Top 5 Steps for Preparing Your Air Conditioner for Summer


Summers in the mid-west, especially Chicago, get hot and humid. When the summer draws close, every family has a lot of preparations to make. These preparations are usually geared towards making life comfortable despite the forthcoming hot months, and that is why one of the things you must ensure is working optimally is your air conditioner. Preparing your a/c for summer involves carrying out some if not all the tasks discussed below.

Replacing Air Filters

Air filters determine your AC’s efficiency to a very great extent. Furthermore, if they are clogged, you will overwork the system which in turn increases energy bills. Above all, you’re a/c’s lifespan is at stake. This is why you must prepare for summer by ensuring that its filters are clean and ready to take on the coming heat.

Cleaning Air Ducts

Many people in Chicago rarely use their air conditioners during spring. As a result, the ducts gather a lot of dust and many other contaminants. If you do start using your unit immediately summer kicks in, then you are likely to experience a host of respiratory conditions together with low-quality indoor air. For this reason, you need to get professional duct cleaning services to help you out before you start using your a/c again. There are dozens of air duct cleaning services in Chicago, but keep in mind, coupons are available.

Cleaning the A/c Coils

The condenser unit of the a/c is usually located outside. Although many people cover this unit when the air conditioner is to lie idle for some time, you have to clean the coils before using it again. Start by removing any dirt that may have accumulated in the coils. Failing to do this can make it hard for you to achieve the desired temperatures easily translating into increased energy bills.

Trimming Shrubs

Your air conditioner will only work optimally if there are no shrubs and obstructions around the outside unit. This is because these shrubs prevent air intake which in turn overworks the air conditioner. Since most a/c manufacturers recommend that you keep the first 10 inches from the condenser clear, ensure that you do so to facilitate cooling.

Test it

Once you are done with the preparations, the last step is simply turning on the air conditioner for a couple of minutes to confirm that everything works normally. This step is, in fact, crucial in identifying any maintenance activities that you may have overlooked as you were preparing you’re a/c for summer. If something is broken, visit to have them help you with the problem

Carrying out these tasks is important in ensuring that you will not have to start looking for a/c professionals after summer has already kicked in. Furthermore, it is will also give you your piece of mind knowing that come summer, you are ready to face the heat.

Plumbing: DIY or Hire A Pro?


If you are a homeowner, or just renting your place, you are probably used to doing a little bit of DIY (Do It Yourself), repairs around your house. A cupboard needs re-aligning, sink needs to be tightened, water pressure needs fixing. Some of these things are very simple, and don’t require calling someone in to get it fixed. In fact the DIY trend has been booming in the last couple years, due to HGTV and other home improvement shows. So much in fact that many homeowners and renters are switching to almost entirely DIY projects.

While this is a great thing for smaller projects, the larger the scope of your project, the more know-how you need to get the job done. For most this is isn’t too much of an issue, with the internet, and how-to videos most projects can be done quickly and efficiently. While DIY projects can save you a ton of money on labor costs, there are certain parts of the house that might be better left to professionals. For example, flood protection. Sounds easy to install, but requires experience. Also, if you look here:,  you’ll notice it’s inexpensive.

Plumbing is one of those parts of the house even experienced DIY people have issues touching. Mostly this is due to the fact that with plumbing, even simple mistakes can cost a fortune to repair and fix. Floods of nasty water, clogs in pipes, and all the sinks in your house backing up and overflowing into the rest of your house are some of the common nightmares associated with DIY plumbing disasters. So are there some plumbing issues best left to the pro’s? If so, are there some you can do on your own? DIY plumbing vs hiring a professional; which are which?


Clogs of almost any nature are fairly simple to fix, and most can be done at home without the need to call in a pro. Rubber plungers can be a homeowner or renter’s best friend for simple clogs. They are cheap, last a long time, and are not hazardous to children or pets, (as long as they’re washed consistently). The only time you should use chemical cleaning agents is if the clog is still there after trying the plunger several time, with no avail.

Leaky Pipes:

One particular nightmare for any homeowner or renter is leaking pipes. Leaking pipes can cause enormous amounts of damage in short amounts of time. Because they’re not always caught on time, when found they should be reported and fixed immediately. Due to the nature of these pipes, duct taping them and leaving is almost never a long-term option. So this problem is better left to professionals to fix. Even though the cost of labor is high for plumbers, it can save you a great deal of money and stress just calling someone in to fix this issue.

Burst Pipes:

Pipes that have burst is another problem dreaded by homeowners and renters. Like leaky pipes, burst pipes can cause serious damage to a house or apartment in almost no time at all. This problem is a particularly big issue in the winter months, where water can freeze in the pipe overnight, then expand when heated up and cause a bust in the pipe itself. This is another issue best left to a pro, due to the amount of repair needed of the pipe and the surrounding plumbing structure.


Renovations are becoming more and more popular with DIY people, and can cause considerable amounts of damage if not done correctly. When plumbing is involved in such renovations, such as putting in a second bathroom or a pool, there may be a considerable amount that most don’t take into account. Such as permits, some renovations do require plumbing permits. So depending on the project, it is at least a good idea to call a pro to find out if your project need the aid of a professional.

There are plenty of projects that don’t require any need for professional help. However when it comes to plumbing, it is always better to be safe than sorry. So if you’re unsure, on any part of any plumbing project, it is a good idea to call in a pro, if for nothing more than to be a safety net.

The Art of Landscaping


Landscaping also called as gardening refers to any activity that modifies features of a land area. It includes the arts and crafts of growing and nurturing flora and fauna. It is considered as a form of art because landscaping includes designing terrains, landforms and bodies of water to create more attractive view.

Nowadays, landscaping is widely used to create a cozier atmosphere at home or even at business’ places. This kind of activity has become a useful hobby for so many people out there who loves gardening and designing their lawns. If you are just planning to start landscaping, some tips are provided for you so that you can have a guide in your very first project. Now, let us discover the must-knows of landscaping.


9402418_origBefore starting your landscaping project, you must know what your goal is in putting it up may it be to add beauty to the aesthetics of your house and office or creating it so that your kids have a place where they can play around. And if you are a little confused about the play thing with the kids, well, yes, landscaping can be used in putting up playgrounds. Landscaping does not only involved plants like mentioned, it also involves terrains and land forms. So, know the purpose of your landscape. 


There are also things that you might need to research on before putting this landscape in your place. Knowing the basics of landscaping is a must and part of the basics is to know the weather in your place. Yes, the weather is important especially in choosing the different plants and flowers you might put in your garden. The plants that you will pick should suit the weather conditions of your place or else your plants will die and that is a bad thing for you.

Secondly, you must know the basics of planting and growing plants. Nurturing plants is hard work especially if you know nothing about them. So, do a little research on how to grow healthy plants and while you’re at it, also include researching what type of plants will suit the weather of your place. Lastly, it is a must that you try to study a little bit about the different procedures you might want to do with your landscape, you can easily search them on the net so knowing all the basics about landscaping is an easy task and it will surely help you in your landscaping project.


The design of your landscape will depend on the purpose of it. So if your purpose is to create a place of the kids to play, you must find a large area in your property to begin with. Planning the design will depend on what you want it to look like and to have a guide you can search some landscaping designs on the web and just copy them for your own lawn.

You can also do an experiment and create your own design. You can choose different types of terrains and maybe add a body of water to make your landscape more beautiful. Designing your own landscape is the very fun part of landscaping.

With all the basic information about the art of landscaping, you will be able to apply it in your own home and start creating your own landscape project! This will definitely make your home look attractive. Not only that, you can also check out some new trend design for landscaping. With a trendy home design, your neighbors would surely love to visit and admire your home.