Sunday, February 25, 2018
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Friday, 23 February 2018 05:41

Introduction to Air Cleaners and Purifiers

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Investing in healthy indoor air quality is a good investment for your body, mind, and wallet. Considering that we spend more than 90% of our time indoors and that indoor air is 2-5 times as polluted as the air outdoors, it’s important to take this indoor air quality problem seriously. 

If your indoor air isn’t healthy, it can cause a huge health problem for you and your loved ones. While our modern homes and HVAC systems are more efficient than ever, they also have the unfortunate side effect of trapping indoor air pollutants.

That is why mechanical ventilation, air filtration, and air cleaners and purifiers are so important. 

While every forced air system has an air filter compartment that traps larger floating pollutants, dedicated air cleaners are usually not included.

Before you make the decision to upgrade your ability to remove indoor pollutants, learn about the different types of air cleaners and purifiers available to you. 

Keep in mind that the system that works best for you will depend on the type and level of contaminants in your home. Be sure to consult with a qualified IAQ professional before choosing anything. 

Introduction to Air Cleaners and Purifiers

While air cleaners and purification systems may not be necessary for your home, if anyone in the household suffers from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems, it’s highly recommended. 

Air cleaners and purifiers are installed directly into your existing HVAC system and actually kill the microorganisms in the air, like bacteria and mold spores.

Some air cleaners can remove or reduce odors, smoke, volatile organic compounds, mold spores, and pet dander.

There are many different types of products out there that are designed to improve your indoor air quality.

Here are the three main types of air purifiers:

1. Mechanical Filters

Mechanical filters act as a sieve to capture airborne particulates. They come in a rectangular frame and are given MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings depending on how effective they are at filtering material.

The higher the MERV rating, the more effective the air filter:

  • Low-efficiency filters have a 1-6 MERV rating.
  • Medium-efficiency filters have a 7-13 MERV rating (best for residential purposes).
  • High-efficiency filters have a 14-16 MERV rating.
  • HEPA (high efficiency particle air) filters have a 17-20 MERV rating.

In addition to regular filters, speak with your HVAC provider about specialty filters, such as: 

  • Activated Carbon Filters – eliminates impurities through absorption.
  • Antibacterial and Germicidal Filters – sometimes used with UV-C rays, they can be used alone or incorporated with an existing filtration system.
  • Pre-Filters – make your primary filter last longer by capturing all of the larger contaminants before making contact.

Do not purchase any high-efficiency, HEPA, or “specialty” filters without speaking with a qualified technician first. Professional modifications may be required to accommodate the thicker filters.

If you are thinking about upgrading your filter, contact your local HVAC specialist.

2. Electronic Air Cleaners 

There are two main types of electronic air cleaners:

Ion generator

Ion generators disperse negative ions into the air. The ions attach themselves to positively-charged particles and then land on the surfaces in your home. When you clean the surface, the particle is removed.

Electronic precipitator

Electronic precipitators also use ions to charge particles, but do so by drawing the air into an ionization section. Once inside the ionization section, the particles become charged, then collect on oppositely-charged metal plates.

3. UV Germicidal Lights

Ultraviolet lights emit UV-C rays, which kill microorganisms by scrambling their DNA and RNA. Ultraviolet light has been used for decades to sterilize food, water, and air. While UV lights do not filter anything, they can effectively kill living organisms, such as mold, fungi, and bacteria.

UV lights are installed directly into your return ducts to clean the air before it comes into contact with the air filter or indoor air handler. UV lights not only improve indoor air quality, they also improve the efficiency and longevity of your HVAC system.

Make sure you supplement your UV lights or any other air cleaner with an effective air filter. 

Air Filtration + Purification

For the best indoor air quality, you want to combine effective air filtration with a quality air purifier. Air filters are able to eliminate larger particles, such as dirt, dust, and hair while air purifiers can take care of odors, bacteria, mold, and other smaller particulates.

In addition to improving your indoor air quality, air filters, cleaners, and purifiers also increase energy efficiency and reduce wear and tear on your HVAC system. 

If you want to target indoor contaminants, both large and small, speak with a professional about incorporating both of these IAQ technologies. While the options can seem overwhelming, our team of experts can inspect your home, provide recommendations, and answer all of your questions. 

Nip allergies in the bud with professional indoor air quality solutions from AJ Danboise. Schedule service online or by giving us a call at (248) 236-5999.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more tips and tricks on keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round.

Water heaters can last a long time, but not without developing some problems along the way. Often, you can tell something isn’t quite right by strange sounds or if the water is too hot or too cold. 

In many cases, you can fix common water heating problems yourself. If, however, you have a leaking tank, a professional repair or replacement is in order. 

Water Heater Troubleshooting

Leaking Tank

If you notice water pooling around your water heater, this is a clear sign that a replacement is in order. Many times, corrosion is to blame. If your water heater is corroded, it’s time to start thinking about a water heater replacement. Consider a tankless water heater since it doesn’t utilize a storage tank and thus avoids this corrosion problem.

Poor plumbing may also be to blame. The fix may be as simple as tightening or replacing the pipes carrying water to your storage tank. So, before you think about replacing your water heater, contact a professional plumber for a full diagnosis.

Do not ignore a water heater leak, even if you think that it is very minor. Small problems can lead to much bigger issues if they go unaddressed for too long. Make sure that this is not the case with your water heater. 

Water Isn’t Hot

If you turn on the hot water and it’s lukewarm or cold, one or more of the following conditions could exist:

  1. All the hot water in the tank has been used up. It takes time to recover from a full bath or washing cycle. If this happens a lot, consider investing in a larger tank or a tankless water heater, which can provide limitless hot water supply. Contact a professional plumber for proper water heater sizing.
  2. The thermostat has been lowered, switched off, or damaged. Turn the thermostat on, and up to around 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything hotter and the water can cause burns.

If turning up the thermostat doesn’t lead to more hot water, you may need a professional plumber to replace the thermostat assembly.

Inefficiencies

You will notice a drain valve near the bottom half of the tank. This is used to drain the water heater of accumulated sediment (dirt and mineral deposits). It’s important to drain your water heater at least two times a year. 

Sediment buildup reduces the water heater’s efficiency and lifespan. If you are experiencing higher than normal water heating bills, it could be a signal to drain your water heater and schedule a professional plumbing inspection.

Pilot Light Is Out

Your water heater should come with instructions for lighting the pilot. If you don’t have the owner’s handbook, you can probably find an online version. Never attempt any water heater repairs or replacements on your own. If ever in doubt, contact a professional plumber.

Thermocouple Issues 

The thermocouple’s job is to shut off the gas flow if there is not enough heat from the pilot light (such as when it is out). This prevents gas flowing into the home. 

If your pilot light goes out, the thermocouple will shut off the gas. If you relight the pilot light, but the water heater still isn’t working, you may have a broken thermocouple.

Rumbling Water Heater

Some common causes of a rumbling furnace are:

  • Mineral deposits and sediment that gather at the bottom of your tank can cause rumbling sounds when heated up. Mineral and sediment buildup is worse in homes with hard water. One potential solution is draining the tank of sediment. To help slow down this process, consider investing in a water treatment system.
  • A leaking or malfunctioning dip tube could be releasing cold water into hot water, causing a rumbling sound. Cold water from your main should enter the tank at the bottom, not the top. If cold water gets deposited at any other point than the bottom, a rumbling sound could emerge from the mixing with hot water.
  • An old water heater will start to make strange sounds, regardless of how often you drain it of sediment. If your water heater is over 10 years old and rumbling, contact a professional right away before it starts leaking.
  • A worn down anode rod can lead to tank line corrosion. Sacrificial anode rods last around 3-5 years. If you hear loud or multiple popping sounds when heating up, you may need to replace the anode rod.

Pressure Relief Valve

You water heater should have a temperature and pressure relief valve at the top of the tank. The relief valve allows pressure and steam to escape the tank in the case of a malfunction or pressure buildup.

The relief valve acts as a safety mechanism. It is designed to discharge if:

  1. Internal pressure exceeds 150 psi.
  2. Temperature exceeds 210 degrees Fahrenheit.

These situations are very dangerous, which is why the pressure relief valve is there to prevent an explosion. If you notice your relief valve going off frequently, shut off your water heater and contact your utility company. To make sure your pressure relief valve is working properly, it’s a good idea to test it about once a year.

To test the temperature-pressure relief valve, simply place a bucket underneath and lift the handle until hot water drains out of the discharge tube (about 5 seconds). Wear close-toed shoes and stand back to avoid contact with hot water. If no hot water drains out or if leaks after snapping back, contact a professional. You’ll need to replace the valve. It’s the only thing protecting your water heater from exploding. 

Warning: Never cover the pressure temperature relief valve, especially for those using a water insulation blanket. 

A working water heater is critical to your home. You use it every day for bathing, washing dishes, laundry, and other uses. When your water heater stops working, it can cause serious problems and inconveniences. 

Water heaters should be inspected by a professional every year to make sure they are safe and efficient for years to come.

If you have any questions about your water heater or are ready to schedule professional service, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at AJ Danboise. Our expert technicians are available 24/7 and work on all water heater models and types.

Contact us today for expert water heater troubleshooting and repair in Farmington Hills, MI and the surrounding area.

For all your plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical needs, you can count on AJ Danboise! Schedule service online or by giving us a call at 1-248-236-5999.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more tips and tricks on keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round.

 

Power surges can wreak havoc on your electronics and appliances. While large, destructive power surges from things like lightning strikes are fairly rare, small power surges happen every day. Over time, the cumulative damage from small surges adds up.

Power surges are too common and too damaging to ignore. But which is better, whole-home surge protection installed at the electrical panel or plug-in surge protectors from your local home improvement store?

What Is a Surge?

A surge is an increase in voltage above the designated level (standard voltage in the US is 120 volts) that lasts for three nanoseconds or more. A “spike” is an increase in voltage that lasts only one or two nanoseconds.

Depending on the strength of the surge or spike, it can seriously damage and sometimes break a machine. Even when a surge does not inflict noticeable damage, over time, the extra strain on the electrical components can lead to premature repairs and replacements.

Power surges can come from:

  • Power Grid Switching (Utility Grid Transfers)
  • Lightning
  • Blackouts and Power Outages
  • Internal Switching (Turning Devices On/Off)
  • Downed or Damaged Utility Lines

Whole-Home Surge Protector or Plug-In Surge Protector? The Two-Tiered Approach 

In this case, it’s not a matter of either/or. For the best protection against power spike damage, it’s a good idea to use both whole-home surge protection and additional plug-in surge protection (for higher-priced, more sensitive items such as computers). This is known as the two-tiered approach.

The reason why it’s a good idea to add extra surge protection to certain devices is because sometimes a power surge is created on a shared circuit. For instance, turning on the sound system can cause a damaging surge to your TV if it is on the same circuit. In this case, a power surge in a shared circuit could compromise anything plugged into that circuit.

Whole-house surge protection provides protection for all of your motors, lights, outlets, and any hard-wired items. Use the two-tiered approach with plug-in surge protection for your sensitive electronics, such as TVs and computers.

Whole-Home Surge Protection

Whole-home surge protection will save you money and protect your property. Installed directly to the electrical panel, the whole-house surge protector safeguards your entire electrical system—every outlet, switch, and motor.

While plug-in surge protectors may be able to protect the devices that are plugged into it, they won’t be able to protect any other electrical devices in your home, such as your HVAC system and other expensive appliances. 

It’s a good idea to use plug-in surge protectors for your computers and entertainment system, but you are still missing the most important home electrical devices, such as washing machines, HVAC systems, and refrigerators. These large appliances often require larger dedicated circuits that don’t have any type of surge protection installed.

Additionally, a lot of the plug-in surge protection types are not good enough to protect your devices from very large power surges coming from lightning or the electrical grid.

Due to the inability of plug-in surge protectors to protect the entire home, we highly recommend investing in whole-home surge protection. These protection devices are installed directly into the circuit breaker box to protect every single circuit in your home, including data, phone and cable lines. They are the best and most comprehensive form of surge protection available to you. 

Plug-In Surge Protection

Plug-in surge protectors (aka point-of-use surge protection devices) are best if used in conjunction with whole-house surge protection. If you do use a plug-in surge protector, make sure it is a surge protector (many power strips offer zero surge protection). Look for a “transient voltage surge suppressor” that has been tested by an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL).

For more protection, choose a surge protector with a higher absorption rating (the more joules, the better).

Reduce Standby Energy Loss

One of the benefits of using plug-in surge protection is being able to flip the on/off switch to all of the plugged in devices. Instead of having to individually unplug each device, you can simply flip a switch. By turning the surge protector power switch off you can save money and energy on standby energy loss. Standby power is the electricity that is consumed by appliances and electronics even when they are “off.” While some things like refrigerators and modems you’ll want to keep plugged in at all time, other devices can be unplugged (or in this case switched off) to save energy.

Protect Your House from Surges and Spikes!

You are taking a big and unnecessary risk by not having surge protection for your expensive electronics and appliances. Voltage spikes can come from lightning storms, yes, but little ones are happening all of the time. Every time you turn on a large appliance, a small spike in voltage occurs. Over time, these small surges will damage your electronics, reducing their performance and lifespan.

Both whole-home and plug-in surge protection divert dangerous spike and surge energy to the ground line, creating an essential line of defense for your sensitive electrical equipment.

Investing in surge protection pays for itself within the first year. It’s a small expense to pay for protecting your computers, phones, TVs, refrigerators, HVAC system and other appliances. 

If you have any questions about surge protectors, arrestors, or suppressors, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at AJ Danboise. 

For all your plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical needs, you can count on AJ Danboise! Schedule service online or by giving us a call at 1-248-236-5999.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more tips and tricks on keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round.

Friday, 02 February 2018 01:02

Preventative Plumbing Checklist for the Big Game

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Clogs, breakdowns, and plumbing leaks are some of the most common problems when it comes to game day and other large get-togethers. From clogged and overflowing toilets to broken garbage disposals and ruptured pipes, plumbing problems around the holidays are extremely common. 

Help prevent plumbing problems on game day by going over this preventative plumbing checklist.

Clean and Deodorize Garbage Disposal

Whether you smell something funky emanating from your garbage disposal or not, it’s a good idea to clean and deodorize it once in a while. It’s easy—just grind up some ice cubes and lemon wedges. The ice helps clean and sharpen the blades while the lemon provides a natural deodorizer. You and your guests will prefer the clean, citrusy smell to last night’s dinner.

Avoid Garbage Disposal Jams

In order to avoid a broken garbage disposal this holiday season, instruct your guests to leave their used plates alone, scrape them into the garbage, or place them on the kitchen counter. You may even want to tape off the garbage disposal switch or place a “Do Not Use” sign on the switch.

Designate one or two people to handle the dishes. For large amounts of food, consider saving it in Tupperware or using the garbage instead. If you are making use of the garbage disposal, feed it slowly and avoid large bones, fat, oil, grease, cheeses, and starchy food like rice and pasta.

Avoid Toilet Clogs

When hosting any party or large gathering, especially if a lot of food is involved, it’s a good idea to think about toilet clog prevention.

  • Only toilet paper and human waste should be flushed down the toilet. Wet wipes, even the “flushable” kind should get thrown out, not flushed. Not everyone knows this. Consider placing a sign in the bathroom to only flush toilet paper.
  • If you have a sensitive toilet system that is prone to clogs, let your guests know and stock the bathroom with thin toilet paper.
  • Consider putting away items that are tempting to flush, such as wet wipes, Q-tips, paper towels, and tissues.
  • Remove smalls objects near your toilet that could accidentally fall in.
  • Make sure you have an empty wastebasket and working plumber.

Check Your Drains

Before anyone comes over, check all of your toilets and drains for proper flow. If you have a drain clog, try using a plunger or plumber’s snake. Sometimes, you can solve the problem with an eco-friendly drain cleaner, such as Bio-Clean, but other times you will want to get them professionally cleaned. Contact a professional plumber if you cannot clear the clog yourself.

If Something Goes Wrong

During plumbing emergencies, it’s important to know exactly where your individual and main water shut-off valves are located. Learn how to locate and use the shut-offs before your guests arrive for game day. Individual shut-off valves are normally located underneath the fixture or nearby. The main water shut-off valve is either in a cement box near the front curb, in the basement/laundry room, or attached to an exterior wall. 

Don’t panic if your garbage disposal or toilet clogs. If the situation is not an emergency, simply turn off the individual water shut-off valve near the fixture or appliance you don’t want people using. Put up an “Out of Order” sign and enjoy the rest of your party until the next day when you can deal with it.

If you do have a plumbing emergency, AJ Danboise is open 24/7 for just that reason.

Contact AJ Danboise online or at 248-236-5999 for high-quality plumbing and HVAC service in Farmington Hills and the surrounding area.

Benefits of a Ceiling Fan in Winter

Did you know that you can use ceiling fans year-round to save money and energy on cooling and heating costs? That’s right, your fan can actually make you feel warmer in the winter. 

Does a Ceiling Fan Actually Cool or Heat a Room? 

While ceilings fans do NOT lower (or raise) the temperature of the room, we all know from first-hand experience that wind and circulating air makes us feel cooler. This is caused by a wind-chill effect on the skin. 

A ceiling fan can also make you feel warmer, not with wind itself, but by using the fan to move warm air near the ceiling down to the living spaces below.

Remember, ceiling fans warm and cool people, not rooms. Turn off any fans when you leave the room.

How Does a Ceiling Fan Save Energy?

Compared to a furnace or air conditioner, a ceiling fan is basically free to run. Costing only a few cents at most per hour, it makes economic sense to use the cooling and warming powers of a fan all year. Everybody knows how fans make you feel cool in summer, but what about winter?

In the winter, the floors are freezing while the air near the ceiling and upper levels is warm. Likewise, in the summer, our bottom floors feel comfortable enough, but the upper stories and attic can be intolerable.

Reversing the ceiling fan makes the air go up and down the wall, helping to redistribute the heat down to the floor.

The Problem

When you turn on your heating system, whether it is a boiler, heat pump, or furnace, the heat gets transferred to the rooms in your home where it rises toward the ceiling. Think of a hot air balloon.

In addition to the “heat rises” problem, if you have air leaks in your home, when the air is rising out of the attic, the negative pressure inside the home compensates by pulling in cold air near the floor.

If you have very high ceilings, you know how long it takes to get warm. Homes with leaky ceilings and attics will have a hard time staying comfortable. Unfortunately, the heat that enters our homes heads to the ceiling, not near the ground where humans and pets are.

To fix the problem, we recommend air sealing and using ceiling fans. Speak with a professional about how to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home.

Counterclockwise in Summer, Clockwise in Winter

The angled blades of your ceiling fan will blow air downwards during the summer when it is running counterclockwise (forward). You will should feel the air blowing on you when you stand underneath the fan. According to the U.S. EPA, with a fan you can lower the thermostat around 4°F with no reduction in comfort.

In the winter, reverse the direction of the ceiling fan blades by flipping the little black switch on the base of the fan. This will cause the blades to turn clockwise, blowing air up towards the ceiling. Turn the ceiling fan to a low setting for a continuous and gentle updraft, causing warm air to move from top to bottom.

Some older ceiling fans don’t have the reverse switch. Consider upgrading your ceiling fan for year-round efficiency and comfort. 

Ceiling Fan Benefits

  • Running ceiling fans in reverse can save you around 10% on heating and air conditioning costs.
  • Ceiling fans allow you to raise or lower the temperature of your thermostat (depending on the season) about 4°F with no reduction in comfort. This could be the difference between a running or a silent HVAC system. The less you use the HVAC system, the longer it will last.
  • Moving warm air downward reduces the amount of escaped heat in the attic. The less escaping air, the less of a stack effect. Sealing air leaks around your home, especially the basement and attic will help even more.
  • Ceilings fans improve airflow and your home’s indoor air quality. While ceiling fans should never serve as your only ventilation method, they can help circulate stale air and prevent moisture problems, such as mold.

If you're looking for home electrical service in Southeastern Michigan that you can depend on to get the job done right you've come to the right place! We're a family owned and operated business and have been serving homeowners throughout Southeast Michigan since 1925.  We have the expertise you need and can be counted on for all of your home electrical needs. From regular maintenance, to repair and replacement, we offer complete electrical service.  

Whether it’s home upgrades or routine repairs, AJ Danboise are the plumbing and HVAC experts you can trust! Call us at 248-236-5999 to schedule an appointment today!

Thursday, 28 December 2017 17:19

18 Home Resolutions for 2018

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It’s that time of year again.  The New Year is here and it’s time to set goals and resolutions for 2018. What better place to start improving yourself than right at home? Each year homes need updates, maintenance, and improvements to help them last. This year give your home the TLC it needs with these 18 home resolutions for 2018.

 1. De-clutter

One of the best ways to ring in the New Year is by getting rid of the old clutter your home has accumulated over the years. Just by re-organizing your home, it can feel fresh and new again!

 2. Upgrade your home security system

Knowing that you and your household are safe and sound in 2018 is a great way to start the New Year. If you already have a home security system, consider adding easy-to-install alarms to your windows as well.

 3. Switch out your CFL light bulbs for energy efficient LED light bulbs

LED light bulbs are more expensive but they can last up to 40 years! Not only do they save on energy but there is no hassle in replacing them every few months.

 4. Make your home more energy efficient

From upgrading aging appliances to adding weather stripping, each step towards a more efficient home will help to lower your energy bills and improve the environment!

 5. Install low-flow showerheads to conserve water

Switching out your showerheads is a simple DIY task that can make a big difference in your home’s water usage. Not to mention that most new low-flow showerheads improve water filtration as well!

 6. Create a weekly cleaning system for your home

For most, cleaning is a chore and if left untouched can become a very large and daunting chore. Start the New Year off right with a cleaning plan for each week.

 7. Clean the dryer vent

Once a year, clean your dryer’s vent for better air circulation and efficiency. If you have a large family or use your dryer frequently, consider cleaning in twice a year.

 8. Flush the water heater

At first this may seem like a daunting DIY task but your water heater will thank you! Over time, sediment builds up in the bottom of your water heater and can cause premature breakdowns or replacements. Flushing the water heater annually helps to prevent the sediment from building up as well.

 9. Tune up your HVAC system

This year make a resolution to give your HVAC system an annual check-up. Professional tune-ups help prolong the life of your HVAC system and prevent untimely breakdowns mid-season when you need them the most.

 10. Test your sump pump

Once or twice this year, test your sump pump to make sure it is keeping the groundwater out of your basement.

 11. Seal drafty windows and doors

This is a great DIY project for the winter months. It will help keep warm air in and lower your energy bills!

 12. Check your foundation for termites

This should be done at least once a year. It’s best to spot the signs of termite damage and address them as soon as possible to prevent the need for expensive foundation and home repairs later on.

 13. Install a small safe

A small fireproof safe is important for any home. This New Year’s set a resolution to protect what’s most important in your home with this DIY project.

 14. Create a home improvement budget

Even if home improvements are not in the budget for 2018, planning ahead will make sure your home stays in top shape for years to come.

 15. Exercise your DIY skills

Save money and learn more about your home this year! Simple DIY projects such as weather stripping, patching holes in the foundation and even upgrading light bulbs can add up and make a big difference over time.

 16. Turn off the lights whenever you leave a room

 17. Monitor your energy usage monthly

Getting acquainted with your energy bill and usage will help you identify where the most savings can take place.

 18. Turn your hot water heater down to 120 degrees

By turning your water heater down to 120 degrees, not only will you save on electricity but it will help to prevent scalding too.

The professionals at AJ Danboise are here to see that your home rings in the New Year right! Whether it’s home upgrades or routine repairs, AJ Danboise are the plumbing and heating experts you can trust! Call us at 248-236-5999 to schedule an appointment today! 

Thursday, 21 December 2017 20:45

10 Ways to Make Your Home More Efficient

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There is no better time of the year to make your home more efficient than when it is about to be bombarded with people for the holidays. Your household appliances are about to go into overdrive to ensure everyone is safe and comfortable throughout the break. Save money this holiday season and lower the risk of an untimely breakdown with these AJ Danboise-approved tips on making your home more efficient. You’ll rest at ease knowing your home is functioning at its best!

  • Change your furnace filter.
  • Put your ceiling fans on the reverse setting.

Most ceiling fans have two settings. The counter-clockwise works to cool the air. The “reverse” setting, or clockwise, is to be used in the winter for dealing with warm air from your heater. It works to pull the warm air from the ceiling and gently push it back down allowing it to circulate through the room. It creates a more even temperature and makes heating your home more efficient.

  •  Turn down your hot water heater.

Turning the temperature down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower will reduce energy costs by up to 10 percent and help prevent scalding.

  •  Use a programmable thermostat.

Why pay for heat when no one is using it? Program your thermostat to turn back 10 to 15 degrees while you are asleep or away from home. When you are awake and at home, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.

  •  Lock windows.

This creates an added seal to keep the warm air in and cold air out. It will also discourage guests from opening them if they get a little warm, thus throwing off your thermostat.

  •  Minimize door drafts by adding a seal or using a draft snake.
  •  Keep the fireplace damper closed unless in use. When using the fireplace when the damper is open, close the doors leading into the room and lower the thermostat to between 50 and 55 degrees.
  •  Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Moisture will help retain some of the heat and eliminate uncomfortable dry air. You and your guests will feel more comfortable with your thermostat set at a lower, more efficient temperature.
  • Take advantage of natural heat from the sun. Open your windows and shades during the day to allow the sun to heat your home. When the sun goes down, close the shades to keep the heat from escaping.
  •  Turn off indoor and outdoor holiday lights when you are sleeping or not at home. This also helps to eliminate a common fire hazard mistake.

 

Increasing your home’s efficiency is a great way to spot any potential problems in your home as well. If you notice that your home cannot work as efficiently as it should, call the certified specialists at AJ Danboise. Ee understand that plumbing, heating, and electrical problems can happen any time. That’s why we offer 24 hour service, 365 days a year. Let the professionals at AJ Danboise give you peace of mind in your home this holiday season. Call us at 248-236-5999 to schedule an appointment today!

 

Thursday, 09 November 2017 20:09

10 Cheap and Easy Childproofing Hacks

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As a new parent, childproofing your home can seem overwhelming and expensive. In honor of Child Safety Month, we are bringing you 10 easy child proofing hacks to save you both time and money. The two things parents can use the most!

Every parent knows there are certain places in your home that need childproofing to keep the little ones out of harm’s way. What every parent may not know is how to child proof quickly and easily using common household items. Whether you are a well-seasoned parent or new to the game, these 10 DIY solutions below are sure to make your life easier and your child safer.

Corner guards for sharp corners.

Sharp corners on coffee tables, counters, or fireplaces can be a danger to small heads. Just imagine how bad it hurts when we bump our leg or hip into one! Corner guards that are translucent or match furniture can be purchased from many retailers. For a quick and easy fix, cut pool noodles to the specific measurements you need. Then, slice them down the middle so the pieces fit snugly. Pool noodles are also a great fix for awkwardly shaped furniture that traditional corner guards won’t fit.

Fridge door lock

Both adults and children always seem to go straight for the fridge! Prevent curious little ones from getting into the fridge by using two 3M hooks and a rubber band or hair tie to lock them together.

Cabinet door locks

Baby proofing 101 entails putting all medicines, chemicals, cleaning products and anything else you do not want kids to have access to in a locked cabinet, out of reach. Placing cookie cutters over knobs and tying them together with a hair elastic or a rubber band is an easy fix to prevent them from opening cabinet doors. If your cabinets have handles instead of knobs, try using dog collars threaded through both handles to secure the doors shut.

Safely store cleaning supplies and other harsh chemicals out of reach.

Ideally all toxic/dangerous supplies should be stored and locked in the top cabinets. Depending on how much storage space you have in your house, this isn’t always possible. For cleaning supplies, dog food, pet supplies or anything else you don’t want your little one getting into, store them in plastic containers inside of the locked cabinet to keep them safely out of reach.

Doorknob locks

Keep kids from opening doors and going to off limits places, such as garages and offices, by using small Tupperware containers over the doorknob. Just cut out one hole in the middle and a slit in one side of the lid. Then, slide it over the doorknob and screw on the bottom of the Tupperware. Their softer, round surface doubles as a doorknob lock and a protector from painful run-ins with doorknobs.

Power Bar and Cord Safety

To easily keep power bars and their cords out of reach, use a plastic container to house them. Simply cut a hole in one end large enough for all the necessary cords to come out of the power bar and thread through. Voilá, a baby proofed power bar!

Door guards

Pool noodles are so useful for baby proofing! Use one of these to prevent little fingers from getting caught in closing doors. Cut 10-12 inches of a pool noodle to use as a door guard. Make one lengthwise cut from the outside to the inner hollowed-out circle. Then, make another lengthwise cut down the middle. Cut enough out of the middle of the noodle so that it snugly fits over the door.

Drawer locks

Toddlers and small children are very curious about closed drawers. Not to mention, they make great climbing equipment for small humans. Keep drawers locked with a meter stick running through all the handles, down to the floor.

Bath time

Place a laundry basket in the bath tub and then set Junior in it. It’s a great bath time solution to prevent babies from slipping, plus, their toys won’t float away.

Toddler bed guard

Pool noodles for the win again! Use a pool noodle under a fitted sheet to help keep the little ones from falling out of their beds at night. They are low and soft enough that they can easily get into the bed themselves and big enough to keep them from falling out of it at night.

Being a parent is tough. If these DIY hacks can help you sleep just a little more soundly knowing your little one is safe, then it’s worth it.

When it comes to family, they can never be too safe. Let AJ Danboise help make sure your home is safe and secure for you and your family with our Annual Home Safety and Maintenance Plan. Call 248-236-5999 to enroll today!


As a family owned company, the holidays are our favorite time of year. Thanksgiving in Southern Michigan means delicious food, Lions football and community togetherness. What better way to help our community thrive than to lend a helping hand to those in need.

This November many local non-profits are going above and beyond to bring the holidays to those in need. Whether you are looking for a way for the whole family to give back to the community or a fun date night, the charities below have rewarding events for all ages.

Charity Events

The 17th Annual Thanks for Giving Benefit Dinner

Support Peace Neighborhood Center’s mission to provide programs for children, families, and individuals who are affected by social and economic problems. This year’s dinner will honor The James A. & Faith Knight Foundation for their generous contributions. Dinner features ribs, salmon, salad, and other home-cooked dishes.

When: Thursday, November 16, 2017 6PM – 8:30PM.

Where: Zion Lutheran Church

1501 W Liberty Street

Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Website: http://peaceneighborhoodcenter.org/wordpress/

Euchre Tournament to Benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank – Livingston County

Join the Rotary Satellite Club of Brighton Sunset for an evening of Progressive* Euchre Tournament. All proceeds will go towards providing Emergency Hygiene Bags for Gleaners Community Food Bank-Livingston County. Enjoy an evening of fun and friendly competition, snacks, cash bar and fellowship for a great cause.

When: Thursday, November 16, 2017 6PM – 10PM

Where: Mt Brighton Ski Area, Ore Creek Restaurant

4141 Bauer Road

Brighton, MI 48116

Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/euchre-tournament-to-benefit-gleaners-community-food-bank-livingston-co-tickets-38836028607?aff=es2

3rd Annual Fall Crawl – Dive Bar Edition

Join Central Woodward Junior Chamber for their 3rd Annual Fall Crawl. All proceeds from the event will go to the South Oakland Shelter. Come join the fun and support your local community just in time for the holidays!

When: Saturday, November 18, 2017 1:30PM – 8PM

Where: The Hideout

1110 West 14 Mile Road

Clawson, MI 48017

Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3rd-annual-fall-crawl-dive-bar-edition-tickets-38166858100?aff=es2 

Pins 4 Kids Bowling Fundraiser

Come join Caleb’s Kids Foundation for bowling fun, fellowship, games and prizes! Proceeds of this event will go towards the 2017 Holiday Outreach Initiatives. Caleb’s Kids Foundation provides holiday specific mental health workshops and holiday support for youth in need.

When: Sunday, November 19, 2017 2PM – 4PM

Where: Plum Hollow Lanes

21900 West Nine Mile Road

Southfield, MI 48075

Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pins-4-kids-bowling-fundraiser-tickets-39191152793?aff=es2

Pop the Top

Join Dine Drink Detroit for a holiday season kick off celebrating the drink that symbolizes cheer and celebration…champagne! Tickets include a custom champagne flute, samples of 30+ champagnes from around the world, and culinary delights from Detroit’s most popular restaurants and catering companies, plus entertainment and dancing!

A portion of all proceeds will be donated to The Bottomless Toy Chest, devoted to delivering art projects, crafts and interactive games to hospitalized pediatric cancer patients.

When: Saturday, November 25, 2017 7PM – 10PM

Where: The Garden Theater

3929 Woodward Avenue

Detroit, MI 48201

Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pop-the-top-tickets-38805723965?aff=es2

Volunteer Opportunities

Gleaners Community Food Bank

Gleaners community food bank has volunteer Opportunities in the distribution center for the whole family. Their program, “kids helping kids”, teaches kids about nutrition and allows them to participate in the distribution volunteer tasks such as sorting and packing food and preparing for drives. 

Where: 2131 Beaufait St.

Detroit, MI 48207

Website: http://www.gcfb.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2rOtnJ-Z1wIVSJR-Ch1umgLNEAAYASAAEgKpGvD_BwE

The Bottomless Toy Chest

Each year The Bottomless Toy Chest gathers and wraps thousands of toys to give to sick children for Christmas. Support them by hosting a fund-raiser, sponsoring a toy drive, or having a wrap party.

Website: www.bottomlesstoychest.org

The 7th Annual Feed the World Day

The Kids Coalition Against Hunger is looking for 600 volunteers to help package meals for starving children around the globe and in our own surrounding neighborhoods. Come join forces at this event of 100,000 meal packaging sponsored by the Southeastern Michigan Rotary Clubs.

When: Saturday, November 11, 2017

Shifts available from 7AM – 12:30PM

Where: Henry Community Ford College

Student Center Cafeteria, Building M

Dearborn, Michigan 48128

Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-7th-annual-feed-the-world-day-tickets-37431663112?aff=es2

Make A Difference Day – Plymouth United Way – Clean Up Day

The Plymouth United Way is looking for volunteers to provide light outdoor labor for senior citizens and people with disabilities in the Plymouth/ Canton communities. Wear your Spartan gear to show Spartans Will...Make a Difference!

When: Saturday, November 18, 2017

Where: First United Methodist Church

45201 North Territorial Road

Plymouth, MI 48170

Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/make-a-difference-day-plymouth-united-way-clean-up-day-tickets-38310007263?aff=es2


 

Join us in supporting our local community and help a neighbor in need this November. Since 1925, AJ Danboise has been the reliable plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical professionals for Farmington Hills and surrounding areas. We pride ourselves on being here for you and your family 24hrs a day, 365 days a year. For all your home service needs this holiday season, call AJ Danboise.

October is here and Halloween is right around the corner. It’s finally your chance to have the house you’ve been dreaming of all year. It’s time to turn your warm and inviting home into the scariest haunted house on the block.

Whether you are a haunted house novice or a seasoned veteran, these safe and easy tips will help you transform your happy home into a horrifying haunted house.

  1. Give your house a character of it’s own. Think of this as your House’s costume. Your house should have a theme and narrative. This will provide context and add suspense.
  2. The outside is just as important as the inside. Stick to the theme and have the outside of your house look as spooky as possible.
  3. Window treatments. Windows are the first place people look when they see your house. For an abandoned effect, board them up.
  4. Adding shadow cutouts, flickering lights, blood and gore, are also a great way to give your house character.
  5. Shadowy figures, both real and fake, build a lot of suspense. Place these both inside and outside the house. Have at least one person inside and one outside to break up the fake shadows. A mix of both will keep suspense high, as people won’t know what’s real or fake.
  6. When in doubt, add fog. Fog can make any space feel dark and ominous. If you’re concerned about ventilating the fog inside the house, low lying fog outside of the house is a great alternative.
  7. Create a maze. Use open spaces such as basements or garages for your maze. All you need are 2-3 really scary rooms to send them running. Clothesline old sheets, tarps, or painters’ plastic to create walls for your maze in smaller spaces.
  8. Create lots of twists and turns. People always fear what lurks around the corner. Construct the path so that it’s hard for people to see what’s coming next.
  9. Use curves, walls, fog, or dark rooms to obstruct views.
  10. Use plastic rolls to map your path. They block out light and add an additional spooky effect.
  11. Have people move from a big space to a small space. If this involves twists and turns, even better!
  12. Make the visitors part of the experience. As they enter, tell them their role in the narrative. Are they new prisoners in the insane asylum? Are they the next victims of the murder house?
  13. Use flickering lights to give the impression something is wrong.
  14. Use sound effects. To make your haunted house more realistic, fit the sound effects to your theme. If you can time them to special effects and startles, even better!
  15. Use smells to build context. If you don’t want to create your own, look for scents in your local costume shop. There are scents for every scenario, from dentist office to rotting corpses. Smells relative to your theme will help bring your haunted house alive.
  16. Use strobe lights. These are a staple in any haunted house. They heighten fear by affecting proprioception and making visitors feel disoriented.
  17. Have a blackout room. It triggers a fear response by interfering with our ability to orient ourselves in space.
  18. Stuff in the face. A must have. It’s cheap, easy, safe, and terrifying. Anything that can hang from the ceiling will work. Spider webs, chains, netting and cheesecloth are all great options. Even all black painter’s plastic in an all black room can be terrifying when suspense is high.
  19. The startle scare. Even in broad daylight people jumping out at you can be scary. Put at least one outside your house and one at the beginning of the tour. It’s a great way to add suspense from the beginning.
  20. Use scares that encourage people to jump forward, not back. Keep in mind how people may react in terror. Make sure there are no metal props, screws, or anything else sticking out from the wall they may fall into or get injured by.

With these tips, your haunted house is sure to terrify anyone who dares to enter! To make sure your home is prepared to be the scariest on the block, be sure to call AJ Danboise for any electrical issues you might have. Call today for an electrical diagnostic so you can start preparing your home for the Halloween holiday!



For all your plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical needs, you can count on AJ Danboise! Schedule service online or by giving us a call at 1-248-236-5999.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more tips and tricks on keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round.
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