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Archive for October, 2010

Some Simple Precautions to Take Before Hiring Your New Painter

By Singapore Home Guy On October 26, 2010 No Comments

If you want to get your house painted or re-painted, hiring a professional painting contractor could be an ideal option. Unless you know how to do it yourself, considering you have enough knowledge about painting. In addition, it may take so much of your time which can be cumbersome if you have hectic schedule. Not just that, you also need to gather all equipments needed in house painting which perhaps you don’t have.

Now, if you choose to hire a professional painter to paint your house, another complex task you need to do is to narrow down your choices. There are plenty of contractors who offer their services at varied price. Of course, you want to pick out the best and the reliable contractor the first time. So you can you find “HIM”?

You should take few preventive measures before you choose the best painting service. Find the most reliable painting contractor using these simple tips.

  • Ask for referrals. Who knows, your family or close friends might have had renovation on their house and hired a contractor to do the house painting. Ask them if they have someone to recommend. You may also ask for whom you should be ware of. You can also browse the list of professional contractors online and customer’s reviews.
  • Check out their license and insurance. Make sure that the painter you’re going to choose have license and insurance and check out if both are current. Of course, if there is any damage or accident occurs during the painting process, you want your insurance company shoulder the expenses.
  • Ask for references. This could be repeat customers or homeowners who have had house painting done on their house few years ago. Brand new references might not be enough to support a painter’s reliability. Ask your painter’s previous customers if they would take his painting service again or not.
  • Explore their website and services. Most of painting companies put up their own website to take pride in their achievements and previous works. Choose the one that shows their credentials and photos of their faces and previous work on their website. This means they don’t have any problems about showing their faces and names on their work.
  • Don’t be tricked with nice photos. Obviously, painting contractors will show the best painting jobs they have done, with the pictures taken at the finest angle. If possible, you may want to arrange meeting to homeowners to see the painting job so that you can actually check out the details.
  • Take down notes. To avoid questions later, it is advisable to get everything in writing. From the estimation up to the smallest details, note it down.

And that’s it! By following these tips, searching for reliable and the most appropriate painting service would be much easier. Trust your instinct and be reasonable to get good quality painting job.


Air Conditioning: Helpful Tips in Choosing Air Conditioning to Buy

By Singapore Home Guy On October 18, 2010 No Comments

Whether you live in the city or in the country side there comes a moment when you want to turn on air conditioning unit. Pollution, extreme heat, cold or high levels of humidity makes us turn to technology for help. Air conditioning isn’t exactly a new invention so we know what to do when we want to buy a new unit but how do we chose from so many products? How do we know what to look for when we purchase an air conditioning unit?

Nowadays most new buildings have air conditioning (AC) included whether it’s an office building or a house. However, if we must buy it ourselves how do we choose from so many products that are currently available? The first thing you need to consider is the size of the room you need air conditioning for. In this case the size of the air conditioner really matters. If it’s too big you’ll end up spending too much money and if it’s too small your room might not be cooled efficiently. The size of the room and the insulation are two decisive factors you need to consider in buying a new air conditioning machine. When you purchase an AC, make sure you tell the seller about the size and insulation of the room. That way, they will be able to tell you what you need and how many BTU’s (British Thermal Units) are required for efficiently cooling your room.

However if you wish to find out yourself how many BTU’s should your new air conditioner should produce, there are simple calculators on the internet to help you with that.  Just make sure you mention the size of the room and of course the type of insulation that you have.

If the new place you bought already has an inbuilt AC unit that isn’t fit to your satisfaction and you want to upgrade it, there are a few things you need to be aware of like switches for high and low pressure cutout in the outdoor condenser unit. These switches can save the compressor if problems occur so even if they cost extra it’s best to have them. Higher efficiency units also come with a better blower motor for the indoor air handler. If possible, buy an AC unit that has an ECM (East Coast Mechanical) motor. They are more efficient especially if they run at low speeds most of the time.

The US Government uses the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating for every AC unit. It’s a formula that calculates how many BTU’s are created per unit of electricity (Kilowatt – KW) used. So the more BTU’s/KW are created the better your air conditioner is, thus you’ll spend less money on cooling your room.

To have an idea of how much you’ll spend with the air conditioning, simply calculate the number of days you intend of keeping the AC on in one year, and how many hours per day. The electrical usage of your new air conditioning unit should be provided by the manufacturer so just calculate the watts per hour, times the number of hours run time and divide by 1000. The resulting number will show you the number of KW/h (kilowatt hour) of electricity that your unit will consume. The next step is to take this number and multiply it by the number of days per year that your unit will run. Then, multiply the result to the cost of one KW from your electric company.

Knowing these numbers, you can easily calculate whether your pay back will be five years or less. If it is, you can definitely go for the higher efficiency air conditioner but always keep in mind that electricity costs may go up and there are some states where those costs are going to go up by 50% or even more in the years to come. It is probably safer to run those numbers at higher electricity costs just to be on the safe side.

Of course when it comes to air conditioning, it is always very important to know what kind of environment you will have in your location. For those who live in the south, it’s not exactly a matter of choice when it comes to the number of days the AC unit will run. In this case it’s best to purchase a higher efficiency unit even if the cost is a bit higher.

When it comes to cooling, we don’t always rely on air conditioners. The Heat Pump is often rated as being more efficient especially in the southern part of the country but we’ll address that in a different article in the future.

Since we live in a money based economy, the electricity costs will always go up so it will be more practical to have a higher efficiency air conditioner not just because they have more safety controls built into them but also because in the long run your costs will be less and at the same time you’ll be saving more electricity. With so many options to choose from, it’s often hard to decide.  But if you consider the few important factors shown in this article, you’ll certainly purchase an AC unit that will suit your needs. There are cheap air conditioners and of course there are expensive ones, just remember that the cheapest air conditioning is not always the best choice.


Classical Feng Shui: How to Determine The Best Feng Shui Position in Your Home and Office?

By Singapore Home Guy On October 11, 2010 No Comments

If you want to have effective Feng shui in your home or office, you may want to consider performing a Classical Feng Shui or also known as CFS. This kind of Feng shui deals about the proper position of feng shui in specific direction of your home or office. In this type of Feng Shui, you should determine the north, east, west and south direction of your office/house. Unlike in other feng shui type like Black Hat and Western/New Age Feng Shui, CFS does not being performed based on the position of the front door.

There are different types of feng shui method when I say CFS. Here are those:

Feng Shui Compass – If you want to create a good balance and harmony inside your home and office, this type of feng shui is suitable for you. This is more effective than any other feng shui type like Black Hat/Western/New Age.

Men Gua – This type of CFS feng shui deals about your personal aspects. It is based upon your birthday. You can identify the top 4 personal directions of your life once you have your birthday. Those personal directions are Success, Health, Wisdom and Relationship. This type of CFS is easy to do. It has specific method and once you have learned the basic, you can easily perform the overall method of this type of Feng shui.

Xaun Kong Da Gua – This kind of Classical Feng shui deals about the position of water feature in any part of your home/office. Most of home owners install water features like fountain, ponds and pools in their property as they believe it can attract wealth luck – which is basically true in the concept of feng shui. But before you install water feature in your property, it is advisable to seek for Xuan kong Da Gua Expert assistance for you to do the feng shui method properly.

Flying Star – If you want to determine the best area of your home or office in specific period of the year, Flying Star Feng Shui is the best CFS type for you. This kind of classical feng shui can give you the ability to determine the best period of the year for specific event. For instance, if you are thinking of the best timing for marriage, flying star can help you to decide. This is also beneficial when it comes to office aspects like perfect timing for launching a new program or promotion and asking for a raise. If you have this CFS in your home/office, it is like knowing the best answer for specific question ahead of time.

There are many other CFS types emerge nowadays, but these four are the most commonly used. Given the fact that CFS deals about directions, you should determine the east, south, west, north part of your home/office for you to apply the CFS properly. Some are having problems in identifying the specific directions of their home/office. However, there are some easy methods that can help you identify the right direction of your home/office area.

Method #1 – Identifying the N-W-S-E direction through sun rise

We all know that the sun rises at east direction. Now, if you are going to stand in front of where the sun rises in the morning, you’ll realize that the direction in front of you is the east direction. Therefore, the south area of your home and office is your right while your left is the north area. The home/office area that is behind you is the west direction.

Method #2 – Draw floor plan of your home/office and Use compass

This method is considered as the better and easy way of identifying the N-S-E-W direction of your home/office. In this method, you will draw a floor plan of your office. Identify the center part of your home/office and stand there with the compass at hand. Usually, compass comes with black or red arrow facing to the north. Face to the north direction of your home/office. This way, you’ll know that your left is the west direction and your right is the east direction. The direction behind you is the south area.

See? It is quite easy to identify directions of your home/office. You just have to be accurate in determining the directions of your property in order to perform the classical feng shui properly and effectively.


High Pressure Sodium Light Bulbs: The Advantages of Cheap Yet Efficient Lighting Solutions

By Singapore Home Guy On October 5, 2010 No Comments

High Pressure Sodium Light bulbs can give us numerous advantages. Efficient and cheap lighting solution is one of those. You can get the exact lighting solution that can sustain the needs of lighting application through this kind of solution. High Pressure sodium Bulb is similar to florescent lighting that provides optimized lighting solution without the use of too much electric power. Regards to this, these kinds of bulbs can be used purposely such as security lights, gardening lights and street lights.

You can find various types of High pressure sodium light bulb as market can provide you vast preferences. Types vary on what you need. If you need light bulb that requires specific watts, you can choose from different wattage solutions of these bulbs. For instance, if for basic lighting purposes only, you can find 35 watts of bulbs. But the watts can range higher than 200 watts, as I mentioned earlier, depends on what you need. You need to consider the lighting requirement before jump into any choice. This way, you can have the best choice that best suit for your lighting needs. Usually, this kind of bulb can get 100-150 lumens per watts, which is beneficial because it means you’ll get higher brightness of light than other bulb that using more electric power. It only means that you can get the enough light at low-cost using this kind of bulb. Also, you can really get what you pay for, money-back guarantee as they say.

In choosing high pressure sodium light bulb, you won’t be in the place that you need to be rush in deciding on which bulb you are going to choose. You can explore all of the options so that you can come up with the perfect choice. In deciding on which bulb to choose, lighting requirement should be considered. Take your time picking up the right bulb. You don’t have to rush yourself. There are a lot of choices you can choose from so you should be careful upon choosing. For specific application, there is suitable bulb solution. For instance, if the purpose of lighting solution is for street light, then you can go for 100 to 200 watts of bulb. More likely, this variety of bulb watts can produce 10,000 lumen or even higher which is perfect to light the street productively.

Now, if the lighting application will be used for gardening or plant growth, you should consider the lighting requirement of your plant is needed before you choose. In some cases, growing plant require specific light solution for specific growth stage. If you are unsure on what kind of wattage bulb you’re going to choose, you better research further about the lighting requirements of your plants. This way, wrong choices of bulb can be avoided. As I’ve said earlier, don’t rush things. Consider all the factors first before you jump to any choice. This way, you will be able to avoid to waste of money and effort and you will get what you really seek for.