Keep Your Home Comfortable and Save Money

window shutters

Having window shutters in Destin, FL installed in your home is one of the ways that you can keep the internal temperature of your home comfortable, no matter what time of year it is, and you can save money on energy costs as well.

Energy costs are one of the highest costs of owning a home other than the mortgage. The fluctuation in energy costs throughout the year, especially in the colder months of the winter and the hotter months of the summer, can both strain your family’s budget and cause your blood pressure to rise.

However, there are some very easy ways to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, regardless of what the temperature outside is, without having to worry about high energy costs. Employing these techniques will actually save you money on your power bills throughout the year.

In early times in America, when modern heating and air conditioning was not available, previous generations of our families relied on some very practical ways to try to keep their homes from being too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. We can use some of those now to reduce our energy usage and costs.

If it’s chilly outside and you’ve spent the morning or afternoon using your kitchen oven, leave it open after you’ve turned the heat off and removed all your dishes. This allows the residual heat in the oven to be disseminated throughout your home, which will keep the thermostat from kicking on more often.

If you have ceiling fans installed in your home, reverse them (counter-clockwise – there is a switch on the base of the fan) during colder months to have warm air, which rises toward the ceiling, recirculated down into the room to keep the entire room more warm. In summer months, use the same switch to turn the ceiling fans back to a clockwise motion, which will pull the warm air up to the ceiling, leaving cooler air in the lower part of the room.

Sleeping in colder weather doesn’t have to mean you’re freezing at night. Experts recommend sleeping in cooler temperatures because it promotes better sleep, but if you’re too cold, throw some extra blankets on the beds throughout your home. If it’s cold when you get in bed, you may want to use them all, but then as you get warm, you can remove a layer of blankets so that you’re still comfortable.

Window shutters are an excellent way to keep your home warmer during cooler weather. Because window shutters are installed inside the frame of windows, they create a seal that prevents cold air from coming in from the outside, keeping the inside of your home warmer without you having to adjust your thermostat.

In warmer weather, you can also keep your home comfortable and save money too.

Set your thermostat and use fans (regular fans and ceiling fans) to help circulate cool air throughout your home.

If the weather outside is nice, with cooler temperatures and soft breezes, open the windows instead of running your HVAC system. Not only will this keep your home nice and cool, but it will allow fresh air to circulate through your home, eliminating stale air and any lingering odors.

If you have light-colored window shutters installed in your home, they will reflect heat and light away from your home during the summer months, keeping your home’s interior cooler and reducing the amount you will have to pay for energy.

If you’d like learn more about window shutters in Destin, FL, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at McNeill Palm.

Do You Vacuum These?

Window blinds

Window blinds in Destin, FL are among the things in your home that you should be vacuuming as part of your regular cleaning schedule. We tend to think that floors are the only part of homes that we should be vacuuming, but the reality is that there are many other uses for our vacuum cleaners that we should be aware of.

If you’re a spring cleaning person, you probably don’t move your kitchen and laundry appliances out of their place except once a year – in the spring. Each year, you’re probably shocked by how much dust and dirt has accumulated behind the stove and the refrigerator in just one cycle of 365 days.

But, you should actually be moving the refrigerator and stove out more frequently than once a year to clean behind them. Accumulating dirt and dust behind your stove can pose a potential fire hazard, so cleaning it regularly with your vacuum cleaner will minimize that threat.

Using your vacuum cleaner to clean the coils on your refrigerator will help your refrigerator last longer and run more efficiently. Older refrigerator models generally have the coils located in the back, while newer refrigerator models will have the coils in the front at the bottom (they will be covered with a plastic panel).

You should vacuum the back of your stove and the coils of your refrigerator at least every six months, although every four months will mean less buildup of dust and dirt between cleanings.

Dust and dirt also accumulate behind washers and dryers. This presents a particular risk with dryers because of the heat associated with drying clothes. Vacuuming behind your dryer at least every six months keeps the buildup of dust and dirt from becoming a fire hazard.

While you’ve got the vacuum cleaner near your dryer, you should also vacuum out the lint trap. Most lint traps are either on top of the dryer (they are pulled out to clean) or in a casing inside the dryer door.

Although you may empty the lint trap regularly, lint particles get left behind in the casing area. This buildup of lint can start a fire. Remove the lint trap and vacuum the inside of the casing thoroughly at least every four months to help lower the risk of a fire starting.

Be sure to empty the lint vent and vacuum it as well on a regular basis. The lint vent is the tube that goes from the back of your dryer to the outside of your home where excess lint is deposited. Sometimes lint can get backed up in the lint vent (if your clothes aren’t drying during a regular cycle, this is the first thing you should check for), and this too can increase the risk of a fire being started.

When you first open your windows in the spring, you may be surprised at all the dirt and dead insects you find inside the bottom of the window frame. Use your vacuum cleaner to quickly remove and clean the window frame, and follow with a wet cloth to get the frame completely clean.

Window blinds should be vacuumed regularly as well. Dust and dirt can accumulate quickly on the slats of window blinds. Window blinds should be vacuumed every four weeks. However, you want to be careful to use a low suction vacuum cleaner (such as a handheld model) that has a brush attachment so that you don’t damage or break any of the operating mechanisms on your window blinds.

If you’d like information about cleaning window blinds in Destin, FL, you can speak with our experienced staff at McNeill Palm.

Increasing Your Home’s Privacy

window covering

Using a window covering in Destin, FL on all the windows in your home is one way that you can take back your home’s privacy. As Big Data gathers more and more information about our lives and makes that information available to anyone who knows how to use a search engine, our homes become more vulnerable to a loss of privacy.

We all want to have a certain amount of privacy in our lives, even if we are social media’s biggest oversharers. There are tangible ways to make this a reality even in a society where very little of our lives seem to have any privacy left.

One way to increase your home’s privacy is to have a fence installed. If you live in a neighborhood that is governed by a homeowner’s association (HOA), be sure to check their regulations for fences before you have your fence installed. Some HOAs will not let you install a fence at all, while others have regulations about the type and height of fences that can be installed.

A fence is a great way to make sure your backyard is private for you and your family. The last thing that any of us wants is to feel like our neighbors are watching our every move while we are relaxing and working in our yards.

A fence is also a good way to keep people off your property, and a fence is an excellent deterrent to potential burglars. Be sure to keep the gate of your fence locked with a combination lock or padlock in addition to the latch that is installed on the gate.

Planting trees and bushes around your home is another excellent way to give your home more privacy. Many of us live in neighborhoods where our homes are practically on top of each other, so this natural barrier can give our homes the privacy they need.

Be sure to consider the height and depth of trees and bushes when they are full grown when you’re planting them to make sure there is enough space between them so you don’t end up with a tangled mess when they mature.

Another excellent way to increase the privacy of your home is to have the windows in your home tinted. Most of us like to have a lot of natural light in our homes, especially in the winter months when the days are short and the weather is cooler. However, bare windows mean less privacy.

Tinting windows can give your home a full bath of natural light while preventing anyone who is outside from seeing inside your home. Tinting the windows of your home can also increase your home’s energy efficiency, because tinting will reduce solar heat, which will keep your home more comfortable even in the hottest weather without you ever having to touch the thermostat.

Tinted windows also reduce solar glare, which is important when you are working on a computer or watching TV, and they reduce the amount of ultraviolet rays from the sun that enter your home, providing protection from fading and damage for the contents of your home.

Window coverings are a vital part of increasing the privacy of your home. Window coverings like blinds and shutters give you the most control over your privacy without sacrificing an infusion of natural light or ventilation on nice days, but window shades work well in rooms where privacy is the primary concern.

If you’d like learn more about privacy with a window covering in Destin, FL, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at McNeill Palm.

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