Kelly Innello's Blog
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of your home. Each room in a house requires its own tone and brightness.
In the bathroom, you’ll want bright vanity lights to see what you’re doing in the mirror. In the kitchen, you’ll want plenty of natural light to work by in the morning, and lights bright enough to see at night. The home office is a matter of personal preference--some people like bright lighting to keep them awake and alert, whereas others like to work in a calming environment that is more dimly lit.
In addition to adding character to your home, lightning is also a matter of conserving energy. Homes that are using energy efficient lighting can save $75 a year on their utility bill by replacing old incandescent bulbs. Furthermore, energy efficient bulbs have a longer life span, so you’ll have to change fewer of them over the years.
In today’s article, we’re going to talk about energy efficient lighting for your home and which options will best suit your needs.
Traditional incandescent bulbs
Many people have gotten used to the tone and warmth of traditional incandescent bulbs. However, with these bulbs 90% of their energy is given off as heat. In terms of lighting your home, that is 90% wasted energy.
Furthermore, due to upgrades in technology, incandescent bulbs are no longer manufactured and difficult to find.
There are three main choices available for energy efficient bulbs. Halogen incandescent bulbs can be purchased in a range of shapes, colors, and sizes for your home. Although they meet energy ratings, the other two options are much more cost-efficient.
CFL or “compact fluorescent lamps,” are about 70% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs and they also come in a range of sizes and colors. However, if you’ve ever noticed some lights that take time to brighten or “warm up” you were probably looking at a CFL bulb. For this reason, they aren’t the best choice for extremely dark areas, such as a basement, where you need a lot of light immediately to find your way around.
The third option is LED lights or “light emitting diodes.” The most energy efficient of the three, LEDs are brighter and longer lasting than the other options.
While they were once the most expensive bulbs on the market, reserved for small electronics displays, LEDs have become much cheaper in recent years. They are available in various sizes, colors, and are able to be dimmed. They’ll also use the least amount of electricity over a twenty-year timespan in your home, up to ten dollars less than CFLs.
Choosing the right bulb
Now that you know about the three types of energy efficient bulbs, you’ll be able to consider their benefits and drawbacks for each room in your home. LEDs will last longer, they reach their maximum brightness immediately, and they’re able to be dimmed, making them an excellent option for most rooms in your home. However, they are more expensive on average than CFL or halogen bulbs.
If you plan to buy a house, you'll want to apply for a mortgage before you launch your house search. That way, you'll have your finances in order and can narrow your home search accordingly.
Ultimately, there are several steps that you should take prior to applying for a mortgage, and these are:
1. Check Your Credit Score
A bank or credit union likely will analyze your credit score as it reviews your mortgage application. However, you can find out your credit score free of charge before you kick off the mortgage application process.
You are eligible to receive a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Submit a request for your credit report today, and you can receive comprehensive insights into your credit history.
2. Examine Your Earnings and Debt
How much you currently earn and your outstanding debt could play pivotal roles in your ability to acquire a favorable mortgage. Thus, you'll want to examine these factors closely so that you can better understand how lenders will view your mortgage application.
Also, if you have lots of outstanding debt, there is no need to worry. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about your debt and pay it off, you can increase the likelihood of obtaining a favorable mortgage.
3. Establish a Budget
Although a mortgage may prove to be essential to buy a house, it is important to consider various homebuying expenses as well.
For example, you may need to pay closing costs, home inspection fees and other expenses throughout the homebuying process. If you're worried about having the necessary finances to cover these costs, you may want to start saving money for them as soon as possible.
It often helps to account for the costs associated with cable, electricity, internet and other home must-haves too. The aforementioned homeownership expenses can add up quickly, but those who plan ahead can ensure they have sufficient funds available to cover these costs.
As you prepare to search for a house, it usually is a great idea to hire a real estate agent. This housing market can help you prepare for each stage of the homebuying cycle and ensure you can achieve your homebuying goals.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and find out what you want in a dream house. This housing market professional then can keep you up to date about residences that match or exceed your expectations.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent understands that no one should be forced to overspend to acquire their ideal residence. As such, this housing market professional will make it simple for you to discover a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.
Lastly, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent for guidance before you apply for a mortgage. With a real estate agent at your side, you can learn about lenders in your area and find one that can provide you with the financing that you need to purchase your dream house.
If you work from home part or all of the time, chances are you have a specific place in your house where you go to work to be free from distraction.
Many people spend a lot of time thinking about the decor of their home office. They decide how much light they want to let in, what they need on their desk, and which distractions to keep out of the room entirely.
Surprisingly few people, however, consider the ergonomics of their home office.
What is ergonomics?
Simply stated, ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in the workplace. When it comes to office work or working at home, that means studying things like posture, desk height, eye strain, and much more.
In this article, we’ll talk about some ways you can improve the ergonomics of your home office to prevent injury and to make your office a more productive and less stressful place to work.
Choosing a desk chair
Let’s begin with one of the most common complaints in offices and home offices around the world: chairs.
You could spend several hundred dollars on an ergonomic office chair. But in reality it only needs to meet a few criteria that you can often find in inexpensive computer chairs. When buying a chair, look for the following:
Lower back support what will help you keep a straight spine
Adjustable heights for the chair, the backrest, and the arm rests
A firm, but comfortable cushion that you won’t slide down on
Picking the right desk
The most important ergonomic factor of a desk is that you can easily fit your legs under it and don’t have to crane over it to write.
Regardless of where you keep your keyboard, it will help if your arms can fall on it naturally and at a close to ninety-degree angle.
Screen height and distance
The vast majority of work performed at home is done with the use of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.
Ideally, the height of your screen should be adjusted so that you can view it straight on, and not have to look down or up at it. This will help protect your neck from strain.
For eye strain, it’s a good idea to keep the monitor a couple feet from your eyes and to adjust the brightness so that it’s easy to read but not too bright.
The best thing you can do to avoid headaches and eye strain is to set reminders for yourself to look away from the screen every twenty minutes or so or get up and go for a walk.
Take more breaks
Speaking of taking breaks; sitting in one position for too long can contribute to muscle and joint pain. If you’re working at home, it should be easy to get up and stretch or move around every half hour or so.
You don’t have to take a long break; even a minute or two is sufficient enough to help take the strain off of your tired eyes and stiff back and neck.
Buying a luxury home is about more than just finding the right mortgage. Whether you are buying or selling, you should know that there are some key differences in the way that high end luxury homes are sold. Discovering the differences in the way that the luxury home market operates can ensure that you get the best possible outcome from your purchase. If you want to enjoy the lasting comfort and benefits of living in an amazing high end home and still get the best possible deal, here's what you need to know:
Seasons don't matter: Conventional home sales follow specific seasonal trends, but according to Realtor.com, the high end market is not as impacted by the time of year that a home is listed. This is often because home buyers who are tied to a more conventional price range are also tied to trends -- they want to buy and move in summer, while school is out, need to work around regular jobs and don't have another home to retreat to for the holidays or vacations so that deals can be worked out. Luxury home sellers can afford to list a home and wait for the right buyer, so there is often no influx of homes at specific times or seasons.
More staging, more perks: Luxury homes simply show better than their conventional counterparts, thanks in large part to the staging and design included in the listing process. For buyers, this means a chance to see the home fully furnished and in immaculate shape. For sellers, this means better selling prices and in many cases a faster turnaround time. Expect to spend more time per home, for more personalized experiences when you shop around -- looking at 10 conventional homes in a weekend is likely possible, but you may only get to 2-3 luxury homes, since you'll spend more time touring and more time checking out all the home has to offer.
Fewer contingencies: In some markets, contingencies are not always acceptable anyway, but no matter where a luxury home is located, offers that are tied to contingencies may not be as appealing as those that come without strings attached. Sellers can usually afford to wait for the right offer, and have no reason to compromise or put a deal at risk, while buyers may be prepared to purchase or finance the home without having to add contingencies to offers.
Discovering how luxury home sales differ from conventional ones can help you make the most of the process and come away with the results you truly want. You'll know what to expect, set aside the right amount of time and avoid common errors as you explore this rapidly growing but still exclusive marketplace.
Baking soda is something that most of us have in our homes. We use it for cooking, but have you ever thought that you can use it for cleaning as well? Baking soda is actually a fantastic thing to clean with. It deodorizes and is non-toxic, so it’s safe for kids, pregnant women, and pets. Below, you’ll find some of the household chores that you can complete using baking soda.
Scrub Down The oven
Since ovens can become really dirty, really fast, you need something that can take on the grease. Baking soda is great for this purpose. Make a paste using baking soda and water or vinegar. Let the paste sit in the oven for up to 24 hours. Then wipe the mixture down with a sponge or cloth. You can heat the oven after you do this initial cleaning to help you loosen any additional grease, grime, or food particles. Let the oven cool and wipe it down again.
Keep Drains Clear
If you notice that your drains are a bit slow, you may want to avoid harsh chemicals and start with the baking soda right in your kitchen. Pour some baking soda into your drain. Then, run some warmed vinegar down the drain immediately afterwards. After you let that mixture go to work for about 10 minutes, you should flush the drain with boiling water. This won’t work on already clogged drains, but it’s great for maintenance on your drains that may be a bit slow.
Keep Your Fridge Fresh
Your fridge can become a breeding ground for germs, crumbs, and spills. All you need to clean the refrigerator up is a simple solution made up of baking soda and dish soap. The soap will help to cut any grease that has built up in the appliance, and the baking soda acts as an abrasive to get the gunk up. Just create a paste and apply it in the refrigerator. Then wipe down the shelves with warm water and a sponge. You can even disinfect your sponge in the microwave after you do this. Just place the sponge in the microwave for 2 minutes and you have a sponge that’s like new!
Freshen Your Washing Machine
Baking soda helps to deodorize things. To deodorize your washer, just pour half a cup of baking soda into the detergent dispenser of the washing machine. Run a cycle through with hot water. Your clothes will be cleaner than they have been in months! Make sure you do this to your washer about once per month to keep it smelling fresh and deter those funky odors from building up in your laundry room. The only thing that should be smelling funky in there are dirty socks!