How to Properly Store Your Wine

Do you consider yourself somewhat of a wine enthusiast? Do you often have a number of different varieties and types on-hand, ready to pair them with whatever meal or activity you’ve got planned? If that’s the case then it’s also important to think about storage. While you may be vaguely aware of the fact that the way you store wine will affect how good it tastes, did you know that if it’s not stored correctly in the right conditions and temperature, you can actually ruin it?

For those who have started to invest in better quality wine with a higher price tag, it would be a real shame to think of it going to waste simply because it wasn’t stored properly. So with that in mind it’s well worth your time to look into how to properly store your wine.

Keep the Temperature and Humidity Regulated

When choosing a place to store your wine in your home you want to be sure the wine is in an area that doesn’t get below 7 degrees and above 21 degrees. Too hot, or too cold will ruin the flavour and nose of the wine. Usually white wine is stored a little cooler, but it you have white and red that you are keeping together then you can aim for the middle at 12-13 degrees.

You also want to pick an area that has humidity of around 70%, again not allowing it to go too far above or below this mark.

What Position Should the Wine Rest In?

There is often a question as to what position to store the wine in. This depends on whether the wine has a natural cork or not. For those wines that do have a natural cork you want to be sure it is stored flat. The cork must remain moist, so lying flat ensures this.

Light Conditions

Wine should always be stored somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of light, certainly not direct sunlight. It’s also a good idea to pick a spot that doesn’t get a lot of vibration. You want the wine to be able to rest and not be moved around.

When Home Storage Isn’t Enough

If you find that you’re quickly running out of space, or you have a large variety of wine that requires completely different storage conditions, then it may be time to look at storing it in one of the professional wine cellars at a place like Octavian Vaults. Octavian Vaults allow everyday wine enthusiasts and collectors the ability to have their wine stored in a professional facility that is located 100 feet below the hills of Wiltshire. What this means is that your investment will be protected and you won’t have to worry about any of your vintages spoiling and losing their value. This is ideal for those of you that love collecting.

Protect Your Investment and Take the Proper Steps

Taking the time to look into how to properly store your wine means you’ll be protecting your investment and making sure your collection retains its value, and can be enjoyed whenever you like.

4 Signs You Need to Call an HVAC Professional Right Away

HVAC units seem to break down on the coldest and hottest days of the year. Prolonged hot or cold weather patterns can certainly cause an HVAC unit to work overtime to keep your home climate controlled. However, an HVAC unit often offers warning signs to let you know that you should consider calling a professional to service your system. Discover a few signs that indicate you need to call an HVAC professional right away.

Your Unit Isn’t Running Properly

If you or a family member is sick, you go or take the person to visit the doctor. If your car is making a strange sound, you visit the mechanic. Likewise, if your HVAC unit is demonstrating signs that it’s starting to malfunction, you need to call an HVAC professional. If your unit isn’t heating or cooling your home as it should and you don’t have obvious blockages to heat registers or air filters, you should call a professional. Contact a technician if you notice unusual sounds coming from your HVAC unit as well.

Finally — and most importantly — if you have a gas unit, you should already have installed carbon monoxide detectors. If a carbon monoxide detector alerts you to the presence of this deadly gas, contact a professional immediately.

Your DIY Actions Haven’t Resolved the Problem

Several issues related to HVAC units are simple to resolve. You can change the unit’s filter, check the thermostat, and confirm that the unit’s circuit breaker has not tripped. Such repairs are simple, inexpensive, and take only a few minutes.

You may also move draperies, furniture, and other items around your home to keep them from obstructing the air flowing through your registers. Make sure your registers are fully open to allow maximum airflow. If simple do-it-yourself HVAC system repairs such as these ones do not solve your problem, then you need to call an HVAC technician.

You Renovated Your Home

Home and garden television programs offer plenty of inspiration for renovating your home. You may find yourself planning to upsize your home to suit an expanding family or to customize your living space to meet your tastes.

When selecting floor plans, paint samples, and design touches to complete your renovation project, make sure to place “call your HVAC professional” on your must-do list. Your HVAC professional can alert you to new features to maximize your HVAC unit’s efficiency while climate controlling your new living space. HVAC professionals can also make sure that your home is as efficient as possible, including assessing your current insulation and ductwork.

Your Home Is Exceptionally Dusty

Cleaning your home may seem like a never-ending process, and your HVAC unit may make your cleaning efforts moot. Over time, dust and dirt build up on your HVAC unit’s elements; that dust and dirt then gets distributed throughout your home, landing on surfaces you just dusted. Schedule a maintenance visit with your HVAC professional to have your HVAC system thoroughly cleaned once a year. Not only will a thorough cleaning keep your whole home cleaner, but a clean HVAC system also runs more smoothly and efficiently, thus prolonging its overall life.

Don’t wait until your HVAC unit completely breaks down to call an HVAC professional. From preventative maintenance to annual cleanings, you can make sure your system keeps you comfortable year-round.

4 Reasons to Upgrade Your Hot Water Heater

Tucked away in a recess of your home, the hot water heater isn’t one of those items you may spend much time thinking about. You use it multiple times a day, but it can create an eye-opening experience when it breaks down. Before a breakdown happens and you’re forced to endure a frigid shower one morning, consider the following four reasons to give this important appliance a welcome overhaul.

You’re Not as Hot as You Once Were

This item has nothing to do with looks, although it may have to do with aging … of your hot water heater.

You may find yourself taking a slightly cooler shower each day. Given the size of your household, you may attribute this temperature change to an everyday busy morning. But this signal points to your existing water heater not performing optimally. Poor performance has several culprits, including broken or worn hot water heater components, leaks, incompatibility with water-conserving or anti-scald devices, or — in the cases of larger families — the hot water heater simply not being large enough to keep up with demand.

You Want to Be Greener

Taking shorter showers, installing low-flow showerheads, and decreasing the temperature on your water heater are all great energy-saving tasks, but with the average lifespan of a hot water heater being 10 to 15 years, a newer water heater may be your best solution.

Energy Star–recommended hot water heaters may carry a higher purchase price, but their return on investment can be significant in terms of energy savings. For example, an electric heat pump water heater or a high-efficiency gas water heater can reduce energy costs up to $300 per year, while a gas-condensing water heater may qualify for federal tax credits. At any rate, replacing your existing hot water heater for a more efficient model reduces overall carbon dioxide emissions.

You Have Lime Scale Buildup

While lime scale and other forms of buildup can plague any water source, it’s especially problematic if you have well water. You probably know what sediment in well water can do to washing machines, coffee makers, and irons.

The hot water heater also collects sediment, which is why you should drain your water heater quarterly to reduce buildup. If your water heater is too far gone and problems such as reduced hot water duration or leaks persist, you may want to look for a new hot water heater. Remember to drain your new unit periodically to extend its lifespan.

You Need Your Space

Tankless water heaters are great if you want to increase energy efficiency and storage space in your garage or basement. As the name suggests, these models have no tank, meaning they also require less materials to produce. By heating only the water being used instead of several gallons at a time, they reduce energy costs up to 25 percent and eliminate standby heat loss, the amount of heat lost by unused hot water. When you need to replace your tankless water heater, the materials of your old heater can be recycled.

Whether you are experiencing problems with your hot water heater or simply want to reduce overall energy costs, take a second look at this unsung hero of the household.

A How-To on Harvesting Rainwater for Your Household Needs

It is an indisputable fact that water is one of the most essential natural resources we have. Without water, there would literally be no life—not only for us human beings but also for all other living things on this planet, especially animals and plants. But this life-giving resource is not unlimited, and with droughts becoming a more common natural phenomenon throughout the world because of climate change, it has become imperative for us that we learn how to conserve water.

There are many ways on how you can do this. For one, you and your family members can start being more mindful of how you use water in your household. You can turn off taps when they’re not in use, and you can fix leaks as they’re also a source of wasted water. If you have plans of harvesting rainwater for your household, here are some tips that can help you out:

  1. The first thing you need to do is to designate a catchment area.
  • One of the most common areas that will allow you to collect rainwater right away is your roof, and it is also the most easily adapted, thanks to convenient features like gutters. To get the biggest quantity of collected rainwater, it is best to choose a downspout that’s located directly beneath an especially steep part of the roof. If you’d like to keep your water colllection system discreet, make sure to choose a spot that’s hidden from view.
  • You can also look for places where water collects in a natural manner during times of a downpour. Don’t just limit yourself to your gutters; you can use any surface that’s shaped like a slope. One effective way of spotting these areas is to go out after a downpour and inspect the outside of your house for areas where puddles and shallow pools have formed. These spots can serve as good catchment areas.
  • When it rains, a good amount of rainwater is lost due to seepage. To prevent this, you can pave the open catchment areas around your home such as pools and streams. This will keep the water from seeping into the ground and also from being tainted by surface contaminants.
  1. You will also need to find ways to channel the runoff.
  • Your home’s gutters are already an excellent means to channel excess runoff, and all you’ll have to do is to set out a few containers beneath them to catch what they collect. For most homes that are of an average size, gutters with dimensions of 5 × 3 inches will be appropriate. If you have a larger home, 6 × 4 gutters will do.
  • If you’ve opted for a catchment area other than your roof, you will need to set up a conveyance system that reroute the water you’ve collected to where it will actually be stored. You can make this happen through the use of pipes or PVC tubes. Remember to set up your conveyance system with enough slope in order to allow the rainwater to flow.
  • It is best if you set up your storage and conveyance system close to where you intend to use it. For instance, if you plan to use the water you’ve collected to water your garden, it is ideal to keep your conveyance and storage system to the side of your home that’s nearest your yard or garden. It will be more convenient that way.

  1. The next step is to set up a collection system.
  • Make sure you set up containers that can collect rainwater at a high capacity. While plastic barrels are the most common type, there are specially designed containers that have built-in features like spigots and filtration screens. Rain Water Tanks have a wide variety of quality rainwater collection containers that your household can benefit from.
  • One way of ensuring better water pressure and encourage flow is to elevate the barrels. The extra height will allow easier and better flow from the spigot. Also, raising your containers can make it easier on you to position a watering can or bucket underneath it.
  1. Finally, install a filtering system to ensure that the water you’ve collected is healthy for use and is free from any pollutants.
  • Make sure you keep your containers covered at all times so as to keep out mosquitos and reduce exposure to pollutants and bacteria. Also, make it a habit to drain and clean your containers every once in a while for sanitary purposes.

Harvesting rainwater can do much more for your household than what you’ve expected. Aside from giving you and your family a backup water supply in times of drought, it can also greatly reduce your monthly water consumption and bills. Think about how much your household can save each month when you apply this concept in your household.