Why you should replace your home air filter - lower utility bills, improve health, doing so is inexpensive and easy

Can’t recall the last time you changed your home’s air filter? If you’re like most people, it’s on the to-do list for maintaining your home … it’s just near the bottom. And it tends to stay there as other items are added. Whether it’s for your air conditioner, furnace, whole-house air cleaner, or other purifier system, changing an air filter is not usually the most exciting task of homeownership. But there are good reasons for doing so. . . .

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How to organize and clear clutter from a messy garage

Keeping your house clean can take some work – which means the garage can get ignored. Because garages are often used as storage rooms, it’s easy to embrace the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. A messy garage can seem overwhelming – tools, sports equipment, seasonal items, and even flammables like paint or fuel can be scattered without any plan at all. . . .

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Choosing and installing a rain barrel can be a simple DIY project that leads to financial savings and water conservation

With even the simplest rain barrel, you can harvest water while conserving natural resources, making rain barrels a smart choice both financially and environmentally. Here are the basics on choosing and using your new rain barrel. . . .

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The USDA offers loans and grants for home repairs to low-income homeowners in rural areas

Houses are a lot like cars in that if you don’t keep up on repairs, pretty soon they start to coalesce into one big, expensive pain in the neck. When the needed repairs are of a health or safety nature, the need for speed in fixing them can be overwhelming. While leaky roofs, bad wiring and rotted pipes can’t be ignored, fixing them is impossible for those without the financial means to do so. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has programs to help low- to moderate-income homeowners . . .

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How to improve energy efficiency in old homes

The average age of homes for sale in today’s housing market is creeping up. From 100-year-old homes in historic districts to split-level houses from the 1960s, many homebuyers – particularly first-time homebuyers – find themselves sifting through older housing stock. . . .

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Holiday celebrations can present some dangers to your family and home, but with precautions you can enjoy the holidays safely

The winter holidays – love them or despise them – are a time to celebrate. With celebration, however, comes complacency. It’s a time of year when we are more prone to relax and let our guards down, all in the spirit of the season. As wonderful as the holidays are, there is danger lurking behind some of the more common aspects of our celebrations. But there doesn’t have to be. With a little forethought, preparation and knowledge, the winter holidays can be safe and worry-free. . . .

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Protect your finished basement from flooding

Thinking about turning your concrete dungeon into a comfortable retreat? That’s a great way to add value and increase marketability of your home. A home with a finished basement is typically more appealing to buyers as it offers additional storage and living space. However, when executed poorly, a finished basement may deter buyers or give them more reasons to bring down the price. . . .

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Homeowners have a few options when it comes to home security alarm systems

A quick glance at any retailer’s selection is likely to show you an overwhelming array of various home security alarm systems, each with different bells and whistles. While all perform one basic function – letting you and the authorities know that your safety may be in danger – different security systems vary based on how their parts communicate with each other and with the centralized monitoring service. . . .

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How to maintain and accentuate the beauty of hardwood floors

If you have wood floors in your home, it’s vital that you care for and maintain them – and show them off. Properly maintained floors last longer and are less difficult to restore should damage ever occur. It’s the same principle as garden maintenance: If you regularly water, pull weeds, prune, fertilize, and replant, you’ll save yourself work in the long run. . . .

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Roofing contractors installing a roof

You can easily find a roofing contractor in your neighborhood, on the Internet, or even by just asking your friends. But getting the right one to work on your home is much harder. Between storm chasers and back-of-the-truck companies, the roofing industry has larger than its fair share of scams, poor workmanship, and overly expensive installations. For homeowners and real estate agents alike, it’s a murky swamp to cross. . . .

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