Spots In Your House With Lots Of Bugs

Bug Barometer logo. Home Inspection Solutions. Spots in your house Dallas

Dallas Home Inspector identifies 6 hot spots in your house where critters and creepy-crawlies would love to spend the winter.

 

When temperatures cool, critters that were perfectly happy outdoors begin looking for somewhere warm to spend the winter. They may decide your house is the perfect location — unless you take steps to keep them out.

 

You can prepare by learning what’s trying to get into your house and where they would most like to hang out once inside. The National Pest Management Association offers some information on the most common household pests that can show up in the winter:

 

1) Showering with a cockroach

Arguably the pest that creeps people out the most, cockroaches just love the water, so your bathroom could be their winter playground. To keep cockroaches out, eliminate leaks and standing water in the bathroom. Wash the shower curtain and liner, clean out the medicine cabinet, and check under the sink and around the tub and toilet to ensure there’s no moisture from leaky pipes or faucets. Remember, despite the urban legend about roaches surviving a nuclear holocaust, they can only live a week without water!

[Read more…]

Top 5 Millennials Look In A Home

A couple looking each other lying on the grass. Home Inspection Solution. Dallas Millennials

Dallas Home Inspection listed Top 5 features millennials look for in a home

For generations, homeownership has been part of the American dream. For most Americans, it’s the largest, most significant investment they’ll make, and because homeownership is the best way to grow their wealth, the most important investment as well.

 

As the youngest generation of new homeowners, millennials are entering the housing market and are eager to get a home to fit their unique lifestyles. Just as every generation has its own music, its distinct style and look, the new generation of homeowners has different expectations than buyers did a few decades ago. To shed some light on these evolving home trends, here are five of the most popular features millennials look for in a home.

 

1. It needs to be energy efficient.

More than other generations, millennials are particularly concerned with their impact on the environment. As such, they want to be sure the home they buy will have a minimal carbon footprint. Some energy-efficient features that are a priority for homebuyers are UV-protected windows, programmable thermostats, efficient appliances and upgraded insulation.

 

2. It needs to be customized to their tastes.

It’s not enough to find a home that is merely “livable”; millennials want a house that is an outward and inward expression of who they are. Translation: The one-size-fits-all model is no longer sufficient. This is one reason manufactured and modular homes from Clayton Homes have become so popular. They offer diverse floor plans with a number of customizable options to suit individuals’ needs and unique styles. There are even built-in home features for pets!

 

3. Rethinking space usage.

The era of buying a house as big as you can afford is on the way out. Many millennials are forgoing the extra bedrooms and enormous living rooms. These homebuyers prefer smarter ways to utilize space for their family’s needs, while keeping a cozy and intimate atmosphere.

 

4. Open floor plan.

In a world where everyone seems to be plugged into their phones and staring at their individual screens, the open floor plan has emerged as a way for families and guests to come together and share the same space. Basically, the fewer walls between the kitchen, dining room and living room, the better. This floor plan also aids homeowners with their entertaining needs and provides more natural light, which is very big for this young generation.

 

5. A room for a home office.

The millennial workforce is a mobile workforce, and just as this generation is transforming the home market. It is also transforming the workplace. Millions of Americans work from home, and much more are often given the option to work a day or two a week from home. With this shift, many potential homeowners want to be sure there is a suitable workspace for an office.

 

With evolving needs and different tastes, many millennials worry that they will spend a lot of time searching for that one, perfect dream home. A range of green, energy-efficient home models that can be customized with a range of affordable options can be provided At Clayton Homes. From the kitchens to outdoor living areas and multifunctional spaces. Millennials and everyone else can find the choices that will allow them to tailor their home and their living space to suit their lifestyle. (BPT)


Home Inspection Solutions Dallas LogoHome Inspection Solution has been providing Home Inspection ServicesFoundation InspectionGrading and Drainage InspectionRoof and Attic InspectionWall InspectionCeiling and Floor InspectionDoor InspectionWindow InspectionMold Inspection, and other Home Inspection Services in the following areas of Dallas and Fort Worth since 2011.  

Outdoor Winterization Checklist

A few simple steps now can mean a cozy, safe winter for you and your entire family. Add these five steps by Home Inspection Dallas to your winterization to-do list for this weekend and give yourself valuable peace of mind.

 

beautiful wooden deck. Home Inspection Solution Outdoor Winterization Dallas

As temperatures drop, you’re reminded that Old Man Winter will soon rear his ugly head. Before the first flurries fly, it’s important to take some winterization steps to ensure your home is ready for whatever the season brings.

 

This five-point checklist will help safeguard your home against winter’s woes for another year. For additional winterization ideas and detailed project plans, visit Real Cedar.com.

 

Inspect windows

Inspect each window from the outside to see if any gaps or cracks are present. These small openings let in cold air and are also inviting to small critters looking for protection from the cold.

 

If you find some gaps, it’s important to seal them quickly. Apply caulk to the openings to prevent cold air from seeping in, helping to cut down on heating bills. Plus, you won’t have to worry about bugs making your home their hibernation haven. Note: never caulk above or below the window and door openings, as this may block moisture drainage.

 

Prep the deck

The amount of work you have to put into winterizing your deck depends on your decking material. For example, a durable, long-lasting material such as Western Red Cedar requires the least amount of maintenance. That said, all decks require some upkeep.

 

To preserve your deck’s luster, start by cleaning it with a warm, soapy solution and a soft-bristle brush. Do not power wash as this can damage the wood. It’s important that you remove all dirt and debris from the surface as well as in between the boards to improve ventilation.

 

Next, inspect the deck for mold. If present, wash the deck with a mild oxygen bleach solution and leave on the surface for 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Finally, remove anything that might leave marks on the deck’s surface such as furniture, planters, and mats.

 

Protect planter boxes

The majority of planter boxes are made with Western Red Cedar. That’s because the wood is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insects; and therefore, doesn’t require treatment from potentially dangerous chemicals that can leach into soil and plants. But like all garden beds, real cedar planters need protection during the winter months.

 

Start by removing all soil and cleaning the boxes as you did the deck. Then, if possible, store emptied planters in a garage, shed or under the porch. If you don’t have the space to store them this way, then cover them with a water-repellent tarp to protect from moisture buildup, but don’t seal the tarp. As with decks, it’s very important that you allow for proper ventilation.

 

Trim trees

Look for weak trees or those with dead branches, particularly those near your home. As snow accumulates, the weight may bring down a tree or branches, potentially damaging your house.

 

Eliminate this risk by removing any dead trees or dangerous branches now before the first snow. Be safe by using the proper equipment for tree trimming and removal, or, consider hiring a pro to do so. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and handling this issue now could prevent costly damage to your home down the road.

 

Clean the roof

Your roof is a large portion of your home, and it also holds a lot of snow over the winter. To prevent ice dams and other roof problems when freezing temperatures arrive, it’s important to clean gutters and check your roof for problems now.

 

Start by taking all debris out of gutters to ensure free flow for water. Next, walk around your roof and inspect it for any damage. Repair loose shingles and make sure the chimney and vents look intact and secure. Your roof takes on a lot of weight from ice and snow during the winter months and you want it to be as strong as possible. (BPT)


Home Inspection Solutions Dallas LogoHome Inspection Solution has been providing Home Inspection ServicesFoundation InspectionGrading and Drainage InspectionRoof and Attic InspectionWall InspectionCeiling and Floor InspectionDoor InspectionWindow InspectionMold Inspection, and other Home Inspection Services in the following areas of Dallas and Fort Worth since 2011.  

6 Luxury Home Improvement Products

Luxury Bathtub and design - Home Inspection Solutions - Luxury Home DallasHome Inspection Dallas suggests America’s finest: 6 luxury home improvement products made in the U.S.

 

Peruse any home improvement media and you may get the impression you just can’t build, renovate or decorate a quality home without relying on foreign-made products like granite from Italy for countertops, cherry hardwood flooring from Brazil or textiles from India. However, you don’t have to sacrifice quality and luxury in order to buy American for your home; some of the finest home decor products originate right here in the U.S.

 

Here are six of America’s finest domestically made products for the home:

 

ANN SACKS

Every tile in the company’s 14 MADE by ANN SACKS collections is handcrafted and produced in its Portland, Oregon, headquarters. Founded in 1981 by Ann Sacks, the company’s tile and stone products in unique patterns, shapes, sizes, and glazes are favorites of homeowners and interior designers seeking top-quality luxury and beauty for their home designs. In addition to a repertoire of standard tiles, the company also has partnered with famous designers to create innovative luxury lines. They even create custom designs to help homeowners achieve a truly one-of-kind look in their homes.

 

The company is also a pioneer in another aspect of American culture: the focus on sustainable business practices. The company recycles all excess raw clay, uses only lead-free glazes, filters production wastewater and uses only recycled and recyclable packaging for shipping products.

 

StickleyLuxury kitchen and design - Home Inspection Solutions - Luxury Home Dallas

Founded in 1900 by the Stickley brothers, the luxury furniture brand continues to conduct all its manufacturing in its Manlius, New York, factory. Their furniture is known for its beautiful wood construction, durability and meticulous attention to details.

 

Robern

Rooted in the belief that “your everyday routine should never feel ordinary,” Robern has been making innovative medicine cabinets, bathroom mirrors, vanities and lighting since 1968. From smart medicine cabinets with features like touch-dimmable task lighting, magnetic storage, and integrated USB outlets to wall mirrors with lights, audio and defogging capabilities, all products are still made in Bristol, Pennsylvania.

 

Bloomsburg Carpet

Founded in 1976 to produce quality, luxurious carpet, Bloomsburg Carpet weaves all its carpets in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna Valley. Third-generation weavers produce Axminster, Velvet and Wilton carpets under one roof. The company weaves with raw, sustainable fibers that it describes as “ecologically friendly and readily renewable.”

 

Viking

Founded in 1987, Viking produces professional-quality ranges and refrigerators at four manufacturing facilities in Leflore County, Mississippi. The company’s products are favorites of both professionals and home chefs.

 

Thomasville Bedding Company

The company that began over 40 years ago in a one-room building now occupies 36,000 square feet of factory and showroom space in Thomasville, Georgia. In addition to offering a wide selection of mattress styles, the company is also one of the few remaining bedding makers who will manufacture a custom set to fit any size bed.

 

You don’t have to sacrifice the pride of buying American to find the luxury, quality, and customization you desire for your home decor. Purchasing quality American-made products is an investment that can deliver high returns in beauty, durability, and satisfaction. (BPT)


Home Inspection Solutions Dallas LogoHome Inspection Solution has been providing Home Inspection ServicesFoundation InspectionGrading and Drainage InspectionRoof and Attic InspectionWall InspectionCeiling and Floor InspectionDoor InspectionWindow InspectionMold Inspection, and other Home Inspection Services in the following areas of Dallas and Fort Worth since 2011.  

Myths About Solar Panels, Debunked

contractor installing solar panel -Home Inspection Solutions - Solar Panel DallasHome Inspection Dallas tips for your solar panels. Home solar panels can drastically cut or even eliminate electricity bills, reduce a home’s carbon footprint, increase resale value, and may even help a home sell faster. 

 

The cost of rooftop solar systems has fallen dramatically in recent years. Most homeowners have the option of buying the system. Leasing it on reasonable payment terms, or having a third-party pay for and install the system at no up-front cost at all for the homeowner. Plus, home solar systems are eligible for federal tax credits.

 

All of this explains why the number of homeowners installing solar has sky-rocketed across America. Nevertheless, many homeowners remain skeptical about taking control of their energy use and installing solar. Why? The various myths that still persist around solar power could be the reason.

 

“Solar technology has been around for a long time. But even though it’s entered the mainstream, many homeowners are still skeptical,” says renewable energy expert Roger Ballentine, president of Green Strategies, a leading Washington-based consulting firm. “That’s because a number of myths persist, pointing to the need for better consumer education about the benefits of home solar installations.”

 

Ballentine points to private and government studies providing real information that debunks the myths surrounding solar power. For example, research by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found solar panels help homes sell faster and for more money than those without solar.

 

If you’re considering installing a solar panel system in your home, here are five common myths – and why you shouldn’t believe them:

 

Myth 1: Solar panels only work if you live in a warm, sunny climate.

While solar panels work best when they get a lot of sun, a lack of bright sun doesn’t mean they’re not working. Panels can still absorb ambient sunlight, even on cloudy days or in regions that get less bright sun. What’s more, today’s solar panels are more energy efficient than ever. Newer systems like the “LG NeOn R” maximize sunlight absorption and generate the maximum possible output – as much as 26 percent more than other comparably sized solar panels. This higher efficiency means that solar panels can work in virtually any climate and every season.

 

Myth 2: You need a lot of roof space for solar panels.

Just like other amazing technologies (think microchips), solar panels are getting smaller, more powerful and more efficient. High-efficiency panels take up less space because fewer panels are required to produce the electricity needed to power your home. So even a smaller home could have enough roof space to fit the number of panels needed to generate the necessary power and save you money.

 

Myth 3: Installation is a long, drawn-out hassle.

While adding solar panels to your home isn’t a DIY project, installation usually takes only a day or two. New models streamline the process further, eliminating the need to install a separate inverter. Most solar panels require a separate inverter to bring electricity into your house. But new panels from LG, for instance, incorporate the inverter, simplifying and accelerating the installation process.

 

Myth 4: If something goes wrong, you’re on your own.

As with any major investment in your home, you should make sure you understand the manufacturer and installer warranties for your solar panels. Including how long the coverage lasts and what types of problems are covered. One leading solar player, LG, even offers an industry-leading, 25-year product and power warranty. And unlike a furnace or an air conditioning system, a solar installation has no moving parts to wear out and typically requires little maintenance and repair.

 

Myth 5: Solar panels will look big, bulky and ugly on your roof.

Solar panels are becoming smaller, sleeker and more aesthetically pleasing. Higher-efficiency models are also offering increased flexibility of configuration. Instead of having to cover an entire roof with panels in a specific arrangement in order to generate power, modern options allow you to arrange panels to meet your sense of aesthetics.

 

Adding solar power to a home offers homeowners many benefits. From reducing energy costs, to increasing the value of your home and helping the environment, Ballentine says. “Overall, it’s a decision most homeowners feel positively about once they’ve made it.” The NREL notes in its study: “Buyers of homes with (solar panel) systems are more satisfied than are comparison buyers. A significantly higher percentage … indicate they would buy the same houses again.” (BPT)


Home Inspection Solutions Dallas LogoHome Inspection Solution has been providing Home Inspection ServicesFoundation InspectionGrading and Drainage InspectionRoof and Attic InspectionWall InspectionCeiling and Floor InspectionDoor InspectionWindow InspectionMold Inspection, and other Home Inspection Services in the following areas of Dallas and Fort Worth since 2011.  

Insulation Right For Your Home

House Contractor Installing Wall Insulator - Home Inspection Solution - Home Insulation DallasWhich type of insulation is right for your home? Home Inspector Dallas will give you some suggestions.

 

With the imminent approach of dropping temperatures, many people reach for their sweaters as they run out the door. In a bittersweet farewell to summer, boats are hauled out of the water and taken in to be winterized. Wool sock purchases start to soar, and Instagram has filled again with pumpkin spice latte images. And, don’t forget those pet owners who dress their dogs in miniature rain jackets and scarves. It is officially Fall.

 

Often, in this natural progression toward hibernation and all things cozy, preparation for your house is forgotten. Insulation for the home can seem intimidating, but don’t let that stop you from digging deeper. You’ll find that proper insulation is key for superior home comfort and increased energy savings. Read on for some easy-to-understand information on why your home may need its own new sweater this winter to help you stay warm.

 

 

Why is insulation important?

There are two huge reasons: consistency and savings. First, insulation helps keep your home at a consistently comfortable temperature. Second, insulation creates a more energy-efficient home, saving you up to 20 percent in heating/cooling costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). To put that in perspective, the typical U.S. home has a heating/cooling bill that accounts for almost half of its energy costs each month – meaning you could save 10 percent of your overall energy bill.

 

What type of insulation do you need?

As for most things in life, it is important to know your options. Three of the most common types of insulation for home DIY are fiberglass batts, rigid foam panels (such as expanded polystyrene, or EPS) and mineral wool. Look below for the advantages and disadvantages of each.

 

Fiberglass

* Pros – non-flammable, inexpensive

* Cons – difficult to install properly without leaving gaps, which renders the insulation much less efficient. Most of all, handling danger due to glass powder and small glass shards

 

EPS rigid foam panels

* Pros – excellent sound and temperature insulation; inexpensive; easy to install

* Cons – must cut pieces to fit around pipes, etc.

 

Mineral wool

* Pros – easy to install; flame resistant

* Cons – more effective when combined with other forms of insulation (meaning more work to install); higher price

 

For self-installation in your home, EPS offers many benefits other forms of insulation do not. Other forms of insulation (like fiberglass or mineral wool) require more safety precautions, like protective wear and training for proper installation.

 

“EPS provides the best insulating performance – ‘R-value’ – per dollar of any insulation,” says insulation expert Paul Kopelson, regional sales director for Insulfoam. “Other forms of insulation are challenging to install without leaving gaps and wrinkles that can cut the efficiency of the product in half. It’s important as a homeowner to know that your insulation will do what it’s supposed to, and do it well.”

 

What’s next?

Inhale confidence, exhale doubts. With your new knowledge of insulation types, a quick trip to a local home improvement store will arm you to better understand the options. Nationally, stores like Home Depot stock a wide range of insulation products, including EPS options such as R-Tech insulation. Regionally, other retail and lumber dealers carry these items. Check them out, and get ready for a warmer winter. Your house (and your energy bill) will thank you. (BPT)

 


Home Inspection Solutions Dallas LogoHome Inspection Solution has been providing Home Inspection ServicesFoundation InspectionGrading and Drainage InspectionRoof and Attic InspectionWall InspectionCeiling and Floor InspectionDoor InspectionWindow InspectionMold Inspection, and other Home Inspection Services in the following areas of Dallas and Fort Worth since 2011.  

Prepare Your Home for Fall

Family Relaxing Indoors Playing Chess And Reading Book Smiling - Home Inspection Solution - Home for Fall Dallas

Home Inspection Dallas Suggests 5 Effortless DIY Projects to Prep Your Home for Fall — and Beyond

 

The telltale signs are all there. Maybe it’s football season, the changing color of the trees right outside your door, or the crisp morning air that’s suddenly taken on a chill. Yes, there’s no denying it, fall is here and winter is quickly following behind.

 

No matter where you live in the country, the colder months are synonymous with the indoor months. Your home becomes your refuge as well as your sanctuary. But as you prepare for the cold yourself, you may not realize your home needs some preparation as well. Now’s the perfect opportunity to begin those projects before fall gives way entirely to winter.

 

Below are five DIY projects you can tackle in a single Saturday with minimal expense and experience needed, each of which will make the upcoming seasons cozier for you and your family.

 

 

Winterize your AC/water lines.

Your air conditioner and your outdoor faucets are mainstays all summer. But as cooler temperatures set in, it’s time to retire them for the year. Start by draining your hoses and air conditioner pipes to remove excess water. Next, be sure all exterior water faucets are tightly sealed and your AC system is turned off – if your unit has such a switch.

 

 

Seal up those hidden gaps and cracks.

Small cracks along the borders of your windows or doors are easy to go unnoticed, but you’ll feel their presence on your monthly energy bills. Don’t let warm air escape your home through these openings. Seal them by applying GREAT STUFF(TM) Window & Door Insulating Foam Sealant. These easy-to-use foam sealants can tackle any small opening in your windows or doors to help keep your home energy efficient and prevent those costly air leaks.

 

 

Keep your furnace and its surrounding area clean.

Changing your furnace filter regularly (cleaning schedule dependent on your type of furnace) keeps your furnace running efficiently and protects your home’s air quality. However, it’s also one of the most easily forgotten chores. To avoid missing this task, set a date you’ll remember. In addition, be sure the area around your furnace is clear of clutter. So you don’t accidentally create a potential fire hazard.

 

 

Block out unwanted guests.

We’re not talking about your in-laws here. As temperatures drop, the warmth of your home becomes even more appealing for unwanted pests. Use GREAT STUFF(TM) Pestblock Insulating Foam Sealant to seal the areas around bathroom plumbing and any outdoor openings that pests may use to enter your home.

 

 

Insulate your pipes.

If you live in a part of the country where your pipes are in danger of freezing during winter, insulating them can protect against pipe rupture. Wrap exterior pipes in a versatile, moisture-resistant, high-compressive foam to ward against pipe freezing and ensure your pipes come into spring in the same shape you left them in the fall.

 

Our homes are only growing increasingly vulnerable with the changing of the seasons. So, what are you waiting for? Tackling any of these projects will have a dramatic effect on your home’s cold weather preparedness. The energy bill savings will be great on your wallet, too. (BPT)

 


Home Inspection Solutions Dallas LogoHome Inspection Solution has been providing Home Inspection ServicesFoundation InspectionGrading and Drainage InspectionRoof and Attic InspectionWall InspectionCeiling and Floor InspectionDoor InspectionWindow InspectionMold Inspection, and other Home Inspection Services in the following areas of Dallas and Fort Worth since 2011.  

Monthly Mortgage Payment

a couple smiling looking on the papers. Home Inspection Solutions - Mortgage Payment DallasGet Tips On How to Lower Your Monthly Mortgage Payment with Dallas Home Inspector

By: Home Inspection Solution

 

Owning your own home comes with many advantages. Includes escaping rising rents and the personal and financial stability associated with homeownership. Fortunately, millions of Americans, with less than 20 percent down, have been able to buy a home sooner thanks to mortgage insurance (MI). If you don’t put down 20 percent of the mortgage cost, you will likely be required to purchase MI, which enables low-down-payment borrowers to qualify for home financing from lenders.

 

 

While homeownership has many benefits and continues to be part of the American Dream, it is not without costs. Several surveys have found that the majority of first-time homebuyers – over 80 percent according to one study – put less than 20 percent down. For these borrowers, there is usually the added expense of MI, which may give some of these borrowers pause.

 

But there is good news:

The monthly private mortgage insurance premiums do not last forever on most conventional loans. And when private MI (PMI) cancels, homeowners will have more cash in their pockets each month – money that is available for home improvements or other goals. It is important to understand, however, that not all MI is the same, and not all MI can be canceled.

 

 

There are numerous low-down-payment mortgage options available that include MI. The two most common are: (1) home loans backed 100 percent by the government through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that include both an upfront and annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP); and (2) conventional loans, which are typically backed at least in part by private sources of capital, such as private MI. The key difference is that one form can be canceled (PMI) while the other (FHA) typically cannot be canceled.

 

An FHA loan can be obtained with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent.

However, be aware that you will typically have to pay a mortgage insurance premium (MIP). 1.75 percent of the total loan amount at closing or have it financed into the mortgage. In addition to your regular monthly mortgage payments on your FHA loan, you will also pay a fixed monthly MIP fee for the life of the loan. This means you could pay hundreds of dollars extra every month.  Thousands over the life of the loan – until you pay off the entirety of the loan.

 

If you obtain a conventional loan with PMI, you can put as little as 3 percent down. Like an FHA loan, PMI fees are generally factored into your monthly mortgage payment. However, PMI can often be canceled once you have established 20 percent equity. The home and/or the principal balance of the mortgage is scheduled to reach 78 percent of the home’s original value. This means that the rest of your mortgage payments will not include any extra fees. Your payments go down in time, saving you money each month. What you save in the long run can then be put toward expenses like home renovations. Which can further increase your home’s value.

 

MI is a good thing because it bridges the divide between a low down payment and mortgage approval. But not all MI is created equal. If you want to buy a home but still save in the long run, PMI might be the right option for you. Check out lowdownpaymentfacts.org to learn more. (BPT)


Home Inspection Solutions Dallas LogoHome Inspection Solution has been providing Home Inspection ServicesFoundation InspectionGrading and Drainage InspectionRoof and Attic InspectionWall InspectionCeiling and Floor InspectionDoor InspectionWindow InspectionMold Inspection, and other Home Inspection Services in the following areas of Dallas and Fort Worth since 2011.  

Choose An Energy-Efficient System

Mother and baby boy playing house wood blocks - Home Inspection Solution - Energy-Efficient System Dallas

Replacing a furnace? A Dallas Home Inspector can help you decide.

By: Home Inspection Solution

If it’s time to replace your furnace, you may be wondering if it’s worth the extra investment to buy an energy-efficient system. Or, you may be unsure how to choose an energy-efficient system for your home.

 

“Energy-efficient heating systems can substantially lower your fuel costs over the lifetime of the system. It’s well worth investing the time and money to find just the right one,” says Chip Wade, HGTV(R) expert. “Depending on where you live, an energy-efficient gas furnace can be between 12 and 16 percent more efficient than standard models, according to ENERGY STAR.”

 

Wade offers some guidance for choosing an energy-efficient heating system that’s right for your home:

 

* The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) measures how efficiently a gas furnace converts fuel into energy.

Generally, the higher the AFUE rating of a furnace the more energy efficient it will be. For example, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 90 percent means that same percentage of fuel gets turned into heat, and only 10 percent is lost through the chimney and elsewhere. You can find the AFUE rating on the yellow Energy Guide label on the furnace.

 

* Be sure to right-size your furnace.

A unit that’s too small for your home will have to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature and will use more fuel. A unit that’s too big may also use more fuel than is actually required to adequately heat your home, and may also result in uneven temperatures throughout the house.

 

* Look for models like the YORK(R) Affinity(TM) Series modulating gas furnace that offers efficiency-enhancing features.

For example, the Affinity furnaces have a modulating burner that continuously adjusts heating levels in small increments to match the precise degree of comfort you need. Leading-edge technology also tailors the operation of the furnace to match the climate of your location. The system also self-monitors to make set-up and maintenance faster and easier.

 

* Choose a gas furnace that offers sealed combustion.

These furnaces draw air from outside and mix it with the fuel at a controlled rate. This maximizes the amount of heat the furnace can generate from the fuel. Most quality energy-efficient furnaces will have this feature.

* Pay attention to the warranty and be sure you understand just what it covers and for how long.

Furnaces are a big investment, so it’s important to choose one that gives you the best warranty. For example, Affinity furnaces offer a Complete Assurance Warranty Pledge that promises if the heat exchanger fails in the first 10 years, the company will provide the option to replace the furnace.

 

Finally, before you invest in an energy-efficient furnace make sure your house will work with the furnace to maximize its efficiency. Seal air leaks throughout the home, especially at windows and doors, and throughout duct work. Make sure you have the correct amount and type of insulation in your home for your climate. Have the rest of your home’s HVAC system inspected.  Ensure there are no problems that could hinder the efficient operation of your new furnace.

 

To learn more about energy-efficient furnaces, visit www.YORK.com. (BPT)

 


Home Inspection Solutions Dallas LogoHome Inspection Solution has been providing Home Inspection ServicesFoundation InspectionGrading and Drainage InspectionRoof and Attic InspectionWall InspectionCeiling and Floor InspectionDoor InspectionWindow InspectionMold Inspection, and other Home Inspection Services in the following areas of Dallas and Fort Worth since 2011.  

All Home Warranties Are Not Created Equal

Home owner one knee on the floor fixing dishwasher - Home Inspection Solution - Home Warranties DallasAsk our Dallas Home Inspector about your Home Warranties

By: Home Inspection Solution

Having a home warranty is a smart way to help deal with the inevitable home repair problems that all property owners face at one point or another.

 

After all, a good home warranty can mean getting expert help when your HVAC system needs to be fixed, your water heater needs to be replaced, or your refrigerator requires a new part.

 

But unfortunately, all home warranties are not created equal. And shopping for a home warranty can be tough, especially if you aren’t familiar with home warranty coverage and providers.

 

So to find a home warranty that will protect your home and budget, here are three important questions to ask, along with a few tips on what to look for in a top-notch home warranty.

 

1. Covered

Some home warranties are only good for appliances. Others focus on systems within your house, such as your air conditioning, heating or plumbing systems. The best warranties offer broad protection at a fair price and even allow you to select from various coverage approaches based on your needs.

 

When shopping around, inquire about exclusions, limitations and non-covered expenses. Most, if not all, plans DO have these. For example, there may be a cap on the amount of coverage for a particular item; an environmental disposal fee, required in some counties, may be excluded from coverage; or modifications, not covered under the home warranty, may be needed to bring a covered system up to code or in compliance with new standards.

 

2. Is the price affordable?

Obviously, you’ll want to initially know the specifics of how much a warranty will cost you – not just for the annual price of coverage, but also for future service calls.

 

When purchasing an American Home Shield warranty, you choose a $75, $100 or $125 fee for your service requests. This gives you the flexibility to pay more or less for your annual contract. As with all home warranty companies, the price of an American Home Shield warranty plan varies based on multiple factors. It includes the specific type of plan you choose and your state of residency. But basic coverage starts at about $300 and goes up to around $600 annually for more comprehensive plans. A bargain considering the cost of replacing things in your house that will likely break down at some point.

 

When considering cost factors, also ask if all the items you want to be covered are included in the base cost of the plan, or whether you will need to add additional items to create the perfect plan for your home.

 

3. Does the home warranty cover just mechanical components?

Before you buy any home warranty, inquire about the extent of coverage different companies may provide based on normal wear and tear of an item – as well as any limitations.

 

Many components of home systems and appliances contain both mechanical and non-mechanical features. The primary goal of a home warranty is to repair or replace covered items so that they function mechanically. American Home Shield covers both mechanical repairs and certain non-mechanical items, such as handles, doors, knobs, and shelves.

 

That doesn’t mean everything is covered, of course. So let’s say your child stands on your dishwasher door and breaks the seal. Sorry, but that is NOT a covered repair because it is not “normal” wear and tear.

 

Also, what happens if a repair person comes to your home and, despite his or her best efforts, simply can’t fix something covered under your home warranty?

 

With an AHS home warranty, if a repair person can’t fix a covered item, AHS will replace it.

 

That doesn’t mean you will necessarily get the precise brand and color of, say, a washing machine or dryer. After all, you may have bought your laundry set four years ago, and the manufacturer might not even make those exact same models or colors today.

 

However, if your washer and dryer do fizzle out completely, AHS will install a replacement that has similar operational features.

 

What’s more, at American Home Shield, 98 percent of service requests are dispatched to local repair technicians within 24 hours.

 

Using your home warranty wisely

Regardless of the type of home warranty you buy or whom you buy it from, always follow the maintenance guidelines specified for your home’s appliances and systems. Likewise, it’s a smart idea to have those systems and appliances regularly serviced.

Taking both of those steps can prevent many service repair calls and help reduce your overall cost of homeownership. (BPT)

Ultimately, an excellent home warranty provides you with a solid asset that helps safeguard one of your biggest investments.

 

Written by: Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach, AskTheMoneyCoach.com, AHS Financial Partner


Home Inspection Solutions Dallas LogoHome Inspection Solution has been providing Home Inspection ServicesFoundation InspectionGrading and Drainage InspectionRoof and Attic InspectionWall InspectionCeiling and Floor InspectionDoor InspectionWindow InspectionMold Inspection, and other Home Inspection Services in the following areas of Dallas and Fort Worth since 2011.