What Can You Do to Keep Your Home Cool This Summer?

What Can You Do to Keep Your Home Cool This Summer?

This unseasonably hot weather has catapulted us straight into summer. If you have found yourself making multiple trips back and forth to your thermostat, it may be time to look into improvements around your home that not only stop the multiple trips but also save you money in the end.

Problem #1

With the sun beating down on the roof of your home with little to no cloud cover, your attic will easily see high temperatures during the summer. Without proper insulation, the heat will absorb through the hard materials that make up your home, leading to unbearable temperatures inside.

Solution

Proper attic insulation will create air pockets which slow the heat attempting to flow through your home. This will help uneven temperatures between the rooms in your home and lessen the need to consistently visit your thermostat.

Problem #2

High heat and humidity have caused your home to become muggy and intolerable. The humidity and moisture can also become a welcoming environment for mold, fungi, and pests.

Solution

Investing in the encapsulation of your crawl space could not only save you money on your energy bills, but also prevent a headache in the long run. Termites thrive in areas of high moisture, putting your home at risk for structural damage. Not only will this method act as pest control, but it can also improve the air quality of your home and create more comfortable living conditions for you and your family.

Still on the fence? Give us a call to schedule your free inspection today, and one of our licensed professionals will answer all of your questions.

What is the Difference Between Traditional and Green Pest Control?

What is the Difference Between Traditional and Green Pest Control?

With the recent focus on going “green” and harmful impacts on the environment, many people are ramping up their efforts to establish eco-friendly practices in both the workplace and at home. Efforts to recycle, reduce energy usage, and limit carbon emissions are all common ways to make a positive impact on the environment. One area that isn’t often thought of in the “green” movement is pest control. Green pest control is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional pest control that is commonly used in areas that house the young, the elderly, the immunocompromised, and pets. But what is the difference between the two?

Traditional pest control provides most of the same benefits as green pest control but utilizes synthetic chemicals to eliminate and control pest populations. These chemicals are used sparingly, however, with just enough used to target the specific pest issue.

Green pest control, on the other hand, eliminates common household pests with the lowest environmental impact possible. This is achieved with ingredients derived from flowers, plants, and natural elements rather than harsh chemicals. Green pest control has proven to be just as beneficial as traditional pest control methods. Green pest control uses preventative measures combined with purposeful application of natural products.

Green pest control also utilizes a 5 step Integrated Pest Management (IPM) process which is an “effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common sense practices.” The 5 steps of an IPM program include Plan, Inspection, Pest Identification, Ongoing Perimeter Protection, and Continuous Communication.

NorPest Green is Northwest’s quarterly pest control program performed by only the highest-trained professionals, using high-quality, non-toxic products derived from botanicals. We customize a plan based on your needs, so you can be sure your home is healthy and your family and pets are protected. NorPest Green also comes with a service guarantee meaning we come back in between regular scheduled pest control visits, if needed, at no additional cost to you.

Pests are a nuisance and can be detrimental to both your home and your health. Regardless of whether you choose a traditional pest control service or a green pest control service, protecting your family is of the utmost importance. Contact a professional pest control company like Northwest for a free pest control estimate.

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Is Green Pest Control Worth The Investment?

Is Green Pest Control Worth The Investment?

Green pest control provides an eco-conscious option to traditional pest control and is especially beneficial in homes and businesses that house the young, the elderly, pets, and those with compromised immune systems or allergies. But are they really effective?
The answer is yes. Green pest control typically utilizes botanical and/or earth-based pesticides and a targeted approach when applying them, focusing on eliminating and controlling pest populations through both preventative measures and purposeful product application, based on your specific pest issues.
One important component of any green pest control program is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM doesn’t just focus on eliminating pest populations but also on identifying and getting rid of the environmental factors that are allowing the pests to procreate and thrive, as well as preventative measures to prevent re-entry. IPM can actually cut back significantly on the amount of pesticides used in treatments (by more than 90%!).
Once green pest control companies identify the problem pests and decide that action is required, there are several methods that are used to eliminate them:

  • Introduction of natural enemies to reduce or eliminate the population
  • Installing barriers to entry (such as screens)
  • Employing mechanical control techniques (like traps)
  • Using pesticides as a last resort (carefully applied to be as safe as possible)

Once you make the decision to invest in a green pest control program, contact an exterminator near you, and they will provide you with the following:

  • A customized plan: A customized pest control program using only the most innovative and advanced pest control products and equipment available
  • No harsh chemicals: Pest control products whose active ingredients are derived from flowers, plants, and natural elements from the earth
  • Service guarantee: Follow up visits in between regularly scheduled pest control services, if needed, at no additional cost to you
  • Integrated pest management: Plan, inspection, pest identification, ongoing perimeter protection, and continuous communication from your exterminator
  • Highly trained technicians: Exterminators who are experts in green pest control methods
  • Whole home pest protection: Pest protection that is environmentally friendly both inside your home and outside, that covers common household pests such as ants, spiders, roaches, mice, centipedes, millipedes, silverfish,  and earwigs

 

You May Also Be Interested In:

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9 Energy Saving Tips For Winter

9 Energy Saving Tips For Winter

Whether you’re trying to decrease your carbon footprint or just put some extra cash in your pocket each year, cutting energy costs in the winter months is one way to get there. Heating and cooling costs make up a significant percentage of your annual utility bills. By making adjustments in your home, you can reduce the amount of money you spend on energy. Check out these 9 energy saving tips for winter:

1.  Adjust The Thermostat

According to the US Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% each year on your heating bills by lowering your thermostat by 10-15 degrees for 8 hours a day. For those who work outside the home, the best way to do this is to lower your thermostat when you leave for work in the morning and then bump it back up when you return home in the evening. For those who are home during the day, lower the thermostat when you go to sleep and use flannel sheets and a warm comforter to help combat the chill. If this is too much to remember, consider investing in a programmable thermostat so it will automatically adjust the temperature when you set it to.

2. Heat What You Use

If you have rooms that you rarely use such as guest bedrooms or rooms you use for storage, close off and seal the vents that go to these areas. This will help make your home more energy efficient and will direct airflow to the rooms you use the most. You can use space heaters to warm these areas when you need to use them.

3. Use A Humidifier

The air in your home can become very dry, especially in the winter when the heat is run more frequently. Moist air feels warmer than dry air and also holds heat better. By using a humidifier, you can make your home feel warmer and more comfortable, especially during the times you set your thermostat lower. The humidifier can also help prevent nosebleeds and dry eyes that are common when we run the heat during the winter. You can also increase the humidity in your home by bringing in house plants.

4. Use The Sun

One of the cheapest ways to heat your home in the winter is to use the sun for free heat. Open curtains and blinds on your south facing windows during the winter months to bring heat into your home. Close the curtains and blinds when the sun goes down to help keep the heat inside after dark.

5. Use Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a great resource to use to get better airflow in your home. By running your fans clockwise in the winter, heat is trapped in your rooms keeping them warmer. Keep fans on a low setting to gently push warm air down into the room.

6. Insulate

We lose a significant amount of money each year by heat and air escaping from our homes due to insufficient insulation. Consider installing TAP (thermal acoustical pest control) insulation to keep this from happening to you. TAP is an energy star rated insulation made from 87% recycled newsprint and treated with a natural pesticide. This not only protects your home from pests but also keeps your HVAC unit running efficiently and can save you 20-38% on your energy bills.

7. Seal Leaks

Seal around your utility pipes, gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and the unfinished spaces behind your cabinets and closets. Caulk and add weatherstripping around doors and windows. This will help keep air from escaping out of the house and help reduce your energy bills.

8. Bundle Up

Instead of cranking up the heat, put on warm clothes like sweaters and fuzzy socks. Keep throw blankets on your couches and use area rugs to keep your floors warmer.

9. Use LEDs

Whether it’s in your home or outside when you decorate for the holidays, using LED lights consumes up to 75% less energy and they can last up to 25% longer than traditional incandescent lights. They also emit less heat than traditional lightbulbs, making them a much safer alternative.

12 Reasons To Install A Gutter Guard

12 Reasons To Install A Gutter Guard

Cleaning out your gutters is a messy, stinky job. It’s also dangerous. Would you like to save time and avoid this miserable chore each year? Consider installing a LeafProof XP Gutter Guard. Leafproof XP Gutter Guard is a unique gutter guard system that can be installed onto your existing gutters without causing roof damage. Leafproof XP not only eliminates your need to clean your gutters each year, it also provides several other benefits to you, as well. Check out these 12 reasons to install LeafProof XP on your home.

  1. Time. Installing LeafProof saves you time each year that you would otherwise spend cleaning out your gutters.
  2. Year Round Protection. LeafProof provides an ongoing gutter cleaning solution year round.
  3. Low Cost. LeafProof is an affordable, premium gutter protection solution.
  4. No Mess. LeafProof eliminates the mess of gutter cleaning each year.
  5. Decreased Injury Risk. LeafProof minimizes the risk of ladder injuries and falls.
  6. Keeps Gutters Clear. LeafProof keeps leaves and other debris from clogging your gutters.
  7. Easy Installation. LeafProof installs over your existing gutters without damaging your roof.
  8. Pest Control. LeafProof prevents animal and bird invasions of your home.
  9. Low Profile. LeafProof installs under the first row of shingles without penetrating your roof.
  10. Aesthetics. LeafProof blends with your existing gutters and roofline.
  11. Ice Prevention. LeafProof prevents ice dams from forming in your gutters in the winter.
  12. Warranty. LeafProof comes with a lifetime warranty.

If you are interested in LeafProof XP fill out the Free Estimate Form here.

Winter Weatherproofing Tips

Winter Weatherproofing Tips

Even though we’re well into the winter season, it’s never too late to weatherproof your home. These easy fixes will not only seal up your home and keep it nice and warm, they will also help save you some money on your energy bills this year. Check out these simple winter weatherproofing tips so you’ll be prepared just in case the groundhog DOES see his shadow this year!

Windows And Doors

Check your doors and windows to make sure they are in good repair. Insulate your doors and windows with weatherstripping. Use transparent weather sealant tape for any areas where the weatherstripping will be applied directly to the door or window. This tape can also be used to temporarily seal any cracked windows until you can permanently replace them. Use door sweeps on the bottoms of exterior doors to keep cold air from coming in. You can install them with nails or with adhesive.

Attics And Crawlspaces

Attics and crawlspaces are notoriously cold areas of your home. Thermal accoustical pest control (TAP) insulation is an energy star rated attic insulation that provides several benefits to your home. TAP eases the burden on your heating and cooling systems, making them more efficient and keeping the temperature in your home more consistent throughout the year. TAP also leads to a 20-38% savings on your energy bills AND protects your home against pests including roaches and ants. Finally, TAP is treated with a fire retardant that limits the spread of fire in your home.

Complete CrawlSpace enclosure is another way to weatherproof your home. Enclosing your crawlspace with Complete CrawlSpace increases energy efficiency, prevents mold growth, and completely closes off your crawlspace to pests. This can also save you up to 18% on your energy bills each year.

Garages

Most garages aren’t insulated which makes them very chilly spaces in the winter. Install weather sealing strips on the bottom of your garage door. These strips not only keep out cold air but also keep out rain and pests as well.

Outlets And Switches

Outlets and switches on the exterior walls of your home can be a big source of cold air. One solution is to install foam outlet and switch sealers. These can be installed by simply turning off the power, removing the outlet or switch cover, applying the foam sealers, and reinstalling the covers.

Floors

Hardwood and tile floors can be especially cold in the winter. Curtains and rugs can make a big difference when it comes to heating your home. if you have drafty windows, hang some heavy curtains to keep the cold air out. Use area rugs on hardwood floors and in bathrooms with tile floors to help keep them warm.

Air Conditioning

Air conditioning units in walls and windows give a direct path for cold air into your home. One solution is to install a heavy duty polyethylene and vinyl cover that fits around the outside of the unit. You can also wrap the inside grill with plastic sheeting and double sided tape. Consider installing a programmable thermostat which will automate your interior temperature. This can save you up to $200 per year in heating and cooling costs.

Hot Water Heater

Insulate your hot water heater with a water heater insulating blanket. This saves energy by reducing heat that is lost through the sides of the hot water heater by 25-40%. This reduction in heat loss can also lead to savings on your energy bills.

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