Home Help: Simple tips to save money, conserve energy as the heat rises
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With temperatures - and therefore, electric bills - on the rise, American homeowners are looking for the most effective ways to make the biggest dent in their energy bills; however, many may be overlooking some of the most important energy-saving strategies.
Homeowners are more likely to do simple things around the house to conserve energy, according to the Lennox Home Energy Report Card Survey. Those simple things may include changing air filters in a heating and cooling system on a regular basis, unplugging electronics when not in use and turning down the temperature setting on a hot water heater.
The first step is to have a professional evaluate the age, performance and efficiency of your heating and cooling system. The Lennox survey found that only slightly more than half of homeowners (51 percent) had taken the proactive step of replacing an old, inefficient heating and cooling system with a new, energy-efficient model, yet doing so can dramatically help conserve energy and reduce utility bills.
Energy-saving technologies. Significant advances in energy-efficient technologies have enabled homeowners to save hundreds of dollars a year on their energy bills. One example is the Lennox SunSource Home Energy System - a solar-powered central heating and cooling system - that uses energy from the sun, collected from roof-mounted solar modules, to reduce the electricity consumed by a high-efficiency heat pump or air conditioner.
Other energy-efficient ways to cool and heat a home
— Seal cracks around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping to prevent indoor air from escaping.
— Keep blinds, shades and curtains closed during the day in the summer to block sunlight from entering the home, but open them up in the winter to naturally warm the house.
— Install a smart thermostat, which can be controlled via an app from anywhere at any time, to adjust the temperature based on when residents are at home or away.
— Add extra insulation to the attic, which will help prevent your home’s heating and cooling system from having to work harder to regulate the indoor temperature.
Make your home sound good
One of the easiest ways to turn your home into a high-tech home, which can make your house stand out among the rest, is to install a central sound system. With the advancement in speaker quality and the many wireless options, turning your home into a theatre is easier than ever. Installing a speaker in every room gives the possible buyer the ability to control music from anywhere in the house with a single remote. Also, installing a surround sound system in a den or a living room or any room with a TV in it, can impress a buyer by giving the ability to enhance their movie or sports watching experiences.
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Versatility with wood pallets
Wood pallets are becoming more useful than just for transporting and moving large items. Although they are usually just stacked up and thrown away or recycled, wood pallets are making their way into homes as decorative or functional pieces. Pallets can be fashioned into tables, headboards, chairs, stairs, benches, day beds, countertops or shelving to give your home a more rustic feel. Finding wood pallets is the easy part as lots of businesses use them and are happy to get rid of them, but choosing the right pallet can be tricky. To find the best pallets for your project, avoid pallets used at grocery stores, make sure the wood is in decent shape, inspect the nails used and how much work it might be to pull them out, inspect for residue (stains, mold), and avoid pallets that have been sitting out in the rain.
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Get rid of weeds with out the chemicals
No matter how many times you run over them with a mower or try to pull them, those pesky weeds keep coming back. But before you run to the store to pick up a chemical-laced herbicide, check under your kitchen sink first. That jug of white vinegar is all you need. Simply fill a spray bottle with vinegar (you can also add a touch of soap to the bottle to help the vinegar adhere to the plant) and spritz your weeds away. Make sure to spray the weeds when they are dry and the sun is out, and avoid applying the vinegar on cool, cloudy or wet days. The vinegar burns the weed on contact and lowers the pH level of the soil, which makes it harder for the weeds to come back. Be sure to not spray or spill the vinegar on plants you want to keep.
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