Monthly Archives: September 2013

Useful Tips On Green Home Improvement

With the continued pollution in the environment due to gases produced by many industries, it is important to take measures that can transform the surrounding. This creates a more habitable environment for all living things. Green home improvement seeks to help achieve this by focusing on proper use of energy, water and even building materials.

Any home improvement project should be done after a careful consideration. With this project, you need to audit your level of use of the different resources. If you want to improve on energy, you can get a professional who will check your appliances and advise on any area you may be going wrong. They will help you devise ways you could reduce your energy consumption.

Energy use is a key area to look at. Most houses consume a lot of energy unnecessarily out of petty mistakes that could be looked into. If there are spaces in a building that can allow cold air and drafts, then your heating system will be overworked. This increases your home energy consumption. Inspect the building for such spaces or holes on the walls and have them sealed. Good quality sealant like caulk could be used for this purpose.

Heat energy will also be lost where there are insulation gaps. These are likely to occur anywhere an opening is made for something to penetrate the wall. This causes air leaks leading to fluctuations in the room temperatures. Expanding foam should be used to fill these spaces. Other cracks that are usually ignored are found where the foundation meets the house. These too should be checked and can be easily identified during the day when rays of the sun go through them.

For those using furnaces for heating during winter, make sure to practice proper maintenance routines. You could end up consuming a lot of energy if the furnaces function poorly. This increases your energy bills too. Some items to check regularly on the furnace are the filters which if worn out will affect the quality of air you get. Maintain your furnace and boiler in good condition as you do not want to keep making such expensive purchases now and then.

In order to conserve energy in home, it is wise to invest in power saving windows. These come in various forms but most importantly the prevent energy from leaving or entering the house. This means that your home will remain habitable both in winter and summer. To make sure that you get the right windows, it important that you consultant an expert in this field as well as contract a reputable company for the installation.

You will also find insulated doors. Garage doors will help greatly in your energy conservation attempt. For those who cannot afford to insulate their doors, it is possible to do weather-stripping around them to prevent cold air from penetrating through cracks. Buy good quality water heaters too, if you have to use them especially during winter.

The other gadget that will greatly come in handy in the green home improvement project is the thermostat. If you buy one that is programmable then you can easily reduce your heating bills. When you are away, the heater automatically turns itself off. Use of solar power is also another efficient way to help reduce your energy bills.

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Activated Charcoal – What It Is And How It’s Utilized In On The Market

Of all the natural resources around the world, Activated charcoal is one of the most widely cultivated, which is logical considering its numerous uses and benefits. It is used in so many products that most people use it or are somehow be impacted by it, or a related product, in their daily life. The following information about how it is made and used should help most people get a basic idea of how this is the case.

Activated charcoal (or carbon) is formed in one of two ways. The first way is by heating the natural charcoal to between 600-1200 degrees in a controlled environment rich in steam, air, or CO2. Secondly, it can be made with one of various chemical components that are combined and then heated at a lesser temperature of 450-900 degrees. Both processes corrode the charcoal’s internal surface to the point that it becomes up to three times more porous and absorbent than raw charcoal.

Charcoal is dark grey and composed of carbonaceous deposits, and leftover ash , which is obtained by heating it in an airtight container. This is done by cautiously arranging large stacks of wood in a way that when a fire is started, the heat it generates will slowly vaporizes off the moisture and volatile organic components in the wood until the only thing left is a chunk of charcoal. The slower the process, the better quality charcoal is produced. Historically, raw charcoal was used to preserve food and water, lumber, cadavers, control odors, to make glass, and other purposes, but in its active form, is even more useful.

There are more than a few types of activated carbon on the market, each one used in different applications. Powder activated carbon is made from carbon particles that are ground until they are as fine as powder. Granular activated carbon has bigger particles than powder activated carbon, and is used to filter harmful gases, treat water, deodorize airways, and to clean the air in duct systems. Extruded activated carbon has squeezed-out cylindrical shaped particles, and is used primarily for gas type applications due to its low-pressure drop rate, low dust content, and the fact that it is stronger than other activated carbon types. Impregnated activated carbon is made up of porous activated carbons that have been mixed with inorganic components like iodine, silver, or other elements, and are used to filter the air in gas ways in coal-fired generation plants, airways in museums or art galleries, and even the water in space stations. Polymers coated activated carbon is made by coating porous carbon with biocompatible polymer (a naturally occurring or synthetic composite consisting of large molecules) so that it has smooth and permeable coating that won’t block its pores; this is often used in hemoperfusion (a medical treatment that removes toxic substances from blood). Activated carbon cloth is made from activated carbon and is used in clothing, masks, wound dressings, and multi-use charcoal filters to protect users from exposure to radioactive contaminates. Biochar activated charcoal is made utilizing a carbonization process called a pyrolysis to take the raw carbon and quickly form active charcoal, which is then used to run electrical turbines and produce biofuels that leave little or no carbon footprint.

If you found these products and research interesting, do some more research of your own afterwards. This will help you find the product you require, and the best company that manufactures it.

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How To Interpret The GIA Diamond Color Chart

The diamonds that people tend to have in wedding and engagement rings are white or colorless. It is the absence of color that makes them more valuable. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA)has devised a diamond color chart to help people pick out the best stone for their purpose.

Grades D, E and F represent the highest grade, or colorless diamonds. It takes an expert gemologist to distinguish between these three grades. Once they are mounted into a setting, it becomes much more difficult to distinguish between a D grade stone and an E or F grade.

The top grade is “D” and absolutely colorless. They are very, very rare and very, very costly. “E” and “F” grades contain tiny traces of coloration that require an expert gemologist. The next group, near colorless, encompasses grades “G” through “J”. These have a little bit of color, but may still safely be mounted in white metals like white gold or platinum, which are less forgiving of higher traces of yellow.

Gemstones in the “I” to “J” grade are less rare than higher grades, and are much better value for money, roughly half the price of a “D” stone. Generally, within the “G” to “J” range, price decreases 10 to 20 percent between each grade.

Faintly colored stones, “K”, “L” and “M”, have enough yellow tint that it is obvious to the naked eye. These are best set in yellow gold for a “warm” effect. A “K” graded stone will be only half as expensive as a “G” graded stone. Those in the “N” to “R” grade are obviously yellow or even brown.

Don’t waste your time on the lowest grades, “S” to “Z”. These have far too much coloration for anybody. While the diamond color chart is a handy guide to price, when it comes to what you like, your own judgement is best.

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Understanding Restorative Practices And Mental Health

Julia Steiny, a Rhode Island writer and education consultant was a guest on the Struggling Teens weekly radio show. On L.A. Talk Radio, she discussed with host Lon Woodbury how restorative practices and mental health work together to create a new community in schools.


Director as well as Founder of the Youth Restoration Project Reconstruction Job (YRP) in Rhode Island, the guest of the show Julia Steiny is a qualified instructor for the International Institute for Restorative Practices and has certifications from the Suffolk Center for Restorative Justice and the B.E.S.T. instructors. She initially created her concepts on Restorative Practices in 2007 after returning home from a trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland. There she discovered all about how the concept had actually started to rehabilitate the youth of a city that had been rebelling against a punitive justice model.

The Youth Restoration Project in Rhode Island teaches parents how to substitute the common practice of punishment by teaching youth how to engage in the life of the community and move away from external control to internal self control.

Exactly how Restorative Practices And Mental Health And Wellness Practices Can Help Adolescents

The radio program guest clarified how she was able to take a concept that originated from ancient techniques of council circles in New Zealand and Australia, along with Indigenous Native American practices, and use it to help at-risk adolescents realize the effects of their actions when they injured others in some way.

She contrasted the two primary therapies that were made use of to bring back discipline and order in a variety of schools: Positive Behavior Interventions & Systems (PBIS) and Restorative Practices. While PBIS does make the regulations clear to kids and offers proactive procedures like praising them for behaving appropriately, it does not stress deterrence in the same way that Restorative Practices does. The outcome is that PBIS is a lot more focused on ironing out troubles after they happen instead of stopping them from occurring to begin with.

She also explained the difference between Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices. While Restorative Justice works on healing the effects of misconduct by initiating a dialogue between victim and perpetrators in the presence of their peers, Restorative Practices are much more focused on developing meaningful relationships in the first place through disciplines like using” I” statements, circling up, and maintaining community.

Throughout the radio show interview, she explained how giving children a voice was the central dynamic that made positive psychological change possible. She described numerous facets of exactly how the Restorative Practice and Mental Health model operated in training conscientious conduct, increasing social communication abilities, and persuading adolescents to take individual responsibility in determining what harm had actually been done and what had to be done to mend it.

Find out more about Struggling Teens. Lon Woodbury has the recorded the entire interview on his L.A. Talk Radio show for people to listen to at any time.

Removing Cigarette Odour From Your Carpets

Cleaning a carpet is not always a simple task. You don’t only need to clean the surface from spots, spills, and dust, but you also need to ensure that the carpet is free from undesirable odours that might have attached themselves to it. One kind of smell that quite often must be removed is cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke odors can simply be stopped by simply not smoking in your house or allowing others to do it. Cigarette smell in carpets can be an extremely upsetting environment to be around, and regardless of whether you, as a smoker, don’t mind it, your visitors to your home just might. Luckily , getting shot of this sort of odor from your carpet is not that hard so long as you follow a few standard methods.

Hence what's the best way of removing cigarette odor from your carpet? Here’s one method you need to use to remove those undesired, lingering smells from your carpet.

To eliminate cigarette smoke smells from your carpet you’re going to want lots of baking soda. This is a superb product for removing odours from numerous things like carpets, fridges, and other items in your home, such as sports bags. Baking soda has the capability to absorb strong odors easily.

Next, you are going to liberally spread the baking soda over the odorous carpet. You might need to use an empty talcum powder container, or any type of container with numerous little holes at the top for openings, to perform this job. Ensure you spread an ample, even layer all over, making sure to pay extremely close attention to the locations where the majority of the smell is arising from.

When you have spattered a charitable layer of baking soda over your carpet, make use of a stiff bristled brush to spread out the baking soda equally. You wish to get the baking soda deep into the weave of the carpet.

Next day you straightforward need to vacuum the carpet a few times to tug out the baking soda, and with the cigarette odor should additionally be removed.

If you're smoker, this is a role you must perform fairly often so that the unpleasant smell of cigarettes does not linger in your home, even in the times that you aren't smoking.

There are commercial products that also perform this job, but baking soda is a remedy which has been attempted and test over the passage of time and seems to work fine for most folks.

If you do not have time to do that yourself, you might employ the aid of a pro carpet cleaning company to try this for you.

Removing the smell of cigarette smoke from your carpets doesn’t have to be an aggravating experience. Just follow the above steps and you should have a fresh smelling carpet in record time.

Carrie L. James is a freelance writer who focuses on writing house and garden articles and blog content. This is one of many carpet cleaning articles that Carrie has written. If you happen to be looking for additional carpet cleaning articles then visit

Basic Tips To Help Select For The HVAC Technicians For HVAC Systems

Getting your AC units properly installed will definitely need a well trained HVAC technician. Technicians can offer great services to make sure that your units are properly installed without further damage. After your unit has been installed, professional contractors may offer you a contract for regular maintenance and air conditioning repair for upkeep of your equipment. When a fully trained professional looks to your equipment, you can be sure that your systems will be kept in good condition.

HVAC technicians skills and field of expertise may vary depending on the amount of training they receive. Before hiring an HVAC professional, take time to consider what kind of services you require and how a contractor can fulfill your specific needs. Examine your choices carefully and have them compared to other companies that offer the same services.

Qualifications of HVAC Contractors

Regions have required HVAC technicians to complete or meet the qualifications before getting into the field. Such qualifications may include proper certification, licensing, liability insurance and workers compensation. Certification indicates that a contractor has completed the required level of education and training for his profession.

Modern technologies have advanced making equipment more efficient. At the same time, these systems require specialized knowledge and training for effective repair. This means that AC repair men must be up to date in their knowledge, training and skills in order to qualify for this field. Upon completion of training, contractors take a state exam to qualify for a license before they can begin to practice their profession.

What to Look For in a Contractor

Checking for the legal documents or license to operate is the first step to take before hiring one. It will give you the idea on the current standing of the company or contractor. You may also want to call the BBB or Better Business Bureau to check on the contractor’s reputation in providing the services.

A lot of AC service companies have websites that tell about them and their experience in HVAC systems. You can take advantage of contractor websites for fast and easy comparison shopping of what various air conditioner repair companies have to offer from the comfort of your home. Comparison shopping lets you specify your selection to two or three contractors you can follow up on to make a final decision.

By choosing a local technician, you benefit from having someone close by in the event of emergency ac repair. You must ensure your technician provides emergency services to include weekends or holidays to fulfill this need. You should also ensure all company contractors are equally qualified and experienced for the services you require. Getting your system fittingly installed requires a company that has reliable and experienced contractors to solve whatever HVAC issues you may have.

Contractors who have been operating in the same area for an extended period of time will undoubtedly have established a good customer base with references you can examine on to substantiate the services they provide. Reviews that you can see on the web can also help you find a firm that solves your problem.

Getting the Most From AC Repair

The purchase of HVAC equipment is a financial investment on your part. HVAC equipment can be costly, depending on the system you buy. Quality installation is important to get the most from your financial investment. The contractor selected should have enough experience in installing HVAC system. By hiring a reputable agency, you can also retain his services for future maintenance and repair.

It’s wise to have one agency you can depend on for all your air conditioner repair needs. This will help save time for looking for companies when you need to fix your HVAC systems. As a regular customer, you may even receive special perks from your air conditioning repair service such as discounts, special deals, faster service, etc.

Getting a regular HVAC company will help you build trust and confidence which will eventually grant you amazing results. As the company’s professionals become familiar with your equipment, they are able to render you with faster, more efficient service. Finding an AC repair agency that provides you with good customer service is a great asset as you will then be able to trust the agency with all your air conditioning repair needs.

Finding the suitable guy requires your time but it will be worth it. Once you find a good professional, you need not worry about problems with your HVAC system again, as you will benefit from his splendid air conditioner repair services for many years to come.

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Tips On Air Conditioner Repair

Having an air conditioning or HVAC unit is not only a blessing and a God sent, but also a necessity. With summer season that can gain over 100 degrees and an average summer temperature in the 90′s, doing an air conditioner repair or maintenance is fundamental. An AC unit that not only works but also cools beneficially is very significant. But what happens when your air conditioning unit fails in the middle of great heat? However, if this happens, your house will heat up like never before. The good news is that there are a few simple air conditioning repair tips that you can follow before you reach local air conditioning repair professionals or HVAC contractors.


In many instances, the concerns are of the “failure” kind. Basically, this means that the unit is no longer cooling your company or home. You have switched “on” the units and they are running but, they do not circulate the air. You may know that your units are having this kind of problem when you hear some sound. This is because, HVAC units are fabricated to be quiet machines, which is why noises present in the units should be fixed. Most of the time, noises are produced in the fan belt. If so, you should turn off the power, check the fan belt, and if it’s in good repair or condition, make sure that the pulleys are turned properly. However, if you see nothing wrong neither with the belt nor pulleys, lubricate the bearing to fix the issue. If the belt is off, loose, or worn, all you want to do is to replace the belt with a new one, and put the belt back on the pulleys.

Units Frozen

Another common problem with air conditioning unit is the frozen coils. It is simple to determine if your coils are frozen: when you see that the pipes are frozen with a block of ice. This would halt the circulation within the system. The lovely news is that if you shut the system down and use a hot air gun or hair dryer, you can melt the ice and pipes immediately, and this should restore air conditioning or HVAC unit to your home. If this problem happens often, it would be a good idea to call an ac repair expert to upgrade your AC’s system.

AC Unit Leaks

If your air conditioning or HVAC unit has a leakage, and you have found out that your unit is not frozen, then the trouble may be in the unit’s drain. The drain can be halted or blocked by something. You may also examine if your condensation pan has not rusted otherwise; continue to examine for any possible obstructions.

Dirty grills

When grills are clogged, they can cause a great issue to your HVAC system. After you switch off the power source, try to disassemble the air conditioning unit, and clean the components well. While servicing or cleaning, make sure that the electronics do not get wet. After reassembly, examine if that fixes the issue. Dirty AC unit can bring serious headache on your part but, with appropriate cleaning and maintenance, you AC unit can be as good as new.

Other problems

Other problems can’t be easily identified, such as broken thermostat, Freon leaks, or even short circuits in the air conditioning unit itself. If you have discovered that the Freon levels are low, even after recharging the AC or HVAC unit, then have the system checked by HVAC contractors or an air conditioning repair technician. Short circuit related issues are often caused by problematic circuit breakers, which should be examined by HVAC technicians otherwise; you might lose your unit.

When All Else Fails…

When your air conditioning or HVAC unit is not working, and you cannot figure out the issue, diagnostic tools should be used. Tell your contractors what seems wrong with your units and how they are performing differently than the first time they were used so, that your HVAC contractors can immediately figure out the problem. Render your contractors all the possible information regarding your units such as, how the compressor runs, if servicing is done in a regular basis or cooling is not enough. Letting them know things like these can make the AC repair process easy and prompt.

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Is Your Hot Water Heater Leaking?

A leaking water heater can cause a great inconvenience, especially since it is responsible for producing warm water for your household. However, letting a unit leak for a long time can damage the interiors of your house, leading to stained walls and floors, electric shocks and mold and mildew development. You can avoid these mishaps by addressing water heater issues while there is time. Failure to do so would result to an untimely water heater replacement.

Prevent your water heater from leaking by checking it every 4-6 months. All connections and pipe fittings should be installed properly to prevent them from loosening up. If some of them are loose, simply tighten it with a wrench. You may need to replace badly damaged pipes to stop water heater leaks. The bottom of the tank should always be free of rust to protect your family from contaminated water. Once you see holes at the base of your unit, consider buying a replacement heater immediately.

The T&P valve should be working at all times since it releases excessive pressure inside the tank, keeping it from overheating or exploding. Do not forget to shut down the heating source of the water heater before performing any repairs. You can turn off the cold water supply valve to stop water from entering the tank. To know if the T&P valve is working, lift its lever while allowing water to flow out. Once you release it, water should stop draining from the overflow pipe. If you notice water dripping even if the valve is closed, you might have a faulty T&P valve. Replace it immediately to avoid fatal accidents.

It helps draining and flushing the water heater on a semi-annual basis to stop rust and corrosion from building up. Sediments lying at the bottom of the tank can eat the internal components, leading to water heater holes in the long run. Be careful of scalding water whenever it’s time to drain the water heater. It’s better to turn off the unit the night before draining it to protect your skin from scalding.

You can start by connecting a hose to the drain valve and placing the other end to a floor drain or gutter. Drain the tank empty and flush the remaining sediments by removing the hose and using a bucket to catch the sediments inside. Open the cold water valve and wait until the water runs clear. Do not turn on the water heater until it is fully refilled.

If you want to avoid rust and corrosion, check the state of your anode rod every year. This rod is designed to attract all charged water molecules to prevent your tank from rusting completely. That is why it is normal for an anode rod to deteriorate over a period of time. After draining the tank, life the rod inside and observe if it measures less than of an inch. Once you metal wiring around it, replace it as soon as possible. You can always ask help from a professional for proper anode rod installation.

There are times when a water heater leaks during chilly seasons. This is normal, especially since the unit is only experiencing condensation. It happens when cold water is mixed with warm water inside, causing the tank to leak temporarily. However, this is a simple problem since leaks would eventually stop as soon as the unit starts heating water. This problem may occur more often if you live within an area of a colder climate.

Dealing with water heater leaks should be easy if you ask help from a specialist as soon as possible. It is important to have your unit handled by the best. Fixing water heater leaks on your own will only worsen the situation, resulting to a more costly water heater repair.

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Selecting The Right Cell Phone Repair Service

The use of personal communication devices is actually quite pertinent and considered as being a major part of daily life for consumers. People discover that utilizing this particular device is aimed at remaining organized and connected to their world while on the go which is generally why issues are addressed quickly when they arise. Anyone that is dealing with this complication should know what to focus on when hiring the right cell phone repair service as part of making sure their devices are brought back to full function.

A cell phone repair service offers the tools and specific guidance required to ensure that issues are resolved with these devices. People are typically focused on this kind of professional when they have been unable to trouble shoot the issues present on their own. The selections that are often made are quite difficult and personal on various levels.

Consumers focused on this kind of guidance have a large number of options to consider. Professionals are often quite similar in what they offer their clients which can be somewhat difficult to try and sort through. Concentrating on several key factors is often quite helpful in keeping all efforts readily managed.

Warranty limitations that people are required to deal with should be an initial source of interest. Warranties are offered with most devices and can be put to great use when being assured that all facets of their devices are as carefully managed as possible. Consumers are usually able to simply contact their administrator to determine what professionals are part of their network.

People are also interested in having access to professionals that are fully certified by the manufacturer. Device creators are usually quite unique with the parts they use which can be difficult for professionals to deal with while still making sure their work is accurate and effective. Professionals that have undergone this form of guidance are usually thorough in marketing it to prospective clients.

Written estimates are also focused on by consumers in need. The estimate process is usually quite helpful in making sure the entirety of their work is understood and able to be looked back on and discussed to ensure a full comprehension is readily attained. People are even encouraged to receive multiple estimates before a selection is actually made.

Quoted completion times are an essential source of insight for anyone making this selection. Consumers are now heavily involved with their devices and dependent on full featured access at all times which makes efficiency an integral part of their efforts. Quick repair times should be readily focused on at all times.

Hiring the right cell phone repair service includes ensuring they are affordable. Paying for any of the guidance that is offered from this kind of provider can be quite difficult for consumers to manage on various levels. Finding providers with the lowest prices for the best guidance is helpful in keeping all efforts successful and reasonable in overall cost

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How To Learn From Remote Computer Help

Computer problems is something that simply cannot be avoided. The problems may rise from a number of factors or it may have been a move that the user could have avoided. Oftentimes when a customer service or call center is reached, there is remote computer help willing to solve the problem.

Though many like to have in person contact, this is not always possible. As more person are working at home or other remote location, getting a remote person is the most practical solution. When a person buys software or downloads an application but needs assistance, a remote person usually comes to the rescue.

While a person can use a live tech, this may cost them money and there is a chance that the technician may not be familiar enough with the product to deliver timely results. In other words, it may take time for them to get around to the matter, research it if they are not familiar and then test to ensure that repairs have been made. On average, this can take a week or more whereas speaking with a remote help technician may take an hour or less.

Having the facts when making contact ensures a smooth transaction. Some make the mistake of using their own judgement or giving an extensive account of every single thing that went wrong. An experienced person knows which questions to ask and what direction to take when given one simple problem. So to state something simple such as the application does not load or documents will not print makes it easier on everyone.

People should also write down serial numbers as well as model numbers of the product. When purchases are made, they sometimes automatically qualify for basic warranty coverage. This can save the consumer time and money in repairs.

Getting the name or identification number early at the first contact. Callers should always take the time to spell any names that are unfamiliar or lengthy data. They should also ask them to repeat, if necessary. If the problem should return, having the name will save time. While most operations may have record of this, it is good for the consumer to keep their own as well.

When receiving instructions, the caller should repeat the steps after the technician before they take action. Often people mishear things or are focused on another matter. Often the caller is distracted about how much time they are losing or the bill.

After the computer issue has been taken care of, this is best time to ask related questions about the product or anything else they may have been curious about. The reason is that call wait times can be long so before calling, it may be best to have questions already written out. While many are trained to use effective communication always in business, being prepared can save time.. By using remote computer help effectively, it can help the consumer as well as the business.

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