Tag Archives: DIY

Insulate Your Windows and Cut Your Heating Costs Down!

DHREA 24/09/2018

bubblewrap

 

Winter is coming, and so are cold drafts and high energy bills. One area that often goes overlooked in preparation for autumn/winter is making sure your windows and doors aren’t leaking in cold air.

If your leaking problem is from loose fitting window sashes or a poor fitting door, the simplest and cheapest method would be to purchase some self-adhesive foam weather stripping. This rolled product can be easily installed at the bottom of a window or around the outside edge of the door frame. Select the smallest size that will help seal the gaps, then just peel and stick. Too large and you may have difficulty closing the door etc.

Another good window treatment is the clear plastic window film that mounts to the frame of the window. Use a hair dryer to “stretch” the film, thus sealing any air leaking in around the sides or through poorly glazed panes.

Get a window insulator kit. It is made of a clear, plastic material that goes over the window, with double-sided tape around the edges to seal it. It’s easy to set up and helps a lot with drafty windows.

If you can actually see the gaps in the windows, a can of “Great Stuff” or something similar would probably do the trick. It’s an expanding foam that you spray into gaps.

Or you could use a squeeze tube of “DAP Silicon II” and run a bead of it around the window. This is perfect if you either don’t have a caulking gun, or don’t want to buy one. Instead, you can use a “squeeze it yourself” tube of Silicon II.

As for doors, a great short term fix is just rolling up an old bath towel and put it along the bottom of the door as a draft blocker! Old school? Absolutely. But, amazingly effective and inexpensive.

 

 

 

We have an announcement regarding October’s Workshop coming VERY SOON! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Workshop group on MeetUp.com today for the latest updates, and the chance to network with over 500 other real estate professionals!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
527 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

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Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

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Temps are on the rise again! Ensure your AC Unit is working properly!

DHREA 27/08/2018

 

 

 

Air conditioner repair can be very expensive when you have to call in a professional. Of course there are times when a costly repair is unavoidable, but you can troubleshoot your system first, before calling in a professional. Many times your problem is something you can easily fix. 

It’s often the case that your unit is not working for the simplest of reasons. In can be frustrating to pay out a hundred dollars or more just to have a technician come out and flip a breaker back on. There are some quick and easy checks you can perform yourself before you call for help from an air conditioner repair company. These checks often help you save a lot of money too.

Here are a few things you can try if your air conditioner unit is in need of repair, not running at all or maybe just blowing less than cool air:

1.  CHECK YOUR BREAKER

If the unit won’t come on at all your breaker could have tripped. If you have several appliances, lights and other things on the same breaker often it will trip and the air conditioner will not operate. This is a quick check that can save you money, frustration, and even embarrassment.

2.  CHECK THE THERMOSTAT

This is another part of the system that can cause you dollars and distress. If the unit is battery operated it may just need new batteries. Make sure you have the thermostat set for a temperature below the room temperature. Insure that the unit is not turned off or set to just have the fan blow. Settings can get inadvertently changed. 

3.  DON’T FORGET THE FILTER

Many air conditioner repairs can be avoided by consistently changing your filter. If your filter is dirty and clogged, it can cause many issues with your unit. Lack of air flow can cause a lack of cooling efficiency with the system. In some cases a clogged filter can lead to your system icing up. Filters should be checked often and changed on a regular basis.

4.  MELT AWAY ICE

If your unit is iced up it will not cool properly. Melting the ice is a simple procedure. You can turn the system to off and run just the fan to help melt the ice quickly. Or you can just turn off the unit and let the ice melt on its own.

5.  CLEAN IT ONCE IN AWHILE!

Often the system may just be dirty. Instead of an actual air conditioner repair, the unit may just need to be cleaned. On the outside unit you can carefully clean the fan blades and remove any debris from inside or near the unit. The condenser fins can be cleaned also. Be very careful when fooling with blades and fins as they are easy to bend and break. Also, make sure the unit is off when you clean it.

6.  EXAMINE DUCTS

If you feel comfortable climbing into your attic, check out your ducts to make sure air is coming out of them. In the event they are dirty enough to block air flow they will surely need to be cleaned. Often a register may have been accidentally closed partly or even all the way. A cursory check will show if air is flowing through the ducts.

 

(The steps above are some things you should try if your AC unit is on the blink. These can save you a lot of money before you call in a professional air conditioner repair company. Of course, some things dealing with air conditioner repair can only be handled by a competent and professional service company. Things like adding freon and electrical repairs have to be done by specialists!)

 

Alex Deacon’s September Workshop is going to be LIT! (We promise to never use that phrase again. 😉 )

RSVP at the box below, and connect with 500 other Real Estate Professionals!

Zero Money Down is not Impossible

Saturday, Sep 8, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

25 Members Attending

I know it sounds too easy to be true and I often preach that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. In this case I am confident saying that this can be done regardless if you have been in the business as long as I or if you are new to the business of Real Estate Investing. I am going to show you the step by step process to start your…

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MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

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DHRE DIY CORNER: It’s Never Too Early To Prepare For Fall

DHREA 20/08/2018

Japanese Maple Leaves

 

With spring cleaning far behind, and summer fun all but over, it’s time to start fall home maintenance and prepare for the autumn wind.  Fall is the perfect time to perform important maintenance to your home so you’re not caught in the middle of winter with a drafty house or a malfunctioning heater. Here’s some tips to help your home stay warm and comfortable into winter.

 

1. Chimney and Fireplace

Chimneys and fireplaces cause some of the most expensive damage to homes. Build-up from creosote can easily ignite, causing a devastating fire. If you are unfamiliar with inspecting a chimney, it may be worth calling in a chimney sweep, which is usually quite affordable. Make sure to leave your flu closed when not in use, and always have a fireplace screen in front of open flames to protect your home from wayward sparks.

2. Windows

Windows may be a continual source of frustration for homeowners. There are many seal repair kits available at local hardware stores. Walk around the interior windows, placing your hand near the seal. Check for any breezes flowing through. Do the same process for doors. When you find one, mark it with a sticker or other indicator so you can tally how many repair kits you need. If a window is improperly sized, cracked, or broken, it needs to be replaced.For doors, you can purchase draft preventers and other seal kits to improve the seal. Every 1/8 of an inch can lower a room a whole degree, so it can really pay off to have updated, well-sealed doors and windows.

3. Smoke Detectors, Fire Extinguishers, and First Aid Kits

Every six months, replace batteries in all the detectors in your home. Check the expiration dates on your first aid kit and fire extinguisher, and that each is up to date and in a convenient place. If you don’t have a fire escape route, this is a good time to draft one. (I know, I know…but it’s better to be safe than sorry. 🙂 )

4. Indoor Pipes

Winterizing pipes is one of the easiest, most valuable ways to protect your home over the winter. Most home repair stores carry fitted insulation that can easily wrap around any size pipe. If you can’t afford to do every pipe in your home, give priority to the pipes that are closest to the outdoors, or most likely to freeze. It’s also a good idea to shut off water to any area that won’t be used, and to check pipes for leaks or cracks that may grow larger with the varying temperatures of fall.

5. Yard Maintenance

Fall leaves may be beautiful, but these can slowly rot, causing huge backup and damage in gutters. This backup will cause water to spill over the gutter and into your yard and walking areas, which can cause damage to your home and make walking conditions dangerous. Disconnect all garden hoses, and store them coiled and flat in a cool, dry place. If possible, turn of water to all outside faucets and drain them to protect the outside pipes from damage. Also, store any outdoor furniture that may become damaged from snow or ice.

6. Roof Inspection

A roof inspection may seem overkill, but harsh winter winds and heavy snow can take a toll on your home. It may be a good idea go up to your rooftop to check for any broken tiles or cracks. It’s important to take care of any damage now to avoid repairs during the cold winter months.

7. Stock Up on Winter Supplies for Your Home

Before prices on winter gear soars, stock up on winter items such as snow shovels, firewood, or sidewalk salt. It’s better to have the supplies now than to have to run to the store during a snowstorm!These fall home maintenance tips are quick, easy, and affordable. It might be a good idea to brush up on home repair insurance coverage as you’re making improvements and renovations. As the adage says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…especially when it comes to home repairs.

 

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Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
489 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

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Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

 

 

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DHRE Home Blog: The Benefits of Using Essential Oils

DHREA 30/07/2018

essential oils

 

Essential oils are a product made by the distillation of natural material, usually by water or steam. The resulting all natural oils are highly aromatic, and can be used for a number of holistic reasons from health and skin care to aromatherapy. Essential oils can also be used for healthy home do it yourself projects. These projects can range from simply getting your home to smell nice, all the way to pest control.

Here are a few do it yourself healthy home tips and tricks you can do with Essential Oils.

AIR FILTERS

While doing your monthly air filter replacement in your home, put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on the air filter before you install it. Put a drop in each corner, as well as a couple in the center of the filter. This will keep your home smelling great for a month when you change your air filters again.

FRESHEN WHILE YOU VACUUM 

Depending on the type of vacuum you have this can be done two ways. The first way is if your vacuum uses the disposable paper bags. If so just add a few drops to the bag before you install it. If you have a reusable bag or a bagless vacuum simply put the drops on a cotton ball and place the cotton ball inside the bag or canister. Then every time you vacuum you will leave behind a fresh scent.

LINEN SPRAY

Get a spray bottle and fill it with 1.5 cups of water. Then add 3 ounces of vodka and about 30-35 drops of your favorite scented essential oil. Lavender is a popular choice for this spray. Shake the bottle up to mix the ingredients and spray your linens to give them a pleasant aroma.

GET RID OF SHOE ODOR

This is possibly the easiest trick you can do. Put a few drops of some great smelling essential oils on cotton balls and leave them in your shoes overnight. The next morning your shoes should be smelling good as new. Just make sure to put your shoes out of the reach of any pets you have when you do this.

KEEP YOUR BBQ BUG FREE

No one enjoys a BBQ with a bunch of mosquitoes and flies buzzing around. To keep these annoying bugs at bay drip a few drops of citronella oil on the coals of your BBQ and on any candles you have out.

AMAZING SMELLING LAUNDRY

To get your laundry smelling fantastic put a couple drops of an essential oil like lavender or your own favorite blend on a dryer sheet. Put the dryer sheet in with your laundry and turn the dryer on. Your laundry should come out smelling even better then usual.

HOMEMADE AIR FRESHENER

Rather than using those store bought aerosol sprays that are full of dangerous chemicals you can make your own air freshening spray with essential oils. Get a spray bottle and fill it up with no more than a cup of distilled water. Then choose three of your favorite essential oils that go well together. Put eight drops of each oil in the spray bottle. Shake well. Now you have a healthy, homemade air freshening spray.

HOMEMADE PEST REPELLENT

If you have pests like mice, spiders and ants in your home this is an easy trick to get rid of them. Put a few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball. Then, put the cotton balls in the problem areas of your home. Most of these pests detest the smell of peppermint so this should drive them out of your home.

EASY SIMMER POTS

Want to freshen up your entire house quick and easy? Fill a pan with water and bring it to a boil. Once it begins to boil set it to simmer and add drops of your favorite smelling essential oil. This will have your home smelling great in no time. Just remember to keep putting water and drops in the pan as they evaporate into the air.

Alex Deacon’s August Real Estate Investing Workshop has been announced! Click below for details!

Detailed Game plan from A-Z for your next Buy and Hold

Saturday, Aug 11, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

1 Members Attending

This is a great session for those who want to buy and hold. This will give you an idea of realistic expectations that you can count on for your current and your future investments. We will look at some of my current and past buy and hold properties and take a close look to see what mistakes and successes I had made and lets learn from those and com…

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Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

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Inexpensive Kitchen Renovations With Huge Impact!

DHREA 06/07/2018

Fridge

Upgrades to a kitchen can make any house or property feel more cozy or posh (yes, I went there), while greatly improving the value. The biggest misconception is these improvements come with a hefty price tag. With a little hard work and elbow grease, a kitchen can be renovated beautifully without breaking the bank. Check out some popular ideas below!

Paint The Fridge
Oftentimes, the most obvious of solutions go right over our heads. Repainting the refrigerator can modernize any kitchen, pull color-schemes together, and really make your kitchen pop. In fact, most appliances can be repainted. Just make sure to ensure you’re using the correct paint, as you’ll be looking for specialized appliance paint! There’s also a fun factor involved. If you have kids, imagine turning your refrigerator into a giant chalkboard! Find out how HERE!

Refinish Kitchen Cabinets
This means either sanding them down and re-staining them, or just painting them in a semigloss or glossy latex paint. For a bold change, ditch the white and try a pale blue, coral red, or even glossy black for a modern look. All you need is sandpaper, paint, and equal parts elbow grease and patience!

Buy Under Cabinet Lighting
As you can see, lighting can really make or break a kitchen. Consider lighting you can attach under the cabinets. Department stores are now selling inexpensive under cabinet lighting that utilizes wall outlets, and in most places, you can find energy efficient LEDs. Again, a very affordable way to modernize your kitchen.

Add A Kitchen Lamp
For a cost far less than permanent track lighting, add a flea market find. A pop-bright colored table lamp, a hanging kitchen chandelier, etc. You’d be amazed how this simple addition can change the whole look and vibe of the entire room while giving another personal touch to your kitchen.

Replace The Countertop/Sink
Not all countertops are made or cost the same, but there are affordable options if you are willing to put in a little work. It should be noted that replacing a countertop isn’t likely to add value to your house other than pleasing aesthetics, but we all enjoy customization, don’t we? These days, you can find a quality stainless steel or acrylic sink for around $100!

Remember…home renovations are not for everybody! Please use caution and avoid projects you are uncomfortable with!

 

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Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
463 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

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MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

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Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

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DHRE DIY Corner: Control Pesky Fruit Flies

DHREA 02/07/2018

FruitFlies

Vinegar attracts flies so it is a great way of luring them in and away from the rest of the house. To make a vinegar trap all you need is a some apple cider vinegar or malt vinegar, a glass, a plastic bag and a rubber band.

Pour a small amount (an inch or so) of apple cider vinegar into the glass. The cider vinegar has a nice, fruity aroma that fruit flies simply cannot resist. Using the scissors, snip the corner off the plastic baggie. This should created a hole just large enough for fruit flies to pass through, but not so large that it will be easy for them to escape.

Place the baggie over the glass, and position the hole you’ve cut over the center. Push the snipped corner down into the glass so the baggie forms a funnel in the glass, but doesn’t touch the vinegar. Use the rubber band to secure the baggie to the glass.

Place your vinegar trap in the area where you see the most fruit flies – near your garbage, produce bins, or compost container. If you have a heavy fruit fly infestation, you might want to make several vinegar traps, and place them around your kitchen and in other rooms where fruit flies are present.

Fruit flies will fly into the glass, pass through the hole in the baggie, and become trapped in the glass. Within a few days, you should notice an accumulation of dead fruit flies floating in the vinegar. Empty the trap as needed, and refill it with fresh apple cider vinegar. A few well-placed vinegar traps, along with good housekeeping practices to discourage fruit flies, should get your infestation under control quickly!

 

 

JOIN ALEX DEACON’S REAL ESTATE INVESTING GROUP ON MEETUP!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
461 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

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MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

 

 

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DHRE #DIY Tips: Effective Cleaners You Already Own!

DHREA 28/06/2018

We’re all trying to save a couple dollars wherever and whenever we can, and DIY solutions are always great money savers. What you may not know is you probably already have great alternatives to expensive cleaners hidden in plain sight. Here’s a list of alternative uses for household products you’re likely to already have in your home, and how they can be used to make everything from clothes to appliances look brand new.

WHITE VINEGAR

All-purpose cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water (distilled is best), increasing the amount of vinegar for tougher jobs. Spray it anywhere that could use a good cleaning, but do not use this on marble surfaces.
Deodorizing your dishwasher: Add 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your dishwasher. The vinegar smell will dissipate, freshening dishes in the process.
Garbage disposal cleaner: Freeze white vinegar in an ice cube tray and then run the cubes through the garbage disposal to deodorize and clean drains.
Clean your showerhead: Unscrew your showerhead, then place it in a plastic zip baggie filled with ½ to 1 cup of warm white vinegar. Let it sit for about 1 hour to remove mineral buildup. For showerheads that cannot be removed, secure the baggie onto the showerhead using a rubber band.

CITRUS

Soap scum and rust remover: Eliminate soap scum and rust from your shower by rubbing surfaces with the cut surface of a halved lemon. Let that sit for about a minute, and then use a scouring pad to finish the job.
Scented all-purpose cleaner:  Add enough citrus peels to fill 1/2 of a large mason jar. Pour white vinegar over the top to fill the jar, and then place the lidded jar in a cool, dark place to infuse for at least two weeks. Strain the solution, pour it into a spray bottle, and use it as you would an all-purpose cleaner.
Fabric whitener:  Add 1 cup of undiluted lemon juice to your laundry to whiten and brighten clothing.
Microwave cleaner:  Add a few tablespoons of lemon juice to 1 cup of water in a microwavable bowl, then heat the mixture to boiling in the microwave. Let the steam penetrate the baked-on grime for around ten minutes before opening the door and giving the interior a good wipe.

BAKING SODA

Clear clogged drains: Toss a little baking soda down a clogged drain, chasing it with double the amount of white vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes, then follow the fizzing mixture with boiling water.
Oven cleaner: Coat the surface of your oven in a paste of baking soda and water, avoiding the heating elements. Allow it to sit overnight and then use a damp rag and a silicone spatula to remove as much paste as possible. Finish the task by spraying down the oven top with vinegar, then wiping with a rag once more.
Hairbrush/comb cleaner: Coat hairbrushes and combs in a paste of baking soda and water to remove product buildup.

BORAX

Insect deterrent: Keep creepy-crawlies at bay by mixing equal parts borax and sugar and strategically sprinkling it around the house. The boric acid in borax is poisonous to many insects, and it’s also said to be an effective rodent deterrent.
Outdoor furniture cleaner: Prep your patio furniture for the season by spraying it down with a solution of 1 teaspoon of dish detergent, 1 teaspoon of borax, and 1 quart of warm water. Wipe and rinse.
Pots and pans cleaner: Sprinkle borax onto a damp sponge, then use it to remove grease and baked-on messes from cookware.

SALT

Remove water stains from wood: Did someone forget to use a coaster? Remove water rings using a paste of salt and veggie oil. Let it sit for around an hour before buffing away with a rag.
Cast-iron cookware cleaner: Clean your cast-iron cookware without affecting its seasoning by heating a bit of oil in the pot or pan, sprinkling in ¼ cup of salt, then using the paste to scrub away baked-on food. Remove the paste from the pot or pan using a paper towel.
Clean copper, pewter, and solid brass: Slice a lemon in half and sprinkle the cut surface with salt. Rub the lemon all over the metal being cleaned before rinsing thoroughly with water.

 

Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Group Today! We’re gaining on 500 members pretty quick!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
459 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

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Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

 

 

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Passively Cool Down With “Passive Cooling”

DHREA 27/06/2018

Summer

 

This summer has been a Scorcher so far, and we’re not talking about a Tugg Speedman blockbuster sequel. We all love the summer months, but we all despise paying higher energy bills. We tend to rely heavily on our air conditioning units during the hot and humid days of summer, rather than looking for alternatives that can keep us just as comfortable. As much as we love our air conditioners, no one really wants to keep their windows closed all summer, do we?

Enter “passive cooling“.

Passive cooling is a building design approach that focuses on heat gain control and heat dissipation in a building in order to improve the indoor thermal comfort with low or nil energy consumption. In layman’s terms, passive cooling helps to minimize energy usage while staying nice and cool.

According to Rocky Mountain Institute, passive cooling measures can reduce energy bills by up to 40 percent. In addition to natural ventilation, the most effective cooling strategies, in order of increasing cost, are:

Minimization of indoor heat generation: Using energy-efficient light bulbs, reducing hot water use, using smaller and more efficient appliances and scheduling heat-producing tasks (such as clothes drying) for cooler hours of the day.

Weatherization: Caulking, sealing and weatherstripping all building envelope seams, cracks and openings reduces heating and cooling energy requirements.

Insulation: Insulating your home or installing heat-reflecting foil reduces heat conduction into your living space.

Window shading and glazing: Solar radiation passing through windows can contribute 20 percent to heat gain in hot, humid climates. Window shading devices and glazing technology minimize heat gain while transmitting daylight, which reduces electrical lighting needs.

Roof whitening and attic ventilation: These are two effective measures to reduce heat gain by either reflecting heat away from the roof or flushing heat out through the attic.

Trees and landscaping: Planting broad, leafy shade trees that block the sun will reduce the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the house

Passive cooling is just one way to reduce your energy bills in the summer time. You can find another great article from hometips.com to help keep your home cool and keep those bills down…HERE!

(Editor’s Note: These are merely suggestions. Be cautious as home improvement is not for everyone. Results may vary.)

 

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Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
459 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

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Build Your Own AC Unit! (Well, sort of…)

DHREA 13/06/2018

 

We owe a lot to the humble air conditioner. Like most inventions, the idea came from a very real need: relief from extreme temperatures. The quest for cooler air has a venerable history. In ancient Egypt, people hung reeds in windows after dipping them in water; the water evaporated, cooling the air that blew through the window. Over time, innovators in China, England, and the United States transformed this cool idea into our familiar American household staple. But for all their virtues, modern in-window air conditioners are not perfect machines. For one thing, they cost a small fortune to run. But with a fan and Debbie Williams genius DIY, you can get all the benefits of a window AC for far less than a store-bought unit by using that same age-old concept: chilled water or ice.

Besides an old fan and instructions, you’ll need to round up a utility knife, a five-gallon bucket (with lid), Styrofoam lining, 12 inches of PVC pipe, a hole saw or Forstner bit—and a gallon jug of water to freeze for later.

First, place the fan upside down on the lid (so the airflow will be directed into the bucket), trace the outline of the fan on the lid, and cut it out with a utility knife. If necessary, saw off the fan’s stand or support, then fit your fan securely in the hole.

Next, use the Forstner bit to drill three large holes through the bucket’s side, just wide enough for the PVC pipes you have on hand. Remove the lid in order to line the inside of the bucket with Styrofoam, then repeat with the drill so that the holes go through the lining too.

Saw your PVC pipe into three pieces, each three to four inches long, and slide a section snugly into each hole. The unit works for about six hours at a time, but a tighter seal can extend that span by keeping the ice in the bucket cooler.

Finally, place the frozen jug of water into your bucket and replace the lid. Remember: The fan should be facing down. Go find the nearest electrical outlet, plug the fan in and switch it on, and your modified appliance will pass air through the cooler to chill—leaving you at a solid 68 degrees of comfortable. Then, grab yourself a chair and enjoy the breeze. All of your hard work deserves a breather!

 

JOIN ALEX DEACON’S MEETUP GROUP FOR THE LATEST UPDATES ON HIS FREE REAL ESTATE WORKSHOPS!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
450 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

 

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

 

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Control Mold!

DHREA 31/05/2018

Mold spores can be frustrating to homeowners, renters, and investment property buyers. From potential health issues to property damage, mold is often one of the most overlooked pain points for any property. Here is a list of tips and tricks to help reduce exposure and minimize growth inside your home and property. Some are common sense, some are things we all overlook. Whether you’re sensitive to mold spores and want to protect your health, or you simply want to protect your home or investment, check out the list I compiled below!

Exterior:

  • Avoid outdoor places where mold is likely to be in high concentration. These include shady areas, compost piles, kennels, and piles of leaves, grass, or straw.
  • Promptly repair and seal leaky pipes and roofs.
  • Have the yard mowed and raked regularly.
  • Keep rain gutters clean. Clear leaves and debris from drainage areas around your home and yard.
  • Store firewood away from the house.

Interior:

  • Cleaning your house regularly and properly can help reduce mold.
  • Clean with a commercial anti mold product. Choose a product containing a mixture of bleach and detergent or make your own anti mold cleaner. Mix 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach and 1 quart of water.
  • Clean carefully, especially in areas where mold is likely to grow, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
  • Empty refrigerator drip pans and thoroughly clean them with a commercial anti mold product.
  • Keep garbage cans and trash compactors clean and free of mildew.
  • Store things carefully. Don’t store newspaper, clothes, and other items in damp areas because they can become moldy. Store only completely clean and dry clothing and shoes. Even small amounts of grime can stimulate mold growth.
  • Throw away any moldy foods lurking in your refrigerator and cupboards.

Air Circulation:

  • Use a fan in the bathroom to remove damp air. If you don’t have a fan, open a window and consider having a fan installed. In bathrooms without windows, open a door when you’re finished, and consider using a dehumidifier.
  • Use a dehumidifier to dry out a damp basement, but be sure to empty the water from it and clean it regularly. Water left in dehumidifiers allows mold to grow.
  • Don’t use humidifiers or vaporizers. Putting extra moisture into the air encourages mold growth. If you choose to use these appliances, follow the manufacturer’s instructions about regular cleaning. Even special humidifiers designed to lessen mold growth require regular and thorough cleaning.
  • Ventilate closed rooms by opening doors and installing fans.

Miscellaneous:

  • Avoid sleeping in areas of the house that are below ground level.
  • Don’t put carpeting directly on concrete or damp floors. The carpet may become moldy.
  • When painting damp areas, choose mold-inhibiting paints. They can be found at most paint stores.
  • Remove all carpets and wallpaper with visible mold or mildew.
  • Don’t over-water plants. A few household plants probably will not cause problems if you’re mold-sensitive, but standing water promotes mold growth.
  • Keep windows sealed tightly. You may need to replace weather stripping on older windows.
  • Eliminate dark areas. Most mold needs darkness to grow. In the basement or in closets that tend to be damp, install a light on a timer. Add windows or skylights to dark rooms.

 

(Editor’s Note: These are merely suggestions and what has worked for others in the past. Results may vary.)

RSVP TO ALEX DEACON’S JUNE WORKSHOP!

Where to spend your construction dollars, staying on budget and on time

Saturday, Jun 9, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

13 Members Attending

I get asked at every workshop to do another bus tour. The hurdle of that is finding the time. Plus we can only handle about 20 people per tour to do it right and I end up turning down a dozen or more. I thought that this month we will tour a bunch of my projects and use technology and do it in a nice climate controlled facility. We will tour each r…

Check out this Meetup →

 

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MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

 

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