home improvement

Five Ways To Save Money At Home

Buffalo may not have been hit as hard by the economic downswing as some other cities but many of us are still lighter in the wallet than we would prefer. It seems that almost nobody has been able to entirely escape at least some of the economic sting. Besides, regardless of our current economic situation, it is unlikely that any of us like the idea of wasting money. We would never throw money away consciously but many of us don’t realize how much money we could save by being a little wiser at home. The monthly utility bill is one of the peskiest expenses but there are a number of easy things that can be done to cut that bill down and save some money. Here are three of the easiest and most effective.
1. Appliances
Most of our homes are packed full with gadgets, machines and appliances. Although most of these things are designed to simplify our lives and provide convenience, they can oftentimes do just the opposite. At the very least they can end up costing a lot of money. Being smart about the way you use your appliances can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.
Big appliances such as dishwashers, dryers and washing machines have become so commonplace that we don’t even consider them luxuries anymore and as a result we don’t consider that there might be a more economical way to use them. You will find that your utility bills are significantly lower each month if you only run big appliances when you have a full load, rather than every time something needs to be washed or cleaned. You should also avoid running appliances that give off a decent amount of heat (ovens, dryers, dishwashers) during the day in the hot summer months. That excess heat will increase your home’s internal temperature and put an extra burden on your air conditioning.
2. Windows
Speaking of temperature control, doors and windows are the most crucial aspects in maintaining a desirable temperature in your home year round. We all know that winter in Buffalo can be bitter cold and we all want to keep that cold outside as much as possible. One effective way to keep winter heating bills low is to keep the curtains open on all south facing windows during daylight hours to allow UV rays to naturally warm the home. The opposite should be done in the hot summer months to keep air conditioning costs low—close all window coverings during daylight hours and particularly all those that are on east and west facing windows.
3. Lights
Another great way to save money and avoid wasting energy is through the conservative use of lights. Forming the habit of turning off lights when leaving a room seems small and inconsequential but the economical use of lighting will help your electricity bill in big ways. It is wasteful to leave lights on when you’re not using them and especially if lights are left on while you are out of the house for long periods of time, such as for vacations or business trips. Some will leave lights on when leaving the home as a security precaution but it is far more effective and far more affordable in the long run to put your lights on timers. Automatic timers do a better job of improving home security while also avoiding the consistent drain on energy that runs up electricity bills in a hurry.

David Glenn is a home improvement expert from buffalo that freelance writes for Vivint. He occasionally freelance writes about home automation and making your home more green. Check out Vivint’s home automation systems for state of the art home automation.


5 Things to Consider When Buying Your First Home

5 Things to Consider When Buying Your First Home

Buying your first house is a step that many of us look forward to for years. That moment when you have the keys in your hand to your own home is considered as one of the best moments in life.

It’s important however that when you are looking for your dream home, and when you’ve found it, you take into account certain factors to ensure your step onto the property ladder is a smooth and successful one.

Location

The first step to finding your new home is to consider the location that you would like to live in; take into account the needs of you and your family and look at the local facilities. One handy tip is to take a trip to the area and have a walk around as this way you will get a feel for the community and what it has to offer; meaning you will really be able to immerse yourself in the life there.

Price

Unless you’re going on a big shopping trip, most of us will decide upon a budget prior to buying anything, and this is vital when looking for a home. Have a look at your finances and work out what you will be able to comfortably afford as by doing this before looking at properties, you won’t get disappointed when you find that 6 bedroom mansion that you adore but just can’t stretch too.

Requirements

List writing might seem like a chore but it will help you immensely in this part of your search as you need to think about the requirements in a home that are most important to you. Don’t limit yourself to things like how many bedrooms you need, instead expand your needs to every possible requirement you can think of. What about the space outdoors? Do you need a garden for the children to play in? Would you prefer something that requires little maintenance?

Look Past the D’cor

When the time comes for you to begin to view possible properties, you should go with an open mind and try to see the potential that is there. This can be difficult if a house is messy and unloved but remember when it’s empty, you can make it your own. You wouldn’t want to say no to your dream home just because the walls in the lounge are striking pink; after all they’ll only need a lick of paint!

Home Insurance

Once you’ve found your dream property and you are on the way to getting the keys, you need to ensure you find comprehensive home insurance. It may seem like just another bill that will go out of your bank account at the end of the month but it could prove invaluable if you ever need to claim on it. To save you time and hassle of searching for the best policy, you could consider going online as there are companies that will do the hard work for you and simply deliver a choice of the best home insurance quotes that meet your needs; so you can just sit back and relax!

In the excitement of buying your first home, you need to try, as best you can, to keep grounded and consider these tips during your search. By taking into account these factors now, you will ensure that you’ll have a long and happy life in your new property.

This post was written by Sally Powell on behalf of Home Insurance Direct; a leading price comparison website providing a range of the most comprehensive home insurance quotes available.


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