Home Improvement

Home improvement projects I’ve completed and thought I’d share with other folks. Perhaps someone can learn from my mistakes and successes.

Insulating a Hot Water Heater

Most of the new hot water heaters are pretty efficient and don’t need any additional insulation. However some of the older tanks, or less efficient newer tanks, could benefit from some added insulation. They way to tell if you need more insulation is to simply touch the side of your hot water tank. If it is warm to the touch, then some of the heat is escaping which is a sign the tank isn’t that efficient. You can buy a hot water insulation blanket for a 45 to 55 gallon…
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Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL) – The Good and the Bad

Environmentalists would like you to believe the energy efficient Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) are the next best thing to sliced bread. That’s because they use roughly 75% less electricity compared to the normal incandescent bulbs. Each household using CFLs will draw less power from the electrical grid thus lessening the amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. As a result, we will save the world from certain global warming apocalyptic doom. Wal-Mart, the largest retail store in the world, has embraced the CFL and has dedicated itself to…
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Is Home Wind Power Worth The Money?

Perhaps the most cost efficient means of generating your own power lies in the windmill. It’s a very simple design and doesn’t cost a whole lot, but just like solar power there are a few drawbacks one must take into consideration before purchasing a windmill thinking they will eliminate their electric bill. The first and most important thing you need is wind and for most this is a showstopper. Most places just don’t have enough consistent wind to spin a windmill. The other problem if you do have wind is…
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Are Solar Panels Cost Effective?

I’m all for clean and renewable ways of creating electricity, and one popular option is installing a home solar power system. The problem is solar panels and the other needed equipment are not cheap, nor are they efficient. Not to mention, only a few select geographic locations will provide the means to recoup the cost of purchasing the system due to local climate conditions and electric company incentives. For a very basic system, you will need solar panels, roof mounts, combiner box, DC disconnect switch, cabling, permits, and a grid-tie…
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Upgrading the Windows in Your Home

Home Windows

When we had our house built, DR Horton installed the crappiest windows possible. To make matters worse, the windows were installed poorly and rain water leaked down through the walls causing quite a headache. I waited 6 months for them to come out and replace the windows the first time. Well, the second time they leaked I decided to take matters into my own hands. No, I didn’t take them to court. The money I would of spent in court fighting them to replace the crappy windows with the same…
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Is a Whole House Furnace Humidifier Worth the Money?

Furnace Humidifier

The air in Colorado is extremely dry, especially when the cold winter air is heated to 68°F. When you heat cold dry air, the humidity level drops considerably. Our first solution was to run three small warm mist and cool mist humidifiers throughout the house which meant changing a lot of filters and re-filling water. Even still, we would average about 11% humidity which meant every light switch, doorknob and button we touched produced a 1.21 gigawatt lightning bolt. That’s when I decided enough was enough and I needed something…
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Install House Wiring Inside Finished Walls

flexible drill bit

We have a DirecTV Dual Tuner Tivo in our bedroom, but unfortunately we only had one coax cable jack. So we couldn’t record one show and watch another at the same time unless we ran another cable into the bedroom from the basement. A daunting task because I didn’t want to run the cable around the baseboards and I didn’t want to run it all the way around the house and in through the outside wall. That leaves just one option, and that was to go up through the interior…
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