Keeping Up With the Jones Family

What’s Your Noisy Old Air Conditioning System Saying To You?

Posted by on 10:54 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What’s Your Noisy Old Air Conditioning System Saying To You?

If you have an old air conditioning unit, it probably makes a comforting, familiar noise during operation that you’ve become accustomed to hearing over the years.  However, if your aging unit changes its tune, you may have cause for concern.  Read on to find out what those odd noises could mean and what you should do if you hear them. A high-pitched squealing sound The usual cause of a high-pitched squealing sound is a problem with the air conditioning unit’s fan belt.  The ear-splitting squealing is caused by the fan belt slipping as the unit operates.  Fortunately, this is generally an easy, inexpensive fix that can be quickly sorted out by an experienced appliance repair technician. A gentle hissing noise If you hear a low hissing sound emanating from your air conditioning unit’s vents, it could be caused by an air leak.  Leaky ducts can be repaired but shouldn’t be neglected, as they can cause the unit to work harder and consequently use more power, which could lead to higher energy bills. However, if the sound is coming from elsewhere in the air conditioning unit, a refrigerant leak could be to blame.  This is potentially a serious fault as it could interfere with, and impact on, the compressor or other important components inside the unit.   Repairs could be very expensive, and you might be best advised to replace the unit with a more modern one A clattering or rattling noise Clattering or rattling sounds are usually caused by loose connectivity inside the air conditioning unit’s ducts.  However, the blower’s motor or fan could also be responsible.  Loose connections are fixable, but a duff blower component could require replacement. Loud banging sounds If your air conditioning unit begins making loud banging noises, you could be in for trouble.  Although such sounds could be made by a minor fault such as a bent fan blade, the most likely cause is an issue with the compressor, which could mean replacing the whole air conditioning system. Constant buzzing noises If your air conditioning unit starts buzzing constantly, the most likely culprit would be an electrical fault.  A simple replacement of a minor component may solve the problem, but buzzing sounds can also be indicative of more serious issues with the unit’s motor. In conclusion If you live in an area of Australia with a very hot summer climate, such as Perth, it’s vital for your comfort that your air condition system is reliable, and a change of soundtrack could mean that it’s time to say goodbye to your old unit.  Have a chat with a reliable local supplier to see what alternatives are...

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Two Major Features You Should Look For When Buying Roller Blind Materials

Posted by on 4:37 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Major Features You Should Look For When Buying Roller Blind Materials

If roller blinds are your choice of covering for your windows, you need to decide on what fabric to choose depending on what your exact needs are for the coverings. This is because blinds have various functions, and so knowing your needs can help you pick the most suitable curtains and blinds. Therefore, to help you find out the best performance requirements you want for your roller blind material or fabric, here are useful considerations you may want to look at. Solar Protection Ability If you are concerned about the effects of direct sunlight through your window, you should keep that in mind when shopping for roller blinds. Is the sunlight causing your room to heat up faster, causing your A/C to work harder and thereby increasing your energy bills in summer? Perhaps you want to protect your flooring, carpet, or furniture from the effects of direct sunlight. For this reason, consider blackout roller blinds. While all roller blinds reflect some amount of solar radiation, blackout roller blinds will give you the maximum solar protection. Most of the blackout roller blinds will be marked or marketed as ‘solar reflective’ or ‘solar protective’. They absorb or reflect a higher percentage of the radiation than other blind fabrics, which reduces the amount of thermal radiation and visible light entering your room. However, keep in mind that the colour of the blind will also affect the amount of radiation reflected or absorbed. Lighter colours will reflect more radiation while darker ones will absorb more of it. Therefore, for effective results, which is to minimise the amount of radiation absorbed and maximise the amount reflected, choose blackout roller blinds that are laminated with light coloured backing or silver foil. Privacy and Light Control For privacy and light control, consider light filtering and dim out or antiglare fabrics. All roller blinds or any type of fabric will restrict penetration of visible solar light to some extent. However, there are those that won’t allow light penetration completely. These are those with dim out or antiglare fabrics. These fabrics will let in light into your room, but the visibility of the room from outside will be different. For some of the antiglare fabrics, the view of your room from outside through the roller blind can be slightly transparent. However, for others, such as sunscreens, one might see silhouettes and barely shadowy images from outside. These are ideal if you are concerned about...

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How to Choose the Right Mower for Your Small Yard

Posted by on 3:52 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Choose the Right Mower for Your Small Yard

Even if you have a “postage stamp” size yard, this doesn’t mean you necessarily want an old-fashioned mower that you need to manually push to get the blades to spin. A power mower can be lightweight and easy to maneuver around your landscaping and outbuildings, and a smaller model can mean not overspending on a mower that is much more powerful than you need for your small space. When you’re ready to choose a good power mower for your small yard, note a few features to consider so you know you aren’t getting anything too lightweight or too big and cumbersome for what you need. 1. Electric versus gas powered A gas powered mower will be stronger and more durable than one that runs on a battery or power cord. However, even for a smaller lawn, this doesn’t mean that a gas powered engine is going to be beyond what you need. Rather than considering the size of your lawn, consider what you’re cutting. If it’s standard, soft grass, then a lightweight electrical mower will be good. If your lawn tends to grow thick weeds and brush along with the grass, you may need to upgrade to a gas powered mower no matter the size of your lawn. This will ensure it offers the power needed to cut through thick brush and heavy weeds. If you do choose an electric mower, you can opt for one with a cord or a battery. Note the battery life if you prefer to work without cords; for a very lightweight model, the battery may run out even before you finish your small lawn. It can be bothersome to need to plug it in and wait for it to recharge, so either opt for a larger battery or ensure you get a backup battery you can use when the first runs out. 2. Wheels and propulsion Consider how the wheels turn when getting a lawnmower, as this can help or hinder you when cutting your grass. Wheels that rotate on ball bearings will be easier to push around curved landscaping features and the corners of a garage and your house versus wheels that don’t pivot. Even for a small yard, having to push and force a lawnmower around corners and curves can make the job much harder. Self-propelled lawnmowers are also easier to use even on small lawns versus push mowers you need to propel yourself, but note that this extra power will drain a battery quicker, should you choose a battery-powered model. For more information about your options, you can contact a local supplier of Australian...

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Never Lose Your Car Keys Again With These Three Tips

Posted by on 10:13 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Never Lose Your Car Keys Again With These Three Tips

Losing the keys to your car can be expensive, frustrating and annoying. Luckily, there are strategies that can help you avoid losing your keys, and they take a range of forms from mental exercises to tracking tools to extra keys. Here are the three most important things you can do if you never want to lose your keys again. 1. Practise mindfulness Mindfulness is the art of noticing what’s happening around you. If you lose your car keys, you can use mindfulness to find them. To do that, you simply sit down and imagine yourself when the loss was likely to have occurred. You think about the physical sensations of those moments as well as the smells and the sounds you heard. As you recreate the memory, you “see” with your mind’s eyes where your keys are. However, mindfulness doesn’t need to be a response to lost keys. It can also be a tool to help you avoid lost keys. As you practise mindfulness, you start to become more aware of daily tasks. Instead of walking in your home, dropping your bag and keys anywhere, you develop a routine, and you innately pay attention to where you place every item including your car keys. 2. Invest in a tracking tool. Even with practise, it’s hard to be perfect at mindfulness because there will be times when you are distracted. As a result, you should back up your efforts with technology. There are now a range of products on the market that can help you avoid losing your keys. These products are typically little stickers or tags with bluetooth technology embedded into them. If you lose your keys, you activate an app on your smartphone or computer, and the app guides you to your keys. 3. Always have a spare. For those painful moments when both your mind and technology fail you, you need to have a backup plan. Contact a locksmith and have them make an extra set of keys for your car. Ideally, you should reserve this set for emergencies, and you should only use it if you have completely lost your regular set of keys. Once you use the spare set, contact a locksmith and have them make you another spare set. That way, you always have an extra set of keys in the wings waiting for you. Keep in mind if you don’t have a spare set, it can cost you more to replace your keys in the long run. In the absence of a spare set, a locksmith will have to rekey your vehicle to make a new set of keys. For more tips on never losing your keys again, contact an auto...

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Create Your Dream Bathroom With These Tips

Posted by on 2:04 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Create Your Dream Bathroom With These Tips

If you are upgrading your home, you might want to start by giving yourself a dream bathroom. This involves more than just changing a single plumbing fixture or painting the cabinets. Here are some tips for your dream bathroom renovation. Start With a Layout of Your Bathroom For a dream bathroom, you are likely starting with the bathroom you currently have, instead of starting from scratch. Even if you plan to tear down walls and make the bathroom bigger, you should start by creating a layout of your current bathroom. Make sure you get accurate measurements of the bathroom so you can figure out what fits now, or what needs to be remodeled. If you find that your current bathroom doesn’t offer the space needed for your dream bathroom, consider tearing down walls in your bedroom to make the bedroom smaller and the bathroom bigger. You can also work with your contractor in the beginning stages to let them know what you want, so they can figure out your best option. Choose Your Bathtub and Shower Dream bathrooms often begin with choosing the bathtub and shower arrangement. Many people want a spa-like bathtub, but there are many sizes and styles to choose from. If you have an open layout for your bathroom, you might have room for a freestanding bathtub, while other bathrooms call for having a deep soaking tub against a far wall of the bathroom. Others might be better off with a large, corner bathtub with plenty of space for jets. Some bathtubs have a thin rim, while others have extra space around them for sitting on the edge and placing your bath items. Also choose the type and size of shower you want. You might go with a walk-in shower or choose one surrounded by glass shower doors. Upgrade Your Vanity and Sink Another great way to get the bathroom you always dreamed of is to get a brand-new sink and vanity. You might have a standard vanity that looks nice but doesn’t really impress you. If you have the budget for it, consider a sleek marble or granite vanity with a porcelain sink. You can even give the bathroom a fresh look by choosing a more high-end faucet. While you are improving the appearance of your vanity and sink, this also gives you the opportunity to choose one that is larger and offers you more storage on top of the counter and with more drawer...

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Break The Mould: Tackling Mould Growth On Synthetic Grass

Posted by on 3:42 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Break The Mould: Tackling Mould Growth On Synthetic Grass

Many people choose synthetic grass for their grounds because it requires so much less effort to maintain than natural grass, but while modern synthetic grass is immensely durable and resistant to just about everything nature can throw at it, it still requires a small amount of care and attention. This is particularly true when it comes to mould — while the artificial grass itself is immune to mould and mildew, fungal pathogens can still feed and grow on organic material that collects on the surface of the grass. These mould deposits can, in turn, cause discolouration and structural weakening of your artificial grass with the corrosive by-products they create. Fortunately, removing these unsightly mould deposits need not be a difficult endeavour, and there are a number of easy and effective ways you can keep your grass mould-free for years to come. Location is everything Modern artificial grass lawns are carefully designed to provide maximum water drainage after rains and floods, and mould and mildew caused by standing water should not be a problem for an artificial lawn in decent condition. However, if you have chosen artificial grass to cover solid concrete, water drainage is much slower, and pools of standing water may collect between the underlay and the concrete, promoting water-borne mould. If you intend to lay artificial grass on concrete, installing small gutters and drains before laying the grass can help to speed water drainage. If this is not possible, make sure to inspect the infill (the sand or other fine particulate matter that keeps the grass erect) frequently, as mould will be visible here before it starts to affect visible portions of the grass. Killing and cleaning up mould deposits If you find mould in your artificial grass, destroying it sooner rather than later will minimise long-term damage and discolouration. Various specialised cleaning solutions are available from artificial grass suppliers, and choosing a cleaning fluid from the same manufacturer that made your grass is always a great way to ensure effectiveness. Always make sure to use these formulations as directed. However, if you want a cheaper and easier option, an effective mould cleaning solution can be mixed at home with nothing more exotic than ordinary household bleach and water. A 1 in 20 solution of bleach and water will effectively destroy mould deposits and kill spores, without damaging the grass itself. Make sure to remove surface dirt and detritus from the grass before cleaning using a brush or leaf blower, and apply the cleaning solution evenly, rinsing it away with plain water after letting the bleach work for a few minutes. If mould deposits have caused visible stains that remain even after cleaning, pouring pure white vinegar on the stain and rinsing it off after several minutes can help to minimise...

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Shoes Cluttering Your Floor? 3 Nifty Ways To Create Space For Your Shoes In Built-In Wardrobes

Posted by on 3:45 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Shoes Cluttering Your Floor? 3 Nifty Ways To Create Space For Your Shoes In Built-In Wardrobes

If you live in a small space, then you know how limited storage space is and how important it is to maximise the space available to you. Owning several pairs of shoes can easily clutter up your floors, but you cannot live without having a myriad of options when it comes to flats, heels, runners and boots for different occasions. This guide is designed to help you creatively use the space available in built-in wardrobes for storing your shoes. Install Open Shelves Along Side And Back Walls An ideal way to get your clutter off the floor is to install open shelves along the side and back walls of built-in wardrobes. These open shelves require minimal space for installation and present a neat storage solution for all types of shoes. Depending on the shoe styles you have, you can choose different shelves and group each style together for a cohesive appearance inside your wardrobe. A good solution is to install angled shelves because they present shoes more accessibly, making it easier for you to decide which pair works best for the occasion. This also allows you to find shoes effortlessly without searching through your wardrobe to find a matching pair.  Add A Hanging Rack Inside If there isn’t enough space for open shelves to accommodate your shoes, then it may be a good idea to install a hanging rack for your shoes inside because this can lodge more pairs while taking up minimal space inside built-in closets. You can mount this hanging shoe rack on a sidewall or in the back of the closet based on the space you have available. Adding a hanging rack inside the built-in wardrobe makes it easy to find each individual pair, so you are bound to save time when you’re in a hurry. Affix Standalone Hooks For Hanging Shoes If you want a quick fix to your shoe floor clutter problem, then you can even affix standalone hooks inside the closet to hang your shoes from. The best part of standalone hooks is that you can affix them to any part of your wardrobe without worrying about a space crunch since they take up virtually no room at all. You will simply need some hanging hooks and a hammer from a hardware store for undertaking this DIY task to declutter the floors in your home. Follow these creative ideas for installing shoe space in built-in wardrobes when you’re looking to declutter the floors in your...

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How to Get Your Garage Ready for Winter

Posted by on 10:23 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Get Your Garage Ready for Winter

When you are preparing your home for the winter season, don’t forget about the garage. Whether it is a detached garage or attached to your home, it is important that it is ready for the drop in temperatures. Here are some easy ways to get the garage ready for winter.  Add Better Insulation You need to have excellent insulation in your garage during the winter, otherwise, the garage can be the reason your energy bills are higher and the garage is ice-cold when you enter it. Check the insulation in the walls, and add more foam or another type of insulation if needed. If you aren’t sure how to tell if you have enough insulation for the winter, contact a professional. Repair the Garage Door You should also take some time repairing the garage door. Your garage door might not often get maintained, so when you are winterizing your home and garage, it is the perfect reminder. Fixing issues with the door can also further help improve your insulation and improve the security of your garage as well. Start by inspecting the door itself, looking for areas of damage that need to be repaired. Next, check different mechanisms of the door, such as the springs, rollers, and garage door opener. Get repairs done as needed to improve its effectiveness. Repair and Seal the Floor Your garage floor should also be repaired before the winter season arrives. It will likely get very cold in the garage, which can cause more cracks and damage to occur on the floor, especially if you have concrete floors. By looking for current areas of damage and repairing it, you avoid having cracks that get worse due to the cold temperatures. It also lets you repair damage prior to sealing the floor. With sealing, you help to prevent further damage. Sealing it also makes it easier to clean oil and grease, which tends to stain garage floors quickly.    Cover Exposed Pipes If you have any exposed pipes in the garage, cover them with insulated blankets. Pipes that are exposed during the winter run the risk of freezing. This could cause them to crack or make it difficult for water to run through your home’s plumbing system as it freezes inside the pipes. By insulating all pipes, you are able to keep them warm even when the temperatures outside are below zero. By following these easy tips, your garage will be ready for the cold, winter...

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4 Simple Steps To Straighten Bent Vinyl Blinds

Posted by on 3:50 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Simple Steps To Straighten Bent Vinyl Blinds

Vinyl blinds may warp or bend because of excessive heat, UV radiation and regular wear over time. This will not only make them look unappealing, but it will also prevent them from their primary function of blocking out the sun. The good news is that you don’t have to throw them out when they start to bend. With a few simple instructional steps, you’ll straighten out your bent vinyl blinds in no time to help restore their full functionality. Remove Slats And Place Bent Ones In Hot Water Begin your straightening task by removing the bent slats and a few straight slats from their blind grooves. Fill a bucket or your bathtub with the hottest possible water you can get from the tap. Put on a pair of rubber gloves to prevent the hot water from scalding your skin. Place the bent section of a single slat into the water and let it sit under the hot water for a few minutes. This will make it easier to mould the vinyl slat into a straight piece. Remove The Slats From Water And Place Between Straight Slats Once you remove the bent vinyl slat from the water, place it between the straight slats you have removed. Position some weights along the length of the blind slats, so that they are pushed further together. The bent slat will start to cool down in the same moulded shape as the straight slats. You’ll want them perfectly aligned for the best straightening results. Leave the weights on the slats for several minutes. Detach Weights And Check Slats After some time, remove the weights from all the slats and check the bent one. It should have straightened out during the process of cooling under the weight of the straight slats. Heat straightens vinyl in the same manner as it does for clothes and hair. Repeat the process of heating, sandwiching and cooling for every bent slat until all of them have straightened out to your liking. Dry Slats Before Placing Them Back Before placing the slats back on their slots, be sure to wipe them all dry with a soft, lint-free cloth. Once you place the slats back into their slots, open and shut the blinds a couple of times to ensure that they work efficiently. If the slats still don’t appear straight, you may have to repeat the process all over again. If you notice bent slats often, then it could be because of excessive sunlight and UV rays coming through the window. Prevent this from becoming a regular occurrence by applying window tint film. Follow these steps for straightening out your vinyl blinds...

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A Guide To Painting Interior Plantation Shutters Using Spray Paint and Primer

Posted by on 3:49 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Guide To Painting Interior Plantation Shutters Using Spray Paint and Primer

Interior plantation shutters can add a real touch of individual style to your home, especially when painted in colours that complement your d├ęcor scheme.  Although painting louvred plantation shutters can appear to be a rather fiddly and time-consuming task, it can be done quickly and easily by using spray paint and primer.  Read on to find out more.  What you’ll need screwdriver pencil and notepad liquid sander twist screw hooks string spray primer spray paint face mask All the above items can be obtained from a good DIY store.  This project is quite simple, although you will need a little basic DIY knowledge in order to remove and rehang the shutters. How to do it Start by removing the shutters from the window.  Use a pencil to number each shutter panel so that you know which goes where when you come to replace them.  This is important as alignment issues can occur if the shutters are not replaced correctly.    Remove any hardware such as knobs, hooks and hinges, remembering to note their position on the shutters.   Now clean the shutters thoroughly.  The quickest and most efficient way of doing this is by using a liquid sanding product, as per the manufacturer’s directions.  This method gets rid of any dirt and grime whilst chemically sanding the wood at the same time.  Allow the shutters to dry completely.   Fix two twist hook screws into the top of each of your shutters so that you can hang them somewhere suitable for painting.  A well-ventilated garage or outside space is best for this job.  You’ll need to be able to walk right round the free-hanging shutters so that you can reach every surface easily.    Put on your face mask and give the primer can a good shake until the metal ball inside rattles off the sides of the can.  This rattling indicates that the product has been well mixed and is ready for use.   Begin at the top of each shutter, and move the can in one direction only as you spray.  For example, if you begin to work from left to right, don’t suddenly change to work from right to left.  This technique prevents uneven distribution of the primer.  Use a smooth, even stroke as you spray, keeping the can equidistant from the shutter to ensure even distribution. Work with the shutter louvres fully open and ensure that you cover all the visible surfaces, nooks and crannies.   Spray the tilt rod using one continuous motion, remembering to spray both sides of the tilt rod, the top and the bottom.   Allow the primer to dry fully and then repeat the process using the spray paint.  You’ll probably need to apply two coats of paint, depending on depth of the final colour you want.  Leave the shutters hanging overnight to dry completely.   When the paint is dry, replace all the shutter furniture.  Remove the twist hook screws from the shutters and rehang them. In conclusion It’s easy to repaint your interior plantation shutters using spray primer and spray paint.  Just follow the guidelines above for a professional, stylish...

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