Energy Efficient Updates
Whether it was built in the 19th century or constructed in the last few months to your precise specs, no home is ever truly finished. Never has this been more true than it is today, when state-of-the-art developments in construction methods and home appliances are helping to make homes more energy efficient. Here are just a few suggested top energy efficient updates available that you can perform on your home.
Caulk It Up
A caulk gun is a cheap and easy way of making your home energy efficient that doesn’t require any fancy appliance upgrades. All you have to do is spot a crack and fill it up. Weather stripping is another addition that, when placed around doors and windows, can cut back significantly on the amount of cold air that seeps in your home during the winter or hot air that creeps in during summer.
Take a Peek in the Attic
If you’re moving into a brand-new home, you may not need to reinsulate the attic. But if your relocation has found you in a home that’s been lived in for some time, one of the first things you should do is check the attic for the amount of insulation you’ve got. Hiring a professional to blow another few inches of insulation into your attic could make a huge difference in keeping the warm air in and the cold air out during winter… or vice versa during the dog days of summer.
If the home you’re moving into was built prior to 1994, there’s a good chance that your toilets could be out of date. Installing a low-flow toilet can decrease your water bills significantly. Also, upgrading your home’s faucet fixtures can make a sizable dent in lowering your water consumption.
Upgrade Your Appliances
You don’t have to sink a fortune into solar panels on the roof of your home to perform green home updates. If you have a traditional water heater, consider upgrading to a tankless water heater. This will decrease your overall carbon footprint, provide you with hot water on demand and lower your yearly energy bill by as much as 25 percent. You can also do away with older versions of your refrigerator, dishwasher and washer/dryer combos in exchange for models that are even more energy efficient than the top-of-the-line Energy Star appliances of yesterday.
If you’re not sure where you stand with respect to the energy efficiency of your home but you want to cut back on your emissions and save yourself a wad of money in the process, consider having an energy audit performed. This involves having a professional come to your home to perform a number of tests, after which they’ll tell you exactly where you’re wasting energy and what you can do to improve your circumstance. Contact your local energy company to ask them if they perform home energy audits. If not, they may at least be able to recommend a professional in your area.
(World Maritime News)
Moving into a new house can be an exciting time. We have some expert unpacking and moving tips that will help you get settled quickly.
Call your new utility companies to set up services the day before you expect to move in. The first few days in your new home will be much more comfortable if you have electricity, water and heating or air conditioning!
Develop a plan for where you would like to have your furniture placed in the home, even if it’s a simple drawing. This will save you the trouble of moving furniture by yourself after your movers depart.
Start with a fresh palette by cleaning your new home before the movers arrive.
Be prepared to pay your driver for the moving services. Depending on the company you hire, accepted forms of payment could include cash, traveler’s check, money order, cashier’s check or even pre-payment via credit card.
If you can, have two people in the new home on move-in day. One person can make sure everything from your inventory list is unloaded and the other can tell the movers where you would like the items placed.
Check items off the inventory list as they are unloaded from the truck. If you discover that anything is missing, contact a customer service representative at the moving company right away.
Consider hiring a babysitter if you have small children in the house and put pets somewhere where they will be safe and out of the way.
Keep in mind that many moving companies will offer additional services for a separate charge, including electronics installation and unpacking.
(source: United Van Lines)
Learn from the mistakes of the naughty Christmas elf as you and your loved ones celebrate the holiday season.
While the holidays are a characteristically joyous time of year, they can also be hazardous if simple safety precautions aren’t followed. Learn from the mistakes of the naughty Christmas elf as you and your loved ones celebrate the holiday season.
- Do not use electronic near water
- Never sleep with electronics under your pillow
- Keep batteries safely stored in their packaging they can be deadly if swallowed
- Do not leave space heaters unattended when in use
- Keep decorations at least 3 feet away from any open flame
- Never play with fire
- Do not run cords under carpets, rugs, furniture, or out of windows
- Do not overload outlets
- Sometimes less is more be careful not to over decorate
- Always turn off decorations when you’re sleeping or leaving your home
- Inspect all decorations and discard any that are damaged or worn
- Keep your natural Christmas tree hydrated and water it daily
(Source: United Van Lines)
(World Maritime News)
One of the results of Brexit will be that UK trade policy will once again be purely under UK control. The Free Ports Opportunity Report released by the UK’s Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) encourages the UK to make its ports Free Ports. Free Ports are established areas within a country’s geographic boarders that are treated, for customs purposes, as if they are outside that country’s borders. In these zones, goods are exempt from domestic customs or taxes. According to the CPS report, Free Ports would “increase manufacturing output, create employment regionally and promote trade.”
(World Maritime News)
Don’t Leave Money on the Table
1) Timing is Everything
If at all possible, avoid moving during peak times to save extra expense. As a general rule, the end of the month is busier for movers, because of the expiration of leases and preferred closing dates.
It’s also recommended that you avoid scheduling your move during the summer months – May to mid-September – when families with children out of school are most likely to move.
2) Book Travel in Advance
Making travel plans ahead of time can save money. Use travel discounts like AAA to save on hotel rooms and be sure to take the toll-free number of the hotel with you; it saves money if you need to call while in route.
3) Eat Creatively
Avoid grocery shopping and eating out. Be creative at mealtime with what you have in your freezer and refrigerator. Begin using up the frozen foods and other perishable items you have in your kitchen. Frozen foods cannot be moved, and canned goods just add to the weight of your shipment and increase costs.
4) Collect Your Deposits
Whether it is an apartment or utility deposit, it’s easier to get your money back before you move. If you paid a pet deposit, look into that too. Don’t forget about items you might have in layaway or items that are being cleaned, stored or repaired. And stop by your workout facility, club or bowling alley to make sure you’ve emptied your locker.
5) Get Your Dues
Check with clubs and organizations to see if you can sell your membership, get a partial refund, or transfer your membership to your new location.
6) Contact the IRS
Don’t forget to notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about your change of address. Each year, the post office is unable to deliver thousands of tax refund checks! One of the main reasons stated is that people don’t inform the IRS of their new residence. A change of address form (Form No. 8822) is available on their Web site (www.irs.gov).
7) Report Your Move
Speaking of the IRS, if your move is prompted by a change in job locations or starting a new job, some moving expenses may be deductible on your federal income tax return. Consult the IRS or your personal tax adviser for information.
8) Pack Yourself
Save money on your moving expenses by doing the packing and unpacking yourself. Plan on a good six weeks to pack and get ready for a move. Ask your moving company for information on do-it-yourself packing to protect your belongings.
9) Cash in on Your MoveThe weight of your shipment impacts the cost—so lighten your load. Consider getting rid of items you no longer need and raise some quick cash in the meantime.
Garage sales – If you don’t have a lot of items to sell, consider a joint sale with one or more neighbors. The greater the assortment of items you have to offer, the more potential customers you’ll attract and the more successful the sale will be.
Flea markets – For a nominal fee, local flea markets are a great means for selling second-hand items. Because most markets are advertised, professional second-hand bargain hunters usually attend.
Online auctions – The Internet gives you the opportunity to showcase your items for sale to the world, not just your own neighborhood. Take extra time to properly describe your item and include a good quality photo to increase your chances of selling.
Secondhand stores – Sometimes selling items to a consignment shop can bring in more money than selling them at a garage sale – and it is less work for you.
Charity – If you donate your items to charity, remember to ask for a receipt so you can document it on your income tax return.
10) Find Free Offers
Be on the lookout for coupons, discounts and free offers from local businesses once you are settled. Don’t automatically toss out what looks like junk mail during this time because you may be throwing away free money! Take advantage of savings.
For more tips on moving click here.
(source: United Van Lines)
This month construction is scheduled to commence at the Port of Oakland’s Outer Harbor. TraPac (terminal operator) is planning to expand 57 acres and renovate the older portion of the terminal. Mike Porte, TraPac Oakland General Manager, is eager to get the project underway.
(World Maritime News)