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Educational videos to help secure a home mortgage:
Tips and advice for personal finances and financial security:
Helpful videos for home winterization and energy efficiency:
Home winterization tips:
- Detach exterior hoses from spigots before freezing temperatures set in. You can also insulate the spigot with an insulating boot or housing to protect interior pipes from freezing and bursting.
- Opening your window treatments during the day in the colder winter months lets sunlight in and will allow for solar heat gain during the day. Closing your window treatments at dusk will provide another insulating layer of air, keeping your home warmer at night. You can take this one step further by installing/hanging insulated window treatments.
- Install electrical outlet gaskets.
- Insulate hot water pipes.
- In times of severe temperature drops, keep a very small stream of water running in a few faucets to prevent freezing and bursting.
- Check your detectors. Residential fires are more common in the winter, so it is important that all of your smoke detectors work. Check them monthly and replace batteries as needed.
- Check the gutters. Prevent dangerous ice dams by cleaning your gutters and downspouts of organic matter that accumulates during the warmer months. Do this in the fall before the weather changes for the worse.
- All homeowners should own a shovel(s), ice scraper or chopper, and ice melt or salt. Snow and ice must be removed from your driveway and sidewalks within 24 hours. If you don’t, you may be fined by the City and required to pay for the snow/ice removal service.
Home maintenance and energy savings tips:
- Adjust the water heater and thermostat. Many conventional water heaters are set to 140 degrees, which is quite hot. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees can reduce water heating costs between 5-10%, eliminate the hazard of scalding water, and still provide plenty of heat. Likewise, for every 1 degree you lower your thermostat, you’ll save between 1-3% on your heating energy bill.
- Clean the lint trap in your clothes dryer every other load or so to prevent a buildup of lint in the ductwork that can lead to a fire. Sometimes it is necessary to take this one step further and detach the ductwork and clean it using a duct cleaning kit. Keeping the ductwork clean keeps the dryer running efficiently and will save you money in shorter drying times.
- Unplug unused electronics and appliances. This will eliminate the costs associated with standby power and protect your electronics from power surges.
- Always turn off the lights in rooms that aren’t occupied.