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

5 Winter Fixes for a Warm Home

December 23, 2014 12:42 am

Financing the cost of the holidays with the cost of keeping your home warm and safe during the winter season may be more than many families' budgets can handle. But keeping your family warm doesn’t have to break the bank. Generac recommends these cost-effective fixes:

1. Top Off Your Attic Insulation

A high percentage of heat loss occurs through the roof because of poor insulation. Make sure your attic is insulated with the minimum R-value for your climate (up to R-49 for northern). Also, check the rim joist areas above the foundation walls in the basement and plug any gaps with fiberglass insulation.

2. Dial Down the Thermostat
Tried and true, because most people can live comfortably with a lower temperature around 68 degrees. Setting it lower than that when you're away or asleep will also save energy. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat that will lower the temperature automatically during off-peak times.

3. Replace or Insulate Drafty Windows

You can literally hear your money flying out the window when a winter wind blows on old windows. Consider replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones. Another option is to put up window insulating kits. The clear plastic film can increase coziness by reducing drafts, saving energy and avoiding the costs of window replacement.

4. Fill Gaps with Caulks and Sealants
Replace old caulk joints around your window and door trim (both inside and outside) that can shrink and leak energy over time. Use a spray foam sealant to fill in the gaps left around pipes, wires, TV cables or bath and dryer vents penetrating your foundation or siding.

5. Get an Energy Audit

Most local utilities can help arrange a home energy audit to pinpoint where to focus your winterizing efforts. One essential tool is a thermal-imaging camera, which uses infrared technology to show where heat is escaping the house. In many areas, the cameras are available to rent, so try one out before winterizing to know exactly what needs to be done to lower your heating bill.

Source: Generac

Published with permission from RISMedia.


10 Reasons to Add Life Insurance to Your Christmas List

December 23, 2014 12:42 am

(BPT) - You can't drive it around the block. You can't wear it for an evening out. You can't watch anything on it. And chances are it won’t elicit squeals of delight when opened. But of the many gifts you can give, life insurance might make the biggest difference to those you love. Here’s why.

1. It is a generous thing to do. Purchasing an insurance policy isn’t about you at all, because you won’t be around to benefit. It will, however, benefit your family, loved ones, and even organizations that are important to you.

2. Freedom from worry. Knowing that your family is prepared financially if you’re no longer around can provide an incredible sense of reassurance. It can help provide your loved ones a measure of security and stability.

3. It is a cornerstone of a sound financial strategy. Protecting yourself against risk is an important part of any financial strategy. People often underestimate the extent to which a premature death affects a family's income and assets. Life insurance helps protect your financial strategy.

4. It sets a good example. Being financially prepared for an unknown future can speak volumes to those around you—and as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

5. It may assist with paying final expenses. It’s easy to underestimate the amount of money needed to pay for final expenses. A life insurance policy can help ensure those don’t burden your loved ones.

6. It may help pay off debt. Funds from a life insurance policy can alleviate debt that might be hard to pay off in the event of an unexpected death. Your loved ones can use those funds to cover credit cards, car loans and even mortgage payments.

7. It may help pay for college. Leaving a legacy for your children or spouse through the gift of education might be one of the more meaningful ways benefits could be used. Your gift could open doors for them to build a solid financial future for themselves through a life-long career.

8. It may help provide for retirement. Depending on the financial circumstances of your loved ones, life insurance benefits can be invested in different ways to provide for retirement.

9. Leave a legacy. Life insurance benefits can help more than family members or loved ones. You can use the benefits to donate to charities or causes you care about and leave a legacy of generosity.

10. It demonstrates you care about your loved ones. With each bill that is paid, with each gift to charities that were important to you, with each act of financial generosity, those you loved will be reminded of the care you took to help ensure they were left with a healthy financial situation.

Published with permission from RISMedia.