Cockroach Infestations: Protect Your Home and Family

According to The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), best practices must be exercised when trying to keep cockroach hot spots pest-free. Proper sanitation and the elimination of moist areas in the home is key in this effort. Spring is the perfect time to be proactive by inspecting your home and practicing habits to avoid an infestation. Focus on these three areas for cockroach prevention:

1 – KITCHEN: We know kitchens can be the dirtiest room in the home. Ironically this should be the cleanest room because handling, cooking and serving food is at risk of bacteria if not cleaned properly. Clean up crumbs, spills and dirty dishes right away. Check for crumbs stuck in corners, around cabinets, under sinks and under appliances. Store food and pet food in airtight containers. Clean off counters, sinks, tables and floors thoroughly every day.

2 – BATHROOM: Cockroaches love bathrooms because they tend to be the moistest room in the home. Your best line of defense is to fix any leaky faucets and wipe up standing water around sinks, tubs and toilets. Don’t leave wet towels or bath mats on the ground. Hang to dry or wash immediately.

3 – BASEMENT: If you have a basement, thoroughly inspect it for any cracks or crevices that pests could use to enter the home. Repair immediately if found, to include worn weather-stripping around windows. Eliminate any clutter in the basement to eliminate potential hiding spaces for cockroaches. If you are living in an apartment and have a storage unit, you may want to confirm with your building manager that pest control prevention is being addressed.

Cockroaches aren’t just creepy pests; they pose significant threats to humans. Decomposing body parts, saliva and feces can trigger asthma symptoms and cause allergic reactions. And if that wasn’t scary enough, they can also spread 33 kinds of bacteria to include Salmonella and E. coli.

At Sentry Window Guards we make it our mission to help keep families safe. While our business is to help prevent falls from windows, we also recognize the importance of pest control and disease prevention. Be proactive now. Avoid potential infestations and keep you, your family and your home safe by contacting pest control professionals.

For more information regarding our window guard products and our experience and leadership in understanding NYC safety requirements, contact us today!

4 Tips to Keep You Cool and Safe this Summer

It’s officially summer and we are starting to see the temperatures rise. Unless you plan to avoid the outdoors altogether, take into consideration the following 4 tips to help keep you and your family cool and safe this summer:

1. AVOID PEAK HOURS – Typically the hottest time of the day is 10am-4pm. Try and limit sun exposure or extreme physical exertion during this time. If you do find yourself outside during these times, drink plenty of water. Be aware of exposing the elderly and small children to the outdoors during these peak hours, as they can be more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Don’t forget about your pets and bring them indoors if possible during extremely hot days. If not possible, make sure they have a pet house or are located in a shady area. Keep water bowls filled with water to keep them hydrated.

2. DRESS TO STAY COOL – If possible, wear lightweight clothing when venturing outdoors. Darker colors tend to draw the heat in. Cotton blends tend to keep you cooler. Try and avoid synthetic clothes that may increase the heat. Hats and sunglasses are also recommended to protect your scalp and eyes.

3. HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES – We already know the importance of staying hydrated. But did you know that good choices in foods could also keep you better hydrated? Salads, fresh raw food, veggies and fruits are all great choices. Avoid junk food, hot and greasy food and high sugar foods. These foods can increase metabolic heat production and actually lead to loss of water.

4. FUN STAYING COOL – In the summer families flock to swimming pools, rivers, lakes and beaches to cool down. Make trying to stay cool into a game. It’s the time of the year to gather with friends and family and have a pool party or go “old school” with a sprinkler or slip ‘n slide. Take the kids on an adventure at a local water park or raft down a mountain river where the water temperature is much cooler. Spend an afternoon making frozen treats with your kids and enjoy them outside under a shady tree.

At Sentry Window Guards we make it our business to help keep families safe. We hope these 4 tips will help keep you and your family not only safe this summer, but cool. For more information regarding our window guard products and our experience and leadership in understanding NYC safety requirements, contact us today!

Air Conditioning Savings Ideas For The City That Never Sleeps

After a long and brutal winter, it’s hard to believe that summer is right around the corner.  The summer season brings outdoor fun, dining, trips to the beach, BBQ’s and sadly, higher utility bills.  Summer is when the use of electricity is at its highest.  Higher demand drives costs up.  Here are some tips from our friends at ConEd that may help lower your monthly electric bill, keep you cooler and save you some money.

Air conditioning know-how

What to do:  Save energy and save money by using these tips getting the best performance from your air conditioner.

  • Turn off your air conditioner when there’s no one home. If you want to return to a cool interior, buy a timer that can turn on the air conditioner half an hour before you get back. Timers are available at appliance stores, hardware stores, home centers, and elsewhere.
  • Keep the air conditioner’s filter clean. Some units have washable filters, others have replaceable filters. Either way, a clean filter helps the air conditioner work efficiently. Clogged filters make the air conditioner work much harder, and it doesn’t cool as effectively. That wastes energy and money.
  • If you’re using only the room where your air conditioner is located, shut the doors to that room. It makes the room more comfortable, and it prevents cool air from escaping to unoccupied parts of the house.
  • Adjust the air conditioner’s temperature control to keep your interior no cooler than 78 degrees. It’s an efficient setting that’s also comfortable. Moving to a colder temperature consumes more energy and costs more money. For example, going to 75 degrees costs 18% more, and a 72-degree setting costs 39% more!
  • If you’re buying a new air conditioner, look for the Energy Star® label. It tells you the unit has been designed with energy savings in mind. Energy Star® air conditioners are much more efficient than ordinary units. They use less power so you spend less money.
  • When buying a new air conditioner, choose one that’s the right size for the space it will cool. The salesperson will help you determine which unit is best. Too big wastes energy by providing more cooling than you need. Too small wastes energy because the air conditioner is constantly working to keep up with cooling demand that exceeds its ability.

How it helps: In summer, your air conditioner uses more energy than any other appliance. By using it efficiently, you can really help lower your demand for electricity and since cool air is expensive air, you lower your energy bill too.

Keep the sunshine out

What to do: On sunny days, keep daylight out

How to do it: Close the curtains or draw down the blinds. Add curtains or blinds to glass doors facing a sunny exposure. Apply reflective plastic film to the inside of windows and glass doors. It can screen out about 75% of the sun’s rays. Just cut it to size, and it clings to the glass on its own. And, it’s reusable. How it helps: Full sunlight entering through windows and glass doors raises the indoor temperature. This temperature rise can be considerable. By keeping sunlight out, you make your home cooler so air conditioners don’t need to work as hard to make you comfortable. That lowers electrical usage and helps reduce costs.

Keep hot air out, cool air in

What to do: Keep windows shut, seal drafts around window frames and door frames, and if you own a home, have it well insulated. In 2009, the IECC recommended an R38 for attics located in and around New York City – https://energycode.pnl.gov/EnergyCodeReqs/?state=New%20York

How to do it: Caulk or apply weather-stripping around your windows, for instructions on detecting air leaks go to this website http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/detecting-air-leaks.   Close windows during daylight hours to keep the heat out. Most air conditioners let you select a fresh-air setting. Choosing this keeps the air conditioner running efficiently while it draws some outside air to keep interiors fresh.

How it helps: Keeping hot air out and cool air in means your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to keep you comfortable. You’ll use less electricity and save money. Don’t forget fans.

Don’t forget fans

What to do: Use fans whenever you can to help make your home more comfortable

How to do it:

  • Use ceiling fans to keep air circulating once you’ve lowered the room temperature. You can turn off the air conditioner because the airflow helps keep the room cool. When the room warms up again, cool it down with air conditioning once more, then repeat the process. You may be able to reduce your air conditioner operating time by up to 40%.
  • Use window fans on summer evenings and overnight when outdoor temperatures go down after sunset. You can draw in the cool night air to keep comfortable. Using a window fan this way takes much less energy than keeping the air conditioning on overnight.

How it helps: Fans use much less electricity than air conditioners. Using fans to help beat the heat will let you reduce your electrical demand and lower your energy costs.