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Grilling Safety: Propane BBQ Edition

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Grilled food can really hit the spot on nice Arizona days. Before you use your BBQ, make sure that you keep these grilling safety tips in mind. This helps ensure that you and your family can enjoy grilled dinners without any trouble.

Store Propane Tanks Properly

Grilling safety involves storing propane tanks properly. Tanks for gas grills can easily become a hazard. Store these tanks in a vertical and upright position. Also make sure they are kept far away from any heat or ignition sources, such as lighters or matches. If you have a gas line for your grill, you don’t have to deal with propane tanks at all.

Turn the Grill on Safely

Another important grilling safety tip is to make sure that you turn the grill on correctly. This involves opening the lid and turning the propane on. After this is done, turn the knobs for the burners, then push the ignition. Doing this the right way lowers the risk of fires and other accidents.

Never Use Lighter Fluid

Never use lighter fluid to ignite a gas grill. Lighter fluid is a major fire hazard when it isn’t used properly. You will avoid having to worry about this if you have a gas grill with its own natural gas line installed.

Check for Leaks

Gas leaks can occur when you use propane tanks for your grill. You should check for leaks by putting a solution of water and light soap on the gas tank hose. If you see bubbles, this means you have a gas leak that needs to be fixed by a professional right away. Grills with a gas line have a lower risk of ending up with these leaks.

Don’t Reignite Right Away

If your grill doesn’t ignite, don’t light it again right away. You could have gas in the air that needs time to clear out. Lighting it again immediately could result in a fire and serious injuries. Wait for 5 minutes before you try to ignite your gas grill again.

Keep Your Grill Clean

Grilling safety includes making sure that your gas grill stays in good condition. Grease and other debris can build up over time, which can increase the risk of a fire. Clean debris off your grill and from the tray under it. You should wait for your grill to cool before cleaning it. Getting into the habit of doing this after using your grill each time means you won’t have to scrape a lot of debris off later on.

Turn Your Grill Off Properly

When it comes to grilling safety, it’s important to ensure that you turn your grill off the right way. This reduces the risk of injuries and accidents. You’ll need to turn the gas tank off before shutting off the gas burners. Make sure that your propane cylinder valve is fully closed to prevent gas from leaking. With a gas line grill, all you have to do is shut it off without having to deal with any tanks.

If you’re ready to install a gas line for your grilling area, contact Forrest Anderson. We can ensure that this is done properly for your safety.

How to prevent freezing pipes

You’ll probably find a lot more information in a desert survival guide about coping with summer’s heat during a power outage than how to prevent freezing pipes. Infrequent as it is, temperatures do drop low enough in the winter to freeze water pipes. Losing the convenience of running water until they thaw is enough of a hardship. However, it’s a lot worse when the pipes burst and you’re dealing with an uncontrolled flood. The only way to prevent burst pipes is to keep them from freezing.

Insulate the Walls

If you have a wall that’s chronically cold or hot, consider adding blown-in insulation. Dollar for dollar, insulation packs a high return on the investment. Not only will it keep your pipes from freezing, insulation lowers your cooling and heating bills and lasts for decades.

Turn up the Heat

Instead of turning down the thermostat at night, keep the temperature the same as you would in the daytime when a freeze warning is in effect. The warmer temperatures will radiate more heat through the walls and into the attic, which may prevent freezing pipes. It will raise your heating bill, but that’s a small amount compared the cost of repairing burst pipes and the water damage they cause.

Let the Water Flow

Water running through your pipes may stop the pipes from freezing. Let the kitchen faucet and a bathroom faucet dribble overnight. It does waste water, but nothing compared to the amount of water that can spray out of a broken pipe. If the pipe is inside a wall cavity, you may not notice that water is leaking until you hear it running or see signs of wet drywall or floors.

Open Cabinet Doors

Keeping the cabinet doors in the kitchen and bathroom sinks open may keep the walls and floors warm enough to prevent freezing pipes.

Let the Swimming Pool Pump Run

Water sitting in the swimming pool’s plumbing can freeze, which might add up to an expensive repair bill. Pool experts recommend letting the pump run during the night. It’s important to know that the coldest temperatures occur just after sunrise in the deserts. The colder air sinks as the sun warms the air, so even though it might be light outside, keep the pump running until daytime temperatures reach 32 degrees.

Cover Them

All it may take to prevent an outdoor spigot from freezing is a towel of a blanket thrown over it. If the water supply line into your home is above ground, be sure to wrap covering around the entire pipe.

Turn off the Timers

Outdoor popup and drip irrigation systems can freeze since the pipes are close to the ground. The best way to prevent freezing pipes in the yard is to turn the water off to the irrigation system as well as the timer.

Wrap the Pipes

If your property has an unheated or uninsulated outbuilding like a shed or barn, consider wrapping the water pipes with insulation. Home centers sell pipe insulation that’s easy to install or you can craft your own using pool noodles. You may also want to wrap the pipes with heat tape if you have horses or cattle to prevent dehydration and more serious illnesses should the water in the pipes freeze.

Weather cold enough to freeze occurs in the Phoenix area from November through mid-March. Frozen and burst pipes can cause serious damage to your home over and above the cost of repairing them. Contact Forrest Anderson if you have any issues with the pipes in your home.

Perfect House Temperature for Summer Pregnancies

There’s no doubt it’s hot in Phoenix during the summer, and when you’re pregnant, the summer heat can be magnified. But the good news is you can breeze through the triple digits in the summer when you have the perfect house temperature. And before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful bundle of joy to cuddle and nurture.

What Is the Perfect House Temperature?

Room temperature is averaged at 78ºF, but it may not be the perfect house temperature for you. You might find 80ºF is good sometimes, while other times 74ºF is more realistic. The best way to regulate temperature is to use a programmable thermostat. Programming your thermostat to lower or increase the temperature can also help you save on energy costs.

Our body temperatures fluctuate throughout the day as well, and hormones play a role in how warm or cool you feel. Of course, when you’re pregnant, you know your hormones are on the move. Those extra hormones can affect how warm or cool you want your home to be. Focus on your comfort first.

Cooler Nighttime Temperatures

Many homeowners choose to lower their thermostats at night, mostly for two reasons. One, energy is usually cheaper during off peak hours, so cooling down the house overnight makes sense. Two, many of us tend sleep hotter than we are during the day.

Lower temperatures can be comforting during those last months of a pregnancy when the baby’s extra body heat kicks in. Almost 80% of women experience night sweats and it can make it impossible to go to sleep. After you’ve changed the temperature it can be unbearably cold when you wake up. Having a timer on your thermostat can be one of the most helpful things for an expecting mother.

Ways to Stay Cool This Summer

Even with maintaining the perfect house temperature, it’s not uncommon for pregnant women to have times when they’re still too warm. There’s no need to freeze out your family; here are some solutions:

Get a small fan. If you’re the only one who’s feeling hot, a portable fan focused right on your face or torso can make a world of difference.

Take a dip in the pool. A cool splash in the pool can do wonders when you’re feeling too warm. As an added bonus, the body is lighter in water, which can be a welcome relief in the latter stages of pregnancy.

Try cool compresses. Ice packs and cold washcloths help to lower body temperature quickly. Plus, they can feel amazing on a hot summer day.

Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothes. Cotton and linen are natural, lightweight fabrics to help to keep you cool during higher temperatures. Steer clear of polyester and wool, which trap heat and sweat.f

Contact Forrest Anderson with Your Cooling Needs

If you feel as if your air conditioner isn’t keeping your home as cool as it should be, there might a problem with your AC unit. Forrest Anderson provides 24/7 emergency support when you have issues, and we can complete a proactive inspection of your HVAC system to be sure you’re ready for summer! We’ll help you get the perfect house temperature so you can focus on bringing that new little person safely into the world.

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Consistent Room Temperature Problems?

Does this sound familiar? You’re in your bedroom and feel like you need to bundle up in your comforter to get warm. Whereas when you enter the kitchen, you’re too warm and open a window. In some homes, especially ones with two stories or a lot of square footage, it can be a challenge to maintain a consistent room temperature. Let’s explore some reasons for this dilemma, as well as ways to fix it.

Ductwork Problems

Your HVAC system is a complicated piece of equipment. A small problem might seem like a trivial thing, but it could lead to significant repercussions. Such is the case with the ductwork. The ducts are how air and heat flow through your home, so if they are the wrong size or blocked, you’ll end up with inconsistent room temperature. Even worse, improper-sized ducts can end up costing big bucks when the evaporator coils freeze up or overheat.

And what if your ducts are leaking? You can lose up to 30% of airflow due to leaks and cracks. Of course, the leaks could be at any place along with ductwork, which will result in differing temperatures across the house.

Solution: Have your ductwork inspected to ensure it fits and is in good working order.

Older, Insufficient Insulation

Do you have an older home? While historic homes are charming, they can lack some of the creature comforts we tend to take for granted in newer construction. One big thing that can cause a ton of grief is insufficient insulation. You’ll no doubt increase your energy consumption during our cold winters and hot summers; that in itself is a pain. But what if one room has decent insulation while another doesn’t? That puts you right where you don’t want to be: with inconsistent room temperature.

Solution: Have an energy assessment completed on your home to determine where additional insulation is needed.

Big Homes Create Room Temperature Problems

A bigger home needs extra help to keep the temperature consistent throughout. That’s usually because one HVAC unit cannot manage the whole place. This is true for ranch homes with a large one story as well as for two-story residences.

The farther from the unit, the more inconsistent results will be. That’s because it takes longer for air to get through the ducts. And if you’re in a two-story home, upstairs will invariably be warmer than downstairs since heat rises.

Remember that the thermometer only measures room temperature near it. In a large home, room temperature will vary greatly, and just because the thermometer says one thing in the hallway, that’s no guarantee it will feel that warm or cool in another room.

Solution: You can solve most of these issues by doubling up on things. Two thermometers and two HVAC units will reduce the amount of space air has to travel. This is especially effective with a two-story home.

Suffering from Inconsistent Room Temperature Problems?

If you’re in the predicament of carrying a jacket with you and having to dress in layers inside your own home, you clearly have an issue. Contact the HVAC professionals at Forrest Anderson so we can help you determine what’s at the root of the problem and how we can help you be comfortable, no matter what season it is or in what room of your home you are.

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