6 Fast Fixes For A Fresh, Cozy Home

a complete family bonding with eachother in their homeBrought to you by Stellar Inspections Home and Commercial.

As temperatures drop, you and your family will be spending more time living indoors — working, playing, relaxing and staying warm. More time indoors means it’s more important to keep your home fresh by staying ahead of the continual buildup of dirt, dust, and allergens. Plus, taking a few simple steps to prepare your home for winter weather will ensure your home is comfortable and efficient, too. Tackle these key areas now so your home will feel fresh and cozy throughout the winter.

Wash And Winterize Windows:

Washing away dirt and watermarks from your windows and screens gives you a clear view of the outdoors and lets in more natural light. It will also make your home feel lighter and brighter, keeping cabin fever at bay. And to help maintain a controlled climate inside the home, prevent air from leaking in or escaping by using weatherstripping or caulk around your windows. You’ll stay cozy inside and save money on your energy bill.

Check And Replace Your Vacuum Bag, Filter, And Belt:

A full vacuum bag, clogged filter or broken belt can hinder your vacuum’s effectiveness, leaving dirt, dust, and allergens behind. Replacing your vacuum bags every 1-2 months, filters every 3-6 months and belts once per year is recommended to help your vacuum achieve peak performance. Even more, a Filtrete HEPA vacuum filter will help trap particles 75 times smaller than a human hair, including 99.97 percent of dust mite debris, animal dander, molds, and pollen. Even if your vacuum has a washable filter, you should know that repeated washing can cause the filter to break down over time. Use replaceable Filtrete Vacuum Filters instead of the best way to help capture indoor air pollutants like allergens, dust and pet dander.

Don’t Forget To Look Up:

After tackling floors, dust ceiling fans and light fixtures. These hard-to-reach and hard-to-see places can harbor dust. And while you’re up there, change the direction of your ceiling fans to counterclockwise for the winter. This will keep air moving but circulate warm air instead of cooling the room down.

Clean Around Your HVAC:

With the heater on, be sure to clear the area around your HVAC unit to make sure there is nothing blocking the flow of air. Next, remember to swap out that filter for maximum effectiveness. Filtrete Healthy Living Air Filters help capture dust, bacteria, viruses, and allergens from the air for a cleaner, fresher home environment. Filtrete recommends changing your filter at least every 90 days. Set a reminder on your calendar or on your phone to help you remember.

Turn On The Humidifier:

Increasing the humidity in your home during the cooler months adds moisture to your air and living space. This raises the “heat index,” making 68 degrees feel more like 76 degrees. If your house has low humidity, you may notice chapped lips, dry skin or a dry sore throat. Be sure to maintain a relative humidity in the home between 20 to 40 percent. As the temperature outside drops, lower this percentage so condensation does not form on the windows.

Add Extra Insulation To All Areas Of Your Home:

Adding insulation to your home reduces energy usage and increases comfort. If your home uses less than 12 inches of insulation, chances are heat is escaping. Add insulation in the attic to prevent warm air from escaping. Also consider adding insulation in crawl spaces, under floors, and against basement walls to stop the transfer of cold through the house.

Take Back Your Clean, Fresh Home Today:

Tackling each of these simple projects will add up to help you take on winter with a fresh, cozy home you and your family can enjoy. To learn more about the range of Filtrete bag and filters styles made to fit nearly all brands and models of vacuum cleaners, visit www.filtretevac.com. – (BPT)

 

How to Make Your Home Cozy

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Essential Maintenance Tasks To Keep A Clean Home Happening

woman cleaning her homeThe Article Courtesy of Stellar Inspections Home and Commercial.

Today’s typical family home is a buzzing hub of activity where meals are cooked, homework is done and family game nights are contested. In the background of it all: the home appliances that keep home life moving along. Focusing on a few maintenance tasks can keep home appliances performing efficiently and effectively.

Maintain Tools:

Keep appliances and cleaning tools running well so they continue to get the job done. Replace vacuum belts periodically to keep your vacuum cleaner running like new, and swap out lawn mowers’ spark plugs once a year to ensure the mower is easy to start. Stock up on extra batteries for cordless vacuums, leaf blowers or other lawn equipment used frequently.

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Top 5 Features Millennials Look For In A Home

couple talking and lying in the grassFrom your friends at Stellar Inspections Home and Commercial.

For generations, homeownership has been part of the American dream. For most Americans, it’s the largest, most significant investment they’ll make, and because homeownership is the best way to grow their wealth, the most important investment as well.

As the youngest generation of new homeowners, millennials are entering the housing market and are eager to get a home to fit their unique lifestyles. Just as every generation has its own music, its distinct style and look, the new generation of homeowners have different expectations than buyers did a few decades ago.

To shed some light on these evolving home trends, here are five of the most popular features millennials look for in a home.

1. It needs to be energy efficient. 

More than other generations, millennials are particularly concerned with their impact on the environment. As such, they want to be sure the home they buy will have a minimal carbon footprint. Some energy-efficient features that are a priority for homebuyers are UV-protected windows, programmable thermostats, efficient appliances and upgraded insulation.

2. It needs to be customized to their tastes. 

It’s not enough to find a home that is merely “livable”; millennials want a house that is an outward and inward expression of who they are. Translation: The one-size-fits-all model is no longer sufficient. This is one reason manufactured and modular homes from Clayton Homes have become so popular. They offer diverse floor plans with a number of customizable options to suit individuals’ needs and unique styles. There are even built-in home features for pets!

3. Rethinking space usage. 

The era of buying a house as big as you can afford is on the way out. Many millennials are forgoing the extra bedrooms and enormous living rooms. These homebuyers prefer smarter ways to utilize space for their family’s needs while keeping a cozy and intimate atmosphere.

4. Open floor plan. 

In a world where everyone seems to be plugged into their phones and staring at their individual screens, the open floor plan has emerged as a way for families and guests to come together and share the same space. Basically, the fewer walls between the kitchen, dining room and living room, the better. This floor plan also aids homeowners with their entertaining needs and provides more natural light, which is very big for this young generation.

5. A room for a home office. 

The millennial workforce is a mobile workforce, and just as this generation is transforming the home market, it is also transforming the workplace. Millions of Americans work from home, and much more are often given the option to work a day or two a week from home. With this shift, many potential homeowners want to be sure there is a suitable workspace for an office.

With evolving needs and different tastes, many millennials worry that they will spend a lot of time searching for that one, perfect dream home. At Clayton Homes, we provide a range of green, energy-efficient home models that can be customized with a range of affordable options. From the kitchens to outdoor living areas and multifunctional spaces, millennials and everyone else can find the choices that will allow them to tailor their home and their living space to suit their lifestyle. – (BPT)

 

Creative Ways To Make Your Home Look Better

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When you or someone you know needs the services of a quality home inspection company, we would truly appreciate you thinking of us. You can schedule right from our website or call our office (928) 233-7512. Thank You.

How Can Insulation Contribute To Home Repair Following A Hurricane?

home insulationFrom your friends at Stellar Inspections Home and Commercial!

As we are all too aware, hurricane season is in full swing, and thousands of homeowners across the southern U.S. and Puerto Rico have been hit by mammoth hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Nearly every year, the cost of damages that occur as a result of hurricanes or intense tropical storms making landfall in the U.S. numbers in the billions. Heavy rain, storm surges, and coastal flooding can all contribute to the destruction of homes and other buildings.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), flooding accounts for more than $3.5 billion in insurance claims annually. Flood waters due to storm surge, underperforming drainage or broken levees can induce physical deterioration of the building structure, perpetuate mold growth, contain contaminants, corrosive dissolved salts and/or raw sewage, saturate insulation and wallboard, carpets and furniture as well as contribute toward respiratory problems, allergies, infection and irritation of the eyes and skin.

In the aftermath of a hurricane, concentrated efforts are made to clean up and get families back to living in their homes. Repair work to replace damaged wood and drywall can help the home look like new, but what about the building materials behind the walls? Traditional insulation materials like fiberglass and cellulose are able to insulate the typical family home from the heat and cold that seasonal weather brings. However, it is not the primary function of traditional insulation to protect against flooding. So, if and when this occurs, insulation offers virtually no impediment to rising floodwaters entering the home. Traditional insulation often becomes laden with moisture and is usually unable to dry out quick enough to withstand damage. If not completely removed during the clean-up process following a hurricane or flood, excess moisture leads to the potential for mold growth.

FEMA has identified a number of flood-resistant building materials that are ideal for use in the reconstruction or repair of a home or building that has been impacted by a hurricane and flooding. Building materials that FEMA has identified include corrosion-resistant coated steel, pressure-treated wood, epoxy formed-in-place flooring as well as closed-cell spray foam insulation. These products fall into Class 4 or Class 5 of FEMA’s flood damage-resistance classification system. For FEMA to consider a building material to be flood-resistant, it must be able to withstand direct contact with floodwater for an extended period (72 hours) of time.

Spray foam insulation has long been known by those within the construction industry for its ability to help limit moisture-laden air from passing into buildings where it is installed, but a hurricane pounding at the windows is a completely different story.

It’s important to note that FEMA specifically identifies closed-cell spray foam insulation as a flood-resistant material. There are many things that make closed-cell spray foam insulation different from other types of spray foam. Unlike the spongy, flexible texture of open-cell spray foam, closed-cell spray foam insulation quickly becomes rigid. This rigidity can be a key element in homes situated in a hurricane-prone area. This is due to the insulation’s ability to add structural integrity to roofs, which can help reduce the risk of roof blowoff.

Closed-cell spray foam insulation, like that available from Icynene, applied in areas such as the basement or crawlspace can help reduce the risk of significant damage that hurricanes and the resulting floodwaters can potentially cause. This is due to closed-cell spray foam insulation’s ability to reject bulk water ingress.

Beyond the ability to help reduce the risk of floodwaters causing damage, as a long-term solution, spray foam insulation can also help play an important role in maintaining a comfortable temperature year round while helping to control monthly heating and cooling expenses. Thanks to spray foam insulation’s air-sealing qualities, homeowners can reduce the size of their heating and cooling equipment since less effort is required to heat or cool the home.

With the increase in the intensity of hurricanes over the past 30 years, having a home insulated with closed-cell spray foam insulation can be an effective way to ensure your home and family are better prepared for the next hurricane season. More information can be found at Icynene.com. – (BPT)

Hurricane Tip – Garage Doors

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5 DIY Home Upgrades Anyone Can Do In A Day

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Do-it-yourself home projects are sweeping the nation, and it’s easy to see why. DIY is typically budget-friendly and fulfilling to complete; simply find the right project to match your skill set and needs.

To get started, here are five inexpensive projects that can be tackled by any DIYer, each of which will have an impact on the entire home.

  • Make a Hardware Swap

Replacing your kitchen cabinets changes the entire look of your kitchen — but it’s expensive and requires considerable skill. For a simpler, smaller project that can still have a big impact, replace the hardware on your cabinets instead. Select the hardware type first — knobs for doors and pulls for drawers, for example — then move on to style. Crisp, sleek hardware goes best with a modern kitchen, while more detailed offerings work well with classic, traditional kitchens.

  • Refresh your Space with a Fresh Coat of Paint

Repainting a wall or room is the perfect way to showcase your style, without breaking the bank. The Unity palette from Sherwin-Williams® 2018 Colormix Forecast offers unique color choices that pair together perfectly, making it easy for homeowners to create a cohesive look in their space. Try going bold with pops of a peacock on an accent wall, such as Sherwin-Williams 2018 Color of the Year, Oceanside SW 6496, or you use the palette’s grounded browns to put a new spin on traditional hues. It’s easy to recreate a space that reflects who you are, without making expensive renovations.

Illuminate a Simple Change:

It doesn’t always take a huge change to reinvent a room; it can be as easy as changing the light fixture. You could choose to repaint your existing chandelier, or you could give your ceiling fan a new look by replacing the blades. If you’re on the crafty side, try making your own shade for an existing lamp with some of your favorite fabric.

Invite People to Your Gallery:

Can’t decide on the one perfect image for your wall? Then why not go for several? Gallery walls are a great way to show your favorite prints and photos artistically. Pick the wall and apply a fresh coat of paint before building your gallery — after all, this wall will now be part of the exhibit. Once the wall is ready, pick your photos or prints and set them in frames you love. Now the fun part lay your works of art on an open floor space and rearrange them until you find the perfect layout. Once you’ve found it, grab your hammer and nails and bring your gallery wall to life.

Bring a New Vibe to Your Existing Furniture:

If a chair or loveseat is starting to show its age, reupholstering it is a great way to give the piece fresh life. Remove the current fabric and replace it with a new fabric of your choosing. Apply staples or stitching to hold the new fabric in place, and that old piece of furniture will have a distinctive new look. – (BPT)

 

SIMPLE Things To Make Your Home Awesome

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3 Steps To A Healthier, Happier Home

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Today, people are more focused on health and wellness than ever before. You know this because you are constantly flooded with advice on what to eat, how (and how much) to exercise, and what to ask your doctors.

All of these things are important but what about the vital role the home plays in your healthy lifestyle? As you prepare for another season of indoor living, it’s time to ask: how can I improve the functionality, efficiency, and health of my home?

A healthy, safe and comfortable home is essential for those you love. When winter weather keeps you indoors, it’s even more important.

Tackle a few home-health tips now and your family and guests will be comfortable now and any time of year. Review and handle these must-dos, happy home style, today!

Adhere To A Maintenance Schedule:

Your body requires continuous maintenance to be at its best; the same is true for your home. Simple tasks, done on schedule, can make your home a safer, more enjoyable place to live. Important items for your to-do list:

  • Shut your exterior faucets off before the winter.
  • Check the batteries in your smoke detectors each month.
  • Clean your gutters.
  • Test your sump pump each spring.
  • Clean the coils under your refrigerator.
  • Make sure your attic, bathroom, and kitchen fans are in working order.

These maintenance tasks are easy to tackle. Once done, they will help reduce dirt on your floors and decrease any future mold risk.

Clean Up Your Air:

Did you know indoor air can be five times dirtier than outdoor air? Did you know it can include respiratory irritants and common allergens like mold spores, fungus, pollen, mites and pet dander? Fortunately, these unappealing airborne invaders can be removed continuously by your home air filter. All you need to do is change the filter regularly, about every one to three months depending on your system. The problem — research shows up to 58 percent of us forget to do this regularly or simply don’t!

Canopy, a new subscription-based air filter service, addresses this clean air concern by providing its subscribers with the specific size and qualification air filter they need. These filters are provided on a specific schedule to save homeowners time, energy and money and to avoid a trip to a big box home care store. To learn more about how Canopy can help you improve the air quality in your home, visit canopyair.com.

Make Cleaning A Family Affair:

A clean home is a happy, comfortable place everyone deserves but you don’t need to do it all by yourself. Encourage your entire family to work together instead. Children of all ages can help out with chores matched to their skill level. Set family rules that maximize home care and minimize cleaning chores. For example: no food outside of the kitchen, picking up towels and wiping down surfaces after a shower and removing shoes upon entering from outdoors. Your home is your sanctuary and it should feel that way all the time. Apply the tips above today, and your home will be a happier, healthier place in no time. – (BPT)

 

How to Create a Peaceful Home

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4 DIY Tips To Save Money And Get Your Home Ready For Winter

getting ready for winterFrom your friends at Stellar Inspections Home and Commercial!

Many people look forward to the cooler weather. The brisk autumn winds and colorful leaves signal that once again it’s time to take out the sweaters and scarves. There are the hot soups and pumpkin-flavored drinks to keep one warm as the weather gets cooler, but for the conscientious homeowner and dedicated DIYer, it’s time to start winterizing your home.

Sealing out pesky drafts around your home helps save energy while also making your home more comfortable. It also prevents water damage from rain, ice or snow and blocks out pests that might be trying to find a warm place to spend the winter.

As you’re deciding where to get started, here are four projects that will go a long way to save you money and make your home ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at it this winter.

1. Create a thermal barrier. 

The best way to keep your family warm and toasty while the wind, snow and sleet rage outside is to ensure your home and its building envelope — the thermal barrier between the interior of a home and the exterior environment — is properly sealed. How well the “shell” of the building (walls, roof, and foundation) is sealed against the exterior environment directly impacts the amount of energy required to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Maintaining a well-sealed building envelope means you’ll use less energy to heat and cool your home, saving you money. Take the time to check for and seal the following common air leaks around your home, both inside and out:

  • Interior windows and doors: Slowly move a lit incense stick around the edges. If the smoke drifts to the side, it indicates an air leak that needs to be sealed.
  • Interior baseboards and trim: Check for cracks and gaps where walls meet floors and ceilings.
  • Exterior windows and doors: Check for gaps and cracks where the frame meets the wall. Replace cracked or missing sealant around frames with an exterior grade sealant.
  • Pipes and vents: If there is a gap between the pipe or vent and the surface it goes through, it needs to be sealed.

2. Seal air leaks.

Most cracks and gaps less than a half inch in width and depth can be filled with a sealant like DAP Extreme Stretch. Designed to stretch over 600 percent, Extreme Stretch can withstand the elements as your home expands and contracts, plus it is easy to apply on virtually any interior and exterior surface such as windows, trim, pipes, vents and siding. It will not crack or lose adhesion, saving you money and preventing nasty drafts. And remember, before you apply, make sure to remove any old sealant that remains to ensure the new sealant can adhere properly.

3. Move beyond window wrap. 

We all know that a traditional way to seal in the heat and keep out the cold is to insulate your windows with plastic film. This is an unsightly solution and leaves your home looking shrink-wrapped. A more effective and less obtrusive method is to use DAP SEAL ‘N PEEL, a temporary, removable weatherstrip caulk that’s great for sealing up windows for the season. It applies easily like a caulk around windows, doors, attic hatches, pipes and vents to keep out drafts. Once spring comes, it easily peels off to let in the fresh air.

4. Seal off a room. 

If you live in a large house and have a room or two that you don’t use, consider sealing it up for the winter. Simply turn off the heating vent or radiator in the room to avoid paying to heat a room you aren’t using. Then use a door draft stopper or decorative long pillow along the door floor to prevent any drafts.

Whether you like the cold weather or not, the coming winter is a great opportunity to check up on your home and prepare it for winter. For the novice or the die-hard DIYer, it’s an important time to assess and address your home’s defenses against winter weather. – (BPT)

 

Preparing Your Home for the Cold Weather

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When you or someone you know needs the services of a quality home inspection company, we would truly appreciate you thinking of us. You can schedule right from our website or call our office (928) 233-7512. Thank You.

The Sound Of Silence: How To Design A Quiet Home Office

home officeThe Article Courtesy of Stellar Inspections Home and Commercial!

In today’s increasingly digital world, it’s no surprise that more employees are opting to work from home. While there may be a shift of physical locations — from the office building to the home — productivity is still paramount, making the need for quiet home workspaces more important than ever.

“As urbanization continues, builders and developers are focused on optimizing available land, which results in more homes, apartments and condos built near highways and airports,” says Mark Montgomery, vice president of marketing for leading window manufacturer Ply Gem Windows. “The convergence of telecommuting and higher noise levels means there’s a growing need to enhance homeowner comfort with noise reduction technology.”

If your workspace needs a sound makeover, consider the following tips. For even more information on home improvement solutions, check out websites like www.plygem.com.

Think From The Outside In:

Everyday sounds like traffic, trains, leaf blowers, music, barking dogs or car alarms may go unnoticed on the weekends, but can easily interrupt conference calls and concentration during the busy workweek.

To cut down on outside noise, look for windows with Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating. A typical single hung window unit without sound control glass has an average STC rating of 27. Sound control glass packages, on window lines like Ply Gem’s 1500 Brickmould Vinyl Collection, have ratings of up to STC 35. This reduces outside noise by approximately 40 percent when compared to single hung window units with no protection.

“STC glass packages may not be necessary for every window in the home, but should be considered for the rooms where the reduction of unwanted noise is most important — like the home office and bedrooms,” advises Montgomery.

As an added bonus, according to the Department of Energy, new windows will boost curb appeal, reduce maintenance and can significantly improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Insulate The Interior And The Exterior

If your home office space shares a paper-thin wall with, for instance, a loud family room television, adding batt wall insulation for new homes, or blown-in insulation for existing homes, will help blanket sounds and temper vibrations.

For homes that face busy roadways, insulated vinyl siding is another solution. Look for options made with a premium, recycled-content vinyl siding panel permanently bonded with polystyrene (EPS) foam insulation. This wraps the home with continuous insulation to cover the entire exterior envelope — including wall studs where air and sound can penetrate.

Another quick fix for insulating the home office is to install a solid core wood or molded interior door. Many standard interior doors are hollow, which means that sounds pass through more easily. Solid core doors, which are thicker than hollow doors, act as a noise blocker. Once installed, make sure to surround the door with weather-stripping to fill any holes or gaps.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a quiet home office retreat and defending your workspace from unwanted interruptions. – (BPT)

 

Tips for Home Office Design

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Replacing A Furnace? How To Choose An Energy-efficient System

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If it’s time to replace your furnace, you may be wondering if it’s worth the extra investment to buy an energy-efficient system. Or, you may be unsure how to choose an energy-efficient system for your home.

“Energy-efficient heating systems can substantially lower your fuel costs over the lifetime of the system, so it’s well worth investing the time and money to find just the right one,” says Chip Wade, HGTV(R) expert. “Depending on where you live, an energy-efficient gas furnace can be between 12 and 16 percent more efficient than standard models, according to ENERGY STAR.”

Wade offers some guidance for choosing an energy-efficient heating system that’s right for your home:

  • The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) measures how efficiently a gas furnace converts fuel into energy. Generally, the higher the AFUE rating of a furnace the more energy efficient it will be. For example, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 90 percent means that same percentage of fuel gets turned into heat, and only 10 percent is lost through the chimney and elsewhere. You can find the AFUE rating on the yellow Energy Guide label on the furnace.
  • Be sure to right-size your furnace. A unit that’s too small for your home will have to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature and will use more fuel. A unit that’s too big may also use more fuel than is actually required to adequately heat your home, and may also result in uneven temperatures throughout the house.
  • Look for models like the the YORK(R) Affinity(TM) Series modulating gas furnace that offers efficiency-enhancing features. For example, the Affinity furnaces have a modulating burner that continuously adjusts heating levels in small increments to match the precise degree of comfort you need. Leading-edge technology also tailors the operation of the furnace to match the climate of your location. The system also self-monitors to make set-up and maintenance faster and easier.
  • Choose a gas furnace that offers sealed combustion. These furnaces draw air from outside and mix it with the fuel at a controlled rate. This maximizes the amount of heat the furnace can generate from the fuel. Most quality energy-efficient furnaces will have this feature.
  • Pay attention to the warranty and be sure you understand just what it covers and for how long. Furnaces are a big investment, so it’s important to choose one that gives you the best warranty. For example, Affinity furnaces offer a Complete Assurance Warranty Pledge that promises if the heat exchanger fails in the first 10 years, the company will provide the option to replace the furnace.

Finally, before you invest in an energy-efficient furnace make sure your house will work with the furnace to maximize its efficiency. Seal air leaks throughout the home, especially at windows and doors, and throughout ductwork. Make sure you have the correct amount and type of insulation in your home for your climate. Have the rest of your home’s HVAC system inspected to ensure there are no problems that could hinder the efficient operation of your new furnace?

To learn more about energy-efficient furnaces, visit www.YORK.com. – (BPT)

 

How to Choose the Best Furnace for Your Home

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When you or someone you know needs the services of a quality home inspection company, we would truly appreciate you thinking of us. You can schedule right from our website or call our office (928) 233-7512. Thank You.

Know How To Protect Your Family Against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Few areas of the country are immune to natural disasters or severe weather. Whether you live in a hurricane zone or face icy winters, it is important to prepare your home and family to weather the storm and know the potential health and safety risks that may arise in emergency situations.

Beyond inconvenience, widespread and long-term power outages resulting from storms raise a much more serious concern: carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. While the poisonous gas can come from any fossil fuel-burning appliance or vehicle, the risk posed by generators is of particular concern because of this year’s devastating storm season.

“Simple preparation, along with an understanding of the risks of CO, are key factors for protecting your home and loved ones both during storm season and throughout the year,” said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert. “The risk of CO can occur anytime — not just during emergencies — which is why installing and regularly testing CO alarms are an integral part of any home safety plan.”

What is CO?

Often dubbed “the silent killer,” the gas is colorless and odorless, making it impossible to detect without a CO alarm. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, CO poisoning is the No. 1 cause of accidental poisoning in the United States and is responsible for an average of 450 deaths each year.

CO poisoning is notoriously difficult to diagnose — often until it’s too late. Symptoms mimic those of many other illnesses and include nausea, headaches, dizziness, weakness, chest pain and vomiting. In more severe poisoning cases, people may experience disorientation or unconsciousness, or suffer long-term neurological disabilities, cardio-respiratory failure or death.

Sources of CO may include, but are not limited to, generators, heaters, fireplaces, furnaces, appliances or cooking sources using coal, wood, petroleum products or other fuels emitting CO as a by-product of combustion. Attached garages with doors, ductwork or ventilation shafts connected to a living space also are sources of CO.

What Should You Do?

The National Fire Protection Association recommends installing CO alarms on every level of the home, including the basement, and within 15 feet of all sleeping rooms. These alarms are the first line of defense against CO poisoning. Checking alarms regularly and following manufacturer instructions for alarms and all home equipment play an equally vital role.

In case of power outage, never use a generator indoors. Portable electricity generators must be used outside only and should never be used in a garage or in any confined area that can allow CO to collect. When running a generator, be sure to remain 15 to 20 feet away from the outside perimeter of the home and be careful to follow operating instructions closely.

Additional areas to consider include the kitchen stove, a frequent source of CO poisoning in the home. Ensure the kitchen vent or exhaust fan is running to limit exposure. For any fuel-burning appliances in the home, make sure to have a professional inspect them regularly to detect any CO leaks. This includes items such as the furnace, oven, fireplace, dryer and water heater.

If you have an attached garage, it is extremely important to never leave your car running inside. Even if the garage door is open, CO emissions can leak inside the home.

CO alarms should be battery-powered or hardwired with battery backup. To help ensure your family is protected, First Alert offers a variety of alarms to meet all needs, including a table-top alarm with a 10-year sealed battery and digital display to see detected CO levels in parts per million. Additional alarm options include plug-in and wall-mount alarms, hardwired alarms with battery backup, and a combination smoke and CO alarm for 2-in-1 protection.

In addition to carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers, along with smoke alarms, should be an integral part of a comprehensive home safety plan.

Most importantly, if your CO alarm sounds, go outside for fresh air immediately and call 911. To learn more about CO safety or other home safety tips from First Alert, visit www.firstalert.com. – (BPT)

 

Carbon Monoxide Kills – 10 Tips For Safety

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