Category Archives: Summer Tips

window-treatments

Energy Efficient Tips for Saving Money & Staying Cool in Northern Virginia All Summer

- by to Summer Tips.

But summer’s almost over… Nope, not quite.

The kids are going back to school, and Labor Day is just around the corner, but northern Virginia is in for another full month of summer heat. And as these dog days linger, it’s important to stay cool (and to keep energy bills low) in your home.

Consider the following tips for saving energy and money:

1. Program your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home, and push it as high as 85 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re not home. Do those numbers seem too high? A ceiling fan can cool a room by as much as four degrees, and uses far less energy than a central air conditioning unit. Also, Low E replacement windows insulated with argon gas will keep all of that cool air from escaping from your home while blocking the sun’s heat.

2. Install window coverings to prevent heat from seeping in through your windows. Learn more about the new technology offered by Vinyl-Lite Window Factory, like Fin Seal fiberglass weather seals, or their exclusive Thermal Mirror glass with triple the energy efficiency compared to the competition.

3. Hire an experienced HVAC servicer to tune up your air conditioner annually. It’s also advisable to clean or replace filters at regular intervals for more efficient operation. New energy efficient windows will reduce your HVAC workload and will also extend the life of your unit.

4. Minimize indoor heat by only running the dryer and dishwasher at night on the hottest days. Let your dishes air dry, and wash your clothes on the ‘cold’ setting. Avoid heat-generating lighting, and consider grilling outdoors.

5. Set your water heater to 120ºF, and no higher.

6. If possible, do not use extra freezers or refrigerators. These outdoor (or in-the-garage) units must work harder to keep food and beverages cold on hot summer days.

7. Unplug appliances and electronics. All home electronics should be plugged into power strips when possible, and turned off or unplugged when not in use.

8. Do you have a pool? Consider slowly reducing pool filtration time by 30-minute increments daily. As long as the water appears clean, keep reducing; soon you’ll find that you may only need to run your pool filter six hours a day; your energy bill will thank you.

9. Install energy efficient windows in your northern Virginia home.

New, energy efficient windows require an investment, but trust us when we say that they’ll eventually pay for themselves — thanks to lower heating and cooling costs. Really, the best decision is to hire Vinyl-Lite, northern Virginia’s window factory and showroom since 1978, to help you design, select, and install new energy efficient windows in your home.

TIPS: How to Handle the Downside of the Summer Season?

- by to Summer Tips.

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You know that summer isn’t just about the beach and the luxurious parties and vacations you have already marked on your calendars. Other than the activities you have come to anticipate, there may also be some essential ones that had slipped your mind as they are overpowered by thoughts of having a fun summertime.

Natural disasters and domestic accidents that mostly happen in warm seasons are just a few of the things you need to consider. The likes of hurricanes, solar heat gain and domestic fire hazards aren’t scenarios that you can just simply ignore. They are pretty troublesome, in one way or another, and if not taken seriously, may ruin the summer you’ve always dreamed of.

The key here is preparation. Natural disasters and domestic accidents may be prevented through pro-active preparation. Think of the worst so you may be able to combat the least favorable ones that could happen.

Hurricanes

As the temperature increases and humidity continues to escalate in intensity, we become more prone to experiencing cruel storms that sometimes lead to hurricanes.

Awareness and well-disseminated communication can save you from a lot of trouble. Always be on the look-out for news. Once the weather starts to express itself in an angered behavior, be more attentive to reliable news sources. Aside from that, you also need to be well-versed mentally and physically of the things needed for disaster prevention. Coordinate with local entities and groups that advocate on such prevention.

Remember that there are three phases of handling this situation: before, during and after a hurricane. It’s your responsibility as a socially conscientious resident of your community to seek the right information on what to do on the said stages. As much as possible, share what you know to others.

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Solar Heat Gain

Solar heat gain is defined as the amplified heat inside your home that is caused by the intense radiation of the sun. While this is the least severe scenario you can experience in your home, it still needs to be addressed.

Too much heat even in a shaded place like your home leaves you with nothing to actually call a legit place for resting. Your body needs a particular time to cool down from the outdoors. Now going home with a temperature that doesn’t essentially help your body to do it may lead to dehydration, and worst, heat stroke.

Aside from using your HVAC system, invest in window coverings that control the heat flow in your home. Install them on windows and doors that are especially located on the east and west part of the house as they are the ones that are directly hit by sunlight. Thick curtains for window treatment are also helpful.

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Fire Hazards

Precautions need to be taken to prevent domestic accidents like fire. Although summer isn’t the time when you use your heaters and light your fireplaces for additional warmth, other sources are still capable of producing flame like cooking.

The U.S. Fire Administration reveals that two-thirds of fire-related incidents begin in the kitchen as a result of home cooking. Other than that, overheating of electrical equipment as the need for HVAC use arises may also trigger home ignition.

Be a precautious homeowner. Keep your property investments safe.

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Useful Summer Lawn Care Pointers

- by to Summer Tips.

At this point in time, you can no longer deny the summer heat. The month of July is the time of the season where the temperature accelerates to its maximum. Aside from taking care of the insulation inside your home and worrying about the possibility of horrifying bills, we guess it is also time to pay attention to your lawn that’s prematurely changing its color even if autumn is still months away. Take it as a sign. July is the time of the year that you must care best for your lawn. After all, it is an essential extension of your home and the lushness of it or the lack of such would definitely affect your house’s over-all appearance.

Do Not Fertilize

It is a major no-no to fertilize your lawn during the summer season. Although the cause is great, the effect might not be that friendly to the grasses subsisting in your yard. The application of fertilizers during a hot season burns the lawn instead of making it lush.

Mow Grasses

Mowing the grasses in your yard seems to be an easy task especially with the assistance of an electric lawn mower; however, it must be done properly. You can have your grasses up to 2 to 2.5 inches all-year round, but you need to elevate the height during summer for at least an additional one inch. Having the advised length of grasses allows them to stay in good condition as grasses with such height are more receptive to heat.

Irrigate Your Lawn

More than ever, you need to water your lawn. Normally, lawns need one inch of water per week, most especially during hotter seasons. The frequency varies depending on the amount of heat that directly hit the area, and soil drainage. As long as it receives enough amount weekly, then your lawn can mostly survive the summer heat. Also, it is advisable to water the grasses in the morning to avoid fungal lawn diseases.

Treat Lawn Diseases

Speaking of diseases, the application of fungicide may be the best thing to do to prevent your lawn from having fungal diseases. Doing it once a month would basically counter the coming of unwanted pests and infections in your grasses.

Necessary House Repairs For The Summer

- by to Summer Tips.

Summer gives you a lot of opportunities to hang out with friends, colleagues and families. The next get-together could be in one of your friends’ beach house, in the family’s favorite mountain resort, in a bar you and your colleagues often visit, or much better, it could be in your own home. You never really know when the group decides to choose your house as the next spot for partying or for relaxing. Or if your home will not be picked this year, at least you are trying to do something to make your house look more warm and friendly. So while they haven’t thought about it yet, prepare the areas in your house where the happenings mostly happen!

Kitchen

The kitchen area does not miss any of the frenzied activities that happen in your home – your pop’s birthday party, live streaming of the NBA Championship, last hurrah for summer, etc. This is where it all starts! This is where you cook your Italian cuisine specialty. This is where the popcorn noisily pops. And this is where wine glasses start to click. Make it convenient for you and your friends or families by installing garden windows in the kitchen. It’ll be cozy and fresh for all of you who will be doing a very busy preparation!

Terrace

Who doesn’t want long and deep conversations with friends and colleagues from dusk to dawn under the blanket of twinkling stars in the night sky?  Well, that’s for small groups. However, your terrace can still cater to a bigger number of guests by extending it to the living room. Just make sure the sliding glass doors are in perfect condition to welcome the guests. Picture windows are also beneficial for those who will occupy the living room. Despite staying inside, they can still have a view of the sparkling and enchanting cityline.

Patio

Your patio is also another relevant extension of your house. When you feel like having a breather, this is the best area for you. Pay attention to the things that need necessary repairs. From the tables to chairs, from doors to floors. Spend time with your colleagues over a cup of tea or coffee – whichever is more tasteful for you.

Health Hazards You Need To Avoid in Summer

- by to Summer Tips.

Let’s take a break! You’ve been counting the days in the calendar for summer and now that it’s here, you cannot waste any more minute. You have got to make the most of the season. Relax and have fun while you still can. Along with this, however, is a reminder from us that you should make your leisure time as safe as possible.

Take this list as a guide to make your vacation a memorable one.

1. Bring water or any drinkable fluid wherever you go. A lot of people get dehydrated in summer because of the many outdoor activities they’re involved in. Especially that the temperature is at its peak, there is a big probability you’ll stop sweating. Heat stroke is a manifestation of dehydration. So please, drink a lot of water.

2. Since you’d be going out all the time, let’s say to the beach, to the park or to the music festival, take care of your skin by applying sun screen that will protect you from UVB and UVA rays. Too much sun exposure will burn your skin, and will give you a risk of having melanoma. It will also be helpful if you wear wide-brimmed hats and shades to protect your face and eyes from the sun. Also, arm sleeves and leg protectors can be of help.

There’s nothing wrong getting a tan, but too much of it can be very dangerous.

3. If you are into picnics, then you must be very particular with your food choice. Because of the ever-increasing temperature, some foods easily develop bacteria that can cause poisoning a few hours after taken out from the fridge. Some of the foods you must be very careful with are dairy products, eggs, meat and others. Be extra careful. You don’t want to spend your summer helplessly lying in the hospital bed, do you?

4. Drink responsibly when going to a beach or a pool. This is pretty much the same why drunk driving is prohibited. A lot of nasty possibilities can happen once your head is afloat. You have to stay collected. If you really want to drink too much, avoid swimming, surfing and boating. Just concentrate emptying the bottle, okay?

Nobody wants to remember summer on a very negative note. You have to put some effort to make it worth reminiscing. Create good and lasting memories this season!

What To Do With Humid Basements

- by to Summer Tips.

Normally, for a typical American family, basements are used as stock rooms for piling up old stuff one cannot manage to let go – old toys, old furniture. The list goes on. In one part of a family’s humble abode is a dark and abandoned basement that is only reached by light when past sentiments are randomly awakened. Mostly forsaken during other seasons, it is in summer that you should pay close attention to your basement more than ever. If those things in your basement continue to be of value to you, listen.

Have you noticed how humid your basement could get during the summer season? This is caused by warm air that mostly produces water vapor. Even though your basement can be comparably cooler than the outdoor temperature, humidity begins when warm air creeps in – more known as condensation. Dampness could also come from water vapor that comes through the walls and floors caused by saturated soil. The humidity that this seasonal change ushers to some areas of your home does not only destroy your basement’s walls and ceilings, but it may also sabotage the things you have long kept and hidden, those things you consider having “sentimental value.”As a result, it can give the room a musty odor. The damage levels come in different degrees, but while nothing’s been ruined yet (fingers crossed), do something to prevent it.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?

When you think it’s hopeless, you’re wrong. Here are some DIY tips that you can do to keep your basement in perfect condition.

Keep windows closed

Thinking that keeping outdoor air inside your basement will contribute something good to the situation in your basement is a myth. It’s summer. Warm air from the outside combined with cool air from the inside results to condensation. The higher the contrast of temperatures, the damper it will be. Keep your basement windows closed at all times. You can also check out for some basement windows that are resistant to UV Light, Water, Frost and. Extreme Temperatures.

Check for water leaks

Before considering the use of humidifiers, which is really expensive, check your basement walls and ceilings first. If you find some, repairs and fixing would be great.

Dehumidifier

Consider this your last option. Although it’s one of the quickest ways to solve your basement dilemma, it cannot be denied that it is the most expensive. When all else fails, you can use a humidifier. It will keep the temperature condition of your basement the way you want it to be since you can easily adjust it. Especially for summer, it is advisable to keep the humidity level at 50%. But then again, if you are using air-conditioners, it will do the job and may take the place of a costly humidifier.

Good luck!