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For many the online networking site Pinterest serves as a fun way to get ideas for decorating for a birthday or sewing a quilt out of old T-shirts. Not that many of the tips on Pinterest aren’t functional, but a good majority emphasize the fun factor. What you might be surprised to find out is that Pinterest is actually a great site to find household tips and tricks, especially these plumbing and HVAC tips.

Clean Out Your Disposal

The first plumbing and HVAC tip involves your garbage disposal. Although the garbage disposal is a very nice luxury to have in your kitchen but it’s also a risk factor for breaking down, causing water backup, and creating a general stench in your home. You’ll probably have to call plumbing and heating professional to help repair the disposal the first time a spare rib bone gets stuck in there and you’ll eventually learn how to take apart the contraption yourself, but there’s an easier step to try and prevent it all. To clear grease buildup turn on the hot water then turn on the disposal. Next squeeze some dishwasher soap into the disposal and let it run for another 30 seconds. Finally turn off the disposal but let the hot water run until the bubbles cease to clean out grease buildup on a semi-regular basis.

Easily Clean Your Showerhead

Showers are going to get grungy, that’s almost a given with anything that gets wet repeatedly during the day and is left to sit. Just because a shower gets slimy doesn’t mean it has to stay that way, especially the showerhead. There’s a real easy way to clean the head that doesn’t even require you to be at home. Simply pour distilled white vinegar into a plastic baggie and secure it to the head with a tight rubber band. Let it sit for an hour or two while the vinegar brakes down the grunge and eats it away, leaving a showerhead that looks brand new. Wipe down the head then use the wet rag to wipe down the handles and other shower fixtures for a sparkling new look.

Quiet Your Sink and Pipes

Besides your garbage disposal trying to grind up yet another spare rib bone or your dog whimpering for said bone, the kitchen sink can be another noisy aspect of your plumbing. Hot water running through pipes makes them expand and turning off high pressure abruptly also provides a little kickback. You’re not going to necessarily get rid of these noises but it is possible to deaden them. It’s actually really easy to fill in the void between sinks if you have a dual model. Simply take some spray foam that is typically used to fill in gaps for drafts by windows and spray it in the crevice between sinks to create a solid cohesive unit.

Another area to investigate is in your basement where copper pipes are adjoined to the joists below. If there is metal on metal between the copper and the hanger, simply wrap the pipe in some adhesive-backed felt for a quieter connection.

Conceal Your Outside Air Conditioning Unit

Few would argue about the luxuries that a central air conditioning unit adds to the home. There’s nothing like walking in your home after a hot day outside, knowing that every room will be chilled to perfection. One drawback though is that the bulky and boxy outside compressor unit doesn’t really add much feng shui to your exterior d’cor. There are a few ideas on how to hide your A/C compressor that could even be built or installed by the plumbing & heating company that installs your unit. The most popular concealer is lattice fencing. The lattice design leaves just enough to add to the imagination while letting the A/C still breath. Another option is to plant shrubbery around the unit, as eventually when the bushes grow only you will know there’s a compressor back there & although the shrubs do make repairs and access a little difficult. Finally, you can paint the A/C unit so that it is the same color as your siding and looks simply like an extension of the home.

Follow the Air Conditioning Best Practice Guide

Sometimes we’re forced to make a choice in the sweltering months, either sweat our tails off or pay out the wazoo for utility bills while the air conditioning is running. Lucky we have developed the surefire way to do both, by doing the following:

Close Blinds & Drapes & The food in your fridge stays cooler when the door is shut and likewise your home stays a comfortable chill when the sun isn’t beating through the windows heating it up. Closing your drapes during the day only takes a second and it prevents your cold air from morphing out the windows.

Ceiling Fans Are Your Friend & Hot air rises but ceiling fans utilize that to push it back down on you thus creating a slight breeze. Ceiling fans let you raise your thermostat temperature a bit by creating an alternate gust, thus lowering your cooling bills.

Use a Programmable Thermostat & There’s really no sense cooling your home while you’re at work for the day but at the same time it’s miserable coming home to a hotbox. You can solve that problem by installing a programmable thermostat that only lowers temperatures at prime living hours.

Replace Air Filter & When you restrict the air flow, you make your A/C work harder and thus raise the price of your utility bills & no brainer.

Reduce Oven Use in the summer. It’s time to grill outside instead of slaving over an oven that is heating your home and thus increasing your A/C usage.

Of course nobody is saying you can’t still use Pinterest for great ways to make a squirrel feeder out of an old microwave but remember that it’s a very practical and useful site as well. It should be noted that for all the major repairs, diagnosis, and recommendations it’s still best to call in the HVAC professionals or the plumbing contractors, at least for a consultation.

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