7 Super Simple Tips for a Greener Home

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Home Improvement | 0 comments

It’s a simple fact that we all need to live a little greener. After all, we have limited resources on this planet. However, green living doesn’t have to mean massive sacrifices and major lifestyle changes. In fact, these 7 simple tips will hardly change a thing in your life. As an added bonus, all of these tips will save you money; in the end, you’ll be saving two kinds of green.

1. Create your own compost
It takes quite a bit of energy to truck off your food waste to a landfill. While it’s better to only buy food you’ll use, you can still use what excess you generate by creating your own compost. Getting the process started is pretty easy and doesn’t require any special equipment. In just a matter of months, you could have fertile soil to grow a garden. Besides keeping trash out of landfills, this process will also save you money at the gardening center every spring.

2. Replace your toilets
Ever wonder how much water your toilet uses per flush? It could be as much as 6 gallons if you don’t have a low-flow unit. It’s no secret that older toilets waste tons of water. Low-flow models, on the other hand, use as little as 1.1 gallons per flush. Thanks to advances in technology, these low-flow models have even more flushing power than their wasteful counterparts.

3. Get new light bulbs
There is no reason why all the light bulbs in your home shouldn’t be LED or fluorescent. By ditching incandescent bulbs, you’ll be shaving quite a bit off your energy bill. Additionally, LED and fluorescent bulbs come in a variety of styles, colors, and shades; you’re sure to find something you love just as much as incandescent bulbs.

4. Water-saving showerheads
Don’t let your hard-earned money flow literally down the drain. By switching to water-saving showerheads and faucets, you can use significantly less water.

5. Energy Star appliances
There’s just no excuse; the appliances in your home should be Energy Star rated. If you notice the appliances in your home are not, then please consider replacing them right away. To make your investment last as long as possible, considering purchasing a home warranty at the same time. That way, you won’t be responsible to pick up the tab for problems down the road. To check out home warranties, go to http://www.ahs.com/.

6. Give your water heater a coat
That’s right; your water heater needs a coat. More specifically, your water heater should have a specially made jacket that can be purchased at any home improvement store. These jackets cut down on energy use and help your water heater last longer.

7. Programmable thermostat
It’s hard to remember to turn your home’s HVAC system off when you leave for the day. So, why not install a thermostat that can do this task for you? With this little unit, you’ll be saving time, energy, and money.

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Three Things to Know About DIY Home Improvement

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Home Improvement | 0 comments

Everyone knows that home improvement is hard. It can also be very expensive if you are not careful. Each year, many homeowners see the potential costs of their home projects, and they elect to do at least a part of the job on their own. This might make sense if you know what you’re doing, but there are some things that you need to keep in mind. Not every person is capable of doing a home improvement project on their own. These are three things you need to know before you attempt that DIY home improvement project this year.

Leave the hard, technical work to a professional

There are many things that you can do on your own that won’t put you or your family in danger. For instance, most cosmetic work around the home won’t present any problems. Installing a kitchen cabinet or changing the light fixtures in your bathroom will have a very low risk of error. There are some things, though, that can be much more technical. Plumbing work, for instance, can be very hard for a person with little experience. Likewise, if you are doing anything that may disrupt the foundation of your home, you should at least check with a professional. Making a mistake on these things can be expensive and dangerous.

Shop around for materials and don’t be afraid to go non-conventional

Your biggest cost will ultimately be the materials that you choose. If you were shopping for a car, you likely would not just choose the first one that you saw. Rather, you would look around to many different dealerships before settling on your choice. The same kind of dedication should be applied when shopping for your home improvement materials. Don’t be afraid to look for materials off the beaten path. Many people find re-salvaged wood and other objects for bathroom and dining room furniture. If you have the ability to re-claim an item, then you can reap big savings.

A warranty can protect your work and your budget

One of the best things you can do is get a home warranty to protect yourself in case something breaks. The unfortunate reality is that if you have a home, things are occasionally going to break on you. If you don’t have money saved, this can create a major difficulty. A company like American Home Shield can ensure that when things do break, you can get them fixed without having to break the bank. If you’re going to invest money into home repairs or a major project, then you owe it to yourself to protect that project with a small monthly investment in a good warranty.

When you choose to do your own work at home, you should be careful. Some projects can be easily completed, while others will be more difficult. Don’t be afraid to consult a professional if you have questions about some element of your project. The biggest mistake you can make is failing to recognize your own limitations during a DIY venture.

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