Tips for How to Clean Aircon

Wall-mounted air conditioning unit

Are you looking for tips for how to clean aircon? Blocked air conditioning drain pipes can lead to some pretty dramatic problems in your attic. But cleaning them out can be a simple chore for the homeowner if done before it becomes an emergency. Here are a few tips on cleaning air conditioner drain pipes.

Reverse cycle air conditioners (whether they be ducted or ductless) will condensate during their use. Condensation is water produced by the heating/cooling process. The condensation occurs when the water in the atmosphere comes up against a cool or warm surface (such as that of an air conditioner).

Whether you have noticed it or not, there is a drain that runs from your air conditioning system that releases the condensation from your air conditioning unit. This condensation runs down the drain pipes that are usually white and made of pvc and are about an inch in diameter.

When people see water coming out of these condensation pipes they often panic fearing their air conditioner must be broken. The condensation that is released however is perfectly natural and is a good sign that your air conditioner is running effectively.

Sometimes however, the condensation may stop flowing. If you do not find the cause of the drains not flowing, you could be up for an expensive repair bill. If the drains for your ducted air conditioner stop working, you may find the ceiling will leak or show wet patches. If your ductless (wall split) air conditioner’s drains stop working, water will most likely leak down your wall and onto your floor.

You can usually check the drains of your system quite easily. If you have a ducted air conditioning system, get up in the roof and have a look at your condensation pipes. Make sure the pipes are running downhill across the length of your roof to the outside. If any part of the pipe is higher than where the pipe initially starts at the unit, the water will not drain and you will have problems.

Often tradesmen or labourers who go up in your roof might accidently trip or push one of these pipes unwittingly which can cause a host of problems. If you have recently had a tradesman in your roof it is probably a good time to test your air conditioning drains.  You will need to find someone who knows how to clean aircon.

Air conditioning cleaning

You may also need to make sure nothing is jamming up the air conditioning condensation pipes. Insects and algae can really block up air conditioning condensation pipes. To alleviate this, try running a plastic snake or wire up and down the pipe to remove any solid particles. You can do this both in the roof space and where the pipes come out outside. To remove any algae not removed by the snake/wire, prepare a water/bleach solution in warm water and run this down the pipes to kill off any excess algae.

Once this has been done, your air conditioning pipes should be clear. Test by running water through the pipes in the roof and have someone outside watching to make sure this water runs steadily out of the pipes. If this is still not working, call in a professional who may use compressed air to free your drains.

When cleaning pipes for ductless (wall split) units, go outside and run a snake or wire up the pipe to remove any obstructions. If this does not solve the problem, seek the advice of a professional.

We hope you now have a better idea of how to clean aircon. So get out there today and have a look to make sure your air conditioners drains are working. If not, be cautious as a water damaged ceiling or wall can cost thousands to repair down the track.

We hope you have got some useful information about tips for how to clean aircon from our Home Improvement Experts.

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Decorating Ideas for Small Bathrooms

A relaxing bath.

One popular way to add storage for the home without much expense or taking up much room is a home magazine rack. This is one of our favourite decorating ideas for small bathrooms. These can be quite simple, and can easily be put by a chair or a recliner as a handy way to store catalogues and magazines, and have the dual advantage of being easily moved.

But without a doubt one of the most popular types is the bathroom magazine rack or holder. These come in a few other styles, as a recliner is not the “standard” chair in the bathroom, so they need to be installed in some unique ways.

The most common and least expensive would be the tank mount racks or holders. These are often a simple chrome coloured rack that hangs down from the tank, often hooking under the lid as a mounting device. These are simple to install, inexpensive, and readily available. One possible disadvantage of mounting a holder there is the need to turn and lean back to get to the contents when seated. If that mounting approach is not adequate, there are a couple of other types to consider.

A wall mounted rack is not too difficult to install. These come in a variety of colours and materials. A chrome option is popular, but the other type to consider is a wooden wall mounted rack. These are attractive, and often are large enough that they can hold toilet paper or other supplies in addition to the reading material you have.

There are some novelty magazine racks as well. A couple of popular items are characters that stand upright holding your toilet paper and the reading materials. This is great for a kids bathroom as a unique decorative touch.

Magazine racks are one of the easiest decorating ideas for small bathrooms. These are some of the most popular magazine racks for the home. You are sure to find something that will keep your avid “readers” happy in your home.

We hope you have got some useful information about decorating ideas for small bathrooms from our Home Improvement Experts.

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Different Types of Flooring Materials

Stone flooring

Choosing a type of flooring can be a daunting task. There are many different types of flooring materials. There are several varieties – wood, ceramic, stone, vinyl, carpeting and many specialty materials. Within each broad category, there are literally hundreds of choices. Fortunately, narrowing them down is a simple matter of attending to a few basic guidelines.

For most, especially do-it-yourselfers who are strongly motivated to save money, budget is the first consideration.

Carpet is often the least expensive option, but there are many low-cost vinyl floorings that will allow homeowners to pinch pennies as well. The difficulty here is that you often get what, and no more than, you pay for. Cheap carpet doesn’t just look cheap, it is cheap, this means poor quality. Ditto vinyl. Carpet is one of the most popular of the different types of flooring materials.

That means that many desirable qualities like durability and ease of cleaning are often absent. If the material has to be replaced every couple of years is it worth the price? If you have to spend inordinate amounts of time cleaning carpet with low stain-resistance, are you really saving much? The answers will depend, of course, on individual circumstances, including application. Some areas, such as basements, may not warrant more expensive options.

Hardwood is fairly expensive, but it has excellent durability, is easy to care for and looks outstanding. But not everyone can afford Brazilian Teak or Chinese Cherry. One option is a laminate. They can often be quite attractive and they last for years. Their wear characteristics aren’t quite as good as hardwoods, which can easily last 50 years if well cared for. But they do quite well and they’re pleasant to walk on.

If investigating a laminate, look for the AC rating. These are assigned based on careful testing and represent the durability of the material, resistance to staining and scratching, and other measures. AC 1 laminates are suitable for moderate traffic areas, while AC 3 will stand up better to heavy use. The higher the better, but AC 5 is generally only needed and used in public buildings.

Ceramics run the gamut from cheap tile to highly expensive. One difference is how durable the tiles are. All ceramics have very hard surfaces, but some tiles are more brittle than others. That means that, under normal use, they are more likely to crack. If a tile has to be replaced often, which is costly and time consuming, it might be worthwhile to spend a little more up front.

Stone tends to be on the more expensive end of the choices, but of course it may well outlast the house. Many are removed from old houses being torn down and re-used elsewhere. If you’re looking for something stylish and ultra-durable, a good sandstone or slate might be just the thing. With modern treatments they’re generally stain resistant and can be easy to care for.

One of the least expensive, but today very stylish choices is concrete. Once relegated to basements, with modern surface effects they can be stained with a variety of colours and designs. They can emulate marble, stone or even wood. They clean easy and, of course, will last for decades without cracking. That makes them great for any area.

We hope this helps you to choose between the different types of flooring materials. Consider your budget, wear needs and potential traffic, and throw in your aesthetic desires. Very quickly, you’ll be able to narrow the choices.

We hope you have got some useful information about different types of flooring materials from our Home Improvement Experts.

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Bathroom Extractor Fan Wiring

Bathroom Wiring – Showers, Fans, Vents, and Other Bathroom Wiring

Do you need advice for bathroom extractor fan wiring. Wiring a bathroom presents a few unique challenges. Not only do you run into unique appliances like vents and fans, but the grounding concerns are a critical safety element in bathroom wiring. Bathrooms are enclosed, usually smaller, and often put moisture into the entire air space of the bathroom. That makes wiring them for safety all the harder and more important.

Some electrical codes take these facts into account differently than others. But common sense and good wiring practice alone are enough to guide the do-it-yourselfer in this area. This is important to know when considering bathroom extractor fan wiring.

A vent and fan isn’t always legally required. But it very often makes the most sense. Windows, when they exist in a bathroom, often remain closed during showering, as does the entrance door. The build up of hot, moist air creates several potential problems.

Water itself is a decent insulator, contrary to popular belief. What makes it a good conductor – and therefore potentially dangerous around electricity – is the fact that it’s almost never pure. Minerals and salts that dissolve readily in water are everywhere in the bath. Sweat from feet and hands, calcium carbonate, iron oxide and more all turn water into a good conductor.

That means that plugging in a hair dryer, turning on an electrical heater and other common bathroom devices raise the risk of shock, unless outlets and devices are wired properly. When they are, the risk is no greater than it is in the kitchen or elsewhere that water and electricity are likely to mix.

GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) receptacles are one of the most common ways to deal with that problem in the case of outlets. They are designed to instantly cut off the juice whenever the current or voltage exceeds the design limit. They work. A 4-watt nightlight is plugged into an outlet that is incorrectly delivering 150 volts. Turn on the switch and, boom, the GFCI circuit trips. Press the center button to reset and it will blow again.

But there are more basic considerations.

Isolating devices onto separate circuits increases the margin of safety in the bathroom. Having an under-the-sink hot water device on a different circuit from the main light switch is one example. Wiring the electrical heater in the wall to a different circuit than the vent/fan is another. Having strip lights over the mirror on a separate circuit from the main ceiling light is yet a third.

When designing or re-doing the bathroom extractor fan wiring take into account the average loads of all expected devices. Install circuit breakers to match. In most cases 20-amp breakers are the usual choice. By designing safety features in depth, with redundancy, you provide that extra margin of safety. That can mean the difference between injury or fire and a relaxing time in the bathroom.

We hope you have got some useful information about bathroom extractor fan wiring from our Home Improvement Experts.

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Plumbing Tips for Preventing Pipe Freeze

Plumbing tips

As winter approaches on chore to make sure we do is to take steps to avoid having your pipes freezing in the colder nights. Pipe freeze isn’t the only problem.

After all, copper pipes can get to temperatures far below the freezing point of water without cracking. But too often it is accompanied by an ice blockage inside the pipe. That can lead to a pressure build up that ultimately bursts the pipe. Not only do you lose the ability to get water from the faucet, but now have the larger problem of clean up and repair.

In many homes, the odds of a burst pipe in winter from low temperatures are very low. But others have exposed pipes in crawlspaces or elsewhere. It takes only a modest opening around the base of the house to let in winds that can chill pipes to sub-freezing temperatures.

Even without that exposure, temperatures below about 20F/-6.7C present higher odds of ice forming inside pipes that will plug them up. Fortunately, to prevent that is usually straightforward and typically very inexpensive.

One old-fashioned remedy to avoid pipe freeze still works well: opening up the faucets to a slow drip.

Running water is slightly less susceptible to freezing than still water. But the main effect comes from simply opening the valve. That allows air and water to move, reducing any pressure build-up in front of the ice blockage. That gives the pressure ’somewhere to go’… somewhere other than pressing out the sides of the pipe, i.e. causing a break.

But there’s another old-fashioned saying that’s useful here: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preventing the pipes from getting too cold in the first place reduces the odds to near zero of having a break.

One way to accomplish that is to wrap them with low-cost insulating foam.

The foam itself supplies no heat. But it helps the pipes and water retain any heat they have. Water and pipes at, say 35F/1.7C, will tend not to go below freezing if they retain the heat present in the water and pipe before the temperatures outside dipped.

The foam comes in different forms. One popular style is a long, flat rectangle that curls into a cylinder. The cylinder formed is the circumference of the pipe. That makes it easy to wrap the pipe along its length and simple to cut the rectangle to the proper length and/or width.

If you want to prevent pipe freeze try this tip. It’s inexpensive, easy to install and easy to replace.

Another method is more costly and a little more difficult to install. But it has the advantage of protecting pipes no matter what the temperature. Foam will only retain heat up to a point. Some is always lost. Installing a heating system for the water pipes is as sure a thing as possible.

There are two basic types: wires or tape along the pipe, and a circulating system.

The first type is simply a wire or tape containing one that sits along the surface of the pipe. Electricity passes through it and heats the wire, which transfers heat to the pipe and the water inside. Costs vary, but if it’s properly installed the method is nearly foolproof.

The second type is a little more expensive, but uses existing facilities. Sometimes it’s already built into the home. In this technique, hot water from the water heater is pumped slowly through the pipes. Cold water is circulated back into the heater. The system operates automatically via an in-built thermostat and pump that is put in the water line.

It costs a little more to run, because the system heats and re-heats water that isn’t being used. But it is the surest way to prevent any ice blockage. Any ice that forms will be quickly melted by the warm water before it can become a problem.

We hope you have got some useful information about preventing pipe freeze from our Home Improvement Experts.

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Garden Fencing Ideas

We offer some great garden fencing ideas in this article. But even when you don’t have to worry garden fencing ideas

Keeping rabbits and deer at bay is one good reason to have a garden fence. We offer some great garden fencing ideas in this article. But even when you don’t have to worry about animals, fences can provide a lovely border. They also provide protection against wind. Many people will hold off putting one up, though, because the task seems overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be.

Garden fence kits are one way to go. These are complete assemblies that include everything you need to put up an attractive and sturdy fence. Some are so cleverly designed all you need to do is snap together the pieces and you’re done. They come in sections to make a square or rectangle. Some have modified braces that allow you to make an octagon or semi-circle.

Most are a little less simple, but still require only minimal work. The slats are pre-attached to horizontal supports called cross-members or rails. A few minutes is all that’s required to attach them to corner posts. A few screws inserted with a power screwdriver/drill and you’re in business.

Sinking posts doesn’t have to be a major chore, either. For some small garden fences it isn’t necessary at all. The posts will provide corner support for the slat sections, but the whole thing can simply sit on the ground without digging any post holes.

For additional support it’s possible to get metal post support stakes that take a lot of the effort out of the process. These are square metal ‘cups’ that have a 12-18 inch spike welded onto the bottom. The stake is pounded into the ground.

The metal cup can sit into a small square hole or above the surface. They’re usually painted in attractive colours or you can finish them to match your garden design. Then you just slide the post into the cup and secure it by tightening the cup using the integrated nut and bolt.

They can support considerable weight. One fence built this way withstood jumping on the fence and walking down the horizontal supports for the slats without tipping. After several snow-filled winters and springs of high wind and rain it’s still in place.

Lattice work is always popular and it too is available in pre-made sections that are easy to install. They’re the perfect option for climbing plants, ivy and others that will wind their way in and around the lattice. They also provide an easy way to support tall plants near the edge. Just use a bit of tie-wrap and tall tulips will stand up well to wind.

To protect against invasion by gophers and other ground dwellers, just extend the fencing below the ground about a foot. That can be as simple as just digging a trench and planning to have your slats a little taller than you originally envisioned. Chicken wire at the base and under the surface is another easy way to achieve the same result.

We hope you have found these garden fencing ideas useful. Fence your garden and have a finished look that protects your plants. It’s easy!

We hope you have got some useful information from our Home Improvement Experts.

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Understanding Wooden Fencing Types

Dog nose in fence

Do you want to find out more about wooden fencing types for your garden? With all the high tech materials available in the world today, wood fences are still among the most popular of fence designs. Technology has allowed the choices of material, style and treatment to expand enormously even when choosing wood. Here is a look at some wood fence design choices, and which might best fit your needs.

Cedar continues to be selected by millions. It’s attractive, insect and rot-resistant, and comes in a variety of shades. Western Red Cedar is just what it sounds like, a reddish wood. Northern White Cedar is actually a pale yellow, much lighter than its reddish cousin.

Cedar can stand on its own for years with little care. But treating it will make it last many years longer, while optimizing its appearance. Oils take to cedar very well. They help keep out potentially harmful moisture and give the wood a rich look. Stains are another viable option, and have the added feature of offering some UV protection. Cedar remains one of the more popular wooden fencing types.

Redwood is another popular choice, and for obvious (and some less obvious) reasons. It’s beautiful and it, too, is naturally insect resistant, since it contains compounds that repel or kill many species. Similar molecules that occur in the wood naturally reduce mildew and other fungi from degrading the wood. Choose redwood for beautiful wood fences.

Staining is less common with redwood, since it’s already a shade that many people prefer. That is, after all, one of the major reasons they buy it. But some treatment is still advisable to keep that redwood lasting for years without needing replacement. A shellac or even a subtle oil will add considerably to its normal lifetime.

Composites have long been used as decking material and they’re making their way into fencing more and more. Made, as the name suggests, of a composite of wood shavings and resin, they strongly resemble natural wood. At the same time, they offer many more years of life while keeping their new appearance much longer than most natural wood. They also require much less maintenance and rarely need treatment.

Wooden fencing composites can be painted. Some can even take stain. Neither is usually necessary, though. This is because composites can be purchased with the desired look already incorporated. That helps offset their higher price. In the long run, they’re almost always less expensive because of their long life.

Beyond the choice of materials, there are dozens of wood fence design options.

There are a wide range of wooden fencing types. Design choices are influenced by the cost of materials, the desired look and the skill of the builder. But even with these criteria, the possibilities are limited chiefly by the imagination of the designer. Based on what’s available, that limit is amazingly high. Modern fencing has grown to encompass styles as diverse as the types of computer or clothing on the market.

The traditional picket fence remains popular today. The equally traditional slat-butt style is still highly useful and attractive. This is where boards are lined up shoulder to shoulder . Many variations cap the fence with a lattice-type fencing. This lets through sunlight and gives the fence a stylish look.

One outstanding option is the offset style. Slats are still placed side by side, but offset by a few inches forward or backward from one another. While small animals can get through, this style does provide privacy. It also offers an attractive alternative appearance.

We hope you have got some useful information from our Home Improvement Experts.

If you have any DIY tips you would like to share, visit our about us page and leave a comment.