How To Get Ready for a Special Event on a Budget

Special events are exciting! You get to dress up, try a new hairstyle, and have fun all night while you’re all glammed up. It could be for a concert, party, wedding, graduation, or anniversary. Regardless of where you’re going, it’s important that you look and feel your best! That way, you feel confident, and you can just concentrate on having fun instead of feeling self-conscious. Prepping for an event doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. In fact, you can get ready for a special occasion on a budget. Here’s how you can get ready for your special event without breaking the bank!

1. Start implementing healthy habits.

img

Feeling confident starts from within. That’s right! It’s easy to put on some makeup and achieve a certain look. But getting ready is also about developing a good relationship with your body. A few weeks before your big event, you might want to start picking up some healthier habits, drink more water, and do some light exercises. Eat a well-balanced diet, and try not to stay out too late. It’s also crucial to your health and your skin that you get plenty of beauty sleep. Plus, taking care of yourself comes at no cost!

2. Find an outfit that makes you feel confident.

img

A special occasion calls for a special outfit! Start looking early so that you can guarantee it arrives well before your event. Plus, if you don’t like what you order, you need to give yourself time to find other options. Once you’ve browsed a few dresses or pantsuits, check out online heel stores. Is an event really an event without a nice pair of high heels? Whether you’re feeling strappy heels or a nude pump, there are plenty of options for you at Wild Diva that is affordable and cute! Heel sandals also work well if you’re wearing something a little bit more casual. When it comes to any event, you can never go wrong with nude or black heels. They go with absolutely everything!

3. Pamper yourself at the salon.

img

Life is short. You should take every excuse to pamper yourself! But getting a mani-pedi can be expensive. Look for a local cosmetology program in your area and see if the school offers salon services from cosmetology students. These usually come at lower prices since they’re still in school and learning techniques from an instructor. With these programs, you can take advantage of nail services, skincare, or even hair care. It’s their chance to work with real clients, so why not help them out and treat yourself, too?

4. Do a test run before the big event.

This step reduces the amount of stress you might experience on the day of the event. If you’re going with friends, you can borrow each other’s makeup or accessories to keep your budget on the low end. Take a couple of hours to try out different hairstyles. You can see whether you should wear your hair down with loose curls or pinned together in a purposefully messy updo. Or you can experiment with eyeshadows that really bring out your eyes. Ask them for opinions on lip colors to see which shade complements your outfit and your skin tone best. Go all out! If you do a full test run and end up not liking your outfit, you’ll have time to get a refund and maybe find something more affordable. As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to doing a test run days before your special event.

Attending a special occasion doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. With these tips, you’ll feel confident, look your best, and have the best time!

A Week in Albuquerque on a $100,000 Joint Income

Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive into how our readers spend their cash.

Today: a nurse and a schoolteacher who each make $100,000 a year

Occupation: nurse; teacher

Age: 41; 46

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Salary: $100,000 (approx. $3,846 per pay period)

Day One

img

My husband, H., and I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico with our daughter, A., and our dog, P. I work as an RN, and H. is a writing teacher at a local school. A. is a junior at another high school, and H. works just outside of the district we live in. Today, we’re each at our particular place of work. I spent my day at the hospital while H. and A. were in classes (and P. waited patiently at home). H. and A. got home before me and found that our heating system had gone off. Fortunately, they caught it early enough that it wasn’t too cold for poor P.! H. texted me that he found a great company that does furnace repair in Albuquerque, and he ordered pizza and breadsticks for some stress relief. I got home just in time to grab a few slices!

Total: $41

Day Two

img

The furnace is still on the fritz. The technician will be coming by this afternoon when H. is home from work, so I take P. to my mom’s house before work, just in case. I‘ve lived in and around Albuquerque for a lifetime and know it doesn’t get that cold, but you never know! Then, I stop by a nearby gas station, fill up my tank, and grab a coffee to go. I have a busy shift, bouncing between patients, so I don’t see A.’s text until I’m preparing to head home this evening. She’s starting to stress out a bit about her academic goals. She’s always been a great student, so I have no doubt she’ll get any internship or college admission letter she could dream of. Still, I’d rather her feel just as confident in her abilities as H. and I do. When I get home, I give her a hug and tell her we’ll look into potential college counselors this weekend. Otherwise, I heat up a plate of leftovers from the dinner H. made, then head to bed. At least the house is warm again, and P.’s thrilled to be home!

Total: $27.50

Day Three

img

This afternoon, I have a phone appointment with my own counselor—mental health is just as important for medical professionals as it is in any other career field! Fortunately, we have enough staff at the hospital that we can work my schedule around counseling appointments, and my counselor and his office are understanding of my work priorities and have virtual visits even after COVID-19. He’s confident I’m on the right track when it comes to working through some personal issues I’ve been struggling with, so I head to the grocery store to pick up a celebratory slice of cake from their bakery.

Total: $3.50

Day Four

img

Back to work today, but I’m not feeling very enthusiastic. H., A., and I stayed up late last night watching a new Netflix series, and I’m definitely feeling the lack of sleep! On my way to the hospital, I grab an extra-large latte, then say a silent prayer for the coffee machine waiting for me come break time.

Total: $8.50

Day Five

img

Like RNs across the country, I have to complete a certain number of continuing education hours to maintain my credentials. I’m doing just that today, working on some CE in a class focused on COVID-19, before my shift starts, grabbing a coffee on the way.

Total: $20

Day Six

img

I’m lucky enough to have today off, on the same day both H. and A. are out of school. Things don’t always line up that way, so I’m grateful when they do! I sit down with A. and browse a few counseling services online and in our area and make a list of the advisors who might best prepare her for the college admissions process. Then, the three of us head to a local park with P. and grab a bite to eat on the way back home.

Total: $62

Day Seven

img

Today, I got up a bit early and decided to do some holiday shopping. With years of experience, it’s no wonder I’ve got the gift-giving process down to a science! I grab a snack and a soda at the mall, then sneak the shopping bags into the house, careful not to give away any surprises.

Total: $112

Total for the week: $274.50

Ways to Prepare for Your Freshman Year of College

Your freshman year of college is one that ushers in major change. While your academics will still be a major focus, you’re going to have to learn how to navigate life on your own moving forward. As with any new chapter in adulthood, planning ahead is crucial to getting the most out of your freshman year of college and beyond. Here are a few ways to prepare for your first year of college that will support you in your educational career.

Look for all the necessary tools for organization and your education.

img

Organization is one of the most important aspects of your education. After all, you will have to balance your college classes on top of any extracurriculars, social events, and work (if applicable). You can start by purchasing essential items like custom folders for important documents like syllabi from your classes, forms you need to fill out for classes or events, and even study guides for upcoming tests.

Of course, folders can be customized to include your school logo, designs that indicate what your pocket folder is designed to hold, or even be made from more durable materials so that you can carry it around with you on your way to class. Some other organizational tools you will likely need include planners, calendars, and notebooks for class notes and beyond.

Speaking to educational tools, one of the staples to have in your career is a great laptop. The best laptops for college will provide you with ample storage for your assignments and any necessary programs, plenty of speed so that you can easily open and run multiple programs at a time, and stay charged for hours at a time so you can rely on it to take notes when you’re sitting in a lecture hall. Whether you want a tablet/laptop combination or a plain laptop, getting all of your tech together is another major way to prepare for the path ahead.

Make your path to college easier with the right support.

Figuring out how to receive financial aid and scholarships, support your mental health as you navigate your packed schedule, and finding internships and jobs so you can get through college successfully is a lot to deal with. As such, you should look for an organization that can help you through the process of transferring from high school to college like the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). This organization is a legitimate community (no NSHSS scam here) comprised of bright young scholars fully invested in their futures. Packed with resources to help you excel, joining the NSHSS is one way to make your transition to freshman year of college easier.

Master all of the adult skills you will rely on in college.

img

A lot of parents only think of college in terms of academics, but this isn’t the only focus you should have. Once you reach college, your life becomes your own. Taking the time now to learn the adult skills that you will rely on in college and beyond is critical to your success as an undergraduate. One such area that you should focus on now is your financial skills. Creating a budget based on how much student aid you have, what expenses you have, and how long you need to make this money stress will ensure you don’t run out of money too quickly.

If you don’t have much external support, you will also need to consider how you’re going to generate income for your college career. All of these adult tasks may be overwhelming, so it’s important to ask for help when you need it.

There’s a lot more to your first year of college than meets the eye. To stay on track and get the most of the college experience, use some of the tips above to prepare yourself in advance.

How Do I Improve the Air Quality of My Nail Salon?

Running a nail salon isn’t an easy thing to do. As a business owner, you’re charged with providing customers with healthy nails, a luxurious experience, and a safe space in which to get the manicure or pedicure of their dreams. Not to mention the fact that you need to keep your professional manicurists healthy and happy, and attract new customers by staying up to date on all the new trends and technologies in the realm of gel manicures and acrylic nails.

One area that you shouldn’t ignore, though, is clean air. The last 18 months or so of the COVID-19 pandemic have made it abundantly clear that clean air is crucial—and hard to achieve! All sorts of businesses have revamped their clean air technology to make it more effective. As a purveyor of nail polish solutions to your customers, you should be rethinking the indoor air in your nail salon as well. The best way to achieve clean indoor air is to tackle the solution head-on. How do you ask? Well, we have a few ideas that might just do the trick.

Talk to the pros about the new technology out there.

img

Sure, you could just buy an air purifier on Amazon and call it a day, but would that really inspire confidence in your customers? Or, would they take their nail health needs elsewhere? In the current economy, you simply can’t take chances. Just like you stay apprised of the new trends in the world of artificial nails and nail art, just like you have the best nail polish remover on the market and don’t compromise when it comes to manicure tools, you need to speak to the pros when it comes to clean air technology.

There are folks out there whose business it is to make spaces EPA-compliant and to maximize air pollution prevention. They can advise you on what your space actually needs in order to avoid poor air quality. When your customers see that you’re taking poor air quality as seriously as you’re taking nail care, they’ll trust your salon.

Offer a modest selection of take-home manicure tools.

img

One way to develop customer loyalty is to accept that people are going to want to avoid public spaces in the era of COVID-19, even though you’re taking your indoor air quality seriously. One of the best tips that the CDC has provided is to practice social distancing and practice avid hand washing. You can show that you respect your customers’ boundaries by partnering with a home manicure kit company like Try Sprig (trysprig.com) to provide basic DIY manicure kit tools.

Make it clear to your customers that they won’t get the whole mani-pedi experience by doing a DIY manicure, but that this is a way to help brittle nails and cuticles while the pandemic rages on. This will provide you with more sales of manicure tools, and customers who feel seen are likely to hurry back once COVID-19 is a thing of the past.

Shout your clean air commitments from the rooftops.

img

Don’t just keep your air quality commitment and home manicure innovations to yourself—shout it out from your social media accounts! Make sure to connect with your customers—or potential customers—on Instagram and Tik Tok on a regular basis. Consider posting reels of a step-by-step guide to a home gel manicure, or with the best manicure tips. This is a great way to stay connected and show people how much you care, and might be the way to achieve the best possible results even during this difficult time.

The ingredients to a successful salon are different, depending on your specific situation. Still, these tips are a great way to make it through these troubling times with the best results.

How to Optimize Your Home to Accommodate Your Disabled Cat

You love your cat, and you’ll do just about anything to accommodate them, even if they find themselves dealing with health struggles that limit their abilities. Dealing with any pet with a disability takes some adjustments to make sure their home is still fitting their needs. Here are some ways to make sure that your household will keep kitty purring and pleased, without having to dig too deep into your personal expenses.

Breathing Difficulties

img

While your pets can affect the indoor air quality in several ways, they too can be impacted by pollutants and irritants that linger in your household. Passive smoke from tobacco use or cooking can linger in the air, triggering symptoms similar to asthma. This could significantly impact your feline’s lung function, which is especially dangerous for older animals, and could even trigger allergic reactions.

Maintaining better indoor air quality is key to helping you and your cat. If you have an HVAC system, be sure to clean out air filters or swap them out on a routine basis. If you notice any musty odors developing, inspect for the possible growth of mold spores that are linked to the buildup of dangerous viruses. An air purifier is a great asset to help remove these lingering pollutants that trigger allergies and asthma.

Coping with Blindness

img

When it comes to accomodating a cat with disabilities, it’s important to create a safe, simple, and consistent indoor environment. For safety reasons, your cat shouldn’t roam outdoors. Creating an enclosed outdoor space is the best way to allow your little pal to bask in the sun while staying safely inside the select area.

It’s important that their litter box isn’t kept outside in that area just for an extra layer of safety. Make sure that is kept indoors in a spot that your cat may have been previously accustomed to. Keep your household as consistent as possible with reasonable accommodation. Try to limit the number of belongings in the dwelling that could impede their ability to roam around without bumping into objects. It’s also a good idea to consider any potential dangers on the ground level that could have health effects on your pet.

Limited Mobility

img

As a pet owner, you’ll notice your cat’s mobility declining over time, but sometimes even kittens can be impacted by an accident that limits their ability to get around the house. Relieving pain is the number one priority in these cases. Depending on the cause of the discomfort, be sure to create a pain management plan. This can range from an occasional massage and diet change to medications and physical rehabilitation.

If your cat’s disability is having a significant impact on its mobility, you may want to consider a harness or modified infant sling that carries cats around who are dealing with weakness or even potential paralysis. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian for a better understanding of what you can do as a pet owner and homeowner to make it easier for your pet to get around the house.

Mental Health Concerns

img

Much like their owners, mental health issues can belabor your feline friend. Adding more playtime is the best thing for your companionship with your cat, helping to curb symptoms of anxiety and depression that may arise. Beyond increasing stimulation, you’ll want to be able to provide accommodation in safe spaces throughout your household for your cat to sprawl or climb as they see fit.

Cats can even develop obsessive compulsive disorder. It’s best to keep things consistent in your household, and not punish any behaviors that felines may be exhibiting in. This is all part of the important factors to make sure that your cat can still feel comfortable and safe in your household, despite their disabilities.

How To Gain Notoriety On YouTube

Can you believe it’s been over 15 years since YouTube was first launched? Time sure does fly! Over time, YouTube has only grown, and plenty of YouTubers have grown with it. In fact, YouTube has become a legitimate path to wealth and fame for those who know how to maximize the platform.

Launching your own YouTube channel is one of the best ways to grow your business and become a social media influencer. Before you balk at the idea of becoming a social media sensation, keep in mind that the top YouTuber earned almost $30 million in 2020. As you can see, being an influencer is a great career move if you have what it takes to network with the top social networkers. Continue reading to get some tips that will help your channel become the next big thing.

Find your niche.

img

If you own a business, you know that one of the most important keys to success is to find your niche in your industry. Well, the same principle applies to building a following on YouTube.

The key to finding your niche is finding a unique space in an area of expertise about which you’re passionate. For instance, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer or a professional contractor, you could create videos in which you share home repair tips and tricks with homeowners. You’d be surprised how many people tune in to YouTube to learn how to fix appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, and other essential home systems.

Your videos wouldn’t have to be all about repairs. You could also share money-saving tips like the top home warranty in Arizona or whether a basic plan or comprehensive coverage is the better warranty option. From teaching people how to shop for home warranties to showing them how to do minor plumbing, there are tons of things to cover once you find your niche.

Optimize your YouTube channel.

img

When you’re trying to attract people to your YouTube Channel, appearances are everything. Your logo and other channel art will say one of two things to readers: “stay” or “get away.”

If graphic design isn’t your specialty, you should reach out to a graphic designer who can help you with your YouTube channel art. Also, you can use YouTube templates created by Lucidpress to create your YouTube banner and other channel art. YouTube banner templates provide a foundation so anyone can create their own YouTube channel banner like a pro.

So, you don’t have to be an illustrator or graphic designer to create eye-catching YouTube channel art. With the Lucidpress YouTube banner maker, all you have to do is unleash your inner genius.

Collaborate with other YouTubers in your niche.

img

One of the best ways to create a buzz and grow your YouTube following is to collaborate with other YouTubers. Take time to watch other influencers who create content similar to yours, and don’t be too proud or shy to reach out to them about collaborating.

The important thing is to pick collaboration partners with a following that’s similar in magnitude to your own so you can form a symbiotic relationship. If their YouTube following is significantly smaller than yours, there won’t be much they can do to help you. Paradoxically, if they have significantly more followers on their channel than you, they’ll expect you to pay them for the collaboration. In other words, pick someone in your weight class with whom to partner.

Gaining notoriety on YouTube is anything but an overnight process. In fact, anything you could do that would get you a million followers immediately is probably something you shouldn’t do. However, if you consistently post engaging content and are persistent in your pursuits, you too could become a YouTube sensation.

Fun Anniversary Gifts For Your Wife

Anniversaries are significant milestones. They mark how long a couple has been married or dating. Some couples continue to mark the anniversary of their first date decades after they get married. Some people also celebrate work anniversaries or the anniversary of the date they learned they were cancer-free.

When you’re purchasing an anniversary gift for your wife, first consider the nature of the anniversary. Then consider things she enjoys related to that anniversary. This list can help you find a fun anniversary gift for your wife with those factors in mind.

Jewelry

img

There are several types of jewelry, including bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Kendra Scott jewelry offers perfect custom jewelry options, including Kendra Scott Earrings in various styles and sizes. Whether your wife favors hoops, dangling earrings, studs, or huggies, you’ll find the perfect earrings for her anniversary present. You can also opt for gold or sterling silver studs with a custom engraving as a way to personalize your gift.

Another fantastic jewelry option is a charm bracelet. You can add a charm each year to mark your anniversary, which is a great way to give your wife a personal present that can evolve as your relationship progresses. Jewelry is a great gift option for any anniversary you’re celebrating.

Cannabidiol (CBD) Products

img

CBD is a cannabinoid derived from hemp plants. CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most common cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. The main distinction between CBD and THC is that THC produces the high associated with marijuana. Delta-8-THC products are milder than Delta-9-THC products, making them an excellent option for people new to CBD and THC products. Both Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC products are legal because the THC levels in them are less than 0.3 percent.

Wondering how long does Delta 8 stays in your system? The answer depends on several factors, including how fast your metabolism is, and frequently you use CBD products. Delta-8-THC could still be in your bloodstream several days after use. A urine test could test positive for Delta-8-THC up to 15 days after use if you use Delta-8 products daily. CBD products, which are THC-free, can be an excellent option for a health-related anniversary, work anniversary, or wedding anniversary.

There are various CBD products to choose from, including gummies, tinctures, oils, vaporizers, and creams. CBD products can promote relaxation and calm an overanxious mind. You must know CBD products are safe for your wife. She should discuss CBD use with her doctor before taking CBD products to ensure they won’t affect prescription medications she’s using.

Lingerie

img

Lingerie might seem like a self-serving gift, but wearing lingerie can also boost your wife’s self-esteem. Many women find wearing lingerie empowering. Give your wife matching bras and underwear made from materials she enjoys. Choose colors she favors that match her wardrobe. When your wife has plenty of sets to choose from, she’ll feel comfortable wearing lingerie throughout the day and reap the mental health benefits that come from feeling empowered by her attire. Since wearing lingerie regularly can help your wife feel empowered, it’s an excellent option for a wedding anniversary gift or a work anniversary present.

Spa Day

img

Spending a day at the spa is a great way to relax. Send your wife to be pampered by professionals. She can enjoy a relaxing massage, a facial, and body wraps. Some spas also have hairstylists who cut and style hair.

When pros aren’t pampering her, your wife can unwind in a whirlpool or sauna. Full-service salons will also offer manicures, pedicures, and waxing services. Promoting relaxation is a powerful gift because relaxing reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and can boost your mood. When you give your wife a spa day, you aren’t just giving her a facial and a massage. You’re supporting her mental and physical well-being. A spa day is an ideal option for weddings, work, and health anniversaries.

Shopping for an anniversary present for your wife can be fun. Consider classic gifts, like jewelry, and contemporary presents, such as CBD products, lingerie, or a spa day. You can

Start Your Nomadic Life Today

If you’ve decided to become a full-time traveler, living a truly nomadic life, you usually don’t have the luxury of instantly hitting the road or booking a flight. To start your new lifestyle, you’ll need to make plans and determine how you’ll make those plans happen. The delays and technicalities might seem like little more than a dream at first, but you’ll thank yourself later for your careful goal-setting and other preparatory efforts.

Figure out your logistics

img

Before you can travel anywhere, you have to figure out how you’re going to get there. Then, of course, you can leave room for some spontaneity—you don’t need to have every inch of your trip mapped out and scheduled to the minute. However, for successful trips, you‘ll need to have the basics covered.

If you’re planning to take a road trip across the United States, for example, you might head to an RV auction in hopes of finding the perfect set of wheels to get you there. Whether you’re an experienced RVer or a first-time RV owner, finding your motorhome through an auction is a good idea for any nomad-to-be on a budget.

List your ideal destinations

img

Once you‘ve figured out how you’ll travel, you need to know where you’re going! Are you dreaming of a trip to Acadia National Park while living in New York City? Make a list of must-see destinations along that route and make a list of those you’d most like to see.

From national parks and historical sites to beaches and tourist attractions, you’ll find plenty of options for on-the-road entertainment. On your way to and from Acadia, you can see a decent chunk of the U.S.! And, of course, you’ll get to see your top destination, too.

Prepare yourself for emergencies

img

No matter how carefully you prepare, disasters can happen. That’s why it’s essential to have your metaphorical ducks in a row. Have you found the best RV warranty insurance for your new trailer? Does your insurance company offer the comprehensive coverage you need to truly have peace of mind while traveling? Do they offer roadside assistance or cover the cost of moving your towable RV? If you haven’t read the fine print of your RV warranty or an insurance policy, you’ll be all the more stressed in the case of a breakdown or mechanical failure.

Be ready to mix things up

img

You’ve got a good deal on an RV and whatever type of coverage or service plan it needs. Your route is laid out, with room for impromptu adventures along the way. However, this planning doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing throughout every trip. Mixing things up is the best way to get the most out of your nomadic lifestyle.

For example, you might spend one night at a campground, setting up a traditional tent and sleeping bag, or decide to wake up for an early morning hike to see the sunrise. A trip in your RV doesn’t always have to be spent in your RV!

Determine your finances

img

As fun as your planning has been so far, you have a few more technicalities to figure out before hitting the road. Most importantly, how are you budgeting for your travels? If you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur, you might be becoming a digital nomad, working from your laptop as you travel the world. If not, do you have enough savings to cover your expenses while on the open road? Are you prepared to make up the difference in mechanic’s fees, repair costs, or other expenses if your RV insurance doesn’t cover the total cost? Like it or not, finances are a critical aspect of any trip you’ll plan.

Think through your motivations

img

Life as a digital nomad can be incredible, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have difficult days. Before those happen, take some time to understand your most profound reasons for starting this lifestyle. Then, when the road gets rough—literally or figuratively—you can return to this list of motivations for reassurance that you should continue along this journey.

Record your journeys

img

While your traveling, journaling, or otherwise documenting your trips might not be your top priority. After all, there’s so much to do and see! But, if you decide to settle down on one spot again, though, you’ll be grateful for these detailed memories. If you have a family, these are the sorts of meaningful treasures you can pass through generations.

Whether in an RV or otherwise, life as a traveling nomad can be one of the most rewarding experiences a person can experience, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t require some planning and logistics. From warranties and insurance to destinations and motivations, you have a lot to consider before you can ever hit the highway.

Once you’ve made it there, though, you’ll be able to enjoy the excitement of your new adventure with the peace of mind of knowing you’ve planned the critical pieces of your journey with the best possible results in mind.

How to Choose the Right HVAC system

For homeowners across the U.S., there are may be different needs for household air systems. Taking into account geographical area, climate, and budget, various types of HVAC systems and heaters are available for every homeowner need. With that in mind, it’s important that, when shopping around for the right air conditioning unit, you know your options.

Here, we will take a look at the most popular HVAC systems on the market, along with the pros and cons of each technology. No matter your personal needs, these are the most important factors when choosing the right HVAC unit for your home.

Knowing Your HVAC Needs

img

When making a good choice of air conditioner units, first consider your family’s specific needs. If you have an older home, you may be looking to upgrade to more modern technology. Likewise, if you live in a geographical area with very pronounced seasonal changes, you should consider a unit that provides both cooling system and heating system capabilities.

In recent years, those requirements have been met with a modernized ductless HVAC system, known as a ductless mini split system, or heat pump. One of the major benefits of adding a ductless system in your home is that the innovative technology replaces both the HVAC and heater in a single unit. Ductless systems, as the term describes, even do away with the need for traditional ductwork. Without the same cleaning and upkeep needs, heat pumps have quickly become popular.

It’s important to know the basics of the ductless system’s construction. A heat pump uses an outdoor unit, known as a compressor, and an indoor air handler. The ductless heat pump takes the fresh air from outside the home and either heats it or cools it according to your thermostat. With that conditioned air pumped into the entire home, the heat pump then uses the same vents as a traditional HVAC system in order to circulate the warm or cool air throughout the individual rooms. Aside from eliminating the need for two separate air systems, the outdoor compressor and indoor unit work together using less energy than either a central HVAC system or a traditional heating system. If energy efficiency is a concern to your family, as well as choosing a new system that can increase your property value, then a ductless HVAC system is a great option.

HVAC Systems and Indoor Air Quality

img

There are instances, however, when a more traditional system can prove economical for homeowners not looking to replace their home’s ductwork and ventilation system. Although window air conditioners and space heaters remain popular alternatives for providing seasonal comfort to individual rooms, a more likely option for the entire home could be a central HVAC system. If you already have an air conditioning unit in your older home, a new central system could be a great option in order to utilize some of the pre-installed operating systems and ductwork.

What remains important for homeowners purchasing a new system that uses ductwork and vents, is that they still keep an eye on the air filters. Although swapping out dirty filters for clean ones may seem like a minor task, the home’s indoor air quality depends upon clean filtration. For example, as your filters catch dust, debris, and other allergens within the mesh, those contaminants are safely removed from your home’s air circulation. However, dirty filtration can quickly clog the airflow, running your system to full capacity and failing to block hazardous allergens and outdoor air pollution. No matter which HVAC system you choose, keep in mind that regular maintenance is the key to keeping your units functioning properly. With both safety and energy efficiency in mind, performing the most important maintenance is as important as choosing the best HVAC system.

Plumbing Jobs You Shouldn’t Do Yourself

We all know you should rarely do your own plumbing or electric jobs. No matter how many times we go on YouTube and watch tutorials, the project almost never turns outright. In the end, it will end up costing you more money and hassle, and you will most likely have to call in the Calvary.

While doing it yourself isn’t a guaranteed bad idea, it’s important that you, as a homeowner, know your limits. There are times when you should just call a professional and let an expert handle the mess, even if you have done a couple of projects successfully in the fast. It’s important to keep in mind that you can risk causing damage to your home or injuring yourself, and no one wants that. Below is a list of projects you should never try on your own.

Cleaning Out a Clogged Sewer Line

Everyone knows that feeling when they go to flush the toilet, and the water starts to rise instead of swirl down. Panic ensues, and you rush for the plunger, but nothing seems to work! At this moment, finding the right plumber is imperative to your toilet’s survival. Since your sewer lines are clogged, this usually means your whole plumbing system will be affected, and no one wants to be in that house whose septic tank erupted on their front lawn.

A sewer backup can often damage your home, and a professional should be there to help fix the issue since it will need special equipment, or else the problem could just be made worse.

Repairing a Burst Pipe

No one wants to deal with a leaky pipe, especially since it can happen at the most inopportune times, and most times, this plumbing repair is an emergency. It’s maybe not like a “the bathtub fell through the ceiling” level of emergency, but it’s still bad. While one small pipe could be tamable on your own, odds are the problem goes deeper, and calling a contractor will save you time and energy. Many of us may choose to use a pipe patch, but that’s only a temporary fix. Most of the time, the pipe is old and will need to be replaced, which is totally the job of a capable master plumber.

Underground Repairs

If you have to go on your hands and knees under a crawl space or into a damp basement, the answer should always be “no.” You’ll absolutely need special working tools for going into the underground infrastructure. You should only attempt to check out the issue in an emergency situation. You may not know that you’ll most likely also need special working permits from your town council, just like you would need a building permit for an expansion. You can get into a lot of trouble if your town finds that you’ve been doing serious repairs without the proper paperwork. Nothing is worse than having a household issue and an unwanted fine from the town.

Faulty Gas Lines

First things first, if you suspect there is a gas leak, get out of your home, and call the gas company. Don’t light any matches nor wait for the proper authorities. Only when a certified inspector appears to assess the situation should you go back near the residence. You should already have your gas lines expected each year, but this situation is when you should have a licensed plumber and reliable professional taking care of business.

If you’re still weighing the pros and cons of hiring a reliable plumber or doing it yourself, take a look at reviews in the local area. While it may save you a few pennies to do it yourself, sometimes the hassle-free and safe option should outweigh the desire to do it yourself.