Go Green to Save Money

Winter is just around the corner and Mirabal Montalvo would like to provide the best home improvement advice for our customers and clients for the upcoming cold months. There are many simple ways to save money on home expenses during the winter while simultaneously helping the environment.

 

Adjusting the Thermostat

 

Adjusting the thermostat at the appropriate time of day can lower the energy bills in your home. According to the U.S. department of Energy, efficient thermostat adjusting can reduce expenses 5%-15% every year. A programmable thermostat is highly recommended, so you can set temperatures once and not have to think about it each day. When you’re at home during the day program your thermostat for about 68-70 degrees. When you are away from your home for long periods of time (4 or more hours) or at night while you’re asleep, reduce the temperature to about 10-15 degrees cooler.
Proper Insulation

 

The most common place in the household for heat to escape is the attic. Hire a professional contractor to inspect the conditions of the attic insulation to prevent future energy loss.
Inspect windows and doors for air leaks and gaps. Sealing any leaks with silicone caulk or installing weather stripping around windows and doors are easy solutions for most air leaks. A quick and easy way to test whether a window or door has an air leak is to use a ribbon. Hold up the ribbon around the edges of windows and doors. If the ribbon flutters then there is a leak where air is getting in and heat is escaping.

 

Maintaining Air Filters

 

It is important to keep your air filters clean, and replace them when necessary. It is recommended to clean your filters every month, as dirty air filters obstruct air movement and can actually raise heating costs in your home. Consider replacing filters every six months. Electrostatic filters offer value and efficiency although they are a bit pricy. These kind filters are reusable and easily washable with water.

Servicing your Furnace

 

Consult a professional furnace technician every fall to have your furnace serviced. Be sure your professional adjusts, cleans, and lubricates your furnace along with the furnace filter. Maintaining a clean furnace can save you about 5% of your home’s heating energy.

 

To experience the best in Corpus Christi Real Estate visit mirabalmontalvo.com. Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is one of the top selling brokerages in Corpus Christi, Texas specializing in the residential and commercial South Texas real estate market.

Common Home Inspection Problems

1. Drainage/Grading Problems

 

Improper drainage and grading are the most common home improvement problems and are encountered by about 36% of home inspectors during the inspection process. These problems can lead to damp or wet footings and basements. The installation of new roof gutters and downspouts and the re-grading of lawns and areas surrounding the home will channel surface water away from the foundation

 

2. Excesssive Air Leakage

 

Sealing and insulating the “envelope” or “shell” of your home is the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency, comfort, and prevent excessive air leakage. These areas include the home’s outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors. To prevent air leakage, add insulation to block heat loss in winter and heat gain in the summer. A poorly fitting door, deteriorating caulking, poor attic seals, and old or un-updated windows are the most common sources of air leakage. Generally, these repairs are simple and inexpensive and should be done immediately to improve energy efficiency.

 

3. Improper Electrical Wiring

 

Improper electrical wiring includes situations such as insufficient or undersized electrical service to the house. Many of these problems have to deal with aluminum wiring, inadequate overload protection, improper grounding and amateur distribution systems. Consult a professional to carry out the inspection as well as the necessary repairs. Immediate action should be carried out by an expert as electrical problems are considered very serious safety hazards.

 

4. Outdated or Damaged Roofs

 

Roof leakage caused by old or damaged shingles or improper flashing is a frequent problem. Generally, asphalt single roofs last about 15-20 years and should be inspected after this duration of time. It is difficult to determine the roof age from the ground. It is wise to investigate how many layers are under the roof to determine if the roof needs to be completely replaced before installing the new shingles.

 

5. Stucco Repairs

 

When applied correctly, exterior stucco walls can last a lifetime. However, a common flaw to stucco walls is that water can easily penetrate the stucco through cracks, around unsealed light fixtures, and exterior outlets. Excessive exposure to water can significantly decrease the quality of stucco. Stucco is water resistant but not water proof. Damaged or cracked stucco must be repaired through patching before the damage becomes more serious. Do-it-yourself repairs are also an option for stucco damages.

 

To experience the best in Corpus Christi Real Estate visit mirabalmontalvo.com. Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is one of the top selling brokerages in Corpus Christi, Texas specializing in the residential and commercial South Texas real estate market.

Updating Your Garage Can Increase Home Value

A garage door can offer more to your home than just a storage space. It is one of the most prominent street-facing sections of a home, and is commonly overlooked as a place where the curb appeal can be enhanced. Garages are rarely considered when it comes to home improvement upgrades. Garages can either add or subtract value to your home, and simply updating your garage can add more than 5% to the overall value of your home.

 

The Door

 

The garage door plays a critical role in the appeal of the home exterior as it almost always faces the street. When upgrading aspects of the exterior of the home, garage door improvements will contribute to a more attractive outer appearance. The door itself is considered as part of the “face” of the home. Garage doors come in a variety of different materials and styles that of course vary in price range. If you are looking for an easy, inexpensive way to improve the look of your garage door, a fresh coat of paint can make a dramatic difference to the exterior finish of your home.

 

The Interior

 

The installation of shelving, cabinets, and other storage containers will enhance the visual appearance and functionality of the garage’s interior. Home organization is always a plus. Garages are a storage place for toxic and hazardous chemicals, so be cautious when organizing the space. Good lighting in the garage is greatly beneficial, so if you are replacing the garage door, consider one with windows.

 

The Technology

 

Over the years garage door technologies have greatly improved, and a more modern garage system will add value to your home. New entry methods can range from latches, to remotes, to multi-code keypad entry, and on the rise are finger print scanners which provide optimum security.

 

Adding a Garage

 

If your property does not have a garage and you live in a neighborhood where garages are not common, adding one can increase your property value dramatically. Consider all of your options and home improvement budget.

 

To experience the best in Corpus Christi Real Estate visit mirabalmontalvo.com. Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is one of the top selling brokerages in Corpus Christi, Texas specializing in the residential and commercial South Texas real estate market.