Each September, the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA) sponsors National Baby Safety Month. The focus of this year’s National Baby Safety Month will be educating parents on the importance of registering their baby products and paying attention to recall notices.
Most people pay little attention to the product registration cards they get with the things they purchase.
The majority of individuals only throw these registration cards away with a shrug of the shoulders. That is a dangerous attitude when it comes to baby products. If parents do not register the products they buy for their children, they may not hear about future recall notices until it is too late.
Some of these recall notices are issued because products are found to be dangerous or even deadly. To protect their children, parents need to take a few minutes to fill out and send in the product registration cards for all the baby items that come with them.
Three Hidden Dangers for Babies
As well as registering their baby products, parents also have a responsibility to baby-proof their homes. While most parents do this, they are not always aware of the hidden dangers that may lurk in their homes. Keep an eye out for these three hidden dangers for babies in the home.
1. The Crib
Parents tend to think of cribs as the safest place their babies can be, but they can, in fact, be deadly. To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), never put any pillows, blankets or soft toys in the crib with your baby. Also, parents need to make sure to put their babies to sleep on their backs.
If you live without an AC, you’ll know how important it is to do whatever you can to keep your home as cool as possible during the summer. Even if you don’t have an AC to keep you cool, there are several things you can do as a homeowner to keep your home feeling fresh and cool on the hottest of days. Follow these tips for eco-efficient ways to cool your home:
Tip # 1: Close the Curtains or Blinds
Everyone loves a bright, sunny room. But in the summer, as the sun bears down on our windows, it creates a greenhouse effect in our homes, creating extra heat that is really difficult to get rid of. By closing your blinds, you are keeping your home cooler by removing the heat from the sun. The Department of Energy estimates that about 45 percent heat gain is removed by closing your blinds.
That number would be higher if it weren’t for the little slats in the blinds that expose sunlight. For full coverage, use blinds and curtains, which have an estimated heat reduction of about 65 percent. When choosing blinds and curtains to put up in your home, we recommend a lighter fabric or color. Light colors are better at reflecting heat while dark colors absorb it.
Tip # 2: Keep the Door Shut
One of the biggest reasons your home gets hot in the summer is from constantly opening and closing the door. When you want to conserve cool air in your home, be strategic about opening and closing the door. Combine trips and let your kids know they have to be careful about opening and closing the door unless it’s completely necessary.
Tip # 3: Open Your Windows for a Night Breeze
When the sun sets, the temperature drops. This is the perfect time to open your windows and blow all the humidity out of your home. Creating a cross breeze in your house will cool you down at night and prepare your home for the next day’s conservation efforts.
If you open your windows at night, make sure you wake up early the next day to close the windows and draw the curtains and blinds to get the most cooling power throughout the day.
For more information on eco-efficient cooling options or the installation and replacement of AC systems, call 623-499-9794 and speak with the experts at Christian Brothers Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Electrical in Glendale, AZ today.
The warm, lazy days of summer offer many opportunities to enjoy time with the family. You don’t have to escape on a long, exotic vacation to have memorable times, enjoy the outdoors, have new experiences and have family fun.
You can plan a variety of activities that provide fun, chances to learn new things and a relaxing change from your routine. Take one month out of summer before September arrives to explore the entertainments that are available in your area.
Schedule Your Activities For the Summer Months
Don’t leave your summer plans to languish in confusion from a “what shall we do today?”. Do some research of attractions and activities that are available in your area.
Create a month-long calendar of scheduled events. Scheduling events will limit inter-family arguing and provide information to everyone about what to expect. Here are some activities that most families enjoy:
· Day at the Beach
· Hiking in a nearby state park
· Museum day
· Water park day
· Zoo day
· Bicycle riding
· Local festival
· Outdoor sports at the park
· Aquarium visit
· Historical sites and monuments
Make A Fun Month Calendar
Sit down with the family and create a summer fun calendar that schedules exciting events for each day of the week. In this way, you can ensure that each member of the family has a voice in choosing a favorite activity, and no one is left out of the process.
5 Peace of Mind Home Tips Before Leaving for Vacation
Nobody wants to spend a holiday worried about things back home, and that’s why you should dedicate a little time before your vacation to preventative home maintenance.
These tips will guide you through a few things you can do to ensure the safety and security of your home and possessions, but they’ll also help you conserve energy and save money while you’re away.
So not only will you come home to a perfect house, but you’ll also have more money saved away already for your next trip!
1. Shut off the Water
The nightmare: Coming home to a flooded house.
The Solution: Turn off the water. Go to the main water valve in your house and shut off the water supply.
This will mean there’s no water flowing through the pipes, and no water to leak, drip, or damage your house in case of a pipe burst. To remove all the standing water from the pipes after you shut off the valve, run all the taps and flush the toilets.
2. Turn the Thermostat Up or Down
The nightmare: Coming home to a huge energy bill.
The Solution: Reset the thermostat to 55 F in winter or 85 F in summer. This will stop the heater from constantly running while also preventing the pipes from freezing, or stop the air conditioner from kicking on all the time and wasting money keeping an empty house comfortable. Have a programmable thermostat? Set it to return the house to a normal temperature a few hours before you’re scheduled to return home.
3. Power Off and Unplug Appliances
The nightmare: Fires, power surges, and large energy bills.
The Solution: Turn off and unplug everything. Any appliance, charger, electronic device, or receiver that has even the tiniest light or display panel will suck energy when it’s plugged in, even if you turn it off. Unplug it all, including the refrigerator—just make sure it’s empty first and leave the doors ajar. Furthermore, unplugged electronics aren’t at risk of damage from power surges, and aren’t fire hazards.
4. Turn Down the Water Heater
The nightmare: Wasted energy and money.
The Solution: Turn your water heater to VAC for vacation mode, or if you don’t have that, turn it to the lowest setting or temperature. If it’s summertime and there’s no risk of a deep freeze, you can even shut off the circuit breaker controlling the water heater to turn it off completely.
5. Put the Lights on a Timer
The nightmare: Burglary or break-in.
The Solution: Automate the lights so they turn on and off at natural times for your household. This generally means no lights on in the middle of the day or night, and lights that come on and off in the evenings and nights the way they would if you were home.
You work hard so that you can enjoy holidays, vacations, and getaways with your friends and family, and there’s no reason the security of your home should ruin those special times. And with the right steps to prepare your home, you can have peace of mind during your entire holiday.
To discuss seasonal or preventative plumbing maintenance and repairs for your house, or for more pre-vacation home maintenance tips, call 623-499-9794 today to speak with the experienced professionals at Christian Brothers Plumbing servicing the Glendale, AZ area.
July is Ultraviolet (UV) Rays Safety Awareness Month. Never expose your skin to unsolicited sunlight attention without sunscreen protection and uv safety. Make a pledge to yourself to protect your skin from UV damage.
Prolonged UV Exposure
Every time you go outside during daylight hours, you are exposed to UV rays. A quick walk down the driveway to the mailbox probably won’t do any short term damage. But prolonged exposure can have several consequences:
Sunburn: Red, peeling skin is uncomfortable and unattractive.
Skin damage: Sun exposure can learn to wrinkles, premature aging, and unwanted freckles.
Skin cancer: Sunburn and sun exposure have been linked to skin cancer.
How can I keep from getting burned?
Avoid direct sunlight to your skin by:
Sunscreen. Experts recommend using at least Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30-50 and applying 15 minutes before going outdoors. Remember that sunscreen loses its effectiveness after 2 hours (Always read the direction). Make sure to bring sunscreen when you are planning a day outside.
Protective Clothing. Wide-brimmed hats can protect the delicate skin on your face. Some clothing has built-in SPF protection. Don’t forget SPF-rated sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Shade. The best way to block the sun is to stay out of the sun during the hot times. Spend some time under a tree, canopy, or bring an umbrella.
What’s the hottest time of day?
While the sun is highest in the sky at noon, the hottest time of the day is actually around 3:00 p.m. During summer, sunlight is most intense between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Remember that even on a cloudy day, UV rays can still cause skin damage and even sunburn. Sometimes the best way to protect yourself on a hot summer day is to relax with a cold drink inside your climate-controlled environment.
Make sure your home stays cool this summer. Call Christian Brothers Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Electrical in the Glendale, AZ area at 623-499-9794. to schedule an AC tune-up today.
Let’s Celebrate the 4th of July with Six Home Improvement Projects
The Fourth of July is one of the biggest holidays of the summer, and many of us look forward to outdoor celebrations. Now is an excellent time to prepare your home and landscape for any family gatherings and backyard barbecues you might host. Here are some home improvement tasks to tackle right away.
Clean Your Deck
A decent deck looks nice and tends to last longer. Dirt and other debris acts as an abrasive and wears down deck materials. Besides, a dirty deck invites mildew growth, which can stain. Remember to use only the cleaners recommended by the manufacturer to avoid harming deck fibers or causing discoloration. If you use a power washer, use it on a low setting and move the spray in a continual motion to avoid gouging softer materials such as wood.
Weatherproof your Windows
Weatherproofing windows are important in summer. Windows can be a prime source of heat gained in the home through solar radiation and hot air infiltration. Here is what to do:
Check around the frame and sash for air leaks. Gaps may or may not be visible to the naked eye, and so you should run your hand over all sections to feel for drafts.
Caulk around the frame and apply weather-stripping to the movable parts of the window sash.
Use thermal window film or hang some sun-blocking window shades or curtains.
Check the windows from the outside to see if there are ways you can create shade by using awnings, arbors or similar architectural structures.
By reducing the heat gained through your windows, your home will feel cooler. You will experience greater energy savings all summer long.
Care for the Lawn
Summer lawn care is one of the biggest chores of the season. If you want your home to look its best for gatherings, you cannot ignore this task, however. Here are important tips:
Do not mow grass too short. Scalping your lawn can lead to die-off as the grass will dry out faster. If you do not know the correct mowing height for your type of grass, check with your local extension office or lawn and garden store.
Edge and Weed-eat for a better-looking lawn. Grass growing over walkways and patios looks unkempt and can cause mildew growth on pavers by prohibiting evaporation of moisture. Give your lawn a proper manicure in time for your Fourth of July festivities.
Make sure to water grass early in the mornings. This watering schedule benefits a garden in several ways. It allows water to sink to the lawn’s roots instead of evaporating in the hot sun. It prevents sun scorch, and it minimizes the risk of fungal diseases because the grass has plenty of time to dry out through the day.
Check the Outside Faucets
Make sure your outside faucets are ready to function when you need them for your lawn, garden or safety during outdoor barbecues. Look for leaks, corrosion, and test water flow. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this. By checking faucets now, you will have more time to schedule repairs before the holiday.
Clean or Install Ceiling Fans
If you have ceiling fans, clean the blades and make sure they are in the summer position. Many ceiling fans have an option of reversing the blades in winter to push warm air downwards, and some people forget to switch the direction when summer comes around again.
If you do not have ceiling fans installed, now is an excellent time to do so. They create a pleasant breeze that makes you feel cooler by helping with sweat evaporation. Save energy because you might not have to run the air conditioner as much. Some homeowners even have ceiling fans installed on a covered deck or patio to bring relief on hot days.
Care for Your Air Conditioner
Even if you had a spring maintenance visit for your AC system, it is a good idea to keep up certain maintenance tasks all season long. Before the Fourth of July festivities, make sure you:
Change the air conditioner’s filter. Clean filters keep it running more smoothly and prevent extra repairs in the future. Your home will also feel cooler, and your energy bills will be lower if you don’t let your AC run with a clogged air filter.
Clear the area around your outdoor unit. Yard debris can enter the unit and cause problems when it builds up. Aim to keep a minimum of a three-foot area clean surrounding the outdoor section of your air conditioning system.
When you need help with your Glendale, AZ home’s cooling system or other HVAC tasks this summer, don’t try to handle it alone. We can help. Just give us Christian Brothers Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Electrical a call 623-499-9794 today!
Summer solstice is on its way, and many people are ready to celebrate by opening their pools and having parties. Celebrating this day is a tradition that dates back to ancient times. Here are some tips to make your summer celebration a success:
1) What is the Summer Solstice?
Summer Solstice is the official first day of summer. It is also the longest day of the year and occurs between June 20-23 (according to the Gregorian calendar). In 2016, it will be celebrated on June 20th. There are many cultures that place a sacred significance on this day. It was seen as a day when the sun was reborn and gave most of its light to benefit the crops. It was celebrated with banquets, bonfires, and special gifts. There are still many groups, such as Wiccans, who have celebrations for the Summer Solstice.
2) Bonfire Tips
After braving the cold of a long winter, it is fun to celebrate the warmth of summer. You can make this year’s summer solstice a fun celebration with family and friends. What better way to celebrate than with an old-fashioned bonfire! The ancients believed that the fire honored the sun and warded off any evil spirits. Just make sure you do it in a place where building fires is not forbidden by local ordinances.
The ideal place for a bonfire is away from buildings, trees, and anything else that can catch fire. Find a spot and gather up some wood. Rather than just throw the wood in a pile, set it upright until it looks like a wooden teepee. Take smaller branches and paper to make kindling. Avoid using hazardous fire-accelerating fuels. Once the fire gets started, you can feed it larger pieces of wood to keep it going. Never leave a bonfire unattended and be sure to watch children around it.
Set the bonfire on the evening of the solstice, when the outside temperature is cooler and the fire can be seen better. Many people have hot dogs to roast over the fire; however, you can grill any type of food that you prefer. You can put meat and veggies on a skewer and have delicious kebabs. If you are a vegetarian, you can stick to grilling vegetables and even fruit. The classic dessert is grilled marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate for s’mores!
3) Watch the Sunset / Sunrise
Another tradition is to celebrate the solstice all night. Your family and guests can watch the glorious sunset on June 20th and stay up to watch the sunrise. You can play games and tell ghost stories around the fire. If you like, you can hand out small party favors to remember the day. Just be careful to watch the fire and put it out completely with water when you are done.
Since you may be opening your pool on this day, it would be a good time to check your plumbing. Call Christian Brothers Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Electrical in Glendale, AZ, at 623-499-9794.
How Can I Make My Garbage Disposal Smell Good Again?
If you are lucky enough to have a garbage disposal, you know how helpful this addition to your kitchen can be. It’s a great way to cut back on the amount of garbage that you are sending to the landfill every week. At the same time, it can be a problem if you are struggling with the strong odors that can result from the buildup of debris over time.
Water Waste Concerns: Why Saving Water for Summer Months is Key
Using water in the summer can be costly.
You have a list of things that you want to do in the summer and can’t wait until the hot summer sun forces you to jump in the pool, run through the sprinklers, go down the waterslide, or do some of the other water activities that you have planned for the summer and not worry about water bills. The summer may even see you relaxing around the home with the AC on while drinking glasses of water to keep cool.
No matter what you plan on doing this summer, it’s likely that water will be on the agenda, even if you’re simply staying around the house. Since many have exercising activities that they partake in despite the summer heat, they may take two or more showers a day to cool off because they sweat a lot in the heat.
Even if a person hasn’t exercised and only plans to stay in the home, the home may not be cool enough, which forces the person to take cold showers to stay cool in the heat. Washing clothes in the washer may be more prevalent in the summer as well because of all the outings that will take place, which means clothes will need washing more often.
If you’ve already seen a spike in your water usage before summertime, then you can bet that you will be using a lot more water during the summer. If water waste is something you’re concerned about around your home, then you’re going to have to take steps to implement water conservation methods that will work in your home.
How You Can Save Up for Your Summer Water Usage
No matter how you’ve chosen to use your water for the summer, the key thing to do is to save water because you know you’ll be using more in the summertime. Many tend to drink hot beverages, such as cocoa and tea during the cold months, so they may not to drink as much water or even use as much water around the home during the winter months, but summertime is different.
Since summer can bring about the need to use more water, then water conservation is important. Start using your water wisely, and don’t forget to check for leaks because they waste water, and a lot of water may be wasted without you even knowing about it.
If you want to choose a set amount of water that you plan to use for the month, it’s possible to stay within this limit if you let everyone know how they are expected to use water in the home. Small children will need the most guidance because they tend to waste water without thinking twice about it. If a child has to brush their teeth, then don’t let them run the water, instead, fill up a cup to assist them with brushing their teeth, so they’ll save water.
When you choose to wash your vegetables and fruits, get a bowl for this task to fill with water as opposed to letting the faucet continuously run water to do the job. Small changes will make a difference in your water consumption. Your water bill will thank you for it and so will your wallet.
Prevent Water Waste Whenever Possible
Create a budget for your water usage at home
Don’t ever let water go to waste when it’s preventable
Turn off the faucet when the water is not currently in use
Choose to take a shower, not a bath
If taking a bath, make it a spit bath when possible
Collect water for drinking in a jug to prevent waste
Water the grass when the sun is gone to avoid water evaporation
Use the washer after you’ve filled it to capacity
When the dishwasher is loaded, then you can run it
It may seem very challenging, if not impossible to create a water budget or usage limit for your home, but many households do this, especially if they have to collect water each time they need to use it. Imagine those that live in other countries that don’t have running water but have to collect water in a bucket or drums to use it; they are more likely to know exactly how much water they’re using.
Just because your water comes from the faucets and you can get as much as you need when you need it, doesn’t mean that you can’t conserve and calculate your water usage. If you follow water saving tips, then you’ll easily be able to conserve water, and if you need more water for the summer, then you can use it because you’ve saved on water usage before the summer.
Allow Your Plumber to Help You
Check for leaks throughout the home
Check the water meter
Examine the pool for leaks
Check outdoor piping and faucets
Check for wet walls or mold, which means leaky piping in the wall
Once you get your plumber to start doing leak detection as well as give you advice on ways to conserve water, then you can see a significant change on your water bill and how much water you’re using around the home.
Plumbers at Christian Brothers Plumbing, Air Conditioning, and Electrical in Glendale, AZ can perform leak detections and more if you call 623-499-9794..
DIY Wet Wipes (Why Flushing Regular Wipes Will Clog Your Drains)
Many homeowners knowingly flush disposable wipes, and it’s a common myth that these wipes won’t cause any problems. If you look on the labels of popular wipe products, you’ll find that many of them say that it’s safe to flush the wipes down thetoilet.
While it’s possible for the wipes to make it past the toilet, the real problems occur beyond this point. Disposable wipes have been known to clog a home’s main sewer drain, which can result in thousands of dollars of repair work. Wipes can even cause problems for local water treatment facilities.
Softballs and Wipes
If you browse popular plumbing forums, it doesn’t take long to find someone who has major plumbing problems caused by flushing wipes. After about a dozen wipes have combined into the shape of a softball, it’s usually too late, and you’ll likely need to pull out your wallet and pay the professionals.
The clogs created by flushing wipes can look very similar to softballs. Most homeowners are surprised to learn that it doesn’t take many wipes to create a significant clog. The damage begins the moment you flush the first wipe down the drain.
A lot of people don’t have a decent understanding concerning what flushable really means. The reality is that many wipes are flushable, which is exactly what it says on the label.
The problem is that you shouldn’t always do something just because you can. Although you have the ability to successfully flush the wipes down the toilet, it doesn’t mean that it’s good for your septic system.
Manufacturers have performed many tests in laboratories, but the effects of disposable wipes in the real world can be significantly different than what is observed inside the laboratory. In many cases, you have to introduce a product to the real world to fully understand the effects that it will have.
Many manufacturers also advise consumers to never flush more than one wipe in a single flush. Unfortunately, some consumers flush several wipes at a time, and your home’s sewer pipes don’t always perform like the pipes in a laboratory test.
What is critical is the amount of time that a wipe needs to break down in water. If the wipe doesn’t disintegrate fast enough, it can get stuck and cause some major plumbing issues. For these situations, we offer toilet repair and Drain cleaning.
Many of the top brands of disposable wipes have been tested, and every single brand that was tested failed the test miserably. The issue is that many wipes are flushable, but when tested for how dissolvable they are, they fail miserably. We always recommend throwing wipes in the trash, so you never have to worry about clogging up your home’s sewer system.
Wipes Clogging Sewer Clogged
In many states, sewer utilities have asked homeowners to never flush disposable wipes down the toilet. The use of pre-moistened wipes has skyrocketed, and it’s a trend that is causing major problems for local sewer utilities. Most of the wipes are used by potty-training toddlers.
It doesn’t help that many of these products are advertised as providing better cleaning than toilet paper. The influx of DIY wipes into the sewer system is jamming pumps and clogging pipes.
For many years, utilities have been struggling with a problem called ragging, which occurs when paper towels, dental floss, baby wipes and miscellaneous items are flushed down the toilet.
These are all items that should be thrown in the trash. A number of consumers love the soft, thick wipes because they feel better on sensitive areas. There is nothing with using these products, but you have to make sure you’re throwing them in the trash and not flushing them down the toilet.
Flushing DIY Wipes is a Costly Nightmare
If you’ve been flushing wipes and haven’t had any problems, then it’s only a matter of time before you get a clog. Flushing inappropriate items has always been a problem, but with the many brands of disposable wipes released into the market, the problem has been getting worse.
As the wipes move through your septic system, they can get stuck in different areas. Over time, one stuck wipe catches another passing wipe, and eventually, your Plumbing pipes become completely clogged with a wad of wipes the size of a softball.
Aging plumbing systems only serve to make matters worse. A number of older sewer systems are constructed of iron pipes, Orangeburg, concrete or clay.