Energy Saving Tips for the Winter

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As the winter months approach, it is important to get your home ready for the colder days ahead. You will want your house to be comfortable while saving energy. This will help keep your monthly utility bills low. Use the following tips to get your home winter ready in the most efficient ways possible.

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Taking Care of Drafty Windows

Older windows allow hot air to escape as well as let the cold air inside. You can fight drafty windows by covering them with plastic. Use a clear, heavy duty plastic sheet attached to a frame that you can affix over the entire window. Or you can apply plastic sheeting directly to the window. As long as it is tightly sealed, it will reduce drafts.

The best option would be to install new, energy efficient windows during your NJ home remodeling projects. Modern double, or even triple pane, windows provide an effective barrier between the interior of your home and the frigid air outside.

Whether your windows are new or not, there are certain types of window treatments that will keep your home warmer. Look for insulated drapes that can be closed during the night. There are also many varieties of window shades that will add an additional layer of protection to the glass.

 

Adjust the Thermostat

Set your thermostat as low as you can while still feeling comfortable during the day. During the night when you are sleeping, you can turn the thermostat down by 10° to 15°F. Adjusting it to a lower temperature for eight hours a day can save you roughly 10% per year on your heating bill. Talk to your home remodeling contractor about installing a programmable or smart thermostat that will make it easier to turn down the temperature each evening.

 

Seal all Leaks

Look for leaks that air can escape through while winterizing your home. Places such as around plumbing pipes, recessed lighting, and chimneys often have small gaps that you can seal off in order to keep your home better insulated. Check around doors and windows as well. Use caulk or weather stripping to fill in any cracks that might allow the cold air to come in. Don’t forget about any unfinished spaces behind closets and cupboards. You will want to have these areas insulated and finished off properly.

 

Heating System Maintenance

Schedule a routine maintenance visit from your heating and cooling system expert. They can inspect your heating unit to make sure it is functioning properly. You may also need to replace furnace filters monthly throughout the colder seasons. If you use a pellet or wood burning heater, clean out the flue vent regularly, and make sure the appliance is thoroughly cleaned periodically to ensure efficiency.

 

Reducing Heat Loss When Using a Fireplace

If you are not using the fireplace, make sure the damper is closed. Leaving it open is the same as having a window open. When the fireplace is in use, open any dampers found in the bottom of the firebox or open a nearby window by about one inch. Close any doors opening into this area, and drop the thermostat to between 50° and 55°. Some people don’t actually use the fireplace for heat but love the look of it. In these circumstances, you can have the chimney flue plugged and sealed to prevent heat loss.

 

Lower Water Heating Costs

You can turn your water heater down to the warm setting. This is usually 120°F. It will cost less to keep the water warm, and it will prevent scalding from water that is too hot. If this setting isn’t warm enough to meet your family’s needs, slowly turn it up a little at a time until you find a setting that is ideal. Another great energy efficient option is to install an on demand water heater. This unit will only heat the water you use as you need it. You won’t be paying to keep a full tank of water hot 24 hours a day.

 

Allow the Sunshine In

While heavy drapes and window blinds are excellent when it comes to keeping the cold air out, you don’t want to miss out on the free heat that the sun provides. Get in the habit of opening all window coverings on any of your south facing windows each morning. The sun that shines in will add heat naturally to your home. Close them again before the sun sets to trap the free heat inside.

 

Reverse the Ceiling Fans

Those beautiful ceiling fans that you had installed will keep rooms cool in the summer months, but they can also help warm your home’s interior during the winter time. Simply reverse the spin of the blades. When the fan runs in a clockwise direction, it will push the warm air back down into the room. This will also keep pockets of cool air from settling in the corners of a room.

Hawthorne Kitchen Cabinets

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Hawthorne Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to a kitchen remodeling project, you need a professional kitchen designer from a design & build company to help you make all of the important decisions. Their job is to guide you, the homeowner, through the entire process so that the end result is a beautiful, livable space that meets your functional, aesthetic, and economical goals. They will make sure all of your selections will coordinate perfectly into the kitchen style and design you have requested.

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The Conceptual Design

Your kitchen renovation begins with a conceptual design. A Trade Mark Design & Build Representative will first come to your home for a complimentary field visit. During this visit you can discuss the project. Describe exactly what you expect from the remodel and let the designer know your personal preferences as well as what styles you find the most appealing. Your designer will let you know what it will require to achieve your dream kitchen.

After this visit, drawings will be created based on your requirements as well as a proposed budget. Both the design plans and the estimated budget will be discussed with you and any necessary adjustments will be made to ensure that the finished project meets with your approval. A good design and build company professional will work with you until everyone is in agreement on the plans before any actual work begins.

Hands on Material Selection

A professional designer will work with you to choose your NJ kitchen cabinets, countertops, plumbing fixtures, tile, and other important elements of your remodeling project. These decisions can feel overwhelming to a homeowner. Walking into a retail space, shopping online, or looking through samples can leave you more confused than when you first started. For example, the cabinets are your kitchen’s furniture. A renovation expert from a design & build company will help you find ones that reflect your personal style while meeting all of your needs. They will guide you through he entire process.

Cabinets are basically a box with drawers and shelves for storing items you need, but if they don’t suit your new kitchen or function properly for your individual needs, you won’t be happy. You have two options when it comes to cabinetry. A NJ kitchen cabinet designer can custom make the cupboards and drawers so that they fit your space perfectly or you can choose stock cabinetry and work around these existing pieces in order to achieve you goals. Your renovation designer will help you decide which option will best suit your style and the budget for your remodel.

Design Revisions

The last step in your renovation project before the actual work begins will be to make any necessary revisions that will incorporate all of your selections into one beautiful design. As the homeowner, you can rest assured that the selections you have made will all coordinate beautifully as well as function properly.

Your design and build company representative will make sure this happens by coordinating key elements so that the overall design has a nice flow. The fixtures, faucets, lighting, cabinet hardware, and any metal finish appliances need to not only look great on their own, but they need to compliment each other.

You won’t get this attention to detail with a general contractor. General contractors basically say ”I need X, Y, and Z by such and such date.” This is a horrible way to work, and the end result is never cohesive. Unfortunately, the cost is pretty much the same.

If you are looking for a hassle-free kitchen renovation, a design & build company is your best option. Their design team will walk you through each step of the designing stage. They will help you make important decisions, and they will ensure that your finished kitchen is both functional and beautiful with Hawthorne kitchen cabinets, countertops, and fixtures that work together in a cohesive fashion.