Archives: July 2016

Ways to Beat the Heat at Home

Keeping Cool Tip #1: Close Blinds and Curtains

beat the heat

Inexpensive mini blinds or curtains can work wonders for reducing the sunlight and heat streaming in through your windows! At my house, installing inexpensive blinds on the south-facing windows completely changed the temperature in that part of the house.

Make sure blinds or curtains are white on the side facing the outside. Solar sun screens and window film are other options that can greatly reduce the heat coming through windows.

Keeping Cool Tip #2: Install Cool Lighting

Incandescent light bulbs can significantly heat up a room. Replace standard bulbs with high-efficiency, low-heat CFL (compact fluorescent lights) or LED (light emitting diodes) bulbs, and turn off lights when not needed.

Keeping Cool Tip #3: Cook Wisely

Eat cold meals, cook outside on the grill, or use the microwave for cooking when possible to minimize heat indoors.
When you do cook indoors:
• Cover pots to minimize indoor humidity.
• Use range hood or microwave vent fan to vent hot air outside.
• Turn oven off a few minutes before food is cooked to reduce oven heat.
• Check the oven by turning on the light and looking through the glass, rather than opening the oven door.

Keeping Cool Tip #4: Turn Off Electronics

Computers, TVs, and other electronics generate quite a bit of heat when sitting idle or even when turned off, so unplug devices when not in use. An easy way to do this is to plug electronics into a surge protector which has an on/off switch, then turn the switch off when the devices are not in use.

Keeping Cool Tip #5: Repair Windows and Doors

Windows and doors are a major source of heat gain in the house, so keep windows closed and locked and doors tightly closed to prevent cool air from escaping. Older single pane windows and doors without proper weather stripping are the worst culprits.
If you can’t replace your windows and doors with more energy efficient models, repair any gaps in or replace weather stripping around and under windows and doors. Also, don’t open windows at night unless the temperature drops to the mid-70s F or lower.

Keeping Cool Tip #6: Use Fans for Cooling

A paddle ceiling fan or portable fan uses much less energy than an air conditioner, but they’re only effective when you’re in the room to feel the cooling, so turn them off when you leave.
Run ceiling fans in a counterclockwise direction (when looking up) when you’re in the room to help keep you cool through evaporation. This will allow you to set the thermostat on your air conditioner higher and save energy.

Keeping Cool Tip #7: Clean Air Conditioner Filters

While your AC system is cranking away, the filter is getting more use than usual. By changing the AC air filter every month or so during the highest use months allows air to flow easily through your HVAC system, making it run more efficiently and saving energy.

Keeping Cool Tip #8: Put Off Chores

You heard me! Don’t run the dishwasher, clothes washer/dryer, or other appliances during the heat of the day, since these machines generate heat and humidity that will be hard to overcome. Put these chores off until evening when possible.
When cleaning clothes:
• Wash clothes in cold water.
• Run the washer or dryer only if you have a full load.
• Choose the shortest wash cycle that gets the job done.
• Clean dryer vent pipe and lint screen regularly to lower drying time.
• Dry clothes outside on a clothesline when possible.

Keeping Cool Tip #9: Use Less Hot Water

Turn your hot water heater down to a lower temperature setting so it will run less and produce less heat.
Hot showers create a lot of excess heat and humidity in the house, so:
• Take shorter showers to reduce humidity and heat.
• Take cool – rather than hot – showers.
• Run the bathroom exhaust fan when showering or bathing, and keep it running for 20 minutes afterward, to remove excess heat and humidity.

Keeping Cool Tip #10: Plan Ahead

Long term strategies to keep your house cooler include:
• Plant shade trees on the south and west sides of the house.
• Install insulated glass windows with low-E coating or storm windows.
• Add awnings over sunny windows.
• Install additional attic insulation
• Replace existing roof with cool shingles or light-colored roofing

These are only a few of the many strategies for keeping your house cool in the summer. Put some of these home improvements to your to-do list for relief in years to come.

These tips are courtesy of www.todayshomeowner.com.

The Final Word on the Best Time to Sell a Home

There are countless home selling articles online that seem to contradict each other.

In this Huffington Post article, the month of May is the best time to sell. But in this Washington Post article, any time between December and March is the optimal time. And in this NerdWallet article, the right time to sell is between May and August.

Is there a right answer? And if you are interested in selling your home soon, should you start preparing your home now or wait until the weather gets colder?

Why Home Sellers Choose to List in the Summer

Every season has its benefits for home sellers.

Spring has traditionally been the time that homeowners put their homes on the market, since the weather is ideal for showings and curb appeal. However, online home searching makes it even easier for today’s buyers to explore available listings (and high-quality photos) at any time.

Let’s say you wanted to sell your home right now. You may be able to sell quickly and for more money because:

  • Home buyers want to move before the new school year starts.
  • Home buyers have fewer properties to choose from than in the springtime.
  • Home buyers can schedule showings during the longer days.

What About the Other Seasons?

an agent showing a buyer a homeThere are equally good reasons that home sellers are able to reap the rewards during any other season.

In the spring, there is a chance that potential buyers will start a bidding war.

In the fall, the cooler autumn weather is ideal for home showings.

And in the winter, especially during the holidays, there are often more motivated buyers eager to settle down before the new year.

The Truth About Selling in the Summer

Is timing the secret to selling a home? Yes, but the optimal time depends on when you need to sell. You shouldn’t wait any longer than necessary.

The key to selling your home quickly and for more money is choosing the right real estate agent.

Have you considered selling your home this summer? We can give you more information about ways to increase your home’s value. Call us today and let’s talk about the next steps.

5 Easy Summer Decorating Ideas to Brighten Your Home

Summer is the perfect season for spending warm evenings outside, hosting get-togethers with friends, and enjoying the longer days. What better way to take advantage of the long days and abundant natural light than in your own home?

Here are 5 simple summer home décor tips that can instantly brighten and transform your living spaces.

a neutral kitchen with fruit on the center island1. Add Splashes of Bright Colors

Make a neutral room visually interesting by adding small, colorful details.

Try placing a bright flower arrangement on the coffee table, putting eye-catching throw pillows on the couch, or setting a bowl of oranges and bananas on the kitchen counter.

2. Swap Out Dark Furniture for White

Brown or black couches, tables, and other furnishings can make a room seem darker — and smaller. Open up your living spaces by adding white furniture. If you have curtains on your windows, consider replacing them with lighter sheer coverings to let in more natural light.

a dining room table with blue placemats3. Create a Stunning Table Settings

If you’re hosting a get-together at your home this summer, impress your guests with bright, summery place settings.

Consider placing brightly colored plates or napkins on the table, then adding a matching vase filled with fresh flowers or votives filled with unscented candles.

4. Bring Summer Blossoms Indoors

There’s no better way to welcome summer into your home than by bringing in freshly picked flowers. Place vibrant bouquets throughout your home, including end tables in the bedrooms or in the middle of a shelf, for a fresh look and pleasant smell.

a new welcome mat and open front door5. Set Out a New Welcome Mat

Setting a new doormat, or one that has a bright, summery theme, outside your front door is the perfect way to welcome guests into your home.

Helpful tip for home sellers: A new, clean welcome mat also creates a great first impression for potential home buyers.

Thinking of Selling Your Home? We Have You Covered

The goal of preparing your home for sale is to focus on the décor that will brighten your home and make the best use of space. These summer home decorating ideas are a great place to start.

If you are planning to sell your home this summer, we have even more tips that can help you get your home ready, as well as home selling resources that can allow you to sell for more money and as quickly as possible. Call us and let’s take the next steps.