Category Archives: Homeowners

Getting your AC ready for summer

Summer is starting to heat up, and that means your energy bills may soon pay the price. About six percent of a household’s annual expenses come from cooling costs, resulting in a net $29 billion in utility spending each year across the country. That’s a lot of green!

But that doesn’t mean you have to surrender helplessly to rising cooling costs. Continue reading

5 Tips for buying an AC unit online

The lifespan of an air conditioner is 15 to 20 years, depending on how often it’s used. But chances are you’re going to need to replace your AC unit at one point or another, and when you do you’ll probably have some questions. For example, is buying an air conditioner online safe? Or is it safe to buy a second-hand or refurbished AC unit? We asked a 25-year veteran of the HVAC industry all of the important AC questions so you don’t have to.

We spoke to Erik Bryan, a licensed HVAC contractor and owner of NewACUnit.com, and asked what you need to know about buying an air conditioner online.

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Remodeling 101: Placing the toilet in your bathroom renovation

As many homeowners know, a bathroom renovation rarely entails just changing a few tiles and calling it a day. Even the simplest projects have many details and moving parts, creating a domino effect of one choice impacting another. One of the most important choices you can make during your renovation is one that can be easily overlooked: the toilet placement. And as if it’s not difficult enough, tile installation, vanity location and shower door choices can all influence your toilet placement. Use these tips to get your space construction ready.

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Spring cleaning: Optimize your cleaning time

Optimize spring cleaning

According to The Maids, spring cleaning typically takes at least four hours per 1,000 square feet.

“You can clean virtually any house in about four hours a week. I learned this when I had a residential house cleaning business,” says Sherry Hewins. “The keys to being able to clean your house are organization and consistency.”

Although you don’t have to spring clean your home every weekend, getting organized and optimizing the task to make the process more efficient should help keep it as short and sweet as possible.

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How to secure your smart home devices

smart house device illustration with app icons

Smart home devices are quickly becoming the norm, with IT research firm Gartner predicting consumers will have 5.2 billion internet-connected products in 2017 – an average of four devices per household.

“The connected home is coming to fruition and it’s coming now,” says Yonomi co-founder and CEO Kent Dickson.

We’re using smart devices to control the lighting, temperature and ambiance of our homes, to lock our doors and watch for intruders, to feed and play with our pets. There seems to be a smart device for every conceivable home need, but how secure are these devices?

“The biggest issue with smart devices in the home is that many can be accessed directly from the internet,” says Bruce Snell, Cybersecurity and Privacy Director at Intel Security, adding, “Securing the smart home requires that you think a little more about security than you may have in the past.”

What can you do to secure your smart home tech?

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How long will your home and everything in it last? (Infographic)

anatomy of a house

A well-constructed home can last for hundreds of years. But maintenance, climate and home innovation can all impact how long the components of that home stay useful. However, eventually things wear out, so with help from the National Association of Home Builders we’re going room-by-room to tell you how much time you have before you’ll have to replace different parts of your home.

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How to avoid winter home maintenance issues

icicles on roof gutter

Cold weather can wreak havoc on your home. According to the ​Insurance Information Institute, losses from winter weather average around $1.2 billion a year in the U.S. The best way to avoid problems caused by winter weather and precipitation is to prevent them before they happen. Here are five common problems that occur and some tips on how to prevent them: Continue reading

How to maintain your appliances without voiding your home warranty (Infographic)

claim form

For many home buyers, purchasing a basic home warranty for around $350-500 annually is a cost they are willing to incur in order to protect themselves from expensive repairs or appliance replacements. First-time home buyers in particular should not overlook the advantages of investing in a basic or upgraded home warranty, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.  

Whether you are considering your home warranty options now or are already covered, you can take simple steps to fend off appliance breakdown.  While “DIY” major repair attempts can actually void your warranty, keeping up a regular maintenance schedule will extend the life of your appliances and improve performance.

Check out these recommendations from the experts at Reviews.com:

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