Home Improve

No matter where you live, in a townhouse, a lakeside cottage, an urban loft, or a vintage Victorian mansion, there is always a place for a gas fireplace. Convenient and easy to use, gas fireplaces today offer an abundance of design ideas to suit both your lifestyle and the style of your home.

According to the recent statistics, a fireplace is one of the most commonly anticipated features in a modern home. Freestanding gas fireplaces deliver radiant heat to any room in your houseĀ  from kitchen to dining room and even bedroom, – or outdoors, warming your patio or a backyard. Classic terracotta finish or modern and minimalist brushed steel can give a whole new look to any of your rooms.

Modern fireplaces offer a variety of choices when in comes to fuelling. They may be wood burning, gas- or propane-fuelled, as well as liquid fuelled. The choice is totally up to you. Do you plan to chop wood, or you opt for a convenience of a gas? The kind of fuel you choose is a crucial factor in deciding what kind of fireplace to buy. Consider availability and cost, heat efficiency and your local air pollution standards. There are special regulations that concern the design, verification and labeling of gas fireplaces or imported into the North America.

Gas fireplaces are very energy efficient and can even be used to heat a whole house. With a prefabricated duct system heat travels from one room to another, however, not many households allow for this unless installed during construction. Gas fireplaces, being very easy to use, can be even turned on with a remote control or by the Internet in the new smart home! Thermostats allow for an easy heat adjustment, and with many programmable features you can also change the flame length and intensity.

Gas fireplaces are fuelled by propane or natural gas. Propane can be stored in a reservoir on your property, however, it can be more expensive in the rural areas compared to the wood. But with this type of fireplaces, you dont need a lot of logs to chop and store. In general, gas fireplaces require significantly less maintenance.

The firebox of the gas fireplace is lined with a refractory material that looks like bricks or stones. Instead of blue unappealing flame that most of us expect from the gas, the fireplaces emit completely natural-looking flames that spout from invisible holes in prefabricated ceramic logs. Often these logs form a realistic pile on the bottom of the firebox. Some people prefer the inserts that look like a coal in Victorian-styled fireplaces.

Gas fireplaces are becoming a more and more popular alternative to conventional built-in fireplaces. Gas fireplaces can be as individual as you are. They can be framed in wood, finished in stucco, stone, or tile, thus fitting into most landscapes and home design solutions. Gas fireplace can become a focal point of your backyard or patio, and as any room in your home, an outdoor space must bear the same design concept as indoors. That is why when choosing a fireplace you should think about the environment in which it will be placed and how it will fit with the existing decor. But no matter which technology or functionality you choose, it is largely a design and materials that give your new appliance its distinctive style and make a design statement.

Home Improve

The only thing more brutal than the summer heat is the energy bill you’ll get from the electric company. Keeping your house cool can be a challenge when you want to keep your utility bills and energy use in check. Fortunately, there are many techniques you can use to keep your house cool and comfortable without relying heavily on the AC.

Cook outside instead of inside. Every time you use the oven or stove, you heat up your home. Your home is getting hot enough from the sun without the extra heat that will remain trapped for hours. If you must cook, use the grill or set up an outdoor stove. Better yet, cook less and eat more cool, uncooked salads in the summer.

Add shade to the sunny side of your house. One side of your house will always be sunnier than the other. In North America, Europe, and all places in the northern hemisphere, the southern side of your house will get more sun.
Mitigate the extra heat from the sun by adding shading plants or trees to the southern side of your house.

If trees are not an option, try adding a simple roof extension to offer some shade to the South-facing wall. This usually blocks a lot of heat absorption. It also gives you a shaded outdoor living space.

Use light-blocking window shades. For windows that receive a heavy dose of sunlight, cut down on the greenhouse effect by using shutters and shades during the day. Let in natural light through the North-facing windows only. Open windows that don’t get a lot of sunlight for a nice breeze.

When the sun goes down, open your windows and let your house air out. In areas that aren’t extremely humid, nights become cool. Your house will become stuffy on hot days. Opening windows at night allows fresh, cool air to flow in. Just remember to keep the screens shut to keep the summer insects out!

Modify your roof to be a lighter color. Black tiles suck up heat and transfer it to your home. Even a corrugated steel roof is cooler if it’s painted white. Using lighter colors or adding plants has significant cooling effects on your home.

Only use the AC when you’re home. It doesn’t matter what temperature your house is while you’re out. Only turn your AC on when you are at home and the temperature is truly uncomfortable. Turn the air conditioner off once your house is comfortable enough. Not only will you save on energy, your body will grow better heat tolerance, making the outside more comfortable. Also, you’ll appreciate your AC much more if you only run it sparingly.

An air conditioner is not the only way to cool down in your home this summer. Try keeping a variety of cold drinks or chilled water available. Downing a glass of icy lemonade will keep you cool and comfortable for at least an hour if sipped slowly.

You don’t need to spend a ton of money to keep your house cool. If you have the possibility, adding smart landscaping will keep your home more comfortable in the summer. If not, there are plenty of more affordable ways to stay cool at home in the summer heat.