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Home Remodeling

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Winter is on the horizon, and that means you’ll probably be using your heater more than usual as the weather turns cooler. Don’t let the fear of a high heating bill keep you from using your heater on those cold days. Instead, maximize your home’s heater this winter with these tips.

Seal Your Home

Turn your home into a fortress against wind and cold drafts by sealing off your home. You can find weather stripping at most hardware stores, which helps prevent drafts from seeping in under your door frames and in your windows. A little weather stripping and caulking around your frames and windows can save yourself up to 10 percent of your monthly heating bill. You should also check around your home to see if you notice any gaps or holes around pipes, cables, or gas lines leading into your home, which can let in cold outdoor air. A quick caulking job can quickly seal up gaps and prevent air from coming in.

Protect Windows

Windows are a great source of natural light in your home, but they’re also the cause of about 25 percent of heat loss. Prevent excess heat loss by covering your windows in plastic, which stops most cold air from coming in. You can also hang coverings, such as drapes, around your windows to help catch cold air and keep your home warm and cozy.

Add Insulation

A well-insulated attic can help your furnace run efficiently. Your attic lets a good amount of air in and out of your home, which is why proper insulation is crucial. There are a variety of ways to insulate your attic, from using blowers that spray insulation around your attic to purchasing rolls of insulation fabric that you can tack up around the room. After you’ve decide what solution is best for you and you’ve finished insulating your attic, don’t forget to add some insulation to the access door, or air may end up escaping regardless.

Get Maintenance

Before cold weather hits, you should have your heater serviced by an HVAC professional. Home heating system services can keep your furnace running efficiently by opening up blocked ducts, cleaning dirty furnace parts that can slow down performance, and identifying potential problems before they end up turning into costly repairs. You should plan to have your unit serviced at the start of the season so that it’s ready to go when the weather turns cold. While your unit is being serviced, you should also take the opportunity to be sure heat registers aren’t blocked or else airflow won’t be able to get through and your unit will work harder to produce heat.

Check Your Thermostat

Energy savings can start with your thermostat, which is the gateway to your furnace. If you’re operating a new furnace with an old thermostat, you may not be getting a proper reading on your room’s temperature and your furnace will end up working overtime to heat your house. Consider upgrading to a smart thermostat, which can be programmed to your preferences or be operated from your phone. Some thermostats can even learn your household’s habits and adjust itself accordingly so your unit only operates when you and your family are home.

Close Your Chimney

Fireplaces are great to look at, but a lot of warm air can escape up the chimney when they aren’t being used, which can result in a higher heating bill for you. When you aren’t using your fireplace, even if you keep your flue closed, chances are you’re still losing warm air up the chimney. Prevent this from happening by investing in an inflatable chimney balloon, which prevents heat loss and keep warm air where it belongs; in your home.

This winter season, your home can be a cozy place for you and your family if you remember to use tips to heat your home efficiently. The more efficient your furnace operates, the lower your monthly bills will be and the more money you’ll be able to keep in your pocket.

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Affordable Decorating Ideas

On a budget but have expensive taste? No matter which way you look at it, luxury interior design doesn’t come cheap. But if you’re clever about how you spend your money, you can create a modern designer look for less.

Here are our top affordable decorating ideas to make your home more stylish.

1. Cut out the Middleman

Buying furniture and whitegoods can easily and quickly destroy your budget. If you’re needing to purchase expensive items, cutting out the middleman can be a great way to save on costs. Consider buying furniture online rather than direct in a showroom. You can also pick up a bargain for homewares through auctions or second-hand stores if you do your research.

2. Focus on one or two Focal Pieces

A well-decorated modern home styled on a budget focuses on one or two pieces in each room. This could be a piece of furniture, a framed artwork or a dramatic light fitting. Your interior will look more stylish and of greater quality if you invest in a couple showstoppers rather than a whole heap for cheap furnishings.

3. Freshen up your Space with Paint

Paint can instantly transform your interior making it look fresh and new again. If your room is looking a little dull, get your roller out and give your walls a couple of coats of paint. It’s not just walls that can benefit from a lick of paint though. Bathroom tiles, kitchen cupboards or furniture can be instantly renewed and given the designer treatment with paint.

4. Invest in Accessories

affordable accessories

Accessories like cushions, throws and rugs are one of the most affordable ways you can create a luxury look for less. It’s also a great way to introduce colour or pattern into your interior without committing to an expensive style. Consider layering your interior with different materials and textures to add a sense of warmth and interest. You can also update your accessories seasonally to keep your interior looking fresh.

5. Update your Hardware and Fittings

An entire kitchen or bathroom re-do is a big investment. If you don’t have the cash and it’s in relatively good shape, you can easily update the look of your space by replacing dated hardware and fittings. Bring your kitchen into the modern century by changing the door knobs and handles. Updating your tableware or light fittings can also transform the look of the space.

6. Decorate your Walls

Decorating your walls is a quick way to give your space a stylish look, and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. All you need to do is get a little creative! Purchase large scale prints online and pick up some frame from your local homewares store. Have some of your travel photos printed and great a gallery wall. Or purchase a blank canvas and create your own signature artwork for your home.

7. Light up your Space

overhead lighting

Don’t rely on your overhead lighting to create a stylish interior. Consider purchasing a showpiece light fitting or a couple of lamps to enhance the mood and atmosphere of your space. An oversized pendant hung low over your dining table can create intimacy. Table lamps in your living room are not only effective at lighting the space, they can also add interest when their switched off. If your budget is tight, shop online or head to second-hand stores to find your perfect fitting.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a stylish interior you’ll love coming home to. You just need to prioritise where you spend your cash and think outside the box.

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Preserving indoor air quality is essential to good health and comfort. While there are many options available to help you improve your indoor air quality, an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is one of the most popular. An ERV brings fresh air into a structure, while simultaneously retaining preconditioned heating or cooling. At the risk of getting too technical, an ERV functions using air-to-air exchange. A spinning wheel inside the ERV uses the air’s counter flow to expel the old air from inside a building while maintaining a cozy air temperature inside. Here are four main reasons to install an ERV.

looking out windowImage Source: Flickr

Conserves Energy

There are many ways to make your home more energy-efficient, such as eliminating air leaks and adding needed insulation, but a common problem with today’s newer buildings is that they are so airtight they don’t allow enough fresh air in for a healthy atmosphere. Unlike other indoor air quality systems on the market, an ERV renews and freshens the air without creating ozone, a noxious gas that can be dangerous to the respiratory system and is harmful to the environment.

Removes Humidity

An ERV is most ideal for homes in warm climates with moderate winters. It easily transfers moisture and heat from the incoming fresh air to the departing current of air. Typically, energy recovery ventilators are used with timers or monitored by humidistats, which control the humidity level in a building. ERVs generally remove the excess humidity, but they can also add humidity if the air feels too dry.

Improved Comfort

Everyone wants to feel comfortable in their homes, and an ERV is a great way to help your family feel cozy in a natural way, while also conserving energy. Have you ever opened a window just to let in fresh air? Well as good as that feels, opening a window brings in pollen, dust, and other potential allergens into your house. An ERV keep your air fresh without creating a potentially uncomfortable or hazardous environment.

Easy Installation

You can purchase a small window-mounted ERV at most home improvement stores, but the best ERV systems are suspended from the ceiling and generally mounted in attics, basements, or other crawl spaces within your home. Installation should always be done by a professional. Energy recovery ventilators need two connections to the outdoors. One connection will blow out stale air from the inside, and the other connection will bring in fresh air from outside. A professional HVAC technician will know the best way to route the connections.

An ERV is simpler than it sounds. In a nutshell, during the warm seasons it pre-cools and dehumidifies, and in cool seasons it humidifies and preheats, so you don’t feel cold air blowing in the moment the fan kicks on. The benefits of using an ERV include improved indoor air quality, consistent air temperatures, energy savings, and a reduction in overall HVAC equipment. Why not call your local HVAC expert today and look into a new ERV system for your home?

Kitchen is the central place of your home where you spend quality time of your day, so why not make it more modern, glamorous and inviting. Adding glass kitchen cabinets renders that wow factor to the cooking space you have always dreamed of. They allow you to display your expensive china, while saving you the hassle of searching every cabinet to find a crucial piece of tableware. They also make the room appear more spacious and artful. Adding glass cabinets does not mean you have to replace the old ones. Redesign your existing shelves into glamorous glass cabinets by inserting glass doors.