Sunday, January 25, 2015

Practical Eco-Friendly Heating Alternatives

Going green on home heating is beneficial to the environment and financially favorable as well. There are a lot of eco-friendly and efficient alternatives that help lower expenses and lessen the pollution emitted. Here are the most practical ones.

Preparation and Winter-Proofing
Whatever approach is chosen, the first thing to do is getting a home ready for winter. Ready it to be more efficient so that energy requirement on heating is reduced. This also helps lowering the CO2 emission whether directly using fuels, or indirectly using electricity.

First, make sure the house is fully insulated that no heat escapes, and no cold air enters. Check if proper caulking is done on windowsills and other areas that might have holes, gaps, and crevices. A good insulation significantly reduces the loss of heat.

Next, choose an environmentally friendly heating method. However, the right type must be chosen in order to get the most out of it.

Wood Burning Fireplaces and Heaters
A wood burning fireplace is more eco-friendly than any heat source simply because uses using natural fuel. Cutting trees for wood is not that absolutely eco-friendly but you can get wood scraps from local wood harvester and make sure they are from a good source. More likely, this choice is still good for the environment.

Wood stoves are better alternative if you need something small and portable outdoor heater. They are great for outdoor spaces like patio, deck, or just in the backyard.

You can also get or create a fire pit or a fire bowl which are best for wood burning in the backyard or patio.

Biodiesel Fuel
Biodiesel is popular and promoted mostly as a green alternative fuel for diesel powered vehicles. However, it can also be used to fuel an oil-fired outdoor patio heater. It is made from vegetable oils or animal fats. Although it may emit vapors but unlike petroleum based oils, biodiesel is biodegradable, and non-toxic. A healthy gas based fuel.

Solar Heating Systems
We can harness the power of the sun as it shines during the day. There are a lot of ways to do it, some are DIY cheap ways and some are a bit expensive. However, this is highly beneficial both environmentally and financially in the end.

Solar heating is not about collecting the sunlight into electric power because it will not work. The best way is to collect the heat and bring it inside the house. The systems can be done at home as a weekend project. Plans shared by the generous netizens can be found online using “solar collector” or “solar grabber” keywords.

There is a more practical way to get the suns heat, but it only as good as the sun still shines above. The house is redesigned for a maximum sun intake through windows and transparent roof. However, this is only effective in areas where the sun still shines in winter.

Simply, a good sweater is really an effective way to protect yourself from the chilling winter cold. You can simply add layers of extra clothing and socks to reduce the need of powerful heaters or fireplaces. In effect it also lowers your bills and energy consumption, an effective eco-friendly practice.

Sure there are a lot of eco-friendly ways to generate heat for comfort. These are just the practical ways but effective and efficient to make a better home.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Practical Ways to Improve a Backyard Patio

Backyard improvement is a plus for your home in two ways,  Creating a beautiful outdoor place and add value to your property. Because first impression is a winning factor, an outdoor space improvement will be a good selling point if ever you decide to put your property up for sale. There are a lot of ways to do it, and we’ll discuss the practical ones.

From a numerous tips we produced and from a plethora of home improvement articles published in the internet, cleaning is the most basic form. Yet, it is a great way to improve an outdoor place. Dirt and any untidy things hugely have negative impact to the appearance of any surface. Try to tidy up and remove things that are not necessary, you will be amazed how big the change can be.

Any room or space can make a great deal or transformation from the amazing effects of accessories or decor items. Sculptures like angels and gnomes are a great compliment for a backyard garden. Comfy pillows and colorful outdoor cushions are an inviting addition to your outdoor furniture. Whereas creative stuff such as paintings and artistic sculptures adds interest to the empty walls. This helps make a seemingly lonesome space into an amusing place.

Add Plants
Naturally add colors with plants and flowers to an outdoor room or patio. It can easily be achieved with pots and planters. Cost is minimal especially if know how to do it and you do it yourself. Get some ideas in the internet now, there are tons of ingenious ideas around.

Natural Privacy Screens and Sun Shade
Privacy is one feature that most homeowners want in the backyard. In addition, a sun shade is also an important structure for those who love outdoors in the day. There is a wide array of privacy screen and sun shade fixtures available today but then there are natural alternatives. Shrubs and trees makes a good privacy and a perfect sun shade structure. On a much creative side, many have used climbing plants and vines. By erecting trellises, lattice, and arbor, one can start cultivating and grow a lovely privacy screen and sun shade.

Patio furniture and fixtures make an outdoor room complete. Necessary pieces for relaxation such as patio umbrella, seats, and a table should be enough to add interest to your patio. Even a garden can be greatly enhanced by adding a set of furniture such as a love seat coupled with a little side or center table.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Awning Maintenance and Care

A good awning makes outdoor patio relaxation worthwhile and classy while keeping you safe and sound under the sun. However, you need to take good care of it, make it stay in good shape in order to keep these goodness.

Modern awnings promises a lasting beauty and functionality. But the promise have certain conditions in which you need to keep as a ritual. Additionally, there are factors that no matter how great the quality of the piece is, they eventually break. Like outdoor furniture and patio umbrellas, weather and other harsh outdoor elements are the common adversaries of this outdoor shade.

The immediate means of caring for your awning keeping it clean. Because it uses materials like acrylic and PVC that will not hold or absorb dirt, it can easily be cleaned with water only. Using soap is not required and take note that some soapy solutions may have components that can leave a mark after it dries. A good splash or spray of clean water is sufficient to rinse out dirt.

Due to the nature of its use, an awning is typically made sturdy. But this is no good use against strong winds so proper care is certainly needed. There is only one way to do it, keep it out from the force of the wind or else, it will be blown away, parts break apart, and the covering ripped off.

Once you know that the weather is going to be worse, act immediately. Retract or roll up the awning shade or the covering part before the wind blows strongly. Better safe than sorry.

Even on a normal day where the weather is moderate, slightly strong wind blows may come all of a sudden. An awning need to be prepared for this. Mostly awnings come with support poles which will also boost its strength when installed properly.

Generally, an awning cover is waterproof, but keeping it in normal condition is still best to increase the guarantee of making it longer lasting. Keep the awning fabric dry especially when retracting. Water may ruin the mechanism and fabric when retracted. Once the weather is back to normal, pull out the covering back and let it dry.

Additionally, awnings are not designed to use in winter. Do not let snow accumulate and give more weight, it is not designed to handle such. It can stress the fitting, arms, and the fabric until they break. Damage from this can be severe and would render the piece useless.

Lastly, make most care of the mechanical components of the awning. Check if it is installed correctly and working well to avoid damage. Remember, the sun shade or covering component can be replaced, but other components are not.

Properly maintained and conditioned awning makes a great backyard patio place. It gives a good sun protection so you can sit quite comfortably in a patio furniture with class.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why Choose Gel Fuel?

Gel fuel is specially formulated for portable heaters and ventless fireplaces. It is an alcohol-based mixture that does not emit smoke or give off unpleasant odors. Because of its active combustible ingredient, isopropyl, it burns really good.

Usually sold in hearth-and-home and hardware stores, the fuel readily available in cans which can be set afire directly. One can effectively burns for about three hours. Take note, gel fuel is only for specific types of fireplaces and patio heaters.

The best thing about this type of fuel is its simplicity and surprising characteristics. Even just contained in a can, it makes bright yellow, orange, and red flames. As the fire glows, amazingly it also crackles just like a real wood burning fire. It burns clean and does not leave afterburns. Thus, it makes a great alternative when there is no gas line or electric fireplaces are just not applicable.

Ventless Fireplaces is largely the reason of the need for gel fuels. This type of fireplace is popular for modern houses. Operating it is a breeze, by just putting on a can of gel fuel, a comforting heat and a captivating flame can then be enjoyed almost instantly.

The advantages of using a ventless fireplace is compelling. No hard installation required and no need to alter a room. The fireplace is usually freestanding which is really a good advantage. It can be placed at the heart of a living room and versions with mantel that resemble a realistic wood burning fireplace can be placed on walls creating a better home ambiance

There are outdoor heaters and portable fireplaces that also use gel fuels. These types are pretty amazing for personal heating needs. The fuel also works well on fire pits and fire tables.

For your safety. Never add gel fuel to any fireplace that is still burning. Use extreme caution when replacing or refilling fuel. Though the fuel is moderately flammable, keeping the container away from flames is still a great precautionary measure. Read all instructions on label before use.