Many believe that the kitchen is the heart of every home. This is the center of most major gatherings, like cooking the Turkey for Thanksgiving or preparing the eggnog for Christmas, and most families spend a lot of their time preparing food together or doing the dishes. It’s not surprising that remodeling the kitchen to the specific taste and needs of the homeowner is always one of the priorities.
Kitchen renovations can be very costly, especially if you’re doing it blindly. There are a lot factors you have to consider, like how much you are willing to spend, the functionality of the space, and what vibe you want to go for. Planning that out and doing your research significantly lowers not just the cost of a kitchen remodel, but also the effort that you have to put into updating every part of the space.
It’s important not to confine yourself with mainstream renovation ideas, rather open yourself up to suggestions online or in themed stores. You can even get inspiration from your friends or your favorite TV show. This project in an opportunity for you to rely your creativity, smarts and personal taste. To help you along, here are some kitchen remodel ideas, ranging from the practical to the obscure and imaginative. Hopefully, it helps you achieve that dream kitchen.
Follow a design theme
A lot of homeowners, especially those who inherited the furnishing of their kitchen, are not happy with the look or use of the space. Instead of removing things they don’t like, they settle for covering them or layering them with what they brought from their old house. There is nothing wrong with respecting the original design and interior of the space, but clashing designs often make the space feel more cluttered than it is.
For you not make the same mistake, decide on how you want the space to look from the get-go. Do yo like an extravagant Dutch-inspired kitchen or a more modern, industrial feel? This allows you to focus on only buying furnitures, appliances and fixtures that fit the theme, making it look and actually be less cluttered.
When picking a theme, make sure that it’s not a spur-of-the-moment thing because you will have to live with this design for at least a few years. Consider our personal aesthetic and the vibe of the whole house. Also, any theme you want to go with should be well within your budget because there are some themes that are more expensive than others to pull off.
Open it up
A lot of people live in small spaces, but very few would want to feel that they do. Naturally, it’s important for smaller kitchens to appear bigger and be less cluttered. Not only is that more comfortable, it’s also safer. That best way to do that is to open it up.
There a lot of ways to open up a space, including the following:
- Try an open concept living space, where you don’t have divisions between the kitchen, living space and the dining room. This means tearing down a couple of walls though.
- Remove or do away with a bulky island that obstructs the openness of the space
- Add windows around the counter or whichever wall is available because the brighter the room, the bigger it appears.
- Try a more modern approach to cabinets: removing the doors. That way you are able to see everything inside, conditioning you to streamline its content. It’s also safer because opening cupboard doors in a small space is not easy. You end up hitting your head or someone else’s
Work with what you have
It’s ideal to do the kitchen entirely to your taste, but it’s not always the case. In fact, in the majority of cases, you buy a house where some walls cannot be torn down and the pipes just come exposed. Changing them around is both costly and a structural hazard. Instead of spending an extortionate amount of money on that, opt to work with these features instead. If you have exposed pipes, then incorporate them into one of your kitchen remodel ideas.
Some examples on how to work with different features in your kitchen:
- Repaint them with a color that fits your style and vibe of the room better. For example, an old brass light fixture, which can look dated, can be painted with matte black. It would instantaneously look more modern.
- If a feature is too expensive to update, update everything that surrounds it. A vintage island can look more industrial by changing the drawer handles to metal or applying more modern countertop covers. These little additions are far less expensive than changing the bigger furnitures and appliances you have.
When it is this cold I stay inside with my family, run my furnace full blast and try to stay warm. Trouble is that indoor air quality can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. This pollution can threaten the quality of living and even the lives of your entire family. So today I wanted to talk a little about how to improve that air quality so that everyone stays safe and healthy this winter. We will start with basics that you need to understand in order to know more about the air quality.
The Big Three
First I’m going to touch on the three indoor pollutants that are the most dangerous; carbon monoxide, secondhand smoke, and radon gas. These three pollutants can be deadly. The best thing that you can do to prevent these three pollutants is to install a carbon monoxide tester, don’t smoke in your living areas, and get your home tested for radon gas. While you are at it you should also make sure that your smoke detectors are installed and working properly. Doing these quick steps is the best thing you can do to keep your home safe.
Improving your Comfort Level
Now that we’ve got the big three dangers out of the way let’s take a look at how we can improve the quality of air and the comfort level of your home.
Keep a healthy level of humidity
Your ideal humidity in your home should be around 30-50%. In the winter your humidity level can drop into the single digits, that is not a big problem at all. Adding a whole house humidifier to your furnace in the winter can decrease asthmatic symptoms, dry skin, and improve the level of comfort for you and your family. In the summer you want to make sure that you get your air conditioner maintained and change the filters if it is needed. If you have a high level of humidity you may also need to look into dehumidifiers.
Use high quality HEPA filters
You will also want to make sure that you are using a high quality filter for your furnace. You should ideally change this filter every 6 months. In addition, you should always make sure that your furnace is inspected by a professional to ensure that it is running at peak performance and not leaking dangerous carbon monoxide through hidden cracks.
While we are on the subject of HEPA filters you should also make sure that if you have carpet that you are using a high quality vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters and that you vacuum regularly and dust to reduce the contaminants found on your floor.I admit the steps that have been outlined may not seem like much. They shouldn’t take very long to accomplish and they don’t cost very much but believe me they can make all the difference for you and your family this winter. Stay warm and stay safe!
Many educational institutions including trade schools, junior colleges, and even online universities provide six month to two-year training programs for HVAC certification. While there are thousands of traditional colleges and universities that provide this training, online courses seem to be gaining popularity.
What are advantages of Online HVAC Training?
Online HVAC training provides the student with the ability to study at his or her own pace, and allows them to choose which HVAC classes they are going to take at which time. Online courses typically cost much less than traditional colleges, universities and trade schools as well.
Other advantages of pursuing an online HVAC education include the different types of support that online learning programs offer. There are typically forums, blogs and other means of communicating with others who are taking the same courses as well as instructors.
While studying HVAC, students take courses related to equipment design, temperature control, equipment construction, electronics and the basics of installation, and repair and maintenance. These courses can all be studied at home, although there may be a period of on the job training required for many employers, just to ensure that the student understands the basics.
Regardless of if the school is brick and mortar or online, the student should ensure that the HVAC program in which they enroll is accredited. Accreditation for academic standards typically comes from one of three organizations: HVAC Excellence, The Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA), and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). After completing the online, college, university or trade school studies, new technicians are generally required to receive six months to two years of field experience before they are considered proficient in the field.
There are, of course, disadvantages to studying online, although the advantages seem to outweigh the difficulties. One disadvantage for students who study HVAC online seems to be the high level of self-discipline required. In order to receive all the benefits of education, students must demonstrate the self-discipline to manage their own time in order to ensure they meet the course requirements. One of the main advantages for taking courses online is the ability to study at the student’s own pace. This however, will pose a problem if the student is not disciplined enough to get the work done.
Study from your own home
Having the ability to study at your leisure is one thing, but making sure that your studies are completed on time is crucial to retaining the information that you receive through your online courses. Many students choose the online study option simply because it is much less expensive than traditional education institutions. Others feel that the ability to study at their own pace and in the comfort of their own homes is the main attraction for online schools.
For those seeking online courses for HVAC, it is very important to practice self-discipline in order to finish the course work in a reasonable amount of time. It is also important to choose an online school that is accredited for HVAC. Once the HVAC program is complete, it should not be difficult to find an employer that will offer additional training through on-the-job experience.
HVAC technicians are in high demand in many employment sectors. Becoming a technician yourself can be a terrific career move that will put you on the path to better pay, more benefits, and a more rewarding career overall. In order to maximize your opportunities as a technician, keep the advice below in mind. By taking these steps to enter this career path, you will make sure that you are on the road to success even before you take your first job offer.
Get the Proper Education
No matter what you intend to do with your HVAC certification, school is important. To become a technician, you will need to have completed high school or passed your GED exam. You should also consider entering a trade school or community college for further training if you can afford it. HVAC technicians will particularly benefit from math and engineering courses, which will provide important skills that can be translated into a work environment. Even after you have completed the necessary schooling, you should keep further education in mind. Squeezing in a continuing education course here and there will help you keep up with the latest tools of the trade and advancing technology.
Learn on the Job
The best way to get the experience you need to become a technician is to seek out an apprenticeship. You might be able to find apprenticeships in your area by checking with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, or a similar reputable organization. These groups often have directories of potential apprenticeships that you can make use of when you go looking for work. If there are no apprenticeships in your area, do not lose heart. While it is less ideal, you can get some on the job training by working at a company that does employ certified HVAC technicians. Most technicians are willing to train newcomers in the field.
Prepare for your Certification
Check with your state and municipal governments to determine the requirements for HVAC certification. Two excellent trade institutes that can help you along this road are the North American Technician Excellence Program and the Air Conditioning Excellence Coalition. These groups are both recognized throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico for their excellence. When you have the required amount of training and feel that you are ready to enter the industry on your own, take any necessary tests required locally. Once you have fulfilled all the certification requirements, it’s just a matter of hitting the job market and looking for the HVAC technician position that is right for you.
Typically, your training period will take anywhere from three to five years. Once you enter the field as an HVAC technician, you can expect relatively low wages to start, but the longer you work and the more experience you get under your belt the better your pay will become. By taking the necessary steps to make sure you are ready, you will have a much easier time building up your career as a HVAC technician.