Staying On Top of Energy Costs

Make a Power Switch! If you’re looking for ways that you and your family can reduce your energy use, keep track of your consumption by saving your bills, and noting the dates of any major changes (eg. severe weather, new appliance, change of routine, etc.). Then compare your consumption and spending to previous years’ results.

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Meanwhile, here are some “electrical switches” you can make right away, for a noticeable cost reduction:
• Switch to newer, LED or fluorescent bulbs.
• Switch large or multi-light fixtures to dimmer controls.

And, if you have an electric hot water heater:
• Switch to water-saving showerheads.
• Switch your laundry wash to cold water – most washing energy is spent making hot water.

When the Home Inspector Finds Something Wrong

You shop for a home. You find one you like. You make an offer — conditional on a satisfactory home inspection.

Okay so far.

Then the inspector discovers a problem with the home that may require an expensive repair or renovation. Perhaps the frame in the front door is cracked; or there’s a leak in the roof; or the furnace is due to be replaced.

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What do you do?

You don’t want to pass up an opportunity to purchase what could be your dream home. On the other hand, you don’t want to have to deal with potentially costly repairs.

First, keep in mind that you did the right thing.

It’s always a good idea to get a home inspected by a professional before the offer is finalized. A qualified home inspector will go over the property with a fine tooth comb, top to bottom, inside and out, inspecting the structure, electrical systems, HVAC systems and more.

It’s their job to find any deficiencies in the home and alert you to them.

If a deficiency is found, your next best step is to discuss the issue with your REALTOR®, and go over your options. Those options may include amending the offer price to cover some or all of the costs of the repair, or requiring the seller to get the repair done before you move in.

Don’t worry. This is a normal part of the negotiation process. Chances are, an agreement can be reached that is satisfactory to both parties — and gets you the house you want!

And, because you had a home inspection done, you’ll know the true condition of your home when you buy it. That’s peace of mind.

Mold. An unwelcome guest.

Mold can become an issue in your home if you overlook some basic maintenance and care. Often recognized as a black stain or smudge that smells musty, it grows on materials that have moisture, and are most often found on window sills, carpets, and walls in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms. In addition to being an unpleasant sight, mold releases tiny spores that can get inhaled and can cause various ailments including coughing, wheezing, allergic reactions, and general unease. Depending on the individual, the effects of mold may be more serious for seniors, children or those with compromised immune systems.

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It is important to address moisture right away and be proactive in preventing mold. You can do so by making sure your bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry rooms are properly ventilated; that downspouts and gutters are directed and connected correctly; and keeping your home warm with good air circulation.

If you do inspect your house and find mold covering less than a square metre, you can take the necessary precautions to remove and clean it yourself. By using rubber gloves and a dust mask, you can help reduce the impact on your health.

One product that we have come across that not only cleans up the mold, but kills the spores and treats the surface to prevent recurrence is Concrobium Mold Control. It has yielded excellent results time and time again and find it has good value. It is available at several hardware stores, and sells for about $10 per litre.

If you have mold in your home, review more information here.

But remember if you have an extensive mold problem, call a professional to have it removed and don’t risk your health. Contact us for a referral to a trusted mold remediation company.