December 5, 2013
Approximately 1/3 of our nation’s energy consumption comes from the residential sector and about 70% of this usage is from homes that are more than 30 years old.
Whether you are heating one of these older homes or a home built more recently; saving money AND energy is important to all of us. Here are some strategies you can employ to save on winter heating costs, help the environment, and stay warm!
- Power of Knowledge – An energy audit of your home is a great place to start. Some utility companies will perform them for free! This will show you exactly where most of the warm air is escaping and cold air is entering. They can also provide detailed plans on ways to warm up your home. A DIY method is to hold a stick of incense near windows, doors, and any other place there might be a gap; then watch for the smoke to blow inwards. Leaks can be fixed by using caulk, insulation, or by replacing worn weather-stripping.
- Programmable Thermostat – If your home in not equipped with one, this is a great investment. Different heating schedules for different days of the week can be easily created. You can make sure your home is warm when occupied and saves you money when it’s empty. Reduced heating costs can also be accomplished by keeping the temperature at a consistent level, avoiding spikes up or down.
- Insulation – Lack of proper insulation may be more of an issue in older homes, but there are ways to remedy it with relative ease. Trained installers can inject a nonflammable foam resin into existing walls. The foam is filled with tiny air bubbles that increase its heating and cooling properties. Older homes were built to “breathe”; make sure the professional you hire knows how to determine the correct amount of insulation for your particular home.
- Room Isolation – Don’t waste heat on empty spaces; shut the door of any room that is not being used. Smaller rooms and bedrooms can often be heated by an electric space heater (at a much lower cost) instead of using your home’s central heating system. Don’t heat the entire house at night when all you really need is a warm bedroom. (Use extra care and follow all manufacturers’ instructions for space heaters)
- Fireplace/Indoor stove – When properly used and maintained, they can be efficient sources of heat for multiple rooms and/or your entire home. Some indoor stoves can generate more heat than common home furnaces.
- Dress warmly – Wool socks, warm sweaters, slippers, and blankets can all help keep you warm, while allowing you to reduce your home’s indoor temperature. This can also apply to your windows. “Dressing” them with heavier drapes during this time of year can help retain heat in your home when they are closed at night.
There are many easy, economical ways to improve your home’s heat efficiency, try a few of these to see what a difference they can make! Keep your home warm and comfy for less!
Askhomesale.com offers a whole range of real estate topics from tips for homeowners, home buyers, and home sellers alike.
November 20, 2013
Thanksgiving brings families and friends together to share in conversation, laughter, and some great food. Unfortunately along with these wonderful times also comes an escalated risk of several hazards. Take a few moments now to consider these suggestions on safety and enjoy the holiday with less stress!
This holiday post was brought to you by Prudential Homesale,the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets. Prudential Homesale has more than 26 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. If you’re looking to buy a home or sell a home, our Homesale Agents can help you every step of you way. Learn more here www.prudentialhomesale.com
November 12, 2013
Help keep America beautiful!!
Join the movement to recycle more! Recycling in the United States has increased every year for the last 30 years. The current recycling rate is 34.7%.
Visit the official America Recycles website to get more information on taking your own pledge to recycle, organizing a local event, and to discover more about the organization. Click here…
No need to wait until November 15th to do your part. Here are some great recycling suggestions you and your friends/family can start using today…..**
** (Check with your local authorities to confirm that your area accepts these recycling practices)
- Keep separate bags in your car for trash & recycling – pre-sorting makes it easier to recycle on the go!
- Recycling is not just in the kitchen. Include your shampoo bottles, toilet paper rolls, etc.
- Beyond the daily news – Sometimes cereal boxes, tissue boxes, magazines, etc. can also be included.
- Better than nothing – Even though you can’t recycle the greasy bottom of a pizza box, you can recycle the top half!
- Most will not accept paper cups because of their waxy lining…but don’t forget to recycle those “sleeves”.
- Most times the plastic bottle caps can be recycled along with the bottle!
- More than plastic grocery bags…most drop off facilities also accept plastic bread bags, drycleaner bags, possibly even the plastic wrap on your paper towel rolls, toilet tissue, etc.
- Reduce unwanted mail by unsubscribing via CatalogChoice.org.
- What you put in your recycle bin is just as important as what you don’t put in. DON’T contaminate the process by including items that are NOT recyclable. Check with your local recycling office.
- Include your food – toss coffee grounds or egg shells into your garden to enrich the soil, rather than in your trash.
- Old cell phones – Donate it to a local charity or find a drop off facility near-by for recycling.
- Full circle – buy products that “contain” recycled materials to keep them in demand.
As our population grows, so does our need to recycle more. Please try to exhaust all efforts to reduce, reuse, and/or donate all items before you simply throw them in the garbage!! Check with your local waste management office, non-profit charities, or utilize the “free stuff” section on Craig’s List…..do all you can to find a “new home” for unwanted items.
“In the long term, economic sustainability depends on ecological sustainability.”
— America’s Living Oceans
November 4, 2013
November 4th is Job Action Day. According to the website Quint Careers.com, Job Action Day is “an opportunity to not only examine your current job and employer, but also evaluate both the stability of that job and employer as well as your personal fulfillment with your job.”
If a survey from earlier this year is any indication, most Real Estate Agents will be feeling pretty happy on Job Action Day. Working in Real Estate tops the list of the happiest jobs in America, as compiled by CareerBliss.com.
“The improving housing market is just one reason why real estate agents are smiling,” said Prudential Homesale Services Group Managing Director Doug Rebert. “There’s a great deal of satisfaction in helping people find their dream homes.”
Prudential Homesale Services Group Agent (name) agrees. “My work is rewarding for a number of reasons. I have flexibility, I meet new people and I love that I’m not tied to a desk all day.”
The CareerBliss poll examined data from 65,000 independent company reviews and Real Estate professionals beat out quality assurance engineers, sales representatives and construction superintendents when job satisfaction was rated on 10 different factors.
“Realtors say that the way they work, and the rewards they are seeing with a growing market, has helped boost overall happiness for those in this career,” said Heidi Golledge, CEO and co-founder of CareerBliss.
Prudential Homesale offers classes and training as real estate agents. Visit www.HomesaleCareers.com today for more information.
October 28, 2013
Not ready to face the expense of replacing your stove, dishwasher, or even your vacuum?? Read on to discover some preventative measures you can take to keep many of your household appliances from reaching an early demise. Also, discover when it might be to consider finding a replacement…
How to care for it
When to replace it
||Never overload the mixer, causing it to work harder and put extra strain on the motor. When cleaning, make sure ALL parts are cleaned including the attachment socket!
||If the mixer won’t turn on at all, you probably have a dead motor.
||Always use proper microwave-safe plates and bowls. Keep the interior clean and the turntable rotating smoothly.
||Takes too long to heat food or it won’t turn on. Beyond replacing a fuse, the cost to repair could exceed the cost to replace.
||Rinse pot and grind basket after each use. Once monthly, run 1 part vinegar/2 parts water solution through it to clean, followed by 2 brew cycles of plain water to rinse.
||If your coffee isn’t really hot after brewing. The heating element has probably died.
||After every few uses, clean the filters, the opening to bag or canister, hoses, etc. Keep all air flow and parts moving properly.
||If the motor dies. The cost to repair typically costs as much as a replacement.
||Clean lint and dust from the rear filter regularly.
||Replace if blowing cold air or has a burning smell!
||Wipe up spills and messes right away, keeping burners clean and preventing fires. The same applies to spills in the oven which can smoke or ignite!
||Time to replace when the buttons or knobs no longer work the burners, gas burners won’t light, or the oven doesn’t heat up.
||Check the filter located in the bottom of the machine for clogs and debris. Use a cleaner made for dishwashers regularly.
||If the machine is cracked, rusted, leaking from the bottom, and if the motor or pump stop working.
||Keep machine level, never use more detergent than instructed, and always remove objects from pockets to avoid damage to the machine.
||If the washer sounds like a freight train during the spin cycle! This indicates a bad support bearing and a very pricey repair!
||Clean lint screen after each cycle. Hire a professional to clean vent duct and interior of dryer once a year.
||Time to replace if you need to repair more than one part at a time, like a motor and timer.
||Once a year, use a vacuum to clean the coils located in the bottom or rear of the fridge. Also test the doors seals periodically to keep cold air from escaping.
||Replace if it no longer keeps food cold or frozen. Almost every other part is repairable or replaceable except for the cooling system.
With a little extra time and TLC you may be able to squeeze a few more days, months or years out of these frequently-used home appliances!
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October 22, 2013
Fall made its official arrival on Sunday, September 22nd. Although some days are still sunny and a bit warmer than usual,
don’t be fooled! Crisp, colder days are winter days lurking around the corner; NOW is the perfect time to prepare your
home for them!
Here is a checklist to help you get started….
A little time spent now can save you the hassle of dealing with bigger issues later! With falling leaves
and dwindling daylight hours. Take advantage of this final opportunity to get these task completed before
winter settles in!
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