Facts You Need To Know About The Safety Of Your Garden Hose

garden hoseAre you aware that drinking the water that runs through your garden hose could be harmful to your health? Most people don’t give a second thought to quenching their thirst from the garden hose while they are attending to their outdoor gardening activities, especially on those really hot summers days when a sip seems irresistible. The most important factor to take into consideration is the material that your garden hose has been manufactured from. Most use PVC which contains a lead compound.

The lead in the hose can filter into water that runs through the hose, or in even greater amounts, in water that stands in the hose when not in use. This process can lead to dangerous levels of lead being present in the water that far exceeds safety levels.

PVC Garden Hoses

Some States have legislated that PVC garden hoses carry a warning that the materials could cause serious health issues such as cancer, infertility and birth defects. However, consumers need to be aware that manufacturers don’t want to advertise the fact that their product may be harmful and the warning may not be prominently displayed. In some products, the warning will only relate that drinking from the hose may not be safe.

Lead poisoning is harmful in adults but can be extremely dangerous in children, specifically under the age of six years. The damage caused to the central nervous system and brain results in long lasting defects that are irreversible.

Lead Toxicity Levels

contaminationIndustry standards have resolved that the lead contamination from a garden hose cannot be absorbed by plants and is therefore safe for use in watering the garden. However, lead can build-up in the soil resulting in higher toxicity levels that could eventually cause damage to plants. Any fruits, vegetables, herbs or other plants that are grown with the purpose of consumption can retain lead and become dangerous when eaten.

To avoid the various health risks that are associated with lead toxicity, it is advisable to purchase a garden hose that doesn’t contain PVC or any other lead compounds. It is also recommended to leave the water running for a few minutes before taking a drink from your garden hose, even if you have purchased one that has been determined to be ‘drink-safe’.


How Much Will It Cost To Get A New Furnace?

new furnaceIf you suddenly find yourself without a working furnace, it is important to get it repaired as quickly as possible. However, in some cases the furnace may either be so old that it is not worth putting the money into repairs, or the replacement parts may be so expensive that it makes more sense just to buy a new heater. If you do find yourself in need of a new furnace, there are some important factors to consider to keep both the installation and operating costs as reasonable as possible.

Choosing The Best Furnace

One of the most important decisions you will need to make is which kind of furnace to purchase. On average, furnaces last as long as 20 years. That means that there have likely been some advancements in furnace design since the last time you shopped for a new furnace. Natural gas furnaces tend to be one of the most popular choices. These furnaces can vary widely in price, with some lower end models coming in well under $3,000. Higher end models on the other hand, can cost as much as $14,000 or more.

Oil furnaces are another option, although they are generally not as energy efficient as their natural gas counterparts. You can expect to spend anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 for one of these furnaces. However, if your duct work requires changes, the price may be even higher than that.

Electric heat is also a popular option. Typically costing less than $2,000, the low price of electric furnaces makes them attractive option for homeowners on a budget.. Unfortunately, however, the lower upfront price comes at a cost since electric furnaces tend to be more expensive than other types of furnaces to operate.

Heat pumps, which use refrigerant coils to pull heat from the surrounding air or from the ground are a popular alternative to traditional furnaces. The cost of these units depends on whether the heat pump gets its heat from the air or the ground. Air units typically cost anywhere from about $1,500 to $7,000, while ground-based units can cost as much as $25,000 or more. Another benefit of heat pumps is that they can be used as air conditioners when temperatures rise in the summer.

Energy Efficiency

energyThe price of gas furnaces can vary significantly based on the options that they come with.

One of the first choices you will need to make is the overall heat output of the unit. This is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). To figure out the correct size of furnace for your home, you will need to calculate the overall square footage of your space. You can then choose a furnace that puts out an appropriate number of BTUs to easily heat the space.

Another major factor you should consider is energy efficiency. In the past, most furnaces were rated 80 percent efficient or lower. That means that approximately 20% of the heat that they generated was lost. Today, new furnaces typically have efficiency ratings of 90% or higher. This can wind up saving you a fortune on your heating and cooling bills.

A furnace’s “staging” also plays a key role in determining how efficiently it can heat your house. Early furnace models only had one stage. That meant that they they always ran at full power. New furnaces, on the other hand, are often two-stage furnaces. This means that they start out using less power to minimize fuel consumption, then ramp up to full power if needed. There are even three-stage furnaces on the market that can further break down their power consumption for maximum efficiency.

Installation Costs

You also need to consider the cost of labor when putting in a new furnace. Prices are usually based on an hourly wage that takes into account the experience level of the person doing the installation. Labor costs can quickly add up, often rivalling the price of the furnace itself depending on how long the installation takes. This is particularly true if your duct work needs adjustments or repairs or if you are changing to a furnace that is a different size than your old one.

There are also two main warranties that you should consider. The first is a warranty that comes straight from the manufacturer. Typically this type of warranty covers mechanical problems with the furnace that are caused by faulty parts. The company that installs your furnace should also offer a second warranty that covers problems that are the result of improper installation. You may even be able to pay extra to get an extended warranty on your furnace.

Always ensure that it is a written warranty so that there is no chance of miscommunication about what is and isn’t covered. Getting a great deal on a furnace is really about doing proper research before making a purchase.

Gardening Experience With High Quality Gardening Kneepads

woman gardeningOne thing that most gardeners understand is that preparation is really the key when it comes to your garden surviving during the hot summer months. Any crop that is grown during the summer is going to be challenged not only by the weather, but by your ability to maintain your garden, especially if you do quite a bit of traveling. The following tips will allow you to not only take care of your garden, but enjoy outdoor activities the summer without any problems at all.

A difficulty that many people experience is overheating when they are using potted plants. If you have these types of plants in your garden, it’s important that you lightly mulch them, and also position them just out of the reach of the sunshine which can get them very hot. You should also consider eliminating any standing water in the saucers below the potted plants as this could lead to the breeding of mosquitoes and also encourage root rot. You need to place the them in saucers of sand which will prevent these things from happening. This will also help the roots stay cool which is very good, something that is absolutely necessary during the heat of the day. This will prevent the potted plants from drying out, and you may have to resort to soaking them in a bucket of water for about 30 minutes if it seems difficult to keep the sand moist. Doing this will ensure that your plants, if they have wilted, will be able to come back once again.

Watering Times

Watering your plants during the cool of the day is the best time to do this. In fact, the early morning hours is always the best time. If you do this during the afternoon, you have to make sure that there is enough time for the foliage itself to dry out, especially before sunset. This will allow you to reduce the risk of mildew, and also the appearance of fungi which can attack the leaves of the plant very effectively. This is very common with melons, cucumbers, zucchini, and even your rosebushes, so always keep this in mind. If you have discovered mildew damage, you should spray your plants every seven days using a combination of water and cows milk in a 10 to 1 ratio. You should repeat this process after irrigation has occurred, or perhaps after a heavy rain. Although this will not reverse mildew damage, it will help prevent any further attacks.

cut kneeDeep Plant Watering

You will also want to water your plants as deeply as possible. You can also use this opportunity to properly feed your plants, and compensate for mineral deficiencies. By applying soluble fertilizer, such as seaweed, this can help your plants in a positive way. This mixture should be applied when you are watering. If you have lychee nuts growing, bananas or any type of citrus fruit, water around the base of the trees is recommended. This will make sure that all of the fruit that is produced is as juicy and flavourful as possible.

Protect Your Knees

If you have weeds on your lawn, this is something that needs to be addressed regularly. You will need to pull the entire weed out in order to keep your long as healthy as possible. When you do this, kneel down correctly to prevent injuring your lawn, or even your knees. The best way is to use quality gardening kneepads which can help offset the discomfort, and potential long-term injuries, that can occur when doing this type of work. There are many brands that are available for gardening kneepads, and not all of them are actually good for you. You need to choose a high quality NEPAD, one that will allow you to enjoy gardening, as well as any other similar outdoor activities.

This information provide you with a comprehensive overview of important tips that you should use when you are trying to enjoy your gardening activities during the summer.

The Best Way to Prevent Razor Burn

shaving razor burnIf a man wants to start the day off right, he can start by having a well-shaved face. A clean shave can help leave a good impression with business associates, as well as the women in his life. Unfortunately, many men are not able to achieve this well-shaven appearance. They walk around with the cruel side effects of a bad shave: razor burn. Most men have experienced that itchy feeling a few hours after shaving. Razor burns not only look bad; it can ruin a good shave. But you don’t have to live with razor burn, it is preventable with the proper plan of attack.

What is Razor Burn?

Razor burn is a rash that appears after shaving. In the case of a mild razor burn, a man may feel a slight itch, and there may be a noticeable redness on your neck and face. In the case of severe razor burn, a man may have razor bumps. Ingrown hairs are the cause of these bumps. They have an appearance similar to a pimple and are very itchy. Razor bumps and ingrown hair are problematic for African-American men because the hair on their beards is curly.

How do You Prevent Razor Burn?

The first step is to soften the beard. Softened beard hair is easier to remove than hair that is coarse or stiff. For this reason, the best time to shave is after a shower. The hot steam from the shower will soften the hair on your beard, leaving it in the perfect condition for shaving. To get your beard softer, you can use hair conditioner. Apply the conditioner before your shower, rubbing it into your beard. Leave it on while showering and then rinse after you’ve finished.

The next step is to exfoliate your skin. Use a facial scrub or a facial loofah to remove dead skin. After a hot shower, your pores will be open, which will help with this process. This step will help to bring out any ingrown hairs. One of the best scrubs to use for this is St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub. It’s an inexpensive product, but very effective at removing dead skin and making your skin feel good.

The next step is to shave, with a safety razor. There are many razors on the market today, with all kinds of new technology promising a clean shave. If you find one that works for you, stick with it. However, if you find each razor you use leaving you with some irritation or razor bumps, then you should consider buying a safety razor.

The problem with some of the modern razors is the multiple blades. For some men having more than one blade can irritate the skin. Shaving with the one blade of the safety razor can help men who have trouble with modern razors, achieve a clean shave.

Clean Your Blades

razor blades cleaningBefore shaving, clean the razor blade with alcohol. One of the major causes of skin irritation and razor burn is the accumulation of bacteria on the razor blade. That’s why it’s important wipe your razor blades with rubbing alcohol. There are various types of razor blade antiseptic products on the market, and some are quite expensive. However, you can get the same results by using the standard alcohol, which is the base ingredient for many of those products. While shaving, keep the blade clean by rinsing it frequently. Each pass of the razor gathers shaving cream, hair and bacteria that live on your face. To get a clean shave, you need to keep your razor clean.

When you shave, go with the grain. Many men believe that to get a clean shave, they need to go against the grain. It’s true that going against the grain will get you a quick, smooth feeling, but you risk getting razor burn as you scrape across your face. Many men don’t realize that shaving too close to your skin can increase your chance of getting razor bumps and ingrown hair.

When you shave with the grain, you reduce your chance of irritating your skin and getting razor burn. The problem with this method is that it will take longer. You won’t be able to clear your beard hair in one pass. Instead, you may have to make several passes, when going with the grain. However, in the end your skin will be in better condition, and you will be avoiding the irritation that you may get with the other method.

When you shave, use short, light strokes. If you apply too much pressure to your skin while shaving, you increase the chance of irritating your skin. To avoid this problem, use short strokes with minimal pressure. With longer strokes, you are more likely to apply more pressure, particularly near the middle and end of the stroke. If you have a sharp razor, light pressure should be adequate for a clean shave.

Dull Blades

If your blades are dull, you’ll need to apply more pressure. If you’ve ever tried to cut a tomato using a dull knife, then you know what I mean. A dull knife might cut the tomato, but in the process it will tear at the skin. It’s the same with your face; a dull blade creates drag, which tears at your facial hair. If your whiskers are not cut cleanly, then you stand a greater chance of getting ingrown hairs and irritated skin. That’s one of the benefits of a safety razor; the blades are inexpensive so you can change them often.

After you’re finished shaving, rinse your face with cold water. The cold water will help close up your pores. If your pores are left open, you’ll increase the probability of ingrown hair.

After you rinse, apply some shaving balm or moisturizer to your skin. You’ve just scraped a sharp piece of metal across your skin, so it will not be happy, no matter how careful you are. An aftershave may feel relaxing, but for some men it can increase irritation. Test out some products, if you find that your skin is irritated, eliminate the after shave. If aftershave irritates your skin, you can try applying a shaving balm or aloe-vera based cortisol cream to your skin which should reduce the irritation. These products are available at most drugstores.

After shaving, be sure to dry your blades using a towel. Wet blades become dull faster than dry ones. If you use a brush, dry it so that it’s ready for the next shave. You can purchase a holder that will let the brush air dry. Remember, a wet brush can grow bacteria that can lead to razor burn.