Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Best Home Renovations for Value

Posted on: June 26th, 2015 | No Comments

homes-for-sale-326998_1280Not all home renovations yield the same results. When you’re considering a home renovation, no matter how big or small, it’s important to analyze the reasons why you are doing the remodel. Many people choose to customize areas of their home to fit their needs and desires. This is great while you’re living in the home, but it may not always be the best option for resale. Here are a few home renovations that will give you the best return on investment.

 

  • Kitchen. Perhaps you have heard the phrase, “you’re not selling a home, you’re selling the kitchen.” This is because the kitchen is often a make-or-break feature for many home buyers. If you have a substantial budget, opening up a kitchen with a complete renovation can make the space feel larger and more inviting. Even if you have a smaller budget, updating appliances, cabinets, and a fresh coat of paint can help you see a decent return on your investment.
  • Bathroom. An outdated bathroom can be an eyesore for potential buyers. Get rid of any dated hardware, faucets, and tile, and upgrade to something clean and neutral. Try not to get too gender specific with coloring, especially in a master bathroom.
  • Attic Bedroom. Some homes have the perfect layout for an attic bedroom. While these can be expensive, they can return a fair amount of your investment, especially in a smaller home with few bedrooms.
  • Basement. An unfinished space in the home, such as a basement, is often the best place to enhance your property with a home renovation. Adding an extra bedroom and bathroom to a basement can increase the value of your home significantly.
  • Flooring. While this may not seem important, an outdated space with old carpet can feel stodgy. Renewing the home, or even just a few rooms, with a flooring upgrade can make everything feel clean and fresh.

Things to keep in mind when choosing home renovations:

  • Styles change quite frequently. Don’t renovate your home in a style that will be outdated by the time you want to sell. On the other hand, if you’re looking to sell right away, choosing something that is currently trendy may actually attract more potential buyers.
  • Don’t overdo it. It’s easy to get carried away with home renovations. Going over the top with updates in an older neighborhood won’t yield as high of a return as you might expect. Updates are good, but it’s important to know when enough is enough.
  • Keep things in balance. An updated room is great, but it can quickly be forgotten if the rest of the house falls short. If you have a budget for home renovations, commit a small amount to updating the rest of the home with a fresh coat of paint. Pain can make a huge difference.

Home renovations can be an exciting project or a major headache. If you are uncomfortable handling a project, we highly recommend you hire a licensed contractor. Also, before you start any home renovations, it’s important to research any permits you may need to acquire. When it does come time to sell, the home inspection experts at Inspect-It 1st® will be happy to give you an honest and thorough inspection of your home.

7 Spring Clean-up Tips for Your Home

Posted on: April 7th, 2015 | No Comments

Spring cleaning a countertop with sponge.Whether or not you are looking to sell your home, an annual cleaning is a great way to get rid of clutter and make your home a more inviting environment. Here are our 7 spring clean-up tips that will help make your home a more pleasant, organized, and welcoming place to live.

  • Clean out your closet. We all have clothes in our closets that have been long forgotten or no longer fit. Take the time to go through your closets and evaluate the contents. If you haven’t worn a jacket in the last six months, it’s time to get rid of it. Set aside all the gently used items and donate them to a local charity or homeless shelter. Not only will this spring clean-up tip help you clean out your unused items, but it will also help somebody in need.
  • Organize your home by the seasons. There’s no need to clutter your home with items you won’t need again for months. Head down to your local home improvement store and pick up a few large storage bins. Go through your seasonal items that are only used a few months out of the year, then organize these items into the storage bins. Clearly label the bins by season and move these goods to a crawl space or storage room. This spring clean-up tip is effective during each seasonal change and will help keep your home clutter-free.
  • Get rid of stains and odors. Your home should be pleasing to all five senses, so don’t overlook your sense of smell. Locate the source of foul smells in your home and clear them out. Odors can stem from stains, garbage cans, fabrics, carpets – you name it. Clear out the odors and fill your home with a pleasant aroma that immediately feels more welcoming. Especially when you are trying to sell your home, stains and odors can be a distraction that may completely turn away potential buyers.
  • Clean your walls. Many people are unaware that you can and should clean your walls. Over time, walls get marked up with handprints, dirt, and grime. Keep your walls looking as good as new by gently washing with soap and water during your spring clean-up routine.
  • Don’t forget ceiling fans and light fixtures. Dust is found everywhere in the home. Much of it can easily be taken care of by dusting on a regular basis. However, there are overlooked places that can harbor loads of dust and dirt. The most commonly forgotten places are ceiling fans and light fixtures. By cleaning these regularly, you may also help keep spring allergies in check.
  • Use your spring clean-up to change the mood of the home. Changing the mood of the home can be as easy as rearranging your furniture or swapping seasonal home accessories. A few simple changes can bring life back to your home. If you are planning to sell your home this spring, create a neutral mood that will increase the home’s appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers.
  • Organize your shelves. Shelves are great for displaying books, mementos, and family photos. If your bookshelf or mantle is overrun with junk mail and too many knick-knacks, it’s time to clear the excess. Extra clutter can make a space feel uninviting and overwhelming. Spring cleaning is a good excuse to refresh and simplify your home.

A thorough spring clean-up can make your home feel more spacious and inviting. Whether you plan to sell your home this spring or live there for years to come, a major clean-up and reorganization of household belongings can improve your home and the quality of your life. When you do plan on selling your home, get in touch with the home inspection experts at Inspect-It 1st for all of your quality home inspection needs.

Safety During Small Bathroom Renovations

Posted on: March 16th, 2015 | No Comments

Small bathroom renovations can be fun and financially beneficial for a DIYer, but every home renovation should be tempered with a little caution. Renovation usually means taking out your handy tool box and loosening some screws here and there or dismantling something. And any time you dismantle something, there’s a chance to uncover a problem in the bare bones beneath. But for small bathroom renovations, it could potentially mean altering or damaging the plumbing as well.

Here are some cautions to take with small bathroom renovations:

  • Man working on a small bathroom renovation. Paint – Believe it or not, lead paint is a possibility inside the home just as much as outside. In a bathroom especially, baseboards with lead paint might peel and flake from the moisture in the air and over time create a serious health hazard. Remove old paint rather than painting over it to ensure this toxin doesn’t stick around. CAUTION: Lead paint is hazardous to breathe, and many states require a specific contractor for proper removal. However, if you elect to do it yourself, remember to:
    • Wear a mask.
    • Move all other objects out of the bathroom so they are not contaminated.
    • Cover any objects that can’t be moved with polyethylene plastic.
    • Cover the door with poly to contain the air contamination.
    • Shut off heat, air conditioning, and other ventilation systems.
  • Walls/Tile – Before you start breaking down walls to renovate or popping up vinyl tiles, be aware that asbestos could be lurking. Just like with lead paint, particles may be released into the air and cause a serious health hazard, putting you and your loved ones at risk for lung cancer and disease. If you find asbestos, you may be required to notify certain agencies, depending on your state. Either way, you’ll definitely want a professional to guide you through the removal process.
  • Plumbing – If part of your renovation requires something even as small as putting in a new toilet, there is the opportunity to crack pipes or uncover old or leaky plumbing. Older houses may even have clay pipes that become infested with roots or other debris and have cracked over time. To avoid flooding, sewer backups, and other costly issues, simply have an inspector check the system while the renovations are taking place.

If carried out correctly and with the right precautions, small bathroom renovations can pay for themselves. How? By increasing the value of your home. Not to mention, they can provide clean and fresh updates to old and inefficient layouts or conditions. In short, they can make your family more comfortable. So don’t be discouraged by the cautions; they are only meant to make sure your work turns out spotless and safe!

During small bathroom renovations, you might come across plumbing that you believe is old or inefficient. Or maybe you find mold and a leak behind some bathroom tiles. Carrying out the renovations on your own doesn’t mean you should deal with potential problems on your own. Before you cover up that mold stain or ignore the voice in the back of your head, Inspect It 1st! A skilled home inspector from Inspect It 1st can give you the peace of mind that your plumbing is solid or give you the knowledge you need to have it repaired. Small bathroom renovations may not be easy, but they can be done safely and help you keep your loved ones safe, too!

7 Tips for Staging a Home in the Winter

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 | No Comments

Staging a home for the winter.The winter months are typically a time for settling down in front of a warm fireplace with your family gathered around, passing a plate of brightly frosted cookies. However, it can also be a time for staging a home to sell. After all, if you have plans to move after the holiday season, you can’t stop showing your home to potential buyers.

 

While you may think that staging a home during the winter months is more challenging given a hectic schedule or the dreary grey world outside, there are ways to make your home shine and sparkle with a holiday cheer that will work in your advantage. In fact, many buyers will be able to picture themselves in front of that warm fireplace with family – if you are staging a home correctly to capture the magic and character of the season.

 

 

Here are seven tips to make staging a home in the winter more successful:

  1. The Path to Perfection – Keep in mind that guests won’t be pulling into your garage. If there is snow on the ground, the first step to staging a home is to shovel the driveway and/or a path to the front door. Also check for ice, as traffic over the snow can easily pack down and melt the snow into a dangerous walkway. Sprinkle sand or salt over the path to reduce this risk. In addition, place a mat or two at the front door to limit the spread of snow and muck into the house.
  2. Let There Be Light – If you are staging a home for the evening, turn on the porch lights and enough light inside to be welcoming – that means at least one light in every room. Did you put up a Christmas tree or garland? Turn those lights on. However, the less personal the decorations the better. And if you are staging a home in the day, do away with fake lighting and opt for natural. Just open the window drapes or blinds and let the sunshine in, and only turn on lights where the natural light does not reach. Light also helps a space seem larger.
  3. “Brr” Be Gone – Even if it’s not snowing outside, it’s sure to be chilly. Keep your house warm enough to render a coat unnecessary. A few degrees warmer will keep the heater from kicking on (which could be noisy) and help convince the buyers to linger inside longer. If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s lit for warmth as well as charm.
  4. Eye Candy – Eye candy can start with a festive wreath on the door or twinkling lights outside. Inside, consider staging a home with decorations in the most lived spaces. The living room may have a Christmas tree or stockings hung on the fireplace. Add folded throws or blankets over the arms of couches. Place poinsettias or other holiday plants in the room. The kitchen table might be set with clean dinnerware over a tablecloth or placemats.
  5. Dial Down the Scents – Candles are appropriate to the season but can often be overwhelming. If you light candles, consider the scentless kind and instead bake or cook prior to visiting buyers. Most people would much rather smell chocolate chip cookies than overpowering floral waves.
  6. Set the Mood – Music can be appropriate for this time of year, but keep in mind that not every guest enjoys the same type of music. Try to choose music that is more classic or instrumental, and turn it down to a barely noticeable level that will accent the mood.
  7. Provide Specifics – When staging a home, set out a small card or piece of paper with a list of items of features that you want to highlight in the house. This step is especially helpful in the winter when something like a back porch and jacuzzi might be covered and hidden.

Staging a home is a crucial step in the selling process, enabling you to move onto your next residence and also transition the new family in. These are big decisions for you and those closest to you, and that’s why you should Inspect-It 1st before moving in. Have your new house tested and examined by the experts to ensure that it’s a safe environment. Inspect It 1st offers services to check heating, plumbing, electrical, ventilation, foundation, and everything else that will keep your new home running beautifully!

Series on Safety: Termite Infestation

Posted on: November 14th, 2014 | No Comments

Termites easting away at a piece of wood. What:

There are five common types of termite: dampwood, drywood, conehead, formosan, and subterranean. All of these types of termite consume cellulose-based material, a material that exists to some degree in and around every home in the form of dead plant, wood, and cellulose bits in soil. A termite may only be a single centimeter in length but can cause considerable and costly damage, especially because where there is one, there are always others.

 

Where:

A home foundation is not the only place to find a termite, though it may potentially cause the most danger and damage. Termites also feed on furniture, books, shelves, and antiques (such as sleds or wooden plaques).

 

Drywood termites are the stereotypical kind of termite that often comes to mind to represent the little pest. It is the kind that lives within the wood it consumes, infesting walls and furniture in colonies.

 

Signs:

Often called the “silent destroyer,” a termite can threaten the home without leaving any obvious signs of damage. However, wood that sounds hollow when tapped may indicate a problem. Additionally, watch for “discarded” wings, droppings, and mud tubes on exterior walls and crawl spaces.

 

When a colony is matured, winged “swarming termites” may be visible around windows and doors. They are most active in springtime, which is when they typically mate and spread to other locations to start new colonies.

 

Prevention Steps:

  1. Eliminate moisture problems such as leaks, blocked gutters and vents, standing water, etc.
  2. Seal pipe and utility line entrance points.
  3. Keep firewood away from house foundation.
  4. Check fences and wooden decks for damage.
  5. Keep any wood on and around your home from directly contacting the soil.

 

Treatment:

Contact a trusted expert like Inspect It 1st to investigate. If termites are found, further spray treatment may be needed.

 

A termite problem is detrimental to health as well as safety, but they are not the only pest or concern that may be hiding in a home. Whether you are selling and want to ensure that your house is safe for the next family or you are buying and want to make sure your investment is sound, Inspect It 1st! Take a look at the various inspection services offered by Inspect It 1st and allow the experts to build your peace of mind surrounding termite pests and other potential issues.

 

Fall Cleaning Checklist

Posted on: October 27th, 2014 | No Comments

Home exterior in fall - fall cleaning checklist in action.A chilly breeze is in the air, and soon, the falling leaves will be in motion – circling around the pumpkins that decorate your neighborhood. Trick-or-treaters are coming to knock at the front door. You might even be making arrangements for family to visit you over the coming holiday season. All of these signal one thing – winter is coming!

Are you prepared for fall cleaning? Sure, spring is the better-known season for all of those up-to-your elbows chores, but fall should also be a time for deep cleaning – to prepare a comfortable house to retreat into, surrounded in the warmth of family and friends. Not to mention that a lack of preparation for winter or procrastinating your fall cleaning to-dos can result in long-term damages to your home and yard.

So put down the Halloween candy and wrap yourself up in this essential fall cleaning checklist:

  1. Check caulking around windows. This will enhance insulation and cut down on your electric bill!
  2. Have your carpet professionally cleaned early in the month of October when weather is still warm and the professional cleaning companies are not yet busy.
  3. Fall cleaning wouldn’t be complete without flushing out the gutters after the leaves have fallen. Build-up can create ice dams and prevent proper drainage, roof leaks, etc.
  4. Clean or buy a humidifier (depending on how dry your home gets in the winter).
  5. Remove patio furniture, grills, and children’s toys from the outdoors. Fall cleaning means storing all of your summer possessions in the garage or storage room.
  6. Re-organize kitchen cabinets to prepare for those big family meals!
  7. Check external and garage doors. Is the weather strip crumbling away from age? Does it seal tightly? Fix any issues that might reduce energy efficiency as part of your fall cleaning routine.
  8. Inspect and clean out chimneys, fireplaces and furnaces.
  9. Launder all bedding (including the musty stuff you never use in the closets). Turn over your mattresses.

Don’t let winter sneak up on you. Be ready for guests and the season’s harsher climate by marking fall cleaning chores off of our handy checklist. And if you get on a roll, try conquering other tasks from our general maintenance checklist. Staying on top of these tasks keep your home comfortable, your family happy, and your property value high in case a time comes when you want to sell! Interested in buying or selling now? Consult Inspect-it 1st to see if your house needs any safety updates or improvements.

Fall Pet Safety Tips

Posted on: October 14th, 2014 | No Comments

Smiling dog is an example of pet safety. Buying or selling a house aren’t the only reasons to get a safety inspection; sometimes you just want to ensure your family is living in a healthy environment and that means investing in pet safety as well as human safety! After all, our four-legged companions are our furry best friends and they rely on responsible, aware owners to give them a full, happy life. Not to mention that pet safety very closely coincides with overall living safety for humans too! Think that dust, mold, or a crumbling foundation are any less dangerous for animals? Think again.

Here are some household tips for pet safety that you may want to give extra attention when cleaning, moving somewhere new, or just enjoying the fall weather and upcoming holidays:

  1. Reduce allergies. You might be susceptible to outdoor pollens and even your own pet’s dander, but did you know that they can be susceptible to allergens too? If you see your pet itching more often or developing a rash, that just might be the case.
    • Outside: To increase human and pet safety, be sure to rake away those fallen leaves and mow the grass and hedges down to counter any possible nature irritants to your pet and you!
    • Inside: Brush your cat or dog twice to three times per week as they shed their summer coats to make room for winter ones. Otherwise, that hair will get all over your carpet, clothes, and furniture – not healthy and definitely not welcoming to guests.
  2. Beware of pests. Fall is a season for all kinds of pests to make their last pre-winter harrah. Continue monitoring your pet safety by checking for fleas and ticks. Those are nasty little buggers to bring indoors to endanger your family, let alone torment your furry friend. Also, be aware of where your pets romp around. Leaves, wood piles, and long grass can host dangerous snakes and other cranky critters trying to prepare for winter.
  3. Ensure access to water. Even though the temperatures are cooling, your pet still needs to drink a lot of water to stay healthy and active. Check the water bowl, especially if its outside, as cooler temperatures can freeze the water. Clear out ice chunks from the bowl to increase pet safety. While you’re at it, check the walkways and gutters for ice buildup – if the bowl water froze, chances are that ice could have built up and created danger zones elsewhere.
  4. Stay vigilant on holidays. Your pets become attention hogs with all of those guests around, but it’s easy to lose track of them with all of the festivities.
    • Halloween: Thinking of dressing your pets up and letting them participate in giving out candy? Consider using reflective stickers on their outfits in case they get loose at night in the street. Also, keep an eye on that candy bowl by the door. Your puppy might decide that chocolate smells tasty, but it can make a dog seriously sick.
    • Thanksgiving: Lots of leftovers? It’s tempting to throw some to your lovable, pouting pooch. But many human foods can be harmful to animals. When it comes time to clean up, use safe alternatives to harsh cleaning chemicals. This will avoid releasing fumes and covering surfaces with human and pet safety hazards.
    • Christmas: Presents, tree water, decorations, strings of lights – all of these may look delicious to a dog or cat, but the sharp edges, chokable objects, and electrical sources can considerably jeopardize pet safety as well as interfere with seasonal celebrations.

Concerned about human or pet safety risks that might already exist in your home? It’s never a bad time for household maintenance and safety inspection services. Inspect-it 1st will help you find and address any possible concerns, keeping your entire family – including your pets – safe. Best of all, an inspection can set your mind at ease so that you can fully enjoy the cooling fall weather and the holidays to come!

6 Fall Lawn Care Secrets

Posted on: September 26th, 2014 | No Comments

Fall lawn care basics. In the fall, lawn care is tricky. Temperatures are beginning to descend. Days are becoming shorter. Soon the trees will be covered in fiery coats, and then they will shed their leaves onto the lush green grass you took so much time to care for over the hot summer months. As winter nears, your lawn will go dormant and may even become covered in a blanket of snow. These seasonal changes require an increased awareness. Improper fall lawn care could result in rotted roots, insect infestations, and other problems that delight pesky spring garden gnomes.

 

Here is our complete list of the six fall lawn care secrets the garden gnomes don’t want you to know – shh!

  • Fertilization will boost spring growth. Many proud yard owners don’t realize that grass roots keep growing during the winter months, even if your yard is snow-covered. Fertilization in the fall provides additional nutrients that supply a boost to your lawn until the snow melts and spring arrives.
  • Power seeding increases turf density, reducing insect and weed damage. Want thicker grass? Power seeding in your fall lawn care routine increases turf density. Not only does this mean your grass will come in less patchy next year, it also reduces the space for nasty weeds and detrimental insects to take hold. Be careful not to overseed, as this could harm your turf in the long run. Professional fall lawn care teams can measure the right amount for your lawn’s needs.
  • Lawn aeration counters summer lawn traffic. All of those football games and grilling parties in the yard really condensed the grass. Aeration counters grass compaction and increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients reaching the roots.
  • Raking/blowing leaves off the lawn once per week increases its health. Autumn leaves may dress up the trees and even decorate a yard in fallen color, but the leaves can actually prevent sunlight from reaching your grass and shrubs. No sunlight means that your lawn greens can’t build up the food it needs to remain healthy through the winter.
  • Fall is the best time to discover pest problems and take preventative steps for spring. Grubs and other insects can destroy roots, not to mention eat certain shrubs outright. Analyzing your yard and treating it for pests is crucial to fall lawn care and gives your lawn a head start for the spring. And since certain chemicals may be applied to treat your yard, what better time than the chilly fall to have to keep your family off of it?
  • Winterizing shrubs/trees prevents moisture loss and accidents. Maintaining your lawn also means maintaining the other components of your yard, as the system works together. Note that certain evergreens experience extreme loss of moisture in the fall and winter. To help prevent this dehydration and keep your yard healthy, you can apply a special oil to trunks. In addition, trim back limbs that overhang your house and walkways. When covered in snow or potentially frozen and brittle, they could break off and fall onto/around your house which could end in costly repairs.

Keeping your yard healthy and pest-free starts with fall lawn care. Power seeding, aerating, fertilizing, and other practices will ensure a healthier and more aesthetically-pleasing lawn in the spring. This is especially important if you are looking to sell your house, as both the interior and exterior will be extensively checked for problems. Not to mention it will need to look its best!

 

If you are concerned about pests or other problems that might come up in the exterior checklist of a house inspection, take the first step by hiring Inspect-it 1st. Their quality inspection services will help give you peace of mind about the state and safety of your home.

8 Tips for Household Dust Control

Posted on: September 16th, 2014 | No Comments

Older woman practicing dust control in her home. When you were little, your parents might have warned you to beware of dust bunnies. And as you grew older, you thought that they were exaggerating to inspire you to be tidier and follow their cleaning rules for dust control. But the truth is that dust can be the vehicle for much nastier critters and chemicals than bunnies.

 

Depending on the age and state of your home, dust can carry asbestos, crumbling flecks of lead paint, or dozens of other harmful chemicals that are released from new furniture, cleaners, etc. In addition, dust may include dander, animal fur, and many allergen-causing agents. So allowing dust to just sit around and form “bunnies” that jump back into the air when disturbed can be quite as detrimental to your health as your parents originally suggested.

 

Instead of growing a “fluffle” of dust bunnies, crack down with these 8 tips for household dust control:

 

 

1. Simplify to decrease surface area.
Fewer surfaces means fewer places for dust to accumulate. Minimize knick-knacks, furniture, and other household items that don’t serve a purpose (other than as a home for dust bunnies).

 

2. Rearrange furniture.

Dust mites (and dust in general) cling to upholstered fabrics very easily. Upholstered furniture should be avoided in bedrooms and wherever else possible, so rearranged those pieces into the living room decor. Vacuum them along with your carpets to improve surface dust control.

 

3. Keep floors clear.

If you have kids or keep projects spread out across the floors of your homes (toys, puzzles, blankets, magazines, etc.), those items are gathering the dust that would otherwise be caught in the carpet and sucked up by the vacuum. Keeping your floor clear makes it easier to vacuum for optimal dust control.

 

4. Organize closets/shelves.
Closets, pantries, and shelves are huge dust collectors. Dust migrates and gets caught in corners and lurks behind shelved items waiting to stir up into the air when the items are shifted or removed. Just like the rest of your home, simplify what is displayed and stored in this way so that cleaning is easier and more effective.

 

5. Remove your shoes.
Dust control starts when you enter the door, dragging in debris and chemicals in the dust on your clothes and shoes. One option for preventing the spread of outside dust inside your home is by removing your shoes outside or by the front door.

 

6. Isolate pet toys and beds.
Pet toys and beds are horrible dust magnets. They get tossed around the carpets, forgotten in corners, and dragged through dirt on a daily basis. Eliminate finding dust bunnies where only your pet should be by running these items through a laundry cycle and isolating them when not in use (ie stored in a closed cupboard).

 

7. Wash linens regularly.
Dust falls onto made and disheveled beds and collects on the linens you sleep in each night. Improve your household dust control by washing bedding regularly. Even bedding in guest rooms that aren’t being used should be washed, especially prior to guests arriving.

 

8. Vacuum and clean surfaces weekly.
This tip for dust control seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, it’s tough to remember to clean before the dust gets noticeable or out of control. Mark your calendar with a sticker or note to remind yourself that it’s time to clean! Don’t forget areas like plant leaves and fans/lighting fixtures.
Dust bunnies are an unwanted collection of critters in every household. From mites to harsh chemicals and annoying allergens, dust can be a serious danger to your health. The eight steps listed above for maintaining dust control reduce the risk of health problems from dust and help keep your entire home clean and safe.

 

 

Keeping your home safe doesn’t stop here. There are many simple home maintenance tasks for both the interior and exterior of your house that can be accessed through Inspect-It 1st. The inspection professionals at Inspect-It 1st are dedicated to helping you fix potential home dangers and keeping your home comfortable, whether you are buying, selling, or just maintaining your home.

How to Keep Your House Cool … Without Touching the AC

Posted on: August 26th, 2014 | No Comments

How to Keep Your House Cool… Without Touching the ACThe traditional summer months are coming to an end, but the heat remains. For some this means frizzy hair or rolling down the car windows, but for most it also means cranking up the AC. Turning that dial to try to cool your living quarters can be costly, but perhaps you don’t know how to keep your house cool without that modern convenience. Here we examine a few alternatives on how to keep your house cool without touching the AC.

  1. Close Doors – As much as possible, keep your house closed off from the ambient humid and hot air. This means keeping your external doors closed. But how to keep your house cool goes beyond shutting out the external heat. You should also keep internal doors closed to isolate the cooler air within your home.
  2. Cover Windows – Twenty to thirty percent of unwanted heat comes from sunlight and hot air permeating the windows of your home. Covering your windows, ie closing the blinds or drapes during the daytime, can lower indoor temperature by up to 20 degrees. That can result to saving 7% on your electric bill each month.
  3. Use Vent Exhausts – If you take a warm shower or cook something in the oven, those areas of your house can heat up considerably. Be sure to use vent exhausts in your bathroom and above your stove to allow the hot air to escape and keep the surrounding rooms cool.
  4. Cool from the Inside Out – The tricks for how to keep your house cool won’t make a difference if you yourself are not cool! So while you are making the necessary changes around your house, make them also with yourself. Drink iced beverages that lower your internal temperature. Take colder baths/showers, and cool your skin down with ice packs while sitting around the house.
  5. Adjust Fans -Fans should be adjusted seasonally. In the warm summer months, program your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise.
  6. Let in the Night Air – Even in the summer time, nights are usually cooler. One of the simplest methods of how to keep your house cool without the AC is by opening up the windows at night.
  7. Change Your Sheets – Avoid using flannel and other heavy material sheets during the summer. Cotton breathes more easily and doesn’t retain body heat.
  8. Grill – How to keep your house cool may have more to do with what you do outside. Grilling reduces the build-up of heat your oven and stove would produce in food preparation. In addition, grilling takes people outdoors into cool breezes.
  9. Purchase Better Light Bulbs – Incandescent lights waste almost 90% of the energy they produce in the form of unnecessary heat. Switch to more efficient bulbs that will last longer and put off less heat.
  10. Make Lasting Home Improvements – Shading your house with sunlight-absorbing plants and trees helps the environment and reduces the heat gripping your home. At the same time, your landscaping adds to the curb value of your house; you are making a permanent environmental and financial investment!

As heat waves continue through the end of the summer, cut back on your energy bill by finding alternatives to turning on your AC. How to keep your house cool can be as easy as closing the curtains and planting a few shady trees. But it might also be beneficial to have your house inspected. Getting new windows with better insulation and other home improvements might make a huge difference to your comfort. Call and schedule an appointment with Inspect-It 1st today!

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