TIP OF THE WEEK

Here are projects that can help you reinvent your home this spring, according to American Standard:

* Take the mud out of the room. Installing a Fiat Molded Stone mop service basin with a multifunction hand shower gives you and your family a convenient place to wash off boots, pets and other bulky items.

* Shed a little (more) light in your foyer. Incandescent or halogen light sources naturally generate a warmth that’s perfect for the entryway. Be sure to always install a dimmer switch as well.

* Shower power for all. For the all-purpose family bathroom, upgrading to a highly functional shower system will deliver results efficiently and enjoyably for all users.

CARPET

The right way to clean carpet spills

A small carpet spill can turn into a massive stain if not treated correctly. To treat spills effectively, the experts at the Carpet and Rug Institute recommend:

Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or plain white paper towels. Using a printed or colored material may transfer ink or dye to your damp carpet. Continue until the area is barely damp.

Never scrub or use a brush. Bristles and scrubbing can damage carpet, including fraying and texture change.

Use a CRI Certified Seal of Approval carpet cleaning product and follow directions carefully. Apply a small amount of the cleaner to a white cloth and work in gently, from the edges to the center by blotting. After the spot is gone, blot the area with clear water to remove any remaining product.

OUTDOORS

Key questions to ask before hiring a landscape professional

Before hiring a landscaper, ask yourself these questions.

* What’s important to you? You don’t need to know this to the finest detail but you should have a broad understanding of what you want. Do you want to entertain? Have space to garden or create a private area to enjoy quietly by yourself? Determining what you want your yard to be can help your landscape professional realize your vision.

* What’s your budget? When it comes to dreaming of the perfect landscape project, the limit is your imagination. But once you place some real-world practicality behind it, the limit will ultimately be your budget. So, how much are you willing to spend? It’s a good idea to have a rough estimate of this figure in your head before discussing plans with your landscape professional.

ENERGY SAVING

How to eliminate air leaks

Temperature-controlled air can escape your home in multiple ways, including through air leaks in and around windows and doors, fireplaces, attics, basements and even garage doors. Air leaks can make HVAC systems work harder, use more energy and even shorten a system’s usable life.

Keeping cooled or heated air inside your home starts with sealing air leaks, which the Department of Energy says could yield yearly energy savings of 5 to 30 percent. Add or replace caulk and weather stripping around windows and doors, including garage doors. Check fireplaces, air ducts and points of entry such as water pipes, electrical lines and cable connections to ensure that no air leaks are occurring.

Add insulation in your home’s attic, basement or crawl space to help ensure your home stays warm in winter and cool in summer. Keep in mind often overlooked spots such as garages, especially if your home has a room over the garage space.

— Brandpoint