How to get Your Pool Ready for Summer

How to get Your Pool Ready for Summer

It’s getting hot outside, and that pool is looking more and more inviting. Is your pool ready for you to jump into this summer? There are a few things you can do to get it ready to enjoy on those long hot summer days. Lets go over those steps now, so you and your family can get out there and enjoy it.

First, we’ll briefly discuss the preparations that should have been completed at the end of the previous pool season (and should be done this fall) to make sure that it stays in good shape over the winter:

Do Not Empty the Pool Completely

As you close your pool down for the cooler months, you need to drain the water out. However, you do not want to drain it completely unless you need some structural work done to it. Leaving a few inches of water at the bottom, even in cooler regions of the United States, is good. First, if you completely empty it, all that water could drain under the pool and make it bubble up. By leaving a couple inches of water in there, you are weighing down the pool, and it is less likely to raise up off the ground or get air pockets from any water underneath it.

Winterize

After you have drained the pool to just a couple inches of water, now is the time to clean the walls of the pool and get it ready to cover. Once you have cleaned it, make sure that your pool cover is free of holes and dirt before you place it over the pool. After you cover it up, your pool is ready to wait until the next swimming season.

Getting the Pool Ready for Summer

Now let’s look at how you should prepare your pool to open for the summer. There are a few steps to make sure that your pool will run smoothly and will perform the best over the next several months. It is important to do each of these steps, as they all play an important roll in your pools performance:

Clean It Up: Leave the pool covered and do a chemical open first. Put the filtration system together and clean out all the baskets. Also make sure any plugs you placed in the pool when you closed it last year are removed.

Top It Off: After you clean the pool, it’s time to fill it up with water and top it off. This is also when you should clean all your filters and make sure they are all working properly and do not need to be replaced.

Test Your Water: You can test the water yourself with a water testing kit, or you can take a sample of your pool water to a specialty pool store, where they will usually test it for free. This is recommended, as the professionals can fully test the water and make sure all your mineral levels and pH levels are safe and correct.

Balance the Chemicals: Next you need to do some chemistry! Based on the water tests you had done, you will need to add certain chemicals to your pool to make sure it is safe for swimming. This usually includes adding chlorine or calcium, depending on the balance. Here is a list of what the levels of each chemical should be in your pool:

  • PH Levels between 7.2 to 7.4
  • Alkalinity from 80 to 120
  • Calcium hardness from 150 ppm to 250 ppm (parts per million)
  • Chlorine from 1 ppm to 3 ppm

You can put chemical tablets in your skimmer baskets, but you should also make sure to have a plastic chlorinator basket that attaches to the filter system. Make sure it is plastic, because the chemical tablets have a low acid content that can eat through metal.

Wait for the Water to Clear: Now that you have shocked and chemically cleaned your pool, the water will look a little cloudy. It is important to wait for the water to turn clear before you jump in and enjoy it. This time lets the chemicals do their job of balancing and disinfecting and makes your pool is safe for swimmers.

Clean Debris: Once the water has cleared, now it is time to vacuum or scoop out any leaves or other large debris that may be floating around in the pool. You can also use your skimmer basket to clean off the surface. It is a good idea to do this maintenance on the pool at least once a month after you open it.

Maintenance: As mentioned above, now that your pool is ready for use, it’s a good idea to keep up good maintenance on the pool throughout the summer season. Vacuum and skim clean the pool monthly or even weekly. Do a chemical balance check once a month as well. Keeping up a good maintenance schedule for your pool will ensure it lasts longer and has the best performance. If you want more detailed information on pool maintenance, check out Complete Protection’s blog here.

Now that you have completed these steps, it’s time to dust off those lounge chairs, blow up those floaties, and get out there and enjoy your pool time. Be sure and grab that big glass of lemonade before you head out into the sun!

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Rent or Buy a Home: The Pros and Cons

Rent or Buy a Home: The Pros and Cons

To Rent or To Buy? That is the question.

When you start out and live on your own for the first time, it seems easiest to rent a place, whether it’s a house or apartment. Here we will go over both options to see whether it’s better to rent or buy your home depending on your situation.

Questions to Ask Yourself

The first question you need to ask yourself as you set out on your own is simple. How long do you plan to stay in this location? Is it temporary while you are in school, interning at a job, or just seeing if you like the area? Do you know that you will stay in the area for many years?

The next question is how much money are you looking to put into the move? Initial costs can be steep no matter which way you go, but buying a home has a much pricier up-front cost. Often where you move to depends on how much you can afford at that time.

Renting – The Pros

Ease of Relocation

If you plan to stay in an area temporarily, renting is your best option. Most leases are for a year, and some even let you go month to month. This is great if you are new to the area and want to determine if it’s a good location for you. If you are a college student and just staying for school, or if you have a temporary job in the area, renting is your best bet.

Repairs and Maintenance

One major benefit of renting is fewer out-of-pocket expenses as things go wrong. The homeowner or property manager is the one responsible for most repairs. Air conditioner not working? Dishwasher broken? These are things that the property owner should take care of for you.

Credit Requirement

Most landlords know that many people who are renting are just getting out on their own, building their life, or even downsizing in retirement. This can make them more relaxed on what they think is a good credit score. This could be to your benefit as renting and staying in good standing will help you build that credit as you build your future. Typically, as long as you don’t have a credit report filled with outstanding balances or bankruptcies, you should be able to find a landlord willing to rent to you.

 Some Utilities Included

In some cases (especially with apartments), some utility costs are included in your rent. This could include trash services, water, lawn care, or more. Having these utilities included in your monthly rent will reduce your outgoing expenses.

No Exposure to Real Estate Market

When you are just renting, it is not your concern if the market value of the home you live in fluctuates. Leave those concerns for your landlord!

Renting – The Cons

No Equity Building

When renting, you have no equity gain from the money you are paying each month. Unless you are in a rent-to-own agreement, each dollar you give to a landlord for rent is now gone. If you plan on staying in this location for a long period of time, then buying a home may be a better option for you.

Less Housing Security

Most states have laws in place that do not allow for a landlord to evict tenants without substantial notice, but there is still uncertainty. Even though the landlord may need to give up to 60 days notice, there is still a chance that the landlord could sell the property you are living in or need it for something else. If you own your home, there is no uncertainty that you will be without a house as long as you pay your mortgage.

No Federal Tax Benefits

By just renting your home, you are losing out on the tax benefits that come with home ownership. As a homeowner, you can deduct property tax and mortgage interest rates on federal taxes. When renting, you are unable to do this, and it could raise your federal tax liability by several thousand dollars.

Limited Control over Ongoing Costs

Renting your home leaves you open for the landlord to raise your rent once the lease is up due to housing market fluctuations. Unless you live in an area that has rent control laws, the landlord is allowed to do this. Hopefully you develop a good enough relationship with your landlord that this may not be a problem, but if the housing market takes a nice tumble, you could be facing pricey rent increases.

Buying – The Pros

Building Equity Over Time

With most mortgages, a portion of your payment goes to the principal balance of your loan. Once a loan reaches a certain percentage of principal paid, you are able to take out a home equity loan to make updates to the home or possibly refinance the loan to a lower interest rate. Making updates to the home can boost the resale value if you decide to sell later on, and it will boost the equity you put into the home.

Tax Benefits

There are several tax benefits that are great for homeowners, though not all situations will qualify. You can get deductions on the property tax you pay as well as the interest you pay on your mortgage. Some states offer a homestead advantage credit base on the property tax assessment. There are also some credits that you can get for making your home more efficient with new appliances.

More Creative Freedom

What if you want to update those cabinets or paint that bedroom? If you are just renting, most landlords want you to leave the property as is or get permission for changes. If you buy the home, you have the freedom to do almost anything you want. By updating and improving your home for your own enjoyment, you are also updating the appeal of the home if you do decide to sell later. You can DIY to your heart’s content when you own the home you live in.

Sense of Community

This is a neighborhood where you know you will stay. If you are buying your home, your neighbors can become your friends. The school where your child attends will have families in the area. You will get to know the area, maybe even set up block parties or join the neighborhood homes association. You could volunteer at the local community center. If you are renting, you might feel less inclined to do these things, especially if you will only be there for a short while.

Possibility of Rental Income

Does your home have a finished basement or an extra bedroom going unused? There lies the possibility that you could rent these areas out to a single person or student to get an extra income from your home. You could also use a company like Airbnb if you are interested in subletting your space while you are away or needing some extra money. This is not appealing to everyone, but it is an option you have when you own your home.

Buying – The Cons

Long-Term Commitment

Homeownership is a long-term financial commitment. You are stuck in one area until you decide to sell, and selling a home takes a lot of effort. You have to continue your mortgage payments until a sale goes through, which can take months.

Responsibility for Maintenance

Once you buy a home, you will quickly long for the days when your landlord fixed all of the problems. From small maintenance tasks like yearly pest control and filter changes, to large problems like replacing a furnace or fixing a leaky roof, you are responsible for everything when you own the building.

Buying a House is Pricey

Mortgage payments are fixed over time and progressing you towards completion. However, they tend to be a bit pricier than rental payments per month. If you can’t get a mortgage rate within your budget, you might be forced to continue renting until your financial situation changes. Also keep in mind that there are fees associated with buying a house, including a down payment, closing costs, and real estate agent/inspection fees.

Overall Conclusion

What you decide to do is up to you, depending on your situation. Do you need a temporary place to stay while you study or do an internship? Do you want to make an investment over time? If you are just starting out on your own, then renting may be the best bet for you. If you are set in your career, ready to start a family, and prepared to settle in, then home ownership is most likely a better option. As you start to ask yourself these questions and look over the good and bad of each, the New York Times has a great mortgage calculator that can help you see what option is best for you.

Whether you decide to rent or buy your home, check out Complete Protection’s other guides for home maintenance to keep your house in top shape. This one gives you an overview of the essential tools you will need on-hand for basic home maintenance and repair.

Moreno Valley Home Warranty

Moreno Valley Home Warranty
Call 1-800-978-2022 for more info – Moreno Valley Home Warranty.
Call 1-800-978-2022 for more info – Moreno Valley Home Warranty. Does your monthly budget allow for expensive home repairs? If not, a home warranty plan is right for you. Perhaps you have an elderly parent on a fixed income, or are a landlord with a rental property? Our plans are a perfect solution when extra help is needed for home repairs. Whether you are a young family just starting out, or simply want to have peace of mind when it comes to your appliances, there is a CP™ home warranty plan right for all households.
A home warranty plan is a valuable tool for all homeowners. Having an extended warranty in place for your home appliances protects you and your family budget from expensive, unexpected repair costs. Our plans protect items such as your heating and cooling system, water heater, kitchen and laundry appliances, pool equipment, and much more.
For starters, none of our plans have a deductible or service call charge! We also offer diverse monthly and annual plans for home buyers as well as homeowners. CP™ protects every part inside the appliance, so you never have to wonder which parts will be covered. We encourage you to check out our unrivaled reputation through the BBB, where we have an A+ rating. When selecting your home warranty plan, choose a company you can trust to deliver what is promised! Call 1-800-978-2022 for more info – Moreno Valley Home Warranty.
Moreno Valley is a city located in Riverside County, California and is part of the San Bernardino-Riverside Metropolitan Area. A relatively young city, its rapid growth from the 1980s to the early 2000s made it the second-largest city in Riverside County by population, and one of the Inland Empire’s population centers. As of the 2010 census, the city’s population was 193,365. The city is closely tied to Riverside, California, the county seat and largest city in the county, which neighbors Moreno Valley directly to the west. Moreno Valley is also part of the Greater Los Angeles area.
California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area. Located on the western (Pacific Ocean) coast of the U.S., California is bordered by the other U.S. states of Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona and shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California. The state capital is Sacramento. Los Angeles is California’s most populous city, and the country’s second largest after New York City. The state also has the nation’s most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County.
Complete Protection™ (CP™) is unlike any other home warranty on the market. In business since 1998, we have become the industry leader in Customer Service. Anytime you call, day or night, we will always have live staff answering the phone with no menus to navigate! Get the personal attention you deserve from your home warranty company.
Complete Appliance Protection proudly serves the Moreno Valley community

Will this Radio Frequency Oven Change How We Cook Food?

Microwave Ovens

A microwave is a useful appliance to have in the kitchen. It makes many cooking tasks faster and more convenient. However, the microwave has never truly made it past its supporting role to the regular oven and stove. It’s magnetron blasts food with energy to get the molecules moving, forming heat. But in the process, it dries food out and heats unevenly. Microwave ovens have been in kitchens since the 1950’s, and most people still only use them for reheating leftovers and preparing popcorn. Surely this kind of appliance can be improved?

Solid State Radio Frequency Ovens

Goji Food Solutions claims to have a new solid state radio frequency oven design that will revolutionize modern cooking. Instead of using microwaves, it uses solid state radio frequencies (RF) to cook food. They state that the energy waves are more precise and controlled, allowing for more variability in how each type of food cooks.

The Goji RF oven would allow you to cook an entire meal at once, even if there are different types of foods involved. Sensors read the thickness, moisture, and composition of the meal and send specific beams set to cook each. It controls the frequency, phase, and amplitude of the radio waves. The appliance can tell where the meat is and direct certain kinds of energy waves towards that, while sending other waves to the vegetables.

President of the company, Yuval Ben-Haim, has discussed this technique. The appliance re-scans the food every few seconds and makes adjustments when needed. Examples that the RF oven can handle include rising cakes, defrosting meat, and drying fruit. Ben-Haim claims that, “Beyond cutting cooking time significantly for a wide range of dishes, this method results in tastier and healthier food by cooking it more evenly.” Faster cooking times are proven to keep the nutrients and moisture in our food intact.

The Origins of RF Ovens

Would you believe that the beginnings of Goji’s new radio frequency oven began with organ transplants? Researchers in the mid-2000’s were looking for a better way to defrost organs that had been moved for transplants. It’s very important that the organ is thawed evenly and quickly to minimize damage.

Ben-Haim and his company sought to broaden the application of this technology, and found it to be a difficult challenge. The biggest problem was transitioning the technology from a lab to mass production. They have had working RF ovens for years, but only recently were able to spread them to consumers.

The Future of RF Ovens

The first units will cost around $5000, which is similar to high-end conventional ovens. Most of the early models will probably end up in commercial use for restaurants, schools, etc. However, Goji aims to reduce the price and eventually spread the product into homes around the world. Ben-Haim envisions great things for the invention, believing it will be “used in restaurants, coffee shops, even vending machines to cook fresh and healthy food quickly. Imagine having your croissant freshly baked for you while you pay.”

The ability for RF ovens to carefully control the cooking process should allow for a great amount of user control. Imagine using your smart phone to keep track of how your roast, vegetables, and dinner rolls are doing in the oven! Radio frequency heating could have future uses in other appliances as well, such as clothes dryers.

Will these new radio frequency ovens be the next big thing? Will everyone have one in their kitchen within the next few decades? If they can be sold for the price of a microwave and cook food quickly and evenly, there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing them soon!

Still stuck with a regular old microwave oven? Check out Complete Protection’s guide for microwave oven preventative maintenance to keep yours running smoothly and efficiently while you wait for RF ovens to spread in popularity.

Bakersfield Home Warranty

Call 1-800-978-2022 for more info – Bakersfield Home Warranty. Does your monthly budget allow for expensive home repairs? If not, a home warranty plan is right for you. Perhaps you have an elderly parent on a fixed income, or are a landlord with a rental property? Our plans are a perfect solution when extra help is needed for home repairs. Whether you are a young family just starting out, or simply want to have peace of mind when it comes to your appliances, there is a CP™ home warranty plan right for all households.

A home warranty plan is a valuable tool for all homeowners. Having an extended warranty in place for your home appliances protects you and your family budget from expensive, unexpected repair costs. Our plans protect items such as your heating and cooling system, water heater, kitchen and laundry appliances, pool equipment, and much more.

For starters, none of our plans have a deductible or service call charge! We also offer diverse monthly and annual plans for home buyers as well as homeowners. CP™ protects every part inside the appliance, so you never have to wonder which parts will be covered. We encourage you to check out our unrivaled reputation through the BBB, where we have an A+ rating. When selecting your home warranty plan, choose a company you can trust to deliver what is promised! Call 1-800-978-2022 for more info – Bakersfield Home Warranty.

Bakersfield is a city in California, United States, and the county seat of Kern County. It covers about 142 square miles near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield’s population is approximately 365,000, making it the ninth-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield and Rosedale, has a population of approximately 464,000.

California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area. Located on the western (Pacific Ocean) coast of the U.S., California is bordered by the other U.S. states of Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona and shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California. The state capital is Sacramento. Los Angeles is California’s most populous city, and the country’s second largest after New York City. The state also has the nation’s most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County.

Complete Protection™ (CP™) is unlike any other home warranty on the market. In business since 1998, we have become the industry leader in Customer Service. Anytime you call, day or night, we will always have live staff answering the phone with no menus to navigate! Get the personal attention you deserve from your home warranty company.

Call 1-800-978-2022 for more info – Bakersfield Home Warranty.

Complete Appliance Protection proudly serves the Bakersfield community

Anaheim Home Warranty

Call 1-800-978-2022 for more info – Anaheim Home Warranty. Does your monthly budget allow for expensive home repairs? If not, a home warranty plan is right for you. Perhaps you have an elderly parent on a fixed income, or are a landlord with a rental property? Our plans are a perfect solution when extra help is needed for home repairs. Whether you are a young family just starting out, or simply want to have peace of mind when it comes to your appliances, there is a CP™ home warranty plan right for all households.

A home warranty plan is a valuable tool for all homeowners. Having an extended warranty in place for your home appliances protects you and your family budget from expensive, unexpected repair costs. Our plans protect items such as your heating and cooling system, water heater, kitchen and laundry appliances, pool equipment, and much more.

For starters, none of our plans have a deductible or service call charge! We also offer diverse monthly and annual plans for home buyers as well as homeowners. CP™ protects every part inside the appliance, so you never have to wonder which parts will be covered. We encourage you to check out our unrivaled reputation through the BBB, where we have an A+ rating. When selecting your home warranty plan, choose a company you can trust to deliver what is promised! Call 1-800-978-2022 for more info – Anaheim Home Warranty.

Anaheim is a city in Orange County, California, part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 336,265, making it the most populous city in Orange County and the 10th most populous city in California. Anaheim is the second largest city in Orange County in terms of land area (after Irvine) and is known for its theme parks, sports teams, and convention center.

California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area. Located on the western (Pacific Ocean) coast of the U.S., California is bordered by the other U.S. states of Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona and shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California. The state capital is Sacramento. Los Angeles is California’s most populous city, and the country’s second largest after New York City. The state also has the nation’s most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County.

Complete Protection™ (CP™) is unlike any other home warranty on the market. In business since 1998, we have become the industry leader in Customer Service. Anytime you call, day or night, we will always have live staff answering the phone with no menus to navigate! Get the personal attention you deserve from your home warranty company.

Call 1-800-978-2022 for more info – Anaheim Home Warranty.

Complete Appliance Protection proudly serves the Anaheim community 

How Google and YouTube Affect Home Appliance Repair

The Information Age has brought countless marvels and conveniences to our homes. One major convenience is the ability to look up how to fix things around the house. A quick Google search can help you with many problems. YouTube is filled with useful videos that give step-by-step instructions for all sorts of tasks. Some of them are even made by professionals in that field. With a few keystrokes, you can figure out which types of cleaners work best on different surfaces, how to perform your own preventative maintenance, and even how to do your own home appliance repair.

Home Appliance Repair

Every homeowner dreads the moment when an appliance breaks. It’s a hassle when an important appliance won’t work. Also, scheduling repairs around a busy workweek can be nearly impossible. Getting a professional to look at a broken appliance takes time and lots of money. Just getting a repairman to your house to look at the problem can sometimes cost over a hundred dollars. After that, further fees are added for parts and labor.

Some maintenance and repairs require a highly skilled, experienced professional. However, many jobs that used to seem impossible for the average homeowner to do are now easily accomplished using the Internet. You can often find detailed descriptions and/or videos detailing how to fix very specific problems. Tutorials even exist for fixing certain brands and models of appliance. When you attempt a Google search, try detailing the brand, type of appliance, and problem that you’re experiencing. You might be surprised by how easy of a fix you can find. You might possibly even bypass the need to buy new parts or a new appliance altogether.

When You Should Call the Professionals

So what does this mean for the professionals? Appliance repair is still a functioning business, calculated at a $4 billion industry in 2015. Many people still want professional help when doing appliance repair. There are many good reasons to call in help. You can nullify warranties by attempting repairs yourself. You can easily get in over your head, make a problem worse, or even hurt yourself if you make a mistake. Repairs also take longer to do when the person isn’t trained to make them. There’s also the fact that each year people invent more and more complex, convenient gadgets to fill our homes.

Although trying to repair something yourself is a great idea and a money-saver for some repairs, there are certain circumstances that you should definitely leave to a professional. Some examples include working with complex electrical work, complex plumbing, hazardous materials, gas lines, and repairs that affect the structural integrity of the house. You can find more information about home projects to avoid doing yourself at Complete Protection’s blog here.

There’s no denying that many repairs that used to be made solely by professional repairmen are now done by homeowners to save them a lot of money. Google and YouTube are making a growing dent in the revenue of the repair business. It will be interesting to see how upcoming technology, such as 3D printers, will continue to affect the repair industry in the future. Although there may be fewer repairmen going door to door for home appliance repair, there’s still a place for these professionals in the workforce.