Energy-Efficient Products Add Comfort and Savings

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – When buying a new home or remodeling an existing one, many people get caught up in the selection of hardwood flooring or cabinet colors and can sometimes forget about adding real value to a home — specifically with the right combination of energy-saving solutions and an optimal heating and cooling (HVAC) system. What’s behind the walls and in the attic, basement or utility closet can really impact a home’s value and performance and lead to greater energy savings and long-term buyer satisfaction.
The average homeowner spends approximately $1,900 a year on energy bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for about 56 percent of a typical home’s energy usage, making it the largest energy expense for most homes.
A natural first step to achieving an energy-efficient home is to install a high-efficiency heating and cooling system. Many of today’s top builders and contractors are turning to the experts at Carrier and their full line of energy-efficient solutions to help reduce energy use in homes without pricing buyers out of the market. Plus, many Carrier products meet or exceed federal energy requirements and are Energy Star compliant.
Though investing in energy-efficient heating and cooling may have the biggest impact on reducing household energy use, homeowners should approach energy efficiency from a more holistic perspective.
A highly efficient system should work in concert with high-quality insulation, water heater, windows, roofing, light fixtures and energy-efficient appliances to ensure the greatest energy savings. Be sure to talk with a homebuilder or contractor about how these various systems work together to determine the right solution based on the style of home and climate.
So while contemplating what color to paint the master bedroom, think about what’s in the utility closet, too. It’ll reduce future energy use and contribute to a comfortable home. For more details on heating and cooling systems, visit www.residential.carrier.com.

4 Steps to Building an Emergency Fund

Ben Franklin once declared, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Yet, equally enlightening are his thoughts on expenses: “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.”

And there are plenty of “leaks” that can scuttle an already-tight budget. For instance, a spouse idled by the sour economy, a fender bender with the family car, or an unexpected hospitalization. That’s why financial advisors recommend that you have a rainy-day fund—enough liquid assets to cover three to six months’ worth of emergency living expenses. In case of financial emergency, access to additional money will save you from relying on credit cards or loans that simply compound the problem.

Look Like a Beauty Without the Sleep – How to Fake a Good Night’s Rest

As we spring ahead again and adjust our internal clocks for Daylight Savings, we must be prepared for those mornings when sleep doesn’t come naturally – a condition known as “Daylight Savings Hangover.” The good news is that there is a way to look refreshed and awake – even if your sleep schedule is in the dumps.

Tip 1: Shut it down – electronics that is. Before going to sleep, shut down all electronics – that means TV, computer and, yes, your blackberry. These all are stimulants for the brain, and if you’re answering emails in bed at 10 p.m., you’re going to have a difficult time getting to sleep. Hit the power switch at least an hour before bedtime.

Beef Up Your Retirement Savings — Your 401(k) May Not Be Enough

(NewsUSA) – There’s no doubt, Americans have a love affair with their 401(k) plans.But with their portfolios battered by the financial meltdown and the …

Find Savings in the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Gap

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Did you reach the coverage gap, or “donut hole,” in your Medicare prescription drug coverage this year? If so, you may qualify to get a one-time, …