Realty Vision


Posted by Realty Vision on 10/20/2016

According to recent statistics, one in five people suffer from allergy and asthma symptoms. If you are one of these people, chances are that you've had an allergy attack in your home, with no clear definable cause as to what exactly set your symptoms in motion. Reducing the amount of allergens in your living space is not only beneficial from a cleanliness perspective, but in cleaning your home of potential allergens, you decrease the chances of having another spontaneous attack in your home. Floors - If you live in a home with hardwood floors, then consider yourself lucky. They attract much less dust than carpeting, and are much easier to clean and maintain. If you are in a carpeted home, then consider upgrading your vacuum to one that touts itself as being able to remove microscopic particles and allergens from the carpet. An upgrade in vacuums will usually work wonders for a house with allergy sufferers. Plush toys - Whether they belong to your pet or your child, plush toys are often overlooked as potential carriers of allergens. Make sure you wash them thoroughly on a regular basis. The same is true for pet bedding. Create an (almost) allergy-free room - Designate a room in your home to be the go-to place if you need a break from allergy symptoms. Use your bedroom if possible. Purchase allergen covers and casings for your bedding, keep pets from entering the room, and clean the room more often than you do the rest of the house. Curtains - Drapes, while being an attractive addition to the home, can collect dust, pollen, and mold spores. If you plan to add drapes to your windows, or refuse to give up the drapes you have, be prepared to give them the attention they'll need to keep them dust and allergen-free. Air - If you live in a home with central air, be sure to replace your air filters regularly. Keep your windows closed on days that seem to be giving you trouble, and keep your air setting on recirculate. This will ensure that the air in your home is constantly being scrubbed of potential allergy triggers.





Posted by Realty Vision on 10/6/2016

Greening up your home is not only good for the environment it is also good on your wallet. According to the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. generates about 208 million tons of municipal solid waste a year, that's more than 4 pounds per person per day. Here are some minor changes you can implement at home that will add up to real benefits. Green up your appliances Replace your old refrigerator and save as much as $150 a year. Appliances are the biggest drain on a home's total energy bill. Replace appliances older than 10 years with energy-efficient models that bear the "Energy Star" logo. Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10%-50% less energy and water than standard models. Take Your Temperature Use a programmable thermostat to keep your home's temperature on a schedule. Program the thermostat in cold weather and keep it higher in warm weather. Set the timer to only change the temperature when you are home. During the colder months, each degree below 68F saves 3%-5%. You may also want to consider replacing older furnaces. Today's furnaces are about 25% more efficient than they were in the 1980s. Use Water Wisely Save every time you flush by installing low-flow toilets. They use only 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to 3.5 gallons per flush for pre-1994 models. Save water at your faucets by installing aerators. This could cut your annual water consumption by 50%. Let there be Light Using Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) will consume 66% less energy. CFLs may cost a little more but they last 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. In dollars and cents, replacing a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 32-watt CFL can save $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. Practice Plastic Placement Did you know Americans throw away some 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags? Plastics (grocery, trash and sandwich bags to name a few) are made from petroleum. Plastics are considered one of the main contributors to global warming. Always make sure to reduce, re-use and recycle your plastics. There are many more ways to live green. If you are looking for more ideas check out National Geographic's Green Guide. Please share your tips for saving money, energy and living green.





Posted by Realty Vision on 8/13/2015

Did you know that indoor air pollution is actually worse than outdoor air pollution? Indoor pollution can in fact be 2 to 10 times worse depending on the materials in your home. Many of the materials in your home omit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's). According to the EPA, VOC's are in the air that you breathe and can have long term health effects, including liver, kidney and central nervous system damage and cancer. Here is a list of some of the indoor air pollutants that you may want to reduce or remove in order to have a healthier home. Cleaning Supplies The things that clean your home may be making you sick. In fact, bleach is one of the biggest offenders. In order to have a truly clean home, remove all of these chemicals and start replacing them with natural ones. Check the labels of everything. Many sheets that are made for your dryer have formaldehyde in them. Some of the most dangerous cleaning products are corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and acidic toilet bowl cleaners. Corrosive chemicals can cause severe burns on eyes, skin and, if ingested, on the throat and esophagus. Air Fresheners Air fresheners may smell sweet but their effect can be anything but. Some air fresheners can send chemicals into the air that contain VOCs. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology looked at plug-in fresheners and found more than 20 VOCs' and more than one-third were considered toxic or hazardous. VOCs can increase the risk of asthma in kids. At high enough levels, they can also irritate the eyes and lungs, trigger dizziness and headaches, and even lead to memory loss. Furniture Believe it or not the place where you sit or sleep could be harming your health. Furniture is such a big part of our life, we eat on it, sleep and sit on it. Furniture also can emit VOCs. Furniture is often made with flame retardants, finishes, adhesives and foam cushions that give off harmful chemicals. Paint You often hear about the dangers of lead paint. You should also be worried about the brand new fresh paint you just put on the walls. Paint, paint strippers, varnish removers and floor stains all emit VOC's into the air. These chemicals don't go away once the paint has dried or once it stops smelling. The harmful chemicals can last for as long as two years. New Flooring That new carpet smell is not good for you. As pretty as it may look new carpet, wood floors or even linoleum flooring give off VOCs. Purchase flooring produced from renewable materials such as linseed oil, rosins, wood flour and jute. Look for wood flooring that is FSC Certified (it came from a Forest Stewardship Council Certified Forest which helps protect old growth forests from being clear cut). For more information read about Sources of Indoor Air Pollution on the EPA site.





Posted by Realty Vision on 5/14/2015

If you have been packing on the pounds it may be your kitchen that is to blame. New research has shown that it could be your kitchen making you gain weight. Here are some tips on how to keep your kitchen from contributing to a growing waistline. No Media The TV in the kitchen is now a media snack station. Parking yourself in front of the TV with food all around you makes snack time a lot easier. Computers in the kitchen can also lead to mindless munching and web surfing. It's too easy to grab a bite when all the food is within arms reach. Stand Up Who doesn't love an island prep station? But all the handy seating around the island is an invitation to linger over snacks. So lose all the stools to help resist temptation to gather in the kitchen. Open Invitation The so-called great room isn't so great for your weight. Combination living/kitchen areas make your kitchen the focal point of the home. Add a few partition walls or screens to keep the fridge and cabinets out of sight when relaxing, and watching TV in the living room. Skimp on Storage Pantries, large cabinets are so appealing and offer a great place to stockpile food. They also offer lots of temptation. Too many trips to bargain bulk stores will have your storage full in no time and also create a mentality of surplus. More is always more especially when it comes to food.





Posted by Realty Vision on 12/18/2014

They say it's a silent killer. Odorless, colorless, toxic fumes with symptoms similar to those of having the flu. It can kill you and your loved ones without you even knowing its there. Are you safeguarding your home against this deadly threat? Step one is knowing where the threat comes from. The United States Environmental Protection Agency states carbon monoxide can come from "unvented kerosene and gas space heaters; leaking chimneys and furnaces; back-drafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces; gas stoves; generators and other gasoline powered equipment; automobile exhaust from attached garages; and tobacco smoke." (http://www.epa.gov/iaq/co.html) With winter upon us, and the possibility of power outages during large winter storms a reality, many homes have generators to help in these situations. But improper installation can cause carbon monoxide levels to rise, putting your family at risk. Ensure that generators are installed outside, away from your home, to ensure fumes aren't entering your home. Never install generators in your home, including your garage or basement. Another winter threat is fireplaces, wood or gas, and wood stoves. As you are snuggling up during a long winter night, you need to ensure that ventilation is sufficient. It's always best to have a trained professional inspect and clean your fireplaces and wood stoves on a yearly basis. So what else can you do? Buying a carbon monoxide detector is a cheap and easy way to ensure you are safe. For as little as $20, you can purchase detectors that will alert you if carbon monoxide levels get too high. And if they do, you can quickly evacuate the house and call the fire department for inspection of your home. Most states now require that when you sell your home, these detectors are already installed, just like fire and smoke alarms have been required for years. So be safe this winter season and take precautions as needed. It really could save your life!







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