Outdoor Comfort

We may be facing one more summer of “staycations” as the health climate is still on everyone’s thoughts. So, my article today is about making your backyard comfortable. I know right now, the weather in South Texas is great, so let’s enjoy it while we can!

Let me start with ceiling fans. If your fan didn’t keep you cool last year, it won’t be any better this year! Go shopping for a good fan now and get it installed. Look for three important details when buying a ceiling fan. Warranty…. you want to look for a life-time warranty in a ceiling fan. Most brands will give a limited, one-year warranty, but not Hinkley. This is a fan that will serve you well and keep you cool for life. Does that sound too good to be true? It isn’t if you build a great fan.
I have an old, old refrigerator in my garage. It’s gone through three moves and it still works and cools like new. My new cabinet-depth refrigerator with the bells and whistles, might last 5 years. The garage refrigerator was built to last and might outlast me. That’s the kind of performance you get in a Hinkley fan.

The next thing to look for is the pitch on the ceiling fan blade. Remember the pitch of the blade is what moves the air…not how fast the motor spins. You want a 12-16 degree of pitch on the blade to make you feel cool. A ceiling fan doesn’t really lower the temperature in the room, but it does make you feel cool because of the chill factor it creates across your skin. It should make you feel at least seven degrees cooler than the actual temperature.

Third, look for a capacitor that keeps it on the right speed and keeps it quiet. Hinkley puts a heavy-duty capacitor on their fans. It will never make that ...click, click, click when it spins. I know some people say that it’s soothing, but what is really happening is that the ceiling fan is failing.

Go to www.hinkleyfans.com and then click outdoor fans and look at the designs. Pay special attention to the Artiste and Vantage fans. I have an Artist in my den, and I never have it above speed 2 because I would get too cold. I am going to put a Vantage Fan on my patio and deck.

Now I am going to be honest, Hinkley Fans are not the least expensive fans you can buy. But it will be the best fan you can buy. And the last one. If you can’t find Hinkley Fans near you, give me a call. I promise that phone call WILL SAVE YOU MONEY.

Next week, we will discuss getting rid of pests outdoors….and I’m not talking about your neighbor.

Now to the mailbox….

Question: Trudy, we have a gray brick pedestal with an outside night light encased inside. It has developed ugly dark gray streaks on all sides due to water leaking from the roof above. What can I use to clean the pedestal?
Answer: Those dark streaks are probably mildew. I would spray the pedestal with 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner. They make a quart sized that is ready to use. Spray the stains, and let it work, then rinse with your garden hose. Then you might want to put a sealer on the pedestal to help protect it from future staining. Dry Lok makes a great natural sealer that will not add shine, just protection.

Question: We have a brick facade on the house. Last night I watched the bugs going in and out of the weep holes. That’s not going to fly at my house. So, what kind of pesticide should I use? I have a sweet dog outside, so I don’t want to make him sick – tell me what to do.
Answer: This is easy. They make a screening material that you poke down into the weep holes. It will allow moisture to escape but keep the bugs out. It will not rust, because it’s made of copper.

Question: We still have stained and varnished cabinets. The varnish around the knobs is sticky. What do I clean with?
Answer: Use Wood Cleaner for Fine Wood by Holloway House.. You will love the fragrance, and it will remove all the sticky oil. Keep turning the rag that you use so you clean with a fresh side.