fbpx
Connect with us

Consumer Corner

Amplify Autumn Curb Appeal: 5 home renovation projects to tackle this fall

Published

on

(Family Features) With lower temperatures and milder conditions, fall provides a perfect opportunity to tackle that home renovation to-do list. Whether you plan on making minor improvements or wholesale changes are on the horizon, taking on a few DIY projects can help you boost your home’s curb appeal (and its value) while also prepping for colder weather in the days ahead.

Making investments now – like putting time and money toward long-term energy efficiency – can pay off down the road, whether you’re planning for a potential sale or simply looking to get more enjoyment out of your home. Plus, many exterior upgrades can be completed by homeowners, meaning there’s no need to hire a professional when it’s time to give your home a refresh.

Beautify those dull areas, boost resale value and add comfort with these ideas from the experts at Westlake Royal Building Products, a manufacturer of high-quality, low-maintenance products designed to meet the specifications and needs of building professionals, homeowners, architects, engineers and distributors.

Add or Replace Shutters
As a classic exterior design element, shutters can add instant charm to your home. With a variety of materials and colors to choose from, you can add shutters that suit your style and budget to give your home a more polished look. If it’s already adorned with shutters, consider updating them with newer styles for a fresh appearance.

Upgrade with Stone Veneer
Natural and textured home trends continue to rise, leading many building pros and homeowners to gravitate toward stone veneer, or manufactured stone, as it can replicate the look of real stone. The wide range of exterior and interior applications means you can add comfort, character and beauty while complementing your existing style. Consider an option like Versetta Stone from Westlake Royal Building Products, which offers homeowners an authentic, hand-crafted look in a panelized format that’s easy to install with nails and screws. There’s no need to paint, coat or seal once installed for a low-maintenance solution for accent walls, fireplaces, siding, entryways and walkways.

Refresh Porch Columns
Routine cleaning is one way to maintain porch columns, but if they’re rotting or splitting, consider PVC porch column wraps for a visual transformation. Easy and often affordable, they’re durable and decorative to fit existing columns or poles and can be painted to match your exterior color palette. They’re resistant to pests, moisture and weather damage for long-lasting and nearly maintenance-free upgrades.

Invest in Insulated Siding
Good insulation is key to keeping your home warm, cozy and weather-proof during colder months. While there are many ways to upgrade the insulation of your house, some homeowners are turning to insulated siding for a long-term solution. Long-lasting, weather-proof, durable and aesthetically pleasing, CraneBoard Solid Core Siding from Westlake Royal Building Products offers a cost-efficient way to beat the cold. It’s low maintenance, built to last and withstands temperature fluctuations and hurricane force winds for a highly functional option to keep cold out for years to come.

Update the Driveway
Whether you’re looking to make some simple updates or it’s time for a complete renovation, showing your driveway some love can significantly improve your home’s curb appeal. Adding an address post with a hanging basket or planting trees, shrubbery or flowers along the sides lends immediate aesthetic improvement. For added low-light visibility and visual appeal, install lights along the perimeter to help the greenery stand out in the evening. If you’re ready for a major overhaul, consider upgrading the driveway using cobblestone, pavers or stamped concrete.

To find more ways to boost curb appeal this fall, visit WestlakeRoyalBuildingProducts.com.


SOURCE:
Westlake Royal Building Products

Consumer Corner

7 Ways to Reduce Home Energy Costs

Published

on

(Family Features) When building your budget, utility bills – especially the electric bill – are likely one of your largest monthly expenditures. One of the biggest culprits: home heating and cooling, which account for more than half of the average American household’s annual energy consumption, according to estimates from the Energy Information Administration.

In fact, 83% of homeowners are concerned about the impact of energy bills on their household budgets, according to a survey conducted by Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS), with 54% saying it cost “somewhat more” or “much more” to heat their homes this winter compared to last year.

To help dial down your energy costs, consider these tips from the heating and cooling experts at METUS.

Adjust the Temperature
While you’re sleeping or away from home, adjust your thermostat up 5-10 F in the summer or down 5-10 F in the winter, which can help lower annual heating and cooling costs if done consistently. A smart thermostat can monitor your energy use and behaviors then automatically adjust to make your home more energy efficient.

Look for Incentives and Rebates
Qualified homeowners may be eligible to save money on qualified home energy improvement projects. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) offers tax credits and rebates, including a credit of 30% (up to $2,000) for qualifying heat pump installation, an energy-efficient option to replace fossil fuel-burning furnaces. Other incentives under the IRA include offsetting costs of electrical panel upgrades and rebates for homes with energy usage reductions of 20% or more.

Switch to a Heat Pump
Among survey respondents, 54% ranked government incentives like the IRA as one of the top reasons they would consider installing a heat pump to replace a traditional air conditioner. Options like Mitsubishi Electric’s all-climate heat pumps use two units – an exterior heat pump, which replaces your existing air conditioning condenser, and an interior unit installed on your furnace – to deliver cost-effective, eco-efficient, year-round heating and cooling. These smart systems not only improve air conditioning efficiency on hot days, but also determine the best source of heat (gas or electricity) on cold days, so your HVAC system is always running at peak efficiency and comfort.

Have HVAC Systems Serviced Regularly
For best performance and efficiency, regular maintenance of your heating and cooling system is imperative. Keeping outdoor units free of debris and changing air filters are tasks most homeowners can handle on their own but bringing in a professional – usually in the spring and fall – can help ensure your HVAC system and all its components, including electrical and ductwork, are functioning properly.

Improve Your Insulation
Poorly insulated attics, walls, ceilings, floors and crawl spaces can lead to energy waste and increase costs by requiring more energy to heat or cool your home. Because air can escape through these spaces when your HVAC system pushes air through your home, adding insulation can help reduce losses and keep your home more comfortable.

Use Appliances During Non-Peak Hours
Rather than using your oven, stove or clothes dryer from noon-6 p.m., peak time for many electricity providers, consider doing so in the morning or later at night. Using these appliances outside of the peak timeframe, when conventional heating and cooling systems are often running full bore, can help lower energy costs. Some utilities may also offer plans that incentivize limiting energy use during peak hours.

Think Multi-Zone
Consider upgrading to an all-climate, multi-zone heat pump, which can seamlessly connect to multiple indoor units, revolutionizing the way you experience comfort in your home. By eliminating problematic hot and cold spots in your home, this system ensures personalized comfort tailored to individual zones and optimizes energy usage by directing it only to the areas requiring heating or cooling. Replacing an outdated HVAC system with a multi-zone solution can also help achieve cost and energy savings. By efficiently managing temperature in different zones, you can experience improved energy efficiency, resulting in a more sustainable and economical solution for heating and cooling.

Find more solutions for improving your home’s efficiency and increasing energy savings at MitsubishiComfort.com.


SOURCE:
Mitsubishi Electric

Continue Reading

Automotive

Alpha Motor Corporation’s Ride-Along Event: Shaping the Future of Electric Vehicles

Alpha Motor Corporation shapes the future of electric vehicles through customer-centric ride-along events. Experience the journey at https://youtu.be/rFkpVdyLqOA.

Published

on

Alpha Motor Corporation recently celebrated the successful completion of its ride-along event, a pivotal moment in their quest to revolutionize electric vehicles. Guided by valuable feedback from potential customers who experienced the ride, Alpha is dedicated to tailoring electric vehicles to meet consumer needs effectively.

Copyright © 2024 Alpha Motor Corporation. All rights reserved.

This milestone event, captured in all its glory at https://youtu.be/rFkpVdyLqOA, underscores Alpha’s commitment to customer-centric vehicle development. Following the WOLF truck’s impressive performance in the Southern California desert last summer, this ride-along event solidifies Alpha’s dedication to creating vehicles that resonate with the mainstream market.

Alpha’s ride-along event is available for viewing at https://youtu.be/rFkpVdyLqOA.

Amidst varying weather conditions and challenging terrains, the WOLF truck effortlessly navigated a designated course, showcasing its prowess in handling, speed, and efficiency. Impressively, the vehicle utilized only 20% of its battery capacity during the eight-hour event, with a speedy total charge time of just 30 minutes.

Alpha Motor Corporation aims to leverage the insights gleaned from these ride-along events to enhance vehicle development continually. By incorporating feedback from participants and analyzing driving experiences, Alpha ensures that their electric vehicles not only meet but exceed consumer expectations.

Looking ahead, Alpha plans to host more ride-along events to gather valuable feedback, further refining the driving performance of its modular EV platform. This platform, shared by various models like the WOLF+, SUPERWOLF, REX SUV, and JAX Crossover, embodies Alpha’s commitment to delivering high-quality electric vehicles with accessible design, performance, and ownership experience.

As a trailblazing American automobile company based in Irvine, California, Alpha Motor Corporation is devoted to crafting sustainable transportation solutions that benefit both people and the environment. Through cutting-edge technologies and innovative practices, Alpha is reshaping the automotive landscape, one electrifying vehicle at a time.

For more information, visit https://www.alphamotorinc.com or contact pr@alphamotorinc.com.

(Source: Alpha Motor Corporation)

Want more stories 👋
"Your morning jolt of Inspiring & Interesting Stories!"

Sign up to receive awesome articles directly to your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Continue Reading

Consumer Corner

3 Ways to Use Propane in Your Home

Published

on

(Family Features) A reliable, environmentally friendly energy source, propane can help power key home systems and appliances. Readily available in the United States, the portable, low-carbon energy source is stored on-site, meaning it’s always accessible to help keep homes running regardless of severe weather or other interruptions to the power grid.

Watch this video for helpful tips this season!

Consider these ways to integrate the clean energy source into your home from the experts at the Propane Education & Research Council:

Home Heating
Whether you use a furnace, fireplace or boiler to heat your home, propane can power your heating source in any climate. Propane-powered heating sources are highly efficient, typically cost less overall due to their longer expected lifespans and emit fewer greenhouse gases than electric or wood- or oil-burning alternatives.

Backup Power
When power from the electric grid is interrupted, a propane-powered generator can provide supplemental power in as little as 10 seconds to keep vital systems like smoke and fire detection, refrigeration, heating and cooling, Wi-Fi and other health and safety equipment operational for several days and nights. Plus, propane doesn’t degrade over time, unlike diesel or gasoline, making it an ideal standby power fuel.

Appliances
Because of their high performance and energy efficiency, propane-powered appliances such as cooking ranges and stoves, clothes dryers and tankless water heaters can increase the value of a home and decrease the strain on the electrical grid. Generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their electric counterparts, propane-powered appliances can heat and cool quicker, reduce standby losses and dry clothing faster, reducing energy usage and cost.

Learn more about propane and its benefits at Propane.com/ForMyHome.


SOURCE:
PERC

Continue Reading

Trending