Regular maintenance and repairs of your home can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. One crucial area to focus on is your HVAC system. By cleaning or replacing air filters regularly and scheduling professional maintenance, you can ensure that your heating and cooling system operates efficiently. This will not only prolong its lifespan but also reduce energy consumption, resulting in lower utility bills. Neglecting HVAC maintenance can lead to costly repairs or even the need for a complete system replacement.
Another area where home repairs can save you money is by addressing plumbing issues promptly. Small leaks or drips may seem insignificant at first, but they can quickly escalate into larger, more expensive problems. Regularly inspecting and fixing leaky faucets, toilets, or pipes can prevent water damage, mold growth, and skyrocketing water bills. Additionally, insulating exposed pipes can prevent them from freezing and bursting during colder months, avoiding potentially expensive repairs.
The insulation of your home plays a vital role in energy efficiency and can significantly impact your utility bills. By properly insulating your attic, walls, and floors, you can reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. This means your HVAC system won't have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, resulting in lower energy bills. Adding weatherstripping to doors and windows is another cost-effective way to prevent drafts and improve insulation. A well-insulated home is not only more energy-efficient but also more comfortable year-round.
Investing in regular roof maintenance and repairs can save you from costly damage caused by leaks or structural issues. Inspecting your roof for missing or damaged shingles, as well as cleaning out gutters and downspouts, can help prevent water from seeping into your home and causing water damage or mold growth. By addressing roof issues early on, you can avoid more extensive repairs or the need for a full roof replacement, which can be a significant financial burden.
Lastly, maintaining and caring for your appliances can contribute to significant cost savings. Cleaning refrigerator coils, checking and replacing filters in your dishwasher and washing machine, and properly maintaining your stove and oven can help extend their lifespan and optimize their energy efficiency. Appliances that are well-maintained and operate efficiently use less energy, reducing your monthly utility bills. Additionally, following manufacturer's guidelines and performing regular maintenance can help prevent breakdowns and the need for expensive repairs or replacements.
Investing time and effort into home repairs and regular maintenance tasks can save you a substantial amount of money in the long term. By focusing on areas like HVAC systems, plumbing, insulation, roofing, and appliances, you can prevent costly repairs, minimize energy consumption, and improve the overall efficiency of your home. Taking a proactive approach to home repairs not only ensures your home remains in good condition but also allows you to enjoy the financial benefits of lower utility bills and reduced long-term expenses.
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As the weather turns colder homeowners should take steps to protect their home’s plumbing system. If left unprotected, cold weather can cause costly damage to pipes, fixtures, and water heaters. Here are some steps to help protect your home’s plumbing system in cold weather:
1. Insulate Exposed Pipes: Exposed pipes in unheated areas of your home such as the garage, attic, or basement should be insulated. This will help keep the pipes from freezing in cold weather. You can use foam insulation that fits snugly around the pipes or even newspaper.
2. Keep Cabinet Doors Open: When the temperature drops, open the cabinet doors in the bathroom and kitchen to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes. This will help keep the pipes from freezing.
3. Disconnect Outdoor Hoses: When the weather turns cold, make sure to disconnect any outdoor hoses from the faucet. This will prevent freezing water from damaging the faucet or pipes.
4. Seal Cracks and Holes: Check your home’s exterior for any cracks or holes in the foundation or walls. These can act as an entry point for cold air, which can cause pipes inside the walls to freeze. Make sure to seal any cracks or holes you find.
5. Set the Thermostat: If your home will be unoccupied for an extended period of time, make sure to set the thermostat to at least 55°F. This will ensure that the temperature inside the home stays above freezing, even if the outside temperature drops.
By taking these steps to protect your home’s plumbing system in cold weather, you’ll help prevent costly repairs and keep your home safe and comfortable.
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A heat pump is a device that uses electricity to move heat from one place to another. Heat pumps can move heat from a cool space to a warm space, or vice versa. This process is known as heat transfer. Heat pumps work by using a refrigerant that can absorb heat from one place and release it in another. The refrigerant is compressed, which causes it to become hot. This hot refrigerant is then passed through a set of coils, which transfers the heat to the air or water in the space. The refrigerant then cools down and is passed through another set of coils, which transfers the heat back to the space. This process is repeated over and over, allowing the heat pump to effectively move heat from one place to another.
Climate change and global warming can affect the real estate market in several ways, and it may influence your decision to purchase a home. One of the most significant impacts is the increased risk of flooding, which can make some properties less desirable or uninsurable. The rising sea levels and extreme weather events associated with climate change also increase the risk of coastal properties being damaged or destroyed. Additionally, as temperatures continue to rise, the demand for homes in cooler regions may increase, leading to changes in housing prices and construction patterns. It could also affect the insurance and mortgage rates, a higher risk of natural disasters could mean home buyers would need to pay more for insurance, or that mortgages on certain homes will be harder to obtain.
Possible impacts to a home's infrastructure could include:
The State of Connecticut recommends testing your home for radon in air (and radon in water if you have a well). Radon gas is a leading cause of lung cancer but can be remediated if present in a home. It is highly recommend to test for radon in a real estate transaction BEFORE buying a home.
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Creosote cleaning logs seem like a simple solution to creosote, a chemical produced by burning wood which can cause a fire to start in your chimney flue and spread to your home. Creosote buildup in a chimney has serious consequences and a fireplace cleaning log sounds like a great idea. In reality these fireplace cleaning logs do work but they are meant to make cleaning a fireplace manually easier and do not replace cleaning by a chimney sweep.
Creosote is a tar-like byproduct from wood burning that accumulates in your chimney. Creosote is extremely flammable and responsible for many house fires. If you look into your fireplace and chimney and see a black shiny substance it is probably creosote - have the fireplace cleaned for safety before use.
Do Fireplace Cleaning Logs Eliminate Creosote?
They will to a minor extent if there is minimal creosote in the chimney. They do this by utilizing a chemical reaction. The cleaning log contains chemicals that are released upon burning that change the tar-like buildup in the chimney to a flakey substance. This flakey residue can be easily cleaned, by a sweep, unlike the gummy creosote. So the cleaning logs don’t necessarily remove creosote, but they make it easier for a sweep to remove it.
Have your wood-burning fireplaces cleaned and serviced yearly. Chimney sweeps recommend burning a creosote cleaning log in the fireplace BEFORE having them at the house to perform a cleaning. Follow the directions on the box, normally you light the log and burn just like regular firewood.
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dont skip your home inspection
Guest post from Realtor Laura Cruger (thanks Laura)...
WAIVING CONTINGENCIES – Is waiving the home inspection contingency a good idea?
You are a home buyer in search of that “perfect home” and low and behold … you’ve found it! Now you are faced with the task of “securing” that home and making it your home! In today’s market buyers are still faced with many properties still receiving multiple offers – if they are priced well and have no major objections. So, you understand that making your offer stand out over all the others is key in securing the home.
In structuring your offer, your realtor should explain to you that your offer is not only about your offered price (while that is certainly an important factor) – it is also about the terms of your offer, that may make your offer more appealing to a seller over another. In preparation of structuring your offer to make it out-shine the others, should there be multiple offers on the property, it is the job of your realtor to find out what in the offer might be important or appealing to the seller that could be included, as part of their offer, as every seller will have their own wants, needs, and goals.
Some of the things to consider are – price of course, closing date, mortgage contingency, down payment amount, appraisal contingency, and inspection contingency. For the purposes of this writing, I will touch on just one … inspection contingency.
As a listing agent, and working with buyers, the question that will sometimes come up – “Is the buyer willing to waive inspections?” The quick answer to this as your trusted advisor and as a buyer’s agent would be – no… plain and simple. There are many hurdles to get over in the buying and selling process and home inspections is just one of them. Inspections are a key component and one of the determining factors of your home purchase. Buyers need to know “what they are buying” to know what their investment will be once they sign on the dotted line. I recently had a situation where in representing the buyer – offer was contingent on satisfactory inspections – based only on “health & safety” issues should they arise, which in this market and really in general is the norm. What we are basically saying here is that the buyer will not “nit-pick on things – they are only concerned with the important stuff, like septic, electrical, and water just to name a few” – you get the idea. Unfortunately, in this case there were a few, well there were many items that were deemed health and safety issues from the licensed home inspector – that my buyer asked the seller to address. To confirm the home inspectors’ findings in this case, my buyer hired another contractor specific to the items in question to confirm or not his findings – which they did in fact. Regardless of confirmed reports of the health and safety issues that arose from these inspections, seller declined to correct the items requested by my buyer. My buyer had no choice but to “walk-away” as these items were truly and directly the responsibility of the seller and my buyer was not willing to take on these major objections, along with the costs associated with these items. The home went back on the market, and remains on the market as of today. In my experience, the end result of my story is really not the norm, as most always, the buyer and seller will come to terms.
There are varying degrees of comfort, knowledge and wherewithal that comes along with the decision of what a buyer is willing to take on or not, but it is having the “knowledge” of knowing what they are willing to take on or not only comes through having a home inspection. It’s a minimal cost in the grand scheme of things, and the comfort and “education” of knowing how a “home works” if you will, is just another important component of a home inspection.
Will there be buyers willing to “waive inspections” in an effort to secure the property – for sure! That is the right and choice of the buyer. At the same time, it is my job as their realtor, to explain the possible pitfalls of making that decision and what that might mean to them looking forward …
203.948.1103 | 203.796.7700
112 Federal Road
Danbury, CT 06811
Tom Schlotter, licensed home inspector.