When you save on energy, you also save money. As a homeowner, there are a number of ways that you can do both and still have the energy to enjoy your everyday life. The Buzz On Bulbs One of the most obvious ways to save energy in your home is to turn off the television when nobody is watching or when the room is empty. Additionally, avoid leaving lights on that aren’t necessary. Speaking of lights, your choice of light bulbs may also have an impact on your energy bill as certain types require more electricity than others resulting in higher energy costs. Keep It Cool During the warm spring and summer months, it’s best to keep all appliances that give off a lot of heat away from the thermostat. Otherwise, your home may appear hotter than it actually is and the air conditioner will then be made to work harder. This, in turn, equals more energy being used and more money being spent on energy costs. Speaking of heat, it’s a good idea to avoid excessive use of the oven when it’s hot outside. During the warm weather months, the oven can quickly cause your home’s interior to heat […]
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Kitchen counters are one of the most clutter-prone spaces in any home. Clearing clutter and making the most of your surface space in the kitchen makes meal preparation easier and more pleasant. Even in a small kitchen there are some steps you can take to maximize counter space and steer clear of clutter. Reduce Small Appliances How many appliances are sitting on your counter? If you don’t use them every day, put them away. That especially includes large, space-hogging devices like stand mixers, bread makers, and slow-cookers. If you do use the appliance daily, such as a coffee maker, removing the ones you don’t use will allow you to place those frequently used items in a more convenient location. In some cases, two small appliances can be replaced with a single double-duty machine. Instead of a toaster and a toaster oven, choose an all-in-one model. Look for a coffee maker that does both a full pot and a single serving, rather than keeping one of each. Mount And Hang Whatever You Can To free up horizontal surfaces, look for solutions that can be mounted underneath your cabinets. Can openers and paper towel dispensers are both common items that come in […]
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When those old carpets are starting to look worn and you decide it’s time to replace your flooring, there are three main flooring types to consider, as well as a few other possible options. The right one for you depends on your lifestyle and how you use the rooms in your home. Affordable Carpet Carpet is usually the most affordable flooring for any home. It comes in an endless array of colors and types, and is relatively easy to install. Carpet is, of course, prone to stains, which is a consideration if you have kids or pets in the home. Keeping carpets really clean requires regular shampooing or steam cleaning, which can add up over time. Carpet provides warmth on bare feet and is soft and comfortable to walk on. Wood And Laminate Wood flooring is one of the oldest types of flooring and can be very beautiful. Some wood floors are made of soft woods, however, and they do scratch easily. If you have a pet with claws or kids who want to drive their toy cars around, you may find the flooring is damaged easily. Hardwood floors can be refinished, but it can be expensive. Laminate flooring, which […]
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Long gone are the days of plastic vertical blinds and grandma’s lacy curtains. Whether it’s window treatments for a new home or redecorating a room, there are a huge number of options to suit virtually any taste. Here are some of the latest trends in window coverings that can help make any space look amazing! Velvet—Yes, believe it or not, velvet for home décor is back in style! Consider using this fabric for a dramatic effect in a dining room, or as a romantic touch to a master suite. Two-Toned Sheers—Sheers have always been ideal in rooms that get or need a great deal of natural light. Two-toned sheers can create the same effect, but with a little more depth and interest than plain sheers. Extra Long Fabric—If you have patio doors that require a window treatment, or a large window that is the focal point of a room, hanging curtains that fall just a little longer than they should can create a stylish yet casual look for any space. Patterns—While for some time simple natural tones have been the style trend in home décor, the fun has come back into decorating! Choosing vibrant colors and interesting patterns for window […]
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Although a lot of the energy efficiency efforts tend to be focused on saving on electricity bills, you can also save a lot of money on your water bill and save water, too, with only a few simple steps. Many people are wasting water without even knowing it; here are some easy ways to find out if you are among them, and what to do about it. Dripping Faucets, Leaking Toilets Even a slow drip or leak from a faucet or toilet can add up to wasted water and higher bills. The worst part is you may not even know you have one. Faucet drips are usually easily detected because of the dripping sound you will hear or the drops you will notice falling from the tap. They are often easy to fix, too; sometimes just tightening a bolt is all it takes! Leaking toilets, however, are not always so obvious. If your toiler runs even occasionally, you may have a leak that is going undetected. There is a simple test you can perform to check for a leak, and it is worth doing even if you have not noticed the toilet running at all. Small dye tablets are available […]
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Gardening is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors, but it is also a livelihood for many. Whether you choose to garden solely for recreational purposes or you have business interests planted in your soil, it’s important to keep these things in mind to help your garden thrive. Provide a level planting surface for your garden. If you plant on an incline, you risk water runoff before it has the opportunity to soak into the soil and provide your garden with the nutrients that it needs. Always loosen the soil before planting. This allows the seeds or, if transplanting, the roots to attract and feed off of the soil’s nutrients that are necessary for survival. Do not plant anything too close to a wall or privacy fence. A lack of air circulation from plants that are located too close to a wall or privacy fence increases the likelihood of a fungus buildup, which can destroy your garden. Always keep plants 2-3 feet from the wall or fence and make sure to keep in mind the maturity size when planning for the proper space. Know your region. Your geographical location will have a large impact on what type of plants to […]
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