• Blog
  • More Hot Showers in Our Future

    If you’re looking to install a new tankless system, you’ve come to the right place. We just had one installed and we can tell you how to proceed. Upon scheduling an appointment for a free estimate, a technician will survey the job site and recommend a tankless system based on your specific needs, as well as the layout of your home. Any questions or concerns will also be addressed at the time. You want to know you are in good hands before you enter into a contract.

    Is your current hot water system not producing hot water? Or is it only working intermittently and displaying an error code? Whatever your problem happens to be, a highly trained technician will perform a series of tests on the unit to determine the root of the problem and then direct you to the correct course of action. If it’s time for a new unit, he’ll tell you. And then you can start reading some water heater reviews to find the best one for your family’s needs. Of course, the upshot is that you will get an estimate. The cost of a tankless water heater including the installation will vary depending on a few factors:

    • The size of the unit in GPM (gallons per minute) or its BTU rating.
    • Is the tankless to be natural gas, liquid propane or electric?
    • Will the unit be installed inside the property or mounted outside on an exterior wall?

    Besides these factors, the layout of your home will also play a role in determining a complete materials list and ultimately the price of a tankless system. For average size homes, 1 to 3 bathrooms, the cost for a complete installation will usually range between $2000 and $2700, with all of the above information taken into consideration. Larger homes may be higher but there are usually installation options for every house. Also, there are currently buying incentives with certain utilities and federal tax credits.

    Last but not least, we want to mention the importance of being energy efficient. This is the reason we went tankless and high tech in the first place. When the old workhorse broke down, we were almost grateful. Its time had come and gone and it was time for us to enter the modern era in hot water systems. We could easily see the benefits of going tankless. By eliminating stand-by heat loss, energy consumption is significantly reduced. Because of its on demand functionality, you won’t be heating water when out of the house or sleeping. Also, a tankless water heater will last 2 to 3 times as long as a traditional water heater, meaning less waste in our landfills.

    Another benefit of a tankless water heater is that it heats water on demand using a heat exchanger and a high power burner system so that you will never run out of hot water. Multiple showers can be taken at the same time along with your laundry load and/or your dish washer without running out of hot water, and these applications can be in use for as long as you need them!

    There are other benefits. Because of the technological advances over your conventional water heater, a tankless will only heat water when you need it. It contains a flow sensor that will tell the unit to power on when water is running through it. This means that you are using minimal gas to heat your water, whereas a tank will use gas, 24 hours a day 365 days a year, to maintain a constant temperature. Next, a tankless system is a space saver. Look at your current water heater and imagine a small suitcase in its place. Going tankless will free up this area dramatically allowing for more storage and just a cleaner space. The unit is mounted on the wall and is approximately 24 x 14 x 10 inches, which will allow for as much as 50 cubic feet of free space!

  • Blog
  • Low Tech White Noise Machine

    We work primarily with children who have disabilities. Some say it is a noble calling and we appreciate this designation. We certainly put our hearts and souls into it. It is a labor of love for us, because our daughter, Mary, is autistic and only communicates through the use of technology. Communication devices are important in entirely new and different ways and we want to apply for grants to get them funded. The technological revolution has given us new ways of life and has helped people like Mary in innumerable unforeseen ways.

    Not all devices are high tech and super sophisticated. Some are, some are simple, depending upon their function. Take Mary’s white noise machine. Nothing could be more basic, but nothing could be more profound in effect to help her fall and stay sleep. A white noise machine emits sounds that create a background effect that blocks out other noises that might be intrusive. Many people enjoy them to help them fall asleep. Some machines have different settings so you can have the sound of crashing waves at the beach, the effects of wind whirling through the sky, or a waterfall. Water is very popular. It is kind of like counting sheep, something innocuous and boring that blanks out thoughts from entering the mind that would interfere with the ability to enter slumberland. Many people find it very hard to fall asleep and the same goes for kids. Children, like adults, are prone to alien thoughts at bedtime. It is the time when you are left to your own mental devices so to speak, and what you sometimes can’t turn off is the mind—all the thoughts of the day, the worries, preoccupations, and the like.

    Getting back to humble forms of technology, one night Mary’s white noise machine broke down. I am not sure if it was the connection or the plug or the machine was worn out. We tried all the settings to no avail. She was upset and we were pretty worried as you can imagine. Even one disturbance in her routine would be detrimental to her well-being. We dread when this happens. It breaks her sense of security in effect. She isn’t equipped to think of other resources. We pondered the dilemma and considered running out to buy a new white noise machine, but the stores weren’t open. We did, however, come up with an alternative. We knew that where there is a will, there is a way. We had to be creative. We found a cooling fan that sits idly on the floor in the attic. I am not sure what made us think of it. We hadn’t used it in years. We rushed it down to her room, plugged it in, and voila! It made a whirring, humming sound that one might loosely call white noise. The fan thus came to the rescue on what could have been a troublesome night. Frankly, a cooling fan is in effect a white noise machine of a kind that also does double duty to lower the room temperature. Thank goodness we had one.

  • Blog
  • It’s Always Something

    There is truly always something as the saying goes. This is not an idle expression. Someone who knows how things happen by chance, and happen often and when least expected, made it up no doubt. It seems to fit so many situations. Take work. The boss is on a rant about late reports. He is fit to be tied about the numbers not coming in as expected. Then five people are out sick just when month end wrap up is due. Yes, there is always something. At home, a window pane has been cracked by a flying pebble; the garage floor has an oil slick and the pressure washer isn’t working; the lawn needs mowing but your neighbor forgot to return the mower; Mary’s white noise machine broke and she can’t sleep without it on. Yes, there is always something.

    Okay, an image of that oil slick keeps popping into my mind. I see people stepping in it and traipsing through the house making a hideous set of indelible tracks that cannot be removed. The oil slick is nagging at me to do something about it. It can’t live forever on the garage floor, slowly creeping to the sides, extending its reach like an alien being. I have always prided myself on keeping up appearances, even in the place where only the car goes. That’s why I bought a pressure washer in the first place. But, alas, it isn’t working. I see my chore is cut out for me this weekend. I have to get at it. The house walls could also use a dousing as could the walkways in front of the house and round back. There is always something. I have been given a check list of items to address with the pressure washer. I would be shocked if it were otherwise.

    I have this crazy idea that I can fix the pressure washer, but what if I can’t. I think it is time to have a handyman or two on call. I am not Mr. Fixit by any means. I ask around and get a couple of names. I make the calls. This one is busy, that one is out of town. I am back to fixing the pressure washer myself. I ask around some more. I make the calls. I have to see the washer says one. I have my own to bring says another. Let me come over and take a look and then I can give you a price on the garage floor. Don’t trouble yourself with repairs. They aren’t easy to make. Instead, just invest in one of the best pressure washers and let the warranty on the new unit cover you.

    Most people have to send the pressure washer back to the manufacturer for service. If you try to fix it, you could make it worse. I listen intently and start to agree. I could spend a day on the fix it job to no avail. Then that oil slick will nag me some more. I invite the friendliest handyman to come that afternoon. And guess what, that slick was gone in about 10 seconds.

  • Blog
  • Stay at Home Date Night

    If you want to heat your home in the most natural, environmentally friendly way consider a top rated pellet stove. By burning pellet fuel, you are making an eco-friendly and cost effective decision that’s good for your wallet and the environment: we can’t think of better causes. A pellet stove is a new acquisition in our home, hence the mention of it in this blog. We had been over to a friend’s home and they had their pellet stove in operation and we loved the ambiance it created not to mention the warmth. It was a cold winter’s night and it sure beat messing around getting a wood fire going in the fireplace. It was fast and effective. To us, you can’t beat it as a source of a fire. It was very relaxing. So much so that we decided that for our “date night,” after Mary was asleep, we would turn it on. It was phenomenal.

    The pellet stove comes in many models. Some stand on feet, some have a pedestal base. They can run from one to three thousand dollars, but a modest one should do fine. As the company Harman states it, a pellet stove is built to a standard, not to a price. Needless to say, we didn’t spend the maximum. Here’s what we got:

    • Heats up to 2200 sq. feet
    • 200 CFM blower spreads heat evenly
    • Automatic igniter
    • LED display with thermostat
    • Adjustable air intake

    The pellet stove has an old-world appearance and if this is the type of décor you prefer, you can’t go wrong. They can be moved to any room of the house but you most likely would want it in the rec room or basement. Any place you want to make cozy is perfect. When relaxation is a must—who doesn’t have a stressful life—you have to make time for yourself and your spouse or partner. Date night doesn’t have to be a frenzy of dinner and a movie and rush home to put the kid to sleep. You can stay right in the bosom of your own home and enjoy the warmth of a fire. Visually, it is also hypnotic and very relaxing. It is a time for the two of you to talk, share your day, reminisce, and plan for the future. Most of us do not take a moment or two to engage one another. We are used to the same old situation. A fire puts you in an altered state of consciousness in a way that can’t be beat. You can precede your fireside chat with a walk and/or a meal at home. There is nothing that says home more than a cozy fire. Mary, of course, was fast asleep and we were worried that our oohs and aahs at the beauty of the fire would wake her. I think she would have enjoyed it herself in any case. We should consider including her at least once or twice in the future.