Boise! Is Your Home Ready for SPRING?!
Spring in Boise is here at last! With dust in the air one thing that comes to bear ever year is all the odors that have been sleeping during the Winter.
Despite the conditions of the floors being one of the items most directly correlated with cleanliness in a home it can be easy to overlook how smells impact the perception of your home until they hit you in the face.
Here are some tips we’ve put together to help you keep those nasties at bay:
Fresh flowers are a great way to not only improve the visual aspects of a room but they can also bring in fresh spring-like smells. Don’t go blooming crazy of course! There can be too much of a good thing, but this is always great, especially if you have guests coming over – just make sure they don’t have allergies.
Mans Best Friend
It’s easy to think that musty smell is coming from your carpets, curtains or other upholstery, but fact is you may not need to look that far to find the culprit. Not to worry, there’s no need to throw out your favorite pup! Just make sure to give them regular baths and take care of grooming. Have a kitty? Keep that litter box at bay by cleaning it out frequently; using a little baking soda to help absorb smells.
When Life Gives You Lemons
Lemons are a olfactory powerhouse – and they have a lot of uses for cleaning as well! Throw a “used” lemon into your garbage disposal with cold water to fight stink in the sink. A few peels from a lemon can keep that “fishy” smell down in your trashcan after seafood night.
Coffee to the Rescue!
Yes, this magical elixir is a life saver in any number of situations, but it can be used to fight odor and leave your room smelling great too! Just put some fresh ground coffee in a small bowl, leave it in a closed room overnight, and by the next day the smelly odors will be replaced with wonderful java aromas! You can put a little in a coffee filter and tie it shut to place in closets or footlockers as well.
We hope these tips get you off to a roaring start to Spring! And hey, if you’re having trouble tackling your honey-do list just let us know – we count some of the very best Idaho home service providers among our ranks and we’re ready to help!!
Get to Know Airpro!
Summer is quickly on it’s way Boise! It’s a good time to get things ready for the hot months ahead; that includes servicing your air conditioner and heating systems! We of course recommend Airpro for all your home heating and air needs in the Treasure Valley, and as part of our belief in working with folks we KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST, we want you to also get to know John Bertram from Airpro as well!
I grew up in Boise around my fathers heating and sheet metal shop. When I was in college my father had a heart attack and I came home to work for him and never changed my business. It’s been almost 40 years now.
I find great satisfaction in solving problems for people and serving people with honest pricing and quality products.
In a heating and ac business you get to work with sheet metal, electrical and control wiring, plumbing, refrigeration, indoor air quality, and duct design and installation. I like the diversity of the tasks and even after years doing it I always learn something every day.
This last week I had a customer in Caldwell call me and I was overbooked.
I was not able to make the trip to help him but was able to give him some things to try to correct his problem.
He phoned me the next day to tell me what I told him to do, fixed his problem, he thanked me. Things like this make it worth the effort for me.
If you are having problems with your air conditioner in Idaho
, or just need to put in a service call don’t hesitate to pick up the phone! I love helping my customer get exactly what they need!
Homeowners: Go Green to Save Green!
CAN ADDING TOUCHES OF GREEN HELP YOU SELL YOUR HOUSE FOR MORE AND SAVE MONEY WHILE DOING IT?
You hear the term “Going Green” everywhere as our resources deplete and the cost of living continues to rise. What exactly does it mean to go green?
Reducing reliance on oil-based energy sources and using the methods that emit the least amount of pollutants back into our environment is the largest way that we can to make a difference in the impact we have on our environment.
Recycling is a huge way to begin seeing green! Purchasing only all organic, chemical-free products is another way that many people begin. Planting and rebuilding in a more sustainable mindset keeps us always inventing new ways to use nature surrounding us.
What about going green when it comes to construction of our homes, offices and businesses? A frequent remark we all hear is “Going green will be too much in start up costs and materials.”
Myth: There are so many cost-effective ways to green your home and businesses these days that can actually SAVE you money.
There are several misconceptions about the time and amount of money it takes to implement the green products and services. There are simple beginners steps you can take to introduce going green in your home.
ELECTRICAL OUTLETS AND LIGHTING – Start with your choice of lighting fixtures or bulbs. Just changing something so simple as the type of light bulb you use can save you money on your electric bill.
Have you changed your lighting to LED?
You can use Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer, but they contain mercury which is a neurotoxin & is especially dangerous to children & pregnant women. Disposing of them can be complicated.
Light-Emitting Diode (LED) is an electronic light source giving off less heat with no UV or IR radiation. This is a instant on lightiing with low energy consumption & compatible with most dimmer controls. LEDs have a higher color rendering, so everything under them looks more vibrant. They deliver optimal light distribution without glare or hotspots. LEDs are environmentally friendly containing no mercury or lead. They also last significantly longer (up to 17 years) than traditional incandescent light fixtures. So they are the most cost-effective lighting source you’ll find.
Power strips, surge protectors, battery backup master cut off switches reduce the amount of electricity your electronics and appliances can use and can prevent a surge of power during an electrical storm or outage. These can save you money and save your home and equipment at the same time.
INSULATION – Insulation is the key to energy efficiency & a warm & safe home. Keeping the warm air out in the summer & keeping the warm air in come winter, the HVAC system is responsible for roughly 45% of all the energy used in the home.
Insulation is green by its very nature because it saves energy. There are so many products on the market now for alternatives to the old conventional fiberglass insulation Products like soybean foam sprayed into walls or shredded denim, hemp or sheeps wool. These other options can save the homeowner money, but can also save the environment.
WINDOWS – You can get many different types of energy efficient windows now in many styles taking away the need to compromise beauty for bucks. Double pane windows are usually seen as the best in energy efficience. Tax credits for energy efficient windows are given for purchasing new windows for an existing home or if you are in the process of building & that can mean the difference between the average windows & the best energy saving windows available. Windows lose and gain heat by conduction, convection, radiation, and air leakage. Always inspect the windows before you pick the ones for you.
HEATING AND AIR – also known as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC), are all-in-one temperature-maintaining units. These systems can come in electric, gas, dual fuel and other variations. Some are more energy efficient than others. You can choose a electric forced-air system or an air to air heat pump system (also called a ‘minisplit’ system) but is geothermal, no drilling is involved. It’s possibly the most energy efficient electricity-based heating and cooling system. Tax credits are now available for energy efficient homes heating and air systems so take advantage.
The natural gas system is the most common energy efficient system, but isn’t available to everyone. There are many efficient gas based heating systems like Viessman or boilers like Munchkin just to name a couple. But what if you don’t want to install a new HVAC system? Do you have ceiling fans? Do you ventilate by opening and closing windows and regulate the light by using the shades instead of moving the thermostat?
Energy Recovery Ventilators or Heat Recovery Ventilators (ERV or HRV) help provide homeowners with air that is healthier, removes more odors, reduces moisture and indoor pollutants. They take already used heat and moisture from the air that’s exiting the house while mixing it with fresh air entering the house. Dedicated duct work is recommended because because fresh air is delivered to the living room and bedrooms, while stale air is removed from kitchen, laundry room and bathroom. If you don’t have a dedicated duct system ERV/HRV can still be installed.
ENERGY STAR APPLIANCES – Replacing old appliances with new energy efficient ones is a great way to save money & now there are tax credits available for certain appliances as well.
LOW FLOW PLUMBING – There are many options that are simple to change in your home that can be installed for very little upfront costs. Things like faucets, shower heads, washing mashines and dishwashers are all in low flow options now and reduce water usage a great deal.
FINISHES AND FURNISHINGS inside the house have a big impact on home sales. It comes down to health and durability rather than efficiency.
What kind of floors does your home have? Hardwood floors are generally more appealing than carpet or vinyl and are durable, long lasting and easier to clean. Wood cabinets as well as stone or granite manufactured countertops represent clean, healthy work surfaces with beautiful long lasting storage.
THE HOUSE EXTERIOR – Durability and maintenance is a big factor in the exterior of your home. Always check rain gutters and make sure they are clear of debris and that water is running away from the house top to bottom. Rain barrels installed to catch runoff at gutter downspouts is a great way to collect water & can be used to wash the car or water plants and gardens conserving on water.
You can always add insulation to the outside of your house if you are re-siding. It does cost a little more in the beginning, but it can add a lot to your efficient home. Take a look at all of our Boise Home Service Providers to find the one’s you need to get the job done!
Boise Home Improvement: 3 Things for Spring!
YES! Spring at last! The snow bunnies are tucking their sticks away for next season, the grass is turning green and the temperature’s are getting us ready to complain about how hot it will be in July! Idaho in Spring time is truly a place of beauty; everyone in the valley is just itching to get outside – even if it’s just to take care of the yard work!
While chances are good that you already have a growing list of things to check off of your honey-do list there are a top things to take care of first that will help your home take better care of itself all season. These high-priority tasks may not seem glamorous – no gold plated chandeliers in this episode – but they will help you save energy, money, and maintain the value of your home.
Stop the Drafts!
Home experts will recommend insulating your home and sealing windows in preparation for Winter, but fact is making sure your home is properly insulated helps keep it cool in the longer Summer months ahead too! Make sure all your windows have a good seal and that your attic is properly insulated as well. While these sorts of things can be easy to do yourself – just a little insulation, weather stripping or caulking in the right places – you may not even know where to start figuring out where to start. If you’re stuck with any kind of heating or cooling problem in Boise, give Airpro a call!
Update Your Appliances
This one may run a little deeper into the pocket book if you go for full replacement, but switching to newer, more energy efficient appliances can not only save you money but it’s also generally better for the environment too! Hot water heaters, refrigerators, dish washers, clothes washers — these are all good items to take a look at. And with today’s economy it might not be time to upgrade, or even be feasible right now. As a consideration think about having your current appliances services or repaired. Repairing your appliances or making sure they are in their best working order can in many times be just as good as an upgrade at a fraction of the cost! Talk to Home Appliance Service for more information and options about how they can help!
Gut the Gutters!
Water damage is often one of the most expensive repairs for your home. While the snow is melted we will likely still see a good bit of rain this Spring; one of the areas of concern for leaks can be your gutters. A few sticks and leaves in the gutter may not seem like a big worry, but your home’s gutters are the first line of defense when it comes to taking the water from the sky and channeling it away from your home. All Valley Window Cleaning not only provides great window cleaning services in Idaho but also can help you get those gutters taken care of as well!
A last good general tip is to just take a walk around your home, look for any early warning signs of future issues like cracks in the concrete, mold or mildew, standing water, or any other indicators that there could be a problem now or in the near future! A little time spent doing regular inspections throughout the year can help you stay on top of things before they become a problem.
Fall in Boise Already?!
Believe it or not the last week of Summer is upon us here in Boise! It seems like it was just last week that we were wondering if the sweltering heat would ever see an end; yet here we are already getting the coats out of the closet and thinking about starting the Christmas shopping.
Even though it’s not quite the end of Summer just yet, it’s still a good time to start taking care of seasonal home maintenance items before they get the jump on you!
Here are some good tips to help you keep your household in great shape for the change of seasons ahead!
Check for Drafts
Feel for drafty windows and doors. You can use a lighted candle near entry points to your home to detect where you might be experiencing air leaks. Keeping the heat in your home over the winter can save you big bucks. Talk to our Boise HVAC Pro if you need help!
Here’s one place you do NOT want to have to deal with mid-winter! If you are able to do so safely, now is the time to at least give your roof the quick once over to check for loose shingles or leaks. Need a roofer in Boise? Talk to our Roofing Pro!
Clean the Gutters
Keeping the gutters clear of debris can really help make things run a lot smoother, especially as we have the more wet Fall months ahead of us. A good once over should do the trick, but if your gutters are hard to reach or just too much to take on All Valley Window Cleaning can help you take care of them – or you can give our Boise Handyman a call also!
Winter will be a terrible time for leaks or burst pipes! Get ahead of those items by inspecting your water systems. This includes blowing out sprinklers, storing hoses, and making sure outside faucets are weather ready. Our Boise Plumbing Expert can help you with any of your plumbing questions or needs.
Chimney sweeps aren’t something just out of Mary Poppins – and if you’ve ever experienced a clogged or dirty chimney you know they are no children’s faerie tale! A filthy chimney is not only inefficient but it can be a real hazard! Keep your house warm and safe – talk to our Chimney Sweeping Pro!
No matter how long your list of honey-do’s and get-ready items may be the Boise Builders Group can help you get those things marked off your list! Get your home ready for the Winter now so you can enjoy these fast fleeting months of Fall in Boise while they last!
Want to stay up on all the fun events and festivals in Boise this Fall? The best way to do that is to LIKE our Fan Page on Facebook! We’ve always got great local information and home tips!
Summer Energy Saving Tips
Summer time Summer time sum-sum-summer time! It’s here in full force!
While this is many people’s favorite time of year, a time of long warm days and relaxing evenings shared with friends higher energy bills are something homeowners don’t look forward to during this time. Extra energy costs can come from running the air conditioning, or even just electric fans, but there are ways you can help keep energy costs down.
Check out these 10 Summer Time Energy Saving Tips from our Home Warranty Authority Lori Apodaca from Home Warranty of America!
1.Close shades, drapes and blinds during the day, especially on the east and west ends of your home.
2. Don’t choose a lower thermostat temperature when you first turn your A/C on. It won’t cool faster; it will always run as fast as it can. It will only cool longer, not faster.
3.Use fans when weather is cooler instead of turning on your cooling system.
4. Light up your outdoor grill. The stove or over can raise the temperature in your kitchen as much as 10 degrees!
5. Use clothes lines – they are a great alternative to using your clothing dryer.
6. Air-dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s heat cycle.
7. Take shorter showers. They use less hot water than a bath!
8. Plant shaded trees. Shade on the east and west is most important. Outside shade can actually reduce air conditioning costs up to 30%.
9. Delay heat producing chores such as laundry and dish washing until the end of the day.
10. Spend more time outside. Spending time outside of your home will help curb your energy consumption.
Did you know that another great way to not only save money but to also protect your home investment is through a home warranty? Home warranties can save you a lot of headaches and hassles when it comes time for repairs to your home, or for those unexpected accidents. Home Warranty of America offers one of the countries best home warranty plans – contact Lori Apodaca ( 208-761-1666 ) today to find out more about how they can help you!
Boise Summer Heats Up!!
Summer is warming up, and so are our services! As the days here in Idaho get hotter you will of course want to remember our Boise Air Conditioning expert to help you keep cool, but don’t forget we have a number of great service providers for your home needs.
Speaking of which, we’d like to welcome our newest Boise Builders Group affiliates to the group, Perfect Order and EmbroidMe.
Overwhelmed by mountains of paper? Struggling to make sense of everything before a big move? Perfect Order can help you restore order in your household with their exceptional organizing services. This team of Idaho organizing professionals has the years of experience you need to tame the clutter!
Make your marketing memorable! EmbroidMe is a locally owned part of a national company that specializes in corporate apparel and promotional materials for businesses in Idaho! From caps to bags, pens, cups and more they have the know-how to get your name out there and in the hands of prospective customers!
The Boise Builders Group is an every developing collaboration of today’s top service providers in the Northwest. While many of our members specialize in services for the home you will also discover as we grow that we also have affiliates who can help you get your own local business off the ground. While space within our group is limited, we’re always interested in meeting new local companies.
New Homeowner Tips: Maintenace
Being a new homeowner is an exciting time in your life
; getting your new home in order is without a doubt one of your biggest focuses after the paperwork and moving is done. Getting the furniture in place and decorating, hanging photos, all these things will no doubt create a whirlwind of energy around you as you settle in.
But it shouldn’t stop there – although it may be less thrilling, it is also up to you to have a plan in mind for your new homes routine maintenance in the coming months.Besides the usual cleaning and taking care of things like carpets and dusting there are a number of things you can do to help maintain your home for years of comfort to come.
Here are some good maintenance tips to keep in mind:
• In late summer or early fall give all your systems( air condiditioning, heating, plumbing) a good inspection.
• Be sure to change air filters at least every three months.(maybe more if you are in the more dusty parts of Idaho!)
• Clean the filters and dust screens on any freezers or refridgerators frequently.
• If you have a gas furnace, keep your pilot light burning during the summer to help keep the furnace dry and prevent corrosion.
• If there is a noise, there could be a problem. Worn washers or loose parts in your faucets can be the source of noisy pipes. It’s good to make sure all washers and parts are tight and in good working order to help reduce vibration that can lead to leaks later on.
• Every four to six years, paint gutters that are not made of aluminum or vinyl to help prevent rust.
• Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure to cut back on pest problems.
• Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. An annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels.
• Vacuum the clothes dryer’s exhaust duct at least once a year. If the duct is plastic, replace it. Rigid sheet-metal ducting is best.
These are just a few suggestions. Our experienced home service professionals are more than glad to answer any questions you might have about specific parts of your home. Don’t hesitate to drop us a line here or join us on Facebook to get answers to your home maintenance questions and see what the Boise Builders Group can do for you!
Get Your Home in Boise Ready for Old Man Winter
Now is the time of year to start thinking about preparing your home for winter, because as temperatures begin to dip, your home will require maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape through the winter.
Here are some good things to think about in getting ready for the long cold winter ahead!
1) Furnace Inspection
- Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts.
- Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly.
- Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat.
- If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them.
- Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.
2) Get the Fireplace Ready
- Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.
- If the chimney hasn’t been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
- Buy firewood or chop wood. Store it in a dry place away from the exterior of your home.
- Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
- Check the mortar between bricks and tuckpoint, if necessary.
3) Prevent Plumbing Freezes
- Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
- Drain all garden hoses.
- Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
- Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
- If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.
- Have any problem areas looked at by a quality Boise Plumber.
These things may seem like common knowledge, but you know what they say about an ounce of prevention…
Still have questions or concerns? Take a look at our directory of Boise home service experts to find the right home professional to fit your specific need! All of our members are trusted and experienced service providers for all household needs big or small!
Boise Air Conditioning Services
Just because summer time is drawing to a close doesn’t mean that you don’t need to take care of that trusty A/C unit! Get ready for winter by having your air conditioner serviced or repaired. The Treasure Valley air conditioning experts at Airpro can make sure that your air conditioning is running properly and ready for the long cold winter ahead.
Speaking of winter – now is the best time to make sure your home heating is ready for the chilly months ahead! Airpro also offers the best Boise area home heating service and installation. We can make sure that you’re nice and cozy warm throughout the Idaho winter season. Our prices are great and our trained and experienced technicians have the skills to get the job done right.
Contact AIRPRO in Boise today for all of your home cooling and heating needs in Idaho! We specialize in installation, repair, and servicing cooling and heating equipment as well as home air quality issues!
Call Airpro: 208-853-6556
Serving The Treasure Valley for Over a Decade!