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Do You Smell Chlorine?

The swimming pool industry in North Texas has been booming all spring and summer. Even as we transition into fall, the hot Texas temperatures mean that most people will be able to enjoy their pool for a few more months, even if their pool isn't heated. If you smell chlorine while enjoying your pool, does it mean there is too much chlorine in the water? Many people are under the mistaken impression that a noticeable chlorine smell or red eyes indicate excess chlorine. However, that's rarely the case. So why do you smell chlorine?

Chloramines

Man relaxing in pool

If you are noticing a strong chlorine odor in your pool in addition to having red, burning eyes, it is likely the pool has chloramines, also called combined chlorine. The chlorine added into the pool may have bonded with ammonia and nitrogen molecules released by swimmers urinating in the water. This causes reduced sanitizing ability as well as irritation to the eyes and skin of swimmers. Chloramines are 60 to 80 times less effective in disinfecting the water than an uncombined free chlorine molecule. While you can test your water for chloramines by running a DPD test kit that checks for both Free and Total chlorine levels, the tell-tale sign of chloramines is a strong chlorine odor.

If you suspect the presence of chloramines, call your pool service company for a pool shock service visit. Shocking the pool or super chlorinating is necessary to break apart chloramines. Raising the chlorine level to reach “breakpoint chlorination” level will break apart the chloramine bonds and return your pool to its clear, clean glory.

pH and Your Eyes

Baby learning to swim while adult holds him

No one likes to consider the possibility that there may be urine in the pool. According to a report from the CDC, urine is the main cause of burning eyes in the pool. The ideal swimming pool pH is 7.8, as this prevents algae growth. If your pH is lower than 7.4, the pH needs to be raised. If your pH is higher than 7.8, then the pH needs to be lowered. Because the human body has a narrow comfort range for pH of 7.4 to 7.8, and pH controls the strength of the chlorine in the pool, anything higher or lower will irritate your eyes by disrupting your tear film.

The tear film is a thin layer of tears that exists over both of your eyes to keep them moisturized and protected. Direct contact with any sort of chemical can result in irritation to the eyes by disturbing and thinning the tear film. Although chlorine is added to swimming pools to protect swimmers from harmful bacteria and germs, it can provide them with access to your eyes by disrupting the tear film. By keeping the pool’s pH at the same level as the pH of your eyes, the weakening of the tear film and the side-effect of burning red eyes are kept to a minimum. In addition, keeping the pool’s pH at optimal levels also means the chlorine will disinfect the water appropriately.

Prevent the Problem

young children playing in pool

Any chemical problems in your swimming pool water boil down to the water chemistry. After you have removed all chloramines from the water by increasing chlorine levels, you can guard again alterations to this water chemistry by following these tips:

  • Remind swimmers to use the toilet before getting into the water.
  • No swimmers should be in the pool if they have been sick with diarrhea.
  • Take kids on bathroom breaks frequently.
  • Change swim diapers regularly to keep urine and excrement out of the water.
  • Convert your chlorine pool to saltwater. Saltwater is gentler on your eyes, skin, and hair.

Although it seems counter-intuitive because you are about to get wet in the pool, showering before swimming in the pool helps prevent keep dirt, body oils, makeup, sweat, and feces out of the water.

Chlorine can combine with urine released in the pool or with particles or with particles of feces, sweat, dirt, skin cells, and personal care products that come off of the bodies of swimmers. If your pool smells strongly of chlorine, be sure to check pH levels. If they are not stable at a 7.8, call your pool service company or adjust your water chemistry without delay to keep your pool water safely sanitized against germs and bacteria.

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How hot is the housing market in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex? We're all aware it's as hot as our August temperatures. Realtors will tell you it’s definitely a sellers’ market and buyers need to be prepared to pay top dollar for the homes they want. How can you make sure your home is at the top of their list? When potential buyers visit your home, you want them to have more items on their “pros” list than on their “cons” list. There is no doubt that an outdated, old-looking master bath can be a “con,” but it’s one that can be fixed with a little time, money, and effort. 

Master Bath Renovation vs. Master Bath Update Timelines

A complete master bathroom renovation is quite an endeavor. Costs for a master bath renovation can easily run in excess of $40K. In addition to fixture changes, vanity and sink replacements, shower and/or tub replacements, tile work, and flooring, plumbing, and electrical work are frequently needed. It’s an extensive process and the turn-around time is not generally quick, even under the best of circumstances. In light of the current shortages in various home building and home renovation elements due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the time from start to project completion could be longer than is feasible if you would like to take advantage of the hot market soon.

However, a master bath update is a simpler project with a shorter timeline. Though the supply shortages being experienced across the world could still affect your project’s turnaround time, the impact will understandably be less. There are fewer elements involved in a master bath update, so there are simply fewer items that can be affected.

Before and After Frameless Shower Difference McKinney

Master Bath Renovation vs. Master Bath Update Budgets

In addition to offering a time frame advantage, a master bath update can offer a budget advantage. Homeowners can solve the problem of a tired, outdated-looking bathroom for much less money than a full master bath renovation. By choosing to update only the items with the most visual impact, homeowners can keep their expenses within their budget. Mirrors, shower enclosures, and lighting are usually the biggest ticket items in a master bathroom update, but they are typically much less expensive than plumbing, new flooring, new vanities, and extensive tile work.

Master Bath Renovation vs. Master Bath Update Convenience

In other parts of the country, it’s not uncommon for homes to have one main bathroom. However, here in North Texas, it’s rather uncommon to have only one bathroom! Families especially are used to being able to spread out as needed. When the master bathroom is out of commission, homeowners find themselves sharing with their children until their bathroom is usable again. For some homeowners, this might not be a major inconvenience; for others, it could be very stressful, and it is probably safe to say that everyone involved would prefer to keep this period of inconvenience as short as possible. An update offers the advantage of being more expedient than a full renovation and the length of time homeowners are displaced is shorter.

huge frameless shower

Master Bath Update Ideas

If you have decided to update your master bath prior to putting it on the market, what key elements should you focus on to get the most bang for your buck? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Replace the basic bathroom mirror with a beveled glass or framed mirror.
  • Paint your existing vanity rather than replace it.
  • Replace the bathroom counter. A variety of materials exist in a range of prices.
  • Add accent tile to the vanity wall, around the mirror, or inside the shower to add a more luxurious feel without having to purchase tile for the entire bathroom.
  • Change the lighting fixtures for better lighting and more visual appeal.
  • Replace faucets and showerheads with updated versions
  • Update your shower surround with a frameless shower enclosure for sleek sophistication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie Spence | Content Manager

Seota Digital Marketing 972.737.2830

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How hot is the housing market in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex? We're all aware it's as hot as our August temperatures. Realtors will tell you it’s definitely a sellers’ market and buyers need to be prepared to pay top dollar for the homes they want. How can you make sure your home is at the top of their list? When potential buyers visit your home, you want them to have more items on their “pros” list than on their “cons” list. There is no doubt that an outdated, old-looking master bath can be a “con,” but it’s one that can be fixed with a little time, money, and effort. 

Master Bath Renovation vs. Master Bath Update Timelines

A complete master bathroom renovation is quite an endeavor. Costs for a master bath renovation can easily run in excess of $40K. In addition to fixture changes, vanity and sink replacements, shower and/or tub replacements, tile work, and flooring, plumbing, and electrical work are frequently needed. It’s an extensive process and the turn-around time is not generally quick, even under the best of circumstances. In light of the current shortages in various home building and home renovation elements due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the time from start to project completion could be longer than is feasible if you would like to take advantage of the hot market soon.

However, a master bath update is a simpler project with a shorter timeline. Though the supply shortages being experienced across the world could still affect your project’s turnaround time, the impact will understandably be less. There are fewer elements involved in a master bath update, so there are simply fewer items that can be affected.

Before and After Frameless Shower Difference McKinney

Master Bath Renovation vs. Master Bath Update Budgets

In addition to offering a time frame advantage, a master bath update can offer a budget advantage. Homeowners can solve the problem of a tired, outdated-looking bathroom for much less money than a full master bath renovation. By choosing to update only the items with the most visual impact, homeowners can keep their expenses within their budget. Mirrors, shower enclosures, and lighting are usually the biggest ticket items in a master bathroom update, but they are typically much less expensive than plumbing, new flooring, new vanities, and extensive tile work.

Master Bath Renovation vs. Master Bath Update Convenience

In other parts of the country, it’s not uncommon for homes to have one main bathroom. However, here in North Texas, it’s rather uncommon to have only one bathroom! Families especially are used to being able to spread out as needed. When the master bathroom is out of commission, homeowners find themselves sharing with their children until their bathroom is usable again. For some homeowners, this might not be a major inconvenience; for others, it could be very stressful, and it is probably safe to say that everyone involved would prefer to keep this period of inconvenience as short as possible. An update offers the advantage of being more expedient than a full renovation and the length of time homeowners are displaced is shorter.

huge frameless shower

Master Bath Update Ideas

If you have decided to update your master bath prior to putting it on the market, what key elements should you focus on to get the most bang for your buck? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Replace the basic bathroom mirror with a beveled glass or framed mirror.
  • Paint your existing vanity rather than replace it.
  • Replace the bathroom counter. A variety of materials exist in a range of prices.
  • Add accent tile to the vanity wall, around the mirror, or inside the shower to add a more luxurious feel without having to purchase tile for the entire bathroom.
  • Change the lighting fixtures for better lighting and more visual appeal.
  • Replace faucets and showerheads with updated versions
  • Update your shower surround with a frameless shower enclosure for sleek sophistication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie Spence | Content Manager

Seota Digital Marketing 972.737.2830

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Our Frisco pediatrician's office receives many calls from new parents about the contents of their baby's diapers. Your baby’s stool, or poop, is an indication of their well-being, so you’ll want to pay attention to your baby’s bowel movements. Baby poop can be a wide variety of colors and consistencies. The regularity of your baby’s bowel movements can also vary greatly. What’s normal? What isn’t?

The First Poop

Many North Dallas parents alarmed by the appearance of your newborn’s first bowel movement. It's actually pretty common for parents to be a bit startled by the greenish-black poop encountered in their new baby’s diaper.  It’s called meconium, which is a sticky, tar-like substance that gradually filled your baby’s intestines during their time in utero. Despite its appearance, meconium is totally normal and an indicator that your child’s bowels are functioning properly!

The Transitional Stool

After all the meconium has been passed from your newborn’s body, dark greenish-yellow stools will appear. These are loose in consistency and occasionally “seedy” in texture (especially in breastfed infants). They may also contain mucus or traces of blood. While the blood is likely the result of swallowing some of your blood during delivery, show the diaper to a nurse or doctor just to make sure all is well.

When these transitional stools have been passed, usually in three or four days, the type of food your baby is eating will determine the color and consistency of his or her poop.

Normal vs Abnormal Poop

The appearance of baby poop is greatly affected by whether you’re breastfeeding or formula-feeding.

  • Breastfed: bowel movements will often be mustard-like in color and consistency, loose or watery, and sometimes seedy, mushy, or curdy
  • Formula-fed: poop will usually be soft, but more solid than a breastfed baby’s stool, and anywhere from pale yellow to yellowish-brown, light brown, or brownish-green.

Frequency

Breastfed Infants

For the first five days of life breastfed babies generally average one poopy diaper for every day of life: one poop on day one, two poops on day two, etc. After day five, the average breastfed newborn will have about five dirty diapers a day. However, any number in the range from one dirty diaper every few days to several a day is in the normal range!

By 6 weeks of age, the bowel movement frequency of babies who are breastfed begins to change. It’s normal for some breastfed babies to go one to three days between bowel movements, while others will continue to have bowel movements several times per day during their first year of life. As long as your baby is happy and thriving, it’s not necessary to track daily bowel movement numbers.

Formula-Fed Infants

Formula-fed babies generally poop more often than breastfed babies. Infants who are fed formula usually have three to four times bowel movements per day. Occasionally, however, some babies will go several days without pooping. As long as the stools are soft and your baby isn’t constipated, there is usually no cause for concern. Don’t be alarmed if a baby grunts, groans, frowns, or strains when pooping. This is all very normal (and occasionally comical.) If your newborn goes more than five days without pooping, call our office for an appointment.

Blood in the Poop

While traces of blood in transitional stool is normal for a newborn, you should take note of blood in the poop of an older infant. If you are breastfeeding, blood in the baby’s stool could indicate that your nipples have bled while feeding or a sensitivity or allergy to something in your diet. Your pediatrician may recommend that you try eliminating commonly problematic foods like dairy, soy, peanuts, or tree nuts for two to three weeks to try and determine what is causing a problem.

If your baby is formula-fed, blood in your baby’s poop could indicate a milk allergy and may necessitate a change in formula.

However, sometimes no correlation between foods and allergic symptoms exists. It’s possible that your baby might have some small tears or fissures in the anus that caused the bleeding.

What is melena?

Thick, black or tarry stools are called melena. Melena differs from the meconium stools that occur during the first few days of your baby’s life. Melena can indicate bleeding in the digestive tract, which can be dangerous for your infant. Contact our office immediately if your baby has thick, black, or tarry poop.

No poop?

For breastfed babies, constipation is uncommon. However, less than one poop a day in the first few weeks of life can indicate your baby isn’t getting enough to eat. Around the age of six weeks to 3 months, the bowel movement frequency could slow down to one a day or possibly one every two to three days. Formula-fed babies typically go a little longer between bowel movements. Call our office if your baby hasn’t pooped for more than three days in a row.

Constipation in babies

Even babies who feed well can experience constipation. Briefly straining, turning red-faced or crying when trying to poop are common for infants and not necessarily signs of constipation. How can you tell if your baby is constipated?

  • Small, hard poops that your baby strains to pass
  • Irritability or fussiness
  • Several days since the last bowel movement

Diarrhea in babies

Frequent, runny, watery stools mean that your baby has diarrhea. The biggest problem with diarrhea isn’t that it’s messy (although it is!) In addition to the mess, diarrhea can cause dehydration. Also, the increased frequency of this runny poop can cause diaper rash.

When to call the doctor

While some babies poop every day, it’s possible and not necessarily problematic for a baby to go from a few days to a full week without a bowel movement. The most important thing to take note of is what’s normal for your little one. Here are some indications that a call to our office may be in order:

  • Your breastfed baby doesn’t poop for three or more days
  • Your formula-fed baby doesn’t poop for more than five days
  • Stools are hard, or thicker than peanut butter
  • Your baby’s stool is red or black, which could indicate bleeding
  • Your baby’s stool is white or clay-colored. This could indicate several things: a dairy allergy, a stomach bug, or a liver problem. It could also be the result of medication. It’s best to contact our office for an appointment with Dr. Leung to check things out.

 

 

Jamie Spence | Content Manager

Seota Digital Marketing 972.737.2830

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The real estate market in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is absolutely booming. Just a few years ago, the majority of resale homes had to be updated in order to compete with new builds when going on the market. However, the huge influx of people moving from out of state has created a boom unlike any we’ve seen before. Homes are going for above asking and with multiple offers in most cases, updated or not. If you’ve been lucky enough to find a home you like the area you prefer, you’ve probably been willing to accept some home conditions that you knew you’d want to change later. The top two remodeling projects for resale homes are the kitchen and the master bathroom.

Kitchen versus Master Bath Remodel

There are several reasons that many people will choose to start with updating the master bathroom before renovating their kitchen. All remodeling projects are disruptive to your life, messy, and involve a fair amount of expense and inconvenience. Dealing with the disruption in your kitchen is somewhat harder than dealing with the inconvenience of remodeling your master bath. The vast majority of homes in Dallas-Fort Worth have more than one bathroom, so while using another bathroom in the house isn’t ideal, it’s obviously do-able. While outdoor kitchens in the metroplex are a popular upgrade, they are far from ubiquitous, so you may not have the option of cooking outside, save for the use of a grill. It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home, so trying to live around the mess of a kitchen remodel can be very difficult. While you can sometimes continue to use a few kitchen appliances during a renovation, in many cases, that isn’t practical, so eating out or getting takeout for an extended period of time is another factor that is taken into account.

Finding a Bathroom Contractor

The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but the master bath is the oasis. An expertly remodeled master bathroom will provide you with a clean, comfortable retreat in your home. Bathroom remodels can be tricky, however, due to the small area involved, plumbing needs, and the need for proper airflow. It’s important to use established, reputable contractors with the expertise to do the job right in order to ensure that you will be able to enjoy your master bath without issues for years to come. Ask for referrals from neighbors and check online reviews in detail. Check the photos of previous work for any potential contractor. Interview several and be sure to find out if they specialize in bathrooms or do general contracting work. It will take some time to do your homework, but it’s time well-spent to avoid an unethical or underqualified contractor in your home. You want someone who will treat your home with the same respect they would want for theirs.

Interview several contractors for your master bathroom remodel and request written proposals, estimates, and a set start and end date for the job. The burden to pay for materials or fixtures that arrive broken or are installed improperly should never fall on the homeowner. If you hire a general contractor that doesn’t complete all the work themselves, find out what subcontractors will be hired and ask specifically what work will be completed by the contractor. You’ll also want to find out what assurances there are about subcontractors finishing your remodel on time.

Another important factor to consider is insurance coverage. It’s very important that contractors carry personal liability, workers’ compensation, and property damage coverage. You’ll want to ask for proof of insurance from any potential contractor you’re considering for your bathroom renovation. Make sure every aspect of your remodel is covered by the contractor’s insurance.  

 

Jamie Spence | Content Manager

Seota Digital Marketing 972.737.2830

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Our Frisco pediatric office receives a lot of calls from Dallas-area parents about their new baby’s spit-up. What is normal? What is not? Let’s talk about some spitting-up facts.

The first thing new parents should know is that spitting up is normal and quite common. Roughly half of all babies occasionally experience gastroesophageal reflux, also known as infant reflux or infant acid reflux. After your baby swallows breast milk or formula, it passes down their esophagus to their stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter, a ring of muscles between the esophagus and the stomach, is designed to prevent the stomach’s contents from coming back up. However, the lower esophageal sphincter may not be mature enough to function as it should. Newborns have tiny stomachs that fill up easily, and when this ring of muscles does not tighten up after the milk has passed into the stomach, the milk can come back up.

Baby with a funny expression on his face

The size of a spit-up stain can be misleading and cause you to overestimate the amount of milk that your baby has actually lost. While it may seem like a lot, spit up is usually only a small amount of the liquid your baby has ingested. By the age of four to five months, your baby’s body may have matured enough to handle ingestion better and as a result, they may stop spitting up. Most babies have stopped entirely by the age of 12 months.

Is my baby spitting up or vomiting?

Spit-up is a quick and easy flow of liquids up and out of the mouth during or after a feeding. It is occasionally accompanied by a burp! Vomiting, on the other hand, is a forceful flow of liquid. The contents of your baby’s stomach will come up fast and shoot out of their mouth rather than coming up smoothly and dribbling out.

In healthy babies, spitting up – even on a regular basis – does not lead to weight loss or a failure to thrive. Does your baby seem comfortable? If so, and if they are eating well and gaining weight, then the loss of calories from spitting up is not affecting him or her adversely.

When should I worry about my baby’s spitting up?

Most of the time, spitting up is no cause for concern. However, there are a few symptoms that can indicate a problem or underlying condition that should be addressed quickly. Contact our office at Entirely Kids Pediatrics immediately if your baby:

  • Has poor appetite or refuses feedings repeatedly
  • Has green or yellow spit-up
  • Is more irritable than usual and crying for long periods of time
  • Has fewer wet diapers than usual
  • Begins spitting up at age 6 months or older
  • Spits up blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • Has blood in his or her stool
  • Is vomiting
  • Seems to have difficulty breathing or other signs of illness

GERD

A condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can develop in some babies. The following are some indications that your baby is experiencing GERD, not normal spitting up:

  • Your baby will seem irritable and uncomfortable throughout the day (as a result of apparent heartburn or painful reflux)
  • Your baby may choke on the spit-up as it comes out
  • Your baby may experience poor weight gain and fail to thrive

Call our office for an appointment as soon as possible if you see any of the signs of GERD.

Pyloric Stenosis

Intense muscle contractions after feedings during the first few months of a baby’s life can be caused by pyloric stenosis. This typically results in projectile vomiting and your baby would experience renewed hunger immediately following vomiting. This condition can sometimes be controlled with medication or be corrected with a surgical procedure.

Feeding Tips That Can Reduce Spitting Up

  • Feed your baby in an upright position
  • Follow each feeding with 30 minutes in an upright position
  • Avoid the use of an infant swing immediately following a feeding
  • Avoid overfeeding your baby
  • If you’re breastfeeding, eliminating certain items from your diet could help. Ask us for recommendations.
  • Try feeding your baby smaller amounts more frequently
  • Make sure to burp your baby during and after each feeding, as this can prevent air from building up in the stomach
  • Put baby to sleep on his or her back. Putting a baby to sleep on their stomach to prevent spitting up is not recommended. Sleeping on the back helps to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Happy mixed race family with baby

Other issues that can cause spitting up issues are aerophagia and overstimulation. Aerophagia is the consumption of air in greater quantities than normal. Bouncing, extended tummy time, or vigorous play can cause your baby to be overstimulated and result in spitting up.

Our office is happy to see your baby and discuss any concerns you may have about spitting up or feeding issues. We're conveniently located off of Warren Parkway in Frisco. Please contact us for an appointment today!

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A Great Valentine’s Day Gift for Men

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and most of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will be staying in this weekend.  Due to the extreme cold and icy weather we’re experiencing, running around for romantic last-minute gifts may not be in the cards. How can you make Valentine’s Day special for your man?

While the past month’s commercials have been filled with images of jewelry, chocolates, and flowers, these types of gifts are of interest generally to women. For most men, jewelry isn’t a big desire. Chocolates or candy might satisfy a sweet tooth, but are definitely in the “phoning it in” category. Flowers? Most men will happily pass on some fresh blooms. So, what can you get for the man in your life…and not drive all over town to find it?

The gift of confidence and polish

The Gents Place is an ultra-premium and membership-based men's grooming and lifestyle club. The combination barbershop, spa, and salon offers services including haircuts, coloring, shaves, hand and foot repairs, and shoe shine services. However, what’s really unique about The Gents Place is its business philosophy. The franchise’s goal is to offer more than just exceptional grooming services and premium products. Everything about The Gents Place is designed to not just polish your man’s appearance, but to instill confidence and refreshment in a way that he will appreciate.

You can purchase Valentine’s Day gift services from The Gents Place and have them emailed directly to your man. This type of gift supports your man in a couple of different ways. For many businessmen, haircuts and other grooming are simply tasks on the to-do list that take up time that could be better spent on other things. The Gents Place turns that chore into an enjoyable experience. It provides your man with the haircut or grooming service he needs. He can take advantage of other types of services while he is there, and have access to premium products he may really like and wouldn’t otherwise encounter.

Additionally, services at The Gents Place are designed to refuel and rejuvenate clients by empowering them to succeed. This past year has been a tough one for almost everyone. The pandemic has affected thousands of North Texas businesses and the last several months have been a stressful, uphill climb for a lot of people. If your partner has been feeling burned out or discouraged, a visit to The Gents Place may be just what the doctor ordered to rejuvenate him and help refresh his career passions. By delivering premium grooming services in a supportive atmosphere with complimentary top-shelf beverages and curated advice, The Gents Place experience will help your man look and feel great. You’ll love the way he looks and he’ll appreciate the way he feels after an appointment at The Gents Place.

 

 

 

Jamie Spence | Content Manager

Seota Digital Marketing 972.737.2830

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In North Texas, we're starting the year with temps in the 40s and cloudy. If you're longing for the warmer weather, you're not alone, and if you have a pool, you have the ability to enjoy warm-weather perks even during the winter. However, keeping your pool at a comfortable temperature requires heating it during colder-weather months. For a pleasant swimming experience year-round, a pool heater or a pool heat pump are the most common heating solutions. Both enable energy-efficient heating for every budget. However, there are multiple factors to consider when deciding on the best heating solution for your pool.

jandy pool heater available in Frisco, Plano and Allen TX

Types of Pool Heaters

Swimming pool heaters are the most popular option to raise the temperature in your pool. Pool heaters may use natural gas, propane, or electricity to heat the water being returned to your pool. With a lower upfront cost, pool heaters heat water temperatures fairly quickly, but they will incur the cost of additional energy or that of propane or natural gas expense. Natural gas heaters are generally a little less expensive to run per hour than a propane heater. A pool heater will typically cost between $3,300 and $3,700. Although an electric pool heater is more expensive to purchase, its energy costs are usually less than the cost of running a gas unit.

To compare the cost of running a gas, propane, or electric pool heater, you’ll want to factor in how and when you use your pool. Gas and propane heaters can heat pool water quickly, so you can choose to run your heater only when needed. However, an electric pool heater needs to run continuously. If you only need to heat your pool water occasionally, a gas heater may be the more economical option for you. Your preferred water temperature makes a difference as well. If you are comfortable in a pool that is 78 degrees, you will obviously bear less expense than someone who prefers to swim in a pool that is 85 degrees.

It’s also important to consider an electric pool heater’s limitations. Electric pool heater units are typically energy-efficient provided the outdoor temperature around them is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If you would like to use your pool in temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, using a gas or propane pool heater will serve you more efficiently.

Pool Heat Pumps

Using electricity, a pool heat pump distributes a refrigerant through the unit to extract free heat out of the air. Extracting the heat using the thermodynamics of evaporating and re-compressing refrigerants, the process actually uses less electricity than what would be used to produce the same amount of heat with an electric heating element. No gas line is needed and heating a pool with a heat pump does not result in any emissions release. Pool heat pumps are popular in more temperate climates because they are most effective in maintaining a consistent water temperature, rather than heating up a pool quickly for a single use.

The cost of an electric heat pump generally ranges between $3,300 and $3,700. They have fewer moving parts than pool heaters. Although some heat pumps have a higher upfront cost, they don’t require the cost of propane or natural gas.

pentair heat pump hybrid

Key Considerations for North Texas Pool Owners

  • How often do you plan to use your pool?
  • How large is your pool?
  • The average cost of your gas/electricity?

Do you need to replace an older, inefficient pool heater?  Using an authorized dealer for the best pool equipment, including pool heaters, is your best bet. Using quality, energy-efficient heating equipment with long-lasting durability is a smart choice for pool owners. Talk to a reputable professional to find a pool heating solution that will allow you to enjoy your pool throughout the year. 

 

Jamie Spence | Content Manager

Seota Digital Marketing 972.737.2830

Gravatar

In North Texas, we're starting the year with temps in the 40s and cloudy. If you're longing for the warmer weather, you're not alone, and if you have a pool, you have the ability to enjoy warm-weather perks even during the winter. However, keeping your pool at a comfortable temperature requires heating it during colder-weather months. For a pleasant swimming experience year-round, a pool heater or a pool heat pump are the most common heating solutions. Both enable energy-efficient heating for every budget. However, there are multiple factors to consider when deciding on the best heating solution for your pool.

jandy pool heater available in Frisco, Plano and Allen TX

Types of Pool Heaters

Swimming pool heaters are the most popular option to raise the temperature in your pool. Pool heaters may use natural gas, propane, or electricity to heat the water being returned to your pool. With a lower upfront cost, pool heaters heat water temperatures fairly quickly, but they will incur the cost of additional energy or that of propane or natural gas expense. Natural gas heaters are generally a little less expensive to run per hour than a propane heater. A pool heater will typically cost between $3,300 and $3,700. Although an electric pool heater is more expensive to purchase, its energy costs are usually less than the cost of running a gas unit.

To compare the cost of running a gas, propane, or electric pool heater, you’ll want to factor in how and when you use your pool. Gas and propane heaters can heat pool water quickly, so you can choose to run your heater only when needed. However, an electric pool heater needs to run continuously. If you only need to heat your pool water occasionally, a gas heater may be the more economical option for you. Your preferred water temperature makes a difference as well. If you are comfortable in a pool that is 78 degrees, you will obviously bear less expense than someone who prefers to swim in a pool that is 85 degrees.

It’s also important to consider an electric pool heater’s limitations. Electric pool heater units are typically energy-efficient provided the outdoor temperature around them is above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If you would like to use your pool in temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, using a gas or propane pool heater will serve you more efficiently.

Pool Heat Pumps

Using electricity, a pool heat pump distributes a refrigerant through the unit to extract free heat out of the air. Extracting the heat using the thermodynamics of evaporating and re-compressing refrigerants, the process actually uses less electricity than what would be used to produce the same amount of heat with an electric heating element. No gas line is needed and heating a pool with a heat pump does not result in any emissions release. Pool heat pumps are popular in more temperate climates because they are most effective in maintaining a consistent water temperature, rather than heating up a pool quickly for a single use.

The cost of an electric heat pump generally ranges between $3,300 and $3,700. They have fewer moving parts than pool heaters. Although some heat pumps have a higher upfront cost, they don’t require the cost of propane or natural gas.

pentair heat pump hybrid

Key Considerations for North Texas Pool Owners

  • How often do you plan to use your pool?
  • How large is your pool?
  • The average cost of your gas/electricity?

Do you need to replace an older, inefficient pool heater?  Using an authorized dealer for the best pool equipment, including pool heaters, is your best bet. Using quality, energy-efficient heating equipment with long-lasting durability is a smart choice for pool owners. Talk to a reputable professional to find a pool heating solution that will allow you to enjoy your pool throughout the year. 

 

Jamie Spence | Content Manager

Seota Digital Marketing 972.737.2830

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What Every Employer Needs to Know About Confidential Meetings

Your company’s human resources department deals with a lot of issues that should be kept confidential. Staff salaries and payroll are typically overseen by HR, as well as health insurance. Disciplinary actions are also managed by your human resources department.

Making a Complaint

Employees should be able to file a complaint with human resources in a private setting. If, for instance, a staff member is being sexually harassed by another employee, he or she needs to be able to make a complaint in a confidential environment. While a private office with a closed door is helpful, many modern offices are designed with glass office surrounds, glass wall conference rooms, and grouped cubicle areas. This is aesthetically appealing and makes the space feel larger, but is not conducive to the best human resource practices. Having smart window tint on office and/or conference room glass is extremely helpful in curtailing views from curious eyes and limiting discussion regarding confidential meetings.

However, it is important to keep in mind that your human resources department may be legally required to take action on what is shared with them. While there are situations in which HR can be approached as a sounding board or to obtain guidance on how to navigate a situation, any scenario which involves the potential breaking of law will necessitate company action. Outside of those parameters, your human resources representatives should be very clear with employees regarding what they will or will not share from any meeting.

Your human resources department is not like your attorney. Your attorney’s job is to protect your best interests. Your human resources department exists to protect the company’s best interests. Ensuring that all employees are treated fairly is vital to the company’s best interests, but confidentiality in that process is not always guaranteed. Your HR representative may be sympathetic to your situation, but at the end of the day, their priority is to serve the company’s needs.

Human Resource Investigations

Some human resources departments will investigate any and all complaints. Others may choose to pursue only those which could negatively affect the business. They will also investigate any issues that involve harassment, discrimination, retaliation, safety, and a few other types of complaints that are required by employment law to be examined. Before a confidential meeting is scheduled, your HR department will decide which specific claims will be investigated and by whom. They will also determine what sort of evidence needs to be collected and which employees will be interviewed.

Conducting investigations in the workplace is one of the most difficult procedures undertaken by the Human Resource department. Employment laws change frequently and management training may not cover these changes in a timely manner. Because employees are more aware of their rights than ever before, the potential for incidents to result in costly litigation has increased. Investigations into incidents of concern need to be undertaken with the utmost care and confidentiality.

Lorene Schaefer, an attorney who works as a mediator, workplace investigator, and expert witness in employee-employer relations cases, states that the location where interviews are conducted can affect the outcome of an investigation[1]. Schaefer recommends that human resource management avoid conducting interviews with staff in full view of co-workers. “Employees are less likely to share information under such circumstances,” Schaefer states, and going forward, staff members “will likely be reluctant to come forward to report any misconduct in the future.”

The use of smart window tint for individual offices as well as conference rooms provides a tremendous advantage for a human resources department. Management and investigators are able to transition from transparent to opaque glass in an instant, ensuring privacy. Employees feel more comfortable sharing information without the eyes of their coworkers upon them and investigators are more likely to obtain the details they need to conduct a thorough examination of the incident or issue in question.

Considerations

When addressing employee complaints, there are multiple aspects of any situation that Human Resources must take into account:

•             What is best for the employer

•             What is best for the employee

•             What is legal or required by the government

•             What precedent is set for the fair treatment of employees

•             What decision could result in legal ramifications for the company

A breach in confidentiality can result in repercussions affecting staff and/or the company itself. There are several standard security measures that are typically undertaken to maintain confidentiality in a business. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Comprehensive confidentiality procedures training process for new HR staff
  • Ongoing confidentiality education for all HR staff
  • Non-disclosure agreements for employees, contractors, and vendors

Documentation of Confidential Meetings and Investigations

Human Resources should document all investigations in a written report. It is key to document how the complaint was substantiated or not. If termination was the result, the factors leading to termination should be noted. If the company terminates an employee and that person later files a retaliation complaint with the EEOC, these case notes and witness statements will help to protect the company in court.

Even after a written report is submitted, HR must take additional steps to bring the investigation to a close. The findings of an investigation are submitted to a decision maker such as a higher-level HR professional. This staff member should be knowledgeable regarding current laws and how similar situations have been handled by the company in the past. Disciplinary actions are not generally decided upon by the investigator, but by a high-level HR professional or company management. The staff member who made the complaint should be notified that action regarding the report was taken. The company is not required to share the details of the action and many times is legally prohibited from doing so. Human Resources should be certain to remind staff members and management that retaliation will not be tolerated and be vigilant in ensuring this does not occur.

A successful Human Resources department will make a habit of analyzing each investigation for patterns in complaints. These could indicate that more training is needed to avoid similar incidents going forward. HR should also make a point to review an investigation after conclusion to determine if any improvement can be made in the process for future investigations.

By ensuring a thorough and fair investigative process, a company’s Human Resources department can raise staff morale and earn the trust of their employees. Each workplace scenario will be unique, but by employing a consistent, well-designed process in investigating each incident, trust in the company’s leadership can be built. While there is no guarantee that all employees will be pleased with the outcome of an investigation, by being sure to conduct investigations in this thorough and respectful manner, staff can feel that their concerns have been heard.

 



[1] https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/Pages/1214-workplace-investigations.aspx

Jamie Spence | Content Manager

Seota Digital Marketing 972.737.2830