3 Easy And Inexpensive Ways to Weather-Proof Your Home

Baby, it’s cold outside! But that doesn’t mean it has to be cold inside your home. December is in full swing, and temperatures have been chillier than normal for much of the month. As the mercury dips, heating bills rise. Here are some easy ways to make sure your house is as heat-efficient as it can be.

Change Your Furnace Filters – Replacing your furnace’s filter is an inexpensive way to improve your furnace’s performance. A dirty filter makes your HVAC system work harder and less efficiently, which uses more energy and leads to higher bills. It’s recommended that you change the filters in your home furnace every two months or so during winter.

outlet gasket 300x200 - 3 Easy And Inexpensive Ways to Weather-Proof Your HomeInstall Outlet Gaskets – What’s an “outlet gasket”? It’s simply insulation for your electrical outlet. It may seem hard to believe that insulating outlets will make much difference in your home’s energy efficiency, but it will. On a chilly and windy day place your hand on an outlet located on an outdoor wall of your home. If it is uninsulated you will feel cold air passing through. Now, think of how many outlets your home has. Those are all sources of cold air. For only a few dollars and a little bit of time, you can keep that cold air outside. Simply unscrew the outlet’s face, install the gasket, and replace the face. It’s as easy as that.

Reverse The Direction of Ceiling Fans – This last tip is probably the easiest and is free to do! Most ceiling fans have a switch that can change the direction the fan rotates. In the summer your fans should be moving in a counter-clockwise direction. According to energystar.gov “in the winter, reverse the motor and operate the ceiling fan at low speed in the clockwise direction. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space.” The resulting warmth should let you set your thermostat a few degrees lower in winter, which will save you money.

So, take these easy steps to winterize your house. If your house needs updating in the New Year, take the easy step of talking to our designers here at KFD. We are here to help.

 

Flooring Fun Facts

It’s holiday time, and all of us here at Kruper Flooring Design wanted to share some fun with our followers. So for this week’s blog, we gathered 10 little-known facts from around the web about our favorite topic…flooring!

  1. Red carpets have symbolized a pathway for important people for over 2000 years. It originated in Greece.
  2. But the phrase “roll out the red carpet” is thought to come from cruise ships in the early 1900s. They used red carpets to welcome their first-class guests.
  3. The Magic Carpet in Disney’s Alladin is actually a rug.
  4. The vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901.
  5. Which was almost 60 years after the street sweeper was invented.
  6. Some people think vinyl and linoleum are the same thing, but they’re not. Vinyl is synthetic, while linoleum is made of natural materials.
  7. Here’s one for the yuck file, if you don’t vacuum your floor for a year it can retain several pounds of dirt.
  8. The Boston Celtic’s famous parquet floor at the Boston Garden was cut into pieces and sold in 1999 after the team moved into the Fleet Center.
  9. But some of the pieces from the old floor were incorporated into the Fleet Center’s floor.
  10. The oldest carpet that still exists today is thought to be 2,000 years old. Called the Pazyryk carpet, it was found in a Scythian tomb in Siberia in the 1940′s

Your flooring may not be 2,000 years old, but if it has seen better days, give us a call and we’ll help you pick out something new.

Let’s Get Those Floors Clean Before The Holidays!

There’s only a little over a week to go before Thanksgiving! If you’re hosting your entire extended family for a boisterous dinner or if it’s only going to be a cozy meal, you’ll want to show off your home at its best. And that starts from the bottom up. We’ve got some tips on how to clean various types of flooring.

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Hardwood Floors: The great thing about hardwood flooring is it’s beautiful, natural, and easy to clean. You should be cleaning your hardwood floors at least once a week using a dry-mop, a broom, or a vacuum made for hardwood floors. Don’t use a vacuum with a beater bar, it can damage your floor. For a deeper clean, if you have a surface finished floor, home guru Bob Vila recommends using a homemade solution comprising a quarter-cup of dish soap and a gallon of warm water. “Saturate a sponge mop with the cleaner, wring out the excess liquid until the mop head is damp but not dripping, then mop three-foot sections of the floor at a time using circular motions to draw out dirt and grime. Then, rinse the mop in fresh water, wring out the excess, and damp mop the floor again to soak up lingering cleaner. Use a soft, clean towel to dry the floor.”

Tile Flooring: A favorite for bathrooms and kitchens, tile floors are super easy to maintain. You can use almost any type of cleaner on porcelain or ceramic tile floors. You can use an all-purpose cleaner, plain vinegar, or even dish soap. The folks at the home decor site The Spruce recommend that after sweeping or vacuuming, dip a chamois mop or rag in the solution. They don’t recommend a sponge mop. One mistake a lot of people make is not changing the water often. If you don’t you’ll just be spreading dirt around.2 22 6 225x300 - Let's Get Those Floors Clean Before The Holidays!

Carpets and Rugs: Carpets and rugs can make your home seem warm and cozy. Make sure you vacuum at least once a week, paying special attention to high-traffic areas. Pre-holidays might be a good time to deep clean your carpets and rugs. Of course, you can hire someone to do the deep clean, but you can also do-it-yourself. Rental machines are easy to find. The deep steam clean will get out dirt and stains that your regular cleaning may miss.

After deep cleaning your floors, you might realize it’s time to replace or refinish your flooring. Contact us at KFD to talk about your design options.

Using That “Carpet” of Leaves

It was late coming, but leaves are finally starting to turn, making for a spectacular color show. But of course, that means the leaves will be littering our lawns soon. And once they’re on your lawn you have to pick them up and dispose of them, right? Well, not necessarily.

scott webb obKbq4Z3cuA unsplash 300x203 - Using That "Carpet" of LeavesA lot of gardeners and gardening experts recommend shredding autumn leaves. You don’t need a special tool, simply running over piled leaves with a lawnmower will do. There are machines called “leaf shredders” and you can also use a wood chipper, but those come with a big price tag.

But why even bother shredding leaves? Well, the folks at gardeners.com have come up with several good reasons.

If you’re planning to simply dispose of your leaves, shredded leaves are easier to bag up. Shredded leaves take up a lot less space in bags, meaning you’ll use fewer bags (and save a little money!)

You can also use shredded leaves in your garden over the winter to protect plants. Layering six inches of shredded leaves over cold-weather vegetables means you will be able to harvest them all winter.

Organic gardeners love using shredded leaves to make leaf mold or compost. gardeners.com advises us to put the shredded leaves into plastic bags and “After one to three years, fungus will have broken the leaves down to a special compost that smells like a walk through the woods. Leaf mold is high in calcium and magnesium and retains three to five times its weight in water—rivaling peat moss.”

At Kruper Flooring Design we don’t help with your outside “carpet” but we will help you with your inside carpet and flooring needs. Give us a call!

We Love Dogs…But Your Floors May Not!

Fido, Sadie, Daisy or Spot, whatever the canine apple of your eye is named, they can be rough on your hardwood floors. Nails can scratch your beautiful floors, turning them into a real mess. Here are some tips to help make sure your dog doesn’t damage your floor.

The easiest way to protect the wood from sharp nails is by placing runners in high-traffic areas. Each family will have different areas where dogs spend the most time. In some homes it will be the kitchen, in others, it could be hallways outside of bedrooms or even the area nearest the front door. If you have a doggie door, placing a weather-proof runner in front will help with scratches as well as help keep the floor clean.

Floor runners also serve a double purpose, they can keep your dog from sliding across floors. Some dogs are nervous on slick floors, runners can help them keep their balance.

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Designer nail caps for your dog!

There are also products on the market called nail caps that fit directly over each individual toenail. They’re made of soft plastic and most dogs don’t seem to mind them. You can even get them in designer colors. They’re surprisingly easy to put on and remove, but if you have a frisky dog you might want to ask a friend to help. Also, check with your groomer, some will place them on your pooch after clipping their nails.

Speaking of clipping nails, be sure to keep your dog’s nails trimmed. Some dogs have nails that grow surprisingly quickly. Ask your groomer how often your dog’s nails need to be trimmed.

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Beautiful floors installed by KFD.

Depending on how many rooms in your home have hardwood floors, and how easily it is to train your pupper, you can teach them to not enter areas with hardwood floors.

If these tips are too late, and you need to repair or replace your floors, KFD would be happy to help. Be sure to contact us for your flooring needs.

Should You Go Gray?

If you’ve spent any time on home improvement sites or design blogs, you’ve probably seen tons of gray. It’s a very popular color for walls, but also on floors. Gray can certainly be a striking choice, ideal for a bold statement in a living area.  There is also something soothing about gray that makes it popular for bedrooms. With all of the gray around, you may find yourself wondering “should I go gray?”

Even though the gray trend seems to have started off in Europe it’s definitely popular here in the States as well. But will gray flooring work in your space? While it all depends on your style, there’s almost certainly a shade of gray that will work on your floors. 

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Gray carpet installed by KFD

If you’re thinking of using gray carpet, the shade you use should depend on where you’ll be installing it. If you’re putting it in a busy space in your home, like a living room or a family room, a medium gray or a patterned carpet is a good choice. As you can see, we installed a gray carpet with a pattern in one of the busiest areas of a home: the staircase.  If you’re having trouble imagining gray carpet in your living areas, the design website Houzz has come up with 7 Ideas to tweak your imagination. 

Gray hardwood flooring are also a great choice. There are multiple shades of gray to choose from. The gray hardwood flooring fits with many different styles, from farmhouse kitchens, to contemporary or modern living rooms. Kruper Flooring and Design can help you decide if gray fits your flooring needs.