Set the timer: Program your thermostat to reach lower temperatures while you’re sleeping or out of the house. This simple action can save you a lot of money—and will ensure that your house stays at a comfortable temperature at all times. Open and shut: During daytime hours, keep your blinds, draperies and other window coverings open. This will enable your home to absorb the warm afternoon sunshine and will effectively add heat to the entire house. Close all window coverings at night to keep the heat in! Installation time: If you have a window or two that feels drafty no matter what you do, consider installing tight, insulating shades to those particular windows. You’ll be surprised what a little bit of extra insulation can accomplish! Light a fire: A fireplace is an easy solution to add extra heat to your home without adding to your energy bill. Capable of warming the entire room, you and your family can relax at home while keeping the thermostat at a lower temperature. No leaks allowed: Check doors and windows for drafts and places where air might escape. Weatherizing windows and doors is a simple task that you can perform; your local home improvement warehouse will have all of […]
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Roof repairs: If you can safely get onto your roof to inspect for missing shingles or other factors that may lead to a leaky roof, now’s the time to do it! If not, call in a professional organization and have them take care of the rooftop work for you. Seal it off: Inspect doors and windows to ensure that the weather-stripping is in good condition. This will keep your house warmer and cozier in the winter months. Hot stuff: Make sure that your heater and ventilation systems are in good working order! Clean out accessible ducts and replace filters where necessary. Chimney sweep: Creosote, a black substance that builds up in the chimney when wood is burned, can cause chimney fires. Inspect your chimney for creosote and call a chimney sweep to keep your fireplace safe and functional. Gutter check: Now’s the time to clean out those rain gutters again! If you want to do it yourself, make sure that you can safely access the gutters and then scoop out any debris, blast the drains clean with a high-powered hose, and repair any leaks you may find along the way. Image Credit: @maginnis via Twenty20
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Plug it in: Make sure that all of your appliances are in working order. The last thing you need with a house full of guests is a broken dishwasher or washing machine! Make space: Clean out the dressers and closets in the guest room(s) to ensure that your friends and family will feel comfortable and at home. Baby-proof: If your house isn’t already baby-proofed and if small children will be coming to stay or visit, take a little time to ensure that electrical outlets are safely covered, sharp edges are padded, and that valuable knick-knacks are out of harm’s way. Light your fire: Make sure that your fireplace and chimney are clean and in working order. Gathering around the fire with friends and family is a cozy way to spend time reminiscing and chatting. Knock knock: Take a walk through your home and inspect all doors and windows. If the doors, hinges or latches are sticky or squeaky, make any necessary repairs before your guests arrive. This will ensure privacy for them AND for you! Image Credit: @marla via Twenty20
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Spin it: Ceiling fans are an excellent way to keep everyone cool, and they’re beautiful as well. But did you know that they can also help you save on your energy bill? By circulating cool air throughout your home, you won’t need to keep the thermostat set as low as you would without the help of one, two or more well-placed fans. Green is good: There’s no debating how refreshing a large patch of shade can be on a hot summer day…so why not invest in some shade of your own? Planting trees is an excellent way to ensure shade and to keep your house cool in the warmer months. Already have some? Make the most of the summer foliage by relaxing beneath a large tree and sipping some cool lemonade. Clear as a bell: Window manufacturing and supply companies now offer an invisible way to keep you cool: by installing a transparent coating to windows that effectively blocks heat. Adding this type of treatment to your sunniest windows is a smart and easy way to save a few dollars on your energy bill. Program and relax: If you have a programmable thermostat but haven’t gotten around to figuring out how to use it, […]
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You probably have spent a good deal of time considering how much space you need inside your home, but what about how much space you need on the outside of it? House hunting with an idea of the square footage you are seeking is a good idea, but in addition to that you should have an idea of how much yard space you will need around your new dwelling as well. Buying a home with a large yard can be costly, especially in sought after areas where a big lot is a major selling point. But if your yard is really important to you, it might be worth the extra expense. Consider how you use your yard and then decide how large you need your outdoor space to be. How You Use Your Yard If you don’t use your outdoor space much beyond sitting on the patio and enjoying the weather, you probably don’t need a huge yard. Granted, the feeling of space and privacy is nice in a larger yard, but if it makes your dream home unaffordable, is it really worth it? On the other hand, if you have children or pets, you may need that extra space. […]
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Home buying has its own set of terms and phrases that buyers should know when perusing the listings. As with any specialized area, the terms used in home listings are often confusing at first, but understanding them is simple enough once you get to know how they are used. Take a look at these common home listing terms and their meanings before you start house shopping. The Basics Of Describing A Home In a listing, the description of the home is one of the most important things to understand. It tells you all of the basics of the home’s size and features, things that will help you decide if you want to go take a closer look. Here are a few of the basic terms and abbreviations you will need to know. BR/BA: Bedrooms and baths. This tells you how many bedrooms and bathrooms the home has. Bonus Room or Den: This is a room that does not qualify as a bedroom because it has no closet, but may still be a separate room with a door. Bonus room may be abbreviated as bns rm. Det: Detached, usually used in reference to a garage. C/A and C/VAC: Central air and central vacuum. F/A: Forced air, […]
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