Home & Family

Why You Need To Think About Regular Maintenance for Your HVAC Unit

The typical homeowner has lots of things to take care of in their home throughout the day. Because there can be so many things to deal with on a continual basis, many may overlook getting regular maintenance for their HVAC unit. While this is understandable, the reality is that there are many benefits to getting regular checks and replacing HVAC air filters Richmond for your unit. 

It Can Help Lengthen the Lifespan of Your Unit

One of the top benefits of getting regular maintenance checks for your HVAC unit is that it can help lengthen the lifespan of your unit overall. When you don’t get your unit checked, small issues can drag down the efficiency of your unit, and put unnecessary stress on it. The more stress that is put on your unit and its motor, the shorter its lifespan is likely to be. By making sure that you are getting regular maintenance done as well as preventative checks, you can help ensure that your unit is functioning well for years to come. 

It Can Save You Money On Repairs

Another benefit of getting regular maintenance is that it can help you save money on repairs. When you get your unit checked out, they can do preventative maintenance and catch small issues before they turn into large ones. This means that the issues will be easier to fix, and that they will likely cost less. Beyond that, you will also be less likely to experience a major breakdown at an inconvenient time, like when the weather is particularly hot or cold. 

It Can Save You Money On Bills

Yet another reason to get regular maintenance for your HVAC unit is that it can potentially help save you money on your energy bills. When there is a lot of stress on your unit, it tends to work harder. This kind of overworking not only puts more stress on the unit and creates more potential for damage and breakdowns, but it can also drive up your energy bills as well. While you might not see major savings right away, over time a well-functioning unit can save you a significant amount on your energy bills, and give you peace of mind as well. 

The average homeowner has a lot to think about on a daily basis. Because of this, it isn’t a surprise that many forget about getting maintenance for their HVAC units. However, there can be many benefits to doing so, from having your unit for a longer period of time to saving money on energy bills. 

Home & Family

Benefits of Adding a Fountain to Your Pond

Having a water feature in your yard or neighborhood can be beautiful and relaxing. Maybe you enjoy walking to a community pond and watching the water push at the banks or observe a gorgeous fountain in the center. Did you know that geyser of water that’s so fun to watch also benefits the pond greatly? That’s right pond aerators and fountains are not only great visual spectacles, but they also have a number of benefits for the pond where they’re employed.

Pond Quality

First and foremost, adding in a fountain or aerator can help to improve the overall quality of the water in a pond. It helps to circulate the water and keep things moving as they would in a natural body, which keeps harmful bacteria from building up and polluting the water. It can also help to circulate any chemicals that may have been added to keep them from disturbing the optimal pH balance in the water.

Moving water has another benefit: it helps to keep algae at bay. Algae and fungus like to grow in stagnant pools and can seriously harm the ecosystem if they’re left unchecked. Some pond owners might spend hundreds of dollars a month on algaecides and other chemicals to keep the harmful microbiomes from growing. Adding a fountain can be a cheaper way to avoid an infestation naturally.

Animal Health

Stocked ponds are fun, but you also have to take extra measures to make sure the fish are happy and healthy. Installing an aerator is a great way to ensure the optimal health of any wildlife living in your pond because it adds more oxygen to the water. Sometimes when muck and weeds clog up the water, it can be difficult for fish to get the air they need, but an aerator solves this problem!

Having healthy fish and moving water is also a great way to cut down on the mosquito population. For one, mosquitos are like algae in the sense they tend to gravitate toward still water to lay their eggs and multiply. But even if they are buzzing around your active pond, having healthy fish to munch on them will keep their population low so they aren’t bothering you while you enjoy the outdoors.

Ponds are great water features for any space, but they do require some maintenance. Aerators and fountains both have benefits to the pond itself and the animals that live in it. 

Home & Family

4 of the Latest Exterior Home Trends

When you park in front of your home after a long day, you should feel relieved and relaxed. Your home is your sanctuary. However, if looking at the exterior of your house just makes you want to move, then it may be time for some renovations. Exterior renovations are tricky. You must walk the thin line between being trendy and classic. Exterior renovations can be time-consuming and expensive. You don’t want to do it often. So, stick to trends that will stand the test of time.

Add Doors and Windows

Bringing more light into a space is never going to be a bad idea unless you are building a home theater room. It will also revive the exterior of your home. Think of symmetry when deciding where to add windows and patio doors Monmouth County NJ. The front of your home should feel balanced from left to right and top to bottom. For some homes, this may be easy. For modern homes with varied rooflines, it is more difficult. Remember, it doesn’t have to match, it just needs to be balanced. You can balance sliding glass doors on one side of the home with floor-to-ceiling windows on the other. Let the home’s architecture guide you.

Paint With Dark Colors

This could be considered a fad if it didn’t keep coming back into style. Some houses look amazing painted dark colors, but this is a bold choice that you shouldn’t take lightly. Instead, consider using dark paint to set off parts of your home. Start small. Dark grey or black accents give contrast and depth to a design. You could paint a bump-out or peak of your home. Little nooks or porches can be painted a dark color to set them apart and add warmth. Paint underneath the porch roof a dark color to show off your designing skills.

Replace Curved Lines

Arched doorways and windows used to be very on trend, but these features are now showing their age. Get rid of curved architectural details to instantly modernize your home. By squaring off arched doorways you’ll gain space and light, which is always an improvement. Straight lines will never go out of style.

Update Garage Doors

Garage doors come with a variety of architectural details that can match your style and add instant curb appeal to your home. Update the windows and hardware on the door to give your garage a facelift. Make garage doors pop with a contrasting paint color and light fixtures on both sides. Garage doors take up a lot of square footage, so don’t leave them out when updating the exterior of your home.

Home & Family

Neighborhoods to Consider in California

Are you looking for San Diego CA real estate & homes for sale, or considering moving to Oakland, California? The latter may be just the ticket for those who like to be near San Francisco, but not in that busy city of nearly 900,000. Oakland, by contrast, has about half the population of San Francisco and is just a short 18-minute commute across the Bay Bridge. Oakland real estate and rentals are cheaper by comparison and the neighborhoods are just as varied and interesting.

Lake Merritt

The Lake Merritt neighborhood is filled with families, professionals, and outdoorsy types who love to take advantage of the 3-miles of hiking and jogging tracks around the lake. There are shops, museums, food trucks, funky murals and restaurants to attract a very diverse set of residents. Rental units tend to be pet friendly because lots of people own dogs.


Across the lake is the conveniently located historic community of Lakeside. It is close to everything and very pedestrian and dog friendly. If you’re looking for large apartments Lakeside community Oakland CA, this is the place to be. Rated as safe and close to the freeway access, it really does offer the best of all worlds.  

Jack London Square

This busy district sits near the Port of Oakland, so there is always something to see and do. You and your busy professional neighbors can even catch a ferry to San Francisco if you don’t want to drive across the Bay Bridge. There is a great nightlife and arts scene here and several wineries to boot. If you like Bay views, consider moving here.

The Oakland area is a busy, vibrant, diverse community welcoming to those who like fine food, outdoor activities, the arts and dogs. It is a short commute to San Francisco via the bridge, public transportation, or the ferry and offers a better price point for renters. There are numerous eclectic neighborhoods awaiting your inspection.

Home & Family

3 Ways to Help Boost Your Preschooler’s Learning

Watching your child grow from a toddler to an active and bubbly preschooler can be an exciting time. This can be the perfect time to teach your preschooler the basics of reading, writing, and math. Below are three ways to help your preschooler get a head start.  

1. Read to them

It’s been known for years that reading to your child from birth on, is beneficial in many ways. It can help early on with reading comprehension. It can even help them gain skills when it comes to writing. When they’re a little older, see if your child can tell you a story or relate a story to you, that you’ve read to them in the past. Fun characters and stories can be a great way to engage your child in learning.

2. Attend Pre-School

If there are pre-schools available in your area, you may want to see what programs they have to offer. Attending pre k Lexington MA can help to prepare your child for what it will be like when they go to Kindergarten. Many pre-schools teach the basics of reading, writing, and numbers, so your child can be one step ahead when they go to Kindergarten.

3. Make Everyday Activities Educational

Making a simple trip to the grocery store can be an educational one for your preschooler. Have them count the fruits and vegetables as they put them in the bag. See if they can read the weight on the scale as you weigh what they just chose. Taking a walk can be full of educational moments. Educate your child by identifying different plants, trees, animals and birds that you may see along your walk.

There are many ways to prepare your child for the big wide world. Whether you enroll them in pre-school or take on the role of an educator at home, your child can learn so much and thrive as they grow.