E-Newsletter                                          April, 2013 

In This Issue
Thank you to our sponsors!
My Color Finder
Allergy Sufferers Guide to Spring Cleaning
Things you don't get to see
Three ways to finance your home improvements
Service your air conditioner now
Termites or ants?
Why a radiant barrier?
Care of granite countertops
Is your house off balance?
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Free online program helps choose paint colors: My Color Finder
This Better Homes and Gardens program lets you select a surface to paint, then choose a color from their paint palette to apply to the surface.   
You can also save your room to work on the room to work on it later or print your painted room and color swatches to take with you when you buy your paint.
  
Allergy Sufferers Guide to Spring Cleaning

Yes, it is that time of the year.  

 

But if you suffer from allergies caused by dust, dust mites, mildew, and other "stuff" you are removing from your home, spring cleaning can make you sick. 

 

The writer of this article has some good ideas for eliminating and/or reducing spring cleaning allergy problems. 

 

Or, there's always the option we like: take a vacation while someone else cleans your house!        Read more.

Things you don't get to see
Ever wonder how things work?
    
Here are some amazing videos showing how:
  
Plus: 
Three ways to finance your home improvements

Spring is home improvement time and sometimes that means seeking financial assistance to complete projects. 

 

John Barnett, Vice President/Program Lending Manager at ViewPoint Bank in Plano, TX (a member of NARI Greater Dallas) provided an excellent discussion and comparison of the major sources of loans in the Spring 2013 issue of NARI's Renovation Dallas Magazine.  Barnett compared Home Equity Loans, Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) and Home Improvement Loans. 

 

Read more on page 6 of the Magazine.

Service your air conditioner now
 

It's time to have your air conditioning system checked -- before temperatures rise and stay high.   

  

Advent Air Conditioning Inc. provides the following tip: Make sure you have your HVAC system serviced in the spring and fall to ensure maximum efficiency, prevent unwanted service calls and extend the life of your equipment.

 

They continue:  Don't fall for the falsely advertised $29.00 service call or maintenance tune-up. A reputable company with proper insurance and training cannot send a certified technician to your home for this price. They just can't stay in business. The trick here is to get into your homes and charge you for parts and services you probably don't need. 

  Flying termites or ants?

Do you have flying insects inside your home or have you found insect wings on a windowsill?  This is the time of the year when termites start swarming and flying out of their colonies -- sometimes through holes in your walls. 

 

Termites live in colonies in the ground but they travel up mud-like tunnels they create on your  foundation and into walls to find food -- your house, of course -- then return to their colony in the ground.  They eat wood and paper like that on your wall board (sheetrock). 

 

Have you seen small specks of dirt on your walls that you brush away only to have it appear again very soon?   If so, you may have termites.  They put a dirt mixture in any holes to prevent air from getting into their tunnels and causing their bodies to dry out.

 

Here is how to tell a termite from an ant:

  

If you suspect you have termites, contact a certified pest control company to arrange for a termite inspection. Pest control companies are licensed and certified to do the work by the Structural Pest Control Board of Texas.  Click here for a listing of those who hold current licenses. 

 

For more information about termites and ants and their control, click here and put termites in the advanced search box.  Several publication choices will appear.  

Why a radiant barrier?
LP Building Products explains why a radiant barrier is needed: 
 
 
A radiant barrier is a layer of reflective  material installed in a home to redirect the radiant heat created by the sun.
 
In warm weather, a radiant barrier, like LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing, blocks radiant heat from entering a home.
 
This increases the efficiency of your attic-installed air handling system, resulting in increased energy savings and lower energy costs.
Care of granite countertops from one of our newest advertisers Texas Counter Fitters
 

You did not buy granite counters you adopted them and if you take the minimal care needed,  they will keep performing like they have for milliniums!

 

A great tool for your granite counters is "000" steel wool. This pad can cut any stubborn, dried food spills without fear of damaging your counter tops.

 

You can usually find different grades of steel wool in the paint section of your local hardware store.  Be sure you are getting "000".

 

Texas Counter Fitters also recommends that you always use cleaners that are dedicated to cleaning "natural stone" -- much like window cleaner for windows and oven cleaner for ovens. 

Is your house off balance? 
 
Steve Lauten, President of Total Air & Heat, shared this information:
  
All rooms are not alike.  Some are warmer when you would rather the be cool and some are cooler when you'd rather they be warm.  How is this happening?  A number of variables could be having an impact.  For example, direct exposure to sunlight heats up a room -- good in winter, not so good in summer.  Other variables include the number of stories, distance of rooms from the furnace or air conditioner, amount of insulation, computers and accessories producing heat, the height of the ceiling, the type of flooring and even the number of people in a room. 
  
There are steps you can take for balancing the air.  Make sure the return vents are open, windows are properly closed and that you clean or replace your air filter on a regular schedule. 
  
If that does not help, consider having your system evaluated by a professional.  The effectiveness of your system depends on the amount of airflow.  A certified technician can measure this airflow and see how the system is performing. 
  
The technician can then make a diagnosis to repair and balance the duct system for maximum performance.  If you have rooms that were too cold this winter and too hot last summer, Total Air & Heat can evaluate the situation and see what needs done to make you more comfortable in every room of your home.  
Please join us!

We look forward to you joining our show, House Talk Today, every Saturday from 1-3 p.m. in the DFW area on 660 AM The Answer and in the Houston area on NEWS 92 FM or iheart radio or www.housetalktoday.com or ksky.com.
 
If you have a home building, maintenance, repair or remodeling questions, please give us a call during our show at 800-281-8255 and let us know how we can help you. If you can't call, then email us anytime.

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Chris Miles                                                                                         Alex Guthrie
chris@housetalktoday.com                                                                  alex@housetalktoday.com