Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category
With the spring season in full bloom, gardening is becoming a common past time. Even more so for those who are self-isolating at home and want a beautiful garden to enjoy while they wait out the lockdown. While gardening can be fun and relaxing, not having the proper tools and materials can make the process less pleasant and even difficult or frustrating. In order to have a successful, peaceful gardening experience, be sure to get proper garden supplies to help you out. Take a look below at some of the gardening products every gardener should own, and come get yours from Louie’s ACE Home Center!
Garden Footwear and Clothing
One of the most essential gardening tools you’ll use over and over again is gloves. Proper gardening gloves are usually made from leather or synthetic material such as nitrile. These gloves are durable and thick, and are designed to prevent thorns or sharp stems from causing injuries to your hands. So, you can see just how important gloves are when it comes to gardening. And remember, the type of gardening you’re doing, such as pruning or planting, will help you determine which gloves will work best for your project. Fortunately, our friendly staff is always happy to help you make the best choice.
Another product that avid gardeners swear by are clog/waterproof shoes. Clogs are quite common because they are easy to slip on and off, and are quite smooth, making them easy to clean. However, any waterproof shoe will be beneficial to someone working away in the garden. Beware, as you’re gardening your shoes are going to get wet and dirty, regardless of how hard you try to avoid it. So, be sure to wear proper footwear to prevent ruining a good pair of shoes.
Garden Seats and Kneelers
If you plan on gardening often and in rough terrain, then a garden seat or garden kneeler could save your body a lot of aches and pains. Kneeling on hard surfaces or in dirt or rocks can take a heavy toll on your knees and other parts of your body. And continuously exposing your body to this sort of pain can have serious consequences later in life. Luckily, garden seats and kneelers are there to prevent such problems. They provide an adequately cushioned spot for you to rest your knees or bottom on so that you don’t have to feel the repercussions later.
Gardening usually requires a delicate touch and careful hands. Remember, your plants are living things and they need to be handled with proper care. Unlike your typical shovels and rakes which are often too large to use in a garden, gardening hand tools are made much smaller and with a more specific purpose in mind. Any gardener should be equipped with the following hand tools:
- Cultivator – used to aerate and mix soil
- Trowel – a pointed, scoop-shaped tool (looks like a small hand shovel) used to break up the earth and to dig small holes
- Fork – used to break-up, loosen, lift and turn-over soil
- Pruners – used to trim back plants (very sharp scissor-like tool)
Some other gardening tools that you must have are a wheelbarrow for transferring dirt and other debris, and a gardening tool belt or supply cart. A supply cart helps keep all your gardening tools organized and out of the elements for better storage and easy clean-up.
Some planting accessories such as edging, mulch and markers are crucial to a successful garden. Edging helps keep mulch and plants in one secluded area and helps prevent overgrowth and weeds from penetrating your garden. Also, edging can help give your garden and your yard a clean, polished look. Mulch is used to cover the soil of your garden and acts as a protective layer that keeps soil cool, moist and unharmed by weeds and pests. Also, mulch can be used to make your garden look more appealing and some mulches even give vital nutrients to the soil underneath. Lastly, consider using markers in your garden to label all the different plants and to keep track of their growing habits and needs. The markers we’re talking about are stakes you put in the ground that have a sign on the top which you can use to write down your plant information on.
Seeds and Plants
Gardening would be nothing without the plants, so be sure to stock up on seeds and any plants that you may want to plant into the ground! Often, seeds and plants are separated into two groups; annual and perennial. Annual plants need to be planted annually, meaning with each new season, you’re going to need to replant the same plants if you want them back in your garden. Perennials, however, only need to be planted once and the plants will regrow on their own in the next season. So, be sure you know the difference between annual and perennial plants, and get the ones that will work best for you!
Watering and Irrigation Supplies
And lastly, be sure to gather an adequate amount of watering and irrigation supplies. Plants need water in order to grow and live, but too much water can be problematic as well. Watering hoses and nozzles with different spray settings are always recommended, but be sure to give your plants the necessary irrigation required to keep them healthy and thriving.
Get Your Garden Supplies from Louie’s Home Center
If you’re getting ready to spruce up your garden but need some supplies to get you started, head on over to Louie’s ACE Home Center! As Fallon’s hardware store specialists, we’re confident in our products and our ability to guide you through your next DIY or home project. So, take a look at some of our garden supplies, or connect with us to get some advice or help with your next project!
When it comes to taking on new DIY projects, timing is everything. It can make the difference between your project being a success or a total flop. For example, you wouldn’t want to start renovating your landscaping if there was snow on the ground because it would cause too many problems. Like this scenario, you could be faced with many issues by choosing to tackle a DIY project at the wrong time. So, take a look below to see when the best time of the year is to start your next DIY job.
Interior DIY Projects
The time in which you take on interior projects isn’t as dependent on weather inclemencies since your home shields you from the outdoors. However, weather can still affect interior projects in a variety of ways. For instance, tools or materials may cost less at a certain time of the year, and temperature often impacts the overall outcome of certain projects as well. So, take a look below at a few interior projects and suggestions for the best time to get them done.
Interior Painting: Fall/Early Winter
Interior painting can really be done at any time, but the fall and early winter are the best times to refresh your home’s old indoor paint. Colder temperatures could help to cure your paint more quickly, but be weary of drastically low temperatures as they can affect the quality of the paint and prevent proper drying. Also, if you do decide you need some assistance, painting professionals are usually slower in the colder months and may even offer special deals during this time.
New Flooring: Spring
When it comes to installing new flooring in your home, the spring is the best time to have it done. That’s because hardwood floors don’t react well to hot and humid climates. These types of environments can cause the wood finish to cure too quickly which results in the sheen drying improperly. Instead, try installing floors when it’s a bit cooler out.
Kitchen Updates: Summer
Kitchen updates such as painting, installing new cabinets, or redoing the countertops are best done in the summer months, but this may depend on your specific lifestyle. Because most people utilize their kitchens frequently during the holidays, winter isn’t a good time to start a major kitchen renovation. However, summer may be a good time to do this because you’re able to grill food outside and typically aren’t limited to only being indoors.
Exterior DIY Projects
Exterior DIY projects need to be done during optimal weather conditions. If it’s snowing, raining, or freezing outside, your project will likely be ruined by the poor weather. In order to prevent an avoidable disaster, try to plan exterior projects around your climate. So, take a look below to see when is the best time to take on various exterior projects.
Deck: Early Winter
In order to have your deck finished in time to use it for the spring season, you should start building it by early winter. Fortunately, if you do need some assistance, contractors are less busy during this time of the year and you may be able to save money on materials such as wood. Because it’s generally pretty cold and wet during the winter months, most people don’t enjoy being outside too much, so you also won’t be disrupting any outdoor events you may have planned. And, believe it or not, the cold, cloudy weather you typically experience in early winter is perfect for helping pressure-treated wood dry and reduces the risk of warping or splitting.
You want to refresh your yard right before it gets too warm out. So, the best time to start a landscaping project where you plant shrubs, trees, plants, or grass, is in the spring. This will give your plants the best chance to grow and acclimate to their new environment.
Exterior Painting: Summer
Exterior paint is best applied in the summer months. The type of paint used for the exterior of homes perform better when there is less temperature changes between night and day. This will allow for proper drying to occur and results in a better appearance.
Get Prepared for Your DIY Project with Louie’s Home Center
At Louie’s Home Center, our expert staff members can easily help you find the right tools and hardware needed to complete your project. Here, we’ll use our knowledge and experience to guide you in the right direction and get you through your project at each phase. Whether you’re looking for the best hammer or the best power tool, our team is here to help. Connect with us today or shop our products to learn more!
What is a swamp cooler?
Before learning about the benefits of a swamp cooler, let’s take a look at what a swamp cooler is and what it does. The term swamp cooler is the informal name for an evaporative cooler. This device uses the evaporation of water to cool the air in a space. Unlike traditional air conditioning systems that use vapor-compression or absorption refrigeration cycles, swamp coolers simply use water evaporation.
Swamp coolers go through four main steps to cool the air in your home:
- Water is brought into the bottom of the swamp cooler by the water supply valve
- A pump pulls the water through the water distribution lines to the evaporative cooler pads
- The blower motor pulls the warm air into the swamp cooler through the evaporative cooler pads
- The blower forces the cool air through the vents and into your home
The Benefits of a Swamp Cooler
In comparison to other cooling options, swamp coolers are fairly inexpensive. The setup and operating costs are much cheaper and they don’t require nearly as much energy. Unlike air conditioning systems, swamp coolers operate with just a water pump and a fan.
Window air conditioning units can cost between $350 and $1,200, ductless air conditioning units between $1,800 and $2,500, and central air conditioning upwards of $8,000 after installation costs. The majority of air conditioning units require professional installation, while most swamp coolers can be installed yourself. Window swamp coolers cost between $400 and $1,000, direct air swamp coolers between $700 and $900, and whole house swamp coolers around $3,900 after installation. The only swamp cooler that requires professional installation is whole house unit and it still is half the price of the similar air conditioning unit.
Swamp coolers require regular maintenance to keep them functioning at their best. This includes keeping the unit filled with water and changing the pads when needed. Because the maintenance is rather simple, it can often be done yourself and does not cost much. Air conditioners, on the other hand, require cleaning, changed filters, and changed chemicals. This maintenance can cost between $70 and $100 a year, but if parts fail it can be much more expensive. Yearly repairs for an air conditioning unit can cost between $250 and $2,000. Although swamp cooler maintenance is required more often, air conditioners are much more expensive to maintain.
Perfect for Dry Climates
If you live in a low humidity area, a swamp cooler is your best cooling option. Swamp coolers help control humidity by adding moisture to the air in dry climates. When the house is cooled and moisture is brought in, your home feels much more comfortable. On the other hand, air conditioners actually remove moisture. In a dry climate, an air conditioner can make the air too dry and cause your eyes and skin to become very dry.
Good for the Environment
Air conditioning units use refrigerant or cooling chemicals that have CO2 emissions, while swamp coolers only use water. As the air conditioner runs, the chemicals are converted to liquid or gas and greenhouse gasses such as CO2 are released. These chemicals are harmful to both the environment and the air you breathe. Swamp coolers are much safer for the environment and your family.
If you have ever owned an air conditioning unit, you know how loud they can be. All of that noise comes from the condenser in the unit. When it converts the chemicals from liquid to gas, a lot of sounds are released. Swamp coolers, however, are much more quiet in operation.
Contact Louie’s Ace Home Center For More Information
Now that you know all about the benefits of swamp coolers, you’re ready to get one for yourself. Louie’s Ace Home Center has a great selection of swamp coolers and experienced professionals to answer all of your questions. Come on by our store to check out our units and get your questions answered. Contact us today!
Are you ready to start planning for your spring and summer camping trips? A few months ago we showed you how to winterize your RV to get ready for the colder months. Now, we’d like to share our best tips for de-winterizing your RV, so that you can be on the way for your next adventure.
Tips for De-Winterize Your RV
- First, turn the valve for the front water tank off.
- Fill the water tank 1/3 full with fresh water.
- Take the hot water plug and put it into hot water tank. Need a hot water plug? Hot water plugs are available at Louie’s Ace Hardware.
- Use a 16-inch socket to tighten hot water tank. Make sure that you don’t over tighten so that it does not pull the threads of hot water tank. 16 inch sockets are also available in our store.
- Now, you can go inside your RV and fill the water tanks there. Locate the water pump and check the lines to make sure there’s no leaks.
- Turn the water pump on. Once water pump builds pressure it’ll shut off.
- Now, turn on one of taps. Let it run until the pink anti-freeze runs out, and nothing but water comes out.
- Move from the kitchen and drain all of the other water sources in the trailer including the bathroom and bathtub.
- If you have an outdoor shower, go outside to fill its tank. The shower is usually located on the outside of the RV.
- Once you’re done pumping anti-freeze, you can fill the hot water tank with water. First, find the hot water bypass valve and turn it. Let it run continuous until water tank fills with water.
Before you go out for a trip, make sure you check your RV for gaps, cracks, and tears. You’ll want to fix these before the season starts to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Long a tradition for some families, canning has seen resurgence in popularity alongside the growing admiration for mason jars. Food that has been canned can last for years, extending the life of your food and preventing waste, and now even more so than ever there are great ways to add personal touches to your canned food making them great gifts for friends and family.
Methods of Canning
There are two methods of canning, each corresponding to the type of food you are looking to can. It is important that you choose the correct method for what you want to can. This can be crucial in ensuring your food isn’t susceptible to bacteria.
Water Bath Canning: This method is used for foods and vegetables with acidic content. This is what you use for jams and jellies as well as for pickles. The process of water bath canning is fairly easy, and is a great starting point for beginner canners.
Pressure Canning: Using the pressure canning method is for foods with low acidic content including vegetables, meats and poultry, and seafood. This particular method requires a lot of attention because if the process is done incorrectly, this food can spoil very easily.
Protect your Canned Goods
While there are two different methods depending on what you’re planning to can, there are things to keep in mind with both methods that are important to making sure your food is properly canned, thus making sure your food is optimally protected.
- Make sure the jars you’re using are free of cracks and that the lids and bands are a snug fit to the jar. If you notice any discrepancies in the seal or jar, don’t use it as it may have a leak that will leave your food susceptible to bacteria.
- Be sure to wash each jar, lid, and seal thoroughly with soap and hot water before adding your ingredients.
- Keep your jars warm at all times prior to adding ingredients. This helps prevent the jars from breaking when adding hot contents later on.
- Fill a pot half way with water and bring it to a simmer. The water should be hot, but not boiling. To keep jars from floating, add water inside them.
- An alternative to this method is running the jars, without lids, through the dishwasher. Keep the dishwasher closed until you need the jars.
For both methods, be sure to select your favorite recipe and follow those instructions carefully. It is important to reduce the entry points for bacteria before the food is placed within the jars. When done correctly, food is edible for one to five years depending on what you’ve canned.
With the Mason jar trend at a peak, there are more options than ever to add a personal touch to your canned foods. Lots of DIY elements including chalkboard paint on the lids or die-cut labels are great ways to add a personal touch, especially when gifting things such as jams to friends and family.
One thing we have here at Louie’s ACE that we love are the purple heritage jars; they resemble desert glass and are special edition, which means as soon as they sell out, they’re gone!
Visit Louie’s ACE today to see all of our food canning supplies!
The Debate is on!
Summer means two things; charcoal or gas grills. Whichever you lean toward, there are a couple of things to consider on your to-do list before shopping for a grill. Before heading down to Louie’s ACE consider the cost, convenience, safety, and flavor.
- Charcoal- having to mess with briquettes, inhaling starter fuel, and having to wait for the coals to turn orange can be a hassle. After the grilling has been done, the clean-up can be very messy with all of the ash left at the bottom of the grill.
- Gas- gas grills start with a simple knob turn and the heat source is adjustable. As for clean-up, turn to off and a scrub with a metal brush.
Grill and Operating Cost
When thinking about basic models, charcoal grills will be less expensive than gas grills. When considering the operating cost between the two, it is less expensive to have a gas grill. Gas grills run on either natural gas or propane canisters and it is less expensive to operate a gas grill than a charcoal grill since charcoal is an expensive fuel type.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, more accidents happen with charcoal grills than gas grills but serious injuries are said to occur with gas grills. Charcoal grills are light in weight and tend to tip over more often than gas grills. For the most part, injuries occur due to the use of starter fuel.
Fuel the Flames Responsibly
When starting the grill, people tend to put too much fuel on charcoal causing huge flare ups. Avoid adding more fuel to the charcoal after it has already been lit. Also, buying charcoal that has already been soaked in starter fuel can reduce the risk of injuries with charcoal grills.
As for gas grills the use of starter fuel is out of the picture but there are some things to consider. Always read the user manual before operating your grill and learn basics like how to turn it on and off properly. Be mindful of leaving the gas on too long before pressing the ignition button could cause a flare up. Make sure there are no leaks coming from the gas container or hoses before you start the grill.
For more on safety ask the good folks at Louie’s Ace for assistance.
Flavor- It is all up to your taste buds
This part is really up to you and your guests. If you are looking for the smoky taste, then charcoal grills are the way to go. This type of grill is considered to have a more natural flavor. By adding flavored wood chips to charcoal grills, you will have everyone asking for seconds and maybe thirds! Charcoal grills are more convenient for red meats whereas gas grills are better for chicken, fish, and veggies.
Which side are you on?
If it still seems like a tough call, contact Louie’s Ace or come on in and ask one of our friendly staff members.
If you’re a newbie to lawn fertilizer, then the numbers listed on the bag may seem like a foreign language. These three numbers are known as fertilizer ratios, and by understanding what each number means, you can improve the appearance and longevity of your lawn.
Each of the three numbers listed on the front of the bag of fertilizer represents nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. These are essential elements in growing a beautiful lawn. Together they are known as NPK ratios, and are indicated using their element symbols that you may remember from chemistry class. Each one serves a different purpose in ensuring your grass grows green.
- Nitrogen (N): An essential element for plant growth, this element ensures your grass is plush and vibrantly green. Without enough nitrogen, grass will turn a yellow-green tinge and will hardly grow.
- Phosphorous (P): This element stimulates the grass at its roots. By having adequate phosphorous levels you ensure that your grass grows fast and without discoloration.
- Potassium (K): A major component in guaranteeing your lawn will withstand the elements; potassium strengthens each blade of grass making it more resistant to potential diseases.
Which Ratio To Choose
NPK ratios apply to all types of fertilizer, but there are certain specifications to follow for lawns and all of the different conditions the lawn may be in.
- New Lawn: For a new lawn, it’s important that both phosphorous and potassium be the larger percentage of the ratio. New lawns require more attenti on to the health of their roots, and of course strength in order to grow full and plush. Using ratios like these should be short lived as phosphorous ultimately leads to major environmental issues.
- Existing Lawn: With an existing lawn, the roots are most likely strong and established. Because of this, the phosphorous and potassium levels don’t need to be quite as high as those needed for a new lawn. Nitrogen is cheaper in comparison to phosphorous and potassium as well, so fertilizer with this kind of ratio is not only best for your existing lawn, but your wallet as well.
- Strained Lawn: As mentioned before, potassium provides strength to your lawn. In extreme weather, a fertilizer with a high potassium percentage will help it to push through harsh weather conditions. Use a fertilizer with high potassium levels before the peak of summer heat, and winter freeze for best results.
Be sure to visit Louie’s ACE Home Center for all your lawn fertilizer questions and needs!
What’s Cooler than Being Cool?
For those on the fence, we put together a list of the best reasons to buy a swamp cooler this summer.
Monthly Operating Costs
Let’s be honest, sometimes one of the best reasons to get a swamp cooler in Fallon is to save money. According to ConsumerEnergyCenter.org, swamp coolers use up to 75 percent less energy than air conditioning, saving on average about $150 a year. Use those savings for the next vacation with family and friends.
Choose Where Cool Happens
An air conditioner will generally take longer to cool the house and it may take a while to meet your level of comfort and satisfaction. Mobile swamp coolers eliminate that problem by targeting your area of recreation, cooling the air in a few minutes.
This benefit is for those choosing a mobile swamp cooling system.
Big Swamp Coolers are Much Cheaper than a New Air Condition System
For those considering a big swamp cooler to replace an air conditioning unit, you’ll find the savings to be worth it. According to the National Association of Home Builders, a big swamp cooler costs between $700 and $1,000, whereas central air conditioning units tend to cost several thousand dollars.
Better for a Dry Climate
Simply put, swamp coolers use moisture to produce fresh, clean air. Nevada has always been a dry climate, but adding a little moisture to your room can benefit your skin’s complexion.
If you’re ready to join the swamp cooler revolution, come in to Louie’s ACE Home Center today and ask us how we can keep you cool this summer.