Category Archives: Homeowners

Boost Your Home’s Energy Efficiency This Spring and Summer

Energy saving strategies can change with the seasons, so it’s important to re-evaluate your home’s energy efficiency throughout the year. Check out this simple guide for tips to boost your home’s energy efficiency during the warmer months.

Maintain Your Cooling System

Keeping up with routine maintenance and cleanings of your air cooling system will help it to work more efficiently. According to the United States Department of Energy, you can lower a cooling system’s energy consumption by a whopping 15% simply by performing routine maintenance and changing air filters consistently. The Government of Canada also recommends proper maintenance of air conditioners to make sure they run as effectively as possible.

Plan to replace or clean air filters on a semi-regular basis, usually every few months. If you have pets, more frequent changes can benefit your system. Besides keeping tabs on air filters, checking to make sure the evaporator coil is working properly before the hottest months is a proactive step you can take. If you don’t have experience with air conditioner maintenance or cleaning, it’s a good idea to hire a professional.

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Gardening With Children: Gardening Tips and What to Plant

Cultivating a home garden is a great way to teach your children where their food comes from while fostering a sense of independence and a healthy respect for the environment. Most of all, it’s a fun activity the whole family can enjoy. Keeping their dexterity and attention span in mind, here are some tips on gardening with children that will get you growing in no time.

Location, Location, Location. The most important consideration when deciding what you want to grow is where you want to grow it. Are you planting indoors or out? In summer or fall? How much sun exposure will you have each day, and how extreme are the temperatures?  Checking a hardiness map for your area will help you decide what, when, and where to grow, and involving your child in the research makes for a fun geography lesson.

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Health Hazards in Your Bathroom and How to Avoid Them

Your home’s bathroom should be a place of relaxation and peace. Yet, there are many potential hazards that could affect this environment and pose hazardous health risks. These are some of the most common and how you can avoid them.

Slippery Surfaces

Those shiny floors might achieve the modern bathroom style you’re going for, but they can also be very dangerous. Slip and falls are a serious health hazard and may be prevented by installing non-slip flooring material. If you purchased your home with slippery flooring materials and you are not yet ready to renovate, consider investing in quality rubber-backed bathroom mats. Place them in especially slippery places, such as in front of the shower and bathtub. Continue reading

Creating the Perfect Indoor Garden for the Home Chef

A good chef knows that herbs and spices can make or break a dish. Growing your own plants in a garden will supply you with fresh ingredients that can take your home cooked meals to the next level.

If it’s chilly outside where you are, or if you don’t have enough space for an outdoor garden, don’t fret. You can create an indoor garden for all your cooking needs.

Popular Plant Options

The sheer number of plant options you have can be overwhelming. But for the home chef, it’s best to stick to plants and herbs that can be used for a variety of dishes.

Basil

You can buy potted basil at the grocery store, or you can choose to start from seed.

This herb is used in everything from pasta sauce to fancy cocktails, and it can be easily grown indoors. Basil loves a lot of sun, so be sure to position the pot or the container close to a sunny window. Continue reading

Spring Cleaning: High Tech vs. The Old-Fashioned Way

A good old-fashioned spring cleaning does the home, and the homeowner, good.

Some spring cleaning tasks tackled “the old-fashioned way” bring tried and true results. While other chores have a modern day, high-tech upgrade that can make your life easier. Keep reading for more options to help you accomplish some of the most popular spring cleaning tasks.

Vacuuming and Cleaning

There’s no escaping the need for vacuuming and general cleaning year-round. But spring cleaning is the time to get to hard-to-reach places and give your floors a refreshing, deeper clean. Continue reading

Household Chores for Children

Parenting experts say that involving children in the execution of household chores teaches them responsibility and gives them a sense of accomplishment. It also helps cement their role in the family by helping them feel they are contributing to the household. But how young is too young to start children out with their own designated chores?  Parents ultimately know best, but experts agree that children as young as two can start learning simple tasks that help out mom or dad.  As long as each task attempted is accompanied by specific instructions, realistic expectations, and copious praise, you can teach your children these age-appropriate household chores. Continue reading

Success Starts at Home: Staying on Track with Your Resolutions

As we start the new year, many of us focus on self improvement and making changes. A majority of the new year’s resolutions people make are health related, but only about 8% of resolutioners succeed in maintaining their new goals.

Check out our tips and ideas to make your home and your home life work with you, so that you can be a part of the crowd of people who succeed.

Goal: Lose Weight

Losing weight and eating healthy are the two most common new year’s resolutions that people make. How can you use your home to help you shed some unwanted weight? Continue reading

Home Design Trends for 2018

With the new year comes brand new home design trends. And while some trends seem to continue on from years past, like the ever-popular metallic accents as well as sleek, simple designs, there are new and exciting home design trends you can implement in 2018.

Darker Wood Is Making a Comeback

This one might be surprising seeing as the past few years have emphasized lighter, blonde wood as the main design choice for the home. However, richer and darker woods like mahogany, rosewood, and walnut are making a comeback for the upcoming year.

The darker brown hue of these types of wood will make any room feel luxurious and grand. Whether this means getting a new dining room table, a new chair set, or even just décor featuring darker wood, this modern trend will make your home feel cozy and luxurious. Continue reading

Keeping Pets Safe in Winter Weather

Winter weather can create extra challenges for homeowners, between shoring up vulnerable areas against wind and rain, and winterizing structures against freezing cold.  But wintertime can pose serious risks for your pets, too, so follow these tips to help keep your home a safe and comfortable place for your pet in winter weather.

1. Keep them inside your home. Domestic pets don’t have inherent traits that protect them from extreme conditions any more than you do so if it’s too nasty for you to be outside, it’s too nasty for your pet. Keep domestic pets inside and make sure outdoor livestock has adequate shelter, dry bedding, and blankets, if necessary, to protect them from cold, wind, rain, ice and snow. Continue reading

Holiday Lights Done Right

The holiday season is now upon us. It’s time for family visits, warming up by the fireplace, and holiday decorations.

What house is complete during the holiday season without holiday lights? Here are some tips to make hanging your holiday lights easy and fun so that you can focus on how good they look instead of worrying about proper installation.

Make a Plan

This step is key: hanging lights without a plan will be frustrating and difficult. Continue reading