LESLIE: Alice in Maryland is on the line with a question about electrical service replacement. What’s going on at your money pit?
ALICE: We are trying to determine whether it would be worthwhile to replace our service. Our house was built in 1976. We currently have 150-amp service underground. An electrician recommended that we upgrade to 200-amp service. And it’s a pretty big expense, so we were wondering if that’s a worthwhile choice.
LESLIE: Are you doing any sort of renovation that requires more power? Are you adding in central air, upgrading appliances? Is there a change happening that requires the power of an electrical service replacement?
ALICE: We’ve done a lot of upgrading here in the past and this is just something that recently was recommended to us when we had just a ceiling fan installed by the electrician.
TOM: I have to say, Alice, that I think what your electrician is recommending you do is fund, perhaps, his next vacation or college-tuition payment. Because I don’t think an electrical service replacement going from 150 to 200 makes much difference.
You have a – is this a gas-fired house? You have natural gas?
ALICE: We have no gas in the area.
TOM: So this is all electric?
TOM: How are you heating your house? Is it a heat pump?
ALICE: We have a heat pump, yes.
TOM: And you have one zone or two? How many heat pumps do you have?
ALICE: One zone.
TOM: I’ve got to tell you, I think you probably have enough and do not need an electrical service replacement. Unless you can prove to me that he’s …
LESLIE: It sounds like there’s – it’s sufficient.
TOM: Yeah, unless you can prove to me that you’re really using more than 150 amps, I seriously doubt you need 200. That’s a lot of power, even for an all-electric house.
LESLIE: We had to upgrade to a 200-amperage service because we put in central air conditioning. We were only on 100 and that was that.
TOM: Yeah. Right. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And even 100, I’ve – I was an inspector for 20 years. I used to put a tool called an “amp probe” on those main cables when everything was running in the house. We’re talking about electric ovens, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners. And it would be a 150-amp service pulling 50, 60 amps with everything on. So, you’d be surprised how much you can pull through that.
TOM: I think you ought to get a second opinion.
ALICE: We were skeptical, so thought it was a …
TOM: Didn’t feel right.
ALICE: Definitely wanted to check into it before making that major expense.
TOM: Yeah. Yep. Yep, exactly. Well, thanks for calling. I’m glad we helped you out on this.
ALICE: Thank you. You’re a great resource. I really appreciate it.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
Bedrooms are often the last room in the house to get some decorating love. But with the right planning and bedroom decorating ideas, this space can become a personal sanctuary that calms, centers and energizes.
Davis Remignanti, Furniture.com’s lead design consultant, offers these easy design tips and bedroom decorating ideas to help transform even the most traditional “sleep space” into a dreamy haven:
Personalize it. Start by thinking of your boudoir as a sanctuary and begin designing your the room as a true retreat with a focus on your favorite pastime. Whether you love to paint, read, exercise, or listen to music, dedicate a space in your bedroom to doing what you love best.
Give your activity some uncrowded room by providing the desk space, storage, or comfy seating that it requires. Let the rest of your room design flow from your interest center. Sketch your concepts online at Furniture.com’s Room Planner.
Savor your zzzzzzzz’s. At the end of the day (literally), the bedroom is about sleeping, and your bed is where you likely spend approximately 1/3 of each day. Since a good night’s sleep will make all the difference tomorrow, consider upgrading your mattress to a pillow top style, or simply adding fresh new bedding. Then, stretch out and relax on your cozy bed.
Shun the distractions. Use your bedroom to escape from the world by hiding away your larger electronics – television, stereo components and computer – in an armoire that provides easy access to your media channels (and the outside world) when you want them, but is even easier on the eyes when you don’t.
Showcase your passion. When planning your decor, consider this bedroom decorating idea: resist the impulse to pack away your mementos. Instead, look for opportunities to showcase souvenirs and photos of what you love to do and the people you love to be with. A true retreat is not just a getaway, but also a celebration of your passions, so let these interests show in your bedroom.
Look up. Don’t forget the vertical space your bedroom offers. Carry your retreat design theme into the third dimension by updating your bedroom walls with a fresh new color or border. Since bedroom walls tend to be an underutilized resource, you can put the bedroom walls to work by examining where you can add much-needed shelving and storage options. Finish by adding a new piece of artwork to the bedroom wall to complete your theme.
Lighten your outlook. Any room makeover calls for a fresh look at lighting. Survey the bedroom as a whole, as well as specific task needs. The lighting requirements in your new activity area will differ greatly from your dressing and your sleeping areas. For extra convenience and added ambiance in your bedroom retreat, consider putting your primary bedroom lights on a dimmer switch.
Feel groovy. When accessorizing your bedroom retreat, feel the energy of Feng Shui and ensure good health by following the practice originated in China, honoring the indoor environment. Where possible, introduce water, wind chimes, color and crystals into your bedroom decorating design. Read more about history and practice of Feng Shui decorating ideas.
Browse the possibilities. Review the decorating ideas advice, product information, and interactive design tools at Furniture.com for more ideas on completing your bedroom decor project. Furniture.com merges the convenience, accessibility and ease of online shopping with the local customer service and fast, in-home delivery of national retail furniture chains.
The post 8 Bedroom Decorating Ideas to Create Your Happy Space appeared first on The Money Pit.
Even if they didn’t carry disease, ticks just aren’t something you want to share your summer with. But if you’d like to keep them in place without adding pesticides to your person, there are a number of natural and homemade tick repellents that can do the job, as well as a host of plants that are easy to add to your local landscape and garden. To make your life less inviting to ticks, let’s take a look at these natural approaches, all backed by solid science.Homemade Tick Repellents
Essential oils don’t just smell nice; research shows they can be an effective way of controlling ticks. Just a few of the essential oils that have been demonstrated to be effective against ticks are oregano, rosemary, geranium, cedar, and juniper. In fact, a review of the scientific literature on the subject concluded that essential oils “have the potential to provide efficient, and safer repellents for humans and the environment.”
To put these powerful oils to work for you, mix up a batch of homemade tick repellents and spray using some of your favorite scents. Here’s what you’ll need:Ingredients 2 oz. witch hazel or vodka 1 oz. water 20 drops EACH of any of three of the following essential oils: geranium, lemon eucalyptus, lavender, Virginia cedarwood, and Alaskan cypress Instructions
Pour witch hazel or vodka into a small spray bottle. Carefully add 60 drops of the essential oils. Pour in the ounce of water. Shake well before each use. Some of the essential oils can be irritating to skin, so test in a small area first. If irritation occurs, use only on clothes and shoes. Because essential oils dissipate quickly, reapply every 4 hours.Plants for Tick Control
Just as ticks aren’t fond of certain essential oils, they don’t care for the plants they come from either. There are several attractive tick repelling plants to add to your yard, in garden beds or patio pots. Here are a few favorites:Lavender Photo Credit: pixel2013 / Pixabay
Is there anything the soft blue-purple spikes of this plant can’t do? Besides being beautiful, it’s also touted for its relaxing scent, and it not only repels ticks, but also fleas, mosquitoes, and moths. Lavender likes full sun and well-drained soil. It makes a beautiful sweep of color in a border.Alliums
These relatives of the onion come in many sizes. Chives grow as tidy little bundles, while ornamental alliums can grow flower stalks as tall as 6 feet. What they have in common are puffball blooms, generally purple or pink, that look like something out of Dr. Seuss. The flowers have a faint onion scent that ticks and other bugs avoid.Rosemary
This woody member of the mint family can be grown as a perennial in cold areas if it’s in a protected part of your yard. It also can be grown in a pot, then taken indoors in the fall. Rosemary’s needle-like leaves give off a distinctive fragrance at the slightest brush, and ticks are not a fan.Marigold
These perky ruffled flowers have a scent that lots of bugs don’t like. Ticks avoid them, as well as mosquitoes, flies, aphids, and tomato hornworms. Marigolds are easy-to-grow annuals that make great fillers in flower beds or pots. They don’t do well in soggy soil, so be sure to let it dry out between waterings.Chamomile
Are you noticing a trend here? Lots of fragrant herbs are unappealing to ticks and other bugs. Chamomile is a perennial herb with feathery foliage topped with small daisy-like flowers that are white with a yellow center. The flowers can be dried to make a soothing tea. Chamomile likes partial shade and moderate amounts of water.Sage
Another perennial herb, sage has soft, wide green leaves. It produces spikes of edible purple flowers during the summer. Once it’s established, sage is very easy to grow and can get up to three feet tall. Make sure it has steady amounts of water until it’s growing well. Sage is available in a tricolor variety that makes it a lovely addition to a flower bed.Mint
This perennial herb is best grown in a container. Its vigorous growing habit means it will take over garden beds. If you plan to harvest its serrated leaves for tea or cooking, you’ll find that they are a little less flavorful after it flowers. Don’t be shy about cutting mint back; it will only grow back stronger.
As you can see, there is plenty of help in the plant kingdom to keep ticks at bay. If you’re struggling to stay free of the parasites, combining tick repelling plants with natural homemade tick repellents and get their pesticide-free powers to work for you. You’ve got nothing to lose except troublesome ticks!
The post Natural Ways to Keep Ticks at Bay with Homemade Tick Repellents appeared first on The Money Pit.
From Source Article: moneypit.com