Looking to Save Money?

Here are a few cool facts…

Americans waste almost an hour each day looking for misplaced stuff. 

The Ikea survey found 23% of people pay bills late because they lost them.

The Ikea survey found 50% of the world’s kitchens have junk drawers.

Click the photo below to learn how decluttering your home can save you time and money.

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Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/home-improvement/why-being-organized-saves-you-money/#ixzz42Pz9zccc
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7 Ways To Save On Winterizing Your Home

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A tried-and-true tip to staying warm on a budget? Localize your heat source, and build your daily habits around the fire or an electric heater.

Still recovering from the sticker shock you got from your last heating bill? These simple tricks can help lower your costs and keep you warm this winter.

When the temperature dips below freezing, cranking up the thermostat — and leaving it there — is an easy fix to fight off the cold. But it’s an expensive one, as you’ll realize once you receive your first heating bill for that home for sale in Denver, CO, you bought in the spring.

So, short of shivering all winter, what’s a home dweller to do? Learn how to winterize a house with these tips, which can save you money — without sacrificing warmth.

Invest in a programmable thermostat

Doing so allows you to keep your house warm while you’re home (in the morning when you’re getting ready, at night when you come home from work) without having the heat run all day. “They cost under 100 bucks and they’ll last forever,” says Mitchell Ingerman, president of Aurora Energy Advisors, an energy consulting firm in New York.

Buy one that has at least four settings (so that you can set it for different times on weekdays and weekends) and set the heat to increase about a half-hour before you’ll be home. Tip: Fight the urge to turn the heat way down when you’re out. “Expecting the heat to go from 60 to 70 degrees in a half-hour isn’t efficient either,” says Ingerman.

Deal with drafty windows and doors

It’s easy and inexpensive to seal entry points, and you’ll save heat — and money — from being thrown out the window. Ingerman suggests purchasing a weatherstripping kit or caulking the frame around doors and windows. If you already have weatherstripping but it’s worn or old, replace it. Bonus: Making your home more energy-efficient can boost your home’s value too.

Localize your heat source

If you spend most of your evening in one room (e.g., watching TV in the den), consider buying an electric heater, says Ingerman. You’ll be able to keep the thermostat low, and the room you’re in will stay toasty. Just be sure to turn off the heater before going to bed.

Don’t fall for companies that claim they can lower your utility bills

You probably get fliers in the mail from third-party energy suppliers that guarantee savings on your electric bill. “Energy prices fluctuate, so these companies will wait until it’s at a high point to contact you and offer to lock you in at a lower rate,” says Ingerman. “You may save a few dollars for the first few months. But after that, the price will go down and you’ll be locked into a higher rate.”

Use reusable furnace filters

Instead of replacing your filter every few months (or not at all because you don’t want to spend the money), buy a permanent filter that can be hosed off when it’s clogged. They’re more expensive upfront, but you’ll save money after a year or so of not buying disposable filters month after month.

Buy a chimney balloon

Even if the flue is closed, hot air can still escape from your chimney. An inflatable chimney balloon will stop this from happening. Bonus: It’ll automatically deflate if you forget to remove it before lighting a fire.

Let the sun shine

Into your house, that is. Keep your curtains open during the day and allow the sun to help warm your rooms, which will keep your furnace from running constantly. Subsequently, close your curtains at night to keep out drafts — and nosy neighbors.

Source: Trulia.com

12 Home Maintenance Tasks to Prep for Winter

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Before the first signs of winter arrive, take the time to insulate your home against the coming cold season. Winterizing now, before the arrival of frigid weather, means that when it’s truly frightful outside, you can curl up by the fire and sip cocoa without disruption.

The following tips will help you keep the cold air out, the warm air in, and your home safe from storm damage.

1. Check out the chimney

Before hanging your stockings by the chimney with care, have it cleaned and inspected by a professional chimney sweep. Creosote and soot buildup, as well as other blockages, can lead to fires, so be sure the chimney cap is intact, and your chimney liner, firebox, smoke chamber, and damper are all in good working condition before you light the first log.

2. Warm your water heater

If you’d like to save up to nine percent in water-heating costs, wrap your water heater with an appropriately sized insulation blanket. Most hot water tanks are installed in unheated areas of the home, such as the basement or garage. The less a tank’s heat escapes into its cold surroundings, the less energy it uses — and the more money you can keep in your pocket.

3. Seal cracks and crevices

Before the chill sets in, make sure all the cracks and crevices in your foundation have been filled to prevent your house from leaking heat and sucking up extra energy. Expandable foams work well to seal gaps in areas that are hard to reach or oddly shaped, or both.

4. Stop ice dams in their tracks

Before the first snow, take one last trip up to your roof to install an ice shield (and maybe even your holiday lights, if you’re feeling ambitious). Ice shields, available at your local home improvement center, protect against ice dams — ridges of frozen water that form at the edge of a roof and prevent melting snow from draining — ultimately saving your roof from a whole host of seasonal problems.

5. Perform an energy audit

Schedule an energy audit with your local service provider to receive an analysis of inefficiencies that you may have overlooked in your own visual inspection. Some companies offer this service for free, but even if yours doesn’t, it’s one walk-through that’s worth the investment. This professional assessment can lead to upgrades that can lower future energy bills by anywhere from five to 30 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

6. Protect plants and shrubs

Ensure that your yard will still be intact after the season passes by securing your plantings properly. Insulate and shelter the foliage closest to your home from falling ice and snow by erecting a reusable A-frame structure made from 2x4s and exterior plywood. Tall and narrow greenery anywhere on your property could benefit from a simple twine wrap around the middle to keep individual branches from breaking under the weight of heavy snow accumulation. But snow isn’t the only winter force to reckon with: Don’t forget to protect small shrubs from strong gusts of wind by wrapping them with burlap and stapling the material to stakes.

7. Trick out your thermostatshutterstock_122111422 crop

Are you ready to bring your home into the 21st century? Try a smart thermostat. More than just smart technology, it’s an intelligent investment. Many of the options on today’s market can detect when family members return home, and modify the temperature accordingly — increasing the warmth and comfort when you’re around, and lowering the temperature when you leave. The intuitive settings alone trim energy costs, and the availability of user-friendly, control-from-anywhere features can simplify home life.

8. Install weatherstripping

Eliminate potential drafts before they become a problem, and keep your indoor space extra cozy by sealing gaps around door and window frames with weatherstripping. Install door sweeps, which can prevent chills (and pests) from entering through the slim space underneath the door.

9. Prevent frozen pipes

Frozen pipes — and the waterworks, mess, and property damage that follow — top the list of the most formidable problems associated with subzero temperatures. Avert this winter nightmare by employing foam-rubber insulation to prevent the exposed metal from getting too cold.

10. Start your ceiling fans

Ceiling fans aren’t just for use in the summertime — they’re also effective in winter. In the warmer months, your fans should be set to rotate counterclockwise for a cooling downdraft. Winter requires a switch-up: Reverse the rotation so your blades spin clockwise to distribute warm air back down. And while you’re up there flipping the switch, it’s not a bad idea to dust a little, too.

11. Trim back trees

Large branches that loom over rooftops and power lines could cause problems if they collect enough snow and ice during the winter storm season. Overburdened, they may snap under the heavy weight, fall, and seriously damage whatever lies beneath. Save yourself some hassle and trim your branches back at the end of autumn to avoid these threats.

12. Replace furnace filters

The proper functioning of your heating system and furnace becomes paramount during cold winter months, when it’s vital that you stay warm and comfortable in your home. The starting point for regular maintenance is easy: Change your furnace filters often. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand. Change fiberglass or paper furnace filters every one to two months; an electrostatic or HEPA filter can be cleaned or changed closer to every two to four months. If you stock up on filters ahead of time, you’ll always have a supply on hand to keep your energy system in tip-top condition.

Source: Zillow.com

5 Spring Home Maintenance Projects

Source: Trulia.com

With winter behind us, it’s time to freshen up for the warmer weather ahead.

Summer is the hottest season for real estate so if you’re thinking of listing soon, spring is your last opportunity to make those home improvements.
Summer is the hottest season for real estate so if you’re thinking of listing soon, spring is your last opportunity to make those home improvements.

Depending on where you live, you might be convinced that Mother Nature is playing a cruel joke. But regardless of your address, spring is officially here which means it’s time to spruce up the old house.

According to Trulia, summer is the hottest season for real estate so if you’re thinking of listing soon, spring is your last opportunity to make those home improvements. If you missed out on winter home repairs, here are a few home maintenance items to tackle as spring puts the spring back in your step.

Check those gutters

The weight of snow, falling branches, and cold temperatures can wreak havoc with your home’s gutters. Grab a ladder (and a buddy) and give your gutters the once-over. Check for blockages caused by debris and leaves, make sure seams are firmly held together, and clear the drainage ways as you prep for spring rains.

Clear that chimney

Do you have a home with a chimney? If you live in the Midwest, it’s highly likely you do.

While the singing chimney sweep from Mary Poppins might not fit the bill, every home needs a professional this time of year. Make an appointment for an inspection — they’ll check the mortar, flue, and ensure it’s in good repair before the spring rains.

Inspect outside water connections

Sometimes our garden hose don’t make it inside during the winter. Now is a good time to check your hoses for rips, tears, and breaks, as well as check the spigots coming out of the house for any cold-related damage.

Remember: thawing still-frozen pipes is a delicate process and to avoid damage, pipes are best thawed slowly. This is one case where slow and steady wins the race (and saves your wallet).

Tune-up your cooling system

Before the heat of late spring and summer set in, have an HVAC professional inspect both your central and window air conditioning units. While you’re waiting for them to arrive, go ahead and replace your air filters for good measure.

Review your roof

The most expensive (and most unwelcomed) repairs are from the damage we can’t see — inspecting your roof each spring is a must. Houselogic has an extensive checklist for seasonal roof inspections, designed to keep you ahead of costly repairs and keep small problems from becoming big ones.

The roof over your head has been good to you. Why not be good to it in return by giving it a little post-winter TLC?

Winter Weather Home Care

Source: Zillow.com

Winter Weather Home Care

Don’t let Old Man Winter harm your home. A few extra maintenance tasks can keep you covered until spring arrives.

It’s been a rough winter for most of the country, and we’ve got several more weeks to go — and likely more snowstorms, too. Assuming you handled some of the basics before the start of the season, here are some additional steps you can take to keep your home safe from the winter weather.

Keep pipes from freezing

Most cold weather issues pertain to plumbing, and one of the most common problems is frozen pipes, which can leave you without running water — or worse, a hefty repair bill. Proper insulation around the pipes helps to prevent this.

Keep pipes from freezingOther simple things you can do to prevent frozen pipes include:

  • Keeping your house properly heated by setting your thermostat to around 55 degrees.
  • Disconnecting water hoses from outdoor faucets.
  • Ensuring exterior doors, like garage and entry doors, remain closed.
  • Opening cabinet doors under sinks to allow heat to get under the sinks and warm pipes.
  • Allowing the faucets inside your house to drip so water continues to flow through them.
  • Installing weather stripping around the doors to keep cold air out and warm air in.

Inspect your roof

Experts say you should take a look at your roof from all angles, because one side might be clear but the other covered in snow drifts.

This is important, particularly if you live in Massachusetts, the epicenter of this season’s roof collapse epidemic. To date, more than 160 roofs have collapsed or faced imminent collapse in this one state alone, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Inspect roof

Among the many visual clues that your roof might be straining under the weight of the snow, according to MEMA, are new cracks in walls or beams, sagging roof steel, and bends in metal supports. If you have any concerns, speak with a professional and consider bringing in an inspector.

Remove snow and ice built up against your house

Remove snow and ice built up against your house

If snow and ice pile up against your house, they could cover your exhaust vents (which can affect the performance of your furnace) and natural gas meter (which could lead to potentially dangerous leaks). Gently brush away the snow with your hands or a broom. If the problem is too severe, contact a service professional or technician for help.

Prevent injuries

Dead or damaged tree branches and limbs could easily break and fall because of ice, snow or wind, potentially damaging your house or car, or even possibly injuring someone walking near your property. Take care of them as soon as possible.

Home Buyers: 3 Signs It’s Time to Enlist a Real Estate Pro

Source: Zillow.com