Posts made in February, 2015

The Dos And Don’ts When Your Stuck In An Elevator

Elevators are a modern-day convenience that many people seem to take for granted. And while most people understand the basic operation of an elevator along with the commonly accepted elevator etiquette, there are some lesser known elevator safety tips that more people need to be aware of. By being aware of how to handle a situation where you’re stuck in an elevator, you’ll have the best chances of getting out safely and in a timely manner.

DO Look for a Call Button or Alarm

As soon as you realize the elevator is stuck, you’ll want to contact somebody on the outside for help right away. Most modern elevators have either an alarm button or a call button. The call button should automatically connect you to the local fire department so that you can alert them of your location and situation. If the elevator doesn’t have a call button, press the alarm button, which should be loud enough that people outside of the elevator shaft can hear it. If your cell phone has reception and there’s no call button, call your local emergency line.

DO Remain Calm

If you have a panic attack in the elevator, nobody is going to be able to help you (unless you’re lucky enough that another person on the elevator happens to be a doctor or nurse), so remain as calm as possible. Understand that elevators are designed to be very safe, so as long as you can hang tight for a few hours, you will be fine. To pass the time, consider reading a book (if you have one available), making small talk with others on the elevator, playing tic-tac-toe, or anything else you can think of. Just refrain from using your cell phone when it’s not needed because you don’t want to drain the battery.

DON’T Open Doors

Never try to open the door of an elevator, even if your elevator is stuck. Manufactures design elevator doors to only open from the outside, never the inside. For this reason, refrain from try to pry the door open with your fingers. You could cause injury to your hands, fingers, or other appendages. 

These are just a few dos and don’ts that you can practice in the event of getting stuck; by doing so, you’ll have a better chance of getting rescued as soon as possible and staying safe in the meantime. When you need elevator service or repair, call Golden State Elevator Service Inc.

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Choosing Replacement Windows

If you take the time and effort to make a good decision, purchasing replacement windows can be very advantageous. Replacement windows can reduce the cost of your energy bills, make your home quieter, increase the aesthetic appeal of your home, and reduce draft. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when choosing the ideal replacement windows for your home.

The Frame

When it comes to the frame of a window, there are many options to choose from. Window frames are typically made out of aluminum, wood, composite, or fiberglass. The main advantage of aluminum windows is that they are ideal in rainy, humid climates. Wood-clad windows perform very well when it comes to heat transfer and loss. These windows require very little maintenance as long as no water intrusion occurs. Composite windows are maintenance free and can be made to mimic the look of wood. Fiberglass windows are strong, durable, and very energy efficient. There’s also no need to worry about fiberglass windows warping or twisting.

The Glass

Ideally, you should purchase replacement windows that possess, at the very least, the basic energy efficiency features. The glass should be low-E grade with an argon fill that’s vacuum-sealed. The windows should be double-paned, as double-paned windows provide far more insulation than single-paned windows. Not only will double-paned windows protect the interior of your home from the sun’s UV rays and heat, they will also prevent heat from escaping the interior of your home during the winter.

If insulation is very important to you as a homeowner, you may want to consider getting triple-pane windows. However, while triple-pane windows offer more insulation in comparison to double-paned windows, they also tend to score low when it comes to visibility and light transmittance.

Window Designs

When selecting the ideal design for your replacement windows, it is vital that you resist the temptation to focus only on aesthetics. You should also take the efficiency of a window design into consideration, as well. In moderate climates, double-hung windows are quite efficient. While it is not possible to open picture windows, such windows can be efficient if they have a gas-filled interior.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when it comes to choosing replacement windows. Just keep the above things in mind while choosing replacement windows and you will likely be satisfied with your decision. Fas Windows and Doors is a window company you can contact for more information.

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Duct Maintenance And HVAC Efficiency

The fluctuating price you pay to heat and cool your home can make it hard to make your budget work. When it gets really hot in the summer or really cold in the winter, your heating costs can eat up your budget. If you do your best to maintain the efficiency of your heating and cooling units, you will need to maintain your machines properly, but no matter how well you maintain your machines, you cannot forget to maintain your ducts. Leaky ducts can decrease your system efficiency by up to 40%, so proper duct maintenance is critical. 

The Problem with Leaky Ducts

As your furnace and air conditioner force air through your ducts, the air flowing through your ducts exerts outward pressure, and this pressure can cause your joints and seams to start leaking.  As air leaks out through these holes, the volume of air that reaches your home to heat and cool it decreases, and with decreased volume, your system will take longer to heat and cool your home. Thus, if you see a hike in your heating bills without a corresponding hike in the cost of fuel, you might want to inspect your ducts for leaks. 

Diagnosing Leaky Ducts

To find out if you have leaks in your ducts, you have a couple of options: 1) You can call in someone to use scopes to inspect your ducts for you. 2) If you can access your ducts, you can inspect your ducts yourself with the following steps:

1. Grab a stick of incense and a marker.

2. Turn your thermostat to the fan position so that it pushes air through your ducts.

3. Climb up into your attic, down into your crawlspace, or wherever else you have to go to find your ducts. 

4. Light the incense and run it along the joints and seams. Anywhere you see a disturbance in the smoke coming off the incense, you have a leak. 

5. Mark the leaks with the marker so that you can come back later and fix them. 

Fixing your Leaks

In order to fix leaks in your ductwork, all you need is a putty knife and a can of mastic. All you have to do is paint a thick layer of mastic over the leak and allow it to dry. 

Fixing leaky ducts is not a difficult process as long as you can access your ducts. As long as you have reasonable mobility and skill with tools, you should be able fix your repairs on your own. (If you find yourself in trouble or lost with your duct system, contact A Avis Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning or another company)

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Furnace Services: Cleaning The Combustion Chamber Of Furnaces

The furnace in your home has an approximate lifespan of 15 years although the amount of energy needed to power the furnace may increase with time due to a decrease in overall efficiency. To increase the lifespan of your furnace so that it will remain operational for a longer period of time and to maintain its efficiency in overall function, opt for annual furnace servicing, which typically cost less than $100. One of the main services offered will be to clean out the combustion chamber.

Soot Builds Up in the Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber of the furnace is where the magic happens. The fuel is mixed there with the air and ignited in order to generate heat for the entire home. By-products that are also generated during the reaction include carbon soot, carbon dioxide and water vapor. The soot that is produced will accumulate and eventually build up on the chamber walls causing less space to be available for the combustion reaction; thus, reducing overall efficiency.

Cleaning Out the Combustion Chamber

To improve the overall energy efficiency of the furnace, the combustion chamber should be cleaned annually. A small wire brush is normally used to scrape off the accumulated carbon that has been clinging onto the walls. A shop vacuum is then used to remove all of the soot before the chamber is inspected. Some furnace cleaning services may even go one step further by actually washing out the inside of the chamber. Once the chamber is cleaned, most professionals will also look for signs of corrosion. Accumulated soot can actually cause the metal to corrode with time, and holes will greatly reduce the overall efficiency and capability of the furnace.

To prevent inhaling any of the soot, professionals wear a face mask when cleaning out the chamber. It is also important to line the surrounding environment with newspaper or plastic, so that any soot that flies out from the chamber can be easily collected. 


Keep in mind that thick layers of soot are incredibly difficult to remove. By ensuring that you are diligent in scheduling an annual furnace servicing, you will be able to avoid paying hefty bills for the amount of labor spent on trying to clean the combustion chamber. With all of the soot gone, the combustion chamber will have more space and air for the fuel to burn. As a result, the overall energy efficiency and capability of the furnace will greatly improve, and the lifespan of the furnace will also be lengthened.

Click here to get more info about professional furnace and heating services. 

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How To Keep Granite Countertops In Great Condition

The great thing about using granite as a countertop surface in a kitchen or is how durable it is. The natural stone is capable of taking a lot of abuse after years of heavy use. Since the surface can be treated to make it waterproof, it makes granite a perfect choice for areas where a countertop is prone to getting wet.

If you do decide to go with granite countertops in your home, make sure to follow these tips to keep it in great condition:

Test Your Granite

Your granite will need a sealant on it to make it resistant to stains, but how do you know when it is time to seal it? Sealing granite too often can cause its surface to have a milky appearance, which will ruin the look of our countertop. You can test the granite to tell if it is finally time to reseal by using the following methods.

You can apply mineral oil on a small section of the granite surface to see if it makes the stone darker. If your granite remains the same color after 10 minutes, you do not need to seal it. If it does darken, then your countertops are susceptible to stains from oils.

Another trick is to place a wet cloth on your granite for 5 minutes. Remove the cloth, and look at the color of the granite beneath. If the countertop darkened from absorbing the water, it means that the previous sealant is gone and the water absorbed into the stone. It is a good indicator that it is time to reseal.

Seal Your Granite

The most important part of sealing a granite countertop is making sure that the surface is clean. Once all the dust, dirt, and grime is gone, you can apply your granite sealant. These sealants typically spray directly on the granite surface, and you will wipe off the excess sealant once the surface is covered.

Protect Your Granite

Granite is a tough material, but you should still take care with how you handle it. For example, while granite can handle heat fairly well, it is a not a good idea to place a hot pan directly on the countertop. Extreme heat like this can damage the granite. Always use protection when placing a hot object on the countertops. Also, avoid dragging scratchy materials across the surface like ceramics.

Following these tips will help keep your granite in great condition. To learn more, contact a company like Fine Kitchens and Baths by Patricia Dunlop with any questions you have.

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