Save on Your Heating Costs this Winter

The laws of thermodynamics can be expensive. When the big winter weather arrives, the heat can leach from your home through a variety of obvious and unexpected ways, resulting in high heating bills. Wouldn’t you rather put that money into holiday shopping or upgrades for your house? The most obvious culprits are in plain sight: Doors and windows. The weatherstripping around doors shouldn’t admit any light, and when it comes to windows, you’ll want to look for holes in the caulking. You could even upgrade your windows to double-pane, or go with storm windows to improve insulation. But the less

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Identifying Common Household Water Leaks

Did you know it’s not uncommon for more than 20% of homes to have one unidentified water leak? Sometimes these leaks go on for years, completely unnoticed because home owners inherit small leaks, assuming their water bill is normal. Other times, small water leaks are overlooked because owners assume the overall impact to their utilities is relatively small. But the truth is small leaks can add up hugely over time. Periodic inspection for leaks can help plug this problem at the source. Here are some ways to identify and address typical leaks: Track your water bill over time. Most water

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3 important areas to focus on when winterizing your home

(BPT) – From the holidays to cold-weather fun like ice skating and skiing, winter promises its share of good times. Preparing your home for winter’s weather extremes can help ensure that you get the maximum enjoyment out of the season, while protecting your home’s vital systems and indoor comfort. “Winter weather can take a toll on homes, so it’s important to take steps to protect systems like HVAC and plumbing before cold weather arrives,” says Emily Lewicki, brand manager with Luxaire(R). “Properly winterizing your home can help keep it more comfortable, prevent damage from cold and ice, improve efficiency and

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Making Your Home “Age-in-Place” Friendly

If you love your home and plan to live it in through your retirement years, you’ll want to be sure it’s safe for you as you face some of those little challenges aging presents. Assess your home and see if there are any changes you may need to make. Doing so will not only reduce the risk of injury, but it will also give your loved one’s peace-of-mind, especially if you live alone. Here’s what you’ll want to inspect as you consider aging in place: Bathroom handrails. Next to the toilet and tub are top choices. Not only are they

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Spring cleaning: 6 areas to repair, replace and refresh

(BPT) – Spring is one of the most popular times of year to clean up your home inside and out, make renovations and take steps to ensure it operates efficiently for the rest of the year. But after the long winter months, the list of projects can pile up. This year, focus on six key areas to repair, replace and refresh around your house now – to avoid spending more time and money later. 1. Repair your roof and gutters. Inspect the roof to check for loose or cracked shingles. Also, be sure to look at indoor ceilings for any

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How to Prevent Burst Pipes in Winter

Live in an area where extreme cold is likely during the winter months? Don’t risk thousands of dollars in plumbing repairs… take the time to protect your pipes from bursting. When water freezes in your pipes, the ice expands, adding to the overall pressure in your home’s plumbing. When this force builds, it can cause pipes to split. In addition to plumbing repairs, you might find yourself on the hook for flooding damage, too. The pipes most at risk? Those exposed to the lowest temperatures, of course. This includes plumbing on the exterior of the home, in exterior walls, and

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Housing Components Don’t Last Forever

  Many aspects of a home last little more than a decade. Home buyers should be especially vigilant about inspecting these household components because they have a relatively short lifespan, says the National Association of Home Builders. Aluminum roof coating: 3-7 years Enameled steel sinks: 5-7 years Security systems: 5-10 years Carpet: 8-10 years Smoke detectors: fewer than 10 years Faucets: 10-15 years Garage door openers:10-15 years Air conditioners: 10-15 years Asphalt: 12-15 years Termite-proofing during construction: 12 years   Source: Bankrate.com, Marcie Geffner (01/22/2010) Photo ©Teresa Butler 2010. All rights reserved.

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Five Maintenance Issues Owners Shouldn’t Ignore

Consumer Reports magazine advises home owners not to put off important maintenance projects, noting that waiting until the economy rebounds could end up making the repairs more costly while putting a family’s health at risk. The magazine identifies five crucial maintenance issues: Check the gutters: Clogged gutters, broken fasteners and separations where the gutters meet the fascia board will lead to roof leaks if they haven’t already. Inspect the roof: Cracked, curled and mussing shingles mean a roof is nearing the end of its useful life. Cracks around chimneys, skylights, and roof valleys can also suggest the roof might be

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Protecting Your Home from Winter Windstorms

A Few Modifications Will Protect Your Most Valuable Asset from the Elements (ARA) – Like a scene from a Hollywood movie, winter winds rage through town, whipping up leaves, smacking shutters against siding and sending shingles flying. Huge trees snap like feeble twigs. It’s no mystery why scary movies often portray ominous scenes against a backdrop of a dark and stormy night. It’s even more frightening in real life. The roof over your head is your home’s critical shield of protection from high winds and rain, and it’s often the first to be damaged during a windy storm. But with

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December Home Maintenance

Happy holidays! While enjoying this festive season with family and friends, double-check December’s tips for a warm and cozy home environment: -Monitor ice build-up in gutters and drain spouts. -Inspect all interior plugs and switches for safety. -Check and maintain fire extinguisher. -Examine wood burning flues for blockage and clean if necessary. -Grind ice cubes in garbage disposal to sharpen blades. -Check attic for leaks and condensation. -Store firewood at least 30 feet away from the house.

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