WINNING!

Much appreciation to our clients, supporters, and friends for yet another Best of WNC win!

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Thanks to all of you who voted in the Mountain Xpress's 2018 Best of WNC poll, we have placed in the Home Cleaning category for the sixth time. This year we placed first--for the fourth year in a row!

We couldn't be more proud of our success over the years. We always strive to provide amazing service to our clients, and we definitely feel we have reaped the rewards. Seriously, our clients are the real BEST of WNC. We couldn't have done it without you!

So from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!

Here's to another year of clean, green, happy homes!

 

 

Pros and Cons of Different Types of Vacuum Cleaners

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Shopping for a new vacuum cleaner? With all of the brands and varieties on the market, it can be hard to know what model is right for your home or business. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, all types of vacuums have their own pros and cons. Take a look at the list below to help you narrow down your options.

  • Canister Vacuums- Canister style vacuum cleaners have a vacuum head that is attached to the main unit by a long hose. The main unit, or canister, rolls along on the ground behind you while you vacuum. These models usually come with multiple attachments for different vacuuming jobs, and a retractable cord reel that saves you the trouble of having to wrap and secure the cord yourself. One of the main draws of the canister vacuum cleaner is that it makes it easier to clean in nooks and crannies, and behind or underneath furniture. The wand style attachment also makes it easy to clean drapes, blinds, and walls. If you have stairs in your home, this might be the vacuum for you, as it is very difficult to tackle stairs with most other models. While a canister vacuum may be lighter weight and better for maneuverability than an upright, it isn’t as good at cleaning carpet, and storing it might pose some extra difficulties. If you have a bad back, you might want to go with another option—using a canister vacuum involves more bending than other types.
  • Upright Vacuums- Uprights are the most popular vacuum cleaners on the market. Their large, powerful heads make cleaning carpets a breeze, and it’s easy to store them because most of the space they take up is vertical. Most upright vacuums come equipped with longer cords and larger dirt capacities than canister models, and they often have motorized bristles for more effective carpet cleaning. The upright style can be heavy and unwieldy for lugging up and down stairs, but for straightforward vacuuming, it’s easier on the back than a canister style. Many uprights are designed specifically for carpets, so if you have different types of flooring in your home, make sure you purchase a model that can handle all of them.
  • Robotic Vacuums- Robot vacuum cleaners are great for busy people who either can’t move around due to age or injuries, or don’t have much time to clean. These little units clean while you’re at work, or at night while you sleep! Having your whole house vacuumed without any labor on your part sounds amazing, right? But there are a few drawbacks. First, these units can be difficult to program, so if you’re not tech-savvy, call a friend who is (or your grandkids) to help you get started. Secondly, robotic vacuums can miss areas that a human wouldn’t. But the biggest caution goes out to pet owners. It’s probably not a great idea to let your robotic vacuum have free rein of the house if you have pets, especially if they are not reliably house trained. There are plenty of horror stories on the internet about what happened when the cute little robot vacuum cleaner rolled through a puppy accident in the middle of the night. It’s not pretty, believe us!
  • Stick Vacuums- Another good choice for those with bad backs or limited storage, stick vacuums are made to be incredibly lightweight and their slim design means they’ll fit almost anywhere. The dirt receptacle in most stick vacuums is designed so that you can easily empty the container into the trash without touching the mess. But with all of that slimness and lightness, these vacuums sacrifice power and versatility. They tend to not come with attachments for different types of cleaning jobs, and their motors are usually weaker than other types, which means that they won’t suck up as much dirt and debris, and may have a harder time tackling carpets.
  • Central Vacuums- While central vacuum units pose a greater expense than any other type, the investment can be a worthwhile one. Central vacs are quieter, cleaner, and more flexible than portable vacuums. Their dirt capacity is huge, and they can often pump exhaust outside of the home. They’re great for cleaning hardwoods and other hard surfaces, and they’re the easiest of all of the options for cleaning stairs. One drawback is that they require professional installation, and if the unit breaks down, it can be difficult to find a local repair service. But if you’re looking to add value to your home for a future sale, central vacs are often a good investment.

We hope this list of pros and cons helped you narrow down the best vacuum cleaning option for your home or business!

 

10 Great Tips For Organizing Your Garage!

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There's no better time of year than summer to tackle the least favorite job on everyone’s home maintenance list: organizing your cluttered garage. Hey, it might not be the most fun task, but you’ll feel so much better after it’s done. And think of all that room you’ll have—and all the time you’ll save, not looking for things you lost in your last move.

If your garage is cluttered up with unknown heaps of stuff, you’re not alone. Most Americans don’t even park their cars in their garages, because there’s no room! But it doesn’t have to stay that way, and you can make the organizing a lot less overwhelming by following these ten simple tips.

  1. Set aside enough time. A thorough garage organizing party is not something that happens in an afternoon. Depending on the size of your garage, the amount of stuff that needs to be organized, and the number of people you can recruit to help out, it can take a full day to a whole weekend—or more. Get an early start so when evening comes you can all enjoy dinner together and take a much needed rest.
  2. Make it a family affair. No able-bodied family member is off the hook! Mom and Dad, clear your appointment books, leave the errands til next week, and implement a no-TV, Internet, or video games rule for the day. The kids can definitely help, too. If you’re old enough to dress yourself, you can clean!
  3. Go through every single item and sort. We do mean every single item. Don’t just move boxes of stuff around. For one thing, you might be storing a lot of things you don’t need or want anymore, which is a waste of space. Equally as important, when you go through forgotten boxes that have been sitting around for months or years, you’re bound to rediscover old, sentimental treasures or valuable items that can be sold. Sort your items into three piles: one to keep, one to sell or donate, and one to toss.
  4. Get rid of things you haven’t used in a year or more. Unless you have a true sentimental attachment to an item, you don’t need to keep something that you’ve gone through four seasons without using. Especially if you haven’t missed it in that time. If you have missed it, but just didn’t know where it was, keep it and store it in a more easily accessible place from now on. If the item does have sentimental value to you, move it inside where you can use or look at it often. Otherwise, sort it into the sell/donate or toss pile.
  5. Categorize what you’ll keep. Of the things that are going to remain in the garage, which items belong together? Sort things into categories like: gardening supplies, sports equipment, tools and hardware, home repair materials, car maintenance, etc.
  6. Move temperature sensitive items elsewhere. Unless your garage is climate controlled, you’ll want to move things like cans of paint, tubes of caulk, musical instruments, and anything made with wax to another location in your home. Other things you should move include propane tanks (always store outdoors), as well as paper products, pet food, or anything else that could attract pests.
  7. Plan how you’ll use the garage space. Get a piece of graph paper and a ruler and figure out a design that will accommodate your car(s) as well as lawn care equipment, bicycles, shelving, and other storage solutions. Try several different layouts in your draft, striving for a design that gives you the best space economy.
  8. Sort tiny items into clear jars. Nails, screws, keys, and other odds and ends should be sorted into clear glass or plastic containers with lids, and then placed on shelves at eye level for easy access. Or you can hang the jars by screwing the lids to the bottom of a shelf or a piece of 2x4 mounted to the wall.
  9. Buy clear plastic bins. No matter how well you organize the garage, you are going to forget where you put everything. The best way to avoid the headache of not being able to find the thing you’re looking for is to make everything as viewable as possible. To do this, store medium and larger sized items in plastic storage bins, and don’t be afraid to label everything with Sharpie. Also, firmly instill this rule in your household: when you take an item out of storage, put it back in the exact same place when you are done!
  10. Use vertical storage. There are a lot of ways to go about utilizing the vertical space in your garage for storage. One is by hanging long, flat items like scrap lumber and skis from the ceiling. If your garage has rafters, use those. If not, rig up a system of beams or loosely hanging trapezes to store your stuff. For the vertical wall space, you’ll want some kind of shelving system. Open shelves are generally more efficient than cabinets because it is easier to see into them, and they don’t require extra space for the opening and closing of doors. Finally, do yourself a favor and buy a nice, large piece of pegboard and some metal pegs and racks to store your hand and power tools, gardening implements, and more.

10 Ways to Green Your Home, Plus Save on Energy Costs, Without a Huge Investment!

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There are lots of big ideas out there about how humanity can reduce its energy demands in order to conserve our precious resources. Things like switching to solar energy, driving hybrid cars, installing mag-rail public transportation systems in cities, and building high rise agriculture operations. But one of the most impactful things we can each do individually to lower our energy usage is to make simple, inexpensive changes to the way we do things around the house.

These ten tips will not only help reduce your carbon footprint, they’ll also save you lots of money over time on your energy bills, AND extend the life of some of your most used appliances.

  1. Air dry your clothes. Air drying your clothes can help you save on energy costs year-round by reducing your dryer use, but in the hot summer months it saves you even more. Large appliances like dryers are a major source of heat in your home, and running them while the air conditioning is on makes the AC work harder to cool your home, thereby increasing your electric bill. You can dry clothes outside in your yard or on a balcony with a clothesline, of course, but if the weather is wet, or if you just don’t have the outdoor space, you can always hang clothes from hangers on your shower curtain rod, or invest in a small wooden clothes drying rack for indoor use.
  2. Seal drafts. Your heating and cooling systems work hard to keep your house at a comfortable temperature year round. Help them out by keeping that heated or cooled air inside! Use caulk or insulating tape to seal drafts around doors, windows, and vents. If your windows are extra drafty, cover them with clear plastic in the winter. You’ll save a lot of money, and the planet will thank you for your effort!
  3. Switch to LED light bulbs. Replacing just one incandescent bulb with an LED can save you around $4-5 per year. Replace every bulb in your house, and—well, you can do the math. LEDs are inexpensive to buy, so you can make your money back in a year or less with those electric bill savings.
  4. Insulate your water heater. Especially if your water heater is older, insulating it can really help cut down on energy costs. Blankets made especially for water heater insulation can be purchased inexpensively at any hardware or home improvement store.
  5. Keep your vents clean. It’s not something you often think about, since many heating and cooling vents are situated out of sight in your home. But all those dust bunnies collecting on those hidden vent covers are blocking the warm or cool air, making your heating and cooling systems struggle harder to deliver comfortable temperatures. So add it to your monthly cleaning list: vacuum or dust the vent covers and the inside of the vents.
  6. Be efficient with your clothes and dish washing. Laundry and dishes have to be cleaned several times a week in most homes, if not daily. But the way you load your machines can have a big impact on how much energy you’re using in the process. If you want to save on energy costs, try to always run full loads in both the clothes washer and the dishwasher. Wear items like jeans and jackets multiple times before washing. And figure out how to load your dishwasher so that the hot water can reach every item, thereby avoiding having to wash things twice.
  7. Reduce phantom loads. Many household electronic devices pull power from the grid even when they’re not in use. Things like computers, video game consoles, stereos, coffee makers, etc. will suck up energy unless they are turned off. It can be a pain to remember to turn every single device off whenever you’re not using it, though. A good idea is to plug as many devices as possible into one power strip, and turn the power strip off when you leave the room.
  8. Use the microwave or toaster oven. Full size ovens use a lot of power. Unless you’re making a huge casserole, a pizza, a cake, or a Thanksgiving turkey, chances are you can fit whatever you’re cooking into a toaster oven or microwave. These small appliances use much less energy than your oven. Crock pots are also great for saving on cooking-related energy costs.
  9. Plant trees. If you own your home, it can be a great idea to plant deciduous trees around your yard in strategic places. As they grow bigger, they will shield your windows from the hot summer sun, but in the winter, their bare branches will allow the warming rays through.
  10. Clean your refrigerator coils. Just like heating and cooling vents, refrigerator coils can gather a lot of dust without anyone ever noticing. And that’s not good for your electric bill, or your carbon footprint. Clean your refrigerator coils (located on the bottom or back of the appliance) once a month to every two months. You’ll reduce your bill and extend the life of your refrigerator while you’re at it!

Voting Has Begun for the Mountain Xpress 2018 Best of WNC Awards!

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Greetings to all of our amazing customers!

In 2017, you voted us the Best Home Cleaning Service in ountain Xpress's annual Best of WNC poll for the third year in a row. e'd love to keep up our winning streak, but we can't do it without you! Voting just opened up for 2018, so if you have a free moment, please head over to the poll to vote for us and all of your other favorite WNC businesses.

Green Home Cleaning is eligible in the Home Cleaning Services category. Keep in mind that you do not have to complete the entire ballot in order to vote. You only have to vote in a minimum of 30 categories. The poll ends April 28.

A big Thank You for your support from Leslie, Pam, and the rest of the crew!