Home and Garden

5 factors to scrutinize before hiring a furnace installation and repair company

Installing a brand-new furnace or fixing an old one, both involve a significant spending. A poorly mounted heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system definitely makes a bad deal, costing you more money in the future. The worst part is that it can even endanger your safety as well as the safety of your loved ones. Therefore, before hiring a furnace installation and repair company, you should scrutinize the following factors:

For quality results, look for companies that have a solid experience to their name. Ideally, you should hire someone with a minimum of 3 to 7 years of practice with furnace repairs and installation. If any company has a lesser experience, then they should preferably charge economically for their services. Moreover, to gauge their quality of work, ask them for referrals. You can contact the clients and ask them about their thoughts pertaining to the installation, repairs, costs, and customer service.

It is imperative to verify that the furnace and installation company you pick has the required license to operate in domestic settings. This is especially critical if you are trying the agency’s service for the first time. So, don’t shy away from requesting their license and other supporting paperwork. An official license should include details like business name, address, contact numbers, and expiration date.

While comparing furnace and installation companies, ensure that their employees and procedures are covered. A worker’s insurance policy will protect you from any monetary losses if an unfortunate incident like an accident or damage to equipment were to occur. Without proper coverage, you might be at a higher risk to compensate for any losses.

Customer service
A good customer service can automatically resolve multiple problems. So, ensure that the furnace installation and repair company you plan to hire has a dedicated team to deal with all the queries. Moreover, before the installation or repair, the technicians should make it a point to explain the whole process to you so that you can understand how your budget is being utilized.

Installing or repairing the furnace doesn’t imply that the job is done. A reliable furnace installation and repairing company should also offer a great maintenance program so that your HVAC system is always functioning smoothly.


Appliances, Home and Garden

Four bestselling one-cup coffee maker options

Does your morning cuppa set up the entire day for you?  Love the aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee early in the morning? Then all you need is the right coffee maker that will fulfill your daily desire for that perfect cup of coffee. You do not have to worry about making your coffee when you have coffee makers such as the Black & Decker One-Cup Coffee Maker on your side, helping you to make the perfect cup of coffee. Therefore, for those who are in search of quality one-cup coffee makers, below is a list that can help you choose one.

Keurig K55 Single Serve Coffee Maker
It is the one-touch brewing option that brings this single-cup coffee maker at the top of the list. It comes with three brewing sizes. It is convenient, falls under an affordable price range, and allows the users to choose from a variety of flavors.

Cuisinart SS-10 Premium Coffee Maker
Offering the users five different brewing sizes to choose from, this coffee maker comes with an impressive water capacity of around 72 oz. Users can even program this one-cup coffee maker to brew a cup of coffee at a pre-set time, which is certainly a great plus for this product.

Black Decker DCM 18S Coffee Maker
For those who are looking for Black & Decker One-Cup Coffee Maker on a budget, this coffee maker can be ideal for them. The design and affordable price make it a practical choice for single cup coffee lovers. Along with being a durable and easy-to-use product, it is also easy to clean.

Bunn MCU Single Cup Coffee Maker

This single cup and multi-use coffee maker not only comes with a well-built design, but its fast heating and strong flavored coffee is also impressive. It lets the users use the various drawers it features to brew coffee for tea pods, coffee pods, and even K-cups.

One-cup coffee makers like the above are ideal for those who want fresh coffee on the go and prefer using handy home appliances instead of overpriced coffee shop cups of joe!


Home and Garden

5 Types of modular homes you need to know about

An invention of the previous century, modular homes caught on with the general public very quickly for a plethora of reasons. Modular homes are constructed in sections in a separate factory or a building site. They are similar to custom-built homes with permanent dwellings at a fixed location. The main advantage of modular homes is that, the bulk of manufacturing is done off-site. This means that they are also quick to assemble as compared to traditional homes and are significantly less expensive.

Here are types of styles that you can refer to while making your own modular home-

Ranch Style Modular homes- Also known as Rancher or Rambler, these types of modular homes are native to our country. Ranch style modular homes are known for their minimal exterior decoration. They are one story tall and can be in ‘L’ shape or asymmetrically rectangular. Ranch homes are usually found in warmer areas.

Two-Story- As the name suggests, these types of modular homes contain a house with two above-ground stories. The layout typically consists of communal rooms like kitchen, living room, and the dining room on the ground floor. Whereas, the bedrooms and other private rooms are accommodated on the first floor. These types of design are perfect for growing family on a smaller piece of land.

Cape Cod- Ideal for colder climate, cope cod type modular homes are more popular in the northeast region of the country. They are an affordable option when compared with their two-story counterparts. Cape Cod-styled modular homes are covered with shingles (roofs), shuttered windows and dormers. Dormers are horizontal windows sticking out of an otherwise sloped roof.

Chalet– These types of modular homes are inspired by Swiss Alpine houses, best suited for snowier and colder climate. Chalet type modular homes have high pointed roofs tilted at extreme angles, preventing the accumulation of snow. Chalets have extremely large windows which brighten the house with natural light, thereby providing amazing views.

Mansion- With time, modular homes are becoming more and more style oriented while not departing too much from their original aim of affordability. This style of modular homes is more advanced, distinct, and intricate. Mansions are more about the size difference than a style distinction. As a result, they are one of the most expensive types of modular homes.


Home and Garden

Top modular home manufacturers in the country

A fast paced life needs to be a life of convenience. First introduced around early 1945s, modular homes are becoming an increasingly popular option across the country because of their method of construction, style, and the price at which they are offered. In a nutshell, a modular home is a house whose parts are manufactured in a factory and then transported to the site and assembled there. The previous decade witnessed an exponential growth in the sales of these “prefab” homes, which gave rise to many modular home manufacturers.

Here are some of the modular home manufacturers across the country:

Ma Modular- These prefabricated home builders are based in Austin, Texas and construct high-end modular home systems. They build homes in Texas, Louisiana, and the Western US along with the east coast. They currently offer one-bedroom, one-bathroom “Grand Ma” model with 550-square feet that can be perfect for a single person. It can also serve as a backyard guest house or an artist’s studio. Apart from this, they manufacture modular homes with a larger area (of up to 2300 square feet), accommodating multiple bedrooms and bathrooms.

Method Homes- Headquartered in Seattle, Washington; Method Homes are known to manufacture precision-engineered and commercial modular homes. They build homes ranging from 1200 square feet to 2300 square feet. They have their own set of design and styles and also offer their customers the option of customizing their own modular home. Method Homes manufacture modular homes in all of Western USA and Canada too.

Sander Architects- Taking modular homes a step further, these manufacturers are known for creating hybrid houses which are considered as a major leap in the customized prefab homes. They manufacture modular homes ranging from 2000 square feet to 8000 square feet and have delivered suburban, rural, and urban settings across the country. The firm builds the metal frame and roof for the modular home in a factory and assembles the rest of the parts on site.

Resolution: 4 Architecture- Founded in 1990, it is a 10-person firm and were one of the first to introduce “mass customization” to the single-family concept. They manufacture 2000- square-foot home with a living space, 3 bedrooms and bathrooms. Around 80 percent of the modular home is built in a factory and the rest is assembled installed on site.


Home and Garden

5 types of moving companies to help you with your relocating needs

Moving companies offer transportation services depending on the type of move you are about to undertake. Choosing to move to a new city and relocating to a new country are two very different scenarios; you have to check and choose the right type of moving companies for the same. Popular moving companies offer two distinct types of services—full move and partial move.

A full move will take care of everything right from packing, loading, and transport to the new destination. Additional services will also include unpacking, assembling, and reinstallation after relocation. You can also avail partial services for any of the aforementioned tasks. Full move or partial move services can be availed for local interstate, long-distance, and also for international transport.

Depending on the factors that determine the type of move, here are the common types of moving companies, packers, and movers.

Local packers and movers
Your local moving company will provide transportation within the boundaries of the state for not more than a hundred mile radius in any direction. State authorities of the Department of Transportation or other public utility commissions regulate the services of local moving companies. Local packers and movers generally charge on an hourly basis. The average cost can range anywhere between $30 and $40 per working hour.

Long distance moving companies
Moving companies that offer long distance services are usually interstate packers and movers. Interstate moving companies must mandatorily have a US Department of Transportation number to operate legally. The weight of the shipment will directly determine the cost of a long distance move.

International moving companies
Transportation services for moving from one country to another require special permits owing to the international regulations that govern the process. There is a lot of paperwork involved in international transportation services as the process is highly complex. The volume of shipment and the type of cargo carrier will directly influence the total cost of the move.

Commercial moving
Moving companies provide special transportation services for business relocations. The move will include everything that needs to be done to relocate every inch of your office space from the source to a new location. Commercial movers require adequate training, experience, and technology to efficiently relocate your business from point A to point B.

Residential moving
Planning to shift to a new city or state altogether? Hire professional residential moving companies to help you relocate everything you need. Unlike other moving services, residential packers and movers specialize specifically in residential relocation.


Home and Garden

Things to consider when choosing a deregulated electricity provider

The energy market is split up into regulated and deregulated service providers who offer a variety of energy plans. Of the two, there are very few rules set in a deregulated market, and you will have the liberty to find affordable energy plans with an option to switch service providers as well. There are certain states that have switched to electricity deregulation. When searching for the most affordable energy plans, there will be many factors that will influence your final decision. If you want to avail the best and affordable electricity rates, the first thing to do would be to narrow down the best electricity providers in the market. The type of service provider you choose will have a direct influence on the electricity rates applicable to energy plans.

The following points will help you determine the best companies in the market that provide deregulated electricity services.

The price structure
One of the most important points to consider when choosing an electricity provider is the current pricing structure and tariff card. This should be done in order to know the different types of electricity rates provided. Ensure to read the terms and conditions carefully to understand the impact of various pricing options to compare and find the plan that suits you best.

Supply price
The supply price will determine the basis for energy consumption and the rates applicable. Most companies offer to charge dollars per kilowatt-hour or cents per kilowatt-hour. The type of charge per kilowatt-hour will affect electricity rates directly. The supply price will also vary depending mainly on the location.

Type of plans
Check the type of energy plans offered by some of the best electricity companies. Common options include fixed-rate plans, variable rate plans, indexed plans, and green plans. Electricity rates will change as per the plans you select. Green plans are very popular and are promoted to encourage more consumers to switch to renewable energy sources.

Type of customer served
Residential energy suppliers will have a higher pricing plan in comparison to commercial energy providers. Major industries are among the higher utility consumers for energy companies; they are offered competitive electricity rates than residential ones and this will vary depending on the type of company.

Types of products offered
Energy companies also provide products that help keep the energy costs low. Products like energy management solutions, thermostats, generators, etc. are all typical installations for residential and commercial consumers. These products will help bring down energy costs significantly. Check with your electricity provider to find the best plans and additional support systems.

For most energy companies, there are certain government regulations that will affect electricity rates from time to time. These changes will reflect in the pricing structure for existing plans. You must check updated tariffs from time to time and its impact on your current energy plan. In case you are not satisfied with your current energy provider, it is possible to switch services in a deregulated market.


Home and Garden

6 tips for selecting the right moving company

Moving from one state to another or even from one locality to another can be a pretty hectic task. In such cases, you need an efficient moving company that can handle all the logistics and get your stuff moved safely. For this, it is important to know how to determine which packers and movers are best for the job.

Mentioned below are some tips that can help you pick the best moving companies from the lot:

  • Looking from a logistical point of view, there are two types of packers and movers—interstate and intrastate. Interstate moving companies help people move from one state to another while intrastate company helps you move locally. If you are moving interstate, make sure that the moving company you choose is efficient for long distance or interstate moving. The professionals that you hire should also be able to help you legally as different states have different moving regulations.
  • Make sure that the moving company you select is financially stable. Moving interstate can incur additional costs. Thus, select a franchise that can reach across multiple areas and are able to provide you with all the help if the worst should happen while moving interstate.
  • Insurance is one of the important factors when it comes to packing and moving. Consult the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to check if the moving company you are selecting has all the insurance and licenses in place. The average Bodily Injury and Property Damage (BIPD) insurance of a moving company should be at least around $750,000.
  • The moving company that you select should have trucks of all sizes and the right equipment to handle the packing and moving. Look for equipment like ramps, jacks, lifts, hand-trucks, appliance dollies, and so on. They should also provide you with boxes for packing.
  • Background checks are also important when it comes to selecting moving companies. Select those packers and movers that are reputed and have helped numerous customers with their moving needs. Make sure these moving companies hire professionals only after running a background check on them. Efficient moving companies will have a strong training regimen in place for their employees. Make sure their employees are trained for things like truck loading and unloading techniques, proper lifting techniques, and handling fragile and valuable items.
  • Once you have shortlisted a couple of moving companies, ask around and look for reviews posted by people who have used their services on the Internet. Websites like consumerreports, bbb, and movingscam can offer you reliable information on the best packers and movers.


Home and Garden

Factors that affect electricity rates

Electricity rates usually reflect the cost to finance, maintain, build, and operate power plants and electricity grids. Every one of us pays our electricity bills on a monthly basis and seldom notice the tariffs and electricity rates until we see a skyrocketing amount in the bill summary. The first thing that we need to be aware of is that there are different electricity rates for different states in our country. There are other factors present that influence and decide electricity rates. A few of them have been listed below:

An industrialized city indicates towards it having higher electricity rates. This is based on the simple demand–supply phenomenon which can cause a considerable increase in the electricity rates.

Mode of generation
This factor mainly helps determines electricity rates. For instance, electricity generated from wind is costlier as compared to hydroelectricity. This is because harvesting electricity using wind requires complex machinery which comes with an upfront cost. Maintaining the machinery will also require skilled labor. This, however, is not true in the case of solar energy as it requires minimum labor. Electricity generated using solar energy does not have a complex setup which indicates towards the lower upfront cost. Hence, using alternative solutions can help you reduce electricity costs.

The gross domestic product of a state or region also determines the range of electricity rates. The way the population grows economically also effects electricity pricing. Simply put, areas with wealthier people might have higher electricity rates.

Weather patterns
This is one of the most important factors that help decide the electricity rates of a state. People living in areas with extreme weather conditions experience an average of a 20 percent spike in the electricity rates when compared with ones living in moderate climate conditions.

Type of customers
The electricity rates are higher for residential and commercial consumers. This is because it is costly to distribute electricity to them. Industries receive electricity at less expensive rates because they receive it at a higher voltage which makes it more efficient. The average price of electricity rates in the country this year is roughly 12 cents/kWh whereas for industries it is 6 cents/kWh.

Some states have regulated electricity prices and this is determined using public services and utility commissions; however, there are some states that use a combination of other unregulated prices for generators. Such states also use different prices based on the nature of transmission and service providers.


Home and Garden

4 popular brands for buying office furniture

When it comes to office furniture, ordering quality merchandise is the key. Ordering cheap office furniture can cost you a lot more in the long run in view of its short shelf-life and repair expenses. Cheap quality furniture can also meddle with the productivity at your workplace. It is apt to base your purchase decisions on practicality. For example, the storage units of roll top desks need not be too small or impractical for the nature of your work. The chairs need to be able to have an average weight-bearing capacity, and the desk units need to be smooth. If you are concerned about all these parameters, here is a list of top brands for buying office desks and furniture that you must go through:

This popular brand hosts a vivid variety of office furniture that is made up of quality materials. If you want to purchase furniture for your office at an affordable price range, Ikea is the best choice for you. The design options are numerous and will suit every taste and requirement of your office.

Best Buys
This online store is an excellent website to score deals on office furniture. The website and the store features many furniture options ranging from office desks to conference tables. The sales staff is knowledgeable and they assist you well to make the perfect purchase decision.

AAA Furniture Wholesalers
This unique website allows you to purchase fine furniture at affordable prices. You can also opt for bulk buy discount on furniture. This can be easily done either by ordering the office desks and other office furniture you need in bulk amounts or by opening a trade account with a furniture supplier. This top brand offers great deals for bulk purchase of office furniture as well.

Overstock.com enthralls its customers with a wide variety of furniture options it hosts on its website. A large number of top brands showcase their office furniture collections on Overstock.com, for customers to buy. The website also runs deals on furniture from time to time. It is the right place if you are looking for quality furniture at competitive pricing.


Home and Garden

Bathroom cleaning made easier with the right cleaner

Keeping the bathroom clean is a herculean task without the right tools. One of the essentials is the cleaning liquid. There are umpteen cleaners stacked in the stores; the task is now to know which one to choose.

Choosing from an established and time-tested brand always has an advantage. You need not be afraid of the cleaner turning out to be a disaster. Here is a list of the best bathroom cleaners to make bathroom cleaning effortless.

Best bathroom cleaners in the market
The danger about some toilet cleaners is that they contain harmful chemical ingredients. It is advisable to buy natural and more reliable bathroom cleaners that are available in the market.

Lysol bathroom cleaners
When it comes to an all-purpose bathroom cleaner, Lysol is what you need. It cleans off any surface with just a wipe. Be it tiles, mirrors, marble floors or even mosaic floors. These are perfect for light stains and dirt deposits on tiles.

Scrubbing bubbles mega shower bubbles
As the name suggests, it is the shower for your shower. Just spray it on the glass, fiberglass or tile walls, let it sit on it for 3 minutes and then rinse it off. It can make your shower look brand new.

Clorox clean-up
One of the best bathroom cleaners available in the market today, it contains bleach that deep cleans tiles. It also helps to retain the original color of the tiles.

Lime-A-Way toilet bowl cleaner
Keeping toilets clean is necessary to maintain hygiene. This product is helpful for deep cleaning the toilet and can make it look new with just a few uses. As it contains caustic chemicals, it is advisable to wear gloves while handling it.

Seventh Generation Toilet Cleaner
It can make your toilet look new with just a wash. It does not contain any harmful ingredients. It is eco-friendly and all its ingredients are listed in the package. This is why it is one of the best bathroom cleansers available today.

The best bathroom cleaners are not easy to find but the above-listed items are easily available at stores selling household products. These are inexpensive and reliable products.