Archive for August 2019

Air Conditioning Efficiency TIPS

Summer time can bring some high utility bills, as we crank air conditioners. It’s a good idea, whether for your wallet or for the environment, to consider tips for making your air conditioner work more efficiently.

First, check the seals. Check around window units to make sure they are sealed and that extra heat isn’t getting into the house in the first place.

Check also that your attic is properly insulated, which does just as much good in the summer as it can in the winter. Insulation prevents attic heat from leaking into your home and also the cool air from escaping.

Keep your filter clean so the unit can operate better and keep vents clear. And consider ceiling fans to better circulate the air.

If you have central air, make sure the ducts are checked regularly; not only do they accumulate allergens, but they work harder when they get clogged and dirty.

Go on a MONEY Date

Ever heard of a money date? It’s a thing. On a money date, spouses agree to get together to talk finances in a (allegedly) fun and non-threatening way. The idea is to keep on top of budgets and, perhaps more importantly, to work together on goal-setting.

The idea is to keep it affordable, so that might entail staying home with a good bottle of wine or out to a quiet dinner where you can talk.

Pro Tip: tackle the heavy lifting issues prior to finishing that first glass of wine.

For singles: you can take yourself on a money date, too. This thing with money IS a relationship, even with ourselves.

Setting aside scheduled time to talk about finances forces you to focus and not get distracted by other life demands.

Put it on your calendar, and don’t forget to bring your laptop and some pens and paper. Yes, even to a restaurant.


As it rises in popularity, the fermented drink has gained its cult following – as well as its haters. Seems no one stands in the middle: you love it or hate it.

Fermented food and drinks are high on the food trend list in 2019, as people seek ways to work probiotics into their diets via their food rather than in pill form.

For the uninitiated, kombucha is a type of effervescent fermented tea (though not an alcoholic drink) that originated in China around 2,000 years ago. It has a base of sugar, tea, bacteria and yeast. It has a bitter taste that can take some getting used to, and comes in a wide variety of flavors from a wide variety of brands.

Proponents claim health benefits from gut health to reduced inflammation, improved cholesterol levels, blood sugar control, antibacterial properties, and even a reduced risk of cancer. Today, it can be commonly found in most grocery stores or made at home.


Our pets don’t understand why we make such a big deal of a little urine on the carpet. To animals, urine is an important social tool that is used as a calling card, mate attractant or a territorial warning. Urine lets other members of the species know important information regarding their gender, age and health.

Animal urine is a rather benign substance. When it leaves a healthy animal it is sterile. In small amounts and low concentration, the odor and appearance may be undetectable. Still, any urine deposit on carpet should be treated appropriately.

If you are lucky enough to catch the animal in the act, you can pour salt liberally onto the urine while it is still wet. Use enough salt to completely cover the spot. The salt will absorb and neutralize the urine. Let it dry for 8-12 hours and vacuum it away.

But most of the time, the urine is already dry by the time we find it. Applying a neutral carpet cleaning agent, gentle agitation and a thorough rinse may be enough to treat light urine deposits. Finish the job by placing a folded white towel on the area. Set a weight, such as phone book on the towel and leave overnight. The remaining moisture and residue will wick into the towel.

Once urine contamination has reached the point that it has penetrated the carpet and the cushion, removal of the odor becomes more difficult. Heavy urine deposits are much more challenging to treat and you will need the help of Hansen Steam Way.

Why? Because urine undergoes a dramatic chemical change as it ages. The water in the urine evaporates and leaves behind organic compounds that become more and more concentrated.

Bacteria begin to consume the urine and break down the proteins, sugars and other organics. During the process of bacterial digestion the bacteria secrete ammonia and a strong, pungent odor becomes apparent. The urine turns from a mild acid to a strong alkali. This strong alkaline deposit attacks the dyes in some carpets. Over time, the dyes can be weakened or removed, causing permanent color-loss.

The adhesives used in the carpet backing can be dissolved, and the carpet can literally fall apart. Permanent damage to wood subfloors will also result from deep penetration of concentrated urine deposits, requiring additional expensive repairs. The most critical action to prevent permanent damage is to act quickly when you notice a spot.

Hansen Steam Way has several techniques available to clean and deodorize pet contamination. In addition, there are different cleaning and deodorizing agents in our arsenal. The decision of which methods and agents to use will depend on several factors such as; the amount of contamination present, the depth of penetration, the construction of the carpet, the fiber content, the installation method, the subfloor type and the size of the affected area must all be considered.

There are times when the damage is too severe and the best option is to replace the carpet. In such situations, we can assist by sealing the sub-floor and adjacent materials with a specialized odor-counteracting sealer so that the new carpet does not inherit the old odor problem.

If you have a pet odor problem, the best action is to call Hansen Steam Way for a professional assessment of the situation. We are experts at handling difficult odor problems and can help you to choose the right solution.