Home Improvement Tips


06/12/2017 12:53 AM
Loud Noise From Your Heat Pump
We get calls from customers often during the winter months asking why their heat pump is suddenly running really loudly.  What most people don't know or maybe forget, is that heat pumps come equipped with a defrost cycle that is designed to remove frost from the coil.

When a heat pump is operating in the heating mode or heat cycle, the outdoor air is relatively cool and the outdoor coil acts as an evaporator.  Under certain conditions of temperature and relative humidity, frost might form on the surface of the outdoor coil.  The layer of frost will interfere with the operation of the heat pump by making the pump work harder and, therefore, inefficiently.  The frost must be removed.  A heat pump has a cycle called a defrost cycle, which removes the frost from the outdoor coil.  A heat pump unit will defrost regularly when frost conditions occur.  The defrost cycle should be long enough to melt the ice, and short enough to be energy-efficient.  In the defrost cycle, the heat pump is automatically operated in reverse, for a moment, in the cooling cycle.  This action temporarily warms up the outdoor coil and melts the frost from the coil.  In this defrost cycle, the outdoor fan is prevented from turning on when the heat pump switches over, and the temperature rise of the outdoor coil is accelerated and increased.  The heat pump will operate in the defrost cycle until the outdoor coil temperature reaches around 57° F.  The time it takes to melt and remove accumulated frost from an outdoor coil will vary, depending on the amount of frost and the internal timing device of the system.

Originally published on environc
06/16/2017 11:43 AM
Sears Craftsman Sues Western Forge, USA Tool Supplier, Also Releases More Imported Pliers
New Craftsman Pliers
Sears Craftsman has sued another tool supplier, and at the same time seems to be replacing some of their previously USA-made tools with imported ones. Read More
06/16/2017 09:00 AM
New Klein 2-in-1 Hex Head Sliding Tip Nut Drivers
Klein 2-in-1 Hex Head Slide Drivers
Klein has come out with two new 2-in-1 nut drivers. Read More
06/16/2017 07:00 AM
Keysight BenchVue is a Great Example of an Unfavorable Approach to Hardware-Supporting Software
Agilent BenchVue Software
With their latest update, Keysight got rid of the free "lite" version of their BenchVue test & measurement software. Read More
06/15/2017 07:30 PM
Ridgid 18V 2-Battery Brushless 10″ Sliding Miter Saw? Nope – AEG, But Still Interesting
AEG 18xV 2-Battery 10-Inch Sliding Miter Saw
AEG's 2-battery 18V brushless miter saw can be used with just 1 battery pack, or 2 for greater power and runtime. Will it come to the Ridgid 18V lineup? Read More
06/15/2017 10:59 AM
New Milwaukee M18 Cordless Compact Heat Gun
Milwaukee M18 Heat Gun Front Element and Nose Guard
Milwaukee has done what we considered impossible, and came out with an M18 cordless heat gun. Read More
06/15/2017 10:24 AM
Deals of the Day: Dewalt 20V Max Combo Kit, More Dewalt, Dremel Stuff (6/15/2017)
dewalt-dck720d2-20v-max-7-tool-cordless-combo-kit
Here are some last-minute Father's Day shopping season tool deals of the day. Read More
06/14/2017 03:03 PM
New Milwaukee Premium 46″ Tool Storage Combo is Bigger & Better
Milwaukee 46-Inch Premium Tool Storage Combo
Milwaukee has come out with a new higher capacity 46" tool storage combo that sports a number of upgrades. Read More
06/14/2017 08:17 AM
MORE Top New Tools from Milwaukee NPS17
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Compact Sliding Miter Saw in Closed Position
Here are 5 MORE of the most interesting new tools we saw at Milwaukee's 2017 New Product Symposium. Read More
06/13/2017 12:27 PM
The First Dewalt “Tool Connect” Tools Hit Amazon
Dewalt DCF888 Tool Connect Brushless Impact Driver
A few Dewalt Tool Connect tools just became available for preorder. Read More
06/13/2017 07:56 AM
Deal of the Day: Dewalt FlexVolt Batteries & Accessories, Mora Knives (6/13/2017)
Dewalt FlexVolt 9Ah Battery Pack
Today only, save on Dewalt FlexVolt battery packs, Mora knives. Read More
06/16/2017 06:35 PM
Matching Mortar
Texture and color matching of your mortar to use in a brick or masonry repair job takes a bit of legwork. You will have to determine the size of the sand used in your mortar. Your mortar will also need cement and lime. Bricklayers from your area may be able to direct you to the source of sand used in older homes.
06/16/2017 04:41 PM
Septic Tank Maintenance
Septic tank maintenance is a must. Without proper maintenance, septic tanks can fail. Follow these do's and don'ts to keep the septic system and leach field working for years.
06/14/2017 07:20 AM
Attic Fan Installation
An attic fan can help lower excessive attic temperatures. Solar attic fans are available, but have limitations. Electric powered attic fans are available with thermostats to help conserve energy.  Wind-powered turbine vents are another option, but require Mother Nature to supply the power.
06/13/2017 10:18 AM
June 13, 2017 AsktheBuilder Newsletter
I'm in the early stages of a huge project I've been putting off. Decluttering all the storage areas in my house is my new summer project. Besides getting things in order, a secondary positive benefit is that I get to meet interesting people. Just this past Sunday morning, I was out on my driveway talking […]
06/12/2017 10:08 AM
Paying Contractors Up Front
Paying Contractors Up Front TIPS Deposits put you at a huge disadvantage Deposits are only required if job has special-order or custom non-returnable materials Professional contractors don't need deposits - see below Watch How-To-Hire-A-Pro video series below CLICK HERE to Get Tim's FREE & FUNNY Newsletter! A little over a week ago, I devoted part […]
06/07/2017 07:17 AM
Deck Sealer Test Results
Synthetic deck sealers and synthetic technology prevent wood decks from rotting and growing algae and mildew stains. Clean and seal decks immediately after installation to prevent problems.
06/06/2017 12:35 PM
June 6, 2017 AsktheBuilder Newsletter
It's June 6th. Two years ago on this day, I was laboring up on my roof in 90+ F heat. The summer of 2015 would turn out to be a wretched HOT season. I just got back up from letting Lady the dog inside. It's COLD outside and raining! 49 F Are you kidding me? […]
06/06/2017 08:58 AM
Pay Contractor In Advance
Yesterday I received an email from Marie who lives in Massachusetts. She asked the following question: "I have been getting quotes to clean and stain my decks. In the quotes, they have all been saying that they want money up front (1/3 or 1/2). I don't like this idea. Is this the norm? They are […]
06/05/2017 09:39 AM
Concrete Finish Options
Concrete Finish Options TIPS Communicate clearly what you want in the first place to avoid nightmare Stamped concrete is dramatic - can be slippery around pools Stenciled concrete is unbelievable. Not as hard to do as stamped Too much curing compound can cause splotchy white haze CLICK HERE to Get Tim's FREE & FUNNY Newsletter! […]
06/05/2017 08:05 AM
June 4, 2017 AsktheBuilder Newsletter
Good morning! It's an unusual late spring here in central New Hampshire. I'll be wearing a jacket to church this morning! Monday and Tuesday are forecast to be 55 F and rainy! Come on Mother Nature!!! Give us a break. It's time for 75 F and sun! Photo Gallery Eye Candy I need you to […]