How to Replace Furnace Belts

Modern furnaces that depend on heat though a series of ducts and air ports to spread heat throughout the house have a powered air compressor that’s powered by an external motor. Generally, this type of fan is called a squirrel cage due to its uncanny similarity to an exercise wheel in a cage. If the belt between the motor and the blower breaks, it can be replaced with a brand new belt in about 15 minutes with some basic hand tools.

Switch off the circuit breaker to the furnace. Confirm the power to the furnace is off by setting the thermostat’s fan setting in the house to the On position, and check to see that the fan engine did not come on.

Remove the front access panel of the furnace by removing the screws that mount the panel to the unit using a screwdriver. Lift the panel off of the unit and set it aside.

Loosen the two mounting bolts securing the engine to the furnace using a socket set. Then push the engine toward the compressor marginally, and remove the damaged belt.

Put a new blower belt above the blower pulley, then above the engine pulley. Pull the motor with one hand, applying tension to the belt, and tighten the two mounting bolts to the motor’s base.

Check the tension of the belt by pushing on the belt between the two pulleys. With proper tension, the belt should deflect approximately half an inch. If the belt is either too loose or too tight, loosen the motor mounting bolts and adjust the stress before tightening the bolts once more.

Replace the access panel and tighten the mounting screws. Then turn the breaker, and analyze the operation of the blower.

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How Much Cold Can Watermelon Plants Take?

Watermelons require warm weather and a long growing season to come up with their sweet, juicy flesh. Most watermelon production takes place in the South, but home gardeners all over the United States can grow watermelons. Growing watermelons successfully requires enough space to them and well-drained soil amended with compost or manure. These melons also require hot summers with cold conditions, but growers in the North can also produce watermelons by planting early-maturing varieties.

Cold Temperatures

Because watermelons have been warm-season crops, they cannot withstand a freeze or even a light frost. A air temperature of 33 degrees Fahrenheit or under kills watermelons. The best time to sow watermelon seeds or set out watermelon transplants is just two to three weeks after the last spring frost date. Start watermelon seeds indoors six weeks before spring’s final average frost date. The seeds will germinate in 10 days once the soil temperature is 65 F, but they germinate best when the soil temperature is 95 F.

Ideal Temperatures

Extremes in temperatures may influence watermelon growth and development. The finest daytime air temperature for growing watermelons is from 70 to 90 F. Watermelons grown where nighttime temperatures drop below 50 F drop flavor. The plants frequently drop flowers and don’t set fruit when daytime temperatures are 90 F or higher for several days. Watermelons require 65 to 90 frost-free days to develop completely. Air temperatures under 70 F may damage young watermelon plants, slow their increase and reduce their returns.

Production in Cool Areas

Watermelon plant varieties that mature in over 75 days are alternatives in areas that encounter cool summers. Those varieties require a shorter growing season and are often less rampant than other kinds, making them perfect for home gardens. You may grow watermelon plants utilizing transparent plastic as mulch to keep the soil warm and floating row covers to help protect the plants from cool end. Several early-maturing varieties comprise “Golden Crown,” which creates 6-pound, oval melons in around 60 days, and “New Queen,” which creates 5- to 6-pound fruits with few seeds within 63 days.

Storage Tray

A watermelon is ripe once you thump it and hear a hallow sound, the tendrils darken where the melon attaches to the stem as well as the melon’s underside is pale yellow. Eliminate a watermelon by cutting, instead of pulling, it from the stem. When recovering watermelons, keep them at a place with a temperature of 50 to 60 F and a humidity of approximately 90 percent. Watermelons saved for several days in a temperature below 41 F may suffer chilling injury. Eat watermelons as soon as possible after they’re harvested because they lose color and crispness when stored for long periods.

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Desert Rose Rock Landscaping

Desert rose (Adenium obesum) creates 1-inch-long tropical blossoms in pink, rose or white. In warm climates, U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, the trumpet-shaped flowers bloom all year. This plant reaches up to 5 feet tall using the lower portion of the trunk swelling to half its height. With the ideal care, this plant lives for centuries. This succulent makes an attractive addition to stone landscape.


Desert rose plants require warm temperatures year-round. This succulent initially comes from tropical and sub-tropical area of the Middle East and Africa. To survive, the desert rose must be protected from temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider growing in a container rather than planting it in the ground in the stone landscape. Put wheels on large plant pots to make it easier to move.


Place the desert climbed in just as much direct sunlight as you can. This plant works well in southern facing areas. This succulent tolerates some afternoon shade in hot areas, but too much shade lowers the amount of blossoms.


Desert roses requires dry locations. Too much water causes the roots to decay. Keep the plant dry during the winter while the plant isn’t actively growing. Water once the soil gets completely dry in summer. Don’t plant in areas with standing water or drainage issues.


The desert rose grows best in a mixture of sand or stone chips and potting soil. Commercial cactus soil mixture works well when growing in containers. In ideal circumstances, create a mound of rubble and cover the soil mixture. This guarantees that the desert rose has plenty of drainage in the stone garden.

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Bumps on Tomato Plants

Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) are among the most favored vegetables among home gardeners, the flavor of their luscious fruit unmatched by commercially manufactured varieties. Tomatoes are usually hardy, but sometimes develop unusual bumps along their stems. These bumps may simply be an environmental response, but other times that they indicate the presence of a critical pathogen.

Root Initials

Tomatoes are unique among vegetables they easily develop roots along the length of their stems. Immature roots that appear as pale bumps form when humidity or soil moisture is high. These root initials are no reason for alarm when they form close to the soil’s surface and the soil is draining properly and the plant shows no other signs of infection. However, if root initials develop higher on the stem or the plant is wilting and showing signs of failure, your soil may be retaining excess moisture or you simply may be overwatering your strawberries.

Tomato Psyllids

Tomato psyllids (Bactericera cockerelli) are common pests in the garden. All these 1/10-inch-long, cicada-like insects are dark in colour, with white or yellow markings on their thorax. Nymphs have oval-shaped, flattened yellow-green to orange bodies that resemble scale insects. It requires just two to three weeks from hatching for these bump-like nymphs, which might cover affected tomato crops, to emerge as adults. Employ spinosad, abamectin or spiromesifen to infested plants, following label directions.

Bacterial Canker

Bacterial canker in tomatoes is caused by the pathogen Clavibacter michiganensis pv. michiganensis. It infects crops of most ages, but does not generally cause the formation of cankers except in adult plants. Indicators of bacterial canker include curling, yellowing or wilted leaves that eventually brown and collapse; as the disease progresses, the stem pith yellows, turns red or hollows out. Very serious infections may produce cankers on the plant’s nodes. There is no cure for this disease, but destroying plant materials whenever feasible and practicing crop rotation will help to minimize difficulties in gardens.

Alternaria Stem Canker

Alternaria stem canker (Alternaria alternata f. sp. Lycopersici) is an aggressive fungal canker that could influence stems, leaves or fruit. Dark black or brown cankers may form close to the soil line and continue to enlarge, eventually girdling the stem. This fungus persists in infected plant debris, with spores germinating most rapidly in the presence of water at a temperature around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. There is no cure for this fungus, but a variety of tomatoes resistant to alternaria stem canker are available to the home gardener, such as “Beefmaster Hybrid,” “Celebrity Hybrid,” “Floramerica Hybrid,” “Jackpot Hybrid,” “Lemon Boy Hybrid” and “Roma.”

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What's Better: Foam or Siliconized Mattress Toppers?

The type of mattress topper that is best for you depends on any chemical sensitivities you might have, as some silicone and foam toppers might have a chemical smell. Foam toppers contain petrochemicals, while silicone can also be a chemical sandwiched somewhere between synthetic rubber and plastic polymer. But if you have allergies to natural fibers or masks, both can offer you exactly what you need.

Memory Foam Toppers

For comfort, support and depth options, memory foam mattress toppers rate high among consumers in Sleep Like the Dead’s customer survey site. In regards to cost, lifespan and ease of usage, these mattress toppers ranked lower than other mattress toppers — and they are reportedly hot. Foam mattress toppers come in varying uniform heights such as 2-inch, 3-inch, 4-inch or greater. The topper basically produces a footprint atop your bed usually the same size as the mattress.

Silicone Mattress Toppers

Straight silicone mattress toppers are configured differently than foam mattress toppers are. Similar to feather toppers, the silicone is sandwiched at a quilted bag. This type of mattress topper does not offer the same uniform height for a foam mattress topper 41because the material can move around within the quilted bag. These toppers are usually much less consistently heavy as foam toppers are — running about 3 inches of silicone.

Gel-Covered Memory Foam

An alternative to a comprehensive polyurethane foam along with a silicone mattress topper is one that is made from both. A gel-like covering — composed of a type of synthetic rubber and vinyl — combines the best of two worlds at the first layers of a polyurethane foam topper. The gel pad atop the polyurethane foam allows the mattress to be much cooler complete beneath the body when sleeping, among the major complaints regarding an foam topper.

Alternative Choices

A natural alternative to polyurethane or siliconized mattress toppers includes 100 percent organic latex toppers, down or wool. For those with allergies, an alternative to these organic products includes fiber toppers made from polyester fiber fill or down alternative puffball-type fibers. These kinds of toppers are far more like thick mattress pads as opposed to full scale toppers, and are a lot more inexpensive in comparison to silicone or foam.

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How to Decorate Around a Mounted TV

Wall-mounted apartment screen TVs have turned into a frequent sight in homes of all styles. However, as soon as the TV is in position, it may develop a design dilemma when you are not certain of how to fill in the empty wall area surrounding it. Fortunately, there are many choices to integrate a mounted TV to your well-designed room.

Create a Gallery Wall

Among the hottest decorating trends is that the gallery, a space filled with framed art, photographs, mirrors and other kinds of wall d├ęcor. The design can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, based on your taste. The TV ought to be centered in a symmetrical layout. Black-and-white photographs with identical frames and mats make an impressive screen and add a touch of formality to the chamber. An asymmetrical display provides more flexibility but requires more planning. Put your framed art on the floor and cut a piece of craft paper roughly the size of the TV. Play around with different arrangements until you discover one you like best. Snap a photo with your phone to refer back to if hanging the art on the wall.

Cabinetry and Shelves

Provide an integrated try to find your wall-mounted TV by installing custom cabinetry. Include shelves or cubbies that go over the TV and change the size of their individual units. Another option is to flank the TV on each side with floor-to-ceiling shelves or bookcases and hang a large piece of artwork over the TV. You may also place a console table below the TV along with also a tall table lamp on the table to get a feeling of size and depth. Or install floating shelves on one side of this TV and hang framed art on the other. Stagger floating shelves across the TV to get a clean, contemporary look.

Combine Female Elements

Utilize a combination of furnishings, wall shelving and art to fill in space around a wall-mounted TV. Place a big bookcase, china cabinet or armoire on one side of this TV. Include a console table off-centered under the TV and hang artwork or put in shelving on the other side. Otherwise, place an indoor tree on a narrow wall by the TV and hang artwork over and on the opposite side. Put in a few shelves or include a very long, low profile bookcase below the TV to display your collectibles.

Other Ideas

Use your imagination to create a custom search for your TV wall. Think about adding one long wall shelf under the TV along with a slightly shorter shelf above the TV. Place two extra-tall candle holders around the lower shelf to create two vertical lines on either side of the TV, or put in 2 wall-sconce candle holders. Display art glass and also books on the top shelf and also bigger decorative items on the bottom, like urns or pottery. Create a rustic look on the wall by flanking the TV with old shutters and putting a distressed dresser under. Whether your style is ultra-modern, traditional or shabby chic, surround a wall-mounted TV with style for a flawless fit.

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The Best Hardwood Floor to Get That Beach Appearance

Think about your individual tastes and your home’s decor and color scheme should you look for the best hardwood flooring to create the beach appear in your home. For the least expensive, best choice and appear in an eco-friendly material, hit for bamboo instead of a conventional hardwoodfloors A renewable resource which rises faster than trees, woven-strand bamboo is a durable, harder-than-most hardwood floor option. The shore mood is evoked by gray, cedar shingle clad cottages, wood boardwalks and piers that dot and line coastal communities, and this color selection is offered in bamboo, along with your preferred hardwood.

Tropical Beach Floors

Though woven bamboo delivers the very best, most environmentally friendly option for mimicking the beach appear in flooring, it is technically not a hardwood — however it ranks near the top of the list for its durability and hardness factors. Woven strand bamboo flooring comes from third on the Janka Hardness scale, with greater durability than hickory, oak or maple. And if you would like to put in a little bit of tropical spice for your beachy house, bamboo flooring comes from multiple beach-like tropical looks, from dark coffee to red-orange to beach-weathered gray.

Ocean-Bleached Driftwood

Hardwood limbs and limbs set adrift at sea become ocean-smoothed woods across the rugged coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific, in which the timber is gathered and frequently utilized in decor items for the house. To get a true beach-like feel in your house, duplicate the multitoned look of driftwood by choosing hardwood or engineered flooring made from wide planks of woven-strand bamboo or white or red oak that’s stained and treated to resemble the weathered and smoothed look of this beige, blonde and bleached tones of driftwood.

A Warm, Beachy Look

The neutral tones of bamboo, white, white, silver or red pine driftwood may not appeal to youpersonally, and you want to have more warmth in your hardwood floors — such as a touch of this lighter red-browns and umber tones found in rattan, bamboo and reed patio furnishings. Choose a good oak hardwood floor, whitewashed to age it, and treated with a UV floor finish to create a warmer beachy look. The color choice does not really matter, as long as the hardwood floors has a salty-sun and beach-worn look about it.

Weather-Beaten Gray

For an authentic oceanfront home floor, turn to hardwood or bamboo flooring boards using a gray, weathered and lifted grain look. All significant hardwood floor manufacturers provide an assortment of woods that may achieve this style based on the selection of color and finish. Weathered-gray hardwood flooring won’t appear only as though they’ve been stained one solid color — the gray beach-weathered look calls for differences in colors, tones and color variations in the floors.

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