Cold Comfort: 3 Maintenance Tips for Winter Peace of Mind

Winter is often called the season of introspection. Snowfalls are beautiful but profoundly quiet, days are short, and abundant time is spent at the hearthside, perhaps gazing into a crackling fire. However, as romantic as winter can be, practical measures are needed to prevent structural damage and keep business and life moving despite snow and ice. Here are three areas where regular maintenance is needed during the cold season.

1. Grounds Upkeep

Whether at your residence or business, large drifts of snow hamper movement and make life more difficult. For icy sidewalks and driveways, you can choose chemical de-icers, which can damage concrete and are not environmentally friendly, or turn to more natural options such as kitty litter, sand, sawdust, and wood shavings. To deal with big snowdrifts, especially on large areas or in multiple locations, consider hiring professionals for snow removal western canada.

2. Roof Checks

Ice and snow can quickly build up on roofs. If left unchecked, heavy mounds of snow and ice can endanger a roof’s structural reliability. Many commercial buildings have flat roofs, which are especially prone to destruction from piled-up snow and ice. However, slanted roofs also must be checked to insure shingles are whole, vents are not blocked, and waterproof seals are intact. Perform weekly checks throughout the snowy season.

3. Lost Power

During heavy winter storms, you could lose power. This means you are cold and your pipes could freeze. At home, food in refrigerators could spoil and at a commercial facility, you might have ruined merchandise. Should frozen pipes burst, you would also have that damage to clean up and repair. Be prepared with a reliable generator you know how to use.

Building maintenance is a year-round, constant process, but it takes on even more importance in cold weather. Ice and snow must be managed, and buildings should be kept warm and inspected to avoid serious damage. By taking proactive steps, you can rest easy during winter and enjoy the pleasures of the season.…

HVAC Maintenance Tips

As fall approaches and the weather begins to cool down in Chicago, it’ll soon be time to start depending upon your HVAC system for warmth and comfort. Before it’s time to turn on the heat, however, it’s a good idea to inspect your HVAC system to make sure that it’s in good working order. Here are X tips for your HVAC maintenance.

Change Your Filter

An HVAC system is used in the summer to cool your home and the winter to keep it warm. Your system has a filter, which removes dirt, dust, allergens, and other debris from the air before circulating into your house. A dirty filter can reduce the efficiency of your unit and can shorten its lifespan. The filter should be changed regularly based on your home’s situation.

Make Sure Your Unit Works

The last thing you want when you need your HVAC system is for it to refuse to turn on. Before you need it, it’s a good idea to test it out to ensure it works. Test both your heating and cooling settings.

Clean Debris from the Outside Unit

If your HVAC system has an outdoor unit, it’s essential to keep it clear of debris. Trim back bushes and clear away fallen branches. As the leaves begin to fall, make sure they don’t get stuck inside the unit. A clear unit enables optimal airflow, which helps to increase efficiency and reduces the risk of fire hazards and other issues.

Schedule a Professional Maintenance Appointment

To ensure that your system is in excellent working order, professional hvac maintenance chicago is recommended. A professional technician can inspect your entire unit. If minor issues are found, they can be addressed before serious problems develop when you need your HVAC the most.

Taking care of your HVAC system is essential for making sure that it functions properly. After all, an efficient HVAC unit can help to keep you comfortable when the weather outside isn’t so nice.…

How To Install And Use Solar Energy

There are hundreds of reasons why solar energy can improve your business or home. Many reasons are probably unbeknownst to the average person, but if this topic interests you, then the following article can help. Keep reading and you will discover the many benefits and as well as uses of solar energy.

Your home or business should receive at least five hours of direct sunlight per day to get the most from solar energy. Obviously more sun is better when it comes to solar panels, however if you get less than this solar energy can still be a viable option. If you are in an area where energy bills are sky high, solar might still save you money even if you don’t have the optimal sun exposure.

Before purchasing solar panels, check the track record of the company that is selling them. Many panels come with lengthy warranty periods of up to twenty five years, but this warranty is only good if the company is still in business. Make sure to ask how long the company has been in operation and check ratings with organizations like the BBB before making your purchase.

Look into portable solar energy battery packs. These can be extremely useful when you are somewhere that does not have access to power. For example, it could be used to charge your cell phone while you are camping in a remote location. It has recently become very popular, and because of this, it is relatively inexpensive.

If you are a business owner and you are thinking of changing your energy system over to renewable solar energy, see if you can get any tax deductions for doing so. Often times the government will offer incentives to companies who agree to switch over to a more green energy source.

One of the major benefits of solar energy is that it is renewable. The sun (generally) shines each and every day, and there is no reason to worry that drawing power from the sun will somehow render it unusable in the future. Using solar energy, therefore, is a safe and reliable way to power the Earth.

You can depend on solar panels. They don’t have moving pieces, so when you buy a system, you can rest assured that you will not have to fix anything or buy any new parts. It takes very little effort on your part to create enough energy to power your home, making these systems a very attractive option for most people.

Know how light mixes with the trees around your property. You may think you’ve got the perfect spot for a solar panel, but watch it throughout the day. The sun coming in from different angles may lead to surprising shadows from trees and foliage. This will affect your solar output.

Using solar energy may prove a bit costly at first, but it can drastically enhance the way you live. This article has discussed some of the benefits of solar energy as well as letting you know how it all works. Apply all that you have learned today to make the most use of solar power.…

Corrugated Manufactured Boxes

One of the most important yet troubling things for anyone who makes and sells products is the packaging of said product. The packaging can make or break it when someone is looking at the product and considering purchasing. If the package is too bland or too obnoxious in its appearance, people will walk away or not buy the product again. Meanwhile, an eye-catching and unique package will draw people to the product and help with their buying decision. Also, if the package is bland, people may not even notice the product and buy something else that is basically the same but by a different seller. Some of the most important things that people have to take into consideration when designing their product packaging are what the product is, who is buying the product, and how are the people buying the product. The packaging needs to put the focus on what the product is while also getting the attention of the person who is viewing the packaging. Different target audiences would be into different things, so one style of the package may not appeal to one audience while it would draw another. If the product is being sold only online, the packaging is not nearly as important because people are picking the products off what they are and look like, but if the product is in stores, a bold and powerful package will draw people to look at what the product might be and convince them to buy the product. That does not mean that the packaging for an online object will not affect the outcome of the customer being a repeated buyer, though most people who order items online are not very concerned with the packaging that the product comes in. If a box is very repulsive or bland, a customer may decide to buy that product or something similar from a different seller.

The type of product will play a huge role in what type of packaging will be used, such as bags or boxes. Bags can be easy for someone to carry if the product is being sold in a store or somewhere like a festival or fair. Boxes are the most commonly used packaging though because they can protect the product better and are more durable for shipping. While there are many different types of boxes, the one that is most often chosen due to the durability of the boxes are corrugated manufactured boxes. Corrugated manufactured boxes are easy to put labels on and can be made with a design on them by certain companies, such as the General Packaging Corporation. This company can make the boxes in six different styles, which allows people more freedom when designing the packaging for their product. These styles are a regular slotted container, half slotted container, die-cut box, full overlap container, full or partial telescopic boxes, and five-panel folders. While each of these styles are useful and durable, the type of product will play a role in which one is chosen. Clothing is often put into a full or partial telescopic box to make the reveal of the item more dramatic. Food, on the other hand, is usually put into a five-panel folder in order for the customer to be able to unfold the box and get to the item easily. Another great thing about using boxes for holding products is that there are inserts that can be bought and placed into the box in order to organize and keep safe multiple products in one box. Inserts help stabilize the product in order to make the shopping easier.

The Ins And Outs Of Solar Energy

The sun shines every day, warming us and providing us with light. Without the sun, we wouldn’t exist. That said, we can also use the sun to power all the things which run on electricity we use daily. This article will show you how to start using solar energy in your life.

If you want to go solar partially, check out small-scale applications of solar power. There are two ways to do this. You could attach solar panels to your windows and use these to recharge smaller electronics. Second, purchase solar powered camping products like lanterns or stoves. Each tiny bit helps you lower those bills!

Your home or business should receive at least five hours of direct sunlight per day to get the most from solar energy. Obviously more sun is better when it comes to solar panels, however if you get less than this solar energy can still be a viable option. If you are in an area where energy bills are sky high, solar might still save you money even if you don’t have the optimal sun exposure.

If you are moving toward leasing your solar panels instead of buying them, be sure that your contract lets you transfer your lease. If you do not choose this option, you might have to keep paying for a solar energy system you are not using. Having that transfer option can help you out of the contract and let the new homeowners enjoy its benefits.

Solar panels reduce the amount of energy used to heat your home and water. While the use of solar panels does cut down your energy costs, they are expensive and it may take several years to recoup the cost in reduced energy costs. Check for government incentive programs to help pay for them.

If you are buying a solar energy system, make sure your panels can be easily adjusted. As seasons change, so does the angle of the sun. Your panels will need to be adjusted every three months or so. Make sure that you know how to do this or talk to your contractor about seasonal maintenance.

Think about the money that you send to your power companies each month. How would you like to keep that money in your pocket? Changing to solar power will do that for you. After you pay off the initial investment, the money you used to pay to the power company will stay in your wallet.

Many governments offer tax savings for consumers who install green energy products. These tax savings can help offset the installation cost of a new solar energy system. Additionally, many state’s also allow you to deduct some or most of the costs of the installation on your state’s tax return allowing double savings.

With this knowledge in hand, you should be prepared to start making use of solar energy throughout your life. Powering your toaster or your machinery at work will be simple once you harness the sun’s energy. Make use of the tips you’ve read here and you should be up and running in no time.…

Trends in Automotive Manufacturing

The automotive industry is an integral part the U.S. economy, with the industry employing more than 1.7 million people and generating almost 3.5% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). In addition to the design, manufacturing, engineering, and assembly, the industry relies heavily on goods and services from other sectors in order to meet consumer demand. Construction, raw materials, machinery, semi-conductors, computers, robotics, and the administrative end of operations all rely on a steady stream of both materials and labor. Every year, the industry spends almost $18 million in R&D. With its heavy reliance on manufacturing sectors, it has sent the manufacturing industry skyrocketing to about 11% of the nation’s GDP. Without this crucial industry, the automotive industry or even the economy, wouldn’t survive.

Assembly Plants and Processes

The uniformity and efficiency of automotive production originates with Henry Ford and his assembly line process used during the construction of the Model T. Over time, manufacturing processes like dynamic stampings, automated feeders, plasma cutters, and other technologically influenced elements have made it easier for automotive plants to turn out a consistent product in record time. However, as time continues to press forward and technology and lean manufacturing continue to influence production decisions, new trends in manufacturing are going to continue to change the automotive industry.

Energy Efficiency and Future Changes

Consumers are clamoring for more energy efficiency options, and company cars and electric vehicles are the more recent changes made to the industry. In addition to battery and electrically operated cars, there is desire to pursue bio-fuels and move away for gasoline and diesel burning engines. This would help reduce emissions and pollutants in the environment. However, the changeover required is still a costly venture and more research is needed. Incorporating artificial intelligence, robotics, and increase automation in the overall vehicle desire and production are also on the horizon.

The automotive industry will continue to promote economic growth in the U.S., but the industry needs to adapt the will of the consumer. More energy efficient manufacturing and final products are two key areas in industry trends.…

Laboratory Testing Your Idea

In the days of Thomas Edison, an inventor simply tried a number of things until something seemed to work. This approach doesn’t work as well today. Litigation and the demand for ever improving reliability require that we subject our ideas to rigorous laboratory testing. Here are some of the ways that can happen.

Burst Pressure Testing

When assessing the design of a system that will be under pressure, the burst pressure test is a way of ensuring that the system will withstand an operating pressure well in excess of the pressure at which you’re planning to operate. Perhaps as importantly, the burst pressure test will tell you how the system will fail if pressure is exceeded.

Coating Inspection

If part of your production process involves putting a coating on a product, such as paint or galvanizing, coating inspection and testing will help ensure that this coating is consistent. In the manufacturing plant itself, coatings may need to be inspected to ensure they are not deteriorating. Like burst pressure testing, coating inspection can be a destructive process, so typically a random sample is taken from the production environment for testing.

Contamination Testing

If your product or process requires a certain degree of purity, contamination can be a difficult issue to trace down. Especially for food-grade operations, ensuring that a product is free from contaminants is crucial. Contamination testing is done in a systematic way to track down where in a process a contaminant has a chance to enter. Any potential area for contamination needs to be redesigned to eliminate that possibility.

Raw Materials Testing

Since a product can only be as good as the components it’s made of, raw materials testing is a vital part of maintaining quality. Incoming raw materials must be tested routinely for purity and quality.

Inventing and manufacturing systems of today have to be systematic and thorough. Quality control and testing ensures that bad product doesn’t get through.…

Give the Beaver State a Try

While the West Coast beauty is often explored through the beaches and coastline of California, traveling further up the coast into Oregon and Washington is equally stunning. If you love the outdoors and prefer the rugged terrain of mountains and caves, perhaps vacationing in Oregon is the perfect trip for you. If you like ghost towns, bootlegging history, and gold mining, you won’t be bored with a trip to the Beaver State.


Surprisingly, it isn’t just wild adventures out in Oregon. Some of the most well-known companies have a location in Oregon, which keeps the economy going. Large corporations like Nike, Saia, and Lithium Motors are churning out products across the state, while smaller companies like the sheet metal shops Portland Oregon is home to keep a steady supply of employment for more local individuals. There isn’t a shortage of employment in this great state, as it is home to over 90 companies that employ over a thousand people. Nike is by far the largest of them, employing about 75, 000 people at its Beaverton location.


The state of Oregon has something for everyone when it comes to recreation and entertainment. Major cities like Portland offer a diverse nightlife scene, but if you move away from the lights and noise, you will be blown away by the beauty of the coast and the rise of the mountains. Oregon is home to Crater Lake, which was formed by a volcano and is the deepest lake in North America. It also boasts Mount Hood, an active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc.


If you are more academically inclined than athletically, you will be impressed with the 64 colleges and universities that call Oregon home. However, if you like a little bit of both, you can combine study and fitness at the University of Oregon’s sports program.

Lesser known but rivaling the beauty and offerings of it southern counterpart, the state of Oregon has much to offer both tourists and residents. Give the state a try on your next vacation.…