Upgrading Your House for Improved Energy Efficiency

Sára Vass/ December 15, 2020/ General Article/ 0 comments

Many homeowners will complete improvements that are designed to offer a high return of investment, especially ahead of a sale. Some go for upgrades that make their residence more luxurious, such as high-end appliances and more expensive finishes. You might be interested in upgrades that help your home more energy-efficient, which is not only environmentally responsible, but also cost-saving. Here are some improvements to consider.

House for Improved Energy

Change Your Light Bulbs

Many homes come with incandescent light bulbs and fixtures to illuminate the various rooms and spaces. Swapping out these bulbs for light-emitting diode or LED bulbs is a great way to see some energy savings. Although LEDs are more expensive up front, these bulbs have a lifespan of thousands of hours and over 20 years in some cases. You’ll spend a lot less money replacing these bulbs, moreover, LEDs use approximately 1/6 of the energy as incandescent bulbs. Upgrade your rooms with smart LED bulbs that can be programmed to turn on and off according to a schedule for additional savings.

Replace Windows

If you live in an older house with older drafty windows, your HVAC system probably works extra hard to keep things warm or cool. Consider replacing your windows with energy efficient windows Philadelphia County PA. Energy-efficient windows provide better insulation against outside temperatures and loss of air thanks to such technologies as low-e glass coatings, multiple panes or gases in between planes.

Get Smart

Smart thermostats are also a great upgrade. These devices connect to your Wi-Fi and can be programmed to run only when there are people at home and awake. Nearly all models can be controlled using a smartphone app. Some will even learn your habits to maximize heating and cooling efficiency whether you’re home, away, in bed or gone for several days.  

As an owner, you’re responsible for your house’s upkeep, which includes making improvements when possible. Upgrading your house for energy efficiency is great for the environment as well as putting some extra money in your pocket through savings. Leverage the latest technologies to make your home more eco-friendly.

Why Choose a Bald Head Island Vacation

Sára Vass/ December 5, 2020/ General Article/ 0 comments

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands attract families that flock to them for their sun-drenched sandy beaches and delicious seafood. Remote Bald Head Island, accessible by ferry or charter boat only, should be on everyone’s itinerary for the following reasons.

Bald Head Island Vacation

Peaceful Environment

Bald Head Island is the perfect place to look for North Carolina beachfront rentals in a peaceful environment. Cars are not allowed on the island, and visitors can walk or use bicycles or golf carts to get around.

Green Environment

The developers of Bald Head Island displayed their sensitivity to environmental needs by prohibiting petrol-burning automobiles and protecting the barrier reef by banning the development of 10,000 of the island’s 12,000 acres. The island also provides nesting grounds for loggerhead turtles and has one of the largest rainforests on the East Coast, consisting of numerous tree species.

14 Miles of Sandy Beaches

If you enjoy long walks on the beach, Bald Head Island can offer you a full day’s worth of walking on continuous stretches of sand. Clear and calm waters provide the perfect conditions for avid swimmers.

Exceptional Golf Course

Serious golfers can sharpen their skills on the scenic 18-hole course. The renowned golf course provides a built-in tour of the island’s history. It extends across a diverse terrain that includes the island’s maritime forest, lagoons and dunes overlooking the Atlantic ocean, and its perimeter.

Undisturbed Wildlife

The island’s conservancy mission supports various forms of wildlife to exist in their natural environment. Nature enthusiasts can take a night-time Turtle Walk and observe the loggerhead turtles as they come ashore to nest. Visitors who tag along for the island’s wildlife patrols can spot alligators and other indigenous animals from a safe distance.

Choosing a beachfront rental on North Carolina’s Bald Head Island can ensure a vacation that provides recreational activities for all tastes, plus exceptional food and shopping. 

3 Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Sára Vass/ October 30, 2020/ General Article/ 0 comments

Making your home more eco-friendly is pretty much a no-brainer. A truly eco-friendly home spends a little more on initial costs but sees long haul benefits that more than make up the difference. An eco-friendly home will save money on energy, water and repair costs. You might think you know what an eco-friendly home looks like, and that yours won’t fit the bill, but there are lots of ways to make a home more eco-friendly, and pretty much anyone can do them to any home. 

Insulate

First things first, make sure your insulation is up to snuff. This doesn’t have to be a huge deal: look in your attic and see what you’re dealing with. Is it old and deteriorating or is it fresh spray foam insulation Maryland? Whenever you’re doing work on your home, check what kind of insulation you already have and see if it could use updating. 

Update

Speaking of updates, odds are at some point you’ll have to replace, for example, some doors and windows. This is another opportunity to check your insulation, but also efficiency. Efficiency is particularly important for large appliances like your water heater and HVAC unit.

Renovate

Any chance you have to renovate is a chance to make your home a little more eco-friendly. Keep in mind that if you’re buying something that will need to be replaced in a few years’ time, then it is not truly eco-friendly. Environmental friendliness is build to last.

It doesn’t take big flashy changes to make a home more eco-friendly. You don’t have to completely redesign your home or make a lot of showy modifications. It can happen naturally over time. When something wears out and it’s time to replace it, just make sure to replace it with something that will make your home just that little bit kinder to the environment and your monthly budget!

3 Tips to Save Water at Home

Sára Vass/ October 2, 2020/ General Article/ 0 comments

Conserving water is a priority for many of us. Not just to reduce our utility bills but as a way to protect the environment. It’s easy to reduce water consumption in your home if you follow these three simple steps.

Save Water

Install Low-Flow Fixtures

Your home’s toilets and showers consume the most water. Changing your fixtures can reduce water consumption by 20%, according to Fox Valley Plumbing. That results in significant water savings since the average home uses 100 gallons per day per person, on average. Low-flow options exist for kitchen faucets, bathroom fixtures, showerheads, and toilets. When looking for fixtures, the flow rate will be expressed in gallons-per-minute, or gallons-per-flush if looking at toilets. A great low-flow showerhead will have a flow rate under 2.5 GPM.

Upgrade or Install a Dishwasher

Many people are surprised to learn that using a dishwasher saves water compared with handwashing. According to Energy Star, home dishwashers save an average of 230 hours of time and over 5000 gallons of water. Those savings should easily justify the expense of purchasing a new appliance. If you already have a dishwasher, but it’s over 10 years old, consider upgrading it. The newer models have advanced features that further reduce your water consumption.

Go to the Car Wash

Automatic car washes and even self-service car wash facilities simply use less water while cleaning your car better. A typical home car wash using a garden hose will consume about 100 gallons of water while a car wash using a high-pressure hose only uses 11 gallons. That’s almost a 90% reduction in water consumption for making one simple change. You will need to pay for the car wash service, but you should get that money back in savings on your water bill.

With a few simple upgrades, your home will be helping to reduce your utility builds and preserve the environment.

The Difference Between Proof And Burst Pressure

Sára Vass/ September 1, 2020/ General Article/ 0 comments

Burst Pressure

When it comes to pressurized lines, it’s very important to make sure that they are operating at peak efficiency. The way to find this out is by doing pressure testing. Pressure testing can be done as a proof pressure test, or as a burst pressure test. But what’s the difference between the two? Let’s dive into the main differences between these two types of testing. 

Proof Pressure

A proof pressure test will test the maximum pressure that may be applied to a line without changing its performance. Once a sensor is exposed to an overpressure under the proof pressure limit, the device will return to its normal state and function properly. One simple way to remember proof pressure is that it is testing the upper limit of the device’s pressure range for normal function.

Burst Pressure

Burst pressure is the maximum pressure that can be applied to a system without physically damaging the internal sensing component. Another way of stating this is that burst pressure is the maximum amount of pressure a device will take before it fails.

Common systems that are tested with these types of pressure tests include fire trucks, pumps, oil, and gas lines. Any system that has pressure could benefit from having one of these tests done to make sure that pressurized lines haven’t been compromised and are working properly. This sort of testing can quickly root out parts of the system that are at greater risk of failing, which can give you a heads up when it comes to repairs. Fixing these issues now can help to avoid costly repairs down the road if left unattended.

As you can see, having the ability to test the pressurization of a system is extremely valuable from a cost perspective. If you haven’t had your systems tested recently, now is the time to get tested.

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Stand Out on the Real Estate Market

Sára Vass/ September 1, 2020/ General Article/ 0 comments

Are you preparing to list your home for sale? To achieve a quick sale, you need to attract the right attention from potential buyers. Here are three things you need to do before you put your home on the market.

Real Estate

1. Make Minor Repairs

Do you have any small jobs around the house that you’ve been putting off for another time? Before you sell your home, you need to make these small fixes, such as repairing leaky faucets and making minor paint touch-ups. Since kitchens sell homes, give some extra attention to this room. Your kitchen counters are some of the most used surfaces in the house so giving them an update is never a bad idea. Professional countertop repair Manhattan NY can handle this task, elevating the appearance of your kitchen as a whole.

2. Update Curb Appeal

It’s common knowledge that homes with good curb appeal garner more attention than homes that look outdated and unkempt. If you want a way to instantly inject some curb appeal to your property, spend some time updating the landscape. Remove all landscape debris, then add some color and texture by planting seasonally appropriate flowers. It’s especially effective to plant near your front door to give potential buyers a cheerful welcome.

3. Declutter the Interior

Buyers want to be able to see the big picture when they view a home. If your interior rooms have a lot of clutter, this can be a huge distraction for potential buyers. Remove all extra personal items, collections and general knickknacks and store them away during the selling process. Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, a good deep cleaning of all interior surfaces will breathe new life into your interior spaces.

Selling your home is a big deal, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be stressful. Follow these tips and you’ll generate the interest of potential buyers as soon as you plant the “for sale” sign in your yard!

Warning Signs of an Insect Infestation

Sára Vass/ July 31, 2020/ General Article/ 0 comments

Bugs creep out plenty of people. Even if you’re someone who doesn’t mind insects, you likely don’t want them living in your home. Sadly, infestations happen all the time and it can be difficult for some homeowners to notice the problem until it is already out of control. Luckily, there are some warning signs you can pay attention to. Focus on these signs and learn more about when you need to take action against a possible infestation.

Warning Signs of an Insect Infestation

Nesting Signs

One of the easiest ways to know that you are dealing with a bug infestation is by looking for signs of nesting. Most bugs that congregate and breed in large numbers do so by creating a nest where the eggs can grow and hatch. To spot a nest, look for clumps of dirt or grime in parts of your house. Usually, dark and damp areas are the perfect breeding grounds. Look in your basement, attic, and garage to be thorough about what is hidden in each corner.

Damage to Plants and Fabrics

Another easy way to tell that something is amiss in your home is by looking for signs of damage to plants and fabrics. Insects come in a wide variety of species, but a majority nest by looking for usable materials throughout a home. It will eat or break down materials like cloth and plant matter in order to create the nest and sustain the next generation of pests. Once you’ve found a nest or enough signs of possible infestation, you should contact Staten Island exterminators to discuss possible solutions. 

Structural Problems

With certain bugs like termites, structural issues might occur when an infestation is present. Bugs that eat wood and other materials that comprise support beams can cause massive damage to your property. If something seems odd with the structures around your home, take a closer look at the issue to figure it out.

Dealing with bugs can easily make your skin crawl. If you are concerned that you have an infestation on your hands, get to the bottom of the problem and call in the right people to solve the issue for you.