RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Six Ways Homeowners Can Prepare for Winter Weather

November 14, 2014 1:43 am

This year's winter weather predictions vary on the amount of precipitation we can expect, but many of them agree that much of the country will experience below normal temperatures. Energy authorities encourage homeowners to take steps before these cold temperatures set in to help keep warm air in your home and money in your pocket.

"Most winterizing steps can pay for themselves relatively quickly with heating bill savings," says Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council. "Don't overlook simple energy-saving steps such as letting the sun warm rooms on sunny days or closing the damper when the fireplace is not in use. These are effective energy-saving tips that cost you nothing."

Lowering the thermostat is the easiest way to save energy. Energy use is reduced for every degree dialed down. Turn it down when you are away from home or sleeping, and keep it to the lowest comfortable level when you are home. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature.

Use these tips to help keep the cold air outside and to cut costs to heat your home:
  • Before firing up your heating system, make sure the furnace and heaters are in good working order, and have a professional check and service your furnace system to ensure peak efficiency and safety.
  • Clean or replace your furnace filter every month to save energy and improve heat circulation. Dust and dirt slow down air flow. This makes the system work harder, which wastes energy and costs more money.
  • Seal all air leaks around your home with weather stripping or caulking. There may be gaps that contribute to the loss of heat in your home. Some common areas to find air leaks include: windows, doors, the attic hatch, wiring holes, plumbing vents, furnace vents, dryer vents, and recessed lighting.
  • Make sure walls, attics, and flooring, especially above unheated spaces such as crawl spaces and garages, are properly insulated, and repair any leaks on the roof.
  • Replace window screens with storm windows. If you have older or leaky windows that you cannot replace, use temporary fixes such as plastic film kits that create the effect of an interior storm window.
  • Electric space heaters can be useful to heat small areas, such as a study or living room. However, if you need to keep large areas warm, your home heating system will do the job more efficiently. If a space heater is being used, make sure the wiring is adequate, and check for cord fraying, splitting wires, or overheating. Do not place a portable heater in high-traffic areas, keep it clear of anything flammable, and do not leave it on unattended.
"Most people will be pleasantly surprised to realize double-digit percentage savings on their heating bills by using these simple measures," Hallsays. "Most winterizing steps will pay for themselves relatively quickly with energy bill savings, and don't forget, saving energy is the cheapest and cleanest way to add to our energy supply."

If you find you need to replace your heating system, talk to your installer about getting the most efficient unit you can afford. Investing in energy efficient equipment will help you save money on heating bills.

Source: Energy Education Council

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

How to Select the Ideal Exterior Color for Your Home

November 14, 2014 1:43 am

(BPT) – Whether designing new construction or renovating, choosing the right exterior color and complementary accent shades is critical to creating curb appeal. With color and architecture trends varying from city to city, it’s important to consider local design trends when selecting colors for the exterior of your home.

Determine the best color choices for your home by following these guidelines.

Location - Consider the neighborhood as a whole. Think about the next-door neighbor and the homes down the street. Regardless of the neighborhood, the streetscape - sizes and facades of homes, landscape architecture, balance of light and shade - plays a role in creating an idyllic neighborhood and affects the value of individual homes and communities overall. The natural surroundings also play a significant part in color selection. For example, a green wooded area would blend better with earth tones than a home near the blues and grays of the ocean.

Color combinations
- Selecting the right combination of colors for a home varies, but a good rule of thumb is to use three to six, depending on the siding and trim of the home. A best practice is to avoid selecting more than two siding colors, one trim color and one accent color for features like doors and shutters.

Balance of color choices - A home's visual balance can be disrupted by color hues that don't mix or match. The eye is naturally drawn to light colors, so consider pairing a brighter, lighter garage door with a darker siding shade. Licensed contractors, builders or remodelers can help guide homeowners on choosing multiple siding colors and trim hues that not only create a classic look for a home, but also help it blend in with its surrounding environment.

Color performance – While the home is a reflection of the person and family in it, it's also an investment. If exterior products are both functionally and aesthetically sound, they offer a greater curb appeal, which can also help with resale value when the time comes.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags: