How Windows Keep Your Home Cool During the Summer

In the depths of winter, of course, a weeklong heat wave with temps above 80 degrees sounds delicious. When high summer comes around, though, we’re left, sun-stunned, dreaming of those frigid January days, those November windstorms–anything but the tropical swelter we’re just barely enduring. Ah, the joys of weather in the American Heartland…

Some bite the bullet and spring for home air-conditioning to combat the torrid months, but one of your great allies this time of year is rather more fundamental: your windows. Falling into the routine of strategically opening and closing your home’s windows gives you some remarkable finesse in managing the heat inside.

Making Windows Work for You

In a house that’s decently insulated, the basic strategy is this: open your windows in the evening, and keep them open through to morning. You want to close them when the outside temperature’s hotter than the inside, which obviously varies based on weather conditions. Very roughly, you’ll probably be shutting those windows and drawing the blinds by mid- or late morning. Sealing and shading the house during the broil of midday and afternoon preserves to a great extent the cool air drawn inside at night.

It can feel counterintuitive–heck, even a little depressing–to close windows, shutters, and blinds on a blazingly sunny day, but the alternative can be miserable. Even if there’s a breeze blowing–making the air beside a windward open window feel nice and refreshing–you’re welcoming heaps of steamy air in by leaving windows open during the hot stretch of the day. Then again, sometimes you can use a breeze to your advantage, as this Rodale’s Organic Life article explains.

Some people even use indoor and outdoor thermometers to more precisely time the opening and closing of their windows. If nothing else, it’s worth doing for at least a week or two to gauge an empirical mercury reading against your unscientific “feel”: You may find your own subjective sense of the temperature difference substantially off–i.e., it may be several degrees warmer outside than in even when your skin’s registering the opposite, especially if there’s a misleading breeze muddying the picture.

Assessing Your Windows’ Condition

Of course, using this method to stay cool in the summer depends on windows that are in good working order. An off-kilter or degraded window may not do an adequate job sealing out that sultry afternoon heat; furthermore, such a window may not be able to long handle the daily “workout” of opening and closing. Before summer hits in full force, inspect your home and install replacement windows where necessary. This’ll obviously serve you well on the other end of the calendar, too, when it’s downright icy outside.

Be savvy with your windows, and you can keep your house surprisingly cool and comfortable all summer long without the expense of installing air-conditioning–or save money by only using the A/C when a really monstrous heat wave sets in, and otherwise relying on the open-and-shut approach.

How To Have A Quieter Home

hg20Noise pollution can be very annoying and distracting. You really cannot manage to concentrate on anything or even enjoy a good sleep where there is too much noise around you. Machine, lightweight constructions and open floor plans are some of the culprits behind noisy homes. Fortunately, something can be done to soundproof your home so you are able to enjoy some calm and quiet when you need it the most.

Enhance your windows

Double glazed and triple glazed windows are very effective in blocking sound. They have air layers that break passing sound and sound energy is lost. It is best to make considerations when building your house in a noisy area or to make enhancements to already existing windows.

Reduce noisemakers

When choosing your appliances, remember that there are models that have nosy operations and they can limit you from enjoying some quiet around the home. Buy models that are quieter in operation to enjoy a significant noise reduction around the home. Whether you are buying a dishwasher, fans or fridge remember to check noise levels. The appliances should also be in good working order all the time to eliminate vibrations, rattles and buzzing.

Use materials that are sound absorbing

What you need to remember is that softer surfaces absorb sound waves whereas hard surfaces tend to reflect them. You can use the soft materials such as padded carpeting and acoustic ceilings to minimize sound bouncing around your home. Drop ceiling systems and acoustic tiles also have good acoustical properties and they can be considered.

Enhance your doors

Soundproofing doors can get tricky, but you can start by sealing edges that transmit sound. It is also advisable that you install doors that block sound. Solid core doors block sound interference and eliminate the drum-like reflections that hollow core doors have. The doors might be a little costly, but they go a long way in soundproofing your home, especially when you also weather strip them.

Think about the garage door

The garage door is a very important addition to a home. When you select a door with internal foam insulation complete with interior panels, you will manage to minimize sound and noise. This is especially important if you have rooms right above the garage door. It will prevent outside noise from seeping in through the door. You also want to make sure that your door is properly maintained so it does not end up being a noise maker around your home.

Take care of noisy pipes

Pipes can chatter and rattle or even make loud bangs during different situations. One of the easiest ways of silencing the pipes is by using water hammer arrestor. There are however so many other ways of ensuring that the pipes do not make the annoying sounds.

Eliminate floor squeaks

Floor squeaks seem to be worse during the day when there are lots of activities and traffic around the house. You should fix squeaky stairs and floors to achieve a calmer home at any given time, regardless of how much traffic it receives.

Put Down Your Phone

hg19I had gotten to the airport too early for my flight, and as I was sitting at my gate with my coffee in my hand, I realized I was too tired to open my laptop or even look at my phone. This got me thinking; I wondered how many things we miss while we are on our phones. We have all see the video of the woman texting on her phone while she was walking in a mall and she walks directly into a fountain, head first. (If you haven’t seen that video, please do yourself a favor and Google “Texting woman falls into fountain” trust me, you will be glad you did). I also know that everyone is on their phones a majority of the time and a million things have been written about it, but because I was going to be sitting in the airport all day, I decided to experiment. I put away my phone and did some good ole fashion people watching. These are just a few things I observed:

1. A guy spilling coffee all over his shirt. I got to watch this event from start to finish – he fumbled with his phone, coffee, and bags. His coffee decided it would be better off on his shirt, you know, to free up an extra hand.

2. Some creepy guy was talking to an equally creepy girl. Then when the creepy guy wasn’t looking, the girl took a picture of him and texted if off to a friend or the FBI, no one will know for sure.

3. A little girl getting run over by her dad because she stopped dead in her tracks, mid-run, to look up at all the flip flops on the ceiling. (it’s an “art” installation at the Nashville Airport, not just random flip flops thrown up on the ceiling of the airport).

4. A couple in their 80’s walking hand in hand to their gate smiling and talking like they were taking a stroll on a beautiful day in a park. Then they stop right in front of me, the old man leaned over and kissed his wife on the cheek for no reason, and they start walking again.

5. An entire college baseball team wearing their sunglasses on the back of their heads while their gloves were on the top of their heads… yes, the whole team.

6. So. Many. People. Running, no sprinting, to their gate, which was the gate right next to me, only for them to find out their flight was delayed for three and half hours.

7. A 70 something woman who clearly was a participant in the first Woodstock, plop right down on the floor, plug her phone in, put in her headphones and proceed to dance while sitting on the floor like no one was watching, well because no one was.

8. A little girl with light up shoes, fall, take off her shoes, and throw them at her Mom yelling “I can’t walk in these they are making me dizzy!”

9. Famous drummer, Abe Laboriel, Jr., (well I’m 90% sure it was him), walked right past me… and because it’s Nashville, so many musicians, and their instruments.

A five-foot girl with a cello on her back that seemed to be taller than her, running to her gate like she was in a race.

10. Then when I went into the bathroom there, two stalls over, were a pair of three-foot-long flippers and a passport, just laying there on the floor.

Family Reunions the Easy Way

hg18First, think about what you need for a fun, successful family reunion! And then find all the places that you have all those things. And last but not least, find a way to do that all, the easy way.

Years ago, the family reunions, usually, were held at one home and usually it was one person who had the responsibility and the work of the whole reunion. In this article, I offer ways that the work and the planning can be shared amongst a few or many of the family members.

First, consider whether there are young children or babies, and make sure that there are activities or places where these babies and children can fit in and enjoy themselves. Then consider the age and the experiences and health of the other family members. Make note of how people will arrive at the appointed place and make note of who will go with whom, etc.

Once you have all your research done, the last thing to do is to develop the list. And quite possibly, set up a ’round robin’ to cover all bases. The round robin is when one person calls a person on the invite list and then that other person calls another person. This way one person doesn’t have to make all the phone calls. Ask people to respond in writing or by email.

If you are really adventurous or creative, you can set up a free, private website for the family reunion. Name it “family reunion”, and put it on private with a code for everyone who will join in.

For example, if you set up a website at WordPress or at open diary or some other blog site, you can give the code to all the older family members and have them respond right there to the website. All responses will be private and only family members will see the responses. Having all this invite information handy in one spot simplifies things. Or you can just do a group email. However, if you do a group email have the main person, or the one who is planning the whole event, have a brand new separate email account–separate from their regular email account. Everything related to the family reunion goes right there and doesn’t get confused with any of your regular email addresses. This is to ensure that nobody is invited (like strangers etc) who is not supposed to be invited.

Now, of course, no invites are sent out until the place is chosen, and the date and the time, etc.

Now, for ideas, for places, think about this. What about having a family reunion at a festival or at a fair, a local one. Or perhaps having it at a very large state fair or country fair? If you do that, all the minor and almost all the major details of the family reunion are settled (through the fair). So, participants will get to the fair alone, and they can give carpools to those who have no cars. And the food is already handled—at the fair. Since most fairs have an abundance of food, all you have to do is find a central meeting place to enjoy your meals together. Someone can bring the family reunion cake or cupcakes to the fair, in their own car. And if everyone wants it, you can even arrange ahead of time to get t-shirts for all family members. The t-shirts will say’ “SO AND SO FAMILY REUNION”!. Be sure to order extras for those who can not attend the reunion; they might just want a t-shirt. They can wear it to the next reunion!

If you are going to a fair that has more than one day, be sure to put it in the invite the date that the family will be attending the fair.

Now, if the fair is too big an idea for you, you can probably rent out an area in any state park that is near you. One year we rented a building at the Belmont Lake State park. And the building had electricity, tables and a sink. You had the choice to rent the building or just the open air pavilion but we rented the building just in case I t would rain. And outside the building there were more and more picnic tables for our lunches. And yes, there were BBQ tables also. The park was awesome, complete with tables, green grass trees, a beautiful lake with swan boats! Your local park probably has similar things for your family reunion.

Good Freedom Reasons to Downsize Why Not Small House Living

hg17Living in a larger home has been a challenge. Downsizing into small house living, on the other hand, has been a blessing for the family, not so much cleaning, less expenses, less utilities and more sharing with one another. Want to live big? Move into a tiny house, shipping container, an RV, small apartment or studio for more fun and less financial stress. Remember when all the average family wanted was a larger home and more space for entertaining? Why not entertain using the outdoors?

However, during a point in time, I recall longing for a much smaller home and work less at it. Arriving home after work and feeling I had arrived at my kingdom was priceless. The larger the home, the bigger the bills! And the weekends were for cleaning, grocery shopping and patio maintenance. It usually was a run-run-run deal, and then all of a sudden it was Monday again and all tired to start working again. It was a vicious cycle for many years, while looking forward to the next weekend in order to rest, but it never happened. Not every family lives this way, but many fall into this routine easily.

There are much desired advantages that are achieved when you downsize. Just think about the less effort, time and money on keeping up with the lifestyle. Another one is that just the necessary things are kept in order to avoid clutter for a much simpler daily life. People will own what they need and have what they want. They will find it easier to live day by day because they are no longer complicated.

Downsizing will allow them to use smartly the available space, there will be one spot for eating and having family togetherness. Without a doubt, there will be more time for yourself. They will enjoy traveling with less worries. And what about not having to pay a 30 year mortgage, while another obvious advantage would be to save more money for the future and well deserved vacations. Mostly the things you never get to do unless you take out a loan and oops, you’re tied up again to another debt.

Freedom we scream! When we were teenagers, we couldn’t wait to grow up to be on our own, but then we found out there really wasn’t any freedom because we are sucked into the things that life swallows us into slowly.

So why not think ahead, plan ahead, dream ahead? Pay off your bills by daring to take upon that freedom and downsize to live the real lifestyle you were longing for. Set a goal date and start the process. It is possible, search for the options available in tiny houses, shipping container homes, recreational vehicles, small apartments or studios. Live big in a tiny home and plan your own wellbeing for the future. Have more fun, live more, live healthy physically, emotionally and financially.

5 Chores That Your Mom Still Does for You

hg16Needless to say, some of you already have an infinite list of chores in your minds that call for a big Thank You to your mother, for being the all-rounder that she is. Mothers are a blessing, especially if you are a lazy child who has been mollycoddled since day one and the heavy reliance has won you the award of the biggest procrastinator. While there is most of the giving from her side, the taking part is virtually very less. While growing up expects you to be responsible and reduce a certain amount of burden off her shoulders, pay attention as I list out a certain chores that need to get out of her doing. Or a much better option, have someone else to do it for you.

1. CLEANING UP YOUR ROOM

Pulling off all nighters just to watch that addictive TV series resulting to no or little sleep followed by a frantic wakeup call everyday might be your excuse of leaving your bed messy, but this definitely needs to be taken into thought. She is your mother, not your maid. And it’s high time that you stop treating her like one.

2. SHOP FOR YOU

Getting yelled by her because of wearing that old tee repeatedly for days, our moms become our personal stylists and shop for us because we’d rather prefer lazing around in those pyjamas than go buy new clothes.

3. DOING YOUR LAUNDRY

Witnessing youngsters changing clothes more than twice a day and then dumping them into dirty laundry is a usual scenario. We are not even slightly aware of the increased workload, because of ‘Hey, it’ll be all fresh and scented naturally’ attitude. Also, there are various online applications providing you with laundry services at reasonable prices, just in case you want to take the credit for washing your own clothes.

4. WASHING YOUR DISHES

Youngsters in present day have the most bizarre eating schedules and someone who suffers from this the most are the moms. So, the next time when you wake up to those stainless dishes all set to use, take out a moment to be grateful to her.

5. We all know THE CHAIR!

100% agreeable, we have that chair where we stack up all our dirty clothes and the pile just keeps on getting bigger every day, when to your surprise comes a day when it’s empty and it’s a tidy day with everything folded up in the cupboard. Rushing to her when you can’t locate something is like a ritual for all of us.

That’s not enough, I can list out a countless chores that she needs to stop performing to put you out of that comforting pampering zone. It may seem bothersome to do chores in between your so-called-busy schedules but technology has now reached its peak where a lot of applications are designed to help you in every way to run from these chores.

Investing In Utilities For Your House

hg14As a homeowner, you have the task of making sure your house is outfitted with the utilities and fixtures it needs to function well. Even so, you may not have a lot of money to put toward this obligation. When you want to make sure your family has the utilities they need to do laundry, shower, cook, and other basic functions, you might investigate your options for tanks that can be installed immediately outside your home. You could find a model that suits your purposes and also fits your budget when you do your research online.

Checking Out Sizes

The size of the tanks that you consider may reflect the number of people who live in your household. If you have a lot of people living there, you might need a model that can provide gallons each day for tasks like cooking, bathing, and cleaning. Likewise, your yard may only have so much space available for this fixture’s installation.

By shopping on the Internet, you might come across models that are round, oval, and square. You could choose a size that will fit in the yard without it taking up too much space. These fixtures also come in an assortment of colors if that element is critical to your decision.

Along with determining the capacity that yours can hold, you may examine the height and width of your choice of models. Some are longer and wider than others. You might also check local regulations to determine if your own choice will be required to fit into local zoning laws for such outside additions.

Financial Aspects

You may wonder why people in your position shop on the Internet for such fixtures. As you may find when you look at the company’s website, the models for sale are listed at prices that are on par with or below those prices found in local stores. Pricing can be a consideration that convince people to investigate their choices online.

If you are operating on a tight budget for these tanks, you might not have a lot of money to put toward one that must be dug into the dirt and rock. You may lack the money for excavating the property for its installation. This option may fit better within the budget and constraints that you are experiencing for this necessity for your home.

Installation for one of these tanks typically takes less time and money. People who choose one for their homes may be able to get back on with their lives sooner and have more cash in their budgets left over for other necessities. You are invited to explore the models and price listings online before you buy one for your family.

Staircase Enhancements And New Features

hg15Staircases are a central point for any two-story home or business. In fact, they serve as access routes to and from the upstairs rooms. With this in mind, there are some property owners that choose to enhance or even replace the structures that offer support to railings. These are known as balustrade, which are repeating posts that offer both support and design to upper railings.

According to home improvement agencies, there are some clients that prefer innovative and cutting-edge support columns. Most of these are made of the finest wood, stone, or even metal. However, these additions tend to be pricey in nature and should always be researched before installation.

Several home and business owners have also stayed with their current support columns. These are the components that were installed when the brick and mortal establishments were built. Keep in mind that when a builder in designing a home, he or she will try to effectively match each component across the board. This establishes uniformity and consistency in design, while showcasing the allure and essence of the decor at hand.

If you are one of countless customers that want something different, there are plenty of options available. As suggested by interior designers, customers should visit local stair railing and home improvement shops. This is simply the best way to review these columns, posts, and even banisters in person. They can also discuss their goals with flooring and stairway design experts and customer service personnel.

If pressed for time, checking the Web is a great way to access a range of ideas. From traditional wood and washed stone to metallic designs, there are several ideas available to enhance the look of your staircase. Home or business owners, however, should discuss their goals with interior designers before agreeing on any component or brand. This is an informed way to ensure your investment meets budgeting and other personal needs.

Comparing brands and accessories is also advised when revamping stairways. While it is not too hard to remove existing columns, replacements have to be sized accordingly. For example: a smaller stairway will require smaller and possibly custom fitted columns. The same can also be said for larger units, however, they are already designed to facilitate any new additions or components.

Business owners also need to take into account security and safety. Just like escalators in buildings, balustrade additions must meet all building requirements and safety codes. To prevent future security audits, it is recommended to speak to the builders about adding on new or stylish components. They will work with you to determine which components or accessories best meet your needs, while falling into the acceptable safety categories.

Would You Do Small House Living in Any of These Tiny Houses or Houseboats

hg13So far, for small house living, we have looked at pre-fab buildings that can be used as tiny houses, recreational vehicles, small apartments, park models and houseboats, however, still pending to see shipping containers. The process takes time, since many places must be visited in person or online in order to get a reality feel of the interiors and updated information for what we really need and want.

Many have very similar interiors, however, it would be a good time to take the next step depending on what kind of circumstances drive you towards making the final decision. The narrow tiny houses and the RVs are very similar in interior layout designs. On the other hand, small apartments and Park Models are wider, offering similar layouts between them. What about doing small house living in houseboats? Have you entertained the thought of looking into houseboats and the pros and cons for them?

All layouts depend on the square footage, the more space, the more conveniently comfortable. Yet, the range of pricing is also very similar. Online websites offer a lot of information regarding pricing and square footage in order to do a comparison for what you’re considering.

Therefore, take the time to look at every single option having the budget in mind. We are still pending to look more information regarding shipping containers. However, think that this would be the last of options for us as it involves finding a land or lot that holds the weight of a container.

As for houseboats, what a temptation for this option. Go online and do some research and you will find another kind of tiny house inside, but with the advantage of enjoying a waterfront view, decks, and many places where you can relocate your houseboat to due to the numerous water bodies in the United States. Sounds like living in an eternal vacation. Is it dangerous when the weather is bad? And what about insurance cost for a houseboat?

Given that the money is available and you get to do whatever you want, what would you really like to do? Just think about it. Someone once said “if you haven’t done everything you wanted to do before the age of 50, then do it.” I myself would like mainly two options for my small house living. A tiny log cabin or a houseboat, either with at least 300 – 400 square feet. Why the square footage? Well, we’ve been inside less and if you are in that small interior 24/7, then it would seem to claustrophobic for me and on the other hand, larger would then fall into a small apartment and not a tiny house.

Chores You Should Ask A Man To Do For A Change

hg12Many women would worship their better halves if they offer to help them out around the house, but getting men to do household chores continues to remain a dream of many. Important observation; wives spend more time on housework even if both the partners are working where we know for a fact that women were taught how to do household chores by their mothers since forever, and men, raised by those same mothers slack off all they want and don’t even bother to contribute. Let me ask you, how many home cleaning product commercials show men doing the cleaning? You can’t recall because there are none.

Keep reading as I list out some tasks that a woman should ask her man to do for a change.

· Try to get him to do the dishes once in a while to set an example for the daughters of the house because seeing their dad being an idle jerk who lets mom do all the work makes them think that they are bound for the same daily grinding.

· Men should do half of the household work, because when it comes to laundry or cleaning, hardly any of them participate. Given the facts on how unequal the breakdown is, it strikes as really odd because fair is fair! And please, spare me with the lines about how women prefer a cleaner house or are better at ironing than men, come on, enough of that sexist nonsense.

· Ask him to do ‘man chores’ because it’s much easier to motivate someone to do what they like. So, if your husband likes cooking more than cleaning up, ask him if he would like to cook more meals during the week. While it may seem unjust that he gets to choose to do what he likes but consider that it’s better than the alternative – doing everything yourself!

Taking care of the kids: Chores are meant to be shared. So if you are busy in the kitchen and your children are making a ruckus, take them and soothe them. If he still continues to surf those sports channels that comes along with a shout, you two have a lot things to discuss about.