How to Protect Your Skin From Dry Winter Weather

Winter will be officially here soon, but in many places in the country, the winter weather has already started. Use these four tips to keep the winter weather from destroying your skin. Lip Balm Arizona air already has its way on our skin, and it only worsens in the winter. Lips can often take cold very hard. Without protecting them, you could face cracking and bleeding, which is painful and inconvenient. Save yourself the trouble of mending chapped lips by using what you’d use to cure cracked and bleeding lips anyway – lip balm.  Lip balm usually contains camphor which acts as an analgesic. This is good for lips that are already dry and cracked as it numbs the nerve endings sensitive to sensations of hot and cold. Water Obvious, but drinking water is not typically practiced in dry winter weather. You probably don’t notice when you’re thirsty in the winter. However, even though the body doesn’t sweat noticeably in the winter, it’s supply of H2O is being depleted more rapidly in the dry cold. Lots of water producers are now labeling their bottles with the pH of their water. The higher the pH of water the more alkaline it is....

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Things to Do In Phoenix

Now is Also the Perfect Time to Service Your HVAC Unit! Trust Western States Home Services for Your Seasonal HVAC Maintenance.

When Is It Time to Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned?

Your home relies on properly functioning air ducts as well as many other components to deliver air evenly and efficiently throughout your home. To keep things running smoothly, you likely have regularly scheduled maintenance performed every so often. Should cleaning your air ducts be a part of your regularly scheduled maintenance? That all depends. What is Air Duct Cleaning? It’s somewhat self-explanatory, but air duct cleaning is a process performed by an HVAC technician using a combination of brushes, vacuums and various chemical solutions to clean the inside of your home’s HVAC system. That includes cleaning supply and return air ducts, evaporator coils, heat exchangers, throughout the ductwork itself and more. Most states and municipalities don’t require any sort of license for cleaning air ducts. If you’re in the market for an air duct cleaner, it’s best to use a reputable HVAC service company with clean credentials or one that’s a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). Reasons to Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned The EPA and NADCA agree that there are some benefits to having your air ducts cleaned periodically. However, it’s most beneficial when serious contamination threats or significant blockage is present. Essentially, you should...

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How Energy Efficient are Solar Panels?

Solar power and renewable energy are major topics today, especially in a place that receives a lot of sun throughout the year such as Chandler, AZ. However, before a homeowner decides if they want to spend the money to install a solar system they need to consider the efficiency and if it is worth their initial investment. So how energy efficient are solar panels? Current statistics show that solar panels around 15% efficiency and the energy efficiency of solar panels vary due to the following factors: How much sunlight do the panels receive each day; Are the solar panels angled properly; How much shade is on the panels; And how clean the panels are. Although 15% efficiency may not seem like much, it does provide a home with quite a bit of renewable electricity which results in outstanding home efficiency. Maximize Your Solar Power Any homeowner looking to maximize the efficiency of solar power needs to address the following issues: Keep Panels Clean: When solar panels are clean and free of dust and debris they can absorb sunlight better and produce more output. Place Panels in Full Sun: If you place your solar panels in areas where they are shaded throughout the day by trees and...

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Simple Ways to Make Your House a Home

After a long day of work, most of us just want to relax. More often than not, though, we come home to total disarray. You may have mail to sort through, trash piling up on the counter or clothes strewn about the closet. These stressors add up, turning your house into a chaotic whirlwind, rather than a place of respite. Fortunately, there are a few simple rules you can follow to simplify your home and maximize the comfort it provides. Implement these improvements and you’ll be kicking back on the couch in no time, enjoying an atmosphere in which you can truly decompress. Color Bright colors, especially reds, oranges and yellows, are great for creativity, but terrible for relaxation. If pops of color capture your personality, choose more muted versions of your favorite colors, incorporate them as accent colors or save them for the rooms where you need the most energy, like the kitchen, workout room or studio. Soft blues and greens add a soothing quality to any room, as they are reminiscent of nature. Imagine your ideal landscape and pinpoint the colors you see. This may be just the place to start when repainting. Neutral tones are always a...

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Preventing Health Risks From Your Gilbert AC System

Gilbert, Arizona is a beautiful city, but the scenery doesn’t reduce the local pollens allergy sufferers battle. You may think it’s only important to tune-up your AC system for efficiency, but preventative maintenance is an important part of protecting yourself and others who share your air-conditioned space from certain health risks. Consider these ways to prevent health hazards your AC system may be increasing. Indoor Air Pollution Indoor air pollution can increase in air-conditioned buildings because the same air continues to recycle around. Viruses linger in spaces that are sealed tightly. Additionally, AC units with lower-quality filters will let outside pollutants like dust slip through the vents into your home. It’s not always possible in the heat of Arizona summers, but when possible open windows and air out the house on cooler evenings. Respiratory Sickness Living and working in environments where cold air is constant can weaken your immune system. Air conditioners in combination with low humidity make it easier for viruses to travel. Moving from the warm air outside to air-conditioned office or house stresses our bodies and weakens our immune systems. Low Humidity AC units lower humidity inside. Dry air leads to dry skin and dry nasal passages. Dry...

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How Re-Painting Your Home Affects Energy Efficiency

Although the moody charcoal color you picked out for your Victorian home sounds intriguing, it may become a practical nightmare. The problem with painting your home in a dark color is that dark colors love to retain heat, turning your home into a sweltering oven. Not only are you likely to roast in your home, but you will end up spending more on your electricity bills to maintain a comfortable temperature. Why? When you paint the exterior of your home in dark colors, the dark hue will retain heat from the sun’s rays compared to lighter colors like a sky blue or light yellow, which reflect the sun’s rays. The trapped heat takes much longer to dissipate and will heat the interior of your home, putting your AC system through its paces. Although you can generally get away with dark colored interiors, heat can still get trapped inside your home if sunlight can pour through open windows. However, you have alternative methods to prevent heat from being absorbed into your home’s dark interior color scheme. To reduce heat retention due to your interior decorating and paint choices, consider only painting walls dark colors if they are not exposed to heavy...

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Which HVAC System is Right For You?

Whether it’s the height of summer or the depths of winter, you expect your HVAC system to cool and heat your home with reliable efficiency. Many homeowners, however, don’t realize their system may not be the best choice for their lifestyle. If you notice your unit is failing to fulfill your heating and cooling demands, it may be time to consider where the system in your home is falling short and which variety of HVAC unit can better meet your needs. Split Systems A split system, or split heat pump system, refers to a unit with components that are quite literally split between the interior and exterior of your home. Often, these products may include condenser and evaporator coils, furnaces, heat pumps or fan coils. Split systems, as a whole, offer the best one-size-fits-all package that allows you to effectively heat and cool all the rooms of your home from one easy-to-use thermostat or remote. Hybrid-heat split systems operate in a similar manner to your everyday split unit, but include one unique touch that may be able to reduce your energy use. Standard split HVAC units are susceptible to inefficient heating when the temperature drops below 30 to 40 degrees....

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3 Reasons You Should Upgrade to a Wi-Fi Thermostat in AZ

You may have heard about the benefits of programmable thermostats, but the Wi-Fi equipped thermostat has taken energy savings, convenience, and comfort to a whole new level. Gone are the days of the old thermostats that adjusted by a radial dial. The following are reasons you should consider upgrading to a Wi-Fi equipped thermostat in your AZ home: Convenience. If you are on your way out of town and remember that you forgot to adjust your thermostat for your absence, there is no need to call a neighbor to go through the hassle of finding your spare key, adjusting it themselves, and worry whether or not they did it right. Simply use the free app you downloaded and adjust it yourself.   Efficiency. Don’t know when you’re going to be home? No worries – you can simply adjust the heat or air in your home so it’s exactly to where you want it to be when you walk through the door without coming home at a set time every day.   Reliability. You’re human and you sometimes forget to change your air filters or perform routine maintenance on your heating and cooling unit. A Wi-Fi equipped thermostat can send you...

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Increase the Efficiency of Your Valley Home’s Outer Envelope

Your home’s envelope is the outer aspects that encase your home. This includes exterior walls and doors, windows, and the roof. When the envelope is poorly insulated, your air conditioner will work much harder to cool your home. This is vital for Arizona residents as we rely heavily on our AC units for a large portion of the year. Consider these options to bring up the R-value of each aspect: Walls – Add rolled insulation or radiant barrier to your walls to block the outdoor temperatures. This will keep the desired temperatures inside, and the temperature from weather fluctuations out. There is foam you can have pumped into your walls that will also insulate. The added benefit of the foam is that it also blocks pests. Windows and doors – Make sure your windows are low-E and doors are a material like fiberglass that doesn’t transfer temperatures easily. Windows should be well-sealed with caulking and doors should be sealed tight with weatherstripping. Attic – Your attic should have a certain amount of insulation depending on the region you live in. Each part of the country has different R-values recommended and assigned to get the highest energy efficiency. Attic insulation options...

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