Carbon Monoxide is a toxic gas without taste, smell or color. It’s a results of incomplete combustion (burning process) of fuels. Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning vary greatly and depend on many factors, including age, health condition, time of exposure, and gas concentration level.
What is Compost?
Compost is one of nature’s best mulches and easy way to add nutrients to your soil. Wouldn’t you like to have that beautiful garden or grow your own organic food? Since compost improves soil structure, texture and increases the soil’s water holding capacity, why buy and waste money on any commercial products or chemical fertilizers, if you can make all natural compost free…
Home Composting 101 – How to make your own compost?
It’s very easy, free, and good for environment. You can use your kitchen scraps, organic or yard waste, and reduce your household waste away from garbage can by 30 […]
Water Heater Inspection Guidelines
The following water heater inspection guide covers 3 types of the most popular water heater installations:
Gas, natural draft, tank water heaters utilizing galvanized steel vent pipe
Gas, power vent equipped, tank water heaters utilizing PVC vent pipe
Electric water heaters
There might be some minor discrepancies between jurisdictions which will in most (probably not all) cases concern seismic areas water heater installations. I’ll cover it within this water heater inspection manual but I would highly recommend to obtain a water heater installation permit from your local building department (usually required) and verify plumbing code requirements in your particular area.
Water heater […]
Control room humidity with a humidifier to achieve best energy savings
Energy savings in your home can be improved by controlling room humidity levels and using two types of humidifiers. There are whole house humidifiers that attach to the forced air heating system or portable units and can condition smaller portions of your property.
Both groups of humidifiers will help increasing room humidity but waste energy and/or water at the same time; some significantly, others considerably less.
However, if used properly, good quality whole house humidifiers will make you feel warmer in colder months, thus allowing you to lower the thermostat temperature settings, and saving […]
Air circulation in two story homes
Air circulation in homes which are older and / or in poorly designed newer ones equipped with a central, forced air system might be compromised because they do not have an air return port installed on the second floor. It doesn’t matter how much you run the air conditioning system during the summer – that second floor will always stay much hotter than the first.
During the winter it becomes difficult to keep the property warm without proper air circulation as well. In both situations, the forced air system is wasting huge amounts of energy to keep […]
While checking the news this morning I stumbled upon this short article listing a few garage safety issues by U.S. Home Safety Council. To explore a little more their garage safety suggestions I followed a link to their website and looked at much longer list. I have to tell you that I’m disappointed after reading it.
While working as a home inspector I‘ve evaluated close to 5000 properties and majority of them with car garages. In most cases there were serious, even life threatening garage safety issues involved, and yet, 3 of them have not been included in that list, part […]
Thermostat fan ON – OFF
Use forced air heating and / or AC thermostat fan ON – OFF feature to your advantage and help your HVAC forced air system perform most efficiently.
Utilizing thermostat fan ON – OFF feature will probably be more beneficial for multi-level homes equipped with just one HVAC unit and little to no air return ports assigned for each room (ie. two air returns on a two story residence / one per floor only).
HVAC systems designed with a single air return port, usually installed in the center of the house or in the center of each floor, are often […]
Recommended thermostat settings and thermostat location
Before I explain recommended thermostat settings for energy savings I’d like to point out the best and the worst thermostat locations.
To maximize home energy savings and ensure the most efficient operation of your HVAC system, thermostat location should be chosen on an inside wall in a frequently occupied area of the house or the apartment.
Additionally, thermostat location should be at least 18″ (46cm) from any of the house’s outside walls, and approximately 5′ (1.5m) above the floor surface in a location with freely circulating air of an average temperature.
Thermostat locations you should avoid!
The recommended thermostat settings […]
Hot Water Heating Maintenance
Hot water heating maintenance procedures should be an important task on your interior fall maintenance list.
Hot water heating maintenance – bleeding hot water radiators once or twice a season
Bleeding your radiators means releasing any air trapped in them. This hot water heating maintenance process improves your hot water heating efficiency instantly. Hot water can flow into every part of the radiator, so it does a better job of warming your room.
In order to figure out your hot water heating system’s radiators performance, turn up the thermostat a few degrees above the room temperature, make sure that all […]
Combustion Air Requirements
There are four possible combustion air sources in your home;
House living space
In some cases combinations of the above combustion air sources is required, but the application of each has to be determined on an individual basis.
EXAMPLE of the combustion air calculations
For your own safety; I want you to examine the location of the fossil fuel burning appliances in your home as soon as you finish reading this chapter (furnace, water heater, fireplace, heating stove, etc.). If you have a problem figuring combustion air requirements and determining if everything is correct, email me with detailed description of your […]
Attic Furnace Walkway & Platform
Attic furnace installation must comply with you local mechanical code or IMC (International Mechanical Code) if such was adopted in your area. The following are attic furnace installation requirements based on 2009 IRC and 2009 IMC (The codes refer to it as “Appliances in attics”).
Attic furnace access / passageway and platform
Attic furnace passageway and service area electrical requirement
Appliance in the attic / Attic furnace access / passageway and platform
Access opening and an unobstructed passage way to the appliance / furnace in attic area must be provided and be adequate in size to allow removal of the […]
Interior Fall Maintenance Tips
The interior fall maintenance tips is a second part of home maintenance check list series dedicated to routine, seasonal tasks around your house. Follow this link: exterior fall maintenance tips for the first part of those important home maintenance procedures.
We’ll start interior fall maintenance tips check list from the top of your house.
1. Evaluate your house’s attic for signs of leaks, moisture, and mold / compare suspect areas with any exterior roof observations you may have and correct issues. Moisture and mold presence might be a result of ventilation problems and during the cold season is when an […]
Asphalt Shingles Types | Roof Shingles Choices to Consider
The majority of homes in the USA, Canada, and the European countries tend to be covered with various asphalt shingles types. They create superb systems which safeguard homes from poor weather conditions, blowing wind as well as water.
Simply because asphalt shingles are such an essential section of just about any home, there are numerous manufacturers both local as well as overseas which produce different asphalt shingles types for various purposes.
Actually, the number of shingles types is really so significant, that simply choosing the kind of roofing shingles for the home could be mind-boggling […]
To calculate your Illinois new roof cost you do not have to get up on the ladder, in many cases everything can be measured from the ground. If you’re trying to figure out northern Illinois new roof cost I have just that information for you… with a 10% OFF bonus if you choose to accept the already low price.
Just like any project small or big, building my shed requires a plan. It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced carpenter or still going through the learning curve, it’s always extremely important to have everything ready in place before beginning the project.