Swelling Cantaloupe

If the stem does not easily release, you are too eager, the removal should be very easy.

The sweet flavour occurs as a result of the starches changing to sugars in the afternoon sun, and cannot be rushed. Cantaloupes do not continue to ripen after they are picked.

Harvest in the morning, this will help the plants recover better.

Ripening Cantaloupe

Harvest as soon as the plants have ripe fruit, or you will find that your raccoon population will be eating your bounty instead of you.

Harvesting the cantaloupes also encourages further cantaloupe production.

Don’t forget to keep some melon seeds for next year. The seeds are inside the fruit, so wash and strain them, and store in a paper envelope in a cool dry place until next year.

Learning to grow cantaloupe in your own backyard is just that simple.


Learn How to Grow Summer Squash in your Backyard Garden

Summer SquashRaised bed, square foot, or container, let’s learn how to grow some summer squash!

Summer squash is one of the all time most popular vegetables grown in a vegetable garden.

Summer squash is, as the name implies, a warm growing season vegetable. It can grow in most parts of the US during the warm months.

Summer squash grows on bush plants well suited for rows, rather than vining squash plants like winter squash, or pumpkins.

These vining varieties of winter squash need to be grown on a hill or a trellis. Hills are not needed for summer squash, as there are no vines

Summer Squash Seedlings

The main varieties of summer squash are scallop, crookneck, zucchini, and cocozelle.

Once the last chance of frost has passed, plant seeds one per square foot, following the depth guides on the seed package.

Transplant young summer squash seedlings  started indoors well after the last frost date.

Summer squash has a shallow feeder root system, so routine moisture is a requirement, as well as having well drained soil.

Summer Squash Transplants

The fruits ripen quite fast, and unlike winter squash, summer squash needs to be harvested before the skin becomes tough and woody.

The woody texture, and off flavors occur when the fruits hit maturity.

Summer squash produces every two days, the squash are ready a week after the flowers appear.

Pick scallop, or patty pan, squash when they are four inches across, and club shaped or crookneck at six inches.

Summer Squash Plant

Picking squash from the plant encourages it to grow more fruits, allowing the extras to remain on the plant wastes energy that could be devoted to growing more squashes.

Bring extra squash to friends or coworkers, or throw them in the compost bins.

Summer squash does not keep long after being harvested. Use them immediately, or the next day at the latest.

Wear gloves while harvesting, as the stems can be prickly and irritate your skin.

Summer Squash

As always, leave an inch of stem on the fruit when you cut it off the plant, this will help it stay fresher longer.

Some gardeners pick the baby fruits at only two days of growth, these ‘gourmet’ squashes are extremely tender and quite delicious.

You can even eat the florets with the green pea sized squashes just emerging, both raw and cooked.

Handle your harvest with care, as the skin is still thin since it has not reached maturity.

Summer squash produces both male and female flowers at the same time. The males have a thin stem, and the females have a small squash forming in them.

You can pinch off most of the male flowers, to help the plant focus on fruit production.

You do not need to peel summer squash, in fact – don’t, it’s where all the nutrients reside.

In the last few decades, the amount of summer squash varieties has exploded, they are very easy to create hybrids with. In fact, the zucchini was introduced to Italy only a hundred years ago from America.

Learning to grow summer squash in your backyard is just that easy.