Thursday, August 31, 2017

How You Can Help Hurricane Victims

Over the last several days we've all seen the devastating photos of the destruction in Houston and Louisiana.  While the situation may seem overwhelming and the needs just too great - there are many ways you can help.  Here is a brief list below.


Salvation Army  - Donate Here

American Red Cross - Donate Here

Samaritan's Purse - Donate Here


Other ways to help include donating blood and diapers which are not provided by most relief organizations.

To avoid scams make sure you go directly to an organizations website to donate, do not follow an email link no matter who sends it to you.

Be wary of opening attachments claiming to be ways to help as they may contain malware.

Most importantly, recognize that the relief and recovery efforts will take months or years.  Even as the news cycle changes be aware of the needs and ready to give when you can.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Storm Preparedness

With the first hurricane of the season set to make landfall in Texas, it's a good time to go over your own storm preparedness supplies and family plan.

Supplies:

- One gallon of water per day per person for food and sanitation
- Non perishable food
- Battery powered radio and flashlight
- First aid kit
- Can opener
- Cell phone charger and extra battery
- Prescription medicines
- Emergency contact phone numbers

Plan:
- Know your local evacuation routes should you need to leave
- Have an evacuation bag ready with first aid kit, the supplies listed above and important personal and home documents
- Have an emergency communications plan should family members be out of the home when evacuation needs to occur

Stay informed to stay safe.  Keep up with the latest in storm path predictions and recommendations. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Improving Your Air Quality

Most of us know that it's routine home maintenance to change your air filters on a regular basis. Yet we still fail to do it on time or with any real thought about why we're doing it.

Air filters not only make your home HVAC system more efficient, they also make the air your family breathes cleaner and safer.

Here's what you need to know.

- Air filters use synthetic fibers to trap pollutants and dust in the air - keeping them from entering your home.

- You get what you pay for.  The cheaper air filters are mainly designed to allow for the efficient running of your heating and air conditioning but do very little to remove pollutants from the air. They must also be changed more frequently.

- Pleated air filters remove about 45% of home pollutants while high efficiency air filters remove over 80%.

- The air filter that removes the most irritants and pollutants from your home is the True HEPA filter - removing almost 98% of air pollutants.  The main drawback is that these type of filters do not work for every home system - only those with a whole house filtration system.

Keep your home cleaner and your family healthier by choosing the right air filter for your home.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Programmable Thermostats

One of the major benefits of buying a new home is the new technology built into the home through both the construction process and use of advanced appliances or systems.

Programmable thermostats are one of those advances in technology that improve both home comfort and efficiency.

Managing your heat and air conditioning needs can be a huge help in the face of rising energy costs. Programmable thermostats allow you to set a heating and cooling schedule around your family's schedule.  What does this mean?  That your home doesn't need to heat or cool while no one is home but can still be comfortable when you need it to be.  That it will adjust incrementally to ensure your night temperature is how you desire it.  It means that while your home is unoccupied you aren't paying to heat or cool it.

Programmable thermostats can save you on average about $150 a year.  Utilizing the technology
built into your new home can decrease your energy costs and increase your home comfort.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Make These Changes to Sleep Better

The kitchen and master bath often get all of the attention when it comes to the "wow" factor in a new home.  But once you're moved in, there is one room that may be more important than any other - the master bedroom.

Getting a good nights sleep is vital for your health and well-being, especially after a big life event such as moving into a new home.

So how can you make your new master bedroom a sleep sanctuary?

Here are a few ideas:

1.  Keep it dark.  Make this one of the first rooms that gets window treatments to block out the sun and heat.

2.  When setting up your electronics (chargers, cable box, modems) try to position them in a way that their lights are not pointing toward you and possibly disrupting your sleep.

3. Figure out your best sleep temperature. The rule of thumb for sleeping is to keep the temp at 65 degrees.  Make sure you don't have too much or too little bedding that will wake you up at night.

4.  If you have outside noise that wakes you up at night, invest in sound machine or fan for white noise.

5.  Have plants in your room to improve indoor air quality. Certain scents such as lavender and vanilla are natural sleep enhancers.

What do you do to create the perfect sleep environment?