7 Hacks to Stay Cool This Summer

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Beating the heat this summer doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Check out these seven hacks to you keep cool when the temperature climbs.

Supplement with ceiling fans.   Switch the direction of your ceiling fan blades to rotate counter-clockwise during the summer months. This forces air down into the room and creates a windchill effect.

Lay low.   You might remember from your middle school science class that warm air rises, so conversely, cold air sinks. Stay cool by laying low – whether that means hanging out on the basement or sitting on the floor.

Shut the shades.   Keeping your shades open on a hot summer day lets UV rays into your home, which can quickly warm up a room. Keep your blinds shut during the day and open them when the sun goes down to let in a little bit of cool air.

Boost the breeze.   Going against the last point, opening your window can sometimes help if there is a breeze. Enhance the cooling effect by hanging a wet bed sheet in front of your open window. When the next breeze picks up, it will bring chilled air into the room.

Cut down on the cooking.   Cooking on the stove top or in the oven is a quick way to heat up your kitchen, and even the whole home. During the summer, do as much cooking as possible in the microwave, toaster oven, or outdoor grill.

Make a homemade air conditioner.   Whether your air conditioner broke or you just don’t have one, you can replicate the same effect with a little bit of ice, a metal mixing bowl, and a fan. Fill the bowl with ice and tilt it so that the fan blows directly onto it. When the air hits the cubes, it will release a cool misty breeze.

Tune up your air conditioner.   Having your air conditioner professionally tuned up at the start of every season will help keep your energy bills low and prevent future breakdowns.

If you live in Fairfield County, Connecticut, trust the air conditioning experts at Devine Bros. to keep you comfortable all summer long. We offer cooling system installations, repairs, and tune ups to Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, and the surrounding area. Visit our website for more information or give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

5 Benefits of a Standby Generator

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If you live in Fairfield County, Connecticut, you know that power outages are a year-round threat. Between heavy snow in the winter and thunderstorms throughout the spring and summer, your power supply is never promised. Until now.

With an automatic standby generator installation from Devine Bros., you can rest assured knowing that your home is completely protected from future power outages. Here are five benefits of our standby generators…

1). They automatically detect blackouts.

Our generators are automatic, meaning they can detect a power outage by themselves and turn on within minutes. This eliminates any work on your end, and also keeps your essentials running if the power goes out when the home is empty.

2). They provide enough energy to power your entire home.

Some home generators make you pick and choose what devices you want to keep running. Not ours. With the generators from Devine Bros., you can have it all – including light, entertainment, refrigeration, heating, and cooling.

3). They never need to be refueled.

These generators connect right to your home’s existing fuel line, whether you have natural gas or liquid petroleum. This means you will never need to go outside in inclement weather to refuel your generator.

4). They minimize other damages.

Many times during a blackout, losing power is the least of your worries – the real troubles are what results from it. Our generators can prevent problems such as food spoiling and basement flooding by providing power to your refrigerator and sump pump.

5). They give you peace of mind.

An automatic standby generator gives you peace of mind knowing that your family will be sheltered and protected during even the harshest of weather conditions. Who can put a price on that?

What are you waiting for? If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, contact Devine Bros. for your generator installation today. Visit us online or give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

How to Mulch a Garden

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May is for mulching. If you want to take your landscape to the next level, mulching your garden can do just that. Mulch provides plants with nutrients, conserves moisture, provides shade for delicate roots, and enhances the visual appeal of your garden.

Here is everything you need to know about mulching your garden.

What you will need:

  • Mulch – use this online calculator to determine how much will be needed

  • Wheelbarrow to transport mulch

  • Shovel

  • Gardening gloves

How to Mulch:

  1. Transport the mulch to your property. Many companies will deliver the mulch straight to your yard if the order is big enough. To minimize work, you will want the pile of mulch to be in the middle of the areas you will be mulching.

  2. Load some of the mulch into a wheelbarrow. If you don’t have one, a wagon or wheeled garbage can also works.

  3. Using the shovel or your hands, apply the mulch to your garden. You will want about 2-3 inches of depth.

  4. Evenly spread the mulch using your shovel, rake, or hands.

  5. Re-apply a new layer of mulch every two years to keep it fresh.

Additional Mulching Tips:

  • The best depth for mulch is 2-3 inches.

  • Use a mulching lawn mower that leaves your grass clippings on your lawn – they are a good source of nutrients.

  • Leave one-inch of breathing room around all plant stems and tree trunks.

Want to learn more about mulching? Check out this article from WikiHow.

If you live in Norwalk, Westport, or New Canaan, look no further than Devine Bros. for all of your landscaping needs. We have Fairfield County’s largest selection of landscaping supplies, all available for pickup or delivery. From mulch to brick to flagstone and concrete, we truly have it all! Visit our website for more information or give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

Shocking Facts About Indoor Air Pollution

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Which do you think is cleaner: the air inside your home or the air outside?

It’s obviously the air inside your home. After all, we are constantly hearing about how polluted outdoor air is. Right?

Wrong.

Indoor air pollution is a very serious problem that isn’t getting as much attention as it deserves. If you don’t believe it, maybe some of these facts will change your mind:

  • The air in your home could be up to ten times more polluted than outdoor air. Unless you are making a conscious effort to maintain clean air in your home, it is probably polluted. In some cases, it could be 100x more polluted than the air outside!

  • Indoor air pollution has been linked to short- and long-term health effects. Short-term health effects can resemble allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, coughing, and headaches. Long-term effects are more serious and include lung cancer, heart disease, and COPD.

  • Sources of indoor air pollution are all around us. Everyday household products are contributing to your indoor air pollution, including some you think are safe. Click here to learn more about sources of indoor air pollution.

  • The EPA named indoor air pollution as a Top 5 Risk to Public Health. If there was still any doubt in your mind, the extreme concern from the Environmental Protection Agency should clear it up.

  • Most people spend about 90% of their time indoors. To make these indoor air pollution statistics even more frightening, we are exposed to these dangers for up to 90% of our day.

How is the air quality in your home? If you live in Norwalk, Wesport, or New Canaan, Connecticut, call Devine Bros. for a free consultation at (203) 866-4421.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Cooling System?

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To repair or replace your air conditioner – that is the question.” – William Shakespeare.

Okay, maybe those weren’t his exact words, but they were probably yours at one point or another. If your cooling system is on the fritz, knowing whether to fix it or replace it can be tricky. Luckily for you, the home heating and cooling experts at Devine Bros. are here to answer this age-old question.

Here is what they say you should do…

Repair it if…

  • You are planning on selling your home. If you are planning on moving out soon, opt to repair your cooling system instead of replacing it. Replacing is more expensive and you will likely not be able to recoup the cost when you sell your house.

  • The cost of repair is less than half the cost of a new unit. This is known as the 50% rule. If the repair is more than half of the cost, it’s best to just have the unit replaced.

Replace it if…

  • It’s more than 15 years old. Older cooling systems are much less energy efficient than newer units. Repairing a system that is already more than 15 years old will cost you more in the long run due to high energy bills.

  • Your system is having repeat problems. If your air conditioner is giving you problem after problem, sometimes it is best to count your losses and move on.

No matter what decision you make, trust Devine Bros. to help you beat the heat this summer. We offer air conditioner repairs, replacements, and tune ups to Norwalk, Connecticut and the surrounding area. Visit our website to learn more or call us at (203) 866-4421 to schedule your appointment.

3 Secrets for a Lush Green Summer Lawn

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Few things make your home stand out like a perfectly green lawn. Unfortunately, obtaining one is easier said than done for most homeowners. Luckily, the landscaping experts at Devine Bros. are here to offer their expert advice to help you grow the lawn of your dreams. Here are their three secrets for a lush summer lawn…

Secret #1: Test your soil.

Every lawn is different. If you want yours to be the talk of the neighborhood this summer, you should test your soil. You can purchase a home kit to measure your pH level, but if you want nutrient availability information, you are best off hiring a local service to conduct the test. Knowing the key measurements of your soil takes all the guesswork out of maintaining your lawn.

Secret #2: Fertilize during the spring.

A healthy summer lawn starts in the spring, which is the perfect time to fertilize. There is no one-size-fits-all fertilization formula, so take your soil tests to a local gardening center to get their advice on the best fertilizer for your lawn. Opt for a slow-release organic fertilizer, and make sure your lawn is thoroughly coated.

Secret #3: Practice good mowing habits.

Mowing your lawn isn’t as simple as mowing your lawn. For best results, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Sharpen your lawnmower blades every 8-12 hours of use.

  • Don’t cut your grass too short. Ideally, it should be 3 inches tall after a fresh cut.

  • Don’t use a lawn mower with a bag. The clippings from mulching mowers provide your lawn with extra nutrients.

Want more tips for the perfect lawn? Check out this article from This Old House!

If you live in Fairfield County, Connecticut, trust Devine Bros. with your landscaping needs. We offer an extensive selection of landscaping and masonry products, all available for pickup or delivery. Visit our website to learn more, or give us a call at (203) 866-4421.