14 Tips for Repairing Carpet

repairing carpet

Many people feel that one of the downfalls of carpet is that if it gets stained, ripped, burned, stretched or ruined in any way you have no other option but to replace the whole thing. However, that is not necessarily true. Sure, in some drastic cases there might not be an easy fix, which leaves you with no other choice but to replace the entire carpet. But oftentimes there are much cheaper carpet care options that people forget to consider. Here are some tips on how you can fix some common carpet problems, such as rips, stains, burns, lifting and snags.


The simplest way to prolong the life of your carpet is to stop big problems from happening in the first place. You can prevent rips, burns, stains and other issues by following these easy prevention tips.

1. Rotate Your Furniture

By regularly rotating your furniture, you can prevent certain areas of your carpet from getting crushed. Try to avoid allowing kids or pets to jump on furniture as this can put more pressure on the legs, which can damage the carpet.

2. Use Furniture Coasters

Furniture coasters not only help evenly distribute the weight of heavy furniture, but they act as shock absorbers. Some furniture coasters can even help you move the furniture across the floor more easily than you would otherwise be capable of.

3. Use Carpet Pads

Another way you can lengthen the life of your carpet is with the use of carpet pads. Carpet pads can act as shock absorbers as well as prevent the carpet from rubbing against the rough floor beneath it.

4. Keep Small Rugs in Entryway

If you commit to wiping your feet before you come indoors, you can limit the amount of dirt you track in and leave on your carpet. To accomplish this, keep a welcome mat by any entrances into your house and don’t walk on your carpet with your shoes on.

5. Vacuum Regularly

Though it isn’t the most enjoyable chore, regularly vacuuming your carpets can help keep them looking nicer for longer. Not only will they look nicer, but keeping them vacuumed can also help reduce your allergy symptoms.

6. Steam Clean

In addition to regularly vacuuming your carpet, make a point to steam clean your floor at least once a year. This can help get rid of harder to remove stains that your vacuum can’t accomplish. This is also much cheaper and easier than replacing the carpet where the stain is.

7. Apply Carpet Treatments

As preventative care, apply stain and soil resistant treatments to your floors. Even if you religiously vacuum and steam your floors, a good preventative treatment can do wonders for the health of your carpeting.

8. Clean Spills Right Away

When it comes to stains, the more quickly you act, the more efficient you will be at cleaning it. The longer a stain sits on carpet, the more challenging it will be to remove it. When caring for your carpet, don’t procrastinate to keep it in good shape.

9. Avoid Constant Direct Sun Exposure

If you always have your curtains open and allow the sun to beat down on your carpet, it can slowly alter the color of your floor and damage the fibers. To avoid this, keep your curtains or blinds closed when you are not in the room. This will also help you save on cooling and heating bills.

Following these prevention tips will help keep your carpet looking nice. Unfortunately, accidents will happen, which is why you need to learn easy repair tips too.

Rips, Stains and Burns

Rips, stains and burns in your carpet may seem like the end of the line, but even these nasty holes can be fixed.

10. Patching Burned, Ripped or Stained Carpet

When your carpet gets ripped, stained or burned, you’ll need to learn to patch it. This may sound daunting, but it’s a really easy process. First you need to make sure you have the proper tools: utility knife, scissors, marker, gloves, single-sided carpet tape, extra carpet, masking tape and a can or another cylindrical object big enough to fit around the damaged area.

  • The first step to this project is finding a remnant piece of carpet. If you don’t have extra carpet from installation, you can just cut a piece of carpet from the back of a closet. Use the cylindrical object as a guide and cut around the circle to create you replacement piece.
  • Next you have to figure out which way the fibers of the carpet run, so that way you can install the repair piece facing in the same direction. Use the masking tape to indicate the direction of the fibers on both the repair piece and the carpet near the damaged sight.
  • Now you have to remove the damaged area from the rest of the carpet. Use the cylindrical object as an outline guide around the rip or burn. Carefully cut around the outline with your utility knife.
  • Once you have the damaged area of carpet removed, it is time to put the carpet tape in. You want to cut the strips of carpet tape so that they are bigger than the diameter of the hole you just created, and stick them in there so that a portion of the tape is stuck to the surrounding backing of the carpet.
  • Next it is time to put in your replacement piece. Make sure to note the direction of the fibers, so you put the piece in the right way.
  • Use the scissors to trim any long pieces of carpet.
  • Place a stack of books or a heavy piece of furniture on the repaired area for a few days to ensure it is fully assimilated into the rest of the carpet.
  • Use scissors to trim. For burns that are not that drastic, you can just use a scissors to trim away the burnt part. Try not to cut too deep, or that part of the carpet will look odd.
carpet sample

Now you’re ready to patch your carpet!


Carpeting lifting can happen in a few different ways. Your carpet can be loose and bubble in certain areas, or it can start to pull out from metal thresholds.

11. Restretching Carpet

If your carpet is bubbling or loose, you have to re-stretch it.

  • Remove all of the furniture from the room and loosen the tack strips. If the carpet is older, you should make sure to use a seam sealer so the edges do not unravel.
  • While your carpet is up you should check the padding underneath to make sure that it is not bunched up in places.
  • Stretch out the carpet and put it back down. Make sure it is pulled tightly.
  • Replace tack strips, and trim the carpet as needed.
12. Threshold Replacement

If your carpet is coming loose from the threshold, you have to remove the old threshold and replace it with a new one. Bubbles and lifting in your carpet can lead to bigger issues and unraveling. Make sure the threshold is doing its job correctly to avoid these issues.


How you go about fixing snags depends on the type of carpet you have. Below we cover the snags that happen in two common types of carpet: Berber and Loop Pile carpeting.

13. Berber Carpet

If your carpet is Berber carpet, you will have to examine the snag in order to figure out where the next loop forms and where the yarn is in the material. Follow these steps:

  • You’ll have to use a screwdriver, pencil, knitting needle or some other long, thin tool to pull up the next loop. Do not pull it all the way through the backing.
  • Using another thin tool, you want to pull up the next loop in order to start pulling the snag back down. Make sure to leave the snag bigger than the loops that you pull up.
  • You will have to repeat this process until you get the snag down to its original spot.
14. Loop Pile Carpet

If your carpet is Loop Pile, a snag usually indicates that the loop has come undone. Follow these tips to fix it:

  • You will have to examine the area and count the curls. Cut the strand in the middle, so that there are an equal number of curls on each side.
  • Outline the run with masking tape.
  • On the inside of the run, apply carpet tape or another adhesive.
  • Then, use a screwdriver or nail to put the push fiber back in place.

Fixing snags can get a little complicated, but it can be done with the proper instructions and tools.

Save Money on Carpet

If your carpet gets stained, ripped or otherwise ruined, you do not have to replace it all. Follow these carpet care tips to keep your carpet looking good for as long as possible.

6 Tips for Preventing Your Pipes from Freezing

icy faucet

If you live in a cold climate, you probably know all too well the dilemma of frozen pipes. If you’re new to cold climates or new to owning a house, you need to know how to prevent frozen pipes in your home. In order to be the best prepared, you have to look at what causes pipes to freeze, how you can prevent it, how you can monitor it, how you can thaw your frozen pipes and when you need to call a professional.

1. Why Pipes Freeze

The cause of pipes freezing is pretty self-explanatory. Low temperatures cause the water in the pipes to freeze. Normally the pipes that freeze are ones that are in poorly insulated parts of your home or areas that are not heated. When water freezes and becomes ice it actually starts to expand. That’s why when your pipes freeze it may lead to your pipes bursting, which can cause you even more problems.

2. How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Now you know why pipes freeze, but you need to know how to prevent it from ever happening. You can prevent frozen pipes by:

  • Fully draining water from water sprinkler supply lines as per manufacturer’s directions.
  • Disconnecting garden hoses and storing them indoors.
  • Closing any inside valves that supply water to outside faucets.
  • Opening the outside valve, so if water does freeze it can expand without breaking the pipes.
  • Insulating any pipes in areas that are not heated, such as the basement, crawl space or garage.
  • Heating pipes with approved heat tape.
  • Opening cabinet doors to allow heat to circulate.
  • Knowing where the main water valve and the valve on your water heater are located.
  • Closing all windows near water pipes.
  • Covering and/or closing open-air vents near pipes.
  • Heating your basement.
  • Weather sealing your windows.
  • Shutting off water supply valves to your big appliances if you plan on being away for a while.
  • Making sure your home is at least 55°F even if you are leaving for the winter.
  • Keeping garage doors closed during extreme cold.
  • Relocating and paying special attention to exposed pipes that have caused trouble in past years.

These tips can help you prevent your pipes from freezing. Assuming you’ll be around during the cold season, you can also keep an eye on the pipes to make sure that your preventative steps are working.

3. How to Monitor Your Pipes

Knowing how to prevent frozen pipes in your home and yard is only part of the battle. You also have to know how to monitor the pipes. You can tell if your pipes are freezing by:

  • Allowing facets to drip.
  • Running the ice maker in your freezer.
  • Regularly running the fill-cycle on your washing machine on warm if there isn’t a faucet in the laundry room.
  • Checking your faucets for water flow and pressure regularly, such as when you wake up and before you go to sleep, because the first sign of frozen pipes is reduced water flow from faucets.
  • Regularly checking pipes in certain areas, such as around your water meter, in areas without heat and near exterior walls.

Knowing how to keep an eye on your pipes is important. You want to be able to catch frozen pipes as soon as possible, so you can take the necessary steps to thaw them.

4. How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

If the worst happens and your pipes freeze, you can thaw them by:

  • Keeping the spout open while treating the frozen pipes, because this will allow the slowly melting water to move through the pipes which helps speed up the melting process.
  • Applying heat to the trouble section of the pipes with a heating pad placed directly on the pipe, heat lamp, hair dryer or a portable space heater.
  • Continuing heating the pipe until water pressure is completely restored.
  • Knowing where to start the process. For instance, you want to start thawing a pipe closest to the faucet, so that melted water can drip out.

You can follow these steps to try to thaw pipes yourself. You need to remember to check for leaks once you have successfully thawed the pipes.

5. When to Call a Professional

frozen gutter

As you try to thaw pipes, there are some things you have to keep in mind. You do not want to try to thaw your frozen pipes using any sort of open flame tool, like a blowtorch, charcoal stove or propane heater. These types of devices could start an uncontrolled fire. There are also certain instances when you have to call a professional:

  • If you cannot locate the frozen pipe or are unable to reach it to begin the thawing process, call in a professional plumber.
  • Also remember, if one pipe is frozen, you need to check the rest. When one pipe freezes it is likely that more will have frozen as well. You may need to call a professional if you cannot locate all of the trouble pipes.
  • If a pipe breaks, you need to close the main shut-off valve and immediately call a plumber.

Sometimes you just need a professional to come out and help you. You don’t want to let frozen or busted pipes get out of control, because that can lead to flooding and further damage to your house.

6. Properly Preparing

Properly preparing for winter is one of the best ways that you can prevent your pipes from freezing. Of course, it is not all about knowing how to prevent frozen pipes in your home, but it is also about what to do if it happens to you. If you live in an area that gets cold weather, you have to familiarize yourself with the prevention, monitoring and thawing of frozen pipes. It could save you huge hassles in the future.

Remember all of the tips discussed here, and don’t forget to use the tools you have at your disposal. That means you should talk to your regular plumber to get further tips and advice from someone who knows the ins and outs of plumbing. You should also make sure to talk to your insurance agent to ensure that you’re covered in case anything should go wrong in your pipe-freezing-prevention plan.

No matter how your winter goes, the only way you can truly be ready for the disaster that is frozen pipes is to learn the important steps to prevent and fix frozen pipes. The faster you can take care of your frozen pipe problems, the easier and probably cheaper it will be. Knowing where your important shut-off valves are located is one of the most important steps. Remember, don’t let frozen pipes sneak up on you. Learn what you can do to prevent, monitor and fix frozen pipes by talking to a trusted plumber.

10 Ways to Storm-Proof Your Trees

Storm damaged tree

Trees benefit your property in a multitude of ways. They bring beauty, depth and character to a landscape, as well as offer shade, stabilize soil, mark time and provide shelter for wildlife. Trees support our lives, so it is important that we support their lives too.

Whether the trees on your grounds are hundred-year-old oaks or freshly planted saplings, it is wise to take care of and protect them from the potentially devastating effects of high winds and heavy storms. By ensuring that your trees stay rooted in the ground, you can also safeguard your house from potentially devastating damage from a falling branch. The following tips address both new plantings and established growth.

1. When Planting New Trees, Think Small

Smaller-sized trees take hold and develop healthy root systems more easily than larger trees. The stronger and deeper the root system, the better equipped the tree is to handle high winds and rain. In addition, you can promote tree health with some focused pruning to develop a sound canopy with well-spaced limbs and branches from the start. It is much easier to avoid some structural challenges than to try to fix them later.

2. Allow Adequate Room for Growth

The canopy, or the above ground spread of a tree, is one of several considerations for determining how much space is enough to plant a hardy tree. A healthy tree needs room to grow, and that means below ground as well. For roots to remain vital, it is important to limit soil compaction around the tree. Lighten foot traffic around the tree by putting in some bedding plants or shrubs, or by adding a walkway that provides drainage while dispersing above ground weight more evenly.

3. Consider Grouping Varieties

There is research to show that trees of the same variety weather storms better when they are planted in groups. Groves of similar trees that are planted roughly 10 feet apart from each other are 66 percent more likely to survive high winds in a storm. The stability comes from root systems that grow together.

A similar effect can be achieved with supplementary plantings of a larger shrub or two in proximity to a single tree. The type of tree you choose to put in counts, too. While stands of evergreens appear to make an attractive and uniform wind block, the fact is that they do not survive heavy storms as well as hardwood and deciduous varieties. Trees that tend to hold up include:

  • White oak
  • Hickory
  • Red maple
  • Birch

Be careful to avoid planting fast-growing varieties like birch near your roof or any utility lines.

5. Prune Proactively

Prune young deciduous trees with an eye toward developing a strong leader, or central trunk. Allowing the trunk to grow in two parts creates a “crotch” that leaves the tree vulnerable to splitting in high winds. When the tree is very young, remove up to 25 percent of limbs that exceed more than half the diameter of the central trunk. For optimal tree health, do this every year until the leader is fully dominant and stable. Early and attentive pruning is essential for creating a strong architecture for the tree.

Many people are intimidated by the task of pruning a young tree. They worry that they will take off too much or cut the wrong sections. However, trees ultimately benefit from thoughtful pruning in their first few years, and it tends to help them survive extreme weather better.

A good tactic is to picture a spiral up through the center of the tree. Branches should be spaced approximately 12 to 18 inches from one another as they climb the trunk, and face out in different directions. This design forms an attractive canopy and increased stability. When pruning, it helps to keep your ultimate vision for the tree in mind, and work toward that. Have an idea where you want the lowest branches to be, and cut back limbs that grow below that point. Do not remove them completely, though, until the tree is well established.

Supported tree

6. Anchor Trees with Stakes

Small, young trees may need to be anchored in a storm. Before the weather hits, put three or four 3-foot stakes into the ground around the trunk and secure them to the tree with twine. Be careful to allow some flexibility for the tree to bend a bit with the wind. Tying the tree too firmly will actually make it more vulnerable to damage.

7. Remove Stakes

Use staking to protect new plantings, but take them out as soon as the danger has passed. Root systems develop better when the trunk can move in the wind a bit. The trunk itself will ultimately be stronger with a little flex room.

8. Wrap Trunks

Young tree trunks can benefit from a little TLC in extreme weather. Use burlap or row cover and heavy twine to wrap trunks to protect them from severe temperatures. For even greater protection from wind, you can construct a burlap tent around the tree. Embed stakes around the trunk that are a foot or so taller than the tree, then wrap the material around the stakes from top to bottom so one layer overlaps the next. Secure with twine.

9. Materials and Tools to Keep Handy

Be prepared for stormy weather by having a store of materials ready to go when you need it. A storm damage prevention and emergency kit should include:

  • Garden stakes
  • Sledgehammer
  • Burlap
  • Floating row cover
  • Heavy twine
  • Sharp knife
  • Folding pruner or buck saw

10. Watch the Weather

Even if you live in an area that is prone to sudden storms, you can minimize damage to plants and trees by staying alert to weather changes and thinking ahead. It is a good idea to construct protective scaffolding you can just pull out and hammer into the ground before the wind really starts whipping. Do not attempt to do too much in an actual hurricane or tornado situation.

If worse comes to worst, a heavy storm will clear out weaker growth and make room for stronger plantings. As upsetting as it may be to lose a tree to a storm, learn what you can from the experience. Stay safe and take the precautions you can to foster tree health. With care, your landscape will stand and flourish through the tests of time.

6 Ways to Reduce Yard Work


Everybody loves a manicured yard–fresh with neat green grass and flowerbeds overflowing with blooms. With the growing national focus on water conservation, more people are adding unexpected features to their yards to reduce the amount of growth they need to maintain. For example, some are reducing the size of their lawn by adding ground cover, artificial turf, flower beds or replacing grass with patio space. By adding these features, these people are keeping their yards looking nice while cutting down on the amount of necessary yard work.

No matter how much you simplify your yard, there will always be some yard work to do. However, lessening the amount of time you spend on yard work benefits you and your neighborhood because you will tend to use less water and produce less waste. Employing earth-friendly gardening systems and smart landscaping applications preserves your time and generates limited yard waste while still delivering a great looking yard. Here are six ways that you can reimagine your landscape and enjoy the added perk of reducing yard work.

1. Reduce the Size of Your Lawn

Lawn Mowing

Grass needs an ample supply of fertilizer and water to be vibrant and thick. Add in mowing, trimming and weeding, and maintaining your lush yard becomes quite a lot of work. By decreasing the size of your lawn, you save time, work and money, particularly with the increasing water rates. Some communities even offer homeowners substantial rebates when they trade their lawns for a low-water alternative. Check with your home owner’s associate to see if you would be eligible for a similar rebate.

Shrinking the green area can also solve other problems. You can manage cut-through foot traffic on corner yards by replacing that part of the grass with a border of low-maintenance shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses. If you space plants close together and mulch areas in between to smother weeds, you can dramatically reduce your chores. Other alternatives to traditional lawns include combinations of paved areas or gravel.

2. Bring in Native Plants

Use plants accustomed to the local soil conditions and climate because those plants are likely to survive without an abundance of fertilizer and water. Nurseries are following this trend by making native species readily available to customers. They also recommend perennial shrubs and flowers so that you will have permanent flower beds without replanting each season. Perennials live for a minimum of two years, but most live much longer than that.

You can also work with your local cooperative extension service for more ideas about climate-appropriate species indigenous to your area. Plants that grow spontaneously in your climate have adapted ways to thrive without the need for humans to care for them. Even if you only use native plants for half of the plants in your yard, that still promises less watering and maintenance overall. The Environmental Protection Agency is another excellent source to investigate. The EPA site offers a handy state-by-state plant selector. These sources can direct you to shade-loving ground cover, hardy ornamental grasses that change with the seasons or species that withstand foot traffic.

3. Plant an Edible Garden

Planting and growing vegetables is easy and cost-effective. Home improvement centers carry various assortments of starter plants and packaged seeds of numerous types of vegetables and herbs. Many people see edible gardening as an enjoyable hobby. The local-food movement and the desire to know where food is coming from are also a good reason to plant an edible garden.

It is a good plan to test your soil before you cultivate vegetables at home, particularly if you reside in a municipal area where lead is a concern. You can also resort to gardening in raised containers, planters or pots, which gives you more control over the chemicals that your plants will be exposed to. Another viable option is using wall-mounted, vertical planters for things like strawberries, beans and tomatoes.

When you plant a garden, utilize the no-till method in which the soil is never disturbed. This method protects the subsoil environment for the benefit of growing healthy plants. You can add compost, peat and organic fertilizer directly to the top of the garden beds. Over time, it becomes incorporated through the watering process and the activity of subsoil organisms.

4. Design an Outdoor Room

More and more people are creating versatile outdoor rooms. Individuals are looking past the typical grill and folding chairs by equipping their open-air gathering spaces with fire pits, water-resistant furniture and entertainment. Retailers offer many options for benches and fire pits for these outdoor rooms. In addition, locally sourced stone is popular for patios and more attractive composites are being produced for deck alternatives.

A simple fountain, pond or man-made brook adds a touch of backyard water elements. Listening to the sounds of flowing water while you are grilling or enjoying a glass of wine with friends in your outdoor space is relaxing and peaceful. Rock gardens typically contain drought-tolerant plants–such as succulents and cacti–and do not require much care. The rocks offer an element that never needs watering while adding a beautiful focal point to your outdoor room.


5. Xeriscape Your Yard

Xeriscaping is another method of reducing the amount of grass and sensitive plants that you have to take care of. By completely xeriscaping your yard, you can cut down on your water consumption and time you spend on plant care. Use an abundance of drought-tolerant plants and rocks with an emphasis on your outdoor entertainment area to keep your yard inviting without having a lot of greenery.

Xeriscaping is often recommended for people who live in dry areas where it rarely rains. If done well, xeriscaping can add a modern and minimalist element to your yard and boost your curb appeal. If you are concerned that a xeriscape would not allow you to have any color or flowers in your yard, you actually can. Flowers such as geraniums, purple coneflowers, and butterfly weeds can add plenty of color to your xeriscaped yard while requiring very little maintenance.

6. Follow Sustainable Practices

Nearly all homeowners mulch after mowing and simply deposit the clippings on their lawn instead of bagging them. In fact, you can fertilize less by mulching more with these lawn clippings. This adds nutrients back into the soil, which can reduce your yard’s need for fertilization by as much as 30 percent. When you purchase fertilizer, most people look for environmental friendliness of the ingredients and ease of application. Nothing is more environmentally friendly and natural than spreading the clippings back on the source they came from.

Clover seed is an attractive ground cover and an ideal alternative to grass. It is drought-tolerant, economical, environmentally safe and requires little maintenance. In addition, clovers compete with weeds, do not require frequent mowing and are insect-resistant, making these plants a superb substitute for grass.

When you really want to cut down on your yard work, consider sharing the work with neighborhood children or your family members. Watering with your children can be a fun bonding experience, and the neighborhood teens welcome extra income for spending an hour or so every few weeks mowing or raking. Other approaches to reducing yard work involve lessening lawn fertilizer applications to just a few times annually and mowing less frequently. If you mow only when the grass is about six inches tall, then mow again with it is only one-third of its height, you can help the grass develop a stronger root system.

Yard work can be time consuming. By following these tips to reduce the upkeep, you can save so much more than time without sacrificing a beautiful yard.

Stove Care & Maintenance Tips

Stove Top

Today’s homes are filled with many time-saving gadgets and appliances. Modern homeowners enjoy the convenience of appliances that wash dishes, cook almost instantly, and practically eliminate the need for an open flame in the home. The stove is a popular cooking appliance that has made meal preparation simpler and faster.

In some homes, these hardworking appliances are used every single day, sometimes more than once. This constant wear will inevitably have an effect on how well and how long the stove works. In order to improve the performance and extend the lifespan of your stove, it’s recommended that you follow a regular routine of maintenance and cleaning. The below tips will typically cover both gas ranges and electric ranges, but it is important to refer to your owner’s manual on what to do for your specific unit.
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Dehumidifier Maintenance Tips: How to Clean, Maintain & Troubleshoot Your Unit

Owning a dehumidifier can be extremely beneficial for a homeowner in a number of ways. The main purpose of the dehumidifier is to remove the excess moisture in the air, thereby reducing the humidity in the room in which it is located. Removing the excess moisture in the air helps to prevent mold and mildew buildup, and it may also help in controlling allergies, asthma, and other health issues that relate to respiration.


Additionally, having a dehumidifier in your home also makes a room more comfortable and free from any musty smells that may arise, particularly during seasons that have high humidity.

Given all of the benefits that a dehumidifier is able to bring, it is important to understand how to clean and troubleshoot your unit, as well as these basic dehumidifier maintenance tips that can help in generating a deeper understanding of how you can keep your unit working smoothly for years to come.

Keeping Your Dehumidifier Clean

It should be obvious that it is important to keep any appliance clean in order to ensure its proper and continued function. Dehumidifiers are no different, and the water collection tank, air intake, and exhaust grilles should all be cleaned on a regular basis. The water tank should be emptied frequently, and cleaning only requires the use of a disinfectant or the simple use of soap and warm water. If the tank is left unclean, mold and mildew may develop, dispersing through the dehumidifier and into the air.

In addition to cleaning the water collection tank, both the air intake and exhaust grilles should be vacuumed at least once every season. The buildup of dust and debris can impact how efficiently your dehumidifier is able to run, and blockages may result in damage and deterioration.
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5 Maintenance Tips for Window Air Conditioners

In order to prolong the life of your air conditioner and to ensure its continued and efficient function, it is important for you to take the proper steps to take care of the unit. There are several maintenance tips for window air conditioners that will help you keep your unit functioning properly for many years to come, while also ensuring that it continues to operate at optimal efficiency. Understanding how to maintain your window air conditioner at the beginning and end of each operating season will benefit you and your air conditioning unit in a significant way.

Here are five maintenance tips you should keep in mind for your window air conditioning unit.

1. Cleaning & Replacing the Air Filter

Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of air conditioner maintenance relates to the air filter. The filter plays a very important role in your air conditioning unit, and it needs to be either cleaned or replaced on a relatively frequent basis.

If the air system becomes impeded due to an air filter past its prime, significant stress may be placed on the entire system. This causes serious inefficiencies in function that should be easily avoided, especially given the fact that changing out an air filter is very simple. Some units have air filters that can be cleaned and reused, while others must simply be replaced.

Consult the information provided by the manufacturer to determine which type of air filter your unit uses. If it can be cleaned, check the filter once a month to clean all of the debris from the filter. If it must be replaced, it is generally ideal to replace the filter once every two to three months. Of course, the presence of pollen or allergens will influence the frequency with which you should replace or clean your filter.
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Wine Coolers 101

built-in wine cooler

Mention a wine cooler, and my mind wanders to the French countryside, maybe say… Burgundy. A beautiful wine country, just south of Paris, Burgundy grows fine grapes to make exceptional Pinot Noir red wines and Chardonnay white wines. Yes, I have actually visited there once.

A bit of brie, a picnic basket and a beautiful smile….ok, I have to get back to work!

EdgeStar carries a wide variety of wine coolers, both the thermoelectric, or TE coolers, and the more familiar compressor-based ones. It is very important to note that no matter which one you choose certain guidelines must be observed.

The first item of note is which way the door will swing. Factory configurations usually have it set to open from left to right,  and occasionally, customers want the door to swing the other way, from right to left. Happily, the vast majority of the EdgeStar wine cooler line allows the customer to do exactly that.

The next consideration will be placement of the unit. Most customers prefer to place the unit in such a fashion that it appears to have been built in, under a counter, or in a cabinet. The compressor-based units are preferred candidates, because they vent from the front at the bottom of the cooler. With that in mind, I present a bit of advice for the value minded customer that purchases one of our fine EdgeStar thermoelectric coolers to reproduce the exact same look in their kitchen…

The thermoelectric series of wine coolers are an excellent product, but if you build them in, or put them under a counter, they will overheat, and will live a very short life.

This is due to the fact that they generate a LOT of heat from the back of the unit, and although the cooling is fan forced, they absolutely must be installed in a free standing environment. We mean it, folks, no joke.

Leveling is very important when installing one of our wine coolers, especially the compressor-based ones. An unbalanced compressor will be noisy and will fail early. Use a bubble level to make sure the leveling is done correctly, and try to use a level that has a magnetic strip attached, that’s handy for not only horizontal level, but vertical leveling as well.

Regular cleaning of both the intake and exhaust grills on both types of coolers is also very important, I recommend doing a complete cleaning at least once every 6 months. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment for best results.

Last but not least, I recommend using a surge protector on all of our wine coolers, but especially the thermoelectric units. Most kitchens these days have outlets that are GFCI protected (think wine cooler falling in the pool), but not surge protected. Surge protectors can be picked up at most retail electronic stores at reasonable prices. The really good protectors will stop passing power when they are worn out.

That’s all for this week. See you later!


Simple Tips for a Great Appliance

In this installment, I will be covering some basic tips to help appliance owners maintain their products for a long and trouble-free lifespan. These are simple tips that anyone, including you, can do!

Lets get started…


So, you just took delivery of your new appliance from Living Direct…and you’re so excited! It’s new, shiny, and just what you wanted! There you are, the product is unpacked, and ready to install, so…


Folks, let’s grab a cup of coffee and sit back with that new owner’s manual. I know, it’s easy to say that you don’t need to, the product is so easy to use, so why do I need to waste time reading the manual?

Because it will help familiarize you with all of the controls, installation, maintenance, and perhaps just as important, it gives you the chance to read through the warranty, so if, in the unlikely event that you have a problem with the unit, you know who to call, what information to have ready when you call, and it gives you an understanding of what to expect when you speak with the service agent.

We really do value you as a customer and we want a good rapport with you.


Make sure that you follow all of the installation instructions provided with the unit. That is a vital step. Just like building a home, the foundation is the most important part. A good installation sets the stage for a long product life and a happy customer. If you have the right skills to install the product, go for it! If not, you’ll want to contact a qualified appliance tech to help you do it right.

Product Usage

Make sure you are familiar with the product controls, menu functions, and understand just exactly what the unit is designed to do. Again, the manual will come in handy. If you have further questions, contact us. We’ll have a friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful agent waiting for you!


Each and every unit, no matter how often it is used, will eventually need some sort of maintenance. It’s a fact. Air conditioners need regular filter cleaning, have the water accumulation drained from it’s storage tank, and set up correctly for maximum performance. Dishwashers need a good supply of hot water, good quality detergent, and the right voltage to do the job right. Wine coolers need regular cleaning to remove dust and debris from internal parts, and good airflow to keep that wine cool. Power surge protection is highly recommended!


So, as you can see, there are things that you can do to make your purchase a wise investment. I wanted to give you an overview first, and in my next blog post, we’ll start to focus on individual products, and we will get down to the nuts-and-bolts of each. I have lots of tips to help you “keep ‘er humming” day after day for years to come!

Dave’s Tip of the Week: “Safety First! Unplug that unit before doing any maintenance!”

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Appliance Maintenance Tips


To ensure that your favorite appliances last a long time and continue to work well, you want to make sure you take very good care of them. From big appliances like refrigerators and washing machines to small appliances like toasters and microwaves, caring for their overall function is a must. Without proper care, your appliances may become ineffective, resulting in a higher electricity bill or unfulfilled purpose, or even potentially start a house fire due to faulty wiring or mechanics.

Cleaning your appliances after you use them is an excellent way to keep hazards at bay. Small appliances such as waffle makers, sandwich presses, blenders and toasters should especially be cleaned after use to help keep crumbs or uncooked batter from burning and possibly catching on fire. Therefore, after cooking food with these appliances you should wipe or wash them down, but also be cautious of electrical cords and features that may be ruined by contact with water.

Inspecting your appliances’ electrical connections is extremely important. Appliances age with use and loose wires can be potentially very dangerous to you and your family. If wires seem taut, split or torn and exposing the actual electrical wires, your appliance may be at risk of sparking and starting a fire or electrical surge causing a power outage in the rest of your home. This can also lead to damaging your appliance completely.

Overheating is also a common deficiency in older appliances. Being aware of the age of your appliances and their normal function is important so that you can recognize when something is wrong, like overheating or strange noises.  This appliance reaction is usually caused due to a backup of dust and dirt blocking the appliance filter. In some vacuums and washer dryers, this is common when the lint filter is filled to capacity with lint or dirt.

Make sure to read the instructions on any new appliance you purchase so you know how to care for them and what to do if they need repair. Some appliances are self-explanatory and easy to use, but keeping the instructions handy will help you if you need to repair the appliance or need warranty information. If something goes wrong with any of your appliances, you’ll find comfort in knowing you are prepared.