Use These Tips For Estimating How Much A New Furnace Will Cost

new furnaceIf your furnace happens to fail, it is something you will definitely notice. At times it may be possible for your furnace to be repaired to get it into good working order once again. However, you will need to buy a new unit eventually. When your best option is to install a furnace, there are several important things to consider when it comes to cost before you sign any service contract.

How To Find The Right Furnace

The very first thing that you should consider is the kind of furnace you want to have installed. A majority of furnaces last for 15 to 20 years, so it is very likely that all of the choices that are available currently didn’t exist when you purchased the original unit. The most common type of residential furnace uses natural gas to power it and costs from $2,500 to $14,000. Before gas furnaces there were oil furnaces. In some states they are still available. However, these furnaces have a tendency to not be as efficient. They cost from $2,000 to $8,000 to have them installed, or potentially even more if there needs to be adaptions done to the existing duct work.

Installing electric heat is another option that is available to you. They come in the form of small registers that are placed around each room’s border. The average cost of installing these registers is from $1,000 to $2,000. However, this kind of “furnace” isn’t a very good idea if you are trying to heat large areas, and they also have high energy costs. A heat pump is one new option that is growing in popularity. It pulls heat in out of the ground or air using refrigerant coils. The cost of an air source heat pump ranges from $1,500 to $7,000, and ground sources ones are $7,000 to $25,000. In the summer you can use these types of furnaces as air conditioning units. However, in very cold climates many of them can’t operate, which limits their efficiency.

Furnace Efficiency

installation furnaceWhen it comes to gas furnaces, there are many different choices available which can affect how much they cost.

Heat output is the first one. It is measured using British Thermal Units (BTUs). A 60,000 BTU furnace will serve the average house well. It isn’t necessarily better to have higher BTU rating units for smaller houses, since they are more expensive and the ideal temperature is reached too quickly and then shuts off. This results in a comfort level that is inconsistent.

The next consideration is efficiency. Older model furnaces frequently were rated at 80 percent or less efficient, meaning that 20 percent of generated heat was lost due to waste. Many of the newer models have 90 percent or higher ratings, with some ranging from 94 to 95 percent. This small increase in efficiency can translate into lower utility expenses.

Determining how effectively your home can be heated by a gas furnace is very important, mostly due to its “staging.” The older types of furnaces were one stage, which mean they operated at full power at all times. Many of the newer furnaces have two stages. When they are first started up they run at 65 percent in order to conserve fuel. From there, they can go to 95 percent when necessary. There are also three stage models, which are more expensive. They can run from 33 up to 90 percent power, with 1 percent increments.

Consider Labor Costs

There are labor costs involved whenever you install a furnace. There isn’t a fixed price for labor. However, many companies charge around $75 per hour for licensed installers, while helpers cost $50. An eight hour installation job will cost $1,000 just for the labor. Installation costs can be even higher if a modification is needed or extensive duct work repair needs to be done.

There are two types of warranties governing furnace function and installs. The manufacturer’s warranty is the first one. It provides protection against defects to the actual furnace, like pilot lights that don’t stay lit and inoperable fans. There is also a contractor’s warranty that covers labor costs for making repairs when the furnace isn’t working correctly. It usually lasts for 5 to 10 years. Extended warranties are offered by some contractors, but they do cost more.

Be sure any warranties you get are in writing. In addition, make sure the warranties specify exactly what is covered, for what time period and which contractor will be fixing the problem. Furnace installation costs can vary widely. However, if you do some research ahead of time, you can avoid paying too much.

Keeping Your Garden Going In The Summer Heat

gardeningIn many different regions the summer months pose a harsh challenge to gardening. It’s not just you yourself that feel the effects of the punishing summer heat; your plants need special care if they’re going to thrive and survive. Keep things healthy and verdant in your garden this summer with the following suggestions.

Potted plants are particularly prone to getting overheated in summer. Protected your potted plants by making sure they’re shaded from direct sunlight and mulching them lightly. It’s a bad idea to cool potted plants by putting water underneath them; this encourages mosquitoes and other insects to breed and can lead to rotten roots. A better strategy is to put saucers of sand beneath your pots and keep it damp. This will deliver an adequate level of moisture and cool your plants’ roots. For severely dehydrated plants, soak them (pot and all) in a bucket for a half-hour and then drain them. This intensive dunking will often give sun-wilted plants a new lease on life.

Mildew and Plant Growth

When the summer heat is on, plants respond best to watering in the cooler parts of the day. Early morning is ideal. If you water in the late afternoon or evening, you must make sure your plants’ leaves have enough time to dry before nightfall. You don’t want them succumbing to mildew and other fungal problems! Mildew is a special concern for squashes, melons, pumpkins, and roses. You can fight back against mildew with a weekly spraying of milk and water in a 1:10 ratio. This spraying should be repeated following heavy rain or irrigation. While it can’t cure mildew, this spray will help slow its growth and prevent further outbreaks.

Summer is a great time to practice deep watering with your plants. You can improve their nutritional health by making sure they get the minerals they need. Use a soluble fertilizer that contains seaweed for the best results. This mix should be distributed around the base of your plants when you water them. Certain fruit-bearing plants (e.g. bananas, lychee, and citrus trees) will benefit from an infusion of potash while being watered. This makes the plants’ fruit juicier and more flavourful.

Healthy Looking Lawns and Weeds

gardening knee padsDon’t neglect your lawn while you’re taking care of your other plants! Weeds need to be removed on a regular basis to keep your lawn healthy and looking as attractive as possible. Weeding your lawn involves spending plenty of time bent over, so take steps to protect your knees. Quality knee pads designed for gardening can be a godsend in this situation. These pads safeguard both your knee joints and the muscles that attach to them. Not all pads are created equal! Do your research and make sure you select a brand with a great reputation for quality before making a purchase. Good pads will make you far more comfortable for a whole range of different gardening tasks.

The heat can be punishing during the summer, but you shouldn’t let your plants suffer from neglect in the hottest part of the year. Use these simple strategies to keep your greenery healthy and pretty — and to keep yourself protected from injury, too!

Is Your Garden Hose A Hidden Danger?

water hoseTaking a drink from your garden hose is a common occurrence. Most people do it on a hot summer is day because it is easier than going inside for a cool drink of water. Although this does not seem like a problem, it is. Unfortunately, the problem is your garden hose could be a health hazard. Many garden hoses are made from PVC, which is a compound that contains lead as a stabilizing factor.

As water sits inside the hose, lead can leach out of the hose and into the water. This contamination can lead to significant health effects; sometimes these effects can be deadly. The lead inside of garden hoses can be up to 100 times more than the allowable limit of lead in the United States.

Material Problems

In some states, hoses made from PVC have a warning label that states the hose is made from a material that is known to cause birth effects, cancers and/or reproductive problems. In many cases, the warning is printed in fine print and most customers overlook it. Additionally, some states do not require a warning label at all, since the hose is not to be used for drinking.

The harmful effects of lead are especially dangerous to young children, under six years of age. Lead can lead to permanent brain and nervous system damage. Since the damage is significant and irreversible, those affected by lead poisoning have life-long problems.

Concentrations of Lead

In general, it is believed that plants do not absorb lead; therefore, watering plants with lead contaminated water should not be dangerous. However, high concentrations of lead in the soil could be absorbed by plants. Many people are not convinced that lead contaminated water does not affect plants.

Since lead can stay around in the soil for many years, it may eventually become harmful to plants. Of major concern are fruits, vegetables and herbs that are typically grown for consumption and are often high in water content. Watering these plants regularly with lead contaminated water seems like a bad idea.

If you are concerned about lead in your garden hose, there are lead-free alternatives available. These hoses can help you eliminate the risk of lead contamination from your hose so you do not have to worry about introducing poisons to yourself or your garden. Even if you use a lead-free hose or one labeled as drink safe, allow the water to run for a while before drinking out of a hose.

Amazing Ways To Prevent Razor Burns

razorAre you a business man looking to impress potential new clients? Are you looking for someone to share your life with? Well, a clean shave is the perfect start to any day. However, in the search of the most perfectly shaven face, lots of men end up with razor burns. Wondering what a razor burn is? Well, it’s the itching that starts a few minutes or hours after shaving. Besides the itching, it will definitely ruin your good shave. However, thanks to the tips outlined below, you can kiss goodbye to razor burns forever.

What Do You Need To Know About Razor Burns

As mentioned above, a razor burn happens a few minutes after shaving. It might be mild where it appears as an itching red rash on your neck or face. However, in its severe form, razor burns can appear as bumps which usually create ingrown hairs. Basically, these ingrown hairs look like pimples that are usually very itchy. Men of African-American descent usually suffer more with razor bumps since they have curly beards.

Can You Prevent Razor Burns?

Yes, you can prevent razor burns, thanks to the amazing tips outlined below.

– Soften or wet the beard before shaving. In a rush to shave most people get the razor and go directly to shaving without applying any water or shaving cream. However, if you take your time, you will notice that softer beards are far much easier to remove than tough ones. Therefore, rather than shaving before your shower, you should do it after. The steam after a hot shower will definitely soften the beard making it easier to shave. Even better, you can apply some hair conditioner to the beard while in the shower to make shaving easier.

– Have you tried exfoliating? Of course, you usually leave this to your girlfriend but if you want a good soft face, you should consider doing it once in a while. Get some facial scrub and exfoliate your face to remove any dead skin cells as well as ingrown hairs.

– Try shaving using a safety razor. If you have come across any of the 5-blade razors currently in the market, maybe you should try them out. For a few, these razors might be sufficient for any shave without leaving razor burns. However, for the rest, the razors might leave some irritation on the skin. So rather than hurting your face considerably with the 5-blade razors, you can just try one and get the best shave out of it.

– Avoid shaving against the grain but rather with it. There are lots of people who shave against the grain to get the smoothest shave. However, though it’s easier, there is a high risk of getting razor burns. Don’t forget that shaving too close will increase the risk of getting razor bumps and ingrown hairs. However, if you shave with the grain rather than against it, you will reduce razor burns or bumps considerably. Of course, it might take a few swoops before the beard is cleanly shaven but it’s definitely worth it.

– Try shaving using light and short strokes. With long strokes, you’re likely to add more pressure to the razor thereby increasing your chances of getting razor burns. Note that, the weight of the razor is good enough to cut your beard right from the start. Therefore, don’t apply too much pressure on the razor by using light strokes.

– Always shave using sharp razors. If you have ever spend a day in your kitchen, you will notice that using dull knifes is not satisfactory. Basically, if you’re cutting something like a tomato, you simply end up tearing it rather than cutting. That’s the same thing that happens when you use dull razors to shave your beard. Basically, instead of making clean cuts, you simply create tears and drags. As a result, you get lots of ingrown hairs and irritated skin. If you’re using a safety razor, you can always change the blades as frequently as needed effortlessly.

– Rinse the blade thoroughly with alcohol before shaving. If there is any bacteria on the razor, you will transfer to your face if you shave without rinsing with alcohol first. Use some rubbing alcohol on the razor or any blade antiseptic products available to you. However, you don’t need anything fancy, visit the drugstore near you and get some rubbing alcohol for the best results. After every stroke, you should clean the blade to enjoy the best and most clean shaven look. Note that, with every stroke, the blade clears out some whiskers and that’s more bacteria ready to attack your face. Therefore, rinse the blade thoroughly after every stroke.

– Once you’re done, you should rinse your face thoroughly with cold water. Yes, hot water is what most people might use. However, with rinsing with cold water helps close up all the pores thereby reducing the creation of ingrown hairs and any irritation thereafter.

– Apply some moisturizer on your skin after shaving. Think about it this way, you have simply been scratching your face with a piece of metal. Therefore, regardless of how careful you might have been when shaving, your skin will definitely be irritated. Applying aftershave immediately you’re done might actually work for some people but for others they simply increase the irritation. Well, if you want to avoid that completely, you should try using a cortisone cream (preferably aloe-vera based) to reduce the irritation.

– Finally, don’t forget to dry your blades and brush them accordingly once you’re done. You can dry it using your towel to prevent the razor from becoming dull very fast. It’s also a great way to keep the blade sharp enough for the next round of shaving.

In summary, there are lots of men who suffer from razor burns, ingrown hairs and razor bumps despite shaving for years. Thanks to these amazing ideas, you can prevent razor burns and enjoy a clean shaven look every day of the week. Try them out and see the amazing difference!