Looking for Cheap Ways to Prep Your Home for Winter? Try These Ideas!

Prepping your home for winter is important regardless of where you live but here in the south we’re having a much colder than normal winter so it’s even more important than normal to prep your home for the winter. In order to help you out we found this article with cheap ways to prepare your home for winter. We hope it helps!

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From the article:

Heating costs can throw a wrench into your winter budget ??? and the cold can make you cranky. But you can limit the discomfort by addressing the gaps, cracks and waste that drive up fuel costs. Such fixes are available at a lower price than you might imagine.

Run through this checklist of fixes to make your house cozier and your heating more affordable this year.

Install weatherstripping
Check your home???s exterior doors for cold air leaks. Do this from inside the house. The high-tech approach is to use a laser infrared thermal gun to detect cold drafts. The low-tech way is to move a lit candle around the door frame; the flame will blow toward you when there is a draft.

Seal a drafty door by installing foam or felt weatherstripping inside the door frame. Ask at your hardware store for the correct products and installation instructions.

Cost: $10 to $20 per package for most standard products.

Add attic insulation
Insulation keeps warm air inside in the winter and expensively cooled air inside in the summer.

???Typically, houses in warm-weather states should have an R-38 insulation in the attic, whereas houses in cold climates should have R-49,??? says This Old House, explaining how to install batting-type insulation.

Insulating an attic, basement or crawl space is moderately difficult, and beginners should hire a professional. If you do, ask if you can perform parts of the job to reduce the cost.

Admittedly, insulating is not a cheap job. But the payback can be huge, and you may find rebates and financial incentives. See Energy.gov???s guide to sources and to a calculator to estimate the return on an insulation investment.

Cost: Prices vary, depending on factors such as insulation type, local labor costs and size of the attic.

Set the temperature manually ??? and leave it
You can enjoy fuel savings for free simply by setting your thermostat to one temperature in the morning, another at night and otherwise leaving the thermostat alone. If you???re chilly, put on a sweater and warm socks instead of raising the heat.

Cost: $0.

Replace furnace filters monthly
Dirty furnace filters reduce furnace efficiency and push up heating bills. They also shorten the life of a furnace.

Check and replace the furnace filter monthly in winter or every three months while the system is in operation. Your owner???s manual will tell you where it???s located. Hold the filter up to the light: If you can???t see light through it, you need a new one.

Pleated filters work best because they trap more dirt particles.

Cost: Prices vary. Angie???s List says filters cost:

$1 each for flat fiberglass
$10 each for pleated and polyester
$25 each for high-efficiency varieties

Insulate the hot water heater
Save on fuel by wrapping older water heaters in a blanket of insulation, an easy DIY project that even a beginner can do. Your utility company has instructions. When insulating a gas or propane water heater, do not cover the burner access.

Do not insulate:
– Pre-insulated water heaters. These are newer units with factory installed insulation of R-16 or better (check the manufacturer???s label) under the metal shell.
– Water heaters located where the added heat is welcome.
– Water heaters whose manual or paperwork warns against insulating.
– Tankless (on-demand) water heaters.

Cost: $20 to $30. Or possibly free: Ask your utility company for any rebates, discounts or freebies. Some utilities offer free insulation and may even install it.

Looking for information on avoiding frozen pipes? Checkout this article about avoiding frozen pipes that could be of interest to you.

Read the entire article here: https://www.moneytalksnews.com/16-low-cost-ways-prepare-your-home-for-winter/

Looking for Ideas to Get Your Washer & Dryer Off the Floor? Get Ideas Here!

Having a front loading washer and dryer is something that a lot of people either have or wish they had. One con of having them though is that unless you buy the pedestals they sit on the floor which can be hard on the back. In order to give you an alternative we found this article with different ideas to get them up and off the ground. We hope you love it!

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From the article:

While technology has come a long way from the days of sitting over a bucket with a washboard and some soap, laundry is still a chore. Sorting, loading, unloading, reloading, folding, putting away ??? it???a lot of work!

Front load washers and dryers make it less taxing but you still have to either crouch down or bend over when loading the machines. Raised laundry machines, however, put an end to the bend.

Elevating your washer and dryer eliminates the need to bend and crouch and makes the whole job feel a lot less chore-like. It???s also a great way to get more storage space and can help make more use of the laundry room.

Looking for more garage organization ideas? Checkout this article about garage organization ideas that could be of interest to you.

Read the entire article here: http://www.contemporist.com/laundry-room-design-idea-raise-your-washer-and-dryer-up-off-the-floor/

Looking to Have an Organized Home? Try These Steps to do it in 10 Weeks!

Most people would like an organized home. Most people find they don’t have the time to do it or they don’t know where to start. In order to help you out with both problems we found this article that breaks down how to organize your home in 10 weeks. We hope it helps!

If you need Baton Rouge apartments cleaning dryer vent services, then Dryer Vents Plus is your #1 choice! Call Jeremy Leake today at 225-612-7752 to schedule your 100% Free, No Obligation Quote!

From the article:

Tackle storage solutions, do deep cleaning and create routines to make every room in your house clutter-free.

The start of a new year is a great time to assess your lifestyle choices. Many people set goals to hit the gym more often, eat healthier and quit bad habits. And having a clean and organized household can go a long way toward helping you succeed in those personal goals. So we turned to Houzz contributor Laura Gaskill???s series of seven-day organizing plans to create a comprehensive guide to restoring sanity in each room in your house. Follow each one, in no particular order, and you???ll have a completely tidy home in two and a half months.

Kitchen. With kitchens now often the hub of busy households, it???s important to keep these high-traffic, high-functioning areas in tip-top shape.

Begin by tackling the appliances first, cleaning out the messier ones such as the oven and fridge, and tucking away small gadgets to declutter.

Next, initiate a top-to-bottom cleaning mission that goes beyond wiping countertops and shelves and gets to the nitty-gritty of pulling out appliances and cleaning behind and under them.

From there you can move on to organizing the cabinets and pantry and cleaning the windows, walls and floors.

Bathroom. With so much daily use ??? and the prevalence of water, lotions, toothpaste and other gunk ??? keeping a bathroom clean can feel like a Sisyphean task. But the key to success is making a plan and sticking to it, beginning with a full-bore purging effort followed by a deep clean. Next focus on addressing any moisture and humidity issues, then work on organizing all the toiletries before laundering all towels and bath mats.

Living room. It???s hard to relax when you???re surrounded by clutter. To keep messes at bay in the living room, begin by thoroughly decluttering, followed by dusting and vacuuming. Next, focus on the floor and bookcases. Make the room shine with clean mirrors and windows. Then turn your attention to the furniture upholstery. Finish by implementing a few styling tricks for a polished look.

Garage. While the garage might be at the bottom of your organizing list, it???s an important room. You don???t want to fall into the trap of decluttering your home only to find that what you really did was just move all the clutter into the garage, which oftentimes is the first thing most people see when they arrive home.

Save this task for a nice-weather week so you can enjoy some sunshine while you purge the garage, separating important memorabilia, holiday decorations, tools and other things you want to keep from everything else that you can donate, sell or throw away.

It might sound daunting, but you???ll want to remove everything from the garage, then vacuum or sweep. Next, it???s time to address storage systems, thinking of ways to get items off the floor.

Looking for more garage organization ideas? Checkout this article about garage organization ideas that could be of interest to you.

Read the entire article here: https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/78537175/list/your-guide-to-a-totally-organized-home-in-10-weeks

Dryer Fires. Truth or Myth? Read This Then Decide!

133931996_3681093818_oWe’ve spent a lot of time discussing the dangers of dryer fires. Some of you may still not believe they actually happen. We found this article from Consumer Reports that we hope will help you form a concrete opinion.

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From the article:

In the e-mail, an unknown author warns of a clothes dryer’s burned-out heating unit. According to a “repair man,” the author writes, the burnout was caused by fabric-sheet film buildup on the lint filter. “You can’t SEE the film, but it’s there,” the author writes. “This is also what causes dryer units to catch fire and potentially burn the house down.” The best way to avoid these problems, according to the “repairman,” is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months.

But according to Consumer Reports testers, this e-mail mixes a lot of hyperbole with only a few helpful dryer-maintenance tips. At Consumer Reports we’ve tested hundreds of clothes dryers for our ongoing dryer Ratings and recommendations (available to subscribers). CR’s appliance director, Mark Connelly, says it’s possible that over a long period, fabric sheets, fabric softeners, and laundry detergent ingredients contribute to an unseen film or waxy buildup on the dryer lint screen. But “it’s highly doubtful,” he said, “that any such invisible buildup alone leads to heating-unit burnout or a fire.”

Improper dryer vents are a much bigger and more common safety problem. Here are a few tips to keep your clothes dryer running safely and efficiently.

  • Use metal dryer ducts to help prevent dryer fires. Consumer Reports says that flexible dryer ducts made of foil or plastic are the most problematic because they can sag and let lint build up at low points. Ridges can also trap lint. Metal ducts, either flexible or solid, are far safer because they don’t sag, so lint is less likely to build up. In addition, if a fire does start, a metal duct is more likely to contain it. See our dryer venting safety report for more tips as well as photos and a dryer-venting video.
  • No matter which kind of duct you have, you should clean it regularly. In addition, remove the visible lint from the lint screen each time you use your dryer. This not only will reduce the risk of a fire, but your clothes will dry faster and your dryer will use less energy. If dryer film is a worry, there is certainly no harm in occasionally cleaning the lint filter with warm soapy water and a small brush.
  • Clean inside, behind, and underneath the dryer, where lint can also build up.

Have more questions about dryer fires? Checkout this article about dryer fire statistics for busy homeowners that could be of interest to you.

Read the entire article here: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/appliances/laundry-and-cleaning/clothes-dryers/truths-and-myths-of-dryer-fires/overview/index.htm

Learn How Your Insurance Company Will Respond to Your Water Damage Claim

1353794_sidewalk_endsDo you have water damage? Learn how your insurance company will respond in seven different scenarios.

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From the article:

Water damage: Seven home insurance scenarios
Here are common water-damage scenarios and their insurance consequences.

Scenario No. 1: The temperature drops to 10 below zero, causing your water pipes to freeze and burst. Your floor is now covered in 6 inches of water.
Are you covered? Yes, you’re covered for water damage from burst pipes, but most policies won’t cover you if you’ve left the house unoccupied and without heat. If that’s the case, your claim could be denied because you’ve failed to perform the necessary upkeep that would prevent the accident.

Scenario No. 2: Water leaks from your backyard pool, ruining your manicured lawn and flooding your basement
Are you covered? The damage to your basement and your personal property are covered, but not the damage to your lawn. According to a sample policy, “We do not cover land, including land on which the dwelling is located.” However, your lawn is covered if it’s damaged by certain “named perils.” These include fire, explosion, riot, aircraft, vehicles not owned by you and vandalism. The amount of coverage for lawns and plants is small ??? usually only up to $500. Swimming-pool leaks are not a named peril. But if your leak was caused by a tree falling on the pool, it would be covered.

Scenario No. 3: Your washing machine overflows, flooding the basement.
Are you covered? Yes. But it depends on your home insurance company’s view of the problem: Did you fail to maintain the washer properly or did sudden, accidental damage cause the flood? Usually, water from a broken appliance will be covered.

Scenario No. 4: A sewer backs up, flooding your basement.
Are you covered? No. Standard home insurance policies don’t cover sewer backups, and many specifically exclude damage from sewer back-ups. Special endorsements are available, at added cost, for sewers and drains.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by reporting damage to your home insurance company that’s not covered by your policy. Your damage report may still go on your insurance record and look like a claim when you shop for new insurance in the future. Read how one five-minute call to your insurance company can dog you for seven years.

Scenario No. 5: Water seeps from the ground into your basement, damaging your foundation and interior.
Are you covered? No. Seepage is considered a maintenance problem, not “sudden and accidental” damage, and is excluded from home insurance coverage.

Scenario No. 6: During a heavy rainstorm, water leaks through your roof. The roof is damaged, as is furniture.
Are you covered? Somewhat. You’re unlikely to be reimbursed for roof repairs because that’s a house-maintenance issue. But the water damage to your home is covered. Damage to your furniture is also likely covered if you have a standard H0-3 home insurance policy, but not if you have a generic HO-1 policy (which many insurers don’t even sell anymore).
If your neighbor’s tree falls on your roof, the damage to your roof, home and belongings is covered. Your policy also reimburses you up to a certain amount, usually around $500, for the cost of removing the tree.

Scenario No. 7: A nearby lake or river overflows its banks, causing a flash flood in your living room.
Are you covered? No. Flood damage is not covered by home insurance. You must purchase flood insurance for that. You can purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.

SIDENOTE: Have a mold problem? Checkout this article about how to get rid of mold for busy homeowners that could be of interest to you.

Read the entire article here: http://www.insure.com/home-insurance/water.html