Jeff Calcamuggio

Jeff Calcamuggio

Jeff is an Editor-at-Large for who writes and edits Featured At Home and Knowledgebase content. Prior to joining Buildipedia, Jeff's work experience included carpentry, construction documentation, specification writing, construction administration, project management, and real estate property inspection. Jeff is a member of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and an educator at Columbus State Community College and enjoys challenging DIY home improvement projects.


Maintenance Tips: Air Duct Cleaning

Fri, Jun 01, 2012

How often do you need to clean your ductwork? Recommendations vary, so individual circumstances and preferences should dictate the timing of this task.

Every day we bring dirt and dust particles inside our homes from the great outdoors. We also generate dirt and dust indoors, depending on our daily activities. As the particles become airborne, they get drawn into our HVAC systems. (Our children may even drop toys, socks, or balls into them as well). As this continues over time, particles build up along the inner walls of the ductwork. Imagine what your furniture or floors would look like if you never dusted them. Cleaning up the accumulation of dirt, dust and debris inside your ductwork is common sense and part of good housekeeping.

Maintenance Tips: Central Air Conditioner

Thu, May 10, 2012

Perform a few simple maintenance tasks, schedule professional HVAC service on a yearly basis, and enjoy efficient performance and trouble-free operation of your central air conditioner throughout its expected lifespan (and maybe longer).

Invented after the turn of the 20th century but not mass-produced for homes until after World War II, the air conditioner has increased our comfort and modified the landscape from coast to coast. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS), 75% of owner-occupied housing in the United States has a central air conditioning unit. The average life expectancy of these air conditioning units is 10–15 years, according to the Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components, prepared in 2007 by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Neglecting your unit will result in a shortened lifetime, costly repairs, and higher energy costs due to inefficient operation. Maintain your unit and you will extend its lifetime and keep repair and energy costs low while ensuring your comfort on those hot summer days.

Maintenance Tips: Refrigerators

Wed, Apr 18, 2012

By performing a few simple maintenance tasks, you can keep your refrigerator functioning efficiently throughout its expected lifespan – and maybe even longer.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS), most homes today have some type of refrigerator. These are available in a variety of sizes, styles, and types, big enough for a family of six or small enough for a single person. Whatever type you may have, one thing is certain: your must maintain your refrigerator. According to the Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components, prepared in 2007 by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the average life expectancy of a standard refrigerator is 13 years. Keep it clean, perform simple maintenance tasks, and you’ll help your refrigerator to operate longer than expected.

Wallpaper Removal

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

A few years ago, our family moved into a home built in the 1980’s. The home has a nice exterior, other than the overgrown landscaping, and the interior plan is functional; however, the decor is original and is in need of updating. While my wife is a big fan of 80’s music, she can do without the decor from that era, and was determined on updating everything during our first month in the home.

How to Install A Dimmer Switch

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

Three recessed ceiling light fixtures flood the fireplace in our family room. Sometime after we moved in, the dimmer switch that controls the lights stopped functioning properly. It turned the lights on and off, but did not dim them. We were not concerned with our inability to dim the lights and affect the mood of the room because the light bulbs' brightness at that time was not an issue. Recently, we started replacing our incandascent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL). The CFL bulbs we purchased have a higher lumen output than the incandescents, resulting in a brighter light. It was now time to solve our dimming problem.

How Insulation Can Save You Money

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

Insulation can save you money. Homeowners heat and cool their houses with various types of energy which fluctuate in price on a regular basis due to a variety of variables that are outside of their control. Lowering your thermostat, installing a programmable thermostat, or enrolling in a monthly budget plan could lower your bills; however, you may have overlooked the one thing that can truly lower your energy expenses, insulation. Investing in insulation can save you money, paying you back over time through reduced monthly energy expenses, as well as providing greater year-round comfort and a quieter indoor environment.

Irrigation: Is Grass Greener on the Other Side?

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

Water is essential to grass. Healthy grass is composed of 75 - 85% water, and water assists with seed germination, maintaining plant temperature, and tissue development, along with food and nutrient processes. Without water, grass is susceptible to disease, will brown and wilt and, although very resilient, may die. Healthy, lush, green grass is achieved from thorough, regular watering, which develops deep, drought-resistant roots. The amount of water, frequency, and method of watering depends on where you live, what type of grass you grow, and how you approach completing the task. Common methods include manual watering and automatic sprinkler systems.

Cellular PVC Trim: The Durable Aesthetic Option

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

Coil Wrap vs. Cellular PVC Trim
Exterior trim is an essential component of a home's appearance and resale value. More importantly, it provides protection from moisture at corners and around window and door openings, where material transitions occur. Traditionally, exterior trim has been made of wood due to its low initial cost, ease of installation, and familiarity as a building material. However, several materials are available as a replacement for wood trim, including coil wrap and cellular PVC trim.

Maintenance Tips: Garbage Disposals

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

A food waste disposer, commonly called a garbage disposal, was invented in 1927. According to the 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS) published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), over 50% of homes have a garbage disposal. Also, the Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components that was prepared in 2007 by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) suggests that a residential kitchen garbage disposal has an anticipated life expectancy of 12 years. A garbage disposal can be maintained to achieve its full lifetime with proper use, ensuring it is operating efficiently and safely.

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