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July 9, 2012

By Erin Ethington

Here are 5 simple tips to save money on your monthly electric bill

With the summer sun, comes the summer heat! With the summer heat, comes a rise in electricity usage. We all get hot in the summer and each year seems worse than the last. Before you know it the air conditioner’s on full blast and there’s a fan running in every room, not to mention the TV, computer, and other appliances. How can we save on the rising electric bill during those summer months and year round? Listen up! Here’s 5 simple ways to cut down on your electricity bill, for every season!

1. The Fridge

The refrigerator is one of the biggest energy-users in your home, and if it was built before 1993, it’s a huge energy hog. Clean the coils on your fridge every six months to keep it running efficiently, and take up unused space with jugs of water, which will hold in the cold better. Eliminate a second refrigerator, if you have one.

2. The Wash

Washing clothes in cold water gets them just as clean as hot, and cuts your washer’s energy use in half. Drying your clothes on an outdoor line or indoor rack can save around $100 in energy costs every year.

3. Upgrade Appliances

Appliances use 20 percent of the energy in the average US home. When it’s time to buy new appliances, look for the most efficient model you can find. The biggest energy hogs in a home are usually the refrigerator (particularly if it was built before 1993) and clothes dryer.

4. Eliminate “Phantom” Load

Many electronics still suck energy even when they’re turned off–such as powering that little clock on your microwave when it’s not in use. Unplug your electronics or plug them into a power strip and switch it off to save on this “phantom load.”

5. Use Your Programmable Thermostat

Nearly half of US homes already have a programmable thermostat. Dig out that owner’s manual and learn how to use yours to maximize the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. Program your thermostat to turn itself down or off when you’re sleeping or are at work or school.

**Tips from Green America, greenamerica.org

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June 15, 2012

By Erin Ethington

Melissa Utterback presents this home at 1954 Rose Arbor, Toledo, Ohio, 43614.

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Front view 1954 Rose Arbor, Toledo, Ohio, 43614

The home at 1954 Rose Arbor, Toledo, Ohio, 43614 features double doors at entry, first floor or second floor master bedroom options with some of the biggest bedrooms in price range with lots of closet space! At 1,872 square feet, it also boasts an open remodeled kitchen with dining area, breakfast bar and appliances included. The location offers a neighborhood near Swan Creek Metro Park and UT Health Sciences Campus as well as Pre-School and K-8 schools nearby. This home at 1954 Rose Arbor, Toledo, Ohio, 43614 is priced at $147,900.

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Kitchen of 1954 Rose Arbor, Toledo, Ohio, 43614

For more information on this property contact Melissa Utterback at http://www.marketwithmelissa.com

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Upstairs master bedroom option of 1954 Rose Arbor, Toledo, Ohio, 43614

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July 25, 2011

By Danielle Powers

Cyndi Schraw presents this home at 3922 Deer Valley Ln. Maumee, Ohio 43537.

Front View of 3922 Deer Valley Ln. Maumee, Ohio

Deer Valley Villas by Moline are quality built with award-winning designs and craftsmanship. 3922 Deer Valley Ln. Maumee, Ohio is a lovely ranch villa with 2 beds, 2 full baths, den, an open floor plan, with kitchen, dining room, sunroom, plus a full basement. It is traditional with a contemporary flair and is in a great location! It is off Coder Road and is surrounded by pines and has 5 ponds. Monclova Township has a lower tax rate than surrounding areas! This Energy Star Rated villa has beautiful landscaping, special lighting, custom shades, and tinted windows. This home is great of entertaining with its open floor plan and back patio facing the water! Priced at $294,900, you will love living here!

Kitchen of 3922 Deer Valley Ln. Maumee, Ohio

For more information in this property or to contact Cyndi Schraw visit http://3922deervalleylane.danberry.com/

Back Patio of 3922 Deer Valley Ln. Maumee, Ohio

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May 27, 2011

By Danielle Powers

Front View of 6701 Buck Creek Maumee, Ohio

Deborah Schoen-Gedert presents this home at 6701 Buck Creek Maumee, Ohio 43537.

Kitchen of 6701 Buck Creek Maumee, Ohio

6701 Buck Creek Maumee, Ohio is located in Monclova Township. Take advantage of the no city income tax! This home convenient to expressway and you can walk to restaurants, grocery store, and so much more. It is on a quiet street and there is a nice neighborhood pond with a walking path and plenty of neighborhood parties and events. It has a traditional exterior with a light, bright, and fresh interior. There is a vaulted ceiling in the family room which opens up to a sunny kitchen which has a new dishwasher and solid countertops The bathrooms feature new tile. It has a great semi-finished basement which can be used as a rec room for the kids, or can be made into a Theater Room. The backyard offers privacy and a large deck. This home is in great condition and is energy efficient. The electric budget is $50/month and the gas budget is &80/month. At $249,500, this home has reasonable real estate taxes and is in the rated excellent Anthony Wayne Schools.

Interior of 6701 Buck Creek Maumee, Ohio

For more information on this property or to reach Deborah Schoen-Gedert visit http://6701buckcreek.danberry.com/

You may be eligible for substantial savings by making certain home improvements by the end of the year if you install certain ENERGY STAR qualified products.  Energy efficient windows, for example, or other renewable energy systems may allow you up to a $1,500 tax credit, but the work must be complete by December 31st.  Naturally you will also benefit from lower utility bills as a result of the improvements.

How do you take advantage of this opportunity?  Start by doing your homework.  Not even all ENERGY STAR products qualify, so check out the rules at: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index.

In cases such as energy efficient windows, the credit is equal to 30% of the cost of the replacements, up to a maximum of $1,500.  If this makes sense for you, time is wasting!  November is nearly upon us!

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in 2009, a record 47% of homes sold were purchased by first-time buyers.  A professional home inspection not only educates buyers on the condition of the home but can minimize costly surprises down the road.

1. Inspect the Inspector. Only hire a home inspector with an excellent reputation and credentials. Ask how long the company has been in business, and verify the inspector carries professional liability insurance also known as “Errors & Omissions” (E&O).

2. Ask for a sample of a report. The quality of the final inspection report will be important. Make sure the reports are prepared with clear pictures and concise details addressing all the various systems and accessible elements of the home.

3. Inspect ancillary systems. It’s hard for first-time home buyers to know what they need, so be sure to ask what additional services the company offers. Generally, the company will offer you a multiple services discount as well as the added convenience of only having to attend one inspection appointment. Other common services offered by home inspectors are termite inspections, mold screening, water testing and radon testing.

4. Go along on the inspection. Ask the inspection company if they encourage buyers to tag along on the inspection. If the inspector discourages you from going along and asking questions, find another inspector. In addition to documenting issues and needed repairs that may exist, a professional home inspector will also show the new buyer how to operate the various systems in the home and provide tips on improving energy efficiency and maintaining the home in general.

Different people love different things about winter – skiing, skating, sledding, snowman-building with the kids.  One thing I happen to love is a warm, crackling wood fire in the fireplace, and ‘tis the season!  If you feel the same way, let me ask you this:  When was the last time you had your fireplace inspected and/or cleaned by a professional?  Time flies, and I’m sure I’m not alone in forgetting this important detail. But that’s just one of many safety tips that the entire family should keep in mind.  Here is a pretty comprehensive list of safety tips – granted it comes from Phoenix, but hey, a woodburning fire is a woodburning fire… http://phoenix.gov/FIRE/fireplace.html

We wish you a warm, wonderful and SAFE holiday!

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November 2, 2009

By Dick Baker

November is upon us, where does the time go?  While we’re off to a fairly pleasant start to the month, we all know that Old Man Winter is lurking around the corner.  There is no reason to wait until you hear the weather being quoted in terms of wind chill to make your home more energy efficient.

Making your home snug in the winter sounds appealing, but there are other important reasons to get on with the tasks.  One is timely and affects your pocket book – it’s not too late to generate some energy tax credits for your federal tax return. 

Go to http://www.energystar.gov/  and look for the “1040” button on the left side (“Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency”).  You may be able to knock $1,500 or more off the cost of your job by deducting that amount from your taxes.  Other tips on weatherization programs can be found in this article by Realty Times (3rd bullet point, “More Articles”):  http://realtytimes.com/132/DickBaker  

Do you have a favorite Home Energy Saving tip?  Post it here to share with our readers!

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