Top Five Home Improvement Ideas to Consider

Home improvement is a very widespread field, with many ideas from which to choose. During the summertime, countless people think about remodeling their homes, making improvements to certain rooms of the house, but are often not sure which improvements to do. Low-cost home improvements that not only improve your home’s appearance, but also help you save money in the long run, are the hottest plans currently. I’m writing this to list these ideas and hopefully, help spark your imagination. These are the top 5 home improvement ideas for 2009:

1.) Installing “Green” Technology – Due to the need of almost everyone to save money right now, and because of the increased awareness of the need to save our environment, the top home improvement plan right now is the installing of “green” technology, also known as “going green.” This could include such installments as solar panels, power-generating windmills, environmentally-friendly cleaners, energy efficient heating and cooling system, and energy-saving light bulbs. Solar panels may be costly at first, but they will save a huge amount of money in the long run by generating your own electricity. The same goes for the energy efficient heating and cooling system – it will help you save money on your electric bills. Windmills can not only help you generate your own electricity, but they can be made with parts from the junkyard. You can’t get much cheaper than that! Also, many of these “going green” improvements will help you qualify for a tax break and help out the environment. It’s a win-win situation.

2.) Install a programmable thermostat – This may be a very simple improvement, but don’t underestimate it. Installing a programmable thermostat will help save money on your electric bills. How does it do this? Instead of having the air conditioning or the heater running all day, the pre-programmed thermostat only turns on the AC or the heat when the temperature of the house gets too hot or too cold. This keeps the central heating and cooling system from running unnecessarily and, in turn, saves you money.

3.) Re-insulate your home – Making sure your home is well insulated will also help save you money on electric bills. That is because a well-insulated home will not let out cool air in the summer, and it will not let out warm air in the winter. That also keeps hot or cold air from drafting into the house.

4.) Paint or re-decorate your living space – This may seem like a very simple improvement to your home, but it is effective. Painting your rooms and re-decorating in soothing colors and accents will help you relax and want to spend more time in your newly decorated home. Pamper yourself along with the new designs and you will feel like you are at a spa getaway.

5.) Put in a patio – This is probably the most expensive option (unless you have close friends or family who are carpenters) but it is worth the splurge. A patio or a sun deck will allow you to relax and soak up some rays in your own back yard. You can grill out with family and friends, sun bathe on a chaisse lounge, or watch the stars from your patio. The good thing about putting in a patio is that it is actually less expensive than adding a room onto your house. A patio may be a small addition, but it will more than pay for itself with all the hours of relaxation it will afford.

No matter which home improvement idea you decide to choose, the payoff will be well worth it. Even if these ideas aren’t what you are looking for, there are many other low-cost home improvement ideas. This year, less is more is the approach to home improvement, and saving money is the best thing.

5 Tips To Help You Keep Your Conveyor Chains Operational

Conveyor chains are used to drive different types of conveyor units and use different types of power transmission. If you want to get the most out of your equipment, make sure you maintain them. This is even more important if they are installed in the mining and construction industry. Given below are a few tips that can help you ensure your conveyor chains will continue to work properly.

1. Follow the Maintenance Schedule

First of all, you may want to inspect and service them to ensure proper alignment, lubrication and tension. If inspected on a regular basis, they can last up to 15,000 hours. It’s better if you schedule filter and oil changes every 3 months. On the other hand, the cleaning of bigger parts, such as shafts, machine lubrication and replacement of damaged or worn sprockets and sideplats should be done on an annual basis.

Following the maintenance schedule is paramount, especially if you have installed the conveyor chains in the construction and mining industry.

2. Lubricate Wisely

For smooth operation, conveyor drives and chains should be free of moisture and dust. Most of these systems require petroleum-based oil. It’s not a good idea to opt for heavy greases and heavy oils. The reason is that they are overly stiff and can’t lubricate the system properly. Given below are some common ways of lubricating the conveyor chains. Some of them are listed below:

Stream lubrication
Disk lubrication
Drip lubrication
Manual lubrication

Based on the power and chain speed, the right method can be used. For reducing wear and tear and enjoying all the benefits, it’s important that you lubricate the system properly.

3. Get Heat-Treated Parts

Heat treatment can be used to improve the mechanical components. Therefore, manufacturers control the treatment methods for best results. In other words, to reduce wear and tear, it’s important to perform proper heat treatment.

Case hardness and depth are the two primary parts of component heat transfer. This plays a great role as far as resistance and durability is concerned. If the depth is too much, the parts may break while working due to brittleness.

4. Make sure there is Proper Alignment and Tension

Make sure you check the slack span and chain tension, and perform the required maintenance. If you need to reduce the tension, you can eliminate two pitches and then connect the chain again. However, you may need to replace the entire chain if the wear and tear goes beyond the functional limits.

Also, you may not want to connect new chains to the worn one as it can damage the drive. Misaligned sprockets can also cause the link plates of the roller chain to get a lot of wear and tear.

5. Check the Primary Parts

Typically, conveyor chains have two main parts that go through wear and tear: sprockets and chain. Chain stretching happens due to this very reason and results in the complete replacement of the sprockets and chain.

Therefore, you should inspect conveyor chains for any broken parts, deformation and cracks.

In short, these are the tips you can follow to maintain your roller chains.

Home Improvement Ideas: Increase the Value of Your Home

Everybody wants a beautiful home. For most people, it is not enough to keep up with home repairs and maintenance; they want to go the extra mile. If you have money to spare you may want to renovate your home to increase its value. Home improvement can be a smart investment especially if you have good home improvement ideas like the ones below.

Remodeling

If you want to remodel your kitchen or bathroom it may be a good idea to let a professional do the changes. A kitchen makeover can involve installing new kitchen cabinets, a kitchen island, counters and tops, sinks, etc. When renovating your kitchen, try to imagine the best layout for your kitchen. Consider the workflow and plan where you want to locate the stove, refrigerator and sink.

A bathroom renovation is also an excellent home improvement idea. You may want to de-clutter a small bathroom to make it look bigger. A professional can suggest colors, tiles, accessories, bathroom furniture and fixtures to give your cozy bathroom a new and modern look.

Landscaping and Outdoor Decor

Decorating your yard or patio is a great idea to improve your home. Outdoor furniture will help you to relax on weekends. A beautiful, landscaped yard will make your home more inviting and increase the value of your property.

Home Lighting Fixture

You can make a big difference on the way your home looks with the right home lighting fixtures. Home lighting must be suited to the room and its purpose. Kitchen lighting must be well distributed to illuminate all working areas and cabinets. A pendant light over the kitchen table or island is a good idea.

For the bathroom, you will need shadow free light. Your bedroom will require soft lighting. Other rooms will require different type of lighting fixtures. As a rule, you should buy lighting fixtures based on the location and amount of light you need in that room. In addition to cost, aesthetics and quality should also be considered as they are important factors in improving your home.

De-Cluttering Your Home

Smart home improvement ideas can help you manage clutter and keep your home neat and clean. Extra shelves and cabinets go a long way in getting clutter organized. Decorative boxes, baskets, storage bins, sorters and similar containers can hold your stuff so you know where to find everything. Get rid of clothes, magazines and other stuff that you don’t need. Remember, the first step to having a beautiful home is to make sure it’s clean and neat.