Welcome to the Comfort Zone Blog

 

Spring Cleaning The Air Inside Your Home

 

Even the best vacuum cleaners can stir up dirt and dust into the air while you clean your home. High speed carpet brushes and vacuum exhausts can spread pollutants, pollen, dust mites, and other bacteria throughout your home while you clean. These unwanted dirt particles can settle on freshly cleaned surfaces and can even increase symptoms related to allergic reactions.

Reduce the amount of dust inside your home while spring cleaning by utilizing your central air conditioning and heating system. Simply switch your thermostat to the “fan” or “fan on” setting while you clean to filter the air.

Your system’s filter will work as a whole-house air cleaner and can be more effective than smaller freestanding devices because a larger volume of air can pass through it. If maintained and operated properly, your system should catch most visible dust particles before recirculating


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Prepare Your Home For Spring

 

It’s time to say goodbye to winter and prepare your home for spring with a complete indoor and outdoor physical. Take advantage of the warmer-weather months to give your home and its most used components a detailed once-over to ensure you are ready for the entire season

Our experts have compiled a list of the most common items you should add to your spring cleaning or spring preparation list.

 

Plumbing Tips

  • Check the flappers on your toilets at least once a year. If they are showing their age, replace them before they start leaking and wasting water.
  • Clean your bathroom fans. Take the cover off, wash it in soapy water and clean dirt off the fan blades with a toothbrush. Be sure the power is off when you do this!
  • Remove all faucet handles and clean their insides to keep the screws from corroding. Use a rust remover if necessary.

HVAC


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The Ultimate Car Survival Guide

Every car should have an emergency kit that includes first-aid supplies, jumper cables, gloves, a flashlight, duct tape, and some simple car-based tools. But there are some winter-specific items to carry once the temperature drops and the roads are covered in ice, snow, and slush.

Blankets and Hand Warmers

If your car won’t start, the ability to keep yourself warm is going to be extremely important. The best way to do this is by using a wool blanket, supplemented by hand warmers.

Food and Drink

Keep dried foods like beef jerky, peanuts, and granola bars in the car as they’re a good form of protein and carbohydrate-rich foods. Additionally, don’t forget to pack a few sugary energy drinks. The electrolytes and sugars significantly lower the concoction’s freezing point, ensuring you’ll still have liquid when you need it.

Shovel

Carry a compact folding


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The Best Ways To Eliminate and Reduce Allergens In The Home

It is a well-known fact that in-home allergens cause a great number of health issues. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI) recently reported that 1 out of every 4, or 25%, of all Americans suffer with a number of respiratory conditions including allergies and asthma.

Although it might be easy to control some of these issues with certain over the counter (OTC) or even doctor prescribed medications, the key is to eliminate and/or reduce these allergens before health issues arise and to avoid their reoccurrence in the future. If you or other family members are highly sensitive to the many allergens that are floating around in the air throughout the year, it makes sense to do everything possible to reduce or eliminate them altogether.

In this article, our experts dust off the secrets of how to increase your home’s indoor air quality and combat


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Keep Your Dishwasher Reliable With Proper Maintenance and Usage

The first reliable hand-powered dishwasher was invented in 1887 by Ohio native Josephine Cochrane and unveiled at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. By the 1970s dishwashers had become commonplace in domestic residence in both North America and Western Europe. In fact by 2012, reports showed that 75% of homes in the United Stated and in Germany had dishwashers.

So, when your household dishwasher is working fine, life can be pretty fine. But when your dishwasher goes on the fritz or loses its cleaning efficiency, your personal efficiency can take a major hit. Although dishwasher repairs usually aren’t always major projects or expenses, even a few days without a working dishwasher can turn into a major hassle and inconvenience.

Fortunately, most dishwasher problems are completely avoidable with proper maintenance and usage. That’s why it is extremely important to keep your dishwasher in good


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Discover The Very Best Way to Protect Your Pets From Ticks

Did you know that the Delaware Valley is one of the epicenters for Lyme disease, the debilitating condition carried by very tiny deer ticks and transmitted to people and animals via a bite? No matter how you slice the numbers, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey are among the most affected states in the country. In fact southeastern Pennsylvania is the hardest-hit, with Chester County reporting an especially high number of cases.

Reduce Tick Encounters

Pets are important to your family and protecting them from tick-bites and tick-borne illnesses, like Lyme disease, should be part of your tick bite prevention program. Over 74% of pets living in wooded regions in our area are exposed to infected ticks and are at risk for developing Lyme disease. Not only do you want to keep your pets healthy, but dogs and cats that roam in tick areas can be a risk to your family by bringing ticks to you when you


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Proper Placement And Installation Is Vital For Ventilation

Every heating and cooling season homeowners and contractors alike are baffled with trying to figure out fluctuating room temperatures. It’s a strange and sometimes irritating phenomenon. While one room of the house is the perfect temperature another may be hot and uncomfortable or cold and damp depending on the specific season. The fact is that every room of the house settles at a different temperature, but it can drive your energy bills too high trying to compensate.

In this article, Horizon Services experts clear the air and give you the cold, hard facts of how the proper placement and installation of supply registers is vital for ventilation.

Return Vents and Return Grilles

Homes that use forced air for both heating and cooling purposes will have return vents and supply registers. The main function of the return vent is to deliver air, via grilles and ductwork, back to the furnace so


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10 Sure-Fire Methods to Stop Menacing Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are a familiar late spring and summer nuisance. Mosquitoes can be very annoying but unfortunately they can also be transmitters of encephalitis, malaria, yellow fever to humans, and heartworms to pets.

Protect Your Backyard

Since many generations of mosquitoes can breed right in your backyard, you must learn to take some simple, positive steps to reduce this menace by limiting their breeding.

Common Breeding Sources

Breeding sources consist primarily of standing water. After a rain storm, walk your property and look for areas in the landscape that are not draining well. If you find puddles that remain after a few days, you may want to consider regrading it. If water stands for a little over one week – many mosquitoes will breed! So, if there are any places around your home where water collects (i.e., water-holding containers, storm drains, clogged rain gutters, around your HVAC


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Save Money By Saving Energy

In today’s tough economic state, we’re all looking for ways to save money without sacrificing comfort. If you’re like most people, you’re already doing some things to cut down on energy, such as lowering the heat at night or turning off lights in unoccupied room. To help you save even more, our experts have put together a quick guide to make your home more energy efficient.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, as much as half of the energy utilized in the home goes to heating and cooling. With that, it is imperative that homeowners make smart decisions about their home’s heating, ventilating, and air condition (HVAC) system.

Home Heating

Heating your home is the largest user of energy and offers the greatest opportunity for cost savings. About 30 percent of your total home energy budget goes for heating.

Here are some tips on saving money on your home heating:

  • Replace Old Heating

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Melting Snow Brings New Challenges

The large amount of snow depth in our region over this winter holds lots of water. For example, each cubic foot of drifted, piled, and/or compacted snow contains approximately 2 to 3 gallons of water. Now with the expected warm up and heavy rain it is imperative that homeowners take proper precautions to minimize serious problems resulting from melting snow and potential flooding.

To help, our experts have assembled a few tips you can employ to make sure your home stays dry.

Clean Gutters

Any home can struggle with water in the basement if the gutters are in disrepair or are clogged from leaves, dirt, snow, and ice. Eave-trough down-spouts should carry the water several feet from a house to a well-drained area. About 2,500 gallons of water will come from a 1,000 square foot roof with one foot of snow depth across the roof. This much water may cause problems if allowed to drain next to the house. With that, it is


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What Should You Do During a Winter Power Outage?

During the winter months, there are many weather-related events such as snow, ice, and wind that can cause a power outage. If the outage is caused by the weather, the outage could either be localized or in some cases wide-spread.

Should you lose power, the first thing to check is your home’s electrical panel to see if you have blown a circuit. If the power is out in your entire neighborhood, you should call your local utility company to report the outage. If the power is out over a more widespread area, it may in fact take a longer time to restore power everywhere.

Here are some valuable tips to remember if you lose power in the winter:

Sunlight

In the daytime, use the warming rays of the sun to keep you comfortable. Open the draperies to get the warmth into your home. Sit out in the sun in a spot away from any wind. You’ll be surprised how quickly you heat up.

Take Shelter

Choose


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6 Must-Know Appliance-Buying Tips

When buying household appliances there are several factors you ought to consider. They include energy efficiency, warranty and the manufacturer’s customer service. By taking these factors into account you should find appliances which not only will give you good service over a longer period of time, but will also prove cheaper to run. Read the tips below for more information.

Dishwashers

Water usage and water heating capabilities are the main considerations when choosing a dishwasher. Purchase a model which uses the minimum amount of water possible and one which produces water temperatures capable of sanitizing dishes.

Ovens

Aside from deciding whether you want a gas or electric oven, its cleaning features might also be an attraction. Unless you would prefer an oven which you want to clean yourself, there are self-cleaning and continuous cleaning options available.

Refrigerators

An essential


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Five Energy Conservation Habits

As anyone who’s ever done so knows, running a home is not a cheap affair. Because of this, it’s vital that anyone in charge of paying the bills does what they can to help keep costs down. One of the most effective ways of doing so is to consider a house’s energy efficiency; after all, energy bills are expensive.

These tips should help you cut costs:

Turn Out The Lights

This is one of the most common ways that homeowners rack up energy costs without even really thinking about it. Where possible, it’s important to ensure that you turn the lights off when you leave the room. Another tip for keeping lighting costs down is to use energy efficient bulbs, which can be purchased from most stores these days. You’d be amazed how much of a difference this can make.

Watch Home Heating Costs

Central heating is another resource that really can pile on the bills if you’re not careful. This is especially the


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Give Your Kitchen A Facelift

There’s nothing quite as fulfilling as a new interior design project. One of the rooms offering the best potential for investment is the kitchen, where there is a whole host of possibilities open to anyone with an imagination.

Here’s a look at some of the best ways that a kitchen can take on a new identity without breaking the bank:

Add Or Change Lighting

Modifying or changing the lighting that’s used within the room is a great place to start. A new set of lights can take a room from contemporary cool to comforting tradition with ease. You’ll need to do a bit of research to make sure you don’t end up with a clash of styles or color, but it’s well worth considering this modification. The energy efficiency of modern lighting will keep costs down, too.

Update The Hardware

Updating or changing your hardware is another effective way to give the room a new spark of life. Even changing all of the doorknobs


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Avoid A Potential Nightmare In Your Home

Any homeowner knows that winter always brings with it a number of problems and things to deal with – not to mention the inevitable rise in heating bills! It remains an excellent idea to prepare your home and the surrounding area for the colder months in the fall to ensure that nothing too bad occurs.

Keep An Eye On The Plumbing

Perhaps the most common problems to arise during the winter in poorly insulated or leaky older homes are issues with the plumbing, especially with the water within the pipes acting as water does when it’s heated, then cooled right down, then heated up again! It’s important to make sure that before the cold hits, any visible pipes within the house are covered using either insulation or heat tape. Also, on particularly cold nights it’s important to try and let the faucets drip a little bit to prevent them freezing up. Try to drain the pipes of any excess water before things cool down as


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