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9 Tips To Maintain Your Portable Generator

With electrical and technological devices dominating life today, having a portable generator is very handy. Even more so during the stormy seasons.

Watch the video below to learn more about portable generator repair:

But even though this equipment is now very accessible and cheap, you wouldn't want to buy a new one every year. Maintaining it properly is key for you to fully utilize your machine and keep you safe from accidents. Here are some tips for the proper maintenance of your portable generator:

#1: Run it at the right place

When running, generators release carbon monoxide (CO). This gas is very dangerous for you and your property. So if you don't want to be poisoned nor burn your house down, better keep the generator running outdoors, with lots of ventilation.

Generators are also very noisy, so if you cannot get a quiet portable generator or install a generator muffler, put some safe distance between your machine and your home.

It is also important to keep your machine dry so either buy a cover or build one yourself to protect it from the rains.

#2: Change the oil

For your new generator, change the oil after 25 hours of running it. This is to ensure it doesn't break down and that the engine's parts are well-lubricated. After the first oil change, you can just change every 100 hours of using it.

It is good to store a lot of oils and filters so you won't run out during the critical moments, especially during prolonged blackouts.

#3: Cool it down before refilling

The portable generator becomes very hot while it is running. The last thing you want is an oil spill on a very hot surface.

Wait for at least 15 minutes after turning off your machine; then you can refill it. That's a very short time without electricity you can sacrifice for your own safety.

#4: Don't backfeed

Electricity usually runs from the power lines into your house's electrical wiring. Backfeeding happens when the electricity flows backwards. This can occur if you inject another power source, say a generator, into your house's wiring.

Backfeed is very dangerous because it may cause injury or even death to the linemen. So don't ever connect your generator to your outlets. Just plug your appliances directly to your machine. Another option is installing a transfer switch. This switches off electric input from power lines and turns on input from your portable generator, and vice-versa.

#5: Store it at the right place

Here are things you need to protect your generator from: dust, dirt, heat, and water. Keeping it away from these elements will ensure it doesn't get damaged while you are not using it.

Put your machine away at a cool and dry place and put a cover over it. Clean it as well by wiping your generator regularly with a cloth. You can also dampen the cloth with warm water for more stubborn stains.

#6: Follow instructions

Before even turning your generator on, read the manual first. Only use fuel and other accessories that are recommended. The wrong types of materials can damage your machine.

Check its wattage and voltage capacities and make sure that it is able to support the appliances that you plug into it. Don't rely on the maximum ratings but on running ones. Max ratings only indicate its temporary output capacity during startup.

#7: Run periodical maintenance

Run your generator every month or at least every three months for at least 30 minutes. Check if there are any leaks, weird noises, or anything out of order.

This practice will help you know if your generator needs any repairs and will make sure the engine parts are lubricated. It is also to ensure that your machine will be running properly when you need it.

Also, if your generator starts on electricity, make sure that the battery is fully charged before you store it.

#8: Keep the old fuel out

If you see that you won't be needing your portable generator for a while, make sure to empty it out of fuel. If you leave it there, it will cause problems with starting your machine.

To drain the fuel, first put fuel stabilizers and let it operate for 15 minutes. After that, wait until it is not hot anymore and then siphon out the fuel or let the generator run until the tank becomes empty.

#9: Let the experts handle the repairs

If there is any needed portable generator repair, don't do it yourself. First call the provider and ask for the expert's help. Bring it to the repair shop if something has to be fixed.

Proper portable generator maintenance not only ensures the longevity of your machine; it prevents any untoward accidents that can happen to you. These simple actions could go a long way in saving you money and saving your life.

For all of your portable generator repair needs in Reno, contact the experts at Greg's Small Engine Repair today.

A Smart Homeowner's Guide To Hiring Domestic Cleaning Services

Everybody has their strong suits and if vacuuming carpets and washing windows isn't yours, that's perfectly fine. Domestic cleaning services are just one call away. These services are recommended for people with demanding careers and parents who have their hands full. They are also ideal for owners of large homes and houses with high windows and hard-to-reach ceilings. Other good reasons to contact a domestic cleaning agency is if you're about to host a social gathering in your home, after having a party in your house, if you want to reduce allergens in your household, and when you're feeling ill and are unable to perform your chores at the moment.

The first thing to consider when hiring domestic cleaning services is that you are letting strangers come into your home. For this reason, make sure that you sign up with an accredited agency like EJS Cleaning Services, with lots of positive reviews from past clients. Theft, damage of property, and accidents sustained by cleaners while working in one's home are the three most serious issues encountered by homeowners. To avoid these, make sure that the company is clear about its insurance policies. Ask the company straight and specific questions such as what will they do if the cleaner uses the wrong type of product on your special furniture.

If you hire the services of a cleaning agency instead of an individual, ask for the same cleaner every single time. This way, less strangers come in and out of your home. Also, you're doing both yourself and the cleaner a favor because he/she is already familiar with the area and with how you want things done. Furthermore, the service is more likely to be consistent. Don't employ individual cleaners unless they've been recommended by people that you trust. Before contracting cleaning agencies, determine how they hire their employees. This includes finding out if they do interviews, background checks, and drug tests.

When it comes to pricing, you should know that most trustworthy cleaning agencies will visit you in your home to provide you with an estimate without charge. Before calling a domestic cleaning service, determine which areas of your home need to be cleaned. You can save up on a lot of money if you skip the full range of services and identify which tasks you can just perform on your own. Other ways to get discounts is by asking if you can be on the agency's on-call list for filling in vacant slots instead of booking a regular schedule. Some agencies even give discounts if you refer them to family and friends. If you're okay with letting your home become a training ground for new cleaners, this is another way to get cheap cleaning services from a high quality agency.



Hiring people to clean your home means that they can be privy to your dirty little secrets so on the first meeting, be sure to establish boundaries such as which rooms are off-limits. Make things easier for yourself and the cleaner by making a to-do list. Professional domestic cleaning companies will have clear policies about client confidentiality but remember that cleaners are people, too. So if you don't want them to be talking about you, then at least make an effort to pick up your undies from the floor. Respect your cleaners by keeping your relationship friendly but professional. If you treat them well, cleaners can make your life a whole lot easier.

Broken Garage Doors: What To Do When Dealing With A Broken Garage Door In The New Home

Its great to move into a new home that has a garage. A handyman can set up a small workshop or even a storage warehouse. But upon closer inspection, it seems the garage door wont open and there are broken bits of it. Its a bit alarming and can actually make the house and its occupants vulnerable to pests such as raccoons and skunks or even break-ins.

The first initiative is to find out what is causing the garage door to malfunction and what can be done.

There are two types of garage doors. The first one is the manual door, which by definition, can be opened by simply using ones hands. The second one is the automatic door, which can be opened by an electric motor or remote controller. Once that is tackled, it is imperative to find out if this was an existing problem or if it just happened at that particular moment.

The most common causes of broken garage doors are often attributed to the hinges and mechanisms. More often than not, a garage doors spring may snap due to the weight of the door its supporting or if its rollers have worn out due to its constant use. Many manufacturers and installers often suggest that owners follow the instructions included in the hinges packaging as most of them have tips and indicators on how to tell whether it is destroyed or not.

Another factor could be because of the door itself. More often than not, homeowners choose materials without taking into consideration its pros and cons. For example, some owners may choose to have a solid hardwood door because it is pleasing to look at. However, solid hardwood is quite heavy and there is no guarantee that it can be fully supported by its hinges, thus making the door quite heavy to lift. The lack of personal maintenance may also be attributed to the doors poor upkeep. Many homeowners forget that the garage door is still a means of entrance to the house and as such, it must be well maintained in order to protect the houses interior and its occupants.

Based on the following facts, its best to take down notes and observe what is causing the garage door to malfunction. Then, when one is sure, contact a certified garage door expert. These professionals have been in the business of garage doors and are good at residential repairs of garage door as well as its maintenance tips. The most important thing is that if one moves to a new home and there is a minor problem, its best to detect it now before it is too late.

Different Types Of Painting Services To Choose From

Painting services used to be simple until new materials and painting techniques came out. The aesthetic sense of people has also improved over the years, making painting no longer a maintenance work but an artistic service as well.

To make things easier for you, the nine common types of painting services are explained below.

1.House Painting

This is a general service rendered for painting jobs in any establishments classified as residential. It is a common practice among businesses to separate residential painting from the rest of their painting services because of the more specific requirements usually asked by clients for commercial painting and other specialty services . 2. Commercial Painting

This is essentially the same as above and other general painting services, only it is intended for businesses. It usually comes with a higher price because of the higher-class paintings used (longer lasting and usually odor-free to allow quick resumption of business operation). Many companies also offer 24-7 and graveyard operation only for business clients.

3. Interior Painting

General interior painting services meant for homes are usually cheaper than exterior painting services because of the cleaner and smoother wall surfaces inside homes that make painting easier. The lower price can also be attributed to the easier set-up inside and the average-class paint used (subject to client requests).

4. Exterior Painting

This one is commonly packaged with interior painting services. However, when offered as a stand-alone service, it can be more expensive due to the common client and operational requirements. For instance, scaffolding is usually set up from for residential establishments with multiple floors. The paints used are usually more expensive as well because of weather-restraints and other elemental factors.

5. Cabinet Refinishing

This is considered one of the specialty painting services because of the technical demands of the job. Usually availed of by high-end clients, it includes color restoration and protective coating of classic old woods and rare wood materials. This is an ideal service for themed and antique houses. It is usually partnered with wood staining.

6. Wall Art Designing

Another specialty painting service, this is normally availed of after an interior painting service. Many companies also specialize on wall art designing alone, so you may have to hire two separate contractors. Services under this type include spray painting, mural art, and graffiti making. 7. Roof Coating

Although commonly offered by roofing companies as a miscellaneous service, many painting companies now offer it as a stand-alone service because of the increasing need for roof coating without the need for repair. Some clients need it for aesthetic purposes, but many people are now becoming more particular with their roofing requirements because of weather changes. Some homeowners associations also require their members to have a specific color for their roofs.

8. Texture Coating

Most companies market it as an art/designing service because of the added depth many texture coats can do to homes. This is the one that you should be availing of if you are looking forward to having stuccowork, special troweled texture coating, and elastomeric painting. New techniques used for texture coating include polymer and resins.

9. Period and Heritage Painting

This is usually the most expensive type of painting service because it requires high technical skills in preserving antique and sensitive home materials, many of which date back before the World Wars. Special paints and protective coatings are also used in this service.

The Main Types Of Home Heating Systems

Over the years a lot of different types of home heating systems have been developed. What is seen in a particular home may be what is trendy in an area or what takes advantage of the fuel the system burns or uses to get heat. Here are a few examples of the main types of home heating systems.



Forced Air Gas and Oil

This is among the most popular type of home heating systems found in North America. They use gas or oil to produce heat and it is then distributed to where it needs to go by means of air being blown throughout the ductwork in a residence.

Hydronic Heating

This is the type of heating that uses a heat source to heat up water or another fluid that then passes through pipes in your floor, walls or other places until it gets to a point where that heat is released. The water or fluid in the system does not make up the source of the heat or its delivery system; it is merely the means with which the heat is conveyed to its destination point. Once the heated water or fluid gets to its final destination it will then be released by what is called a heat emitter such as a radiator or baseboard heaters.This is a type of home heating system that is very popular in Canada and Europe. It is also sometimes referred to as a Boiler System.

Solar Heating

This type of heating is actually a close cousin of hydronic heating except it uses natural heat from the suns rays instead of another combustion type heat source. The heat this system produces is also brought from the source and distributed throughout a residence by means of circulating water. This is one of the least expensive and most environmentally friendly ways to heat a home.

Geothermal Heating

Many people do not realize that there is a lot of heat that naturally occurs in the ground beneath their home; enough to heat an entire home and its hot water as a matter of fact. This method of heat works by circulating water through underground pipes and then back into the home where it then dispersed by heat emitters into individual rooms. This type of heating has a very high initial cost but it costs very little to use after that initial expense and it is very environmentally friendly.

Wood Stoves

Since the beginning of mans existence wood has been used throughout the ages for heat and it makes an excellent low cost heating source for a home. It can be done simply by placing wood in a vented stove or by a more effective means such as placing it in a wood stove that has forced air and ductwork to take the heat that is produced by the system to where it needs to go.

There are a lot of factors that will decide what home heating method a person uses as their choice for home heating systems; it all depends on such things as the cost of the system, the availability of the chosen heat source and what products are available where a person lives. Whatever a persons individual situation they should have no problem choosing from home heating systems that will meet their individual needs.

How A Forced Air Furnace Works

There are a lot of ways to heat a home during the colder months of the year. You can use a fireplace, distribute electric heaters all over the house or use some central means of heat like baseboard heat or a boiler system. But perhaps the best method to use is that of a forced air furnace. There are a lot of advantages to using them for sure. Here are some of the advantages of using a forced air furnace and a little information about how furnace works.



How do They Work?

There are basically two main components that make a forced air furnace work, so to understand how furnace works you will need to know a little bit about both of these.

Heat Component

This is what produces the heat that you want to warm your home. It is usually done using propane, natural gas or oil as the energy source to burn to make the heat. This takes place in what is known as the combustion chamber. Once the combustion is done then it will need the air to pick up the heat and transfer it to the rooms in your home.

Air Component

As was previously mentioned it is air that carries the heat produced by your furnace to where it needs to go in your home. A big fan in the system is what moves the air. In order for the air to move it needs both a source to suck air into the system and a network of ducting throughout your home to get the air to individual rooms.

The air on the intake side actually passes through a filter; this prevents dust, pet dander and other foreign matter from getting into the combustion chamber and causing problems and also tends to make the air in the house a little better to breathe.

The air once sucked into the system goes into the combustion chamber not only to move the heat but it also helps in the combustion process. The fan provides a continual and steady pace of air flow throughout the system.

Of course the actual process is a lot more complicated than this but at least you now have an idea of how furnace works and why.

Benefits of a Forced Air Furnace

Forced air furnaces are the number one type of heating system found in North America and there is a reason for it. They do a great job of filling up rooms completely with heat first of all. They also tend to be more economical to run than electric heat sources. It was already mentioned they help clean the air in your home by filtering the air that passes through them. Forced air heating usually is controlled conveniently from one central location; often times forced air furnace controls are sophisticated enough that they keep the temperature in your home constant and they can be made to let the system come on and off at specific times too.

So now you know how furnace works and why forced air furnaces are so nice to own.

The Four Hvac Controls That Determine A Proper Room Environment

Many residents set their thermostats in their house without even a thought to the overall conditions in a room that need to be controlled to maximize comfort; it is just something that is not talked about or discussed that much. Temperature is just one factor that needs to be controlled but your HVAC controls are capable of determining other considerations in room comfort too. Temperature, humidity, proper ventilation and inside air pressure all combine to make your home environment as comfortable as possible. Lets look at each of these environmental comfort factors and the roles they each play in home comfort.



The 4 Environmental Comfort Factors In Your Home

Here are 4 things that you can adjust in your home by using your HVAC Controls:

1. Temperature this is the most basic and most familiar of all the things that you can control with your central air system. If you are feeling a little chilly you can go over to your HVAC controls and simply raise the temperature a little bit; the heat will then come on and you should feel better as the room warms up.

2. Humidity this is simply the presence of water vapor in the air that surrounds you in your home. It is measured in terms of what is known as relative humidity (RH) and it definitely can affect human comfort levels; you have probably experienced how much it can affect you if you have ever been outside on a day that is described by the weather person as being hot and humid. The air seems thick, heavy and uncomfortable on these types of days. Desirable RH for people is said to be ideal at 25 45% RH in the winter months and below 60% RH in the summer time.

3. Ventilation this is the amount of air flow that moves through a room. It is essential to comfort to ensure that there is not too much CO2 in a room and everyone has enough oxygen. The general rule in a living space is to have 20 Cubic Feet per minute of air flow per occupant.

4. Air Pressure its no secret that air seeks to move form high pressure areas to lower pressure ones from both in and outside your home. Proper HVAC setup tries to maintain a positive air pressure inside the home to help reduce outside air infiltration and make the other 3 comfort factors more stable.

Why do you need to control all 4 of these things?

The answer to that is simple if you take a minute to think about it. For example, you set your thermostat to heat up your room or home to 25 degrees Celsius; that is usually a fairly comfortable temperature but that may not be the case if the humidity in your home is very high. Another example is if your room air pressure is good but the air is not moving through it enough, then you might fatigue from exercise faster or get tired easily doing things that normally wouldnt affect you.

So as you can see, all these 4 environmental comfort factors need to be able to be addressed by both the HVAC system design in your home and also by adjusting the HVAC controls on that system too.

How Your Family And Finances Benefit From An Annual Furnace Checkup

It is an understatement if you say you love winter amidst the frequent shoveling, slippery walkways, and frozen car batteries. Your home become your haven from the harsh elements along with your heated furnace that makes you feel safe and warm.

It is imperative to ensure that your furnace is in excellent condition even before the snow starts falling, or the temperature begins to drop so that you will survive the winter season without a glitch. In reality, an annual furnace checkup from a certified HVAC expert is highly recommended as part of your routine before the cold season sets in.



WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR A CHECKUP?

First and foremost, a yearly checkup is mandatory to ensure that your furnace is working and in excellent condition even though most people will only turn it on once it gets really cold outside. So if you did not make an effort to have your unit checked, you are in for a surprise once you turn it on, and it does not work. It will be a bit uncomfortable in your home without heat as you wait for the arrival of the technician, who also needs to attend to a long line of customers who also require his help and attention.

You can also be assured that it is safe to operate your furnace if it gets its yearly inspection. It is a known fact that some units emit carbon monoxide when its starts to malfunction, and inhaling this dangerous gas is detrimental to your health. You do not want you and your family to suffer once this odorless toxin permeates the duct system in your home. Therefore, scheduling a checkup will ease all your worries and let you enjoy the cold season in relative warmth.

Another advantage of the yearly checkup is to ensure that your unit runs as efficiently as possible. Although there are some homeowners, who risk not having a professional check the condition of their unit because they do not want to shell out money for their visit. However, you can try to look at it in a different light and consider the technicians fee a small investment. Youd be able to lower your utility bills and make sure that your furnace will serve you longer.

WHAT ARE THE AREAS BEING CHECKED DURING A FURNACE CHECKUP?

To compensate for malfunctioning parts, it is unavoidable that the well-functioning parts will feel the extra strain, which speeds the usual wear and tear. This often happens in furnaces that miss the annual inspection. During the inspection, the technician clears and troubleshoots specific parts of the unit to ensure that they run to its fullest capacity such as to:

- Inspect the filters, vents and the heat exchanger.

- Lubricate all the bearings of the blower, as well as the motor, to ensure that it wont break down in the dead of winter.

- Ensure the pilot light works.

- Clean out the dust and debris around the motor, burners, and the interior of the blower compartment.

- Test the thermostat whether they work as programmed.

- Check whether all the safety equipment are workings as designed, like the pilot light, limit controls, and pressure switches.

- Clean the flue and make sure that it opens as it must.

- Inspect other gas appliances like the water heaters, dryers, and stoves.

Many HVAC companies incorporate a yearly unit checkup as part of the furnace purchase. However, even if you have to pay for the annual checkup, it is strongly encouraged that you do it. In the end, your familys safety and comfort are of utmost importance.