Frugal Fancy

Home Tips for Frugal Living

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Replacement Windows Can Save Big On Heating Bills

With winter coming to northern Virginia, here’s something to keep in mind: Windows account for about 25 to 30 percent of heat loss and the cooling of your home. One of the most effective solutions for this heat loss is the installation of energy-saving replacement windows. If you weren’t already considering beautifying your home with new windows, you shouldn’t underestimate the amount of investment you can get back in energy savings.

When choosing among different types of windows, most homeowners focus on elements like the attractiveness, openness, or color and design thereof. These elements are important, but you can’t neglect other more technical aspects that will define the true quality and worth of the window – aspects like improved year-round energy efficiency.

Why Switch to Efficient Windows?

Here in Fredericksburg, when most homes are built, builders install low-cost windows that have only one pane. Double-glazed windows, which insulate twice as well as single-pane window glass, aren’t always found in new homes, let alone older ones. Improving the quality of insulation – measured as R value – decreases utility costs and reduces your carbon footprint and emissions of the house. The R-value of the glass is part of the overall rating of the energy efficiency of the window.

Think about this: The average family spends close to $3,000 a year on electricity bills, and just by upgrading from single-pane windows to double-pane, you could reduce your energy costs by half, each month. For example, by upgrading from a single glass pane, homeowners could diminish energy loss through the windows by:

  • 34% if replaced by aluminum frames and double pane
  • Up to 51% if replaced by PVC and double pane

Conserve more energy. Double-glazed windows have an air space between the panels that are filled with various substances, like argon or krypton, which insulates against the loss of precious heat in the winter and comfortable cool in the summer. By reducing heating and cooling loss by up to 50 percent, double glazed windows will help to conserve natural resources through reduced power consumption.

Minimize condensation. Condensation control is another important advantage of double pane windows. Windows that are energy efficient keep glass surfaces and window frames in the house warmer. This means more heat is maintained inside. When the windows and interior walls retain heat efficiently, condensation is less likely to form on interior windows. The glass will be less prone to “sweating,” and you’ll have less humidity to deal with.

Choosing for High Energy Performance

The typical materials chosen for window frames are wood, aluminum, and vinyl. But what to choose? Each of these materials has its own characteristics in terms of thermal and sound insulation.

Aluminum is a material that allows greater diversity of window shapes and sizes for a wide variety of specific designs. Key benefits that stand out are affordability and minimal maintenance. It does not corrode or deteriorate, and can be easily cleaned with water, soap, and a soft cloth.

Vinyl windows are also pretty affordable. Their main feature is that vinyl is electrically, acoustically, and thermally non-conductive; in other words, it’s a great insulator. It also has high impact strength and is exceptionally durable.

Wood windows are highly regarded because they tend to be both beautiful and durable, but they tend to cost more than their counterparts.

Just imagine if you could combine the versatility and malleability of aluminum, the insulation and easy care of vinyl, and the beauty and durability of wood in a single window. As a matter of fact, you can. Renewal by Andersen replacement windows made of Fibrex® manage to combine the best qualities of the other window materials into one great design. Best of all, these energy-efficient windows meet or exceed EnergyStar® standards.

Winter will be here soon, and so will high heating bills. If you’ve been considering talking to a local Fredericksburg installer about energy-saving replacement windows, now is the perfect time.

Granite Countertops: The Rock Solid Investment


For centuries, granite has epitomized strength and durability. The very word, granite, is used to signify something that is next to permanent and solid. Those traits have made it the material of choice for a growing number of property owners for use as countertops in the kitchen and bathroom.

Granite countertops are not simply strong and able to stand up to daily use. They also are available in a vast array of colors and styles to match any decor and provide a touch of luxury and organic beauty.

Each piece of granite is unique, due to the natural processes that created it, to the location where it was mined. It will come with its own veining, coloration, and pattern, which makes each granite fabrication a truly one-of-a-kind artistic creation. Still, granite mined in the same location will share similar traits so they can be matched for continuity.

granite mining

Granite stone is formed when magma deep within the earth cools. It is mined across the world, with excellent samples coming from such locations as China, Brazil, Finland, Norway, and India. A granite contractor will be able to provide a wide variety of choices for your perusal.

Granite countertops have been considered high-end additions for the kitchens of the well-to-do. However, its growth in popularity continues to make it more affordable to all. It also is seen as a good investment because of the luxury it adds and because its durability will mean it will not need to be replaced. Granite is hard to scratch, and its polished surface is perfect for baking needs. It also can stand up to high temperatures without discoloring, burning, or cracking.

Other types of stone also are marketed for use as countertops, but each has its own limitations that would make it less appealing than granite. For example, slate often is touted for its beauty, but it is expensive, going for a price of up to $200 per square foot. Mid-range granite can be had for $100 to $150 a square foot. Slate also requires buffing with steel wool to remove scratches that can occur with regularity.

Slate and soapstone, another countertop option, do not come in nearly as many colors as granite. Soapstone also is porous, so it requires sealing with mineral oil to limit staining. Since slate has a matte finish, it must be rubbed with lemon oil to achieve a wet looking shine.


When you find a reliable granite contractor, they likely will show you the range of colors and patterns available. Colors range from mottled white to stunning blues, deep reds and blacks, and browns of variegated hues. Granite also can be cut into long slabs, which will add the benefit of limiting seams.

In addition to being able to withstand hard use by children and accidents in the cooking process, granite stone also is easy to clean and resistant to bacteria. A daily cleanup using only a mild soap, a soft sponge, and water is all that is required to keep most granite countertops looking like new. Sealants also can be applied that will prevent the absorption of liquids and subsequent staining.

Given granite’s many positive benefits in durability and ease of maintenance, it easily is the best of materials for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Add to that the value it brings with its style and natural beauty, and granite makes for a solid investment in your home’s overall appeal. If you are in Northern Virginia and are currently looking for the areas finest supplier and installer then give the folks at Granite Source NOVA a call Today!

Car Shopping: is the Frugal Choice the Best Choice for You?

Used Cars vs. New Cars

Anyone who is thinking about buying a car has suffered nightmares about being sold a lemon by sleazy used car dealer salesmen. This phenomenon is why many people avoid used car dealerships and opt to shop for new cars instead – even though they may offer comparatively more expensive options for vehicle ownership. There are a host of differences between used car and new car dealerships besides the obvious. For instance, shopping around for used car financing options can be much different than dealership financing.

car purchasing


Let’s explore some of the main differences below:


New car dealerships are usually held directly accountable for their sales practices to the makers of the cars. This is because they usually operate as a franchise and our bound to strict corporate policies. On the other hand, used car dealerships have a bit more latitude due to the mere nature of their operations. While one is not suggesting that used car dealerships (particularly independent ones) are reckless free for all’s, the truth is, they are likely to deal directly with previous owners of the vehicles and not necessarily the car makers or manufacturers. This increases their flexibility in decision-making and lowering prices.

As far as vehicle maintenance and repair services, independent used car dealerships will sometimes outsource these services to a local garage that they may not have a strong relationship with. This is often true when they offer some type of warranty. Keep this in mind when prioritizing the price of maintenance and repairs. If you have a job that requires lots of travel, you need be aware of what it’s going to take to repair your car from intensive use and ware.

Repairs and maintenance services

Contrary to popular belief, new car dealerships also carry used vehicles by way of CPOs – certified pre-owned cars. CPOs means that the new car dealership is accountable to the manufacturers for the used cars it does sell. The original manufacturer is responsible for repairing and refashioning these CPO vehicles to be resold at the dealership.

In addition to offering CPOs, new car dealers are generally tied to a service and maintenance garage through which they are able to offer client repairs. Conveniently for us, they are expected to meet a certain quality rating before they can be offered up for resale.

Financing and warranty

Another major difference in how used car and new car dealership operate lies in financing options offered to customers. While used car dealers may offer cheaper cars and other vehicles for purchase, new car dealers are likely to offer loan and financing options that customers can make use of.

Why opt for a used car dealership: cheaper costs and a wide range of options

Persons opt to go with a used car dealership for a number of reasons. The primary reason is often financial. Financially, used car dealerships may have cheaper options when compared with new car dealerships as they simply cannot charge the same premium for used and older vehicles. This is true for sales, maintenance, and repair services.

At a used car dealership, people are likely to have a wider range of vehicles to choose from at a wider price range when compared to new car dealerships. Although they are all pre-owned, used cars are not necessarily old cars.

How to use a used car dealership: buyer beware

As suggested prior, a sleazy used car dealership salesman is every vehicles buyer and owner’s worst nightmare. Shopping on a used car lot is very different from shopping for a new car or shopping for a used car on a new car user lot. The dynamics are different. Additionally, there are several kinds of lots including- buy here, pay here lots. Consignment lots and specialty lots operate under a different set of rules or guidelines as well. When buying a used car, one should be careful to verify the following:

Certification and regulation

It is important to check whether or not the independent dealership in question is being regulated. Yes, there are regulatory bodies in many cities and states that can help hold a dealer accountable. One can therefore check to see if such certification or registration with a relevant governing body exists. Even consumer and other relevant business laws and governing agencies may apply in this regard. In other words, a used car dealership is not a law onto itself. Much like other businesses, regulations must be followed. Find out what those regulations are and measure the dealership in question against them.

Track record

Again, as is the case with other businesses, unless you are the first ever customer they have had, any given used car dealership is likely to have a track record. Pay attention. Ask around; look for previous customer reviews online and so forth. Do thorough background tests and do not simply take for granted to assurances of the dealer.

Avoid The Nightmare Of Water Damage Repairs

One of the worst things that can happen to a homeowner is the discovery of water damage in their home. Since water damage is often undetected until severe damages are done, it can also be one of the most expensive types of home repair that a homeowner will have to make. A lot of people prefer to contact a general contractor when needing repairs, or when concerned with possible damages.

A company like Metropolitan Contractors can help detect possible damages as well as give an estimate on necessary water damage restoration costs. Roof repair, siding replacement, as well as replacement windows are the most common repairs needed. Due to most damages going unnoticed, the extent of the repairs needed is often deeper than just surface repairs. Sometimes the damage actually gets farther inside of the home and can ruin the supporting wood of the ceiling and wall structures.

Unfortunately, if the damages get that deep they will likely ruin wall and ceiling coverings as well. When wood gets wet it can eventually start to rot and the wet wood and surface covers can become laden with toxic mold and mildew. Occasionally a general contractor catches water damages before severe repairs are required. Some cases of mold and mildew can be treated without having to replace sheetrock and other surface covers.

water damaged homeHomeowners should contact a contractor as soon as they notice any signs of water leaking into their home. If these signs are noticed soon enough, the extent and cost of repair can be drastically reduced. The cost of replacement windows and siding will vary from one home to another based upon the brands and styles chosen. A reputable contractor will work one on one with a client to select replacement windows, siding, shingles, and other repair materials.

In many cases, the need for roof repairs and other surface damages are the result of damages that were incurred during a storm. When adequate homeowner’s insurance policies are kept on a home, the costs of water damage restoration can be drastically reduced. It is wise to keep the best insurance policy that can be afforded on a home to ensure coverage when storm damages occur. Not having adequate insurance can really put homeowners in a bad financial position when in need of home repair.

Before hiring a general contractor, it is advisable to do a thorough background and reputation check on the contractor. The time spent researching helps to ensure that a reputable home repair contractor is hired. Another thing to do is ask to see the contractor’s business license and proof of insurance. Inquiring about a photo gallery of previous work, client reviews, and referrals can also help to find a suitable contractor.

Roof repair and other types of water damage restoration require a highly skilled professional. As with any other type of business, there are some contractors that are dishonest and that do not place pride in their craft. When an unqualified contractor is hired, the results can lead to additional repair costs and frustrations if the work is not done correctly.

A reputable contractor will work one on one with a client to select replacement windows, siding, shingles, and other repair materials. One more way to ensure that the right general contractor is hired is to obtain several materials and labor estimates to compare. This gives homeowners options and can also lead to saving money on repair costs.

New Window Tinting Applications

Why Tint?

Although applying window film to your windows may seem like an expensive way to decorate your home, there are actually many functional and cost-saving benefits to professional window tinting. If you live in an area with lots of sunlight and receive direct exposure throughout the day, for instance, the sun could be increasing the temperature in your home. This greenhouse effect makes it difficult to keep certain rooms a standard temperature without blasting your air conditioning for the entire day.

In this case, applying a window film can significantly reduce your energy bills. Ever notice how many office buildings in large cities are covered in tinted windows? Having a window as an office wall gives the feel of a larger space, and adding a tinted film reduces sun-related heat issues.

Companies such as High Country Window Tint in Colorado Springs or Solar Solutions in New York City, offer all of the benefits of window tinting with a simple installation process.

How Does Window Film Work?

Solar film works by either absorbing the sun’s rays or reflecting them away from the indoors. Some films are a darker color, and others are able to get the job done with a pale tint. Darker films can offer security and privacy benefits, if that is your purpose in an applique.

What Are The Other Benefits?

There are a couple of other great qualities of window tinting aside from security, privacy, and temperature control (or energy savings). One of the most annoying parts of having a high level of sunlight in your home is a blinding glare that usually hits around sunrise or sunset. Solar film acts like a protective pair of sunglasses that prevents squinting indoors. Window tinting also prevents harmful UV rays that aren’t typically filtered out through glass panes. Finally, a protective film can also keep your carpet and furniture from fading.

Transform A Home With New Replacement Windows

bannerRenewal by Andersen offers the highest quality windows for homeowners contemplating window replacement throughout their homes. Quality replacement windows offer numerous benefits including fewer drafts resulting in lower energy bills. People who want to save money see definite results when they install energy efficient windows.

Transform a Dull Room into a Palatial Masterpiece

casementHomeowners who have lived in the same homes for several years may have grown accustomed to living in dull rooms emitting equally boring atmospheres. Window replacement offers the perfect solution for perking up a living room, bedroom or home office. Renewal by Andersen is a window installation company offering premium custom made windows proudly manufactured in the United States of America with the highest quality materials. People who are ready for changes in their lives need to consider all options and installing new windows is an excellent choice.

When installing replacement windows, people are amazed at the astonishing transformation taking place right before their eyes. A home previously lacking in character suddenly takes on a vivid personality. Instead of overspending the family budget on expensive remodeling, try window replacement as an affordable way to improve the value of a house.

Living with Broken Windows Can Cause Stress

People manage to live in all sorts of living conditions. From messy bedrooms with stuff strewn all over the floors to walls desperately in need of paint, homeowners manage to cope with less than perfect environments. Living in a home with broken, stuck windows may cause stress because homeowners never get any fresh air unless they open their front doors. Instead of living in homes with broken windows, people can choose to install custom built windows.

Imagine a Home Filled with Enchanting Windows

It does not need to cost a fortune to elevate a home to the next level. Window replacement options make it easy to live a life filled with less stress. A small thing such as the ability to open and shut a window offers instant peace of mind. It does not take a great deal of imagination to visualize elegant replacement windows throughout the home. From casement replacement windows to large picture windows, people can choose from a wide array of window styles to complement all the rooms in their homes.

Casement Windows Save Energy

casement (2)For custom built windows offering the ultimate in energy savings, try casement energy efficient windows. Casement windows feature their own self-sufficient seals for preventing unwanted air from entering the home. Another advantage associated with using casement windows is the ability to crank windows open.

Double Hung Windows

doulbe hungVictorians knew and appreciated the beauty created by double hung windows. Providing a traditional look with modernity is a feat accomplished by Renewal by Andersen. When thinking about window replacement, homeowners have many things to consider. People who want to create lasting impressions often choose double hung windows designed with easy cleaning in mind. Simply tilt the windows and clean them until they sparkle.

Choose the Best Materials

Renewal by Andersen is a window installation company offering unique Fibrex® composite material windows combining traditional wood with contemporary vinyl components. Unlike ordinary replacement windows, Renewal by Andersen offers unique custom built windows. With the help of personal consultants, a customer can choose ideal windows ensuring an immediate improvement in the home’s ambiance, environment, and intrinsic value.

How to Stay Frugal with a Credit Card

credit cardsNothing screams “free money!” like a piece of plastic that gets you all the things you want without having to pay for them. Right away, at least. There’s no better way to rack up thousands of dollars in debt on purchases that you may or may not really need than a credit card – and if money is the root of all evil, then surely credit cards are the devil’s right hand. Right?

Though the idea that credit cards are a dangerous tool to mess around with is widely shared, many people still seem to struggle with overwhelming credit card debt. Every month, balances get carried over and added to the next month, creating a snowball of interest payments. So is it actually possible to stay frugal and make wise financial decisions even while regularly using a credit card? Or is it best to just cut up every Visa and MasterCard in our wallets?

With a properly planned budget and a calendar, it is more than possible to keep your credit card balance low and manageable – meaning less interest that you have to pay on top of what you owe. Whether you’re wary of applying for your first credit card, struggling with reducing your principal, or somewhere in between, careful financial management and budget planning are key to judiciously wielding a credit card.

Plan a Monthly Budget

Consider your monthly expenses, and place them into categories – such as groceries, rent, utilities, gas, and entertainment. Estimate how much you spend on each of these categories in a month, and add them up. Subtract this number from your monthly income. If you end up with a negative number, think about how you can reduce your monthly expenses (this typically comes out of the entertainment or “extras” category). If you have money left over – great! Consider placing this extra money into a savings or investment account. Planning a budget may seem elementary, but being aware of where your money goes can help you decide when and how to wisely use your credit card.

Build a Strategy to Pay Off Your Balancebudget

Ideally, you want to keep your balance as close to zero as possible. However, this may not always be possible if you’ve already accumulated some debt. Use your budget to see where you can reduce your expenditures, and put this extra money toward reducing your balance. If you have multiple credit cards, you may want to consider first paying off the card that has higher interest. Paying more than the minimum on your monthly bill will also help to reduce the amount you will owe in interest.

Foreign Transaction Fees

If you’re travelling overseas, keep in mind that many credit card companies charge what is known as a “foreign transaction fee.” This fee can vary between issuing banks: for example, this Henrico credit union charges a 1% fee on all foreign transactions. Fees can often be as much as 2-3% of your purchase – and if you plan on regularly using your credit card while abroad, you will be in for a surprise when your bill arrives. When travelling out of the country, contact the bank that issued your credit card to see what fees are involved. If there’s a fee, consider using cash or a credit card that does not charge a fee.

Bonus Tip: Review Your Statements Frequently

Identity theft is a reality – be sure to check your credit statements frequently and report any suspicious or inaccurate charges immediately.

It can be tempting to use a credit card recklessly. However, with careful budget planning and using common sense, it’s more than possible to use a credit card to your advantage and build or repair valuable credit history. That being said – if you know that you can’t reasonably use a credit card, or if your debt is unmanageable, it may be best to use only cash or a debit card for your purchases.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Tricks That Save You Money

baby walking

Reason For Carpet Cleaning

In my home, I make sure that everything is extra clean and in tip-top shape. I have two lovely children, ages 2 and 5, and I want to keep our house free of bacteria, germs, mold, and allergens so my family can live healthily. One of the first places I start to attack are the carpets and rugs. I bought this house in Alexandria, VA about three years and there has been lots of foot traffic coming in out of the house. We have held family reunions here every year, many Christmas parties, and our pool in the back is a hot spot in the neighborhood. Below I have revealed to you some my favorite carpet cleaning tips.

woman cleaning carpetVacuuming

To keep a clean home, I make sure to vacuum all of the carpets at least once a week. One trick I found, to freshen up the place, is to prepare a homemade powder to help lift any unwanted odors. This dry clean mix is comprised of baking powder, bay leaves, corn flour, and your favorite potpourri or dried flowers. Crumble all of this and mix it well, then sprinkle it across all of your rugs and carpets. You can use a broom to work it in, then let it sit for about 30 to 45 minutes. After it has had a chance to deodorize, vacuum up everything and enjoy your fresh carpets.

Stain Removal

If a good carpet stain removal solution is what you came looking for then here are some great DIY mixtures to try out in your home. I have personally used all of these and some work better with different stains. It’s important to use a little at first, then wait to see results before you begin to use it on the entire stain. The first mix is a very simple mix that involves using Windex and warm water. The ammonia in the glass cleaner will help work out the stain without leaving a soapy residue. If this doesn’t work then some of these other carpet cleaning solutions carpet cleaning by handmay help. This next one is a classic method that has been used for many years and involves mixing equal parts of vinegar and baking soda. When mixed well it turns into a paste which can be diluted with warm water. Now you can take this solution and scrub it in circular motions across the stain. Let it rest for a few minutes then wash it up with warm water. If that doesn’t work than our last solution surely will. You must mix one gallon of water with 1/2 a cup of home cleaner, 1/2 a cup of fabric softener, and 1 cup of ammonia. This will not only remove all unwanted stains, but it will also help soften the carpets. This solution can also be put in a carpet cleaner machine to make the process easier.

If All Else Fails…

If it seems that all of your efforts are getting you nowhere and your carpets are just not turning out the way you planned, then call in the professional. Make sure to check out what businesses are the best carpet cleaning companies in NOVA. When you find one that suits you make sure to check out their website before calling. Sometimes they offer promotional deals that can only be found online! Good luck folks and remember, “Save Money, Stay Clean!”

How to Avoid Expensive Car Repairs

It’s no surprise that cars are as expensive as they are. We use them every day to get us to and from work, take our children to school, shelter us from the elements, and protect us from potentially life-threatening accidents. We want our cars to be high-quality machines, and maintaining a superior level of performance unfortunately involves routine repairs and service. But when necessary repairs and maintenance become too frequent, it can take a major toll on our bank accounts. To avoid preventable auto repairs that will set you back financially, consider these simple tips. When you’re still driving that sedan or sports utility vehicle 15 years from now, you’ll be glad that you did.

mechanic changing a car wheel.Routine Maintenance and Preventive Care

The owner’s manual for your car should also include a maintenance schedule. This schedule will help you to stay on track with necessary maintenance. Taking preventive measures will ensure fewer costly repairs and potential safety hazards in the future.

Get Problems Checked Out and Repaired Immediately

If your car is making a weird noise, or is handling abnormally, get the problem checked out immediately rather than putting it off. Some odd noises or handling issues may be normal, but it’s best to get the problem checked out by a mechanic to be sure that it’s nothing serious. And if it is a serious problem, get it repaired immediately. Driving your vehicle with any broken parts or mechanical issues will simply make matters worse, and lead to more expensive repairs.

Keep Your Tires Inflated

Keep your tires properly inflated, according to your car’s specific tire pressure. Your car’s tire pressure is typically indicated in psi units in the inside of the driver’s or driver’s side rear door. Too little air or too much air can cause excessive wear on your tires or cause a dangerous blowout. A full set of tires is an expensive purchase, so you want to make sure that you’re getting the most life and use out of your tires before you need to replace them.

Find a Reputable Auto Repair Company

A reputable auto repair shop isn’t always easy to find. Be sure to do your research, looking into reviews and any recommendations from your friends and families. Be aware that cheaply priced products and services can a lot of times mean cheap quality that will simply have to be replaced or re-serviced in a short period of time. Your best bet is to find a mechanic who you can trust with your car, and won’t try to scam you. Aarrow Transmissions for example offers trustworthy full service auto repair performed by certified and trained technicians. Before getting your car serviced, you should also do research into average costs and possible causes of the issue.

Often, expensive repairs can’t be avoided. However, proper maintenance and routine servicing of your vehicle will help to reduce the risk of major problems in the future, an reduce the potential damage to your wallet.

My Home Renovation

When spring hit, I knew it was time for me to do something about my home.  I had wanted to make some changes to the way it looked, and just kept putting off.  But this time I decided it was time to begin planning a renovation project for my Chesterfield VA home.

After months of planning and several weeks of contractors running in and out of the house, my renovation project is complete and I couldn’t be more excited.

My kitchen was one of the more time consuming areas of the project.  Originally, my home had a reddish color hardwood floor, but over years of abuse it’s been scrapped, dinged, cracked, and anything else you can think of.  I knew it had to go.  I decided against going with tile and instead decided to have the hardwood fully replaced.  I contacted a local hardwood refinishing company to help me pick out the best fit for my home.  The hardwood I eventually settled on is dark brown with a slight smoky gray coloring to it.  It’s absolutely gorgeous.

However the flooring was important for my home and kitchen, I still had other things I wanted to change.  To match my new flooring, I picked out a multi-colored stone tile backsplash to line around the counter tops.

An interior of a rich house kitchen

In the spirit of keeping all things matching, I decided to upgrade all of my old appliances.  I decided on a great package from Samsung that included a fridge, stove, microwave, and dishwasher all in a sleek stainless steel finish.  I was excited to finally have appliances that all match.

Aside from my kitchen, I also wanted to upgrade my living room.  I wanted to keep with the new modern styling of my kitchen and purchase new furniture to match.  Since all of my old furniture was old and worn out, I didn’t feel bad about trashing it all and starting fresh.  I replaced the old loveseat with a gray modern style couch with sleek lines, swapped the antique coffee table out for one that matched the couch, and purchased a new low profile entertainment center.  To match everything, I repainted the walls from a light eggshell color to a charcoal gray.

Now that all the work has been finished I feel like I’m in a brand new home.  I can barely recognize anything when I enter – I love it!

Energy Efficiency Saves Money

Ways to Save in Your Home

Most people are interested in making their home more energy efficient, but few are willing to make large investments for a sustainable house. Try these simple ways to reduce your utility bills without making the plunge.

Lifestyle Choices

There are a couple of common sense, every day changes that you can make to avoid using too much energy or water in your home. First of all, make sure that when you load a washing machine or dishwasher, it is entirely full. Running halfway full cycles doubles the amount you will run over time, which can significantly increase your expenses. Taking one, quick shower a day and being conscious about leaving your water running are other ways to make sure you are reducing your water usage.

Plumbing and Electrical Inspections

Having a plumber or electrician take a look at your systems could give some insight to energy savings in ways that you would never consider. For instance, an electrician can tell if the way your home is wired is using excessive electricity and make recommendations to help you save. Likewise, your local plumber can find if pipes are secretly leaking or install an efficient water heater to cut down on your utility bills.

Energy Efficient Windows

Whether or not you decide to install energy efficient windows, replacing these old fixtures is the primary way to save on your heating and cooling costs. New windows will fit the opening in your wall for an air tight seal that keeps away the cold drafts or heat spells. Talk to a window replacement specialist in the area for more information on how long it will take before your savings balance out the installation investment.

Solar Film

Tinting your windows is another way to save in your home. Again, this will help maintain a consistent temperature in your home during summertime or sunnier months. You will also reap the additional benefits of reduced glare, a modern appearance, and less fading in your carpets and furnishings.

These simple upgrades and fixes can each make a considerable different in your water and electricity usage.

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