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What You Need To Know About Dust Mites If They Trigger Your Child’s Asthma

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Need To Know About Dust Mites If They Trigger Your Child’s Asthma

Asthma is a prevalent medical condition that is triggered by allergens, one of which is the dust mite. In fact, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, about 20 million people in the United States are allergic to dust mites. It can be one of the most difficult allergens to control, which is not what you want to hear if your child has been recently diagnosed. However, this one basic understanding may help you to figure out how to reduce your child’s risks of having an asthma attack: the offending allergen is a protein found in the waste of dust mites. Therefore, you can’t just call in a pest control service to kill them off. You will have to remove their waste. Now, consider how small dust mites are, about ¼ of a millimeter, and you can imagine how small their droplets of waste are. And, to make matters worse, each female can lay 100 eggs during her lifetime, which is usually 2-4 months. Each hatched egg means another dust mite to drop waste behind. No wonder a dust mite allergy is hard to control! Since your child probably spends more time in his or her bedroom than anywhere else in your home, start there. Here’s what you’ll want to do is to get rid of all those pesky little creatures, and their waste, from your child’s bedroom so he or she won’t have to struggle to breathe any more. Buy New Mattresses & Pillows & Enclose Them In Hypoallergenic Covers Problem: Dust mites feed off of skin cells that have flaked off. One of the best places for dust mites to find a smorgasbord of dead skin cells is in mattresses. Dust mites and their waste products are inside your child’s mattress. While your child sleeps, he or she is breathing in tiny particles of the protein they are allergic to. The allergen has to be removed, but it can be difficult to remove all of it effectively. Solution: Buy a new mattress, box spring and pillows for your child’s bedroom. More importantly, enclose them in hypoallergenic covers to prevent dust mites from getting into them. Remove Carpeting & Install Hardwood Flooring Problem: Carpeting, just like mattresses, can be difficult to clean the allergen from. Carpeting traps in dust mites and their waste, as well as other common allergens that can cause asthma such as mold and pet dander. Even with a HEPA filter, a vacuum cleaner may not be able to collect all the waste and dust mites from the carpeting. Solution: Remove carpeting and install hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring from places like is ideal because it is extremely easy to clean and doesn’t require the use of harsh chemicals to do so. Install hardwood flooring that is sealed with an aluminum oxide finish, which will prevent dust mites from being able to get into the flooring. This type of sealant is highly durable and scratch-resistant. Remember, dust mites are very tiny so you’ll want your flooring to be as smooth and crevice-free as possible. Monitor & Control the Indoor Humidity Level Problem: Dust mites thrive in humid conditions. According to the National Institutes of Health, dust mite populations are larger when the relative humidity of the air is 45%. The larger the population, the...

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Pre-Fab Chimney Or Masonry Chimney: How To Choose

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pre-Fab Chimney Or Masonry Chimney: How To Choose

If you’re building a home, or if you’re simply adding a fireplace to the home that you already have, you may be wondering what kind of chimney you need to install. Despite the wide range of differences you may see in style or color, there are really only two kinds of chimneys: masonry chimneys that are built on-site from brick or stone, and prefabricated chimneys that are made in a factory, usually from metal, and installed in one piece. Both types of chimneys have their own pros and cons, so it’s important to understand those to get an idea of which kind of chimney – and by extension, which kind of fireplace – you want to choose. Take a look at the pros and cons of both masonry and pre-fab chimneys. Masonry Chimneys Generally, masonry chimneys are built to accommodate masonry fireplaces. However, they can also be used for other types of ventilation, such as ventilation for a wood burning stove. The biggest advantage to masonry chimneys is that they’re durable. A masonry chimney can almost always last for the entire lifetime of your home, as long as it’s kept clean and well-cared for. Masonry chimneys can also be decorative, and many people enjoy having a home with a well-built masonry chimney visible on the roof. Therefore, the presence of the chimney also raises your home’s value. What’s more, a masonry chimney helps boost your home’s heat efficiency. The heat from the fire in the fireplace is transferred to the brick or stone, which stays warm and helps keep the temperature in the house stable. On the down side, masonry chimneys are expensive, both because of the materials involved, which can total several tons of brick, stone, metal, and other materials, and because of the work involved in installation. They also limit your space. Masonry chimneys need a specific amount of clearance area from the combustible materials in the fireplace, and there’s no shortcut around it. Your home has to be able to accommodate the space that the chimney needs to operate safely. In order for masonry chimneys to work properly, they need to be well-maintained. Usually, it’s best to hire a chimney service to inspect or clean your chimney, rather than doing it yourself. You might damage the chimney accidentally. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having your masonry chimney inspected once a year and having it swept anytime there’s an eighth of an inch of sooty buildup. Pre-Fabricated Chimneys Unlike their masonry counterparts, pre-fab chimneys are usually made from sheet metal. They typically are paired with pre-fabricated fireplaces that are also made of sheet metal, so often the decision is made for you – if you buy a pre-fab fireplace, you’ll get a pre-fab chimney along with it. However, pre-fab chimneys, like masonry chimneys, can also be used for wood burning stoves and similar devices. Pre-fab chimneys are often desirable because they’re easy to install, easy to maintain, far less expensive masonry chimneys, and take up less space in the home. On the other hand, pre-fab chimneys don’t last anywhere near as long as masonry chimneys. The sheet metal doesn’t hold up as well over a period of years as masonry does, so chances are good that you’ll be replacing it eventually. Also, while pre-fab chimneys...

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Using Personality Types To Choose The Perfect Gift For Your Parents This Year!

Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Using Personality Types To Choose The Perfect Gift For Your Parents This Year!

Holiday gift shopping can be a harrowing experience. It can be especially difficult when shopping for those who are very close to us, such as our parents. Even though we grew up in their homes and have many childhood memories to guide us, it can still be hard to view parents as separate individuals with goals, dreams and interests that do not involve their children. This can make it very difficult for adult children to choose gifts they will be proud to give and their parents will love to receive.   One way to help select a great gift for your parents is to use clues from your childhood memories to help you categorize their personality type. Think about the activities they enjoyed, how they chose to entertain and what types of interests they introduced to you. This will help give you some pointers to use in when selecting their gift and ensure that it is more meaningful to them than another bottle of perfume or a robe and slipper set.  The Extroverts  Extroverted parents were the ones that every one of your friends liked hanging out with when you were growing up. They were the cool moms and dads who stocked the fridge with soft drinks and kept favorite snacks at the ready for any of your friends that stopped by. Weekend nights saw them welcoming the neighbors for a backyard cookout or organizing a block party in the street, complete with music and dancing. Always willing to try new experiences, they worked hard to instill that attitude in their children as well. Gift Suggestion:  Extroverts love to mingle with others, even in very large groups. If your parents are true extroverts, consider sending them on a cruise. They will enjoy the camaraderie of the other passengers, along with entertainment, gourmet quality food and the romance of the sun, sand and sea. To get the best value, consider purchasing an off-season cruise package, which are usually available at a deep discount. The Introverts Introverted parents are warm loving couples who are happiest at home with their kids and each other. These are the parents who helped you fall in love with board games, and taught you how to make s’mores in the backyard before snuggling up to watch classic movies on a rainy evening. Introverts love to entertain, just as extroverts do, but introverts will invite just one couple to dinner and spend time really getting to know them.  Gift Suggestion:  A great gift idea for introverted parents might include a trip to a romantic resort, or quietly thoughtful choices they can enjoy together at home, like a membership in a good quality wine of the month club, or a gift that will offer quiet romance like a certificate for a nice dinner and quiet dancing at a swanky restaurant.  The Ambiverts While psychologists believe that some true extroverts and introverts exist, they feel that most people fall into the category known as an ambivert. Ambiverts can be very comfortable in large groups, but they also need and enjoy some quiet time, too. Ambiverted parents were ones who could enjoy being part of the crowd at Friday night football games, yet choose to pick up a pizza and spend Saturday night at home with just family.  Gift Suggestion:...

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Moving With A Dog: Tips To Reduce Canine Stress

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Moving With A Dog: Tips To Reduce Canine Stress

If you need to move several hundred or thousand miles away, then it may be in your best interest to hire a household moving company. This type of business can pack and move your belongings for you, and this can greatly reduce the stress of your move. If you have a dog, then the quick packing and moving may cause your canine stress. Dogs respond to stress in a similar manner as humans, and this means that adrenaline increases and cortisol levels suppress the immune system. The heart rate elevates too, and this can cause cardiovascular concerns. You can reduce health concerns by following the tips below. Secure Your Pup Many pet experts indicate that you should place your dog in a safe, secure, and quiet place while home belongings are packed and moved. This can keep your dog away from the chaos of shifting furniture. If you place your dog in a room that is empty though, then this can stress your dog out even more. Dogs thrive on familiar spaces, objects, and smells. Smells are specifically important to a canine, because they make them feel safe.   This means you should place your dog’s bed and toys in the room so they can recognize their own scent. Also, wear a sweatshirt the day before the move and place it in the room with your canine. Dogs have strong responses to the smell of their owners. Specifically, the reward center of the brain is activated when your smell is brought through the nose. The reward center is a positive area of the brain. When it is activated, it makes your dog feel happy and calm. Introduce the Moving Crew Dogs can be calmed by familiar scents, but they can also become stressed by unfamiliar ones. Dogs can smell about 40 times better than humans can, and they will identify the scents of all the movers who enter your home. These smells can overwhelm your dog and they can cause them to be overly stimulated. The unfamiliar human smells can also cause some distress, because dogs are fearful of the unfamiliar. Dogs use their noses to familiarize themselves with humans, so make sure that each member of the moving crew meets with your dog briefly so scents can be committed to memory. Ask each member of the moving crew to come into your home one by one. Allow your dog to smell each person and ask the individuals to pet your dog or give them a treat. This will create an immediate positive association that will identify the crew as friendly. Clean Your New Home If your new home has recently been built, painted, or cleaned by the old owners, then the residence may be filled with chemicals and volatile organic compounds. The chemicals can stress your dog after a long trip and make them ill if the immune system has already been suppressed by the stress response. It is wise to get rid of any potential harmful compounds before your dog enters your new home. Ask your moving crew to place boxes and furniture items in the middle of the rooms in your new home. Ask a family member to take your dog on a walk to explore the new neighborhood. This will allow your dog to explore, so they are familiar with the...

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Components Of A Good Standing Desk

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Components Of A Good Standing Desk

A good standing desk isn’t necessarily the highest-priced desk. Each desk on the market has some great components, but before you start shopping around, you should have an idea of what you’re looking for. Make your “must-have” and “would-be-nice” list. Don’t forget a list for “don’t-want” features as well. To help you narrow down your options, take a look at some of the components of available standing desks detailed below. Motorized Desk A motorized standing desk makes it easy to adjust desk height quickly. It’s great for a home computer where other people might need access to it, as well. One thing to consider, however, is that if the adjustment from sitting to standing will be a difficult one for you, motorized might not be your best option. If you’re afraid you’ll give in to the urge to sit, look for a manual standing desk. Having to make the adjustment manually will take time and effort that you could be spending elsewhere, and you’ll remain upright for longer periods during the day. Portable Option Portability may or may not be a high priority to you. However, if you are considering the standing desks for sale online as an alternative to the one you use at work, it might be the best option. Portable standing desks are much smaller than fixed ones, because they sit on top of an existing desk. You don’t have to scrap your work desk and rearrange all your paperwork to start using the desk. Instead, you clear enough space for the standing desk, move your computer and keyboard to it, and get to work. If you have to change offices or decide to work from home, transporting your desk to the new location is fairly simple. Storage Space Not all desks will come with attached drawers or cabinets. Some desks are simply a mobile frame. However, if it is important that you be able to store office supplies and file paperwork, look for a standing desk that provides these options. If you don’t feel that these desks are within your price range, consider a portable option and keep your existing desk with its office space. Adjustable Position You’ve already read about adjustable height, but some standing desks offer other personalized options, as well. With some desks, you can adjust the desk position, as well. This means you can move the keyboard forward, push it back, and tilt it up or down to make typing easier. These minor adjustments make standing and working feel more natural to you. And that means you remain standing for longer periods each day. Room for Movement The main point of a standing desk is to keep you from sitting and gaining weight or feeling tired throughout the day. It helps improve your posture and decreases strain on your neck and back. So why not look for a standing desk that provides room for movement? There are a few options here. You can purchase a treadmill desk that gently moves at your walking pace. While these are not designed to go fast enough to distract you from your work, it might not seem like the best (or most cost effective) option to you. Instead, you can try an extra-wide standing desk that is designed to accommodate two or more people around...

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5 Things You Need To Know If You’ve Never Had A Well Before

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Things You Need To Know If You’ve Never Had A Well Before

Within cities and towns, most residential and commercial properties are supplied with municipal or city water. But, in the country and suburban areas many people get their water from wells. If you’ve never lived in a house with a well, you may not realize the specific issues and problems that go along with having well water, which is typically harder than city water. The hardness comes from the minerals the water absorbs from the ground as it flows through from the surface to the aquifer. Here are 5 things you’ll need to know if you move from the city to the country or suburbia.   You’ll need to use more soap & shampoo The hardness in the water will make it difficult for soap and shampoo to lather up and get sudsy due to the chemical reaction that occurs.  In soft water, lather is a reaction between the sodium stearate molecules of soap and the potassium and sodium ions of the water. Hard water has magnesium and calcium ions instead, which are stronger than potassium and sodium. These stronger ions cause the sodium stearate molecules to react prematurely. This causes less lather which, in turn, causes you to use more soap and shampoo. A water softener works by removing the magnesium and calcium ions and replacing them with potassium and sodium ions. Your appliances might not last as long as they should The minerals can build up inside appliances and plumbing, which can cause them to be damaged and blocked. This is particularly true in narrow pipes, such as in dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators and coffee makers. And, if the water is heated the buildup may be more extreme. The minerals in heated hard water can cause scales to form on fixtures and inside appliances and plumbing. This scale can build up enough to completely block off the flow of water. You’ll need to change your cleaning habits The minerals in your water will build up and remain on your fixtures until you use harsh chemicals to remove them. As hard water evaporates, it leaves behind the minerals which typically bind like glue to any hard surface. To clean the buildup, you may need to use harsh chemicals. An alternative is to constantly wipe down your fixtures, sinks, tubs and showers to keep the water from evaporating and leaving the minerals behind. Of course, all of this could be avoided if the water is softened. You may run out of hot water often In water heaters, the scales accumulate in the bottom of the tank and become the consistency of oatmeal. This buildup takes up space in the water heater, which reduces the amount of water that can be heated in the water heater. If this happens, your hot showers may quickly turn cold. To combat this, you’ll need to remove the scales from the bottom of the water heater on a regular basis—about once per year for an average-sized household. Or, you can avoid this altogether by installing a water softener. Your well might run out of water As you can see, most of the issues you’ll have with your well will have to do with the hardness of the water. However, hard water is not the only common complaint of well water. You’ll need to make sure...

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3 Reasons Why A Ductless AC System Is Right For Your Home

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons Why A Ductless AC System Is Right For Your Home

If your air conditioning system is on its last legs, it’s time to start doing some research before you purchase a new one. Don’t just buy the newest model of the air conditioning system that you already had without looking into your other options first. One of those options is the ductless air conditioning system. These systems are increasing in popularity every year, and with good reason. When you take a good look at the advantages that the ductless system offers over your own traditional air conditioning system, you’ll understand why. Check out some of the benefits of a ductless AC system and find out if it’s the right choice for you. Better Indoor Air Quality In a regular air conditioning system, the air that’s blowing out of the vents has traveled through a length of ductwork to get to the open vents and into the room. That means that whatever air pollutants might be in the vents have a chance to get picked up with the air and pushed out into circulation – into the air that you’re breathing. Dust, pet dander, and pollen can all find their way into your ductwork. Of course, you can have your ducts cleaned, but doing so is expensive. It’s also a big undertaking, so most people don’t have it done more than once a year, at most, leaving plenty of time for air pollutants to reaccumulate. A ductless system employs individual cooling units around the house, each with its own self-contained blower system. There are no ducts for your cooled air to travel through, and therefore, there’s less of a chance that your air will contain allergenic particles. You can easily maintain the cleanliness of the blower system yourself, just by changing the filter. Many ductless air conditioning systems come with washable, reusable filters, so it doesn’t cost you any extra money at all to keep your air clean. More Personalization Are you often hot while your kids are cold, or vice versa? One size fits all temperatures often leave someone in the house feeling uncomfortable. There’s not much that you can do about it, though, when you live in a home with a traditional air conditioning system. You can only set your thermostat for one temperature at a time, so you’re left to compromise as best you can, while someone in the house shivers or sweats. With a ductless air conditioning system from a place like A Bailey Plumbing, you can personalize the temperatures in the house to meet your family’s individual needs. Because the system is composed of several different blower units, each room or zone in the house can be set at a different temperature. You can also turn the air off completely in a part of the home that nobody is using. Greater Energy Efficiency A traditional air conditioning system is very likely to be one of the biggest drains on your home energy usage. Do your energy bills skyrocket every summer? Do you feel trapped into paying more money than you can afford, just to be comfortable in your own home? That’s because even the most energy efficient air conditioner really isn’t all that efficient. It helps to understand how air conditioners are rated for energy efficiency. They’re rated on the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)...

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Get Your Septic System Ready For The Holidays

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Get Your Septic System Ready For The Holidays

Your septic system can only handle so much waste water, and holiday parties can really stress your system. In addition, frozen ground can drastically reduce how much waste your drain field can handle in the winter. By making smart decisions about your septic system, you can avoid a holiday disaster. Get Your Tank Pumped No matter how much you use your septic system, it will eventually fill up, and adding a lot of water all at once can cause even the biggest system to overflow. One way to mitigate this issue is to have your tank pumped before the holidays. This will give you the maximum about of space in the tank so that everyone at your party can use the bathroom as much as they want without damaging your system. Even if you aren’t throwing the party, many people have family stay with them throughout the season. While this won’t cause a sudden, massive increase in your water usage, all those extra showers will stress your system. If it is getting close to your regular pumping time, it is probably best to just get it out of the way. The system will be more sensitive to this extra usage. Find Ways to Reduce Your Water Usage The difficulty with having extra people over during the holidays is how much water they will use. By reducing that usage, you can not only help your system through the holidays, but improve the health of your system. There are plenty of ways to reduce your home water usage: Buy some low-flow toilets. If you save even a gallon or two of water per flush, then you will make a major dent in the water usage over the course of a party. Stick with the bathroom theme and change out your showerhead. By investing in a decent model, you guests won’t know, and your septic tank will thank you. While dishwashers were once forbidden to those with septic tanks, this is no longer the case. New, high efficiency models use far less water, and you can easily find septic safe soap to use. Don’t Dump Food Waste Down the Drain Garbage disposals have made it easy to scrape excess food down the drain instead of into the trash can. There are few behaviors that are worse for your septic system. While water will eventually dissipate out into the drain field, organic matter sinks to the bottom and needs to be pumped out. Dumping food down the drain not only risks clogs in your house, it will fill the tank more quickly. Get out of the habit of doing yourself, look at this website, and politely ask your guests to do the same. In order to encourage guests to take care of themselves, make sure that trash cans are easily visible. You might want the picture perfect living room, but hiding away the trash cans will only encourage people to either leave their plates laying out, or to use the sink to to get rid of the food. Neither choice is the one you want them to make. Use this as an excuse to purchase some attractive trash bins, and you will have less cleanup to do when the party is over. The holiday season is hard on your wallet, and the last thing...

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