How to Make the Most Out of Your Outdoor Space

Your patio and garden may be looking a little tired after the ravages of the winter. It’s no surprise, given the extremes of weather we seem to experience year after year! If this is the case, then now is the ideal time to start planning some renovations.

Here are a few suggestions that might help you to maximize your outdoor space this winter:

How to Find the Right Heating and Cooling Company

Finding the right company for any work around the home or office can be tricky. The company has to be a professional, well known service provider with credentials to back up their work. All too often, people find themselves hiring a company that fails to deliver what they promise on. In the HVAC industry, there is a huge variety of companies you can hire, and with that comes many unknowns.  As a consumer, it’s important to equip yourself with the proper knowledge in order to find a reputable heating and cooling service you can depend on.

Tips for finding the right company

The right HVAC company is one that is professional and knowledgeable. Also, it’s ideal to take the time to study up on the heating or cooling system required for the home or office. It is important to have some knowledge of what is required before selecting the right company for the job. Understanding the work involved also gives you an advantage in any scenario where you want to negotiate costs and compare estimates.

Use this as a guide to help choose the best HVAC provider for you. It is important to consider all aspects of HVAC companies in the area:

Know what is needed or wanted with the system prior to calling. Have an idea of what needs to be done gives them a better idea of costs and services.

  1. Know the maintenance history or year of the model system in the home. This helps determine if a new system is required
  2. Speak with multiple HVAC companies and not just one. This provides a better idea of who is out there and helps you gage what it should cost.
  3. Ask for referrals and research their online reviews from other customers. Knowing what others thought of their services prior to having them come to do the job is ideal.
  4. Find any specials or promotions they may be offering. These can help save money on the costs of the HVAC work needed.
  5. Have each one come in and provide a home evaluation and estimate for the work. Compare estimates and choose based off how they proceeded.
  6. Always ask if they are licensed, insured and provide a written contract for the work. This safeguards all of the work that they do. Obtain the license number then call to check with the local officials to ensure it is active.
  7. Is their work and product guaranteed? If something goes wrong within a week, a month or even a year down the road, will they provide the necessary replacements or repairs?
  8. Use an ENERGY STAR guide as a reference on who to work with. They recommend the best HVAC companies out there to work with that are all ENERGY STAR approved.
  9. Never, ever trust in people that knock on the door providing services. A lot of times these people do not have the necessary requirements for the work that needs to be done. Additionally, they may just want the money without doing the work.
  10. Ask family and friends to refer a qualified HVAC professional to help with the work that needs to be done. This guarantees that they’re a reputable company.
  11. Look them up! BBB, as well as local websites can provide more information on the companies in the area.

Trusting in intuition is recommended. Not liking how a company does or handles business is a red flag. It is important to hire a company that provides comfort when working with them.

Adding additional tips and tricks is highly recommended. More questions can be asked to learn more about the company and how they do business. This is increasingly important to understand their history, how long they’ve been in business and how well they do HVAC work.

Negotiating a price with the company

Negotiation is always a key factor when working with any company. Negotiating a price is beneficial to find out which companies are  able to be flexible and which are not.

Choosing a company with a higher estimate and showing them some of the lower ones gives more leverage. Ask if they will match some of the lower offers received. Often, companies will do so to gain business.

If the HVAC project is a bigger one, a percentage may be cut off to make the price more ideal for the customer. Ask about a deal that they can provide.

There is always room for negotiation with any company providing services. By doing so, it saves more money while finding a reputable, trustworthy company required for the work done.

Never feel afraid to negotiate prices. The worst that can happen is that they do not accept the negotiation offer. Trying to get a lower price is recommended, as HVAC services can be costly. This helps save money while also having the HVAC services performed.

Did you know…?

ENERGY STAR qualified HVAC units are able to save up to 30% more money in energy costs according to ENERGY STAR. A qualified HVAC company can install an ENERGY STAR unit. This provides cost saving benefits.

It is important that only a qualified service technician provide HVAC services. This is to ensure that the unit is installed correctly. Only money saving benefits come from those units installed and maintained correctly in a home or office setting.

With over 200,000 licensed and certified HVAC technicians in the US, there are many professionals to call. Each one that is licensed is registered. License registrations can be checked through an online portal for each specific state.

Many HVAC technicians work in specific cities and towns. It is important to search for the specific area that the work is required in. Check into the online portals for licensing.

Over 40% of a home’s energy usage goes into running the furnace for heating. It is important to keep a furnace regularly maintained. This reduces the costs associated with heating a home during the winter months.

When searching for an ideal HVAC contractor, it is best to do research. Take the time to speak with each one individually and work with them. The HVAC job is essential to the heating and cooling in a home or office setting. Having a professional install and maintain the unit ensures that money is saved, and the unit works correctly.

Antique Living Room Ideas for Your Home

In the last decade, an interest in vintage and antique looks for the home has reemerged.  What was once a consumer society focused solely on the cutting-edge and ultra modern has now taken a step back to appreciate the finer things.

So, where has this newfound love of older pieces and vintage looks come from?  Perhaps the economy has played a role – more and more families simply have less money to spend on trivial things of lower quality.  Investing in antique furniture may have a higher price upfront, but these pieces are sustainable and usually of excellent quality.

Why Household Cleaning is Important to Leading a Healthy Lifestyle

You’ve probably noticed that fitness and healthier lifestyles are getting more and more emphasis these days. It seems like dressing in your gym gear or showing off your fab body is the in thing now. It appears that everyone is finally waking up and realizing that an unhealthy lifestyle is one that is unsustainable in the long run. So you think having a healthy lifestyle just means eating healthy and going to the gym? Well, those things matter but there’s more to a healthy lifestyle than those two. Here are a couple of reasons why household cleaning is important to leading a healthy lifestyle.

Ideal Corner Sofas for Your Living Rooms

Not so long ago, the glossy lifestyle magazines were full of country house style. You’d see a large, chintzy sofa, probably with a console table behind it and a roaring fire in front. It would take up most of the living room. Today’s designers are harking back to the fifties and sixties, a retro style which means clean lines and bright colours. Queen Anne chairs, begone! In come family-friendly, comfortable corner sofas.

How to Cut Your Energy Bills Dramatically

Cost of living seems to be soaring, whilst wages have remained low for some years now.  Home owners are having to find ways of saving money wherever they can – but how do you save money on your energy bills?

The need to cut energy bills dramatically is particularly relevant now as over the summer months it was revealed that British Gas would be raising their energy prices.  It is estimated that the UK could save £7.5bn on energy bills if improvements were made.  The UK Government are behind this, recognising rising energy costs as a problem, but one that has some simple solutions.

How to Build Your Own Self Watering Vegetable Plot

1. Prepare your patch

The first thing to do is establish your vegetable patch.

The ideal location is a space at least 3×1.2m in size and is sheltered from the wind yet exposed to sunshine for the majority of the day. If you already grow flowers (or your lawn!) in your potential vegetable patch then it is more than likely a good spot to grow your veg too. Be careful if this space is liable to flood; a well-drained patch is preferred if possible.