Thursday, May 25, 2017

AJ Danboise

Bathroom talks are considered taboo here in the American household. You get in, do your business and don’t think about it. The idea of researching a toilet that would be beneficial for your bathroom time has probably never crossed your mind. If you are planning to replace your toilet, you may want to consider investing in a smart toilet. A smart toilet may sound strange at first, but there are a lot of benefits that can come out of investing in one. They are expensive but they can save you money down the road and keep you feeling clean. Nothing feels better than being clean and refreshed as you go throughout the day.

Automatic Flushing

Smart toilets can flush without being touched. If you live in a household of people who always forget to flush the toilet, this feature could save you the pain of being greeted with an unwanted surprise as you are stumbling into the bathroom in the early morning. A smart toilet can either sense when a body has moved away from the toilet and flush or activate a flush by waving your hand in front of its sensor.

Whichever one you pick, the perk of having a sensor instead of a handle is that germs won’t get transferred from hands to the toilet and then to the next person who flushes. So, not only is there the convenience of not having to flush, you get to protect your family and yourself from bacteria.

Reduced Plumbing Issues

Traditional toilets can be subject to multiple plumbing issues. Clogged toilets, sewer smells and toilet leaks are among the common issues that traditional toilets will always face. Smart toilets are equipped with technology that can greatly reduce these types of plumbing issues. They not only prevent clogs, but they can also sense them before you overflow the toilet.

Smart toilets will also stop you from flushing the toilet if it’s clogged. This helps keep water levels in the bowl low until you’ve fixed the problem – ultimately getting rid of overflow.

Automatic Cleaning

This feature is definitely a favorite. Smart toilets are made up of a smooth ceramic that has a non-stick coating preventing mineral and waste buildup. These toilets also feature ultraviolet lights that kill odor-causing bacteria and have automatic cleaning cycles that keep things fresh and clean. You won’t have to clean your smart toilet as much and it will be an easy task to accomplish when you do. Throw away those harsh toilet cleaning materials – you won’t need them when you have your smart toilet.

Water Savings

Smart toiles use as little as 0.6 gallons per flush, which is one gallon less than what a traditional toilet uses. They sense how much water is needed and flush using just the right amount. This will greatly reduce the water consumption in your household and cut back on utility bills.

Other smart toilet features include:

  • Water spray and air dryer
  • Nightlight
  • Slow closing lid
  • Bluetooth and MP3 capabilities for music while you go
  • Foot warmer
  • Remote control
  • Emergency flushing system for power outages
  • Massaging bidet wash
  • Heated seating
  • Built-in sensors that alert you of plumbing issues

Getting a smart toilet is a big decision but the payoff will be worth it down the road. If you need help installing one, give AJ Danboise a call today and we can help with the plumbing aspects that come along with a smart toilet. You’ll be able to enjoy your new smart toilet sooner by giving us a call at 1-248-236-5999.


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

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 19:30

Common DIY Plumbing Mistakes

We at AJ Danboise understand the importance of saving money and cutting back on costs. Most of us are still recovering from holiday shopping, traveling and vacations. It seems that, for every expense you tackle, there are more surprise costs that come around the corner. Now, you are planning for summer vacations, birthdays and anniversaries. All of these costs are adding up and you are trying to cut back on spending too much money. Suddenly, you have unexpected plumbing issues to deal with.

While there are significant issues that need to be left to the experts, there are some plumbing fixes that you can do yourself. The “do-it-yourself” method has taken the internet by storm and has saved many people a lot of money. You can easily unclog sinks, fix the water pressure in your showers or clear stopped-up toilets by looking up a few YouTube videos or gathering information on Pinterest or Angie’s List. Fixing a few plumbing issues can help save you money if you are trying to cut back on costs. However, it is important to know how to prevent bigger issues down the road while fixing these mishaps by yourself. Be aware of common mistakes you could make while fixing your own plumbing issues. Check out these common “do-it-yourself” plumbing mistakes below and learn from them so you are not facing bigger costs down the road.

Failure to Turn Off the Water:

This one is the most common mistake when it comes to fixing a plumbing issue by yourself. It’s the first step you need to take for the majority of plumbing projects but it is often the one that is neglected the most. If you are trying to remove a plumbing fixture or fix a pipe before shutting off the water, you’ll have water spray all over you and your home. Suddenly, this quick plumbing repair has now turned to water damage and a huge mess to clean up.

Most shut off valves for plumbing fixtures can be found beneath the fixture itself. Using a plumber’s wrench to turn of the valve is the most efficient way of shutting it off – especially if you haven’t used it in a while. If you are having a tough time finding these shut off valves, it is easier to just shut off the water from the outside. Keep in mind that this will shut off the water for the entire house.

Overusing Drain Cleaner:

Using drain cleaner to unclog your drain each time it gets clogged can damage your drains. They are great to use every once in a while, or if there is a huge clog that just won’t clear. Drain cleaners usually have harsh chemicals that are used to break up solid waste and scrub pipes clean. The harsh chemicals in them can eat away at the walls of both metal and PVC pipes. Overuse of a drain cleaner could cause you to replace your pipes because of the deterioration overtime. This DIY plumbing mistake can set you back on finances and add yet another expensive project to your list.

You could substitute a heavy-duty drain cleaner with an eco-friendly alternative. Mixing ½ a cup of vinegar with ½ cup of baking soda to pour down the sink is an easier method. Follow the mixture with a pot of boiling water after the mixture has set for an hour. Using a pipe snake to clear out clogs will also help reduce the wear and tear on your pipes.

 

Mismatching Your Pipes:

Replacing leaky pipes can be a tricky process. It is important to know the size and type of pipes you need for the job. Many DIY plumbers make the mistake of trying to make the right size fit with the wrong connectors. Trying to connect galvanized metal pipes with copper, for example, is a common mistake people make when trying to fix their own plumbing. This causes corrosion and your pipes will leak again. Just because pipes seem tight and seem like they fit, it doesn’t always mean they’ll hold water.

Not Hiring a Professional Plumber:

Some plumbing jobs are easy to take on by yourself. Saving money is important and it seems difficult to try and not spend as much as possible. Fixing plumbing issues around your home by yourself can save you money in the long run but you need to know where your strengths and weaknesses are when fixing these issues. Any project that seems beyond your ability or requires accessing main water lines or cutting into walls and floors needs to be handled by a professional plumber. If you were to try and do these repairs by yourself without the proper training or equipment, you’ll end up being out of pocket more than if you just called a plumber the first time.

If you are having plumbing issues that are beyond your control, give AJ Danboise a call or schedule your appointment online. We have been serving homeowners throughout Southeast Michigan since 1925. We provide an upfront, flat rate pricing so you won’t be left in the dark with how much a project is going to cost. Give us a call today at 1-248-236-5999 and have peace of mind knowing that you are getting the best plumbers to get the job done right.

 

How to Know When It's Time to Replace Your Water Heater

Let’s face it – we would all be lost without water heaters in our homes. Day in and day out, this vital household appliance provides us with hot water at the press of a button. So the next time you’re taking a hot bath or shower, washing a load of laundry, running the dishwasher, or brushing your teeth, thank your lucky stars you have a water heater that takes care of you and your needs. There will come a time, however, when your water heater will fail. It’s far better to have it replaced before it completely fails so that you don’t have to be without hot water. Here are four signs that your water heater is on the fritz.

Age

The average lifespan of a water heater is between eight and 12 years. If you aren’t sure how old your water heater is, you can find the age by looking up the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker, which should be located on the upper portion of the appliance, near the warning label. It can be a little tricky determining the age using the serial number. The serial number doesn’t plainly state the date the water heater was manufactured. Instead, it reads more like a code. There are numerous manufacturers, and each of them uses a different format. Check out this article on how to de-code a serial number.

If your water heater is within the eight to 12-year age range, it might behoove you to have a licensed professional inspect it. This will give you a better idea of when you need to replace it. If your water heater is 10 years or older, you will most likely need to replace it sooner rather than later due to the potential of it springing a leak.

Rust & Pools of Water

Complete a thorough visual inspection of the outside of your water heater tank. If you come across pools of water, sludge or corrosion, it’s a good indication that there is a leak and that you a replacement is in order. Have a professional come take a look to determine where the leak is coming from. It could be that a leak is coming from the fittings or connections to the tank.

Rust-Colored Water

If your water heater is emitting rust-colored water from the hot side piping in your home, it could mean that the inside of your tank is rusting and could begin to leak. If you have galvanized piping, it could also be your pipes rusting and not your tank. In this case, you will want to schedule an appointment with a trusted plumber as soon as possible so that the issue can be resolved.

Strange Noises

Toward the end of your water heater’s lifespan, sediment will buildup on the bottom of your tank. Eventually, it will harden with continuous reheating. You can tell that this is occurring when you hear a loud rumbling noise. Should this symptom be present, it’s a sign that your tank will need to be replaced soon. When you have sediment buildup, your tank will lose efficiency and begin to leak. Avoid damage to your home by having it replaced in a timely manner. An inefficient water heater only wastes energy, costing you more. In most cases, the cost-effective thing to do is replace rather than repair.

High Energy Bill

Between old age, corrosion and leaks, it’s no wonder your energy bill has seen an increase as of late. As we mentioned earlier, an aging water heater is less efficient, so pay attention to your monthly energy costs. For many homeowners, a hot water account for nearly 25 percent of energy usage. By installing a new water heater, you can expect to see those costs decrease.

If you're concerned about the state of your water heater, schedule an appointment with AJ Danboise today! Our fully trained and certified technicians can inspect your water heater to determine the best course of action. If your tank does need to be replaced, we can help you find the best one for your needs and budget. We can install a variety of makes and models.


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.






Make Your Bathroom Sparkle with a Good Scrubbing

The spring season is all about new beginnings, which is why now is the perfect time to address your poor bathroom habits. We know – we know. When it comes to spring cleaning, this is probably the last place you want to touch because of all the harbored germs; however, that’s precisely why you need give your bathroom a deep clean! Face your bathroom routines head on and make the necessary changes so that you can keep a sparkling clean space. Follow these tips on how to thoroughly clean your bathroom.

If you can’t recall the last time you really cleaned your bathroom, you may be in for a wild journey. Hold on tight, but don’t worry too much because we’re here with you every step of the way. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to do it all at once. You want to make sure that you hit every point, so if needed, don’t hesitate to spread the tasks out over a few days. 


Shower

Showerhead: Grab one of your many plastic grocery bags that you’ve been meaning to recycle and fill it generously with white vinegar. Submerge your showerhead into it and let it soak overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and run the water to rinse it.

Curtains and liners: If you have plastic shower curtains and liners, run it through a load in the washing machine along with a few towels. Mold and mildew tend to grow and accumulate on curtains and liners, so this task is especially important.

Shower door: Take a cup of baking soda and add a few drop of white vinegar to form a paste. Apply it directly to the door and allow it to sit for an hour. Once the hour is up, rinse the area and wipe clean using a microfiber cloth.

Shower walls: Soap scum can also accumulate on shower walls, so don’t forget to clean these areas as well. Apply your preferable bathroom cleaner to the wall and let sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing. Rinse thoroughly after.

Bathtub

Cleaning a tub isn’t as time-intensive as a shower. Spray your preferable bathroom cleaner into the tub and wait 15 minutes before scrubbing clean.

Grout

Using an old toothbrush, dip it into bleach and scrub the areas where discoloration has occurred. After a thorough scrubbing, rinse the area and keep the room well-ventilated.

Countertops, Tile, Walls & Ceiling

Spray your preferred all-purpose cleaner on the countertops, tile, walls and ceiling, and turn on the shower. Make sure the temperature of the water is hot enough to steam up the room, and wait five minutes. Turn the water off, close the door and allow the steam to build up for 20 minutes. Make sure you get out first! After 20 minutes has passed, start wiping all the surfaces. For higher spots you can’t reach, use a dry microfiber mop.

Pro Tip: The floor should be the last place your clean. After wiping all the walls, ceilings and countertops, the floor is bound to collect more dirt. Don’t let your hard work go to waste!

Toilet

This seems to be everyone’s least favorite chore, and for good reasons. It’s one of the dirtiest places in your bathroom. First things first: pour a cup of baking soda into the bowl and let sit for a few minutes. Using a toilet brusher, wipe the bowl thoroughly and flush.

Toilet Brush: How often do you clean the toilet brush itself? Never? The truth is, you should be cleaning your toilet brush after each use. After you’ve cleaned the toilet seat, place the brush over it in such a way that it’s secure. Pour bleach directly onto the bristles and let sit for a few minutes before rinsing it with water.

Toilet Brush Holder: Fill the holder with warm, soapy water and let sit for a few minutes before pouring the dirty water into the toilet.

Sink

The sink itself: Wipe clean using your preferred bathroom cleaner.

Drain: Pour one part white vinegar or baking soda along with one part hot water down your drain.

Faucet: Wipe clean using your preferred disinfectant wipe.

Ventilation Fan

For many homeowners, this is uncharted grounds. Before cleaning your fan, make sure the flip the circuit breaker attached to it to prevent hazards. Remove the cover and place it in a container of warm, soapy water. Clean the fan blades using your vacuum’s nozzle attachment; this will allow you to get all the built-up gunk that’s been sitting there for…well, ages probably. Then wipe the blades clean using a damp cloth.

Dishevel all the dust and debris from the motor and other small openings with a stiff, unused paintbrush and vacuum it up. Once the area has completely dried, you can place the covering back over the fan.

If you come across any plumbing problems during your deep-clean such as a leaky faucet, slow drain or clog, the trusted professionals at AJ Danboise have the skill, knowledge and tools needed to restore functionality back to your bathroom.


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

 

Friday, 21 April 2017 20:07

3 Benefits of a Spring A/C Tune-Up



A Spring A/C Tune-Up Will Keep You Happy and Cool This Summer

After the biting winter Nokesville had, we’re glad to finally see some warmer weather. While there are still a few more mildly chilly days ahead, you can expect the temperatures to continue to rise. Before a heatwave hits, be sure to schedule your spring A/C tune-up! As it continues to heat up, you’re going to want your HVAC system operating at optimal efficiency. We’re already slated to see several days in the upper 80s; make sure you’re ready to beat the heat. Don’t risk having to go without cool air during the dog days of summer.

There are numerous benefits to having your air conditioner maintained on a routine basis. While peace of mind is the most basic benefit of maintenance, there’s so much more to it. Here are three reasons as to why your HVAC system should undergo regular TLC. 

1. Safeguard your system against frequent, expensive repairs.

Homeowners rarely think about the state of their conditioning system because it’s something they use on an around-the-clock basis. Once you’ve adjusted the temperature to your liking, you move on with your day. Don’t wait until something isn’t quite right to pay attention to your A/C, because you could be dealing with a costly repair.

When you neglect to care for your system, you’re more likely to experience frequent breakdowns because it’s in constant over-drive. The more you overwork you’re A/C, the less efficient it becomes. A dirty filter, worn or old capacitator, or loose electrical component can make for an ugly, costly situation. For example, if you have a small refrigerant leak, we can easily repair that during your tune-up. However, if left unrepaired, your refrigerant can drain, causing your compressor to burn. This kind of repair can cost upwards of $1,000. It’s far better – and cheaper – to repair a minor problem before it worsens. Think of it like your car. Every 3,000 to 5,000 miles you change your car's oil to prevent troubles from occurring. Show the same kind of care to your air conditioner!

By scheduling routine maintenance, you can rest easy all summer long in the comfort of your cool home. During your check-up, a licensed technician will inspect all the inner-workings of your system to ensure that everything is up to par. A tune-up is just a fraction of the cost of a repair; save money and ensure comfort by scheduling A/C tune-up with AJ Danboise today!

2. Prevent the need to prematurely replace your system.

Since you use your HVAC system year-round, it’s so easy for it to become an afterthought. With routine maintenance, you’ll not only prevent frequent breakdowns, you’ll increase your system’s lifespan. We’ve all been guilty of ignoring things that demand regular care. What many of you found in doing so was that the object didn’t last as long as it could’ve. Without a regular air conditioning tune-up, you can expect to replace your system much sooner than you intended to. When you have clogged and dirty coils, a dust and debris-filled filter, low refrigerant levels, or damaged fan blades, it’s no wonder your system isn’t running efficiently. At this rate, it won’t be too long until your system can no longer keep up with your demands.

Because a new A/C is a costly investment, it’s important to get the most of your system to avoid a premature replacement. A well-maintained central air conditioner should last between 15 and 20 years. Give your system a long, healthy by showing it some regular love. 

3. Ensure your system operates at maximum efficiency.

Because heating and cooling account for nearly half your utility costs, it’s important to make sure that your HVAC system operates at maximum efficiency. A poorly-maintained system will cause your electric bill to skyrocket. If you find yourself constantly adjusting the thermostat because the temperature just won’t seem to get any cooler, it’s a good indication that your system isn’t operating efficiently. A simple yearly cleaning will boost efficiency and help lower cooling costs.

Tips on How You Can Keep Your System Happy & Healthy

We highly recommend enlisting the help of a certified technician to complete your annual maintenance. However, this isn’t to say that you can’t complete a few simple tasks on your own to help keep it running smoothly year-round. Follow these extra HVAC maintenance tips:

  • Change your air filter every 30 to 90 days. Read your manufacturer's guide on how often you should change out the filter. If you have pets or are prone to allergies, you may want to ere on the side of caution and change it every 30 days.
  • Keep your system clear of debris. When dirt, debris and twigs make their way into your system, it can decrease efficiency. Keep all plants at least two feet away from your air conditioner.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. Gone are the days where leaving your air conditioner on all day is the only way to maintain comfort. Simply program your thermostat once, and sit back and relax.

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.



Energy-Saving Tips to Follow This Earth Day

It’s easy to think that our individual actions can’t effect real change, especially when it comes to protecting and preserving our earth. “To make a noticeable impact, everyone has to come to together and act.” How many of you have had a similar thought? The truth is, succumbing to this kind of thinking isn’t productive as it discourages people from attempting to enact even small change, like picking up a piece of trash or turning off a light. This Earth Day, we want to empower you to cut back on your energy usage at home. By simply adjusting your daily routines and being more mindful, you can help sustain our environment, not to mention we think you’ll enjoy the monthly savings!

Change your HVAC air filter regularly.

A dirty, clogged air filter reduces your system’s efficiency, causing it kick into over-drive to keep up with your demands. Change your filter every 30 to 90 days, depending on the manufacturer. If you have household pets, you’ll want to change it every 30 days for good measure.

Schedule annual HVAC maintenance.

Have your HVAC system serviced in the early spring and fall to ensure maximum efficiency. During a tune-up, a trained technician will check all the inner-workings of your system to make sure all is working properly. An unmaintained system, like a dirty air filter, requires more energy to operate.

Install programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat allows you to cut costs but not comfort. By setting your thermostat back 10 degrees for eight hours every day, you can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 10 percent. There are numerous benefits to switching to home automation in general. Check out our article: “3 Reasons to Switch to Home Automation” to learn more about how you can benefit from going automated.

Unplug appliances and devices when not in use.

So many of us now sleep with our smartphones next to us, plugged into the charger. Instead of keeping it plugged in overnight, charge it a few hours before you go to bed. Do the same with other electronic devices like your tablet or laptop. Check every room in your house for appliances or devices that you leave plugged in, but rarely use. That toaster you haven’t used in four months? Unplug it. That lamp you haven’t turned in ages? Unplug it.

Install water-saving fixtures.

Switch to low-flow shower heads and sink fixtures to cut back on your daily water usage. A family of four can save around $250 a year on water heating costs by switching going low-flow. If you want to take it a step further, you can also install low-flow toilets.

Switch from baths to showers.

By opting to take showers instead of baths, you will save nearly 13 gallons of water each time. Depending how often you clean yourself every day as well as how many people are in your household, this could make a huge impact. We also recommend taking shorter showers lasting no more than five minutes. We know how tempting it is to want to stay in and let the warm water soothe you, so set an alarm for yourself that requires you to get out to turn it off.

When doing laundry, use hot water only for dirty loads.

Unless you’ve got some really nasty clothes to wash, always opt for the cold cycle. This small adjustment will help lower your water heating costs. Before you wash a load, make sure it’s full, but not too full. After the load has finished, hang them up while they’re still damp. You’ll cut back on energy usage and prevent wrinkles and shrinkage.

Light your home efficiently.

Lighting accounts for nearly 10 percent of your energy usage; therefore, you should make sure your home is equipped with the most efficient lighting. Reduce lighting consumption by up to 75 percent when you switch out your incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents (CFLs).

For more energy-saving tips to try out this Earth Day, check out these additional resources:


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. 



Declutter Your Home with a DIY Charging Station

It’s difficult to find sanity in a cluttered home. If you’re tired of having to pick up all the tablets, laptops and other electronic devices as well as their chargers, we’ve got the solution for you: DIY charging stations! By establishing designated spaces for all your devices while they’re charging, you’ll not only decrease clutter, you’ll also rid your home of tripping hazards and always know the location of your chargers. Few things are more frustrating than trying to find your charger when your device is just minutes from dying. Restore sanity – and organization – by crafting these DIY charging docks for all your devices!

Family Charging Station

All you need for this tutorial is a shoe box, some decorative paper and an extension cord. This DIY station is perfect if you have a couple kids who always leave their gadgets around the house. It’s simple to construct, requiring very little of your time. We recommend placing this dock in the family room, living room or kitchen – depending on where your family spends the most time. You can even make it a fun family activity by decorating it together!

IKEA Charging Station

This DIY tutorial is ideal for those who hate having clutter strewn across their kitchen counters. Counter clutter not only inhibits you from being able to prep meals, it also makes cleaning seemingly impossible. If your kitchen cabinets have free-standing sides, you can hang a rail near an awkwardly placed outlet to dock phones, tablets and laptops. This type of station would be especially beneficial to those who have limited counter and/or table space.

Book Charging Station

If you have an old book or never-been-used journal that you use for decoration, consider using that as a charging station with this tutorial. You can keep it by your bedside table or any other side table throughout your home or apartment to provide quick and discreet charging for your phone or tablet. This easy DIY does not require a lot of material and can be a quick weekend project.

Office Charging Station

All you need is an old magazine rack for this one. Turn it on its side and drill a few holes for the chargers and simply place your tablet, laptop or phone inside. This is perfect for your desk or for your home office. Organizing your tablets that you use for work can make it easier to charge and access them if you are in a rush.

Upcycled Plastic Bottle Charging Station

If you have a few plastic bottles lying around your house that you keep meaning to recycle, consider turning one into a cell phone holder. An upcycled plastic bottle charging station is perfect for those oddly placed outlets that aren’t near tables or counters. These are easy to make and perfect for when your phone needs a quick charge. You can make it as fancy or simple as you like.  

Having the right outlet for your chargers can also help declutter your home and organize the areas where you charge your gadgets. Not a lot of people know that there are numerous outlet options from which you can choose. In addition to basic, three-pronged outlets, there are also USB charging port outlets for your cell phones or tablets. You can promote organization with the installation of this outlet. The USB charging outlet is compatible with a variety of electronic devices such as:

  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • iPod
  • Tablets
  • Mobile Phones
  • Nintendo 3DS
  • E-Readers
To keep all your various devices powered, you need working outlets. For expert outlet repair and installation, leave it to 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.



Poor Indoor Air Quality Can be Detrimental to Your Health

Moving into a new house or renovating your current home can be an exciting time for many families. It signifies the start of a new journey and carries the challenge of making a house feel like a home. Unpacking is stressful on its own; the last thing you want to worry about is quality of your indoor air. Having poor IAQ can sometimes be a silent reason as to why you’ve been plagued with frequent headaches or irritation to the throat, lungs and eyes. If you are moving into a house or renovating your current home, you may need to identify the quality of your home’s air.

As we’ve mentioned in a previous post about asthma triggers, indoor air is often two to five times, and in some cases 100 times, more polluted than outdoor air. Because so many of us spend most our days inside, whether it’s because of work or school, this should be especially disconcerting. Poor indoor air quality makes way for a host of health problems, all of which can be detrimental if left untreated. Even though we’re surrounded by air, it’s invisible to the eye; therefore, it’s important to know which signs are indicative of poor IAQ:

The health effects of poor indoor air quality can range from short-term to long-term. While it’s easy to downplay many of these symptoms, make note of how often they occur as well as where in your house they occur.

  • Coughing
  • Watery eyes
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs
  • Asthma and other respiratory problems
  • Lung cancer

Why is my indoor air unhealthy?

So, you’ve connected the dots and now believe that you’re dealing with poor indoor air quality. Let’s get to the root of the issue. If you’re wondering why the air in your home is unhealthy, we can help you out. The best thing you can do for your home – and for yourself – is to have a certified professional complete a thorough indoor air quality test. Using advanced technology, we can determine the underlying issue and then properly begin the remediation. The American Lung Association has provided a detailed list of common indoor air pollutants:

  • Asbestos
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Building and paint products
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Newly installed carpets
  • Cleaning supplies and other household chemicals
  • Cockroaches
  • Dust mites and dust
  • Floods and water damage
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lead
  • Mold and dampness
  • Pet dander
  • Radon
  • Wood burning
  • Secondhand smoke
  • Volatile organic compounds

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Sometimes it can be as simple as changing your HVAC air filter. It is important to change or check it at least every 30 days – especially if you have pets. Another way you can improve your IAQ is by scheduling annual maintenance for your heating and cooling system. Doing so will ensure proper ventilation and mitigate the presence of harmful contaminants.

Per the Environmental Protection Agency, there are three main strategies for improving your home’s IAQ: source control, improved ventilation and air cleaners. Here’s a look into the actions required of each strategy.

Source Control: To effectively treat the issue at hand, you will need to locate the source of the problem and either eliminate it or reduce it. For example, if you have a gas stove, the emissions can be adjusted.

Improved Ventilation: A cost efficient method for improving your home’s ventilation is allowing more outdoor air to makes its way indoors. You can do this by opening doors and windows, running the attic fan, or using kitchen and bathroom fans that exhaust outdoors. This is especially important to do if you’re completing home improvement projects such as painting or installing carpet.

Air Cleaners: In short, an air cleaner collects the polluted air and draws it through a filter where it is then cleaned and redistributed. There are numerous air cleaners on the market from which you can choose. Styles range from small table-top cleaners to whole-house systems. To determine the best system for your home, we recommend enlisting the help of a licensed professional first so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with.

For more tips on improving your IAQ, check out these additional resources:


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.

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Thursday, 16 March 2017 17:35

6 Space Heater Safety Tips You Need to Know



Using a Space Heater to Keep Warm? Follow These Tips.

We know you’re ready for the spring season, but hold tight for just a little bit longer, because we’re still in the grips of winter. While you prop your feet up near your space heater and dream about all the fun outdoor activities you can’t wait to take part in come warmer weather, make sure to keep these important space heater safety tips in mind. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) estimates that nearly 65,000 homes catch fire every year due to heating equipment. Don’t get so lost in your thoughts that you become a statistic. Always be vigilant.

1. Inspect Before Using

With any electrical device, you should always inspect it prior to use. Check for frayed wiring, loose connections and cracks. If you don’t feel that it’s up to par, you’re better off replacing it with a new system. Continuing to use a worn heater only puts you and your home at risk.

2. Be Smart with Placement

Where you place your space heater could mean the difference between life and death. It only takes one small error to ignite a devastating fire. For good measure, follow these guidelines when determining the safest place for your heater:

  • Make sure to place it on a flat, stable and non-flammable surface. Keep your heater off carpet because it can cause your system to overheat and start a fire.
  • Keep a three-foot buffer zone around your heater. Keep it far away from anything flammable such as paper, clothing and rugs.
  • If you have a pet, keep it out of their reach. You can do this by either not allowing them into the room where the heater is, or by setting up a gate.
  • Do not place it near furniture, draperies or tapestries.

3. Don’t Leave It Unattended

No matter how desperate you are to keep the living room or bedroom warm for when you return, it’s better to be safe. Make a habit of turning your heater off whenever you leave the room. Further, never leave your pets alone in a room with a heater. Whether you have a cat or dog, they’re bound to be a little curious, and perhaps even a little reckless.

4. Turn Your Heater Off Before Going to Bed

If you can’t keep an eye on your heater, turn it off. Nearly 80 percent of home fire deaths are caused by space heaters. Going to bed with your space heater on puts you in a vulnerable position. If a blanket, sheet or pillow were to fall on it, it could easily cause a fire to break out. For your safety and peace of mind, turn it off before you go to bed.

5. Plug It Directly into the Outlet

Never use an extension cord or power strip with your heater, as both can overheat and spark a fire, not to mention an extension cord is a tripping hazard, making way for a whole host of other problems.       

6. Install Adequate Smoke Alarms

Make sure your home is equipped with plenty of smoke alarms, and test them often to ensure they’re working properly. Follow these tips on smoke alarm safety:

  • Install an alarm inside every sleeping area as well as on the outside of each door.
  • There should be an alarm on every floor, including your basement.
  • Both your kitchen and living room should have alarms. Keep the kitchen alarm 10 feet from cooking appliances to help prevent false alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms once a month by pressing the “test” button. If you have an alarm with a non-replaceable 10-year battery, replace the entire alarm when it begins to chirp. If it uses regular batteries, simply replace them.
  • Interconnect all your smoke alarms so that when one goes off, the others will follow.

Regardless of what heating system you use to stave off your bitterness toward the winter weather, make sure to practice safety on all accounts! Whether you use a furnace, boiler, electric blanket or space heater to keep warm, always be cautious. When it comes to using an additional heating source such as an electric blanket or a space heater, remember that it should not be your sole method for heating

Check out these additional home heating safety tips:


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.

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Knowledge is Power

All of us rely on electricity to get through the day; from the time we wake up, and into the night, we use electricity – even while asleep. The electricity in your home operates around the clock to supply power to all your major appliances. Because your home’s electrical system is an integral and necessary part of life, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some basic concepts. Should something go awry, you’ll have an easier time identifying the source of the problem before calling a licensed electrician, not to mention you just might impress your friends and family with all your newfound knowledge!

Our intention isn’t to overwhelm you, so we’re going to focus on just four basic terms we think every homeowner should know.

Electrical Panel/Breaker Panel

Located in either your basement or garage, the electrical panel controls the flow of electricity to your home. As a homeowner, it’s a good idea to find the location of your panel and get familiar with it. Your electrical panel houses a series of circuit breakers, which control the power to an appliance. These circuit breakers are usually labeled to indicate the breaker controlling an appliance. While there is value in familiarizing yourself with your electrical panel, it’s important to leave all panel work to a licensed electrician! Electricity isn’t something you want to experiment with, as the results can be quite ugly.

GFCI Receptacle/Outlet

Otherwise known as a ground fault circuit interrupter or ground fault interrupter (GFI), this type of receptacle protects people from electrical shock by monitoring the current flowing into or out of a plugged-in device. Should this receptacle detect a current exceeding five milliamps, it will shut off the flow of electricity in as little as .025 seconds. The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires that all new kitchens, bathrooms, crawl spaces, unfinished basements and most outdoor receptacles have GFCI outlets installed. These locations usually have a water source, which is why the NEC has named these locations. If you live in an older home and do not feel that your home has adequate GFCI receptacles, schedule an appointment with one of our trained technicians! We will help safeguard you and your loved ones from electrical harm.

Watt

A watt is a unit of measurement indicating how much electricity is being used in one second. Even if you didn’t know what this term meant, you’ve probably seen it on the packaging of light bulbs. It’s important to know that watts do not determine the brightness of a bulb. A bulb’s brightness is expressed in lumens, which we will explain next. Light bulbs with higher wattage will use more energy, thus increasing your utility bill. You can decrease the amount of energy you use by switching to Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Both have lower wattage than incandescent bulbs but emit the same amount of light.

Lumen

Lumen is a unit of measurement that describes the brightness of a bulb. If you want to enhance a space with additional light, choose a bulb with more lumens. If you’re looking to add ambiance to a room, choose a bulb with less lumens. Under the direction of the Federal Trade Commission, light bulb packages now have labels, similar to nutritional labels in appearance, that provide information on the brightness, energy cost, the bulb’s life expectancy, light appearance (warm or cool), wattage, and whether it contains mercury.


If you ever have any questions about your electrical system, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We’d be happy to assist you in learning the ins and outs of this incredibly vital system. As they say, knowledge is power – no pun intended!


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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