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5 Things To Go The Extra Mile For When Spring Cleaning

Well cleaned home

After months of cold weather and harsh temperatures, March 20th finally marks the first day of spring. Chances are this warm weather is encouraging you to give your home the thorough cleaning it probably needs.

Though warm-weather cleaning might not be for everyone, thousands of Americans spend hours each spring scrubbing walls, sweeping floors, dusting furniture and much more. When you dig into spring cleaning this year, don’t skimp on these 5 essentials.

  • Don’t Neglect The “Top Zone”

The “top zone” or anything above your head is one of the first places you should clean. Ledges, tall windows, ceiling fans, light fixtures, air vents, and door frames all collect dust over the winter. By targeting these areas first, you can prevent dirt and debris from settling on freshly cleaned floors and furniture. You can also use this time as an opportunity to replace burnt-out light bulbs and deteriorated, ineffective filters.

  • The Three C’s

When cleaning your home, be sure not to neglect the three C’s: ceilings, corners, and closets.

Ceilings and corners are notorious for collecting cobwebs, dust, debris, and dirt and are easily overlooked when doing a quick vacuum clean during the winter. Also, be sure to open up your closets and give them a thorough clean. Take this opportunity to grease squeaky hinges and sliding tracks as well.

  • Concentrate On Eye Level Areas

After cleaning out the nooks, crannies, closets, and ceilings, take note to thoroughly clean everything at eye level. This includes windows, walls, bookshelves, and tall furniture. You should also consider the following:

  • Dust wall hangings like pictures, mirrors, clocks, etc.
  • Wash both sides of windows
  • Dusting bookshelves, tall lamps and other furniture
  • Washing, ironing and re-hanging curtains
  • Don’t Forget The Floor

Before giving your floors a thorough scrubbing, be sure to clean the baseboards, shake out and vacuum mats, runners and rugs. This is a good time to put away any floor coverings you won’t need in the summer months. Sweep and mop any hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors and be sure to wash any small area rugs, as these collect bacteria, dust, and debris over time. Also consider renting or hiring a professional carpet cleaner to give your treaded carpets a deep, effective clean.

  • Keep Your Kitchen In Mind

As the heart of our home, giving your kitchen a thorough clean is essential. And as a high-traffic, high-mess, and high-maintenance area, your kitchen is sure to need it. There are a few extra steps you need to take to thoroughly clean your kitchen.

  • Clean the inside of your fridge and freezer, stove and dishwasher
  • Clean countertop accessories like the toaster, teapot, microwave, coffee maker, etc.
  • Remove all items from the countertop and clean well, being sure to pay attention to the backsplash
  • Thoroughly go through each cupboard or shelf in your pantry and remove each item to clean in and around the area. When replacing them, consider organizing to make your life easier.
  • Clean and deodorize your garbage and recycling bins

For more tips on how to take great care of your home, and for information on how you can protect your home and the safety of your family, visit Heuer Insurance Agency.  As the leading home insurance agency in the Reno, Nevada area, Heuer Insurance has the resources necessary to find you the best solution for affordable, dependable home insurance. Contact us, today.

6 Tips For Cutting Winter Heating Costs

fireplace

Heating your house during the cold winter months can be a pricey necessity. And with El Niño casting a colder-than-normal winter on the southern states this year, taking the necessary measures to keep your heating bill as low as possible is important. These six tips can help.

1.     Seal All Air Leaks

By properly sealing all air leaks, you can save 10% or more on heating bills; that’s typically anywhere from $50 to $170 a year in savings. Drafts can occur in the following areas:

  • Electrical boxes: electrical outlets in exterior walls are known for being drafty without proper insulation. Remove all cover plates and fill the gaps around the boxes with acrylic latex caulk. Replace the foam gasket and the cover plate before using the outlet.
  • Holes in exterior walls: pipes, gas line and electrical cables frequently have gaps due that lead to drafty air leaks. Seal these gaps with expanding foam.
  • Worn weatherstripping: did you know that 7 to 12 percent of heat loss comes from windows and doors? By replacing worn and torn weatherstripping and caulking around doors and windows, you can cut back significantly on lost heat.

2.     Reverse Your Ceiling Fan

Contrary to popular belief, ceiling fans can actually help keep your home warm in the winter. If you set your fan to spin clockwise on a low speed, you can push the warm air that’s trapped at the ceiling down, and spread it throughout your home. By following this simple tip, you could save as much at 15% on your heating bill.

3.     Lower Your Hot Water Temp

There is a good chance that your water heater is factory-set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but the Department of Energy suggests to dial back the temp on your water heater to 120 degrees.  Not only will that be sufficient for taking showers, doing laundry and washing dishes, but you can also save 6 to 10 percent on water heating costs as well.

4.     Buy A Portable Furnace

Consider buying a portable space heater and set it in frequently used rooms, like the living room or the kitchen. Even though the rest of your home might be cooler, the places you’ll be spending most time will be warm and you can turn down your thermostat.

5.     Get A New Thermostat

Outdated thermostats can actually be costing you money. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat. By turning down the temperature 10-15 degrees for eight hours a day – like when you’re at work or while you’re sleeping – you can save significantly on your monthly heating bill. Better yet- programmable thermostats are incredibly affordable, with models starting around $25.

6.     Open Blinds

Keeping blinds and curtains shut during shaded or nighttime hours can significantly reduce heat from escaping through leaky windows. However, by opening these blinds when the sun is shining through your windows, you can use the natural light to heat your home. This added heat increases the temperature inside your home and prevents your heater from overworking.

 

For more information on how to properly care for and insure you home, visit Heuer Insurance Agency. Since 1929, Heuer has been serving homeowners in the Reno, NV area with reliable insurance coverage and friendly service. To learn more tips for keeping your home in good condition, visit the Heuer Insurance blog.

 

Can My Dog Affect My Home Insurance?

Having a pet is an exciting and important part of many people’s lives, however, there can often be serious repercussions to home insurance costs if you own a “risky” dog.  The experts at Heuer Insurance are here to help you understand the impact of dog ownership on the cost of your home insurance policy.

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Why You Should Always Get a Home History Report before Buying

When you buy something for your home, like a TV, you can read online reviews and consumer reports to help you make your purchase. Even when you buy a used car, you can request a vehicle history report.

But what are your options when buying a home? The stakes are much higher, since a home is likely to be the biggest purchase of your life. When unexpected problems pop up after you buy, it can cost you thousands of dollars and diminish the overall value of your home.

Thankfully, you can take steps to lower the risks of buying a home. One option is to request a home history report.

House and Key

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How to Find the Right Home Security System

If you are new in your home and want to protect it from any possible dangers, you may be wondering which home security system is right for you.  And, with the variety of companies available, it can be difficult to narrow it down.

Here are a few of the best signals you should keep in mind as you search for your home security system!

Home

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What You Need to Know Before Buying a Home

Buying your first home can be an intimidating task to say the least. You may feel pressure from your family to get a home, you may feel pressure from the real estate agent trying to sell you the home, and you may just end up making the worst decision of your life. Make sure you know what you are doing before you buy a home. Here are some things you should be aware of before making one of the biggest investments of your life.

Buying a home is not for everyone

This may come as a surprise to you, but there is no rule that you need to buy a home. In fact, there are some pretty obvious reasons why it may just be more economical to rent. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t opt out of renting before you run the numbers. You might be surprised at how much you could save.

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How to Stay Cool on a Budget This Summer

Every summer, families across America are faced with the following quandary: how to keep cool without breaking the bank. Running the air conditioning all day is an expensive solution, but on the other hand, you don’t want to be baked alive in your home, either.

Thankfully, with a little strategizing, you can keep your home and your family cool this summer, without running up your electrical at the same time.

Pool

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What Is Vacant Home Insurance and Do I Need It?

If you own a second home that you leave vacant anywhere from 3 to 36 months, it is recommended that you invest in vacant home insurance in order to keep an eye on it. Here are a few reasons why this type of insurance would help you.

What is it?

Vacant home insurance protects your home financially if it is vandalized while you’re away. There comes a point in a child’s life when they are no longer afraid of abandoned homes, as if they’re haunted. These rambunctious youth are the most common offender of vandalism, but animals, weather, and burglars are also a threat. Even if you have neighbors checking in on your house every now and then, that doesn’t give you the financial protection you need in case of a break-in.

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3 Common Myths about How Buying A Home Affects Your Taxes

When people think about the American dream, owning a home is often the first thing that comes to mind. Not only does home ownership provide you with shelter and a place for friends and family to gather, but buying a home can also be a really great long term investment.

Along with all the real benefits of buying a home, a few myths have sprung up, and many of those myths have to do with taxes. Here are 3 common homeowner tax myths that are important to clarify before you purchase your first home.

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Factors that Raise Home Insurance

Many people don’t realize that they are paying more for home insurance because of the things that they own. [MS1] Here are a few of the factors that go into raising the cost of your insurance.

Dangerous Dogs

Sometimes a dog’s reputation precedes it, and not in a good way. Smaller dogs are harmless, but larger dogs, especially those with a history of violence, are almost guaranteed to raise your premium. In case your dog does actually attack someone, they will be covered under the homeowners-insurance liability claims.

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