Why Interlock Kits are Better than Transfer Switches

by Gail Brumfield

Anyone who has ever been stuck in a power outage knows how inconvenient and downright scary they can be, especially when the outage lasts for an extended period of time. Knowing that you have a high-quality generator standing by to restore power to your home during an outage can help you rest easy knowing that you and your family will be able to stay safe and secure even when the power goes out.

One of the most important things you should ask yourself when updating or replacing your generators is whether you should go with a transfer switch or an interlock kit. If you’re buying your first generator, you might not even know what these are or how to make an informed decision.

Interlock Kits Are Safer

An interlock kit is a device that’s installed on the front cover of a home’s breaker panel and allows for safe backfeeding through a portable generator during a power outage. Backfeeding refers to when the flow of energy is going in the reverse direction of its normal flow.

Interlock kits are an easier way to connect your generator to your electrical panel while generator breakers eliminate illegal or unsafe generator backfeeding that could lead to your generator failing or even electrocutions of anyone working to restore power to the electrical grid. The last thing any of us would want in a power outage is to be responsible for harming someone trying to fix the problem.

A transfer switch is an electrical switch that exchanges the load between two sources. Some transfer switches are manual, and others are automatic. Manual transfer switches are turned on when the operator throws the switch by hand, and automatic transfer switches are triggered when they sense that one of the electrical sources has either gained or lost power.

They Operate More Circuits than Transfer Switches

When you use an interlock kit, all of your panel’s circuits can be energized up to the load capacity of the generator. With a transfer switch, only a few circuits can be operated at once. Transfer switches also need an entirely separate panel in order to operate, while interlock kits can be installed directly on your home’s breaker panel, so you don’t have to have another piece of bulky equipment in your home.

Interlock kits eliminate the need for extension cords to power your appliances, which eliminates the risk of extension cord failures or even fires. Interlock kits are safer, more effective, more reliable, easier to use, and easier to install. When it comes time to replace or update your generator, going with an interlock kit rather than a transfer switch is a no-brainer.

How to Increase the Value of Your Home

by Gail Brumfield

Neka Granite Countertops in Kitchen

Are you preparing to sell your home anytime in the near future? If you are, it’s essential that you make a detailed plan for how you’re going to increase the resell value of your home so that you can get the absolute best price. Here are a few simple ways to have a hugely positive impact on the value of your home without spending tens of thousands of dollars on renovations.

  1. Focus on the Curb Appeal

The first things potential buyers see is the view of your home from the street. If your home looks drab, shabby, or un-cared for on the outside, people are going to go in with a negative first impression and won’t be as open to seeing all the great things about your home. Making your home looks gorgeous from the outside will put people in the right frame of mind to consider your home as a serious possibility. Start by painting your windows and front door. Choose a unique color for your front door that accents your home, and consider painting your windows a neutral grey, white, or even black to make them look new and elegant. Spend some time adding flowers, bushes, and other plant life to your yard, and keep the grass nicely trimmed while you’re showing your home. If you’re not much of a gardener, going with potted plants is a great alternative. Invest in a good power washing that will make everything look clean and brand new and consider adding some landscape lighting to accentuate your home’s façade. These small touches will have a hugely positive effect on your home’s curb appeal.

  1. Update Your Kitchen with Granite Countertops

Buyers have listed a modern, updated kitchen as one of their top must-haves for over a decade, and a beautiful kitchen has been shown to be especially important to millennial home buyers. By investing in granite countertops, you’ll be able to completely transform your kitchen without remodeling the entire room. Granite is extremely durable and resistant to stains, burns, and scratches. It’s a natural stone, which means that every single cut of granite is different, and you’ll end up with something unique to your home. You can go bold with red, green, or pink granite or choose something classic and neutral like white, grey, black, or tan granite. Granite countertops will make your kitchen look modern, luxurious, and high-end in a way that home buyers will love.

  1. Change Up the Paint

You might be surprised how much a fresh coat of paint can transform your entire home. Whether you use a painting contractor or do it yourself,  refreshing the paint in your home is one of the most cost-effective ways to make it more attractive to potential buyers. If you’re not sure what colors to choose, you can bring in a color or design expert to help you choose the right thing for your home. Buyers of all kinds tend to like a neutral color scheme that includes a lot of white and ivory, but if you think color would enhance your home, don’t be afraid to add a pop of color here and there. Or, you can compromise and go from something light and airy like a sky blue or light sage green. That way, you still get your color without overwhelming the space.

  1. Think about Energy Efficiency

Today’s home buyers are more concerned with energy efficiency than ever before. By adding some enhanced insulation, double or triple paned windows, LED lighting, or energy star appliances, you can make your home exponentially more attractive to modern buyers. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even look into adding a solar panel or two to your home’s roof. That will set your home apart and could attract buyers that otherwise wouldn’t necessarily be looking seriously at your home.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Spring to Get Your Carpets Cleaned

by Gail Brumfield

We all know the importance of spring cleaning, but what about winter cleaning? Most people spend far more time indoors during winter than any other season, which means that the pollutants trapped inside our homes will have the most drastic effects on our health during this time. Getting your carpets cleaned by a professional is about so much more than just aesthetics. Carpet cleaning is a vital part of maintaining a clean, healthy home, and that’s more important than ever in the winter months.

Your carpets are always silently working to filter contaminants out of the air in your home. Carpets trap things like bacteria, allergens, dust, and dirt inside their fibers and prevent them from being inhaled by you and your family. After a few months, your carpets will become saturated with dirt and dust, and they won’t be able to clean your home’s air anymore until they’re deeply cleaned.

Getting your carpets cleaned by a professional is the only way to ensure that your carpets are free from contaminants and ready to get back to work keeping your home’s air clean and healthy. Since you most likely won’t leave your windows and doors open during the winter like you would in other seasons, it’s even more important that the air in your home gets cleaned and decontaminated by your carpets because the flow of fresh outdoor air will be stifled.

Winter also brings the holiday season along with it, and you may be planning to have friends and family coming to your home to enjoy holiday festivities. Whenever you have guests over, it’s natural to want your home to look its best. Professional carpet cleaning services will not only remove contaminants from your carpets, but they’ll leave them looking bright and new again. You’d be surprised at how freshly cleaned carpets can dramatically transform your entire home.

You may notice that your carpets get dingy and dirty faster during the winter months. This is most likely because of a combination of snowmelt and road ice being tracked into your home. The moisture from tracked-in snowmelt makes dirt, dust, and grime stick to your carpets more readily, making the surface of your carpets look dull and dirty. Road and sidewalk salt can get so deeply embedded into your carpets that if left untreated, they can cause permanent damage to your carpets.

Five Star Chem Dry

Getting your carpets professionally cleaned during the winter is crucial to your home’s health and the longevity of your carpets. Since winter tends to be a slower time for many carpet cleaning companies, you’ll probably be able to get an appointment right away at a time that’s convenient for you.

Five Star Chem-Dry offers carpets cleaning services that work better and clean deeper than typical steam cleaning services. Five Star Chem-Dry uses a carpet cleaning method called Hot Carbonating Extraction (HCE) that’s unique to Chem-Dry. HCE was designed to clean for your health and leave you with beautiful looking carpets. The carbonation used in HCE lifts dirt, dust, allergens, and bacteria from deep within the fibers of your carpet to the surface where powerful extraction equipment easily whisks it all away.

HCE is a low water method that uses 80% less water than typical steam cleaning, so your carpets will dry in just two hours instead of multiple days. And, because winter is typically the driest season of the year, your carpets will be able to dry even faster if you get them cleaned during the winter months. Five Star Chem-Dry will leave you will beautiful carpets and a cleaner, healthier home for the holiday season.

3 Carpet Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

by Gail Brumfield

Carpet cleaning is an extremely important part of maintaining a clean, healthy home. Carpets trap a ton of dirt, dust, allergens, and bacteria inside their fibers, and if they’re not cleaned regularly, they’ll start showing signs of wear far sooner than they should. By getting your carpets cleaned, you can extend their life for years. However, when it comes to carpet cleaning, a lot of people will make the wrong decisions or try to cut corners. If you avoid these three common carpet cleaning mistakes, you’ll be sure to end up with clean, beautiful carpets and an overall healthier home.

Choosing the Wrong Company

It’s crucial that you do your research and choose a reputable carpet cleaning company. There are so many carpet cleaning services out there that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and simply choose the first carpet cleaning company you find. But, by doing your research and reading customer reviews, you can eliminate a ton of companies that would have left you with poorly cleaned carpets and a huge bill. Carpet cleaning companies like Simple Steam have years of experience in the industry and a whole slew of satisfied customers to vouch for them. By choosing a company like Simple Steam, you can feel confident you’re making a smart carpet cleaning choice.

Trying to Do It Yourself

You may be thinking, why would I hire a professional carpet cleaning service when I can just take an afternoon and get the job done myself? It’s true that there are a lot of do-it-yourself carpet cleaning machines for rent out there, but they don’t work nearly as well as professional equipment. Heavy duty carpet cleaning equipment is vastly more expensive and more difficult to use than the at-home variety, but that’s because it’s so much more powerful. Professional carpet cleaning equipment will penetrate deeper into the layers of your carpet and remove exponentially more dirt, dust, and bacteria from your carpets. Carpet cleaning services will also likely use powerful extraction equipment to get rid of the excess water left behind. In fact, Simple Steam’s technology is able to extract 90% of the water leftover from cleaning, so your carpets will dry in just a couple of hours. If you clean your carpets yourself, you could be waiting days for them to dry.

Putting Off Carpet Cleaning Until Spring

You should be getting your carpets cleaned more than once a year, and if they’re looking dirty, you should never wait for spring cleaning to kick into gear before getting them cleaned. In fact, winter can be one of the best times of year to get your carpets cleaned. Carpet cleaning services are generally less busy in the winter months, so you’ll be able to get an appointment right away. Plus, the air is so dry in winter that your carpets will dry faster than any other time of year. We also tend to spend so much more time inside during the wintertime that having a clean, healthy home is more important than ever.

4 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter

by Gail Brumfield

Winter Leaves

The days are shorter, the leaves are falling, the weather is colder, and your ideal Saturday night plans have suddenly become curling up by the fire with a mug of tea and a good book. Winter is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to prepare your home for the cold weather, so you’re not surprised by problems when all you want to do is relax at home.

  1. Check for Cold Air Leaks and Install Weather Stripping

Start by checking your doors and windows for any cracks that may be letting in cold air. One way to test this is by holding a lit candle up to the door or window frame and seeing if it flickers at any point around the edge. If it does, that means cold air is making its way into your house, and you’ll need to invest in some good weather stripping to seal any cracks. You should also consider attaching door sweeps to your doors. Door sweeps are flexible pieces of rubber or plastic that are held to the bottom of your door with a strip of aluminum and prevent cold air from coming inside.

  1. Get Your Heating System Checked by a Professional Heating Company Robertson Electrical Heating Repairs

There’s nothing worse than having your heating system break during winter. Most people wait to call in a professional heating company until their system breaks down completely, and by that point, you’ll be last in line for service during the busiest time of the year for heating companies. The best thing to do to prevent this frustrating situation is to call in a professional heating company before the weather gets cold so they can check your system and perform any necessary maintenance. A heating company like Robertson Electric can perform a quick routine check that could save you a ton of money and inconvenience down the road. They’ll perform any and all necessary maintenance, so you can go into winter confident that you’ll be able to stay warm all season.

  1. Check & Clean Out Your Gutters

Clogged or malfunctioning gutters might not seem like a big deal, but they can cause a huge amount of property damaged if left unchecked. Clogged gutters attract pests and can cause water to back up and damage your roofing, siding, and more. Get your gutters cleaned by a professional – or do it yourself if you can do so safely – before winter sets in. Check that your downspouts are properly fastened and extend away from your house by at least five feet. This will help prevent flooding and water damage to your home due to snow melt.

  1. Prep Your Fireplace 

If you’re lucky enough to have a working fireplace in your home, it’s crucial that you get it regularly checked, cleaned, and maintained to ensure proper functionality and safety. It’s best to do so before it gets cold, so you’re not tempted to use your fireplace without knowing if it’s safe. Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney and check that your flue is working. It’s also a good idea to make sure all the smoke detectors in your home are working properly in case of emergency.

Stairs In A Day

by Gail Brumfield

Stair Remodeling on a Budget

When you come home at the end of a long day, you want everything in your home to look and feel beautiful and inviting. Stairs have a surprisingly significant effect on the overall look of your home. Carpeted stairs are still extremely common in homes that were built in the past several decades, but recently, they have quickly fallen from popularity. Carpeted stairs and stairs with damage or excessive wear can make your entire home look outdated and drab. If you’re looking to replace your stairs on a tight budget, NuStairs from Handyman Matters of Richmond is the perfect option for you.

Handyman Matters of Richmond offers a range of expert handyman services and can complete an entire stair remodeling project in just one day. That means minimal inconvenience for you and your family and a home that looks dramatically transformed in a single day. They’re able to accomplish this because of the amazing innovation of NuStairs. NuStairs are American-made, expertly crafted stairs that can fit right over your previously carpeted stairs. Whether you’re remodeling your stairs, restoring damaged stairs, finishing a basement, or building a brand-new staircase, Handyman Matters of Richmond can take care of everything from start to finish.

remodeled stairs

Instead of ripping out your stairs and building new ones from scratch – a project which could take weeks and a big chunk of change to complete – Handyman Matters of Richmond will leave you with a perfectly installed, beautiful hardwood staircase in just one day. NuStairs come in a range of different finishes, so you’ll be guaranteed to find something that matches your home’s existing décor. And, since they can be installed over your existing stairs, you can feel good about choosing a greener option and keeping waste out of your local landfill.

Handyman Matters of Richmond is proud to employ true craftsmen who take pride in completing every job to the highest standard. Their passion is to help improve their customers’ daily lives by giving them more beautiful, functional homes at a great price. For stair remodeling on a budget, there’s no better option than NuStairs from Handyman Matters of Richmond. Their handyman services take the hassle out of home repairs, improvements, and remodeling, and leave you with gorgeous new stairs in just one day.

5 Benefits of Window Tint

by Gail Brumfield

It’s no secret that window tint makes any vehicle look a little more stylish and high-end, but what you might not know is that window tint also comes with a range of other benefits that can affect your wallet, your safety, and even your health.


Window tint that’s properly applied by a professional window tinting company can actually keep you safer in the event of an accident. When glass shatters during a car crash, the glass shards become airborne and can cause serious injury to anyone who’s in the car. Window tint holds glass together even when broken and prevents glass shards from becoming airborne.

Tinted windows can also help prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Accidents are caused by blinding glare from the sun and oncoming headlights every day. Window tint significantly reduces that glare, so you’ll be able to maintain full visibility at all times while you’re on the road. In addition to these benefits, window tint is also a surprisingly effective theft deterrent. People looking to steal from cars or homes will likely check out their target before committing the crime to make sure it’s worth the risk. If they see valuables like cash, laptops, or cell phone in plain sight, they’re more likely to go through with the theft. If they can’t see if there are valuables in the car, they will probably move on to another target that offers a guaranteed payday.


Window tint is specifically designed to block UV rays. UV rays are what causes sunburns and ultimately skin cancer. If you’re someone who commutes to work or spends a lot of time in the car, window tint is a must. With un-tinted windows, you can easily get sunburned even if you keep your windows rolled up at all times, and each sunburn increases your chances of getting skin cancer. Window tint will greatly reduce the amount of UV rays your skin is absorbing and keep you safe from the harmful rays of the sun.


Investing in window tint will actually end up saving you money in the long run. Window tint on your home, office, or vehicle’s windows can reduce the heat entering through your windows by over 60%. That means that you won’t need to blast the AC as often or for as long during the hot summer months. This will save on energy costs and gas mileage, and it means that you won’t have to replace your AC unit or AC system as often.

If all these benefits have convinced you to look for a window tinting company, consider checking out Solar Concepts. Solar Concepts provides the highest quality window tinting services available. They offer all kinds of window treatment and window sun solutions for residential and commercial clients as well as for all sorts of vehicles. Their years of experience in the industry give them the knowledge and expertise to perform each and every job to the highest industry standard.

Where to Go for Carpet Cleaning in Manhattan Beach, CA

by Gail Brumfield

There are a lot of carpet cleaning services to choose from in Manhattan Beach, CA. If it’s your first time hiring a professional carpet cleaning service, it can be confusing to know what option is best for you and your home. Some major things to look into are dry time, cleaning products, cleaning method, and any other special concerns like allergen or bacteria removal.

You’re probably most familiar with the steam cleaning method. Steam cleaning has been around for years, and it used to be one of the only carpet cleaning options available to consumers. However, there are a few significant disadvantages to steam cleaning your carpets. The major downside of steam cleaning is the long dry time. Because steam cleaning services spray so much water into your carpets, it could take up to two full days for them to dry out completely. That means you’ll have to avoid all the rooms in your home with steam cleaned carpet for days after cleaning, which can be a pretty major inconvenience.

When carpets are left soaking wet for days, it also means that mold and mildew have a better chance of growing underneath your carpets. Mold and mildew growth can cause permanent damage to your floors, and they can release harmful spores into the air that you and your family breathe every day. Plus, using so much excess water to clean your carpets isn’t particularly environmentally friendly.

The next major disadvantage of steam cleaning is the cleaning solutions these services tend to use. Most carpet cleaning services will rely on cleaning products full of soap, detergent, and harsh chemicals to get your carpets clean. Many people simply don’t want harsh cleaning products used in their home, especially if they have kids and pets running around. These kinds of cleaning products also tend to leave a sticky residue on your carpets that lasts for days and can actually attract more dirt and dust to your carpet’s surface after cleaning.

Luckily, there’s a better option for carpet cleaning in Manhattan Beach, CA. Instead of the steam cleaning method, Curtice Chem-Dry uses a proprietary carpet cleaning method called Hot Carbonating Extraction (HCE), which works better than steam cleaning and sidesteps all of its major disadvantages. HCE is a low-water cleaning method that’s kinder to the environment and uses 80% less water than typical steam cleaning services. That means that your carpets will be able to dry in just two hours, not two days. With Curtice Chem-Dry’s ultra-fast dry time, mold and mildew don’t stand a chance.

Curtice Chem-Dry is the best Manhattan Beach carpet cleaning service around because their process is specifically designed to clean for your health. A study conducted by a leading independent laboratory found that HCE removes an average of 98% of common household allergens like pet dander and dust mites from carpets and upholstery. HCE was also found to remove an average of 82% of bacteria from carpets and 89% of airborne bacteria from the home when a sanitizer is added to the process. Curtice Chem-Dry doesn’t use any harsh chemical cleaners to get your carpets deeply clean. Instead, they use an all-natural, green-certified, non-toxic cleaning solution that gives your carpets a deep clean that lasts longer without using any soap, detergent, enzymes or harsh chemicals. Curtice Chem-Dry is proud to offer Manhattan Beach, CA, a better carpet cleaning option that leaves you with an overall healthier home.

How to Choose the Right Fencing for Your Yard

by Gail Brumfield

When you start the process of choosing fencing for your yard, you’ll quickly find out there’s a lot more to consider than you originally thought. You have to think about what kind of fence you want and need, what fencing company to go to, the cost of fencing installation, and so much more. These tips will help make the entire process a little easier.

Think seriously about cost

Take a look at your finances and create a realistic budget for your fencing project. Fencing costs can vary widely, with the average cost of a new fence typically falling somewhere between $2,000 and $8,000. Do some research to find out about how much the kind of fence you want will cost and be sure to pad your budget for installation fees. Also, don’t forget that your fence will likely need at least a little maintenance over the years. Different fencing materials require different amounts of maintenance, so if that’s a concern for you, go with something that won’t require a lot of upkeep.

Decide what you need out of your fence

Are you looking for a fence that will give you complete privacy? Something to make it safer for your kids and pets to run around the yard? Or do you simply want to increase the curb appeal of your home? Your needs and wants will dictate what kind of fence you should purchase. If privacy is your main concern, you’re going to want something tall and with little to no space between slats. If you want to make sure pets don’t escape, you’ll need something that they can’t dig underneath or jump over. If you’re simply trying to increase your home’s curb appeal, aesthetics will determine your decision.

Choose the right material

Wood, vinyl, and aluminum are among the most common materials used to make residential fences. They each have distinct advantages and disadvantages, so it’s all about striking a balance between what you need and what you can compromise on. Wood can be a good material for privacy fences because wood fences can be built with no room between the slats. However, wood does typically require a little more maintenance than other fencing materials. Aluminum fencing is another popular choice and can give a classic look to your yard. Vinyl fencing is a great choice if you’re looking for something highly durable and weather resistant. Vinyl fencing won’t rot in wet or humid climates, and it’s cost-efficient and requires very little maintenance. Plus, vinyl fencing installation is generally quick and easy, so you’ll save money on labor costs.

If you’re looking for fencing in Chesterfield, VA, Fencing Unlimited offers expert commercial and residential fencing installation services. They’ve provided customers in Central Virginia with high-quality fences built above industry standards for over 40 years. Fencing Unlimited is a fencing company that values professionalism, attention to detail, and excellent customer service. They offer all kinds of fencing, including wood, chain link, aluminum, and vinyl fencing. Their team of experts will talk you through the entire process and help you choose the style, material, height, and type of fence that’s right for you. They’ll even help you determine the best layout and gate placement. Fencing Unlimited has been a trusted fence company in Richmond, VA, for decades, and they’ll make sure you’re satisfied with the end results.

Deep Clean Your Home for Fall

by Gail Brumfield

Autumn is the perfect time to invest in deep cleaning your home. You can get everything looking spotless before the craziness of the holiday season sets in, allowing you to head into the last few months of the year with a clean home and an uncluttered mind. However, when you start thinking about giving your home a deep cleaning, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and want to put it off for another time. Start with these three things, and you’ll be well on your way to a clean, healthy home.

Carpet Cleaning

Why not tackle the biggest job first? Carpets trap a ton of dirt, dust, allergens, and bacteria in their fibers, which can make them look dull and dingy over time. Plus, if carpets aren’t cleaned regularly, they’ll stop being able to trap these contaminants, and they’ll be left to freely circulate throughout your home. Call in a professional carpet cleaning service that has high ratings and all the special features you want, and your carpets will be looking fresh and new in no time.

Upholstery Cleaning

Just like your carpets, your upholstered fabrics and furniture are constantly working to trap contaminants in their fibers that would otherwise be moving throughout your home’s air and being inhaled by you and your family. Furniture is meant to be used, and it’s only natural that it will collect stains, dirt, and dust over time, particularly in homes with pets and kids. Getting your upholstery professionally cleaned will make a world of difference. You might not even have noticed how dull your furniture has become until you see it looking clean and spotless after cleaning.

Stone and Tile Cleaning

It’s all too easy to ignore stone and tile cleaning in your home. After all, they’re not soft surfaces like carpets and upholstery, so how much dirt and bacteria could they really collect? Unfortunately, stone and tile floors get dirtier than you might think. Bacteria gets trapped in the porous surface of stone, tile, and grout, and can grow and spread unbeknownst to you, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.

Upholstery, Stone, Tile, Grout, and Carpet Cleaning in Jacksonville, Florida

Chem-Dry of Jacksonville offers professional upholstery, stone, tile, grout, and carpet cleaning in Jacksonville, FL. Chem-Dry uses a unique low-water cleaning method that allows soft surfaces to dry in a fraction of the time of steam cleaning. Their cleaning method has been shown to get rid of an average of 98% of common household allergens from carpets and upholstery. Their pledge is to leave homes in Jacksonville spotless and to give carpets, upholstery, and floors a deep clean that lasts. If you’re looking to get your home clean this fall, call Chem-Dry of Jacksonville, and their cleaning experts will take care of everything for you.