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Monday, November 23, 2015

10 tips to help you save home energy



Before you spend money on the latest energy-efficient gizmo that's supposed to save you money let's look at some energy saving ideas that will really help you save home energy. The strategies that we will look at maximize the effort you put in and help reduce your home energy consumption.



First sit down and think about all the different ways your family uses energy around the house. Now put an approximate type and cost of energy used. You may have trouble breaking down the cost but try to do it. Now all you have to do is find ways to save on your resources at the same time cut your costs. You may have to think creatively but it can be done.



So here are some tips to get you started:



- Turn the lights off when you're not using them. This is really simple and easy to do. Do you really need your bedroom light on when you're in the living room? Do you leave lights on when you leave the house? Do you even need more than one light on in a room for what you are doing? Believe it or not it makes a big difference.



- Turn all electronics and other appliances off when you're not using them. No one can do everything at the same time. Can you really listen to a radio watch television and use your computer all at the same time?



- Set your thermostat down a couple of degrees in winter or up in summer, to conserve energy. And dress appropriately indoors for the time of year it is. For instance in winter, put on a sweater or some extra clothing, or may snuggle under a blanket to stay warm. In the summer, wear less and stay cooler naturally.



- Only turn an appliance on when you have a full load. This is true especially for the washing machine, dryer and even the dishwasher. It is amazing how much extra energy is used doing multiple small loads in comparison to one full load.



- Do regular maintenance on your appliances. Keeping them clean means they don't have to work as hard. Changing filters reduces the energy needed to accomplish a task. Regular care will also mean any maintenance bills that you might come up against may well be cheaper.



- Be careful how you use your water. Like when brushing your teeth or washing your hands, use only the water you need. Don't let the water run the entire time. Also, try and use less water if you take a bath, or control your shower times.



- Simply let your hair air dry, instead of using a blow drier every day.



- Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees F.



Don't forget the bigger projects as well.



- Seal the cracks around your doors and windows. You are paying for your hot air that escapes through cracks all around your house. You need to make sure you are doing all you can to keep the warm air you're paying for inside your house.



- You also need to check your house's insulation. Though this has been done by many homeowners nevertheless you still need to do it before you pass it over. It is probably the biggest thing in reducing heating costs.



Now some of these things may seem trivial to you but let me assure you that even the small things add up over time. And really most of them you won't even notice the difference to your life except your bills.



These tips and suggestions will make your home more affordable, and take some strain off of our world's resources. Just think if all of us would just made a few of these changes to how we do things on a daily basis it would make a huge difference.



By: Dave McIntosh



http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7258.shtml



How to spice up your home with modern bedroom furniture



One of the hottest new trends in interior design is the contemporary style. While you may be weary of redoing your entire home in modern decor, you can spice up your interior mood by investing in some modern bedroom furniture.



Before jumping in and scouring the Internet for modern bedroom furniture, it's best to understand the basics of contemporary design. The focus is on sleek lines and simple shapes. Intricate details and carvings aren't part of the contemporary style, so be sure to choose modern bedroom furniture that has simple lines, either gently curved or hard-edged. You'll find while searching for modern bedroom furniture that the focus will be on clean, smooth, geometric shapes. Contemporary beds and chairs rarely have any fringe, trim, skirt, or tassels. Additionally, chairs and ottomans typically have exposed legs.



When it comes to color, the contemporary style calls for neutrals, black, and white. However, the contemporary style allows for punches of color to balance out the neutrality of the rest of the room. If you are looking for upholstered modern bedroom furniture, choose a fabric that's neutral, black, or bright and bold. The contemporary style calls for fabrics that have a natural look-check out silk, linen, cotton, and wool upholstered modern bedroom furniture. You can choose any type of finish for your modern bedroom furniture, very light or very dark, depending on your preference.



Keep the following in mind when looking for modern bedroom furniture:



• Stay away from ruffles, intricate carving, floral prints, and other "extras." Your modern bedroom furniture should be bare, basic, and bold.



• Go for modern bedroom furniture that makes a bold statement within otherwise bare, neutral interiors. Punch up a neutral-colored bedspread with bright and bold pillows, for example.



What are you waiting for? Use your newfound knowledge of the contemporary style and go searching for your modern bedroom furniture!



By: Parker Elixir

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7195.shtml



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It's high time to upgrade your faucets and toilets



When considering your home's plumbing, you might be thinking of that old adage "why fix something if it ain't broke?" But did you know that old and inefficient plumbing might actually mean that you are literally pouring your money down the drain every month? A call to your plumber might really save you money in the end if you upgrade the plumbing in your home.



When were your current plumbing fixtures installed? Did they come with the house when you bought it? Old toilets use up a lot of water with each flush, which is bad for both the environment and for your wallet. Are you putting off having that leaky faucet repaired because you just don't want to spend the money right now? The average faucet leak can waste hundreds of gallons of water per year. If it's a hot water faucet that's leaking, you are losing money both with the wasted water and with the wasted electricity or gas that is heating that water.



Or what if your problem is slow drains? You might decide to take the easy step of pouring liquid corrosives down the drain to clear out the blockage. This is actually a bad idea. The corrosive chemicals in drain cleaner will harm your sewer pipes, perhaps necessitating an extremely expensive repair in the future. In addition, the environmental impact of pouring such chemicals down the drain and into the water supply can have serious ramifications for the future of our planet.



If you've been putting off plumbing repairs or upgrades, you really might want to consider having a professional technician visit your home. Plumbers can let you know if repairs are needed or if there are upgrades available to your current plumbing that can actually save you money. There are many options, such as low flow or dual flush toilets that can help you stop wasting water and upgrade your home.



Having your new toilet installed by a plumber will ensure that your system is up to code and works efficiently and properly. A plumber can also help you to repair your leaky faucets, or assist you by installing water saving devices such as low flow faucets or aerators on your sinks. They can also help by providing professional sewer cleaning that will fix your slow drains without causing serious corrosion to the pipes in your home and damage to the environment.



These days, everyone is looking to save money where they can. By having a professional plumber inspect your pipes and see what upgrades and repairs can be done in your home, you can save yourself money on wasted water and utility bills. In addition you'll be adding to the value of one of your most important investments, your home.



by: Nick Messe

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_6553.shtml



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

5 home-improvement projects to help sell your home



(BPT) - The real estate market has improved across much of the country and contrary to what many believe, the Fall and Winter time is still a great time to sell your home. Why? Usually many companies handle their relocations at the end of the year and we tend to see that people that are moving in the cooler months are usually just more motivated. Motivated sellers plus less competition make the market right now a great time to list your home for sale.

However, if waiting until the spring market is ideal for your specific situation here are some projects that you should considering orderto stay competitive to attract buyers. Buyers are looking for long-term homes, ones they want to stay in for years while raising their children, or settling down and retiring.



To prepare your home for listing - or simply to enjoy it a few years longer - check out these top five home improvement projects you can do yourself to make your home more attractive to buyers:



1. Give the front door a new look - The front door sets the tone for your home's curb appeal and security, and it signals how well you maintain everything else. Buyers will be walking into your home via the front door, so be sure to give them a good first impression. If your door is in good shape, you might just need to give it a refreshing new coat of paint or new hardware. But if it's seen some wear and tear over the years, consider replacing it with a steel door - one that will show buyers your home is safe.



2. Update the most-used entryway - While the front door needs curb appeal, the garage door is traditionally the most-used door in the home. Old wooden garage doors will start to sag and the paint will peel, giving your home a run-down look. Replacing this door with an insulated steel door will not only improve the exterior look of your home, but also keep the garage space warmer. Finishing off the garage can also be a big draw for buyers, but you probably won't be able to recoup as much of the expense as you would by replacing only the garage door.



3. Add additional living space - You might not think about adding a deck as the same thing as adding an extra room to the house, but if you're selling your home during the warmer months, that's how buyers will see it. They'll be able to picture themselves enjoying breakfast and picnic dinners outside, or curling up on a lounge chair with a good book on a summer afternoon. To make your deck a good selling feature, consider using ProWood Dura Color, a color-treated wood that retains its color for years. This means your buyers can easily move into your house and can enjoy the space without the annual chore of staining. Realtor.com estimates that homeowners can recoup 87 percent of the investment of adding a deck when they sell.



4. Create a bathroom retreat - As the smallest room in the house, the bathroom tends to cost the least to remodel. If you have a guest or master bath that can use a little help to transform into a relaxing oasis, take the opportunity to replace the flooring, add cushy rugs, paint the walls and replace the accessories with more modern styles. Faucets, showerheads, the mirror and even the toilet can all be upgraded with water-saving and stylish designs. Buyers will take note of a maintenance-free bath, making your home one they'll remember as move-in ready.



5. Turn the backyard into a private paradise - Buyers will be visualizing themselves in your backyard when touring your home. They're looking to see how quiet and secure the space is. Consider adding a beautiful wooden fence to enhance the privacy. It will make the home attractive to families with children and pets, and for couples who aren't interested in having a conversation with the neighbors every time they go outside. To make your fence an attractive selling feature of the home, consider using ProWood Dura Color fence pickets or pre-built panels. The cedar-tone or redwood-tone colorant driven deep into the wood fibers will stand up to the sun's harsh rays and won't gray out over time, unlike cedar fencing. You can match it to the deck coloring for a beautiful accent look that connects the colors in your backyard.