Thursday, May 20, 2010

Choose the Right Home Warranty For Your Needs

Buy a home recently? Congratulations! You've made an important step toward building a secure future for your family. The purchase of a home not only gives you the right to paint a wall the color you like, but you become eligible for various tax breaks and equity. That's why it's important, once the papers are signed and you have the keys in hand, to look into a solid home warranty plan to protect your home.

What is a Home Warranty?

When you buy electronics or a new car, you often receive or sign up for a warranty that guarantees some degree of assistance should something go wrong. Maybe a part is replaced, or the entire object depending on what you own.

A home warranty works along the same lines, only more items are covered. With such a plan, you get service protection that covers repairs on various household items, like your refrigerator and dishwasher, home air conditioning and heating, and plumbing. You might think at first home insurance is sufficient, but bear in mind that policies will cover property in the event of fire, flood, and other disasters, but won't take care of repair fees.

How a Home Warranty Works

Let's say your HVAC goes on the fritz. You call a technician to come out and fix it. If you don't have a warranty plan set, you'll have to cover the cost of parts and service. With a plan, however, you file a request with the company from which you bought your warranty and they handle the rest.

When you are ready to purchase a home warranty to protect your household appliances, do some Internet research. You'll find several handy websites with reviews of the best plans suited for your needs, whether you live in a two-story house or a high-rise condo. These plans are designed to bring you peace of mind as a homeowner and make living much easier.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Newport News HVAC repair, Virginia Beach home remodeling, Virginia Beach auto repair, and Virginia Beach plumbing.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

HouseMaster Urges Homeowners to Consider Energy-Efficient Renovations to Cash in on Proposed "Home Star" Program

Looking for a company to handle your Newport News HVAC needs? Call on Maximum Air at 757-349-6247 today!

BOUND BROOK, NJ -- 04/13/10 -- HouseMaster, a home inspection organization, urges homeowners to be proactive in making energy-efficient home renovations in order to receive the rebates outlined in President Obama's new "Home Star Retrofit Rebate" program, recently introduced in Congress. If passed, the proposed $6 billion program could reduce energy costs for middle-class families by hundreds of dollars a year.

HouseMaster provides some easy check-ups every homeowner can do to optimize the energy efficiency of their home in its reissued home inspection guide:

1. Windows and Doors Holes in windows and doors allow conditioned air to leak from your home and allow outdoor air to infiltrate -- which can tax your heating and cooling systems and raise your energy bills. Caulk around windows and doors where there are gaps. Also caulk areas where plumbing lines or electrical wiring extend to the exterior of the home.

2. Floor and Wall Insulation Insulation acts as a barrier to heat movement and helps keep any home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter -- all while using less energy. Making sure insulation is used at potential gaps such as around an attic stairway or over the attic access door is important as well.

3. Shedding a Little Light on a Simple Solution By replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact flourescents, you can use up to 75 percent less energy on lighting alone! A wide assortment of CFLs is now available for almost any type fixture found in a home.

4. Appliances and HVAC Systems Your major household appliances are a good place to focus on for ways to make your home more eco-friendly. Start by changing the filters of your HVAC systems regularly and consider upgrading older appliances to take advantage of newer, more efficient designs.

5. Buy a Programmable Thermostat This energy-saving step can have a positive and noticeable impact right away. Programmable thermostats are fairly easy to install and once they are set up a homeowner can adjust them as the weather changes. For every degree that a thermostat is set back, you may realize a savings between one and three percent on your heating or cooling bills.

For more information, visit