Artificial Turf Peoria AZ

Agape Turf transformed my friends ‘ugliest back yard in the world’ to an oasis that draws them outside for hours every day.

They have retired in the husband’s childhood home, built in 1940, in Peoria. My friends have done a lot of work on the inside but the back yard remained a long, flat, sandy expanse. Recently they’ve resolved to work on it, interviewed 4 landscape contractors, and thankfully choose artificial turf Peoria AZ. Agape Turf agreed with my friends idea of a slate patio and a meandering path leading to a smaller patio in the back. They have talented stone worker, took irregular slate slabs, laid them out like a jigsaw puzzle, and then began the tedious cutting process and laid out not only the patios and winding path, but an additional spot for a slate bench (which he made), for my friends bird- watching, as well as a place for my the husband’s herb garden.

artificial turf

Agape Turf and his plant ‘maestro’ went to work. They laid 4 huge, rolling, raised beds containing a myriad of trees, bushes, flowering pants, and succulents laced among interesting rocks and stones. Their plant maestro is an artist who places each plant and stone with the greatest care. They are true geniuses for their designs as well as their ability to follow through to ‘make it happen’ and to incorporate their client’s needs. All of them are hard workers who are truly invested in making their clients the most lovely space possible.

The real test was to show the results to my friends son, who lived in the house for a while, and the sister-in-law, who grew up in the house. They were truly in awe of the transformation, and found it almost impossible to believe that this was the same yard. The phrase, ‘work of art’ was spoken many times.

The husband and wife whole-heartedly recommend Agape Turf and their crew. Not only is my friends yard beautiful, but the plants are guaranteed for 2 years, and the long lasting wear and year round beauty of the artificial turf. The price for it was competitive, and the work completed as quickly as weather and the holidays allowed. You just cannot do any better!

artificial turfartificial turf

artificial turfartificial turf

Another friend also tried Agape Turf after seeing what they’ve done to our friends back yard. Back in the early summer of 2013, my friend Simon was contacting various landscapers for their backyard project, some of whom were referrals from friends or professionals.  Very few called back.  Agape Turf, was one of the ones who called back promptly. They scheduled a consultation pretty quickly, and they scheduled the project soon thereafter.  During the project itself, Agape Turf communicated options to my friend whenever they arose, and they quickly called back whenever my friend had questions or things to talk about.  I should note that during one week of the project, my friend was out of town, and so this communication was key.

Second, Agape Turf landscaping design and installation work.  In looking for a landscaping professional, my friend wanted someone who could come up with ideas despite vague and often unknowledgeable input from my friend, the client.  My friend is far from an expert in this area and don’t have much time to do things himself, and he therefore needed someone who could think of ideas that fit his general preferences and style.  From his uninspiring mulch-covered backyard, Agape Turf created a very peaceful outdoor family room, with a slate garden, a beautiful moss rock wall that looks like it had been there forever, ipe and slate benches, new foliage including a new Japanese maple as the centerpiece, and, per our choice after Agape Turf’s consultation and suggestion, a low-maintenance and artificial grass play area for my friend’s daughter.  Agape Turf also added a drip irrigation system, lighting to highlight the foliage at night, and timers for both.  Agape Turf work reflected the vision that my friend had expressed to him, made better by Agape Turf’s knowledge of what would look and work best with the existing backyard that my friend had.  And importantly, Agape Turf gave my friend a beautiful, low maintenance backyard that they could use for relaxing, entertaining, or playing with their daughter and their dog.

artificial turf

Third, Agape Turf’s professional and courteous service.  In addition to being responsive and communicative, Agape Turf offered great ideas, like having a water feature that my friend chose not to do, without pushing them or pressuring.  My friend always felt like he was getting the work that he chose to have done.  My friend also felt that Agape Turf went the extra mile in their work.  For example, Agape Turf spent more time, effort, and money on their end (when their contract was already fixed) to get a perfectly-shaped and beautiful Japanese maple tree for their yard.  Agape Turf and their workers manually carried that tree up our back steps and through a narrow gate to get the tree placed, and that was hard work.  My friend know because he voluntarily helped.  Another example is Agape Turf’s work on my friend’s deck.  Agape Turf repainted their deck to compliment their backyard, and although my friend didn’t expect it, Agape Turf also offered to paint additional decking on the side of the house that was not part of the backyard.  My friend very much appreciated that.  Finally, Agape Turf was visibly courteous and respectful to their crew, who my friend thought they treated as partners in the work effort.  The crew were both great, and my friend could tell that they respected everyone and enjoyed working for Agape Turf.

artificial turf

Finally, Agape Turf is a very nice and personable guy, my friend thought their were easy to be around and very pleasant to work with.  Their are also  very honest and trustworthy, which was important to my friend due to budget issues and the time he was away from home during the project.

I would highly recommend Agape Turf to anyone who, like all of us, wants to have a peaceful and beautiful backyard.  My friend was not one who was looking for a zen space in their house or anything of that spiritual variety, but he certainly got one, as well as a backyard that he is now very happy with.

Posted in garden, General, Landscaping, outdoor, Services by admin on November 1st, 2015 No Comments » Tags:

Heating Repair Mesa AZ

Heat went out during a cold snap.  Ain’t that always the way?  Oh, it was also the week before christmas and Dad was on his way to town.  After a quick review search, I realized I would end up hiring which ever company could come out first.  Norris Air, Inc was my first call and they had a high “diagnosis only service call” quote ($135). After calling 5 more companies I ended up keeping my initial ONE WEEK LATER appt. Norris Air, Inc was the most highly rated companies I found, but also the only ones who could come out before the New Year.

heating repair

The woman from heating repair Mesa AZ who scheduled the call was efficient and gave me all the info I expected.  I got a 1-3 time slot on Dec 22. Corey Davila showed up a little early, for which I was grateful – keeping Dad cooped around the house for the holiday was not ideal!

Corey came in, took a moment to intro himself to my dog (putting the dog at ease …which I appreciated) then offered to put on shoe coverings, and then got to work.  He checked out the indoor stuff and then crawled under the house to the heater.  After a few, he popped out with a broken part in his hand.  Gave me a quote to replace it and was very clear that it could just be the first of several things that might be broken.  He explained he wouldn’t be able to check the status of the blower until he replaced the “run cap”.  He had the part.  he replaced it – and the heat started blowing!

heating repair

All Done in less than an hour.  Total bill after $25 off coupon = $205.  I could not have asked for a better outcome.

He let me know my furnace generally looked good and recommended when I was ready to replace there are much more efficient options Norris Air, Inc could install.  Apparently duct tape doesn’t actually seal ducts so mine are pretty leaky.  Stupid duct tape – take that McGuyver!

So – my heat was broken.  Corey from Norris Air, Inc fixed it.  Prompt, efficient, professional and polite.  All I could ask for really.  I will def consider this company in the future. Corey Davila is a friendly, conscientious guy and he just happens to be a great heating professional as well!

heating repair
My neighbor also had a good experience with them. Their old old 1970’s furnace went out the week before Christmas so they did a quick search on the internet and found a local HVAC outfit (not Norris Air, Inc) to come out and take a look. They did come out and recommended a full furnace replacement but were too busy to do it immediately. They recommended Norris Air, Inc.

heating repair

My neighbors are so glad they did. Nathan showed up immediately and asked what my neighbors was interested in doing rather than going straight for what he would recommend. My neighbor was inclined just to fix the existing unit until they could save up more cash for a full replacement later in the year. Nathan went down and started doing a thorough evaluation.  He came back and walked my neighbors through the pros and cons of fixing the unit. Then he walked my neighbors through the pros and cons of replacing the unit. My neighbor is an options guy. My neighbors asked lots of questions about different ends of the choice spectrum to hone in on the best solution for them. Nathan was VERY patient. He explained the unit specs for different models he recommends (different energy efficiency, size, cost, different rebate amounts, etc).  Nathan was excellent at helping my neighbors understand the tax rebates that my neighbors will get and the types of furnaces to maximize those credits (next year my neighbors will get $1500 back from the govt). It became obvious that fixing the unit was just throwing money away so my neighbors decided to go with a full replacement.

heating repair

The only drawback was that the model my neighbors chose had to be ordered and wouldn’t arrive for several weeks. Nathan was very clear on the timing (My neighbors think he was nervous that they’d freeze without some kind of heating). Well, my neighbors managed through the cold spells (extra blankets and a space heater were all that was needed). When the time came to install Nathan and his assistant were able to reroute all the ductwork, cut and new air intake hole in the floor, and install the furnace in two days. That’s fast. Nathan also (at no prompting) offered to upgrade our thermostat free of charge in the next few heating repairmonths since a better one was about to come out (he installed a plain one for the time being). My neighbor couldn’t be happier with the work that Nathan did relative to quality, professionalism, and looking out for my neighbors interest as well as his own. My neighbor whole heartedly recommend  Norris Air, Inc for any HVAC job you might have.

Posted in General, heating and cooling, Home and Family, Services by admin on October 17th, 2015 No Comments »

Columbus Furnace Installers

furnace installation

Columbus furnace installers is a class act and an excellent HVAC professional company. From the moment they first came out to survey my brother’s project and provided a bid, my brother knew he could count on them to get the job done.

My brother’s job was a complete removal of an old asbestos furnace and  ducts. They did everything promptly as scheduled. My brother was the untimely one because he was doing some work in the garage and asked Columbus furnace installers to come back and finish the final vents to his downstairs rooms after he was done. They didn’t have a problem with waiting, and came out months later to complete the work.

furnace installation


During my brother’s project, one of the handymen cut the furnace wire, unbeknownst to me. My brother couldn’t get the furnace to turn on so he called Columbus furnace installers to see if they could help my brother while he was paying an electrician to troubleshoot. Columbus furnace installers promptly called back and tried to help. They promised to have a 48 hour turnaround to send someone out to see what was going on. This was around 2pm.

furnace installation

Amazingly, Columbus furnace installers called at 7:30pm and came out at 8pm that evening to see what was going on. Within 10 minutes he examined the motherboard, tested the wires and the thermostat, and found the culprit spliced wire in my garage roof. He fixed the wire, and voila! Everything worked! Now that is service and a hard working man.furnace installation

I highly recommend Columbus furnace installers. At the end of the day, it’s all about service and being responsive to customer’s needs. I cannot recommend these guys enough. My brother is thankful to them because he have a lovely forced-air furnace that makes his house just the right kind of toasty.  From start to finish, they did a fantastic job.

furnace installation

Posted in General, heating and cooling, Services by admin on September 23rd, 2015 No Comments » Tags:


Builderscape Inc. did an awesome job to our backyard!  We really enjoyed working with the Builderscape Inc. team for a major landscaping project in our backyard.  We really only had a rough sketch of what we wanted (stone walkways, built in bbq, etc), but the Builderscape team was very helpful with the design of the backyard and coming up with creative ideas about what would look nice and fit well in our space. They were also very patient with my husband and I – we probably changed our minds 4 or 5 times about major decisions and it was never a problem.

paver patio


They made and designed mostly all of the beautiful Columbus Paver Patios that’s why we hired them.  The actual work was completed on schedule and looks great – They ended up building a raised patio section with pavers for a patio table, a stone wall to support a flower bed, a built in bbq, another flat paver section bordering our lawn, a drainage system along the side of my house, and timed lighting throughout the backyard.  Everything is constructed very well and we didn’t have any problems during construction or since completion. We have received so many compliments on how great our backyard looks!

paver patio

The Builderscape Inc. team is very easy to work with – at one point in the project the electrician came back with a higher price than anticipated for our bbq island, and the team split the extra cost with us – I thought that was very nice of them.  We are planning on landscaping our front yard at some point over the next year or two and will definitely hire Builderscase Inc. again for that project.

I had eight (8) different landscapers/designers come to my house in a two week period and gave me estimates for my backyard project.  My wife and I didn’t have a big budget and we wanted to not only get the most with what we had to spend, but we wanted quality workmanship and someone we can trust.

paver patio

The Builderscape team arrived at our house and provided us with an estimate, which was very reasonable and by far lower than some of the other companies out there.  We didn’t want to spend money on a designer so my wife actually drew what we wanted in our backyard on Microsoft paint.  The Builderscape team took a look at the drawing and gave us some suggestions to actually SAVE MONEY instead of like the other contractors who were trying to up sell us and spend more. Builderscape Inc. was the only one who didn’t sound like a salesman trying to play the high low game.  They provided us with the reasonable estimate, break down and start/end date.

When I purchased my house, my backyard was never landscaped and just an open area with dirt.  The project took approximately four weeks as promised and I was so impressed with their work during the course of the project. The other contractors stated they would “come by” during the work and “check” on their “employees.”  We went with Builderscape because the team leader stated he will do the work himself and he delivered as promised. I was very impressed on how detailed their work was.  We even went to the stores together to pick out the fire pit materials, stones, and trees they planted for us.

I highly recommend Builderscaoe and once again thank you very much, I look forward to working with you in the future.


Posted in garden, General, outdoor, patio, Services by admin on September 3rd, 2015 No Comments » Tags:

Soil Gas Testing

As some of the others have said, these guys took a very scientific approach to the inspection.  Donald did our inspection and was very thorough and patient.  I peppered him with questions throughout the 3 hour process and he was knowledgeable and amenable to answering all my queries.

I like that these guys understood the science behind soil gas testing, VOCs, pollutants, and mold are well versed in scientific journal articles, in addition to the standard building construction knowledge.

how radon enters house

The air sample and mold sample reports that came back were very detailed and compared our sample against thousands of others that the lab analyzes every year.  I talked to quite a number of different air quality vendors and glad went to the best one.

Soil-gas sampling measures the gas contained in the interstitial spaces of the soil, as opposed to directly sampling the soil matrix, above the water table.

Active soil-gas collection methods (as opposed to passive soil-gas sampling) involve pulling a vapor sample from a temporary or permanent probe inserted in the soil into a collection or analytical device. Samples are then transported to a laboratory, or in some cases they are analyzed on site.

Exterior soil-gas sampling is a screening tool used to rapidly and cost-effectively identify and delineate certain volatile contaminants in the subsurface. It is often used to ascertain the source, extent, and movement of pollutants, but it is not a substitute for groundwater sampling.

Sub-slab soil-gas sampling, where samples are taken though holes in buildings concrete slabs, is used to determine the potential for vapor intrusion. In some cases sub-slab samples are taken to determine whether to test indoor air, while in others it is conducted concurrently with indoor-air sampling to evaluate whether the subsurface is the source of indoor contaminants.

There are several types of soil-gas sampling instruments, including:

á    The Vapor Pin® is a one-of-a-kind, patented, re-useable sub-slab soil gas sampling device designed for the environmental consulting community. Traditional sub-slab soil-gas sampling methods are time consuming, expensive, and prone to leaks. Cox-Colvin designed the Vapor Pin® specifically to eliminate many of the problems associated with traditional sub-slab soil-gas sampling methods.

Vapor Pin Vapor Pin

á      Air-tight syringe. This is used to pull vapors from the soil matrix. The syringe is used to withdraw a soil-gas sample from a probe and inject it directly into an analytical instrument for on-site analysis. Some regulatory agencies require that samples collected by this method be analyzed within a few hours.

soil gas testing soil gas testing

á      Tedlar¨ bag. This requires a pump to pull the vapors from the soil. Regulatory agencies may require that samples collected by this method be analyzed within 28 to 48 hours. Bagged samples can also be drawn into sorbent tubes, which in turn undergo laboratory analysis.

Tedlar Bag

á      Glass bulb (or tube). This has openings at each end, with one end having a valve where samples can be withdrawn with a syringe. The vapor sample is collected by connecting one end of the bulb to the probe and the other to a pump. The advantage of glass bulbs is that the glass is inert; also they are easy to use. The limitations of the glass bulbs are that they break easily and can leak contaminants through the valves. Sample holding times for glass bulbs are usually no more than 24 hours.


soil gas testing

Posted in air quality, General, Health, Home and Family, Services by admin on September 3rd, 2015 No Comments »

Pool Service Glendale AZ

I recently started receiving monthly pool service from Aqua Clean Pool Service, LLC. My first interaction with Aqua Clean Pool Service was back in February 2012 when I purchased a home that had an in ground pool in the Glendale area. I called multiple company’s looking for someone to basically come out and bring the pool back to life (it was green and not swim-able). Aqua Clean Pool Service was the only one who picked up and sounded very knowledgeable and quoted what I felt was a very reasonable price, so I hired them to do the job. Aqua Clean Pool Service came out the next day and was finished in just a couple days, the end result was great. They recommended that I start chemical and cleaning service with them but I wanted to try it myself as this was the first home I have owned with a pool. To my surprise they actually spent the next 15 min or so giving me pointers on how to do so and told me to give them a call if I ever had questions or needed help.

green pool

By June I was done with the “do it yourself” philosophy and I called Aqua Clean pool service Glendale AZ back, again they came out and was there the same day to give me a quote, I thought it was a great value based on the amount of time it would give back to me so I started the service and am glad I did. A couple times during the summer small things went wrong with my older equipment and Aqua Clean Pool Service was always available to help (they are very knowledgeable and prompt), not to mention my pool sparkled all summer long. I am just glad that I found a reliable pool service who takes pride in their work and delivers great results and service. If you have a pool Aqua Clean! It’s well worth it.

cleaning pool

Aqua Clean Pool Service was recommended to me by a friend, when I was planning to buy a house with a pool. My friend informed me that they were extremely responsive, willing to help, quick to get on the job and help with the needs of my pool. And they are also great in letting my friend know on things he does not really need to spend money, looking out for his best interest together with the interest of the pool, which helped my friend avoid spending unnecessary $.

indoor swimming pool

My friend purchased cleanup and ongoing maintenance from them and they are just awesome.  Not to mention, very tech savvy, quickly responses to emails, text (SMS) messages which I really like and benefit in my busy schedule.

backyard house pool

Aqua Clean Pool Service was amazing from start to finish.  They also helped my neighbor design their pool area and was very patient and helpful the entire way.  They took their time meeting with my neighbor and was always very pleasant without getting frustrated if my neighbor made changes or wanted to view different options. They also would always answer my neighbor’s calls throughout the process and helped them with any issues/questions they had.  Their prices were also very similar to many other pool companies but with 5 star service.  They are really amazing, they scheduled all the construction dates and helped resolve any conflicts or issues my neighbor had through out the process which was overall seamless and according to timelines and budget.  The pool came out beautiful and my neighbor and I love everything about it.  It has now been about two months and any time my neighbor have called about a question or needed something small fixed, they came out immediately and resolved it.  We are incredibly happy with their service and quality of work.  A great group of people to work with.

indoor outdoor swimming pool

Do you want a pool repair service you can trust?  Do you want someone who will do a good job re-plastering your pool and repairing leaks?  If you answered yes, then you are looking for Aqua Clean Pool Service.  Our pool had some major leaks needing major repairs.  They did great work.  They even brought in a civil engineer to make sure what we were asking for would work in our soil situation.  They responded to our calls promptly and left the yard looking clean.  I highly recommend this pool repair service.

modern design backyard pool

Posted in General, Home and Family, outdoor, Pool, Services by admin on July 15th, 2015 No Comments » Tags: , ,

Air Conditioner Repair Glendale AZ

My friend have two central AC systems and of course one went out during this recent hot spell. He contacted Norris Air and they gave him some hints over the phone to do some simple troubleshooting on his own.  Still did not work so they came by and after troubleshooting, advised that compressor crapped out. My friend went over the options and costs of each and decided to simply replace the compressor. They was thorough and  professional and the job was completed as promised.  Honest and so far my friend have absolutely no reason not to trust them. My friend also like the fact that when he have an issue, I am speaking to Norris Air, the owner and the individual who will be servicing and/or repairing their units. They  are very busy this time of year and they agreed that texting is also the best way to contact them.

home air conditioner

My friend’s neighbor didn’t have much of a problem but it was fixed right away. Another neighbor had complained about the noise their air conditioner made – it’s a condo that they rent out. So they gave Norris Air a call. Norris Air was out there the next day and on time. They checked out the unit and immediately figured that it was a capacitor. The guy pulled the capacitor, installed a new one and that was it. Problem solved! They are very glad to have found air conditioner repair Glendale AZ. I know people in the HVAC business. They’re are a lot of good people in HVAC but there are a lot of scammers. It’s a bit scary when you need to call someone new.

For this simple job, Norris Air had it dialed and they didn’t try to come up some other problem or try to sell me on anything else. They just fixed what was broke and was done.

home air conditioning

Only one word is needed to describe this business. Awesome!!!!! Another previously had another company come out to service their A/C. Their system was running fine but after 11 years of never having it looked at they thought they should. They told them they needed to change out two faulty parts on both of their units for a cost of $860 not including labor fees. They were also told that they needed to service their units every six months. Deciding that was too much money, they let their systems remain as they were. Low and behold, two weeks later, unit one brakes. Go figure!  Not wanting to pay for the previous company to come back out, they contacted Norris Air. Not only was he told the supposedly faulty parts were fine, the one part that was broken only cost $165 to fix. From then on out the will only use Norris Air. They said that Norris Air was fantastic and honest. A trait that is becoming harder to find now days in businesses.

If you are tired of being taken advantage of by other service companies, like we were, contact Norris Air Inc.

ac-system-diagramNorris Air Inc. has been the  heating and air conditioning service people of my friends for a few years
now.  They handle their routine maintenance and also solved three serious problems — one with the air conditioning unit and two with the furnace — with honesty and efficiency.  When another service told my friend they needed a new $8,000 furnace, Norris Air saved them with a simple repair costing a couple hundred dollars for both parts and labor.  They did this again when an air conditioning company told them they needed a new unit outside the house.  Again, Norris Air came in, efficiently diagnosed the problem and did the repair for a super reasonable price.

My cousin’s A/C was damaged when the power went out. Norris Air came out and found the problem which turned out to be extensive. They discussed their options including replacing the existing system. Norris Air never pressured my cousin toward any particular solution, but he did thoroughly explain the various possibilities and the expenses for different choices. They also talked about why the breakers and fuses did not protect the system. One part was not available until late Friday and Norris Air came on Saturday to complete the work. They are also providing my cousin with a letter so he can make a claim with PG&E, so he might be able to recoup some of the repair costs.

Norris Air is very professional, they are clear about what they can do, and what you would need to go to someone else for. They dress professionally, neat, careful and soft-spoken. They are always honest, always responsive, and always looking to save his clients money. They do not gain anything by selling new parts or systems.  They say they make their living by happy repeat customers and word of mouth.

They are  a finalist for the 2014 Business Ethics award from the Greater AZ BBB!

Norri Air


Posted in General, heating and cooling, Home and Family, maintenance, Services by admin on July 7th, 2015 No Comments » Tags: ,

Chimney Sweep

I’ve just had Golden’s Good Air at my house and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Absolutely spot on bloke and definitely saved my bacon. Turned up at very short notice. They definitely are one of the nicest and most courteous you can deal with. Dealt with my problem very conscientiously. Very well priced for the job they did. An absolute pleasure to deal with and have no hesitation in recommending Arizona chimney sweep.  Golden’s Good Air is one of Arizona’s top rated chimney sweep services and has an excellent AZ BBB rating.

chimney sweep

Or you can do it yourself. Some friends used a “bomb” that they bought from a local hardware store. You put it in the fireplace, make sure that the opening into the room is ready to be closed off, then light the thing and shut the door. Block the opening. All the soot is broken off by this thing and dumped in the fireplace. Don’t do as they did, and open the fireplace too soon after application, as all the muck had not settled! An industrial vacuum is needed to get rid of the stuff, but these are easily hired.

I suggest that you close all door and windows to the room, leaving them open may cause soot to be drawn into the room.

Dust sheets to the floor area, the ones with the spill protection would be best.Tape dust sheets to the walls, floors(use masking tape) leaving just a small opening for the rods to be added, also insert a vacuum cleaner hose to suck up most the dust, gradually clean the flue by adding more rods and pulling/pushing the brush, keep going till it goes stack and if possible get someone else to go outside and look to see if the brush has popped out of the chimney stack, when the complete length of flue is brushed, slowly withdraw the rods wiping them as they are drawn out of the dust sheet seal, once all the rods are out and your left with just the brush in the fire place, do nothing for ten or so mins and have a cuppa, make sure vacuum isn’t over heating.


If you leave the room make sure you’ve no soot on your clothes that may fall off as you leave the room, to clean up tap the dust sheet so most the dust falls off it, then un tape the bottom of the sheet and slowly empty the fire place of soot, it’s very light and dusty so will blow about if you’re not gentle with it, onec you’ve removed the majority of the soot, peal the tape from the walls and fold the sheet in over it’s self so the dusty side is wrapped inside, roll up and place in a bin bag and set aside on the floor sheet. Make sure all the vents are closed otherwise your smug thoughts at how easy it is to clean compared to an open fire are quickly dispelled when you go back into the house and see soot everywhere.


Vacuum the remaining soot from fireplace including fire back and sides, beware of the direction that the cooling fan on the vacuum is blowing.

Vacuum any soot from your overalls and remove all dust sheets from room, wrapping rods and brush in the floor sheet.

Shake out all dusty things with the wind in the right direction, with your neighbors property in mind.

Wear overalls and dust mask and when adding/removing rods keep a good seal on the sheet.

I’m not a sweep but have used this technique many times without the need to clean the whole room afterwards.

chimney sweep

I have a friend who shared a story about a Spanish guy who delivers my logs from the village asked him last autumn if he wanted the chimney swept. As it had not been done for years he said ok. He said he would bring a friend to help and some special thistle. That roused his curiosity. A few days later Paco arrived with Manolo and out of the back of his pick-up truck he pulled a large bunch of gorse. Manolo climbed up on to the roof and lowered a rope down the chimney. Paco tied the gorse to the rope and this was duly pulled up and down til soot was piled up in the hearth. So simple and effective but am not sure if gorse could handle 2 right angled bends.

With all these stories, please keep in mind that chimney sweeping is not just about running a brush and rod up a chimney. There is a lot more to it than that. Knowledge regarding the different constructions of chimney flues and fire appliances is required. It is better to have the job done by experts like Golden’s Good Air.

Chimney Sweep

Posted in Health, Home and Family, Services by admin on July 5th, 2015 No Comments » Tags:

Air Conditioner Repair Phoenix

Air Conditioner RepairIs it just me or do newer AC units break down more? At work we have buildings with really old units and they just keep chugging along but the ones with new units need to be serviced all the time. We had both new units dump their glycol load all over one of our data centres, like a week apart! AC fail followed by high temp then followed by fire alarm is something that will sure wake you the hell up when working night shift. The glycol created a haze in the air which then triggered the fire alarm.  And about 2 seasons ago, cold air stopped coming from our home AC unit, but the fan was still working. Had someone come out and take a look at it, and they said the capacitor went bad, so we had it replaced and cool air started flowing again until. We enjoyed cool AC for about a year, then the AC again stopped working. Had the same guy come out and look at the AC unit and he said this time the problem was a bad compressor. He said it is still under warranty but that labor to replace the compressor would be well over $1000.

Since that price seemed quite high, we had air conditioner repair Phoenix come out to examine the AC unit and give us a repair estimate as well as an estimate for replacing the entire AC unit. He said if we could get the compressor replaced under warranty, he could fix the AC for about $750. When asked how much a new unit would cost (we have a Trane – for a 1350 sq ft house), he said he could get an equivalent model new and installed for around $1400-$1600. To save money, I just had the AC repaired by Morehart Air Conditioning and Heating and it still runs like a brand new unit up to now.  It’s a big job as they need to bleed the system out and collect the refrigerant, desolder (debrase?) the compressor to change it then braise new one in and refill. But 1k still seems a little steep for that. We have stopped working with some other companies because their prices went through the roof and we felt our customers were taken for a ride. Morehart Air Conditioning and Heating been doing it a long time and are very honest. My office building where we were quoted $10k to replace most of the outside unit, had Morehart Air Conditioning and Heating give a second opinion, turned out it was a $300 clogged pipe issue. At home just a few weeks ago Action Air came out and charged me almost $600 to do five minutes of leak detection and 55 minutes of trying to convince me why I’d be better off replacing my entire R22 system for $6500. I had forgotten to call Morehart Air Conditioning and Heating since I hadn’t needed him for a few years. They ultimately quoted $2000 plus labor to just replace the evaporater coil, would need several hundred more in R22, he was able to do the whole job for $1400. Would have saved a few hundred more if I had remembered to call him first.

Air Conditioner Repair

I run the AC all summer long. Temps get to be in high 90s to say under 105 or so. House is 2 stories, so it gets especially hot upstairs. About this time of year, I’m not feeling the need to run the AC… it’s only around 85-89 degrees or so, and I can open the window and be okay. But maybe starting sometime in May through late Aug/early Sept, I’m using the AC daily starting in the mid-afternoon and overnight, mainly because I have a retired family member at home during the daytime.

At work (it’s like a mix of office and retail, not manufacturing or anything) we have 4 Trane package unit heat pumps, all 5 ton R-410a units and less then 5 years old. One blew a compressor, a second sprung a refrigerant leak at a joint that was caked with flux, and a third both had a bad bearing on the blower and had the tube going to the TXV attached in such a way the loop in it was rubbing against one of the main lines and actually wore a hole clean through the copper. The compressor might just be ‘stuff happens,’ but both leaks were bad workmanship.


Posted in apartment, bedroom, Electronics, General, heating and cooling, living room, Services by admin on June 12th, 2015 No Comments » Tags:

Group Bus Tours

Group Bus ToursI live in the US and sometimes take trips with our ski club or with our adult school. Many of them are day trips (to see an art exhibit or something of the sort), but others are longer trips, up to a week. I can tell you a few things about bus rental from my experience.

There are no national bus companies in the US, so which company you use would depend on where you’re starting from. Almost all of group bus tours our groups have made are from companies that also run local transit. For instance, there is a bus company in our area that provides public transport in several towns, and also links various towns. This company has provided buses and drivers for most of our trips.

america tour

Almost all of the trips I’ve taken have been handled by a travel agent, especially the longer trips. Since both of the groups I travel with are non-profit organizations, and since they definitely try to make sure they get 100 cents’ worth out of every dollar, I doubt that using a travel agent adds much to the cost. A travel agent also would be invaluable for arranging hotels for a large group.

How large is your group? What are the main stops you want to make? Train travel is very cheap in the US, and it may well be cheaper than renting a bus. Not only do you have to pay the driver, you have to feed him and put him up in the hotel. If you drive more than a certain number of hours within a certain number of days, you need two drivers.

america tour

I don’t think any bus company would mind if you asked for an estimate before making a commitment. I don’t think anyone except a bus company can give you even a remote idea of the cost. I don’t know of any company that puts their costs online, because there are too many variables.

Some charter buses can hold 55 people each. If there are not enough people who sign up for your charter route, your deposit may be refunded to you, otherwise, your deposit is non-refundable. I encourage each of you to encourage others to sign up for the charter on your route! Most charter bus drivers cannot drive for more than ten hours per day. Hotel, not campground, lodging is required for charter bus service overnight. In DC, hotel lodging will be required, and it is the group’s responsibility to pay for the driver(s)’s rooms. Most hotels will “comp” the driver rooms for bus tours. Hotel group rates are being negotiated right now nationwide, along every convoy route. Once a charter bus is fully reserved by deposit, that charter group would be automatically blocked into medium level room blocks along the route.

america tour

We did the 7hr Yukon rail & bus tour in September and loved it. We had a couple with us who had been to Alaska four times before, but doesn’t get on cruise critic. The man argued with me that we could do a tour like I was explaining to him, but I showed him all the reviews and so they booked to go with us. He just raved about the tour and our guide, Amity. He said it was one of the absolute best excursions he’d ever done (not just in Alaska) and now has joked about me booking their excursions for their QM2 cruise in September. I told him to give me his credit card, and I’d fix him right up.

The bad news is that we only had 2 rainy days – when we were in Sitka and Icy Strait Point.
The good news is that the other days were dry but mostly cloudy – we did have beautiful sunshine when we did the White Pass Rail/Bus trip in Skagway – the sunshine was on the return bus trip.
The other day with beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures was the day we were sailing through the inside passage.

alaska tour

The only time we actually felt chilled was in the rain with a very cold windand both times it was when we were waiting to catch a tender to return to the ship, otherwise we were fine. My advice is to dress in several layers and they you can take off and put on as appropriate for the conditions!

We had a wonderful trip and I hope that you do too.

Posted in General, Services, Vacation by admin on June 9th, 2015 No Comments » Tags: