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Seven Simple DIY Steps to Self-Servicing Your AC

The summer season is usually warm and humid. It lasts from June to September and an average day temperatures 25 degrees. That in other words means that during summer season air conditioning requirements not only increase manifold but maintenance of air conditioning units also becomes equally important.

Keeping air-conditioner properly maintained not only saves money on energy consumption but also enhances the age of your equipment. It also avoids early replacements. As per the experts, an AC requires constant attention so that it can be ensured that its efficiency is at the maximum. An expert can definitely help you in maintaining your cooling system in a proper order. But it can also cost you some extra money. You can save this money by following these “do-it-yourself” steps for servicing your AC. Ideal time to use these steps is just before the beginning and end of summer season.

maintenance of air conditioning units

#1. Switching off the Power.

Because of the possible risks of working close to electricity and the moving parts of an AC, it is important that you first switch off the main power current to the unit. Generally, for outdoor compressors there is a shut-off box near the unit. For indoors turn the power off the breaker. As a next step, find the capacitor by following the instructions in the users’ manual provided by the manufacturer.

#2. Cleaning & Oiling the Condenser

You might find your condenser covered with dust and waste. Remove the outer fan cage with the help of a wrench or screw driver and thoroughly clean it with the help of a brush. Afterwards, oil the parts of the fan with the oils recommended by the manufacturer.

Also don’t forget to vacuum and clean leaves and other debris from the inside of the fan and fan cage.

#3. Cleaning the Condenser Coils and Fins

Next take a garden hose and with a strong stream clean the condenser fins. Make sure that any accumulated dirt or dirt is properly cleaned. Important things to keep in this mind while following this step is that pressure washer should not be used as pressure can harm the fins.

Moreover, coil guard must be removed while cleaning the inside of the fins. This stops wet debris to accumulate inside the fins. If the fins are very dirty and you think that they cannot be cleaned with the water, use the sprays that are prescribed by the manufacturer of your AC unit.

#4. Straighten the Fins

To straighten the bent fins, use the fin comb. Be gentle while doing this. Comb can also be used to clean the fins. If you don’t have a fin comb, you can also use a butter knife.

#5. Cleaning Around the Unit

After you are finished cleaning condenser fan and fins, clean the area around it. At least 2 inches vegetation and branches should be cut in all directions. This is important to make certain that air flow is circulated properly. When the unit is not in use, particularly in the winter season, it is wise to cover it with plastic or plywood. It will prevent debris from falling inside. But don’t cover it fully as corrosion could happen due to moisture buildup. A completely cover unit will also attract birds to build nests inside. Don’t forget to uncover when the unit is operating.

#6. Cleaning the Filter and Ducts

To perform this task detaches the casting encircling the air filter. Now carefully, take out the filter and clean it with a cloth. If it is too dirty you can also use a mild soap and water. Not only as a part of service, you should made cleaning your air filter a part of your routine every two weeks. It will increase the life of the filter. Filter should be completely dry before reassembling. If the air filter is too dirty, replacing it with a new one is a better option.

The next step is to sanitize the air ducts with a vacuum cleaner. This will suck all the dirt particles and debris amassed inside the ducts. Like air filters ducts should also be cleaned regularly.

#7.  Perform Routine Checkups

Once done with all these steps, make sure that various other parts such as breakers, plugs, fuses and thermostat are in working condition. Once you are satisfied switch on the power again and your AC is ready for its best possible performance. Besides, this one time service you should keep checking its various parts. Maintaining a weekly plan will be helpful in reminding you to make sure that your AC is properly taken care of.

Also know that a proper evaluation and check-up by an expert at least once a year is necessary to enhance the performance, age and efficiency of your unit. For more tips and information about quality Heber city air-conditioning services visit https://www.hebervalleymechanical.com

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Key Factors In Choosing A Trusted Plumbing And Heating Company

For fast and efficient plumbing service, find a that company promises to fix your bathroom and kitchen defects, while explaining how to care for your home’s fixtures in easy to understand terminology and language. Scheduled appointments should be based on your discretion, regardless of the time of day. All in all, this is what a good company guarantees.

Plumbing Requires Specialized Expertise And A Qualified Team To Handle All Aspects

For high quality, professional companies, plumbing is a serious business that requires expertise and a team of specialists that can get the job done. Even a hole the size of a pinprick can cause damages that may cost thousands. That is why any company should guarantee to fix and replace faulty fixtures, whether simple or complex.

More Than Just Fixing Faucets And Toilets

Most well-known companies also offers services like gas furnace repairs, emergency heating services and repairs, replacement and installation of furnaces, sales, repair and installation of heat pumps, programmable thermostat maintenance, customized duct work and duct cleaning/declogging, repair and maintenance of humidifiers repair of electronic air cleaners, inspections, tune ups and maintenance of furnaces, and home heating and air conditioning repair and maintenance.

Customer Service, Quality Work, And Ethics Should Be A Plumber’s Mantra

A good, reputable company believes that ethics is the key to excellent customer service and satisfaction. That is why a company with the belief that higher value and better performance is what they demand for their customers is one to choose. Any plumber you choose should feel that the privacy of your home is of utmost importance, that is why an offer of “mess free or no fee” guarantee, eases your worries, ensuring that they clean up their work area once the job is done.

Technicians that are deployed to your homes should be in full company uniform for identification, ready to provide you with their business cards and company ID for customer inspection. Company vehicles should be parked in areas readily visible to the public to let you know there are no clandestine or out of bounds transactions going on. professional technicians don rubber gloves, shoe covers, drop cloths, and carry vacuum cleaners and other cleaning supplies to ensure that the area they worked on would be restored to what it looks like before they started working – clean and free of any mess.

Utilizing The Latest Methods And Technology Is Key

You want the professionals you select to boast of teams of technicians that are trained using the most up-to-date methods and technology in the plumbing business to ensure high quality service and excellent technical and professional skills.

Licensed as a Class A Contractor by the State is good to know, and a company that carries compensations for workers, as well as general liability, auto and property insurance helps to provide reassurance that they would only install high quality fixtures in your home and provide a service that’ll make you feel like a family member is working on your repair jobs.

The Advantages of Electric Furnaces

Installing a new furnace is always a good thing; whether the old one broke unexpectedly or if you are simply upgrading your furnace, getting a new furnace for your home can be a real treat. However, there are different types, and you have to decide which fuel source is best for you as well. Sometimes the setup in the house will make that decision for you; if there is no gas supply, then a gas furnace will not do you much good, for example.

Among the options you will see are electric furnaces. These have some major advantages, including the fact that you do not need a continuous supply of something that could leak. Electric furnaces rely only on electricity, so once you turn the furnace off, it is off. There are no pilot lights, ignition switches, or gas supply lines to make you wonder if the furnace is really safe or not. With electric furnaces, you can actually save on your utility bill because you do not have electricity constantly running if the furnace is off. Compare this to a gas furnace that has a pilot light — the gas must be continually running and burning, and even at a low level, that costs you money. Electronic ignition systems take care of that issue somewhat, but you still have to have gas at the ready in the pipes for the ignition to work.

Electric furnaces are also beneficial if you have respiratory issues or chemical sensitivities. The gas — both the gas itself and the smell — can adversely affect some people with conditions like asthma, so having an electric furnace can be a blessing for those who find themselves too sensitive to use gas. Of course, if your home uses electricity only, then the choice is pretty much made for you as you have to get a furnace that you can actually use given the power supplies at your home.

electric furnace

Always talk to the contractors you have hired first to see what styles of furnace are available. The care and maintenance for each will be different, and you want to be sure you know what you are getting into when you buy electric furnaces. The contractor will likely have a suggested maintenance plan, and if the costs are reasonable, you should arrange for the contractor to come out periodically to inspect the furnace to ensure it is still in good shape.

One drawback to using electric furnaces is that if the power goes out, your heat goes out as well. If you plan to use electric furnaces to heat your home, have a backup heater, like a space heater, available for when you need it. Another option is to have your own generator to power the items in your home, though not everyone is going to have one of these or the fuel to run it for very long.

Despite that issue, electric furnaces can be very nice. They are relatively low-cost to run, they are relatively silent, and they do not take up much room. The fuel savings alone from not having to have fuel constantly burning can add up over time, even if they seem very small to begin with. Good-quality electric furnaces last a long time, and with the proper care, you could have a working furnace that does not require replacing for decades. They are also safer to work with as there is no risk of gas leaking or catching fire. While the wiring needs to be done correctly to prevent any short circuits, an electric furnace can be much easier to use safely than other types.

Goodman – 10 KW Electric Furnace

Goodman 10 KW Electric Furnace

Ducane – Complete Electric Furnace Central Forced Air

Ducane Complete Electric Furnace Central Forced Air

Williams – Chimney Vent Electric Wall Furnace

Williams - Chimney Vent Electric Wall Furnace

Holiday Decorating Ideas For Your Fireplace Mantel

Nothing adds more warmth and ambience to your home than a fireplace; except, perhaps, a fireplace mantel that is all decked out for the holidays. While swags of evergreen garland complete with pinecones and red berries have traditionally been the decorations of choice, they aren’t the only choice. In fact, they often look out of place when used in different regions throughout the United States.

Here are a few other holiday decorating ideas for your fireplace mantel:

Coastal Living

To create this look, start by choosing an appropriate color scheme. Instead of choosing traditional reds and greens, you may want to bring some of the colors you see outside of your window inside your home for a cohesive yet festive look. One of the most stunning color combinations of the season is teal and copper.

This color combination is cozy, yet classy. Start by gathering a combination of clear glass containers in varying shapes and sizes and placing them on the mantel. You can then fill some of them with copper Christmas ornaments and place teal colored candles in others. Don’t forget to incorporate a few natural elements as well such as sand, starfish, feathers, cinnamon spice bundles or even driftwood to complete the look.

Above the mantel, you can hang a large wreath made from a non-traditional material such as eucalyptus or something a bit more traditional such as a light colored cedar pine. For a more informal look simply place the wreath behind the jars and lean it against the wall.

For something a bit more whimsical, you could instead hang a large chalkboard with chunky frame with a distressed finish above the mantel and write your own holiday message on it.

Fireplace Mantel Holiday Decorating Ideas

Simply Southern

You don’t have to live in the south to appreciate this simple yet sophisticated style. It can be used to turn any formal fireplace mantel into a festive focal point for the holidays. Raspberry, lime green and gold looks stunning against a white mantel, while white, silver and plum accents bring out the richness of a dark wood stain.

Whatever color combination you choose, start with a fresh greenery garland and drape it across the fireplace. Flowers or fruit are popular things to adorn the garland with in the south.  Flank the fireplace with oversized ribbon bows and group long tapered candles in candlestick holders on the mantle. A single object such as a mirror or wreath hung centered above the fireplace will complete the look.

Tips For Any Style

These are just a few of the many different ways that you can decorate your fireplace for the holidays. Whatever style of décor you prefer, there are a few common elements that will help you create a designer look.

  • Plan ahead. If you start gathering decorations early in the season, you will find a better selection and avoid the stress of last minute holiday decorating.
  • Size it up. Choose decorations and accessories that complement the style of the room and are sized appropriately for the mantel.
  • Repeat. For a more cohesive look, repeat the color combination used on your mantel on your Christmas tree as well as throughout the rest of the home.
  • Less is more. Holiday decorating is often synonymous with excess and indulgence. If you use too many decorations, however, they will compete with each other and look cluttered.

Advice to Follow for Centralized Air Conditioner Repairs

You can save both energy and money while learning a few new skills with these DIY (Do It Yourself) air conditioning repair techniques. Below are listed some suggestions on how to troubleshoot and repair some not so difficult central air-conditioning problems:

Several different problems can happen with a central air conditioning system. A central AC unit can:

  1. Not work at all
  2. Run but not cool the house
  3. Cause erratic changes in room temperature
  4. Drip of leak water
  5. Make odd noises

There are of course, some central air conditioning repairs which absolutely must be handled by an experienced air-conditioning repair person, but you will be surprised at how many you can do yourself.

Central Air Conditioner Doesn’t Work

If your central air conditioner doesn’t automatically turn on when the thermostat indicates that cooling is needed, it’s probable that the thermostat isn’t working correctly or the unit isn’t receiving electrical power. Before you rush off to call a repairman, make sure the thermostat is set to COOL and that the temperature setting is well below the general temperature in the house.

Next, do the following:

1. Check main electrical panel — do this and any secondary circuit panels should be checked as well for a tripped breaker or a blown fuse. If the source of the problem is there, then you can reset the breaker or replace the fuse. You should be aware that a central air conditioner should be on a dedicated 240-volt circuit.

2. Make sure the furnace power switch is on – this is important as well as checking to see that the outdoor condenser’s power switch, which is located on the outdoor unit, hasn’t been turned off. While you’re at it, check that the 240-volt disconnect located beside the compressor, which is in a metal box usually on the house wall, hasn’t been shut off.

3. Turn off the power to the air conditioner — also check the thermostat. Take the cover off of the thermostat and unscrew the wire from the Y terminal. Turn the power back on. Being careful to hold the wire by its insulation only, touch the bare end to the R terminal and hold it in place for about two minutes. If the compressor goes on, then the thermostat is faulty; replace it yourself, or call an air conditioning technician. If the compressor doesn’t go on when you hold the two wires together, then turn the power back off and call an AC technician from somewhere like Static Electrics.

Air Conditioner Doesn’t Cool Properly

Listen and if you can hear your central air conditioner running, but it isn’t cooling the house properly, the problem can be caused by several things:

It needs to be cleaned so that it gets the proper flow of air.

The coolant needs to be recharged by an air conditioning technician.

If you want to attempt to clean the condenser unit, this is something you can do yourself with a little guidance.

Air Conditioner Doesn’t Blow Air

If your air handler’s motor runs but the blower isn’t moving the air, the belt that connects the two together likely has broken. Don’t worry. Replacing it is easy if you have a few tools and some simple do-it-yourself skills. Here’s what you do:

1. Turn off all power — to the unit and, if the air handler is a gas furnace, find the gas valve that is for the furnace and turn the gas off.

2. Take the door off the air-handler cabinet — This will allow you to reach the blower. Check the number stamped on the belt and gets an exact replacement from a home center or heating supply outlet.

3. Normally you can slip the belt on the motor’s pulley — then you start it on the blower pulley. Rotate the blower puller by hand, holding the belt in place, but being careful not to let your fingers get caught between the belt and the pulley. The belt should slip into place without a problem. If it appears too tight or is difficult to set in place, you may have to adjust the motor mount to give it more slack. Once the belt is securely in place you can retighten the tension. Read the manufacturer’s specifications for correct tension — usually the bet should deflect about an inch when you press down on it.

4. Lubrication — Lastly, some fan motors and fans require oiling every now and then. Some have sealed bearings. If it states that you should do so in your maintenance manual, oil the bearings according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Now hopefully you have repaired your central air conditioner and will not have to resort to calling an electrician like Static Electrics.

The Usual Suspects – Two Common Chimney Problems and How to Address Them

The chimney is one of the most important parts of a home. It serves as the channel where smoke from the fireplace escapes, yet keeps the warmth inside. With constant exposure to smoke and freeze-thaw cycle, however, a chimney becomes susceptible to damage that can cause problems ranging from minor inconvenience to costly repairs, and even serious health concerns.

If you have a chimney, it is particularly important to have it checked at least twice a year to ensure that it is safe to use. Any problems or damages found in the chimney should be immediately addressed to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and structural fires. Below are two of the most common chimney problems and how they can be resolved.

Common Chimney Problems

1. Fumes or Smoke Inside the Room

If you notice that smoke or fumes blow inside your house instead of going toward the chimney, it is likely that the flue is obstructed with soot, debris and even a bird nest. In such case, it is vital to clean the flue and the entire chimney immediately.

Start by covering the area around the fireplace with a drop cloth, including your furnishings. Then, install a fireplace cover to the firebox and attach a vacuum to it. Next, using a chimney brush with attachment that is the right shape and size for your flue, climb on your roof and clean your chimney from above. Make sure that you wear the right gear when cleaning and take safety precautions while working at heights. Push the brush all the way to the fireplace to remove the clog.

Once you have cleaned your chimney, ensure that nesting animals and other debris will not get inside the flue again by installing a chimney cap.

2. Damp Chimney

If you notice stains on your ceiling, chimney opening and the area around your fireplace, it is likely that the mortar of your chimney is starting to crack or crumble. If caught soon, most cracks can be repaired. Small cracks can be easily filled with caulk or some type of concrete bonding material. You can smooth the bonding material with a putty knife for the solution to properly adhere to the surface.

If the mortar around the joints are crumbling, however, you will have to remove it and apply a new one. You can remove the damaged mortar using a small hammer and chisel. Go at least 1.25 cm deep to ensure that the entire damaged mortar is dislodged. Clean the area with a moist sponge and allow it to completely dry before applying new mortar.

When mixing the mortar, make sure that its consistency is thick – preferably like peanut butter. Using a pointing trowel, spread the new mortar evenly in the damp excavated area until it is filled. Repeat the whole process in areas where you find damage. Allow the new mortar to set properly by keeping it moist for at least 2 or 3 days.

If you have a brick chimney, you can protect the bricks from cracks and leaks by applying a water-repellent sealant on them. The sealant will let water vapor escape, thereby preventing liquid from penetrating the bricks.

If you think that your chimney’s problem is beyond your repairing skills, do not hesitate to call in the pros. Doing this will ensure that the issue will be addressed immediately and will help prevent the problems from getting worse.

5 Tips For Making Your Home Comfortable During Winter

Snowmen, Snow angels, hot chocolate-the winter brings pleasant times for some people. For many others the winter brings the challenge of keeping their homes warm without making their pockets empty. People that live in extremely cold climates really feel the pinch during this time of year.

So many people can use tips on how to make their homes comfortable during the winter. If you’re one of those people, you’re in luck.

The rest of this article will give you tips on how you can make your home comfortable during the winter.

1. Check Your Heater

Check your central heater to make sure that no gases are leaking out of it. Many gases that can escape from central heating systems have no color. They also lack an odor. This makes it vitally important to make sure these gases aren’t leaking from your heater. You may need a professional to help you with this task.

2. Check Your Doors And Windows

Sometimes warm air leaks out through tiny cracks in doors and windows. Check your doors and windows at the start of the cold season to make sure there are no cracks. If you see cracks, seal them. You can also keep air cold air from escaping through windows by covering them up in the winter.

Making Your Home Comfortable During Winter

3. Check Your Insulation

Make sure your insulation does not have any cracks in it. If you have an older home, this is especially important to do. Your insulation has probably seen a lot of wear and tear over the years. You want to check your insulation to make sure you have the proper material. This is not a do it yourself task. Spend some money to hire a professional to do this one.

4. Check Your Ductwork

Improperly maintained ductwork can make a properly functioning central heater ineffective. Ideally you should have these checked by a professional every five years. You should also have them cleaned this often, unless you have an indoor pet. If you have furry pet as part of your family, you should consider having your ducts cleaned once a year.

5. Maintain Your Filters

You should replace your filters on a monthly basis. This is especially helpful if you have allergies. Keeping your filters clean reduces the amount of allergens in the air. This happens because when your filters are changed often, they don’t get a chance to get full of things that make your allergies act up. Stuff like pollen, dust, and dust mites can live in filters. Keeping the filters clean keeps these things from building up in your heating system. Keeping your filters maintained is important for more reasons than just having a lower heating bill.

Keeping your home comfortable during the winter doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking. A few simple tasks done at strategic times of the year goes a long way in the fight to keep the heating bill from emptying your wallet. These are just a few ideas. If you consult a heating professional, I’m sure they will be full of creative ideas.

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7 DIY Air Conditioner Fixes

Having a broken air conditioner unit can be very inconvenient during the warmer months. Professional repair, from a company like Alek HVAC, may seem like an unnecessary cost for small repairs. The good news is that several small repairs are easy DIY projects that can be completed in a weekend.

Here are seven repair projects that you can do yourself.

1. Clean Filter

If your air has started to smell musty or mildewy, that is an indication that it’s time to disinfect the filter. This is a fairly simple process. Slide the filter out of the unit, and vacuum off any loose particles. Rinse the filter with a detergent solution that kills mold and allow to thoroughly air dry.

2. Repair a Duct Leak

A leaky duct can cause expensive air escape and leave you with a warm house. Locate a duct leak by carefully examining all ductwork. After you have found the worn duct, repair the rip with duct tape. Apply fab mesh, and paint over it with a mastic sealant. The air should be back to normal as soon as the sealant dries.

3. Clean Your Ducts

Ducts carry a lot of air on a regular basis and can get quite dirty. Air ducts should be periodically purified to prevent dirt and mold buildup. To wash ducts, remove duct vent covers, and swish a long brush into ducts as far as you can reach. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to remove the remaining debris.

Air conditioner armaflex insulation

4. Repair Bent Coil Fins

If you have noticed the temperature rising in your house, bent coil fins may be to blame. Bent coil fins can severely inhibit the airflow on your unit. Straightening bent fins is fairly easy. Repair coil fins by removing the unit cover to expose the fins. Remove the filter, and run a fin comb along the length of the fins. This action should gently straighten out any bent fins. Replace the filter and cover, and test your unit for improved efficiency.

5. Adding Freon

Units sometimes lose Freon through the cooling process. Adding coolant to your air conditioning system can greatly improve efficiency and save money. This is a very delicate process that requires care and precision. Slowly pour the coolant into the low side of your unit. If you are at all wary about attempting this process yourself, it is best to consult a professional.

6. Change the Thermostat Battery

A dead battery on the thermostat is a common reason why your air conditioner will not run. This is an easy and inexpensive problem to correct. Locate the battery holder, and remove the batteries. This sometimes involves unscrewing the thermostat from the wall. Replace old batteries with fully charged ones, and your unit should turn right on.

7. Repair a Squeaky Fan

A squeaky air conditioner can be very annoying. The fan is usually to blame for this bothersome noise. This is a very easy problem to fix. The fan has ball bearings that allow it to spin and cool off your house. A liberal spray of lubricating oil on the ball bearings should bring the squeaking to an end.

6 Tips to Lower Your Heating Bills

During the colder months, heating costs account for a major chunk of your energy bill; if you are like the average person, you are probably spending more than necessary to keep your house warm. Using energy more efficiently is not only good for your wallet but the planet too. Here are some tips to slash your heating bills without sacrificing that toasty warmth.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Your heating needs will vary throughout the course of the day and a programmable thermostat will allow you to automatically set the temperature for different times, such as while you are out of the house or during the night while you are asleep. They are inexpensive—usually between 30 and 100 dollars. This set-it-and-forget-it strategy can trim 10 percent off your heating bill.

Seal it Up

One of the simplest, yet most effective ways to cut heating bills is to seal up any leaks that let the cold air in and the hot air out. You can use caulk or weather stripping to plug these openings and prevent significant heat loss. You can purchase removable forms of these products if you want to take them off during the summer.

Lower Your Heating Bills

Check Insulation in Your Attic

Proper insulation in the attic can reduce your heating needs by 30 percent. This is no small reduction and this strategy is inexpensive—it should set you back only a few hundred dollars. You should have at least a foot of insulation in the rafters to properly protect against heat loss.

While drafts are usually associated with energy waste, the attic is the one place where they are welcome. Without proper ventilation in the attic, insulation becomes damp from condensation and even slight dampness can reduce insulating ability by 30 percent.

Proper Heating System Maintenance

A poorly maintained heating system is an inefficient heating system. Annual servicing will ensure that everything necessary to run at peak efficiency, such as cleaning combustion deposits, has been tended to. Air filters should be replaced monthly; dirty filters restrict air flow, which means your system has to work harder to heat the house—the longer it takes to heat, the more energy you are unnecessarily using.

Check ducts for leaks; do not use duct tape to seal them however. You need to purchase UL 181 tape, which resembles silver foil. If you have an older furnace, it might be time to consider investing in a newer, more energy-efficient model. The initial expense may be large but the resulting savings in your heating bill will help you recoup this cost.

Make Good Use of Ceiling Fans

We usually associate the use of ceiling fans with getting a nice breeze in the warmer months, but they can also be used as a tool to lower your heating bills in the winter by taking advantage of the fact that heat rises. In the summer, the blades run counterclockwise, which helps cool things down.

In the winter, changing the blade rotation to clockwise helps push warm air down near the ceiling into your living space.

Drapes

Opening drapes on the south-facing windows during the day can let in loads of warming sunshine that can continue to warm the house long after the sun goes down. Black-out curtains are another option to consider for keeping heat in and cold air out.

These curtains are relatively inexpensive but if your budget is a major concern and you are handy with a sewing machine, you can purchase the black-out material on your own and sew them into existing curtains yourself.