Posts Tagged ‘ventilation’

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!

Radon In Homes – What you Need to Know

Posted on: February 25th, 2014 | No Comments

Radon in homes Radon – This is a term many homeowners have likely heard but do not necessarily know what it is or how it can harm their family. According to the EPA, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in the United States and can be linked to up to 20,000 lung cancer deaths a year. Here’s what you need to know as a homeowner:

 

  • This radioactive particle is found the air and cause lung cancer in those exposed to large amounts. Radon is produced by the natural decay of uranium in the soil but this decay can be fixed and homes made safe from radon.

  • At home tests are available for testing your home’s radon levels. Generally these accumulate in the basement, nearest the ground where decaying uranium resides. The average concentration of radon in a home in the United States is 1.3 pCi/L. Radon concentrations between 2 and 4 pCi/L should consider fixing their home to protect against exposure to radon. For levels above 4 pCi/L the EPA strongly recommends action to be taken.

  • Contractors are available to test and fix your home. These people are experts in mitigating the risks of radon and ensuring your home is safe.

Contractors can be hired to inspect your home, especially rooms below ground level and those directly above ground level, for radon levels deemed unsafe. If your home does have higher than average radon levels there are a number of options.

 

As stated above, the EPA has set a maximum radon level of 4 pCi/L. Many homeowners take this to mean that anything below this level is “safe”. This simply is not true. Any levels between 2 and 4 pCi/L should still be considered dangerous and steps taken to reduce them. Your contractor will be able to explain the best option for dealing with radon in your home but generally there are three different solutions depending on the structure of our home.

 

  • For homes with basements, one of four types of suction can be used to reduce radon. Essentially, this process uses pipes directly in the earth below the basement slab and fans. The fans create suction below the slab and suck the radon up through the pipe. The open end of the pipe generally leads to an attic or outside the home where the radon is quickly diluted to safer levels.

  • Homes with a crawl space generally will use a thick plastic sheet layed over the earth. Underneath this sheet, a pipe and fan, much like that mentioned above, suck the radon out from the space between the ground and the plastic sheet and ventilate it to the outside. In some cases, ventilation of the space without a plastic sheet can also be used to reduce radon.

  • Any home, no matter the footings can benefit from sealing cracks in the foundation but this should be done in conjunction with other solutions to ensure the radon levels are reduced enough.

  • Ventilation of any space that may have excess radon is always a good idea. In lower levels of home be sure to open windows periodically, run fans to move the air up and out and keep track of radon levels.

The health risks associated with radon mean that all steps necessary should be taken to reduce exposure. Any of the above solutions can be used in conjunction with one another to ensure maximum diffusion. If you have radon accumulation in your home, contact a professional to ensure the correct steps are taken to reduce it’s presence and protect your family. For more information about radon visit the EPA website at http://www.epa.gov/radon/index.html. There you will find information about radon levels in your area, where to find testing kits and the more about solutions to radon in your home.

Home Inspection Checklist: How to Prepare for Your Home’s Inspection

Posted on: February 14th, 2013 | No Comments

home_inspWhen selling your home, a lot of people focus on the aesthetics of the house, like the paint colors, the fixtures, or even the landscaping.  While updating your home’s look and feel can definitely make an impact on the sale, something else can stop the sale dead in its tracks: failing your home inspection.

 

To sail through your home inspection process, we recommend focusing on these areas first, before you start priming and painting all those walls.

 

 

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Indoor Air Quality: Is Your Home’s Air Safe to Breathe?

Posted on: November 20th, 2012 | No Comments

Did you know that one of the most harmful things in your home could be the air you breathe?  If your home isn’t properly ventilated, you’re risking your home’s property value as well as your family’s health.

 

Watch this brief video that explains what contributes to poor indoor air quality.  Even better, learn what you can do to improve the quality of the indoor air you breathe.

 

Whitepaper: Clearing the Air about Ventilation

Posted on: October 30th, 2012 | No Comments

As Winter rolls in, homeowners change a lot of their habits. Unfortunately, a lot of our wintertime habits affect our home’s air quality – and not in a good way.

 

To save on energy costs, you probably keep your doors and windows closed in the winter. Instead of our summertime screen doors and windows, air is trapped in our houses, recycled over and over.

 

For ambiance or for heating, you may use a wood-burning fireplace. As you can imagine, the smoke and pollutants in the wood are now released into your home – wrecking havoc on your air quality.

 

Even something as innocent as a humidifier can be adding to the problem. Adding too much moisture to your home’s air can make linens, draperies, or even your clothes attractive to mold.

 

Without the proper ventilation, these seemingly innocent wintertime habits can cause your home harm. The fact is that the average American now spends 90% of their time breathing indoor air, which is 2 to 5 more times polluted than outdoor air.

 

So how do you keep your home’s air quality in check? We’ve recently published a white paper on that exact topic. While there are a lot of online myths about home air quality, we’re setting the record straight.

 

Learn what it takes to make your home a safe and healthy environment for you and your family.

 

Indoor Air Quality: How Important is Home Ventilation?

Posted on: October 30th, 2012 | No Comments

Take a deep breath.

 

Do you know what you just breathed in?  If you’re indoors, what you just took into your body could be significantly different than if you were outside.

 

Naturally, you may think that outdoor air has far more pollutants than what we breathe indoors.   With automobile pollution and factories outside, we’ve almost been conditioned to think that our outdoor air is dirty.

 

Unfortunately, the air we breathe indoors is just as bad – if not worse – than the air of the great outdoors.  Why?  Here are several reasons:

 

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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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