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How often should my air ducts be cleaned?

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Regularly cleaning your air ducts can improve indoor air quality, reduce the number of allergens in the air and lower your heating and cooling bills.

In general, homeowners should have their air ducts cleaned every three to five years. However, it may need to be done more often if people smoke in the home, you have pets that shed or someone in your family suffers from allergies or a respiratory illness.

The following signs could indicate that your ventilation system is dirty:

• Visible dust in the ducts

• Dirt buildup around the registers

• Worsening allergy symptoms

• Respiratory distress

It’s also important to have your air ducts cleaned after any home renovation. Dust and debris from the project can clog your ventilation system and render it inefficient. You should also clean them if water has infiltrated your ducts, as inhaling mold spores can seriously impact your health.

In addition, many new homeowners choose to have their ventilation system inspected and cleaned prior to moving into a new home.

Air duct cleaning isn’t something that the average homeowner can do on their own. Proper cleaning requires specialized vacuums with filters that can trap even the smallest particles of dust and dirt. For this reason, it’s best to hire a pro.

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4 family activities for a fun Halloween at home

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If you want to celebrate Halloween with your kids from the comfort of your home, here are a few on-theme activities the whole family will enjoy.

1. Play board games
There’s no better time to play games like The Werewolves of Millers Hollow, Cauldron Quest, and Ghost Blitz than on Halloween. You can also play monster-themed charades or Pictionary.

2. Sing karaoke

Choose a selection of songs that suit the occasion and belt out the lyrics on your own or as a group. Your playlist can include Monster (Lady Gaga), Zombie (The Cranberries), and Ghostbusters (Ray Parker Jr.).

3. Organize a photo shoot
Make a creepy backdrop and show off your costumes in a makeshift photo booth. Alternatively, you can host a fashion show in your living room.

4. Make a home movie
Recreate scenes from classic Halloween movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus or write your own script. Make sure everyone has the chance to play a fun role.

Once your little monsters are in bed, wrap up the evening in your pajamas with a bowl of popcorn and a scary movie.

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Choosing the right tile

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Not all tiles are the same. In fact, each type has its own characteristics that make it well suited for some spaces and less than ideal for others. Here’s what you should know before you start your next tiling project.

Ceramic
The durability of a ceramic tile depends on its PEI rating, which measures the surface enamel’s resistance to abrasion. Class 1 and 2 tiles are lightweight options perfect for shower walls and back splashes. On floors, however, you’ll need at least a class 3 tiles to avoid cracking the surface.

Porcelain

This material is available in a wide range of styles and can be made to look like just about any type of flooring. Porcelain is highly resistant to damage, stains, and moisture, which makes it a good choice for bathrooms, kitchens, and entryways.

Natural stone
From marble and slate to granite and limestone, there’s no denying the elegance of stone tiles. However, the porous texture of certain types makes it harder to clean and more susceptible to scratching. To prevent water damage and stains, you’ll need to regularly apply a high-quality sealant.

Glass
While not recommended for floors, glass tiles can be used to create a mosaic-style back splash in the kitchen or an accent piece around a bathtub. Using the material can brighten up a room as glass reflects light and pairs wonderfully with natural surfaces like wood and stone.

Once you’ve selected your tiles, leave the installation to the professionals. Their experience allows them to work efficiently, waste fewer materials, and create unique designs.

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2020 trends: Why glass partitions deserve a look

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If you want to create designated spaces in your home without sacrificing the airiness of open-concept living, glass partitions offer a beautiful compromise.

This type of room divider helps block out noise while continuing to let in plenty of natural light. If you want to create an office space or reading nook in your living area, for example, such partitions are ideal. Alternatively, glass walls can be used to keep strong smells in the kitchen without obstructing sight lines.

From intricately etched panels to industrial steel frames, glass partitions can be incorporated into any style of home and customized to fit any space. Plus, they’re typically made of tempered glass, which means they won’t shatter into sharp pieces if they accidentally break.

To help you make the most of this practical and striking feature, consult an interior designer.

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8 habits that harm the environment

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If you want to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, start by ditching habits that generate a lot of pollution. Here are eight things you might be doing that needlessly harm the environment.

1. Flushing or throwing out medication. Prescription drugs can contaminate the water supply and poison wildlife. Always bring unused and expired medication to your local pharmacy for safe disposal.

2. Drinking bottled water. In most places, tap water is just as safe as bottled water and creates substantially less pollution. If necessary, equip your home with a filtration system.

3. Putting old electronics in the garbage. Since these devices contain toxic substances, bring them to a drop-off location in your region to be safely recycled or refurbished.

4. Tossing cigarette butts on the ground. These are a major source of plastic pollution. Before you light up, locate a nearby outdoor receptacle or make sure you have a pocket ashtray on hand.

5. Opting for single-use plastic straws. Refuse them at restaurants and coffee shops. There are plenty of reusable options on the market made of metal, silicone, and bamboo.

6. Removing makeup with single-use products. Since these wipes take years to decompose in landfills, many beauty brands offer alternatives that can be washed and reused.

7. Driving erratically. Rapidly accelerating and slamming on the brakes will cause your car to produce more emissions. Pushing on the pedals gently and driving with smoother transitions will save gas and money.

8. Using harsh chemical cleaners. These corrosive products are a health and environmental hazard. Opt for biodegradable options or discover the cleaning properties of vinegar, lemon, and baking soda.

From taking shorter showers to buying food grown and produced locally, there are countless small lifestyle changes that can make a huge difference.

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Hunting waterfowl: a brief guide to decoys

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When it comes to hunting waterfowl, setting up the right decoy spread is crucial to your success. Here’s what you need to know about luring in snow geese, Canada geese, and ducks.

Snow geese
Since these birds tend to move in flocks of hundreds, you’ll need to set upward of 1,000 decoys to attract them. If you’re relying solely on full-body decoys, however, about 200 to 400 should suffice to create a realistic setup.

Canada geese

Early in the season, about 20 to 30 decoys dispersed in groups of five to seven is enough. Once these birds begin to migrate, however, their flocks increase in size and you’ll need closer to 120 decoys. Toward the end of the season, reduce the number of decoys and opt for lifelike, full-body options.

Ducks
When you hunt ducks, the appropriate number of decoys depends on the body of water where you’re set up. A more expansive area will require a larger decoy spread to look realistic. For example, a dozen decoys will suffice for a pond, but you’ll need several dozen on a large lake.

Remember to check for changes to your regional hunting regulations before the start of each season.

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4 tips for safe online shopping

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Many people have turned to online shopping as a way to protect their health and respect social distancing regulations during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are four tips to ensure you’re doing it safely.

1. Learn how to spot a scam. Offers that sound too good to be true, websites that lack a professional design, and requests for banking information when your cart is still empty are all red flags.

2. Confirm the company is legitimate. Check the National Corporation Directory to find out if the company is listed, and visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection website to find out whether any complaints have been filed against it. If it’s not an American business, look for mention of it on other websites and confirm whether it has a good reputation by reading customer reviews.

3. Read the return policies beforehand. Find out whether the company offers exchanges, returns, or reimbursements and under what conditions. This will help you avoid unpleasant surprises if there’s an issue with your purchase. A lack of clearly stated policies is a sign you should shop elsewhere.

4. Double-check before you pay. Make sure the website’s URL begins with “https” and has a closed padlock or unbroken key icon beside it. Confirm the price of each item and the total cost (including taxes and shipping fees) before you enter your credit card information.

Finally, remember that you should never provide unnecessary personal details, such as your social security number when shopping online.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Oct
19
Mon
all-day WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
Oct 19 – Nov 12 all-day
WCHS Band Annual Fruit Sale @ ONLINE STORE
Please show your support by purchasing fresh fruit for you, your family and friends to enjoy over the holidays! To place your order online, simply click here. Navel, Grapefruit, Juice Oranges — Whole Box $40, Half[...]
Oct
29
Thu
1:00 pm Virtual Hiring Event: Helping Vi... @ Online Event
Virtual Hiring Event: Helping Vi... @ Online Event
Oct 29 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Virtual Hiring Event: Helping Virginia get back to work @ Online Event
Dear Job Seeker, We are delighted that you are participating in our Virtual Hiring Event sponsored by the Virginia Employment Commission and the Virginia Career Works Centers. I am mindful that many of the citizens[...]
Oct
30
Fri
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Oct 30 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Oct 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Love Revival - FREE Monthly Community Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Come enjoy a hot meal on the last Friday of every month at Love Revival Ministry Center.
Oct
31
Sat
10:00 am Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
Oct 31 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Halloween on Main Street @ White Picket Fence
10-11 am: Dog Costume Parade and judging 1-2 pm: Wedding on the Gazebo 4 pm: Children’s Costume Parade with judging and prizes 5 pm: Trick or Treat on Main Street. Merchants and County Businesses will[...]
5:00 pm Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Oct 31 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Halloween Glow Throw @ Shenandoah Valley Axe Throwing Co
Bring your best costumes and GLOW throw with us! Trick or treat, throw axes and have an amazing Halloween with SVAXETHROWINGCO! KID friendly! Make your reservation today, spots will fill up fast: www.svaxethrowingco.com Fill out[...]
Nov
4
Wed
6:00 pm Annual Meeting of St. Luke Commu... @ Online Event
Annual Meeting of St. Luke Commu... @ Online Event
Nov 4 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Annual Meeting of St. Luke Community Clinic @ Online Event
St. Luke Community Clinic, Inc., of Front Royal, will hold its Annual Meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4, by ZOOM. All members (those who donate $35 annually or volunteer at the clinic) are[...]
Nov
5
Thu
6:00 pm Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitt... @ West Oaks Farm Market Event Venue
Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitt... @ West Oaks Farm Market Event Venue
Nov 5 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitting Boy Scouts @ West Oaks Farm Market Event Venue
Fashion Show Fundraiser benefitting Shenandoah Area Council Boy Scouts Fashion, food, cash bar, silent auction, raffle, door prizes, vendors on-site. Sponsored by Anna Quinn Jewelers, Grove’s Winchester Harley Davidson and Firenza Pizza. Showcasing clothing by[...]
Nov
7
Sat
all-day Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Nov 7 all-day
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Why should Small Business Saturday just be celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Buy Local – Shop Local – Eat Local – Support Front Royal’s Small Business Community and stay local! Small Business Saturdays –[...]
Nov
14
Sat
all-day Tails and Ales Virtual Fundraiser @ Online Event
Tails and Ales Virtual Fundraiser @ Online Event
Nov 14 – Nov 16 all-day
Tails and Ales Virtual Fundraiser @ Online Event
The Humane Society of Warren County… “Providing compassion and care for the animals of Warren County since 1947.” Join the Humane Society of Warren County on Saturday, November 14th, for our 9th annual Tails and[...]