The cold weather is upon us once again. And while it does brings the joys of the holidays and serene, snowy landscapes, it also brings expensive heating and utility bills.
People who have electric heat watch their bills double or more during the winter months. And for those who burn oil, wood or pellets, fuel costs are rising year after year.
To help offset the increased costs of heating their home in the winter, many people have turned to cost-efficient solutions that can help mitigate the effects of rising prices.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most simple and effective ways to conserve heat in your home so that you can get the most out of your heating source each month.
Apply window insulating film
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to mitigate the amount of heat list from your windows is to use window insulating film. During the winter months, this quick fix can save you $15 per window during each season. If you have large, draft windows, these thin sheets of clear plastic can be quite effective.
Proper installation of these insulators makes them practically invisible unless you inspect the windows closely. To make them less obvious, use a hair dryer to shrink the film, making it airtight and removing any wrinkles in the plastic.
Work with sunlight
We get so few hours of daylight during the winter that the Sun doesn’t get much of a chance to heat up our homes.
Take advantage of natural light throughout by opening the curtains for rooms that receive direct sunlight at varying times of the day. Of course, this is hard to do if you are away from home for most of the day. In that case, it’s often better to keep northern- and eastern-facing curtains closed throughout the day.
Lower the thermostat at night
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% a year on heating by lowering your thermostat by 10°F for 8 hours overnight. This is potentially a huge amount of savings for those who don’t mind bundling up in bed during the night, or for those who can control the heat in different parts of their home, heating only their bedroom overnight.
Seal up cracks and holes in your home
Before the cold weather hits, take a walk around the interior and exterior of your home and search for cracks and holes to seal up. Sometimes outdoor lines and pipes are sealed with caulk that has since cracked and fallen away. Using an expanding foam will ensure the cracks stay closed and keep the cold air out.
Similarly, check the doors of your home for sealed weatherstripping. On a cold day, you can often feel a draft by putting your hand near the bottom of your doors. To reduce this draft, you can buy one of many types of weatherstripping.
Felt strips can be bought in large rolls, but typically only last for a year or two. V-strips tend to be the most durable.
Using these four inexpensive methods, you can start saving today on your home heating bill and be prepared for the coming months.
Moving can be difficult, especially if you are forced to deal with cold temperatures. Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline your cold weather move.
Now, let's take a look at three tips for moving in cold weather.
1. Pick Up a Hat and Gloves
Bundle up in cold temperatures – you will be glad you did. If you pick up a hat and gloves prior to moving day, you'll ensure that you're ready to stay warm in frigid temperatures.
Furthermore, you may want to purchase a scarf and boots in advance of your move. A scarf will enable you to protect yourself against excess wind that is commonly associated with snowstorms. Meanwhile, boots will make it simple to trek through mud, snow and slush on moving day.
2. Be Extra Cautious with Your Fragile Items
When it comes to fragile items, it pays to be extra cautious, particularly in cold weather. Thus, you may want to double-pack fragile items to reduce the likelihood that these items could be damaged due to cold weather.
In addition, it often helps to prepare your electronics for cold weather. Electronics may be more susceptible to damage in cold weather than other items. As such, you should do everything possible to keep your electronics warm and safe as you travel from one destination to another.
When in doubt, you may want to pack all of your electronics into boxes and place these boxes in your car. Because if you keep these boxes in your car, you can guarantee that they can stay at a consistent temperature throughout your trip to your new address.
3. Have Warm Beverages Readily Available
Moving your belongings in frigid temperatures can be an unpleasant experience for your entire moving team. However, if you keep hot cocoa, tea and other warm beverages on hand, you can help all members of your moving team stay warm.
Moreover, plan plenty of breaks during a cold weather move. Packing and transporting belongings from one destination to the next can be exhausting, especially if you're working in frigid temperatures. If you schedule regular breaks for your moving team, you may be able to reduce the risk of cold weather-related accidents or injuries on moving day.
A cold weather move is far from ideal, and if you need extra help along the way, you may want to hire a professional moving company. This business employs friendly, diligent moving professionals who will do what it takes to ensure that you can enjoy a successful move, regardless of weather.
Lastly, it usually helps to work with a real estate agent prior to moving day. A real estate agent is happy to help you buy or sell a house, and he or she also can put you in touch with the top moving companies in your area.
There is no need to stress over a cold weather move. If you use the aforementioned tips, you can quickly and effortlessly transport your belongings to any address, at any time.
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If you intend to buy or sell a house, it frequently pays to hire a real estate agent, and for good reason.
A real estate agent can offer expert insights into the housing market. Plus, he or she can respond to any concerns or questions that you may have as you proceed along the homebuying or home selling journey.
When it comes to hiring a real estate agent, however, it is important to note that no two real estate agents are exactly alike. In fact, there are several factors that differentiate an ordinary real estate agent from an outstanding one, and these include:
1. Industry Experience
Regardless of whether you plan to buy or sell a house, you should definitely spend some time evaluating a real estate agent's industry experience. That way, you can find out how long a real estate agent has been working in the industry and choose one who knows how to overcome potential homebuying and home selling hurdles.
Ideally, you should employ a real estate agent who possesses many years of industry experience. This housing market professional likely understands the ins and outs of buying and selling houses and can help you get the best possible results.
2. Communication Skills
The right real estate agent will be a great communicator. As such, this housing market professional will be able to keep you informed at each stage of the homebuying or home selling process.
To learn about a real estate agent's communication skills, it often is a great idea to meet with a real estate agent and interview this individual. During a face-to-face interview, you can get a better idea about what a real estate agent is all about and ensure you feel comfortable working with him or her.
In addition, a real estate agent should have no trouble communicating with you in good times and bad. He or she will be prepared to provide honest, unbiased feedback, and by doing so, help you make your homebuying or home selling dreams come true.
3. Client Feedback
Reach out to a real estate agent's past clients before you hire this housing market professional. With client feedback at your disposal, you can learn what it's like to work with a real estate agent.
A real estate agent usually will be happy to provide you with client referrals. Then, you can contact an agent's past clients and learn about their homebuying or home selling experiences.
Lastly, if you're uncertain about whether a real estate agent is right for you, it sometimes is valuable to find out how this housing market professional will approach the homebuying or home selling process. Explaining your goals and learning how a real estate agent will help you accomplish these aspirations can make it easy for you to find the right agent, at the right time, every time.
Start your search for a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to buying or selling a home.