5 Tips for Utility Savings Without Sacrificing Comfort This Winter

programmable thermostats help with utility savings

Are you already bracing for the chill that’s to come, and fretting about soaring costs to heat your home? Wintertime brings a lot of wonderful things, but expensive heating isn’t one of them. Fortunately, you can make a few modest changes and enjoy utility savings without wearing a sweater indoors until spring. 

Whether your home is brand new or it’s been around for 50 years or longer, you can make living there more comfortable. There are many new energy saving products available to help you keep your energy use down, and with cold air outside as the temperature drops, there are... 

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What to Expect from an HVAC Maintenance Tuneup

hvac maintenance tuneup will make lower your heating costs

Different homes use different methods for heat, but all heating systems have one need in common. An HVAC maintenance service call at the beginning of the season can help the unit perform better. It can also keep your family safer, and extend the unit’s life. Replacing a furnace, heat pump, or boiler costs thousands, so the price of a service call is small by comparison.

Servicing your heating system can also help reduce your utility bills. When it’s in good working order, your heating system doesn’t work as hard and it uses fuel more efficiently. 

Having a technician come to your home... 

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Collecting Habits Are Changing with Digital Collections

collecting antique furniture creates memories & useful furniture

Can you remember the first thing you collected as a child? After earning the privilege of my own bedroom, I started collecting funky, inexpensive hats and used them to decorate my room. They didn’t travel to college with me and when I graduated, I’d forgotten about them. When I settled into my first apartment, I collected small potted plants and to this day, I won’t buy African violets because I can’t get them to bloom.

Fast forward many years and I’m starting to pack for a move from NH to Arizona. We’re going to become... 

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Where’s Your Microwave – Counter, Wall or Drawer?

you can now place your microwave in a drawer for easier accessibility

Can you remember when you got your first microwave? The first microwaves sat on the countertop, and came to market in 1967 under the Amana brand which is now owned by Whirlpool. We bought one of these early microwaves but only trusted it for defrosting whatever we were making for dinner. Today I can’t imagine living without a microwave because I use it for everything from my morning oatmeal to steaming vegetables in those wonderful, time saving packages.

This article explores how their location has changed over the years. When they first came out, microwaves sat on the counter top and giving up... 

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Buying a Home – Balancing Where, What & Why

buying a home starts with financials, then you must haves & wish list like this pool

Buying a home is a big decision, and not one you want to rush into. Admittedly many people move for reasons beyond their control – a new job, needing to care for elderly parents or maybe you want to move closer to grandchildren so you can see them more often. You still have many choices in where you decide to buy a house, and in our last article, Finances and Making Sure You’re Ready to Buy, we reviewed the financial questions to answer, to prepare for this purchase.

Here we’re looking at more questions, or really key decision factors you’ll want... 

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Finances & Making Sure You’re Ready to Buy a House

building a house requires trade-offs on where to spend your money

When I saw the article, 10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting The Home Buying Process, I thought it would be fun to answer the questions as I just bought a house and I really wasn’t ready. We’d just started researching where to move, and expected to take one to two years from start to moving, and yikes, we bought a house in under three months (haven’t moved yet). So follow along as I answer these questions, and see if you’re ready to buy a house.

Now it’s true we’re not novices when it comes to buying houses – this was our... 

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Old Houses with Amazing Renovations

amazing contemporary, yet old houses indoors & outside

Buying a house always involves trade-offs and it can be really hard to prioritize. They say the most important factor to consider when buying a house is location, location, location. But what are you giving up to buy a house in the right location? Often the right location means old houses with smaller rooms, that are very different from newer homes with open floor plans.

Many homeowners assume that if they want the perfect neighborhood with picket fences, where their children can walk to school, then they can’t have an open floor plan. That simply isn’t true and once you experience... 

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Cost & Performance of Home Insulation Options

blown-in insulation works based on how high/thick it is

Is your home ready for the blustery winds and frigid temperatures of winter? If you’ve spent one too many chilly winters at home, maybe it’s time to think about adding more home insulation. 

Insulation serves a few purposes. It helps block the transfer of heat from a warm area to a cool one. This means in summer, it keeps heat outside. In winter, it keeps heated air inside your home. Insulation also helps block drafts. And installed correctly, it helps prevent the buildup of condensation, which happens when cool air meets warm air. (Read: Home Insulation for Comfort and Lower Energy... 

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Roofing Layers – What’s Underneath Your Shingles

roofing layers under the shingles are the same, except structurally heavier materials like this slate, need more support

Most homeowners never get up close to their roof. If you’re cleaning your gutters, you probably do get a birds eye view, but don’t realize there are many layers that make up your roof. All you see when you look at the roof are the shingles, slate or tile on top. You typically aren’t interested in the roofing layers that keep your home dry until you have a problem, like light shining into the attic or ice dams in the winter. 

Roofs might look simple but they’re rather complicated. There are multiple layers of materials, and they have to be installed... 

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DIY Radiant Heat Flooring

Radiant heat cable laid out in hairpin layout

Radiant heat makes for a warm and toasty environment on cold winter days. Cammy and her husband Steve included radiant heat flooring in their extensive kitchen renovation plans. The installation process was labor intensive, but very straightforward and the results made the effort worth it. 

Homeowner: Cammy Nolin Project: Installing Radiant Heat Flooring Budget: $1,000

In the summer of 2010, Cammy and her husband embarked on a nine-month DIY adventure of epic proportions. Their project started with a complete demolition and rebuild of their farmhouse kitchen, from the foundation to the ceiling. Aside from the completely rebuilt walls, floor, custom cabinets, and... 

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