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Fixlers Blog

Latest articles

Blog

9 Practical Ways to Save Energy This Winter

With U.S. inflation rate at record high, everyone is talking about different ways to save money. And since winter is approaching, most of us are, unsurprisingly, concerned with our energy bills. Here, we have some practical tips for saving both your electric and gas bills this winter.

1. Keep doors closed

Keeping doors closed within the house to trap heat. This will apply especially for those who don’t have central heating. So, for example, if you are spending most of your time in the living room during the evening, then, you can keep the kitchen door or the bathroom door closed in order to keep heat. Fear that you might walk into an icy cold bedroom at night as a result? What about laying some thick rugs on the floor? Or add two (or even three) layers of duvet and bed throws as you sleep? This leads us to the next point…

2. Add more layers

You can make a noticeable difference in your bills by turning your thermostat down by just one degree. Yes! So time to grab some socks and a sweater, and add two layers underneath that! I suggest a thermal long-sleeve top plus a sweater on top, then some thermal tights as well as trousers, a pair of thick cotton socks and a pair of slippers if you wish.

3. Cook clever

The oven, as we know, heats up every shelf regardless of whether there's food on it or not. So make the most of it by bulk-cooking! Also, once you've finished cooking, keep the oven door open and allow the excess heat to warm up your kitchen or room.

4. Don't block the heater

Blocking the heater with large furniture such as a cabinet drawer or a sofa is not energy efficient. This means heat is absorbed by the item in front of it and it will take much longer (and more energy and money) to warm up the room.

5. Unplug them

Not using the laptop or the lamp? Then don't just switch them off, take the extra step to unplug them too. Appliances continue to use unnecessary electricity
even when they're turned off. So, if you want to save on your electricity bills, ensure appliances such as the TV is switched off and not just on standby, and unplug any other appliances that are not being used every day.

6. Draw the curtains

Invest in some thermal curtains. They will trap heat in your house when it's chilly outside. Conversely, on a sunny day, open the curtains and let the warmth in.

7. Insulation

Heat rises. By insulating your attic, you can trap more heat inside the home, potentially saving over $100 a year. Cavity wall insulation would also cut back
your heating bills significantly. Need a professional to complete the job? Find your local FixlersPro by clicking
here .

8. Block up your chimney

If you are lucky enough to have a beautiful house with a chimney, simple devices like the Chimney Sheep or Chimney Balloon can help minimise drafts that come through the chimney. The Chimney balloon is also commonly used to stop draft, chimney odors, insect, bird or bat from entering the home through the flue.

9. Fill up the fridge

We are super excited to bring you this tip! Who doesn’t love a full fridge? Did you know that an empty fridge wastes far more energy than a full one, because
it has to work harder to keep everything cool? If food is compacted together, it stays cooler and for longer. Try doing a weekly shop rather than several smaller ones. And as always, a gentle reminder that food waste is never a good thing, so only buy what you can consume within a week, or buy things that have a longer expiry date.

Nov 01, 2022
Blog

The First 7 Tools Every Kid Should Learn to Use

Anybody who’s spent some time around kids knows that they are very thirsty for new experiences. To satisfy that curiosity, you can introduce these seven DIY tools and teach them valuable life skills. This way, you get to spend some quality time with them and show them a new way to practice their creative thinking – and who knows, you might be unleashing a hidden talent!

Disclaimer: Please make sure to use these tips and tools with the proper preparations and safety guidelines recommended by the tool manufacturers for age-appropriate use.

1. Tape Measure
A tape measure should be everyone’s first tool. It’s great for any age and can be used to teach basic math as well as the importance of accuracy. Hence the saying; “Measure twice and cut once”. Give your child a shorter tape measure (8' to 12') that’s light and easier to pull and helps to get familiar with numbers and mathematics. Watch them measure your whole house and enjoy this fun activity together.


2. Hammer
Kids LOVE smacking things, so they will love hammers. Just be sure that it's something light enough to handle but heavy enough to be effective for your “lessons”! And make sure you prepare the tasks. For example, predrill a few holes so they can get the hang of things easily and figure out the correct technique. Start them young! And raise a self-reliant kid!


3. Ladder
Have you ever had the urge to climb trees when you were a child? Perhaps you are one of those “lucky” kids who get to climb many! But yes, most kids like to climb. Trees look like very fun challenges! And knowing how to use a ladder will help everyone get there faster. As with all tools, correct setup is critical for safety. Teach your children to place the ladder on a firm, level surface away from doors and windows. Ensure it extends at least 3 feet past the supporting branch. Teach them how to check the ladder is leaning at the correct angle by standing at the base of the ladder.


4. Screwdrivers
Any toolbox, including your kid’s as well, is incomplete without a set of screwdrivers. Teach your kids how to use this most essential of tools! Give your kids a broken appliance, and watch them glow with joy as they take it apart and try to put it all back together. The lesson here isn't about repairing the item but learning how all the pieces fit together.


5. Cordless drill
A cordless drill is a versatile tool and is one of the safest. Your kids can use it for many things from building a birdhouse to hanging pictures. You can teach them how to use this tool to pre-drill holes, and later drive screws all the way in. They will also learn how to position themselves correctly and how much weight to press down. It will come in handy in many situations in the future!


6. Flashlight
This might seem pointless but, you might not know how to use it until you are taught. An LED flashlight is a utility tool that is necessary for working at night or looking for something at the cupboards under the stairs. Having your kid help you by holding a flashlight while you finish a project or when you are looking for something in a dark cupboard is great fun for them. It keeps them involved, it teaches them teamwork, how to point with accuracy, and how to communicate the angles that work best.


7. Coping Saw
Before your kids are old enough to use a power saw safely, start them out with a coping saw. It's lightweight and can be used to demonstrate sawing with yardsticks or pine boards. Coping saws have thin and narrow blades, which makes them highly maneuverable. The blades are easy to change and this tool can stay in a child's toolbox into adulthood.


About us
This blog is provided by Fixlers. Fixlers is a platform for ordering on-demand handyman services for your home, office, and vehicle. Think of us as a marketplace for screened, guaranteed professionals that can take care of your entire to-do list. We are available in parts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and Michigan. We’re constantly expanding, so check back regularly! Visit www.fixlers.com to find out more.

Oct 01, 2022
Blog

Make Your Parents’ Home Safer As They Age

7 Home Modifications for Seniors

The population is aging rapidly. Research shows that the majority of older Americans intend to remain in their current homes for as long as possible, but most of our homes are designed and constructed for young and mobile families. They are not necessarily suited to accommodate those who aged.

Thanks to advances in technology and wider availability of services, it is now easier than ever to create a senior-friendly home. Modifications and adaptations can enhance safety and promote lasting independence for our beloved family members.

INSTALL A RAMP

Having a step-free entrance at ground level is safer for older adults, especially for those who might be unsteady on their feet, or use a wheelchair or walker. Installing a ramp is one of the most common home modifications and it is well worth the cost.

INSTALL GRAB BARS

This is another important – and most common – home modification: installing grab bars or railings in high-risk areas such as bathrooms and bedrooms. They are excellent installations as they provide anyone with mobility issues additional support and prevent slips and injuries. Make sure your grab bar holds up to 250lbs. They don’t cost the earth and you can install it yourself. Install it securely by screwing it into wall studs. If you would like to have a professional do this for you, try a FixlersPro!

KITCHEN MODIFICATIONS

The elderly may find their countertops and cabinetry too high, especially if they are in a wheelchair. This is why we might need to find a professional to come in and adjust the counter height and lower the sink for us, in order to allow for safer and easier access. Moving appliances around may not be enough. Sometimes we just need to replace them. For example, a side-opening oven is much safer than one with a swing door. Or if the stove’s controls are located on the top, then buy one with controls on the front.

BATHTUB MODIFICATIONS

Bathrooms can be dangerous places for our elderly family members. Replace the bathtub with a walk-in shower, which provides an easier and safer entry and exit. If that’s not an option for you financially, there are less expensive ways to prevent slips and falls in the bathtub. You can add a grab bar to the tub, or install safety strips. You can also purchase a bathtub transfer bench/chair, which enables seniors to sit safely on the bench while getting into the tub. Getting into the tub while seated greatly reduces the risk of dangerous slips and falls. These benches also help them get out of the tub safely and unassisted.

LAUNDRY ROOM

Ideally, the laundry room should be on the main floor, close to the bedroom and the bathroom, because these are the two rooms where we get changed and where we store our clean laundry items. The washer and dryer should also ideally be front-loading, and be raised on platforms or stacked. Open shelves in closets are better than drawers, and installing double bars in closets – one low and one high allows items to be reached from both a seated and a standing position.

FLOORING MODIFICATIONS

Is your carpet getting old and shaggy? Time to replace them! Do you have a wooden or tiled floor? Hardwood, tile, laminate, and vinyl floors are smooth and beautiful, and while they are easier for wheelchair users, they tend to be more slippery than carpeting. Make sure you put some rugs on these floors and tape them down securely to prevent fall injuries.

UPGRADE YOUR SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY

Home technology like medical alerts, home security, remote monitoring, or remote communication systems is extremely important and beneficial for seniors at home. Wearable technology like watches, necklaces, and shoe insoles can monitor your loved ones’ movement inside their home. You can fit a home monitoring system with different sensors in which you can monitor your senior members from your smartphone. For example, you can have a sensor on the medicine cabinet door so that you’ll know if your mom takes her medicine. You can have heat sensors installed on the stove, and door sensors put in for entryways. Aging-in-place home monitoring systems tend to cost around $250 for the system and have a monthly monitoring fee of around $20-$40.

SAFER AND BETTER

The best action to take is to consider all of the areas at home that present the most trouble and concern for the individuals. What’s best for your parents might not be the best for mine. If there are potential tripping or falling hazards, eliminate or modify them immediately. Grant yourself and your loved ones peace of mind by taking a proactive approach to create a senior-friendly home.

And as always, if you need a professional to help with any home modifications, find your local FixlersPro today at www.fixlers.com or call us at 0888-683-8483

Sep 01, 2022