6 Great Tips for Maintaining Your Air Con Unit

It is important to carry out maintenance on all mechanical devices regularly. That is if you want them to last a long time and give you as many years of service as possible. Air con units that are not properly maintained, for instance, will break down, meaning you will probably have to pay out for expensive repairs and buy aircon parts. Repairs and the associated expenses that could have been avoided very easily by carrying out more frequent servicing.

Therefore, with that in mind, let’s look at 6 great tips for maintaining your air conditioner:

Hire Professionals to Service and Clean Your Air Con System

The best way to ensure that your air con is working properly and efficient is by keeping it clean. Although you can do this yourself, if you have the budget, it can be good to outsource it to a team that knows exactly what they are doing.

Inspect and Assess Your Unit Before You Really Need It

You can only imagine the frustration of the hot weather starting to come through during summer and there being an especially sticky hot day when you try to switch on your air con unit only to find it’s not working. Avoid that from happening by getting into developing a schedule for checking your air conditioner. You can do this by running it for just a few minutes to make sure everything is working as it should. If you discover that there’s a problem with it, you then have enough time to organise repairs.

Check the Thermostat

If you are looking to cool your home during those sticky, hot summer days and nights, you need to make sure that your thermostat is set accordingly. Some models enable you to specifically set it to a special cooling mode.

Inspect and Assess the Access Panels

It’s important to check all the access panels on your air conditioner. These need to be easy to access and secured properly. It is also important to remove any obstructions from around the air conditioner components.

Regularly Clean and Change the Filters

As one of the most important components in an air conditioner is the filters, you need to make sure that these are kept clean and in good condition. When the filters are not clean, they won’t work efficiently and when they don’t work efficiently, your air conditioner will need to work a lot harder than it should. This, in turn, will cost you more each month to run it. Therefore, regularly clean and when necessary, replace your air conditioner’s filters.

Make Sure the Area Around Your Air Conditioner Condenser is Clear

For your air conditioner to draw the air it needs to cool and then direct it back out into your home, you need to make sure the area around and over it is clear. Don’t store anything near or even on top of your air con’s condensing unit and make sure it is cleaned regularly to remove any build up of dust, dirt and debris that could impede its functionality.

How are Persian and Oriental Rugs Made?

A Persian rug is entirely handmade – not hand finished, which describes a power-loomed or hand tufted rug that is then trimmed or have fringes attached. They are both made in a bewildering array of qualities, designs, colours, and sizes but are always made with a pile, or none in the case of flatweave kilims or dhurries. The materials are for the most part wool, cotton and silk with tribal rugs and decorations using goat and camel hair too. The most ornate finely woven i.e. the highest density of knots woven in a square inch or metre are what are called City or Workshop rugs.

Loom Types

There are two types of loom- the vertical and the horizontal. The former is used in 98% of all rugs made for the floor (as opposed to pictorial or flatweave rugs which are made to be displayed on the wall or used to drape over beds, tables, and chairs). A vertical loom is comprised of two rollers made of either wood or steel which are secured top and bottom – this makes for a roller at ground level and another at a height of about 2-4 metres depending on the finished rug size requirement.

Rug Bases

The base of the rug is made by stringing cotton threads, the warp, around the two rollers which are then adjusted to get the correct tension. This is important because an incorrectly tensioned rug will become out of shape after some use, which created ripples in the pile as well as curves that become more noticeable the longer the rug or runner is.


The pattern of a rug is either unchanged through time and known by heart by the weaver or is drawn by a master designer and transferred to paper. The pile materials of wool, silk or cotton – or a combination of two or three of them – are pre-dyed to the required depth of colour. Before the invention of chemical dyes in Europe the colours were derived from roots, bark, berries, fruit and vegetable skins, seeds, insects, crushed rocks, leaves to make lovely green carpets, like this selection of green Persian rugs. The work of applying these colours to the yarn was highly skilled and the knowledge passed down from generation to generation. Obviously, it was as highly guarded as the recipe for Coca-Cola or Lea and Perrins! A better-quality rug has enough dyed yarn made in one batch to ensure the evenness of tone throughout. Many rugs develop bands of differing tones as they age, called Abrash, which shows that the materials were dyed at different times.

An experienced weaver who always works on one type of rug commission will be able to work from memory and automatically use the correct colour yarn, balls of which are hanging in front of them at eye level. For a younger weaver, or to make a highly detailed design with many colours, the pattern will be written in code on a paper which again is hanging at eye level. There are small workshops in cities and towns making finer and more expensive rugs which employ a master weaver, always a man, who will chant out the colours and design to ensure complete accuracy and save the workers from having to glance at the paper instructions.

Hand Knotted

The rug is built up by each knot being tied by hand around two of the warp threads until one complete row has been made, after which the threads are separated by a spreader bar and a horizontal weft thread is placed between them. This weft thread is beaten down with a metal fingered claw to lock down the knots – just as cement is used between layers of bricks.

Length of Time

A rug can take, depending on the quality and size, from mere weeks to a couple of years to complete. Once ready a final locking weft thread is inserted and woven around the warp threads at either end and the rug it is cut of the loom by severing the warps at each end.

Tribal Rugs

A rug made on a horizontal loom is almost always a Tribal rug i.e. traditionally made by nomadic or settled tribes in Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan.  These are much simpler affairs and simply use the same roller at each end, albeit a fraction of the size and weight, with the warp threads again strung between them. The tension is derived from hammering pegs at each corner and is done by experienced touch. These looms are designed for simple reasons- used in the open air by tribeswomen they are moved as and when new pastures are needed for their flocks of sheep and goats. The rugs and kilims (rugs with no pile) that are woven on them are far smaller and simpler than rugs woven on vertical looms and therefore the accuracy of design and colour is far less important. This often lends an abstract charm lent by the mistakes that are made- mistakes often allowed by the loom’s owner as their young girls learn to weave. On that note, a hoary old perceived wisdom is that any mistake in a rug is intentional because ‘only Allah is perfect’ – a simple and very oriental sidestep when selling a less than perfect rug. These rugs are finished and slipped off the loom in the same way as the vertical.

Finishing Touches

At this point it is an indistinct and slightly shaggy article and needs to be finished. The sides are secured by a selvedge of wool or cotton wrapped around two or four of the outermost warp threads. On cheaper rugs this is achieved by simply sewing on a pre-made twist of yarn which over time will come loose and the knots on the edge of the main pile start to fall out.

The rug is placed in a large iron latticed drum (tribal rugs are beaten with a stick) which rotates over a collecting pit and which removes the excess wool and general dust, after which it is washed by simply placing in a stream or being continually soaked in water on a concrete platform and brushed out.

Once fully dried out in the sun the final process is the clipping of the pile which must be done by an expert or the rug can be totally ruined. Traditionally this was done with hand held shears which required a strong forearm and a very keen eye. These days the cutting is by electric shears which makes the job far quicker but not much less skilled. The shaggy pile is now low- the lower the pile and therefore thinner the rug (generally!) the better quality, as the rug with the most knots per square inch or metre will not reveal gaps as a lesser quality will. Think of pixels on a screen- a lower quality screen will show dots of space between the pixels. The awkward thing about knowing rugs is that a thicker heavy rug, like a Persian ‘Heriz’, is as hard wearing and beautiful as a thinner finer Persian ‘Isfahan’. The design is now clear and with a handmade Persian or Oriental rug be the exact same on the back as the front.

Many poorer quality rugs are then given a final wash in chemicals which will alter the final appearance. This can give a very washed out bleached effect, a silky shine (which fades after a time) or a tea leaf sepia tone. A better rug should stand on the original quality of the materials and not be mucked about with like this- all chemicals have a detrimental effect on a rug.

The rug is now ready for the wholesaler to show in Lahore, Tehran or Bhadohi or to be shipped directly to a showroom in London, New York or Buenos Aires.





Spanish Property – Villa, Apartment Or Townhouse?

Spain offers a wealth of varied properties, and these properties range from the huge holiday apartments to the huge country mansions that are set with everything in them. The purchase of these homes has become increasingly popular among foreigners.

Below is a small breakdown of the types of properties available in Spain.


These are basically flats that are found in Spain. Majority of Spanish people live in the apartments, especially in large towns and cities.

Many resorts have been blocked by a large number of apartments that are built for holiday markets in those towns. Apartment constructions in Spain have continued without facing any challenges.

In addition, there is a good market for apartment buyers in Spain. The quality of the apartments and their style vary so much. Some of these apartments are located in the small side streets and are normally dark and cramped. While on the other hand, others are located on the large frontline beach as well as the golf development with extraordinary views that go as much as you can.

The Spanish law requires all apartment owners to abide by the rules and regulations of the community and must also be able to pay the community fees. Some benefits one can get from an apartment are that it requires low maintenance and has security especially if an apartment offers 24/7 securities.

However, you will have to put up with the noisy neighbours and a lot of crowding during the holidays.


These are rows of hoses that are terraced; they are normally made in a typical regional style and are also made around the communal gardens along with a pool.

These townhouses are very popular around the large towns and large cities with Madrid being one of the cities.

Townhouses are normally built in style called the Mediterranean village in the coastal resorts. Townhouses are normally very spacious and normally are often of three or more floors. It also has a garage basement, storage as well as a roof area that has a roof terrace.

Its disadvantage is that these types of houses have little garden space. It only has a small patch at the back of the house and front. Their construction is very recent and is often of good quality.

They are normally part of the community property, and owners are required to follow the rules and regulation of the community as well as pay the community fees.


In Spain, people do not like to live in detached houses, so you are more likely to find detached villas with pools on the outskirts of resorts and cities, rather than terraced houses which are common in the UK:

Some of the villas form part of the complex and may as well share the communal gardens. It also has a pool and is located on the small individual plots.

However, some of them are located on the large grounds. If the villas form part of the community property, the owners are required to follow the rules and regulations of the community.

Beautiful Classic Oak Furniture Makes A Comeback

These days, people are making more conscious decisions when spending money, and this does not always mean going for the cheapest items available. Opting for oak furniture over cheaper types has many advantages.

Benefits of Oak Tables


Oak coffee and dining room tables will last for several hundred years, or possibly longer. When your grandchildren no longer have use for an oak table that you purchase today, it is very likely that they will be able to sell it for a decent price. You only have to look in many stately homes around the UK to see how oak furniture increases in value rather than decreases.

An oak coffee table adds style and elegance to a room. This most definitely cannot be said for typical flat packed furniture that is cheaper in price and also in appearance. Because the coffee table often has a focal point in your living room, investing in a decent piece of furniture is a good move, as it makes the whole room appear more stylish.

An oak coffee table will not collapse just because somebody leans on it. Neither do you have to put it together yourself. Furthermore, oak is surprisingly easy to care for. All you have to do is polish it a few times a year with beeswax, and make sure you wipe up any spillage quickly. Shop online here for oak furniture.

Consumers are Choosing Oak Furniture


In recent years, the trend for buying cheap flat packed furniture seems to be fading and more and more consumers are opting for stylish furniture items that will last for longer. This might seem unusual when the economy is tough, but it actually makes sense because people do not want to be replacing everyday furniture items every few years. Therefore, although an oak coffee table may cost around £300, compared with £50 for a regular cheap coffee table, this is actually an investment because oak coffee tables can be passed down through generations and used for many hundreds of years.

When you consider that a cheap coffee table is likely to look scruffy after six months and will probably need to be replaced within a few years at the most, it makes sense to splash out on oak furniture. Another advantage of buying oak is that you can purchase an item every year or so when you can afford it, knowing that it will match perfectly with your previous oak purchases. When buying other types of furniture, you often need to buy more than one item at a time so that the furniture that is placed in the same room will match well.

Oak for Style and Elegance


While oak furniture is not the cheapest on the market, it is safe to say it is one of the most elegant timbers used the furniture making. Oak is a very flexible timber, and therefore carpenters are able to make intricately designed furniture items such as oak coffee tables, sideboards, TV stands and even wardrobes.

Even if you cannot afford decent furniture and the majority of your furnishings are cheap second-hand items that you have picked up as you go, adding one or two high-quality items of oak to your room will give it a totally different appearance. For example, a coffee table is often the most focal point of a living room. Rather than placing a cheap Formica coffee table in the centre of your living space, invest in an oak coffee table. This will probably not set you back more than a couple of hundred pounds, but the difference to the room will be remarkable. Furthermore, you will have a piece of furniture that can be used for generations to come, and will only appreciate in value rather than decrease. As your finances improve, you can gradually replace your cheap furniture items with quality oak, and will have a furniture collection to be proud of.



Why It’s Imperative To Hire A Rubbish Removal Service

When a person dies, a common scenario is their property is left without anybody to take care of it. This is especially likely to happen if the person who dies was elderly and had been living alone. Between the time of death and the funeral ceremony, the family will usually go in and throw away items such as food leftovers and junk mail, but it is after this the real job of clearing the house begins. Cleaning an entire estate of the possessions a person has accumulated in a lifetime is a huge job, and not something that many people can do by themselves – therefore it makes sense to use a deceased estate rubbish removal company to handle the situation once  the funeral ceremony and initial stage of grieving is over.

A good deceased estate rubbish removal service provider will have some specific features. Besides clearing the place of all unwanted items, they will make sure the estate is left clean and in a condition to be sold or let. The amount of cleaning that needs to be done depends on the state of the property and also the wishes of the family, but you should make sure the company you hire have all the necessary equipment to leave the estate bare and spotless in the event this is what the family decide on.

The workers in such companies should be carefully selected. Make sure you choose a company that has experience in clearing estates of the deceased – this is a task that requires a lot more expertise and support for the client than a simple junk removal job. A good estate clearance firm will only hire workers that are highly disciplined and trust worthy. This is because such workers get an opportunity to enter into homes when the owners may not even be around.

If anything is reported lost during the cleaning process, the clearance company must be ready to take the blame. For this reason a good rubbish removal company will not employ workers who do not have very high standards. The response time by your service provider is also important. Ask the company to give you a time frame in which they will complete the job before you decide which company you wish to hire.

A good fleet of cleaning and garbage collection trucks is important, and few individuals have these at their disposal to do the job themselves. Estate clearance often involves moving many heavy items such as building debris, old furniture, and even broken vehicles.

When the estate has an expansive ground within its perimeters, the cleaning company should also be able to deal with clearing all rubbish from the outside grounds. Such rubbish includes fallen branches, leaves and other debris that if left will rot.

Trying to go it alone when it comes to clearing the estate of a loved one, is going to cost you in time, sentiments, and transport fees. Once you have taken all costs into consideration, you are bound to find that hiring a company to do the job for you is the best solution both economically and emotionally.

Buying the Best Mattress Using Online Resources

Choose the best sleep mattress by using the Internet for product research, customer reviews and window shopping.

Browsing the Internet can be a cost-effective approach to buying the best small double mattress online or in-store. Like any large purchase, sleep mattresses require the consumer to take the time to know what they want and how much they are willing to pay for it. Vendors offer many kinds of sleep mattresses. Hence, buying the best sleep mattress could very well be determined by how much product knowledge consumers have before entering the store.

Using the Internet to Learn More About Sleep Mattresses

Gone are the days of the simple innerspring mattress that once graced bedrooms across North America and Europe over the past several decades. The mattress industry has long since discovered new and innovative ways to offer the best comfort and support for its consumers through a unique line of products such as memory foam, waterbed and latex sleep mattresses.

Many websites are devoted to offering quick and easy explanations as to the construction and design of different kinds of sleep mattresses. Simply browse through the Internet to view cross-sections, photos and diagrams that provide basic information as to how each mattress type could serve your health and budget needs.

Using the Internet to Read Sleep Mattress Reviews and Consumer Reports

A sleep mattress will cost hundreds of dollars and play an important role in the sleeper’s mental, physical and even emotional health. It’s no wonder that many consumers are careful when making such a large purchase. Some consumers prefer to look for the best-rated sleep mattresses in local outlets, while others prefer to window shop and confirm their list when they get back home.

Mattress reviews flow in abundance on the Internet. Simply visit websites devoted to mattress reviews and read through them to find information relevant to your needs. This information can also be used to spark a discussion with sales staff in your local mattress outlet.

Using the Internet to go Window Shop for a Sleep Mattress

Willing to buy a mattress online? Simply choose a product found online and visit your local mattress outlet to test out the very same item in person. Perhaps the vendor will be willing to match the online price or perhaps the in-store item can be found online for a reduced rate. In some cases, online coupons can be used to get a discount on the item as well. A note of caution: Be sure to buy a mattress from a reputable online vendor and read the fine print!

Consumers who understand what the sleep mattress industry has to offer are in a better position to decide what they want. This information will inevitably facilitate a more focused conversation with sales associate resulting in a purchase that should, quite literally, provide a good night’s rest for many years to come.

Home Staging Bedrooms: Decorating Tips That Captivate Buyers

A properly staged bedroom can sell a home. This feature is one of the top priorities for buyers – making a good presentation can improve your chance of selling!

After curb appeal and kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms are the top selling features of a home. Why? This room needs to be the buyer’s personal oasis from day-to-day life. Whether it’s for parents of young children, a single professional or a retired couple, bedrooms are where they’ll go to unwind. If the bedroom doesn’t suit them, the sale is off!

So how do stagers help homeowners create bedrooms that feel like stepping into a luxury hotel? What tricks can make a small bedroom look bigger, a dark bedroom more inviting and a boring bedroom more stylish?

Creating a Stylish Bedroom

First, if the bed is old, consider buying a new one. You can get next day beds online, at very low cost. Bedrooms need to appeal to a wide audience, so it is not a good idea to use bold colours or designs that are overly personal. Home stagers downplay current owner’s decor with neutral linens and restful artwork that is not too individual or possibly offensive to buyers.

Light-toned bedding, along with a throw blanket and throw pillows in a coordinating accent colour, can add just the right amount of style to a room without overpowering it. Stronger colours can be used in accents and often create better photographs and more memorable bedrooms for buyers.

Adding some ‘luxury’ touches like a few candles, fresh flowers by the bed, a simple tray with coffee cups or a book will give buyers the right feel – a place where they can unwind and relax. Exactly the place to call home!

Making the Room Spacious

Small homes and condos have their charm but often lack a large bedroom. If you’re short on space, you can make several adjustments to your furniture arrangement to open up your room.

First, consider removing extra dressers. As long as there is a closet, the buyer will not readily notice the absence of a dresser. This can quickly open up valuable floor space, even though it means storing some clothing in another location or packing it away.

Use smaller side tables and remove all clutter from the tops of remaining dressers, armoires and tables. Clutter makes spaces look smaller and crowded, so computers, laundry and paperwork should also be moved or packed away.

Light, Bright and Airy!

Keeping the room light will appeal to busy home buyers who want a great start to their day. Heavy blinds or drapes should be removed where possible; opened for showings where it’s not.

A mid- to light tone paint colour will keep the room cosy but bright. Sandy shades or warm yellows work well. Blues or greys should be avoided as they may seem depressing to certain buyers.

Proper lighting is crucial. The right size lamps beside the bed are better than relying on overhead lighting alone which can be too direct and harsh. Lamps provide more comfortable lighting and add to the overall brightness and cosiness of the room. Lamps should be kept on during showings for the best presentation.


Top Tips for Moving Day: Preparing, Planning, and Organizing

Moving day is not fun. It is tiresome, irksome, filled with anxiety and worry, and generally just not a very good time. But careful planning can make moving easier.

There is little in life that is more vexing and nerve-racking than moving day, unless it is moving in the north, during the salty, icy, and blustery wintertime months. But wherever you live, it is usually the same.

Everything generally gets stuffed into boxes with the sobering knowledge that it will all end up being way too heavy to carry and yet somehow get crammed into the back various vehicles for a bumpy and winding transit across roads that are notoriously hard to negotiate and designed for the sole purpose of tossing around anything not thoroughly secured.

And when that migration winds to an end you realize, no doubt with an elongated sigh, that you must now unload the dented boxes from the backs of the vehicles and carefully remove from them the items that you had just added only a short time before.

Planning and Organizing to Make Moving Easy

Indeed, moving will never be a fun or enjoyable task. But there are a few things one can do to help make moving a little easier. Planning is the single, most important element to making the whole event more palatable. It is so important and essential to personal sanity that many movers suggest a moving checklist like the one that follows:

  • Call the movers and set a date for them to visually survey the home and prepare an estimate.
  • Confirm whether you want to do any of the packing or whether it will be done entirely by the movers.
  • Show the mover everything that is going to be moved.
  • Know your rights and responsibilities upon entering into a moving agreement.
  • Keep all contact information for the mover in an easily accessible place.

Notify the post office of the move – an online change of address form is available on the Royal Mail website.

Prepare a list of friends, relatives, and business firms who should be notified, such as the following: electric, pharmacy, dry cleaner, water/sewer, telephone, bank/credit union, fuel, credit card companies, health care companies, etc.

In addition, consider some planning strategies, like pre-ordering items for the new home from on-line stores like Walmart and Home Depot. Two to three weeks before the move, confirm any extra goods to be moved, and if the family car is being moved prepare to drive it to a suitable loading site. Also, add airline tickets as needed and keep in mind Enterprise and U-Haul as viable transport options.

As far as last-minute home items, prepare major appliances for shipment, consider storage solutions on items you don’t really need to ship at first, and make plans for plants and pets. Giving plants to friends and family is a good option and donating the former to a local hospital or favourite business will ensure that they have a good home.

National Moving Day Statistics and Trends

Though moving day can be an arduous and irksome chore, to be sure, it is a more common national trend than one might think. Analysing data from March 1999 to March 2000, a UK study found that 14 million UK residents (a staggering 16 percent of the population) moved to a new home. Fifty-six percent of these moves were within the same county, while 20 percent were from one county to another.

And as logic would indicate, renters moved 3 times more than the rate at which homeowners moved, and one of the most common reasons for moving had to do with economic status. It seems that households making under £25,000 comprised 21 percent of movers, while households making more than £100,000 comprised only 12 percent of movers.

But what causes movers to move is a complicated and much varied thing, and the research classifies all of this under their elusive and broad-ranging heading, “moving for housing-related reasons.” Included under this heading, were the following categories: the desire for better quarters (18.5 percent), the desire to own rather than rent (11.5 percent), and the desire for cheaper housing (5.5 percent).

Interestingly, though, surprisingly few Brits moved for “work-related reasons” (16.2 percent), including the 9.7 percent who relocated to accept a new job or a job transfer. While the category of economic relocation may bring to mind hard and dusty times, this report shows relocation for economic reasons was more common in households making £75,000-plus than any other income cohort.

Preparing to Move With Research and Planning

So, it seems folks move for all sorts of reasons, none of which, presumably, promote much fun and jubilation on moving day. But by following some of the steps stated above and talking to friends and family who have made the move before, the day can be more bearable for all.

Also, search the internet for tips and services the will make things run smoothly, and keep your final and working plans in a central location where everyone can access them and ask questions. Maybe even in set up something in Google Docs or another on-line collaborative file.

All in all, this is an unsavoury endeavour at best, but it does not have to be an entirely unbearable one. Just take some of the heavy lifting out of moving by planning ahead. Good luck… and, remember, get lots of bungee cords.