Archive for October 2019

WATCH OUT for Robocalls

Heaven help you if your car’s warranty is running out or you have a student loan. Or even if you do not. Those robocalls may start to be oppressive. According to robocall blocking app Hiya, there were more than 26 million such calls in 2018. They are annoying but sometimes people get calls because they have given out their phone number.

Ordinary activities online can put you onto a robocall list, as companies sometimes sell lists.

You might have managed to get on a list because you donated to a charity, signed up for a contest, or filled out an online meme. The worst cases are when you fill out an online form for interest rate information, student loan refinancing or event travel.

You can try robocall blocking apps. Often calls are made through randomly generated calling software located in another country. Those calls are almost impossible to stop.

Avoid HIDDEN Fees

Adding a new phone only costs $40 per month. Surprise, that wasn’t the whole story because the phone itself costs $500.

Hidden fees. Unexplained charges. These add up to billions in costs to consumers every year.

According to a Consumer Reports survey, about 59 percent of people have been charged hidden fees. Luckily, for consumers who did complain of hidden fees, twothirds got a refund.

Here are the top offenders in hidden fees and the percentage of people surveyed who reported them, according to Consumer Reports:

– Telecommunication providers (69 percent) – Live entertainment and sporting events (44 percent) – Credit cards (36 percent) – Car purchases (34 percent) – Hotel (34 percent) – Air travel (31 percent) – Car rental (31 percent)

Scary Black SHADOWS on Your Carpet?

You may have noticed it in your own home, or the home of a neighbor or friend– dark, dirty-looking lines in the carpet around the baseboards, under doors and on stairs. What is it? Can it be removed? Will it come back?

The dark greyish or black discolorations that occur around the perimeter of rooms and in the doorways of some houses can sometimes be a source of embarrassment and frustration. Our customers rely on us not only to clean their carpets, but also to educate them about how to maintain their carpet. Before we explain what these mysterious dark lines are, we’ll talk about what they are not.

Contrary to what you may think, it has absolutely nothing to do with accumulated dust from poor housekeeping. It is not a defect in carpet. And although some believe it to be mold, it is not. Even pest control companies have been wrongly accused of causing these unsightly lines with their treatments. So, what IS it? It’s called filtration soiling.

Although it can happen in any home, filtration soiling is most common in homes that have forced air HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems. At certain locations in the carpet, air is being forced through the fibers by pressure and temperature differentials. The carpet fibers act as a filter, trapping pollutants that are in the air.

Some of these pollutants are the product of combustion and contain carbon. Common sources are automobile exhaust, industrial air pollution, tobacco smoke, and even natural gas or oil furnaces. This carbon, combined with oily residues from cooking and other sources, adheres to the carpet with very powerful electrostatic and chemical bonds.

The particles themselves are extremely small and very difficult to remove. The best course of action is prevention. Here are a few tips to prevent gray edges appearing:

Make sure that any means of combustion in your home including gas or oil heating systems, cooking appliances and water heaters are operating properly. Incomplete combustion caused by improperly functioning appliances contains higher levels of carbon. This can cause rapid soiling.

Have heat exchangers, flues and chimneys checked by an HVAC professional for leaks or improper function. If you like to burn candles, limit how often you use the heavily scented ones. The oils used in these candles do not burn completely adding to the pollutants in the air, accelerating filtration soiling.

Install high quality air filters in your heating and air system. This may require modifications to the system. Check with a qualified contractor. Consider using air purifiers, especially if smokers are present in the home. Tobacco smoke produces one of the most difficult residues to remove.

When using a fireplace or wood stove, ensure that there is adequate fresh air entry so as to create enough of an updraft for the fireplace. Otherwise some of the smoke may get into the air and contribute to soil filtration. You may need to open a window a little. Don’t turn on ceiling fans in areas where you have a fireplace burning. Air currents may pull smoke into the living space.

Hansen Steam Way uses specialized cleaning agents and techniques to treat soil filtration lines. Although complete removal of the discoloration may not be possible, we can usually improve the appearance. Of course, prevention is always your best line of defense.