How to Move From Oil to Gas in Your Property

While over half of all U.S. homeowners heat with natural gas, as many as 7% of families still rely upon oil-fired boilers and boilers, as stated by this”New York Times.” In 2012 oil prices reached record highs, creating a switch to natural gas, which remains among the very economical home heating fuels, an option to be considered. Understand that the costs and benefits of conversion to find out whether gas heating is the right choice for your loved ones Prior to making the switch.

Access to Gas Lines

Unlike petroleum, which companies deliver to your house and shop natural gas comes in pipelines. When considering a move to natural 22, finding out if natural gas lines run on your area should be your first step. Contact your utility company to find out whether gas lines operate on your road or near your property. If lines are prohibitively far from your house, stick to oil or elect for electric or propane heat rather.

Investing in a New Furnace

Homeowners hoping to switch from oil to gasoline may need to shell out big bucks for a brand new gas-fired furnace. While low-efficiency furnaces can be found for just a few thousand bucks, the most effective components cost upwards of $10,000 as of 2014. When weighing the cost of a new unit, compute potential savings in the form of energy efficiency tax credits and incentives, like rebates, provided by local government or utility companies. Your utility company may give you a low-interest loan to assist you swap your current heating system for a brand new high-efficiency model.

Making the Link

The expense of the furnace itself is just a piece of this puzzle. Homeowners who already have gas lines running into the house for cooking or hot water heating will pay less to connect a brand new gas furnace than those who have no present gas lines. In minimum, be ready to pay an installer to set up your new furnace, then connect it to the gas meter and perhaps update your chimney liner. Those with no current gas appliances will also need to pay someone to set up a new gas line in the road to the house, which involves some landscaping or paving to repair damage to the yard or driveway. Your municipality may require you to eliminate your old oil tank when shifting to gasoline, which may cost a few thousand dollars, based on its size and where it is installed.

Energy Savings

While switching from oil to gas heating comes with a substantial upfront expense, in addition, it comes with significant energy savings every month. As of September 2013, it costs $9.19 to create a thousand BTU of heat using natural gas, compared to $37.33 using heating oil, as stated by the U.S. Energy Information Association. Homeowners in moderate climate zones could expect to pay $459.50 to create 50 million BTU of heat utilizing gasoline, compared to a whopping $1,866.50 using petroleum. Switching to natural gas within this case will slash energy bills by 75 percent, while people in cooler regions could save even more.

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The Right Size for Raised Beds

The simple structure of a raised garden bed allows you to grow your own produce in places where the soil is poor. A raised bed may use the square gardening process when constructed properly and to the ideal size. The goal is to maximize the space available for developing a garden and make it easy to access all sections of this raised bed for garden maintenance.

Garden Perimeter

The idea behind a raised garden is an accessible space that’s full of high-quality dirt. Raised beds with a width of 4 ft are the right size for the typical individual to reach across at least fifty of their garden in one side. There is never a requirement to step into the garden with this width. The length may vary from 2 to 8 feet long, depending on the area accessible and needs to your garden.

Garden Height

Raised gardens require the inclusion of high-quality gardening ground because they’re often constructed in places where the ground is inferior for gardening. The thickness is important since you need the garden heavy enough for adequate root development. Build the increased bed with sides which are at least 8 to 10 inches tall to provide the plants room to grow. Vegetable beds should be 12 to 18 inches deep for good root development.

Construction Materials

Raised garden beds can be constructed from several types of wood. Using 10- to 12-inch-wide planks make it easy to accomplish the recommended height, but aren’t always readily accessible. It could be a lot easier to find 2-by-8-inch planks or 6-inch broad landscaping timber. This size timber requires stacking to acquire the ideal height for the increased bed. Avoid using treated timber, since the chemicals may leech into the ground and contaminate the food grown.

Factors

Map out the area to your garden and take measurements so you realize the distance available for your raised garden. You may opt to develop several raised beds using varying lengths to acquire the most gardening space for your requirements. Planning allows you to calculate the total amount of wood required for the ideal size raised bed.

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How to Grow Vegetables With a Pot & Lattice

There are many advantages of growing vegetables. Perfect soil conditions can be created and attacks from insects and disease are generally reduced. A smaller growing area is the biggest drawback, but this may be offset by taking advantage of vertical growing space. Combining a large pot and piece of lattice trellis is a great way to get started.

Container Size and Soil

Utilizing a pot of adequate size is the principal concern for growing vegetables in containers. Most greens and herbs develop well with at a container 8 inches deep, but for larger plants such as tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum), squash (Curcurbita spp.) And cucumbers (Cucumis sativus), 3 to 5 liters of soil per plant is needed to generate a good quality harvest. A 20- to 25-gallon container is excellent for grouping a mix of many distinct species together while retaining space for a lattice trellis. Use a lightweight soil-less potting mix to create the most of the restricted growing space.

Container Type

Almost any food-safe container may be used. Large ceramic or plastic pots, wood planters or wine barrels cut in half of all function well. Several holes in least 3/4-inch in diameter are needed on the bottom to guarantee adequate drainage. Wood containers using chemical additives on the exterior are safe to use, but don’t plant your vegetables in pots that are painted or treated at all on the interior or have been used as a container for poisonous chemicals.

Trellising Potted Vegetables

Place a lattice trellis at the center of the pot to give entry to vine plants in either side, orienting the trellis as well as a three-quarter axis to give equivalent sunlight to the plants growing on either side. Drive 2 wood stakes into the potting soil as a support for the lattice. If the bud is against a wall or other item that casts shade, place the lattice on the rear side of the pot and give it a southern orientation, if at all possible.

Vegetables for Trellising

Any vegetable that grows as a vine is suitable for trellising at a pot — peas (Pisum sativum), pole beans (Phaseolus spp.) , cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) and squashes (Curcurbita spp.) Are some of the most frequent examples. Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) may also make use of a lattice trellis, as they have a vine-like addiction, and green peppers and eggplant also benefit from support. Use flexible plastic garden ties to attach the plants to the trellis as they develop.

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What's the Life Span of a Water Heater?

Homeowners often don’t think about the origin of their warm water until a problem occurs. Water heaters may run for quite a while, but they won’t last forever. With proper maintenance, however, you can prolong your water heater’s typical life expectancy and also save on your entire energy costs.

Average Life Expectancy

Correctly maintained water heaters typically last between eight and13 decades. The actual lifespan of your water heater is dependent on several factors, like the producer, maintenance, use and setup. In case you have a water heater which is more than 10 years old and it is not functioning correctly, your best choice is to replace it with a new one.

Prolonging Water Heater Life

Good water heater maintenance can raise your water heater’s efficiency and prolong its service life. Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re planning to be off, turn the water heater off or the thermostat down to its smallest setting. Wrap self-sticking 3/8-inch-thick foam pipe insulation across the cold and hot water pipes to prevent condensation and keep water warm. This ensures your water heater doesn’t need to work harder to give hot water. Flushing sediment in the tank every year also helps prolong water heater life.

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How to Calculate the Roof Area Utilizing the Building Square Footage & the Pitch of the Roof

So you are considering reroofing the home yourself and need a quote for how much roofing stuff you’ll want, but you do not need to go climbing around with a tape measure and frighten your partner half to death. You are in luck, since mathematics can rescue you from pulling out that ladder and tape measure.

Straight to the reply

Divide your roof pitch by 12. Roof pitch is provided as the amount of inches in height shift over the space of one foot. Dividing by 12 provides the ratio of inches in climb per space. For example, a normal roof pitch is very likely to be about 4. So for a pitch angle of 4, divide by 12 and receive 1/3.

Square the outcome of Step 1. So keeping our roof pitch of 4 this provides us 1/9.

Add 1, then take the square root. Adding 1 provides us 1 + 1/9 = 10/9, then taking the square root gives us about 1.0541.

Multiply from the square footage of a single floor of your property. So continuing our example, if you have got a 2 story home with a complete square footage of 2,700 square feet, with each floor with 1,350 square feet, then multiply 1,350 from 1.0541 to receive 1,423 square feet. That means you’d need 1,423 square feet of roofing.

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What Is the Difference Between Split Pea & Sweet Pea?

A quick peek at a seed catalog or a rack of seed packages at a garden shop reveals many different types of peas to plant in gardens. Sweet peas are one type of pea; they provide flowers with a strong scent and appealing look. Another type of pea plant, garden peas, create the dry peas commonly called split peas. Even though the plants that produce split peas and sweet peas are associated, there are big gaps. Mainly, split peas can be used for food while sweet pea seeds are poisonous.

Split Peas

Split peas are a product of garden or English peas. The peas or seeds grow inside inedible pods. Some garden pea plants create wrinkled seeds. These seeds are usually picked about 18 to 21 days after flowering, once the peas are big, tender and sweet. Generally garden pea plants with smooth seeds are permitted to grow until the plant is fully mature and the pods turn tan. The peas are removed from the pods, dried and used like beans. They are also called shell peas.

Sweet Peas

Sweet peas produce flowers for cutting and plants for flowerbeds and containers. The sweet pea flowers exist in a vast range of colors. The vine-type varieties produce the very best flowers for cutting while the bush varieties function as bedding plants in backyard. Depending on the variety, the flowers blossom in summer and spring.

How to Grow

Plants creating split peas and sweet peas need similar growing conditions. They are cool-season plants that favor a moist soil. Both kinds are usually raised from seed with the seeds planted in the spring once the land reaches 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The plants grow best when the temperature ranges from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. The vine-type varieties need support in the fence or trellis while the bush-type do not need extra support.

Additional kinds of Peas

Some kinds of peas produce chips that are edible. Sugar snap peas are harvested when the pods are fat and tender, and the seeds modest. The low-fiber pods sometimes have strings across the side that are eliminated before cooking. Snow peas are picked once the seeds are extremely tiny and the pods tender and flat.

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How to Wash Fireplace Mortar

Cleaning the soot off the bricks around a fireplace is tough, but getting it off the mortar between the bricks poses an excess challenge. Mortar is porous and the recessed, concave surface makes it tricky to reach. You need a strong soap and a scrub brush, but before you scrub, you should pre-treat the mortar to loosen the soot. If the fireplace is over 50 years old, you should test the bricks to see whether they can withstand the power of a scrub brush. If they can’t, it’s better to only dust them.

Dust the bricks above the fireplace with a duster and vacuum the hearth to pick up loose dust, wood chips and debris.

Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. Mix 1 oz each of scouring powder and table salt in a bowl. Add enough water to create a paste and rub the paste into the brick using a fabric. Let it dry for 10 minutes and then brush it away with a brush.

Make an alkali and synthetic glue if you need a more powerful treatment. Shave an entire bar of naptha soap into a pot and add 3 quarts of water. Heat the solution until the soap melts, then add 1 pound of pumice and one cup of ammonia. Brush the answer onto the brick using an old paintbrush, leave it for one hour and scrub it away.

Scrub the bricks with a solution of 1/2 cup of trisodium phosphate to 1 gallon of water after you have pre-treated it with the cleaning paste.

Rinse the bricks with warm water. If any soot or greasy stains remain, wash again with the TSP solution.

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How to Finish the Fronts of Concrete Steps

Plain concrete steps aren’t exactly attractive. They are just there — easy and boring. If you have a set of concrete steps, you can enhance the appearance of these and add a little style and thickness by simply improving the fronts of the steps with a small shade. Concrete stain is a very simple way to do this without causing the slippery danger that painted steps creates. The stain includes an acid which causes a chemical reaction using the concrete, etching into the surface and eternally coloring it.

Scrub the steps with a scrub brush and soapy water to remove any debris and dirt. Rinse the surface with a water heater once it’s clean. Let it perform dry for a couple hours before rinsing, but do not allow it to dry out entirely. Water is needed to assist the chemical reaction.

Fill out a garden sprayer using a concrete stain in the shade of your choice. Read the directions and include water accordingly. Place the top on the sprayer and shake to mix everything together. The sprayer needs to be designed to be used with acid solutions.

Cover and tape the tops off of the steps if you don’t want to complete them as well.

Cover the steps using a template pattern or use tape to make a layout if you want.

Spray the steps with the stain, moving the nozzle back and forth across the steps.

Remove the stencil or tape in the steps and allow the stain dry for a couple hours.

Watch for a deposit to build up around the surface of the stained region. When it forms, scrub the surface with soapy water and a brush to remove the residue. Allow the surface dry immediately.

Fill a separate sprayer using a concrete sealant and spray on the front of the steps to maintain the stain over time.

Remove the covering from the tops of the steps after the sealant has dried for a few hours.

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PH Testing Devices for Pond Water

Whether a pond has an acidic or alkaline bent shows up in the water’s pH. The pH range runs from 1 to 14, with lower numbers indicating acidic water and higher values indicating alkaline water. A reading of 7 is neutral. Most ponds run between 6.8 and 7.8, with values fluctuating through the day. Checking a pond’s pH is a very important step toward keeping water chemistry. You’ve got several options with respect to monitoring pH, the majority of which you might purchase at garden centres, pet shops or online.

Paper

Paper test strips are also referred to as litmus paper, pH paper or just test paper. Retailers sell packages that contain tens of thousands or even a hundred test strips in them. The paper includes a reagent that reacts with hydrogen ions in the water. Drop a test strip into a vial that contains a sample of pond water, and the reaction occurs. In a few moments, the test strip changes color. By comparing the color of the test strip to a color wheel included with the strips, then you can determine the pH of the pond. Test strips provide a fast reading, but it’s a subjective one, as it involves a color comparison, which might be difficult to interpret.

Liquid

Liquid tests work similarly to paper test strips. Add some drops of reagent to a sample of pond water and then wait for the color change to happen. These kits comprise a color wheel for comparison purposes, and they suffer with the identical subjective interpretations as paper test kits. The benefit of liquid over paper is that the entire sample may be disposed of at once, rather than needing to choose out a wet test strip prior to pouring out the contents of the sample vial.

Electronic

Electronic, electronic read-out metres are accurate pH measurement tools with quick analysis and display. Meters should be calibrated periodically with alternatives of a known pH. The test solution is often packaged with meters or may be bought separately. A meter picks up the quantity of hydrogen ions present in pond water through an electronic probe. The meter is a battery powered, handheld tool that’s typically small enough to maintain the pocket.

Price Factors

Both analyze papers and analyze solutions are low cost options that offer precise enough readings for many ponds. Batches of test papers or a bottle of falls often sell for $10 or less as of 2012, and resources are easily available either online or in local shops. Electronic meters are considerably more expensive, ranging from approximately $60 to a few hundred dollars per unit. If you intend to check pH several times daily for extended periods, a meter may offer convenience and ease of use.

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What Types of Ferns Prefer Acidic Soil?

Ferns generally prefer shady gardens using acidic soil. Soil with a pH of 7 is considered neutral. A pH below 7 is acidic, while a pH above 7 is alkaline. Different kinds of ferns have particular soil pH conditions within the acidic selection, however. Some types of ferns need acidic soil with a lower pH, but some prefer soil that is just slightly acidic. Still others are going to grow in acidic, neutral or slightly alkaline soils. Your soil pH can be determined with a simple pH test. It’s worth determining before deciding which kind of fern will thrive in your garden soil.

Low pH Soil

Boston ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata), also known as sword ferns, and flowering ferns (Osmunda regalis), also called royal ferns, prefer a lower pH. Boston ferns are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 9 to 11. This kind of fern grows in soil with a pH of 5.0 to 5.5. They do best in humid conditions in partial to full shade where the land is high in organic matter. Its bright-green fronds grow to a height of 3 feet and width of 6 inches. Flowering ferns are hardy in USDA zones 3 to 10. They grow in soil with a pH of 4.3 to 5.2. This kind of fern has brown, leafless fertile fronds and infertile, leafy fronds that can be up to 6 feet tall. The 2-inch extended leaflets are spaced slightly apart along the frond, giving the fern an open, airy look. It favors organically rich soil in full shade but will tolerate up to six hours of direct sunlight so long as the soil is kept moist.

Low to Moderately Acidic Soil

American climbing ferns (Lygodium palmatum) and Japanese tassel ferns (Polystichum polyblepharum) prefer a soil pH of 5.1 to 6.5 and are hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9. American growing ferns, also known as creeping, Hartford and Windsor ferns, grow long, 3- to 4-foot tall twining fronds that will climb nearby plants. Its leaflets are palmate or shaped like an open palm with fingers outstretched. They’ll grow in partial or full shade. Japanese tassel ferns, also called Japanese lace ferns and Korean tassel ferns, grow to a height of two to three feet with dark, glossy green fronds and finely dissected or serrated leaflets. Dappled or full shade with rich soil that is kept uniformly moist is most effective for this kind of fern.

Moderately Acidic Soil

Cinnamon ferns (Osmunda cinnemonea) and Ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) prefer soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Cinnamon ferns grow to between 5 and 3 feet tall with light green fronds. This kind of fern has sterile and fertile fronds. The sterile fronds are cinnamon brown when they first emerge but change graduallyto green as they mature. The fertile fronds remain cinnamon brown and do not develop green leaflets. They are hardy in USDA zones 3 to 10. A planting website with visually rich, moist soil in partial shade is ideal for the fern, but it is going to grow with as much as six hours of direct sun exposure or dappled shade. Ostrich ferns grow to a height of 2 to 6 feet with dark green, finely dissected fronds. They are hardy in USDA zones 2 to 8. In warm Mediterranean climates, they need to be planted in a shady place with rich soil that stays uniformly moist.

Acidic to Alkaline Soil

Holly ferns, Japanese holly ferns or Asian net-vein holly ferns (Cyrtomium falcatum), and Christmas or dagger ferns (Polystichum acrostichoides) prefer a soil pH of 5.6 to 7.8. Holly ferns are hardy in USDA zones 6 to 11. They grow to a height of two feet with dark green, pointed leaflets that resemble holly tree leaves. This kind of fern prefers organically rich soil in partial or full shade, but will grow with as much as six hours of direct sunlight. Christmas ferns are hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9. They grow to a height of two feet with leathery green leaflets that resemble small Christmas stockings. Fast-draining soil that is high in organic matter in partial or full shade is ideal for this kind of fern.

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