William Manchenton - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by William Manchenton on 7/16/2019

Changing your air filters in your home can be a chore that is quickly forgotten and overlooked, but it is crucial to the overall health of your home. To keep your home air system functioning at its best, be sure to have your HVAC system checked, maintained, and changed regularly.

  1. Prevent Damage. By keeping your system up to date on routine maintenance, you can prevent extensive and unwanted damage from happening. By allowing your HVAC filter to get clogged, you risk your system straining to get clean air through. With less clean air able to get into your home, your system will go into overdrive by running longer and working harder. Neglecting routine maintenance will ultimately cause your HVAC to fail.
  2. Clean Air. When you have a clogged filter in your air conditioning, you are getting less clean air throughout your home. This is beneficial for everyone in your house, but especially for the elderly and children. Having healthy air in your home is also essential for family members who struggle with allergies or asthma. Keep dust, pollen, and other small particles out of your lungs and breathe clean air by changing your filter regularly.
  3. Save Money. Aside from preventing expensive damage to your HVAC system, replacing a dirty filter can also save you a significant amount in operating costs. A dirty air filter will cause your air conditioner to run much longer than it would need to with a clean filter. This will ultimately result in a higher electricity bill. By making a habit of changing your filters regularly, you can obtain a savings of around 15% off of your energy bill. 
  4. Protect the Environment. Failing to replace your dirty filters routinely is ultimately failing the environment. While your system is running more often to replenish your air, it is also producing large amounts of carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases into the air. By running your home in an eco-friendly manner, you can benefit the environment while never skipping out on the comforts of your home. Changing a filter once a month is a small step with a significant impact.

Neglecting your HVAC system's maintenance is sure to result in the failure of its capabilities. Changing your air filter once every month will result in cleaner air, saved money, and a healthier environment. Don't miss out on these benefits by turning your back on this painless chore. If you're concerned about your home's air system, contact a local HVAC technician to evaluate the function of your system.





Posted by William Manchenton on 6/11/2019

If you cook in a cast iron skillet or use other cast iron cookware, you’ll know that periodically, they need what is called “seasoning.” But just what does that mean? The way that cast iron works, oil baked into the service prevents the iron from forming rust and keeps food from sticking too much. As long as the pan is adequately protected, the seasoned finish improves with age, giving you that much sought-after easy-release veneer.

What you need

  • The manufacturers of newer pans sell special soybean-based oils that are highly refined to use on their cookware.
  • If you’ve inherited grandma’s cookware, however, she probably used cooking oil or even lard to keep her pan seasoned. If you cook in the pan all the time, lard (pork fat) or tallow (beef fat) still are excellent seasoning choices. But, when you use it only occasionally, both lard and tallow can become rancid and ruin the flavor of your food. Additionally, you may use melted shortening or vegetable oil.
  • A cleaning kit (sold at better homeware stores) or a soft, lint-free cloth.

How to

With a clean, dry skillet, cover the pan inside and out with a thin layer of oil (or lard/tallow). Be sure to get the bottom and the handle as well. For best results, rub the oil on with a lint-free cloth.

Heat your oven to 350°F. Place the pan upside down on the top rack of the oven and place a sheet of aluminum foil or an aluminum cookie sheet on the bottom shelf to gather any oil drips. Let your pan season in the oven for one hour. Let your pan cool completely before using.

Troubleshooting

If your pan feels sticky, excess oil may have built up on the surface, or the oil has not fully converted to seasoning. Turn your oven on to 400°F and place the pan upside down on the upper rack. Allow it to bake for an hour. After your pan has cooled, test the surface again. If it is still somewhat gummy or sticky, repeat the process at 400°F for an additional hour.

If dark residue appears on your cleaning cloth, your pan may be reacting to high heat or an acidic food such as tomato sauce. Just wipe it out as much as possible and continue to use your pan regularly. The darkened areas should resolve.

If your pan has rust, perhaps from improper storage, or because you picked it up at a garage sale, gently remove the rust with very fine steel wool or a scratch-free scrubber. Then, wash the cookware in hot, soapy water to remove all the metal filings and loosened rust. Let your pan dry so that you can see if all the rust is removed. Once is it completely clear of rust, follow the seasoning instructions above.

As your property professional if there are cooking classes in your area to become a pro at using your cast iron skillet.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by William Manchenton on 12/18/2018

Keep your outdoor surfaces in tip-top shape all year long with these care tips:

Bricks

Bricks are known for their durability but still need to be maintained and cared for. They key here is to be gentle with your cleaning methods as they can wear down and become compromised by the chemicals found in typical household cleaners.

Have you ever noticed how some bricks have a white, chalky residue to them? It’s messy, unappealing and 100% preventable. All you have to do is check labels in Winter time! When shopping for deicer avoid those made with calcium chloride.

Stay on top of culling plants growing between bricks. Where there are plants there is more moisture which will inevitably lead to loosening your bricks. Cut plants that begin growing. They will die quickly and easily pull up. Easily remove moss with a mixture of one part bleach to 10 parts hot water

If for whatever reason you find you need to clean brick only use a masonry specific cleaner and scrub gently when using. If there are stains on your bricks you will need a poultice made specifically for masonry staining.

Concrete

Concrete is another outdoor surface known for its durability but that doesn’t mean it’s invincible. Caring for concrete is similar to the needs of brick.

Clean up oil spills by allowing cat litter to sit on the spot overnight. Repeat until the stain is no longer “pulling” from the litter. If there is a stain left behind a poultice may be necessary (just like with bricks). You will also use the same 1:10 bleach mixture to remove moss from concrete as you would with bricks.

However, when it comes to deicer you will want to avoid a different set of ingredients. Those made with ammonium nitrate or sulfate can break down concrete and so best to be avoided. If you do you gardening in your garage, or your shed has concrete flooring you’ll want to be cautious with fertilizer. Wet fertilizer can actually lead to staining on concrete.

To avoid staining there are preemptive measures you can take. Seal concrete helps to make it stain resistant. And to keep it on top form you clean your favorite household all-purpose cleaner and a good scrub.

Wood

Wood is the more high maintenance surface to care for. Wood needs to be sealed yearly. You may find you will need to sand off an existing finish from the previous homeowners before applying a new one. Apply a preservative or stain to protect from moisture and rot.

Clean wood surfaces by scrubbing clean and manage stains with oxalic acid crystals. Powdered oxygen bleach is best used to eliminate existing mold and it’s spores. Know that you may have to do this process a couple of times to take care of the spores for good.





Posted by William Manchenton on 12/26/2017

Technology has streamlined our lives at work, at home, and during our leisure time. We're constantly updated with emails and notifications from our bosses or our friends about upcoming deadlines or family parties. However, many of us are still old fashioned when it comes to using tech to improve the way we run our homes. There are apps that can control the electronics in your home, remind you when it's time to clean out the refrigerator, or even tell the people in your house when it's their turn to take out the trash. We've built a list of the most useful apps that will help you spend less time planning and organizing around the home.

Smart house

Wifi technology is slowly escaping our cell phones and computers and making its way around our homes. Smart TVs are now the norm, and Amazon makes buttons that you can store in your cabinets that automatically order new paper towels or laundry detergent when you run out. Part of this home automation revolution is the introduction of apps that allow you to remotely control your home. Kits like SmartThings or WeMo allow you to control lights, coffeemakers, and garage doors all from your smartphone.  What's more, you can control them from work as long as you have signal on your phone. Many of these apps allow you to schedule items to turn on and off at certain times as well, which can help you save on electricity.

Apps to ease the moving process

If you've moved recently, maybe you used a checklist app on your phone to keep track of items while packing. What you probably didn't know is that there are apps that help you even further, including choosing the best prices on moving companies. Unpakt lets you add items that you're moving to a list and tells you how many boxes you'll need. Then it gives you a selection of movers and lets you compare prices.

Keeping up with the chores

The app stores are inundated with tools to help you stay on top of your schedule. But recent additions take it a step further to target other household needs. Do you run a tight ship at your house? Or would you like to? iRewardsChart lets you track your kids' progress on their chores and reward them for good behavior. You can award them cash allowance, time watching television, or whatever else you see as suitable rewards. If you and your family or housemates have a hard time keeping track of whose turn it is to wash dishes, check out Chorma. It's an iPhone app that let's you add chores and coordinate them with other people in your house. No more excuses for not knowing it was your turn!

Creating your dream home

The best home and living apps aren't just about chores and reminders. There are some great apps that are out there to help inspire you to personalize your home. Brightnest is an app that provides cleaning tips, recipes ideas, and DIY projects so your home can keep evolving as you do.  





Posted by William Manchenton on 10/10/2017

Wait, when was the last time you cleaned that ? And how often are you supposed to wash that? Never have to ask yourself these questions again by creating a monthly chore calendar. Creating a chore calendar may seem like you’re taking your house cleaning duties a little too seriously, but by creating a regular cleaning schedule you will set yourself up for success. And you’ll have a guaranteed cleaner home, and who doesn’t want that? Monthly

  • Scrub grout in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Wash pillow and mattress protectors as well as duvet covers.
  • Discard any food in the freezer that has become freezer burnt or is past its time.
  • Wax any wood floors your home may have.
  • Dust fans you have throughout your home. Don’t forget to do this in the winter when they are not in use to avoid build-up.
  • Wipe down and disinfect light switch plates and door knobs.
  • Wipe down and disinfect your home phones and your family’s cell phones.
  • Flush drains. Try a natural solution by pouring baking soda down drains and allowing to sit overnight to deodorize. In the morning pour hot water down the drain to rinse the baking soda out and flush the drain.
  • Wipe down walls, doors and baseboards.
  • Check the fire alarms throughout your home and replace any batteries when necessary.
Weekly
  • Dust each room in your home.
  • Empty all trash bins throughout your home. Don’t forget smaller, less used baskets like in your child’s room or in the office.
  • Clean sinks, toilets, and bath of any soap scum or buildup.
  • Vacuum and mop the floors throughout your home.
  • Wipe down surfaces like tables and counters.
  • Clean mirrors and windows.
  • Wash sheets and pillowcases.
  • Sort through your mail and email inbox. Pay any upcoming bill and file paperwork as necessary.
  • Clean fridge out of any food that has gone past its expiration.
  • Wipe down appliances in the kitchen such as the microwave, stove, and toaster.
  • Wipe down and deodorize trashcans and recycling bins.
  • Put out fresh towels in your bathrooms and kitchen
Daily
  • Tidy up. Keep on top of clutter by putting items away when they are no longer in use.
  • Make the beds and if your children are old enough encourage them to make theirs.
  • Sort out mail. File and discard as necessary.
  • Clean up as you prepare meals to leave time to relax after dinner time instead of spending another hour in the kitchen.
  • Wipe up any spills as they happen to avoid having to use elbow grease to clean up later.
  • Sweep the kitchen floor and any other high traffic areas.
  • Throw in a load of laundry. If you have a large family make laundry more manageable by doing a load a day.
Keeping your home clean is hard work, there is no doubt about that, especially if you have a family. However, by creating a monthly chore calendar you can create a more manageable workload for yourself. With a little planning up front you can have a neat and tidy home you can sit back and truly enjoy!