Air Travel Tips

When it comes to traveling, air travel is convenient and fast. Here are some tips to help with planning your next traveling adventure:

1. When purchasing tickets, makes sure the name on the purchased ticket matches the appropriate ID that will be used.

2. Remember that “direct” can still mean planes will stop at another airport, but “non-stop” means you will fly straight to your destination.

3. If you can, try to book for the earliest flight so delays are less likely to be an issue.

4. When packing, having luggage that stands out (such as polka-dot or bright orange) will make it easier to find at baggage claim.

5. Place your electronics in a single layer so it’s easier for airport security to quickly see what is in the bag (so as to avoid potential delays).

6. Double check your bag to make sure you have everything you need and check with who you are flying with to make sure you’ve packed what is allowed.

7. Check out the airports’ websites to see what amenities and restaurants are available. This will help you plan your time near your terminal.

8. Always check with the airline you are traveling with to know what is allowed on board and what the airline offers (in-flight movie, snacks, etc.)

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Be safe and happy traveling!

 

Keeping Your Home Safe While on Vacation

Being away on vacation should not mean that you should have to stress about your home. It is important to take some steps to protect yourself and your home before traveling.

When traveling, avoid posting anything on social media such as Twitter, but do alert a close friend or family member. Have a close friend or relative gather your mail, newspapers, and complete quick checks around the house to make sure everything is fine.

Putting your lights on timers is a good investment. There are some that you can schedule to be turned on at certain times and even some that you can turn on yourself from your smartphone. This helps so that potential intruders think someone is home.

Installing high-grade window materials can also help keep your home safe. A1’s Impact windows are made with a super strong laminate that will add to the security of your home.

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Summer Road Trips Bring Exciting Memories!

Summer is a great time to travel the country and see all that it has to offer. From the world’s largest haystack to national parks-there is so much to see- and sometimes taking the road is the best way to go.

Below are some considerations to help you plan for your trip:

  1. Check your car before leaving: fluids, tires, and the spare tire as well.
  2. Pack an emergency kit that includes first aid items, road flares, flashlight, and tools in case you need to change a tire.
  3. Bring a map. Phones and your GPS are helpful when it comes to traveling, but sometimes they do not work. Having a back-up map will help in case the phone or GPS are not working.
  4. When packing, duffle bags can save space and are easier to fit than suitcases.
  5. Snacks are essential. Water, juice, trail mix, grapes, bananas, apples, fruit bars, and popcorn are some tasty and healthy options.
  6. Plan what time you want to stop for meals and any sightseeing. Organizing this will save some stress for everyone.
  7. There are websites that can help you plan your trip, including stops you want to make and great places for food:
    1. http://roadfood.com
    2. https://roadtrippers.com/?lat=40.80972&lng=-96.67528&z=5

8. Pack CD’s and books on audio to help keep you entertained and alert.

9. Make sure to rest somewhere if needed.

10. Travel safely, take lots of pictures, and have fun gathering memories!

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Summer Time Means Vacation Time! Don’t Forget About Your Pets!

IMG_3114With summer vacations rapidly approaching, its is important to be aware of the options for your pets while you are away.

You may be able to bring your pet with you on your vacation.  Many airlines allow you to bring your pets on the plane and more and more hotels are becoming pet friendly.

If the vacation does not allow for pets, talk to your veterinarian to see if they have any recommendations for kennels or pet sitters. If you have friends or family nearby, they can be a good option. This allows for your pet to stay in the comforts of home. In case of emergencies, leave your contact information and travel itinerary. Make sure the person who is pet sitting is familiar with your expectations and routine so that your pet will be cared for as needed. By

With some additional planning, your pets will enjoy their vacation just as much as you will enjoy yours. Happy travels!

Solar Lights

Solar lights are more popular than ever before. They are not only good for the environment, but also cost less over time compared to electrical lights, and they come in a variety of decorative options. While the light is not as bright as traditional lighting, it still provides great lighting and ambience in your yard.

When installing solar lights, make sure to place them in a spot where they will receive 8 hours or more of direct sunlight. Pathway lights are the most common. These lights are placed in the ground to illuminate the walkway. There are also string lights, which give off softer light but adds to the aesthetics of your yard. Motion-sensing spotlights are another option and can be used by the entrance door or driveway.

Most solar lights use LEDs and will have a “bright light” effect. If you would like a softer light, make sure to look for “amber” or “soft white” on the labels before purchasing.

Solar lights that give off more light will be more expensive up front, but this can offset the initial cost over time. While there are many options to choose from, it is important to think about your lighting needs and what really matters before choosing the type of solar lights you may want.

It’s Gonna be May

Summer time is approaching and so are picnics, barbecues, and summer celebrations. May is a great time to plant cucumbers, beans, summer squash, and melons. All of these grow well in warm soil and are perfect additions to delicious warm-weather meals. Here are some tips to help with the start of a summer garden:

Cucumbers

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Cucumbers are best grown in slightly raised mounds (in groups of 4-6 seeds) 1 inch apart. They can be planted in plastic containers or along trellises. It is very important to provide full sun and lots of moisture for cucumbers. The seeds will typically germinate in 3-10 days.

Pole Beans, Green Beans

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These beans can also be planted along trellises and is recommended for growth. Beans need to be planted 1 inch deep in soil and about 3 inches apart. It is important that the seeds get 1 inch of water a week. In 8-10 days, the seeds will germinate.

Summer Squash

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Just like cucumbers, summer squash (zucchini, scallop squash, or crooknecks) are best planted in slightly raised mounds. Squash needs ample room to grow so it is best to plant a few different types and with plenty of space in-between. After pollination, squash can grow quickly and it is recommended to pick them when they are 3-5 inches long (depending on the variety).

Melons

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Melons also need to be planted where they have plenty of space to spread out, well-drained soil, and full sun to help them grow. It is recommended to place mulch on the soil around the seeds to keep the soil warm.

 

For more information to help with your summer garden, click on the links below:
Growing Beans in Summer
Growing Cucumbers
Summer Gardening

Overwhelmed With Weeds in the Garden

Weeds, if only vegetables and roses could grow as well as them. Weeds can be good for your garden, but they can also be invasive. Here are a few tips on how to rid of weeds:

1. When growing new flowers, cover it with mulch, bark, or leaves. Not only does this help prevent weeds from growing, but can also help with the landscape aesthetics of your home.
2. As soon as you see a weed, the best thing to do is to pull it out of the ground. This will help prevent the seeds from spreading.
3. Herbicides can be used to help prevent weeds from spreading. They are specific to the type of weed and can be sprayed during different times of the growth of the weeds.
4. Laying newspaper down before adding mulch can also help prevent weeds from growing.

If your yard is overwhelmed with weeds, it may be best to mow the yard first and then try the other solutions. Summer is a beautiful time to enjoy the garden, and hopefully with less weeds!

The Strength of Storm Windows

Hurricane windows are not only for states like Florida and Texas, where violent tropical weather wreaks havoc on homes year after year, or for mid-western states where tornadoes abound. High winds occur everywhere, and the windows on your home should be able to withstand them. Armor Impact Plus and Armor Max Plus impact windows from Soft-Lite are strong and durable enough for shoreline homes in hurricane zones, so you know that they will stand up to the occasionally high gusts and blustery thunderstorms experienced by most of the rest of the country.

Armor Max Plus hurricane windows manufactured by Soft-Lite pass every durability test thrown at them, including the Large Missile Impact Level “D” test. These windows can withstand sustained winds of 140 mph and gusts of up to 212 mph, and are Miami-Dade County-approved. Soft-Lite impact windows also provide additional protection against intrusion, with a nearly impenetrable PVB interlayer that prevents shattering. Soft-Lite’s commitment to making products that help protect the home is reflected in our status as the exclusive window partner of the National Crime Prevention Council.

Here are the features that help Soft-Lite hurricane windows stand apart from the competition:

Stainless steel reinforced attachment points
A rigid, tubular master window frame with fused corners
A pair of heavy-duty cam sweep locks

Sunshine, beach, pool, barbecues…oh yeah, mosquitos too!

It’s almost time to begin planning some barbecues, pool days, beach days, and all kind of outside adventure days. Remember the sunscreen and also the bug repellent! Before you have your first outdoor gathering, here are some tips to help keep the pesky mosquitos away:

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1. Check around your yard for any still water. If you have an empty pot that once a plant was in, it may be a new home for mosquito eggs. Check outside children’s toys, bird baths, pet dishes, and any debris around your home. Emptying the water, decluttering and clearing the yard will help drastically with cutting down the mosquito population.

2. Local hardward stores carry sprays that connect to the garden hose and can treat your yard, also helping to cut down on the population. Make sure to read the directions thoroughly.

3. You can also purchase bug zappers that look like light posts in your yard, tiki torches are common, and also citronella candles. They not only keep bugs away but can also create a nice ambience for your yard.

4. There are plants that are known to repel mosquitos: citronella, lavender, peppermint, marigold, and even basil.

Once the mosquitos are gone, it’s time to open the grill and enjoy the summer!

 

New Windows, Less Sound

Some of the techniques used for soundproofing windows are the same as those used by Soft-Lite to manufacture the most energy-efficient windows in the industry. That’s because sound, like air, always takes the path of least resistance. A tight-fitting window frame manufactured to significantly reduce air infiltration will also deaden sound.

That said, there is a lot more to soundproofing windows than making sure there is a perfect fit for the frame. For example, no matter how well-made a home’s windows are, if the roof, walls, and doors are not equally well-made and insulated, noise pollution could be experienced inside as the window diverts sound to those areas of less resistance.

Here are a few other window-related factors that contribute to sound abatement:

  • Number of panes – double-paned windows will help reduce the amount of noise allowed indoors better than single-paned windows, and triple-paned windows are even more effective.
  • Laminated glass – the window’s sound transmission classification (STC) will be reduced if laminated glass is used, rather than standard glass
  • Other energy-efficient features – high-quality weather stripping and airtight locks and latches can improve STC and reduce noise

To learn more about how soundproofing windows is closely related to the energy efficiency of your home’s windows, contact A1 through our free quote