Archive for August, 2014

How to Keep Your House Cool … Without Touching the AC

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 | No Comments

How to Keep Your House Cool… Without Touching the ACThe traditional summer months are coming to an end, but the heat remains. For some this means frizzy hair or rolling down the car windows, but for most it also means cranking up the AC. Turning that dial to try to cool your living quarters can be costly, but perhaps you don’t know how to keep your house cool without that modern convenience. Here we examine a few alternatives on how to keep your house cool without touching the AC.

  1. Close Doors – As much as possible, keep your house closed off from the ambient humid and hot air. This means keeping your external doors closed. But how to keep your house cool goes beyond shutting out the external heat. You should also keep internal doors closed to isolate the cooler air within your home.
  2. Cover Windows – Twenty to thirty percent of unwanted heat comes from sunlight and hot air permeating the windows of your home. Covering your windows, ie closing the blinds or drapes during the daytime, can lower indoor temperature by up to 20 degrees. That can result to saving 7% on your electric bill each month.
  3. Use Vent Exhausts – If you take a warm shower or cook something in the oven, those areas of your house can heat up considerably. Be sure to use vent exhausts in your bathroom and above your stove to allow the hot air to escape and keep the surrounding rooms cool.
  4. Cool from the Inside Out – The tricks for how to keep your house cool won’t make a difference if you yourself are not cool! So while you are making the necessary changes around your house, make them also with yourself. Drink iced beverages that lower your internal temperature. Take colder baths/showers, and cool your skin down with ice packs while sitting around the house.
  5. Adjust Fans -Fans should be adjusted seasonally. In the warm summer months, program your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise.
  6. Let in the Night Air – Even in the summer time, nights are usually cooler. One of the simplest methods of how to keep your house cool without the AC is by opening up the windows at night.
  7. Change Your Sheets – Avoid using flannel and other heavy material sheets during the summer. Cotton breathes more easily and doesn’t retain body heat.
  8. Grill – How to keep your house cool may have more to do with what you do outside. Grilling reduces the build-up of heat your oven and stove would produce in food preparation. In addition, grilling takes people outdoors into cool breezes.
  9. Purchase Better Light Bulbs – Incandescent lights waste almost 90% of the energy they produce in the form of unnecessary heat. Switch to more efficient bulbs that will last longer and put off less heat.
  10. Make Lasting Home Improvements – Shading your house with sunlight-absorbing plants and trees helps the environment and reduces the heat gripping your home. At the same time, your landscaping adds to the curb value of your house; you are making a permanent environmental and financial investment!

As heat waves continue through the end of the summer, cut back on your energy bill by finding alternatives to turning on your AC. How to keep your house cool can be as easy as closing the curtains and planting a few shady trees. But it might also be beneficial to have your house inspected. Getting new windows with better insulation and other home improvements might make a huge difference to your comfort. Call and schedule an appointment with Inspect-It 1st today!

Series on Safety: Lead Paint Poisoning

Posted on: August 11th, 2014 | No Comments

Lead paint removal to prevent lead paint poisoning.Lead-based paints were commonly used on houses and various other products prior to recent decades. It is estimated that lead paint poisoning has claimed a large portion of the 143,000 lives lost to lead poisoning worldwide and causes 600,000 disabilities per year, according to UN health officials. Low and middle income countries are especially prone to this health concern, but 30 countries and counting have phased out lead paint use. The United States banned lead paint in 1978 but over 24 million houses built prior to 1978 are still in use and exposing families to lead paint poisoning. Certain interior items such as antique furniture and toys are also putting people at risk.

 

What: Paint containing lead poisons all systems of the human body. After ingestion or consumption, lead pollutes the blood and results in damage to the brain and central nervous system. High exposure can produce convulsions and eventually lead to a coma or death. Low exposure still affects brain development, especially in young children. Lead paint poisoning has been shown to reduce IQ and attention span, increase antisocial behavior, and decrease academic achievement. Affected adults may see increased risk of kidney failure and raised blood pressure.

 

Where: Lead paint can be found on the outside or inside of older homes as well as on antique furniture and toys, and candy from Mexico. Costume jewelry and other toys passed down through generations within a family might be posing a lead paint poisoning danger.

 

When: As the lead paint on various surfaces begins to peel and decay, it often crumbles into a dust-like substance carried through the air and able to be ingested. In addition, studies claim that children under the age of 6 are at an increased risk of consuming lead by touching items with deteriorating paint and then putting their hands in their mouths.

 

Symptoms: While there are no obvious symptoms, an affected individual may demonstrate tiredness, hyperactivity, irritability, poor appetite, weight loss, trouble sleeping, or stomach aches. Because these symptoms may go unnoticed or attributed to other things, lead paint poisoning often goes unchecked. If you suspect someone you know is being poisoned by lead paint, encourage them to get a blood test.

 

Action: Once lead paint has been ingested or consumed and takes its toll on the body, there is no known countermeasure to undo the damage. Therefore, it’s imperative to take preventative measures.

 

Prevention: Lead paint poisoning can be prevented (especially in children) in several ways.

  1. Check the date of the buildings and houses your where you and your children spend the most time. If any were built prior to 1978, consult a local health official and take measures to reduce prolonged exposure until you know if the lead paint has been removed.
  2. Keep pregnant women and children away from renovations, especially renovations for structures older than 1978.
  3. Wash children’s hands and toys regularly.
  4. Keep children from playing in bare soil. Use a sandbox instead.
  5. Create barriers between your family and any items known to contain lead paint. Fence your house off from the older house next door or keep antique furniture in a room young children don’t enter.
  6. Keep your house free of dust by cleaning consistently.
  7. Get an inspection!

Lead paint poisoning is a serious health concern facing many countries. Even though the United States has banned the use of lead-based paint, old houses and antique or imported items may still pose a considerable threat.

 

Take preventative steps to protect your family from lead paint poisoning. Seek blood tests if you suspect exposure. And consider the inspection services from Inspect-It 1st to see if the painted surfaces or dust in your home are contaminated.

Our home inspection company's history began in 1991 with the establishment of American Home Inspection. Over the course of the following seven years, a home inspection business prototype was developed that could be implemented anywhere in the United States. Our founders believed they had a unique methodology of providing homebuyers and sellers with consistent, professional and unbiased home inspections.

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