Un-stink Your Home With These Natural DIY Scents

The outdoor air is starting to feel crisp and clean, so why is your indoor air seeming to get dirtier and mustier? The EPA estimates that indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. It’s important to keep this in mind as we spend a majority of our time indoors, whether it be at work or at home. 

 

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Pets, children, smoke, food, garbage, dirty dishes and drains, and bathrooms can all make your home smell awful. In addition to washing the dishes, taking out the trash, and cleaning the litterbox, it is a good idea to put in the extra effort to fill your home with wonderful natural smells. With autumn in full effect, we have found three great DIY tutorials on the web to help you un-stink your home.

 

Many store bought air fresheners contain harmful, toxic chemicals that can pollute the air you breathe. With this DIY  candle from Hello Natural, your home will smell heavenly for days!

 

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Source: Stephanie Gerber from Hello Natural.

 

Cinnamon Pumpkin Candles:
  • Pumpkins
  • Soy Wax Flakes
  • Wicks
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Pencil or Skewer to Hold the Wicks
  • Cinnamon Flavor to Amp Up the Smell (Optional)
  • Wax Coloring (Optional)
1.) Cut off the tops of the pumpkins and scoop out the seeds. Attach the wicks to the bottom of the pumpkin. Use a piece of tin foil in glue them to the bottom of the pumpkin. Then roll the top of the wick around a pencil or skewer to it hold upright.

2.) Melt the wax in a double broiler and pour it into the candles. Crush up a couple of cinnamon sticks and add to the wax for a yummy cinnamon smell. For a stronger smell, you can add cinnamon oil too. Then let the candles sit for a couple of hours for the wax to harden.

 


 
Create the perfect spicy scent with this DIY potpourri recipe from Curbly

 

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Source: Sanjay Acharya - self-made at California, USA
 
Spicy Simmering Potpourri:
  • 1 oz. can cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces 
  • 1 (1.12 oz.) can whole cloves
  • 1 (1.25 oz.) can whole allspice

Mix all ingredients in Ziploc bag or airtight container. Place 1 heaping teaspoon to 1/2 cup of water in simmer pot and heat.


We found this DIY air freshener room spray from Health Bites, a Vitacost blog. 

 

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Autumn Citrus & Spice:

32 ounces water
1/2 tsp. sweet orange essential oil
1/2 tsp. clove bud essential oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon essential oil

How to make it:

Mix oils and water in a 32-ounce mister bottle. Shake well and use to mist the air throughout your home.

Enjoy these autumn-inspired DIY scents and let us know what you do in your home to get rid of unwanted smells. 

 

If you want better quality indoor air, contact the professionals at Service Legends to go over your options. We can test your home for humidity and ventilation levels and come up with solutions to improve the quality of your indoor air. Call us at 515-COMFORT or visit us on our website for more information. Don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

We are currently accepting applications for our Oldest Air Conditioner Contest…if you win, we will replace your ancient system for a brand new Service Legends furnace.
Many companies promise to do a complete air duct cleaning, offering prices as low as $49. Watch out for these unreliable companies, because a true air duct cleaning is not as cheap as one would believe from seeing these deals and coupons floating around. Service Legends conducts a whole house duct cleaning service, which requires hours of hard work, advanced equipment, and expert knowledge. But, once it is done, you know that you got what you paid for.

 

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The cheap air duct cleaning coupons have been the subject of many undercover investigations. It is a typical bait-and-switch operation, where the customer is “baited” by the low air duct cleaning offer, only to be told that they need other, more expensive, services such as mold removal (the “switch”).

 

A proper duct cleaning job, or what we like to refer to as “source removal,” includes “all components of the system.” As the EPA reports, “failure to clean the components of a contaminated system can result in re-contamination of the entire system, thus negating any potential benefits.”

 

Clean HVAC systems can also perform more efficiently, which may decrease energy costs, and last longer, reducing the need for costly replacement or repairs. Duct cleaning does get rid of the stuff that mold and bacteria grow on, and that means less of it gets airborne, a boon to allergy sufferers.

 

You may think that air filters prevent dust and debris from streaming into the air you breath; however, most filters cannot prevent allergy-inducing molds, mites, and bacteria from entering your home.

 

Here are some ways you can tell if you need a professional duct cleaning:

 

  1. If someone in your house is suffering from frequent allergy attacks
  2. If you see cobwebs, hair, or other bits of dust and debris blowing out of your registers
  3. If there is visible mold inside and around the edge of your ducts
  4. If you suspect animal infestation or nesting in your ducts
  5. If you have recently done extensive remodeling in your home. Ducts should be covered during any home remodeling.
  6. If you look into your duct with a flashlight and see dust bunnies, objects, dirt, and debris.
  7. You don’t remember the last time your ducts were thoroughly cleaned

 

If you really want to see what is inside your supply and return ducts, locate your vent registers and remove the grill plate with a screwdriver. Then, take your iPhone or camera with a flash and reach into the duct as far as you can and snap a couple pictures. If your photos reveal dust and debris buildup, it’s time for a professional cleaning from the technicians at Service Legends!

 

Give us 4 Hours with Your Filthy Air Ducts and we’ll help you:

  • Avoid headaches, sleep problems, allergies and more
  • Unclog sinuses that cause pain, drowsiness, and mental confusion
  • Increase energy efficiency and save you money on your energy bill
  • Eliminate the resistance and blockage of airflow that robs your furnace and air conditioner of top efficiency
  • Reduce costly repairs and breakdowns

 

Check out our website and Facebook or Twitter for useful home advice and information. There is still time to benefit from our New Furnace Special for only $49 a month and Furnace System rejuvenation for $184 (with rebate).

Thank you for making Service Legends the #1 provider of residential heating and air conditioning in the Des Moines area. Our lines are open 24/7 at 515-COMFORT (515.266.3678).

 

Service Legends is a member of National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA)*

 

*NADCA’s mission is to represent qualified companies engaged in the inspection, maintenance and restoration of HVAC systems, promote source removal as the only acceptable method of cleaning, establish industry standards for the association, and assist NADCA members in providing high quality service to their customers.

Small Ways to Save BIG on Energy Bills

Home improvement doesn’t come cheap. But, there are small things you can do to save you BIG money. I’m talking about reducing your energy costs by making your home more energy efficient.
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Instead of cranking up the thermostat, let’s concentrate on keeping the hot air you already have contained within your home.

 

Here are 4 DIY projects you can do this weekend that will save you money every month (up to 20% off your energy bill):

 

1. Caulking - this is the cheapest thing you can do. Tubes typically cost less than $5 and will save you tons on your energy bill. 

  • A great place to start is to find the areas outside your home where you might have air conditioning lines, wiring , or plumbing coming into your home. For small cracks and gaps around wiring or piping, use the weatherproof caulk to seal the gaps. Also look around the edges of your windows. If you have a brick house, there are probably several spots by the windows where air can flow in and out of your home.
  • For any exterior air leaks or gaps greater than a quarter of an inch, use Expanding Foam Spray. It is easy to use. Just shake, attach the applicator, aim into the gaps, and pull down on the trigger. The foam expands into the gap and blocks it.
  • For sealing gaps on the exterior of your home, smaller than a quarter inch, use a good weather-proof caulk. You will need a caulk gun to dispense the caulk.
  • Cut the tip off of the caulking tube with a utility knife, take a nail or pin to pierce the the center of the tube (where you just cut), squeeze the trigger and caulk those leaks and gaps. To seal leaking ductwork, use aluminum tape (mastic sealing). Click here for a how-to guide for sealing duct-work using mastic and mesh tape.

 

2. Insulation - will cost several hundred dollars to install and take several hours. This one is not really a small project, but if you really want to save on your energy bills, you will need to insulate your home. If you do make major insulation changes, call your trusted HVAC professional to assess the ventilation balance of your system. 

 

You do not want a home that is too tight because it could prevent your home from venting safely and properly.   

 

Call ServiceLegends at 515-COMFORT for more information on how to insulate your home. If that is too much, move on to #3. 

 

3. Programmable Thermostat - easy to install, inexpensive, and will save you lots of moolah. You can even get WiFi thermostats so you can monitor and adjust the temperature in your home with your smart phone, tablet, or computer. Programmable thermostats are going to be your best friend, as the temperature will adjust when you aren’t there, improving energy efficiency and saving you money annually!

 


4. New Filters - cost less than $10 (usually) and can last up to 90 days. Some warranties even require periodic filter changes. You should change your filter every 30-90 days. Both the efficiency and quality of your HVAC system will improve when you change the filters in your air conditioner and furnace. The air filter in your furnace is located in its blower compartment or possibly in a return air grill in your wall. If you have trouble locating your air filter, call your local Service Legends technician for help.

 

Service Legends cares about your comfort. We’re the world-class provider of residential home services such as: Heating, Air Conditioning, Geothermal, and Indoor Air Quality. Our goal is always comfort, reliability, and peace of mind in your home.

 

Check out our website and Facebook or Twitter for Fall Specials. There is still time to benefit from our New Furnace Special for only $49 a month and Furnace System rejuvenation for $184 (with rebate).

Thank you for making Service Legends the #1 provider of residential heating and air conditioning in the Des Moines area. Our lines are open 24/7 at 515-COMFORT (515.266.3678).

WINTER IS COMING: TEST YOUR HEATER

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Autumn is officially here, which means it’s time to put away the shorts and tank tops and start thinking about how you’re going to prepare for the winter months. Having a game plan in place before the icy cold weather arrives will help prolong the life of your heating system, ensuring maximum efficiency.

You don’t want to be that person who finds out that your heating system doesn’t work when the cold weather hits.

Now is the time to test it and make sure it is all ready to work when winter comes. It’ll be here before you know it.

The best thing you can do is to simply start up your heating system. Knowing if it will turn on or not is the first step. Be proactive and think ahead. Nobody wants to have heating problems on the coldest days of the year.

People call us sometimes with problems that have very simple fixes, and they end up paying close to $100 for the trip charge and small service. Before you go ahead and call us because your heater isn’t turning on, check the thermostat to make sure it is at the right temperature setting and make sure there are no electrical shorts or loose wires and that the breaker switch is on. Your problem could have a simple solution, but you could also have a damaged part that needs replacing or a faulty component that needs repair.

If your circuit breakers are on and your thermostat is at the right setting, but it is still not working, then call the experts at Service Legends to diagnose your problem. We will do a full system check to make sure you have a safe and efficient machine creating heat and comfort for you and your family this winter. 

With Des Moines winters dipping into near polar temperatures, don’t wait until the snow is falling to make sure you have heat. 

Check out our website and Facebook or Twitter for Fall Specials. There is still time to benefit from our New Furnace Special for only $49 a month and Furnace System rejuvenation for $189 (with rebate).

Thank you for making Service Legends the #1 provider of residential heating and air conditioning in the Des Moines area. Our lines are open 24/7 at 515-COMFORT (515.266.3678).

What is Geothermal Heating: Is It Right For You?

Geothermal technology exploits the heat found deep below the Earth’s surface, harnessing it using water pipes to directly heat homes. The hot water can also be used to generate electricity. In preparation for the cooler weather, it is important that you have the right kind of heating system for you and your family. Geothermal heating is unlike conventional heating in that it uses the Earth’s energy to heat your home. Note that heat is not created; it is found and then transported. There are many benefits to using this type of heating system:

 

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Image Source: aurin, shutterstock

 

1.) Geothermal heating is 400 times more efficient than any other conventional heating system.
2.) Reduce energy costs of up to 70% for heating and 40% for cooling.
3.) Unlike conventional heating systems, there is no outdoor unit; it operates quietly and smoothly.
4.) Receive longer lasting comfort. A typical geothermal system lasts 15+ years and requires less maintenance than a conventional heating system. 
5.)  Unlike other heating systems, geothermal power doesn’t emit harmful gases such as carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases. That means zero potential for gas or carbon monoxide leaks and better indoor and outdoor air quality for you and your environment.

 

For additional information visit our FAQ page for helpful tips and common questions.

 


Service Legends cares about your comfort. We’re the world-class provider of residential home services such as: Heating, Air Conditioning, Geothermal, and Indoor Air Quality. Our goal is always comfort, reliability, and peace of mind in your home.

 

Give us a call today to find out more about geothermal heating and to schedule your fall heating tune-up! Visit Service Legends online or on Facebook for more information.

You’ve Got to Tune It Up: Heating System To-Do List

Now that the Iowa Hawkeyes are in full swing, the leaves are changing colors, and temperatures are slowly dropping, you need to start thinking about your heating system. We know this is one of the busiest times of the year for many families with back-to-school and all, but scheduling annual maintenance for your heater should be a top priority. 

 

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Here are the benefits of getting your heating system checked out by a professional:
  • Reduce Repairs. Up to 63% of heating repairs can be prevented with proper annual maintenance. Neglecting to perform regular maintenance can lead to costly repairs, breakdowns, and other unexpected malfunctions.
  • Always warm. With regular maintenance, technicians are able to catch small problems before they become serious and costly. Being without heat during the winter can be a miserable experience, especially when you have to wait for service because everyone else in town is having the same problem. Early, regular maintenance provides dependable comfort and warmth to families.
  • Improved Efficiency. Would you go five years without changing the oil in your car? No. Much like your car, your heating system needs annual maintenance to run efficiently. A technician will thoroughly inspect your system, cleaning and testing various parts to make sure it’s at optimal level.
  • Longer Life. Annual maintenance can prolong the life of your heating system up to 7 years!
When you do schedule a tune-up appointment, because we know you will, here is a list of things your Service Legends HVAC technician will assess:

 

Age - Although the age of your heating system can provide a basic starting point for our evaluation of your system, it is only a starting point. Heating systems generally function for fifteen years or more, but just because your system is old does not mean you have to replace it. We will evaluate your whole system before giving you suggestions or advice for what to do next.

 

Performance - We will check to see if your heating system is performing properly. If your heating system is making strange noises, giving inconsistent temperatures, breaking down under stress, changing colors in the burner flame, producing impurities in your indoor air, or anything else we might find, it could mean that you must have your furnace repaired or replaced immediately. You and your family’s safety could be at stake!

 

Efficiency - If your heating system is struggling to stay alive, it could be causing you a bigger expense and bigger nuisance than it is worth. Inefficient heating systems use up much more fuel or electricity, driving up costs and creating unnecessary energy inefficiencies.

 

Reliability - We will help you decide if you are wasting money on an unreliable system. Just as you wouldn’t buy a new transmission for a $1500 car, you don’t want to make the same mistake with your heating system. If your repair costs for your current system have added up to half or more the cost of buying a new furnace, we definitely recommend replacing your current system. It is probably in its final years anyway and the longer you keep it, the more money you will lose.

 

This fall, make sure you take the steps necessary to keep you heating system working properly this winter. Regular maintenance is absolutely necessary and sometimes a requirement for any warranties you may have on your equipment. 

 

Call Service Legends (515-COMFORT) to schedule your pre-season heating maintenance appointment! Don’t forget to ask us about our other services, including Heating, Air, Geothermal, and Indoor Air Quality. Our goal is always comfort, reliability and peace of mind in your home. Visit us on our website or Facebook for more info.

Breathe Cleaner Air at Home: 8 Ways to Improve Air Quality

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates a person spends on average 90% of their time indoors, and since indoor air quality is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, it’s important to be proactive. And with a new school year unfolding it’s necessary to keep our children strong and healthy. 

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1.) Keep your floors clean by using a vacuum with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters to suck up all the surface dust. 

2.) Reduce the amount of harsh chemicals, solvent-based cleaners or cleaners with pungent fragrances. 

3.) Place mats at every entrance, and consider leaving shoes at the door to eliminate spreading dirt and other allergens. 

4.) Never allowing smoking indoors. While this is one of the more obvious ones, it’s the most important to follow. Nearly 54,000 people die each year from second-hand smoke. Tobacco smoke contains thousands of indoor air pollutants.

5.) As the weather gets cooler, you’ll want to bring your pets in; however, be mindful of the fur and dander they bring with them. Bathe and groom your pets regularly, and if possible, keep them from entering bedrooms. 

6.) All of your appliances that use fuel need air for their combustion process. If they don’t have enough air, dangerous gases like carbon monoxide can build up and create a toxic environment, eventually reaching deadly levels. Hundreds of Americans die each year from carbon monoxide. Almost every home has a smoke detector, but not everyone has a carbon monoxide detector. It is very important that every bedroom have a carbon monoxide detector. Call us if you need smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors installed.

7.) It’s tempting to seal off windows and other openings as the weather gets cooler; however, you should open a window when cooking, painting or cleaning. Also, make sure your ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathroom are functioning correctly.
8.) Minimize moisture, as mold and mildew thrive in humidity. Keep your humidity level at less than 60 percent. If necessary, you may use dehumidifiers, but clean them frequently. 
Although it is important to tighten up your home with weather-stripping and other insulation, a too-tight home can be bad for your home’s air quality. If you have a chimney, check to see if the gases are safely escaping your home. Fresh air is important for your health and the health of your fuel-burning appliances. Without fresh air circulation, molds and other bacteria can develop and grow in your home, causing a horrible health risk to your health.
            
Our HVAC technicians have the equipment to measure your home’s air quality and can tell you whether it is in the safe range or not. If there is an air quality issue, we can resolve it. Make sure to have your home tested after every insulation project.

 

If you have any other concerns about your home’s indoor air quality, contact your Service Legends professional at 515-COMFORT or visit us on our website or Facebook.

COOLER THAN YOU: HOW TO BEAT THE HEAT

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When it comes to keeping cool during the summer without having to break the bank , strategy is key. Despite the general consensus, it is possible to live without your air conditioner being on all the time - people did it hundreds of years ago! By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to keep cool and comfortable without having to worry about a high energy bill.

 

1.) Close Your Windows.
Contrary to popular belief, opening windows on a hot summer day will actually make your home warmer, not cooler. Keeping your curtains and blinds closed will also prevent excessive heat from entering into your home. Consider installing awnings on your windows as well.

 

2.) Use Energy Efficient Fans.
As we mentioned earlier, strategy is the most important aspect of keeping cool without having to use your air conditioner. Be strategic with fan placement and what type of fan you use. Make sure your fan is blowing counter-clockwise: In the summer, you should feel a breeze from the air blowing down. When directly in front of you, a stand-alone fan will also keep you cool. It’s important remember that, while fans cool people, they don’t cool rooms. Turn the fan off when you leave the room.

 

3.) Turn the Lights Off.
It’s something we often forget to do, but it’s especially important during the summer to turn the lights off when you aren’t using them. Electronics generate excess heat, so turn them off when they’re not being used.

 

4.) Plant Trees & Shrubs 
Planting deciduous trees on the east and west sides of your home will provide extra shade. Consider planting shrubs near high-heat areas such as air conditioning units, driveways and walkways. 

 

5.) Ditch the Oven
It’s pretty obvious, but using your oven or stove during the summer actually makes your house hotter. Trade your casserole dishes for some burgers, and start grilling! 

 

6.) Maintain Your A/C 
Change your air filters frequently and schedule regular tune-ups. With proper A/C maintenance, you can avoid costly repairs.  
 

 

Make Service Legends your most trusted company for all A/C repairs or installations. For more information, visit our website at http://servicelegends.net or call us at 515-266-3678

3 Signs Your A/C Needs Replacing

Replacing your air conditioner is a costly endeavor and should be taken seriously. But before you replace your current system, speak with a service technician about all of your options.
1.) Your air conditioner is more than 10 years old.
An air conditioner, if properly maintained, can last up to 15 years, but replacing it at 10 years can be more cost effective. Though your current system may last another 5 years, replacing it now can lower your energy costs, essentially allowing the system to pay for itself.  
2.) Frequent repairs.
If your air conditioner requires frequent repairs, it is highly recommended you replace it, as it is very costly to continue paying for repairs. While it might cost more money upfront, installing a new system will save you money long-term.
3.) Inconsistency. 
If you notice certain rooms getting too much air and others not enough, it is probably time to replace your current system. The older your system gets, the less efficient it is at cooling properly. 
For more information on air conditioner replacement, call now or visit us at http://servicelegends.net

5 Home Cooling Myths


                       

      

As the summer temperatures continue to rise, and you’re willing to try just about anything to keep cool, it’s important to not believe everything you hear. We’ve provided a list of popular myths and even debunked them for you! 
 
1.) Ceiling fans cool rooms.
Fans cool people, not rooms. So if you’re leaving fans on in the room when it’s empty, you’re just wasting energy.
 
2.) Drastically lowering the thermostat will cool your home faster.  
 Because central air conditioners work at a constant pace, cranking the AC down won’t cool your home any faster. Forgetting to adjust the thermostat back to normal could cost you extra money too. 
 
3.) Keeping your AC on all day is more efficient.
If you haven’t invested in a programmable thermostat yet, you’re throwing away money. These thermostats allow the temperature to adjust when you aren’t there, saving you money annually! 
4.) Duct tape is a great way to seal ducts. 
Don’t let their name fool you. Duct tape isn’t what you should be using to seal off leaks in ductwork, as it eventually cracks, breaking any seal. It lacks in durability and doesn’t stick to ill-prepared surfaces.
5.) Closing vents in empty rooms will save money on energy bills. 
Closing registers in a room only creates more problems. Leakage from excess pressure, mold and mildew from a lack of airflow, and increased energy use are several complications that can occur. 
 
 
Now that you have been made aware of these popular myths, you can adjust your home cooling methods to be more cost effective and energy efficient.  For more information on effective cooling methods call us or visit us as http://servicelegends.net.