How much food does your refrigerator hold? Samsung’s 31.6 cu. ft. French Door refrigerator can hold the equivalent of 32 bags of groceries (based on one cubic foot of usable space equaling one paper bag of groceries). While most refrigerators don’t hold quite that much, a family will need a refrigerator with a capacity to hold four to six cubic feet of storage for each adult in a household. Regardless of its size, regular maintenance can help keep a refrigerator running at maximum efficiency.
With holiday entertaining, overnight guests and winter getaways, it can be hard to ensure your home heating and other systems are performing for optimal comfort and efficiency. In addition, the Department of Energy reports that no matter what-energy-source you use, heating this winter will cost more, an important consideration since heating and cooling typically makes up about 54 percent of your utility bill.
Now, thanks to new home automation technologies, you can run your home in a smarter and more cost-effective manner than ever before – from wherever life takes you – even from a smartphone, tablet or Web connection. [Read more…]
As America’s 77 million-strong baby boomers reach retirement age, one thing is absolutely clear — they are not going to quietly retreat into their golden years.
The most active generation in America’s history wants homes that will support their active lifestyles, and homes that will accommodate the challenges boomers will face, from bad knees, to working from home, to taking on grandchildren.
That’s why building and remodeling homes for aging baby boomers represents one of the biggest trends in the home improvement industry today. It’s primarily in response to how baby boomers view themselves, many of whom don’t believe ‘old’ starts until a person turns 80, according to a Del Webb survey. While many boomers see themselves running, cycling, downhill skiing for many years to come, the reality is that aging creates physical challenges, ranging from arthritis to stiffness to balance issues that could result in debilitating falls. Expecting so much of themselves, many are starting to rethink the design of their homes to accommodate their changing lifestyles. [Read more…]
It’s the time of year when cooking for crowds and welcoming friends and family for celebrations is the name of the game. For those opening their homes to guests, it can be hectic, but there are plenty of ways to make the season as full of cheer as it should be.
Decorating your home for the holidays goes hand-in-hand with getting ready for guests – whether those visitors are planned or impromptu. So, as you start to consider your decor themes, think about updates that can be made around the house to make your guests feel even more at home. [Read more…]
Distracted Drivers Plague Nation’s Roadways ~ Making cellphone calls, texting, eating, grooming behind the wheel puts lives at risk…
Many people who encounter a car weaving wildly out of its lane, speeding up and slowing down randomly, veering into oncoming traffic or breezing through stop signs will immediately think ‘drunk driver.’-
While drunk driving is an extremely dangerous hazard on American roadways, this behavior is just as easily associated with sober but distracted drivers – who can be just as dangerous as drivers who have had too much to drink.
In fact, distracted driving is so out of hand that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called it ‘an epidemic.’
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 3,092 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2010, the most recent year for which there is data available, and an estimated 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
‘The dangers of distracted driving are extremely real and completely avoidable,’ says James Fults, vice president of personal auto insurance at Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. ‘All of us, no matter how old or young we are and no matter how much experience we have behind the wheel, need to remember that when we’re driving there is only one thing we should be concentrating on, and that’s driving.’ [Read more…]
Fall and winter are typically considered the off season in the housing market, but actually buyers can potentially find better deals and sellers may find the most serious buyer. To take advantage of the benefits of off-season real estate, consider these important areas of advice.
Use Strategic Elements Of The Season
The off season is a great time to buy because you’ll have less competition with other buyers and a reduced chance of getting in a bidding war that drives up a home’s price, something that still occurs frequently. When you’re not fighting with other bidders, you can make a sound decision and have a better chance of getting the seller to pitch in on concessions, such as closing costs or funds for improvements like appliance upgrades. [Read more…]
When it comes to home energy costs, however, going green can help homeowners put a stop to runaway utility bills. And maximizing your home’s use of natural light – call it ‘green lighting’ – is a great way to boost your home’s energy efficiency.
Here are three ways you can put Mother Nature to work, and use natural light to lower your energy costs:
Minimize Use Of Artificial Lighting
Anyone who’s ever paid an electrical bill knows that the simple act of turning on a light can directly impact your monthly expenses. Homeowners looking for a long-term way to power down their lighting costs may consider Energy Star-qualified skylights a good investment. While skylights’ cosmetic appeal can’t be argued, their value goes far beyond good looks. [Read more…]
When cold winds blow, it can be tricky to keep different rooms throughout your home at the right temperature – especially if you have old and drafty windows, tight spaces or room additions to work around.
It can also be challenging to ensure economical comfort without having to do a major heating system overhaul. Yet there are easy and flexible ways to heat your home in areas where it needs it most and still stay comfortable all winter long.
Odd-shaped rooms in older homes, additions such as sunrooms and bonus rooms, and far-flung spaces like remodeled basements and attics can pose a heating challenge. In addition, some homes have no ductwork heating system, making it impractical or expensive to consider installing one to heat such spaces. If this sounds like your house, consider these tips to keep your home warm this winter. [Read more…]
Our lives are more hectic than ever. In addition to working more than eight hours a day and caring for others, the average person (ages 25 to 54) spends approximately one additional hour per day on household activities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey. With everyday maintenance tasks depleting your free time, you may think it’s impossible to fit in bigger home improvement projects.
It’s time to change your mindset and re-evaluate your home improvement to-do list. While it may seem overwhelming, one weekend is the perfect amount of time to tackle a few cost-effective and eco-friendly home improvement projects that can add style and functionality … and even save a little ‘green’ as well. The following projects will help to ‘greenify’ your home in just 48 hours. [Read more…]