Beware the Phantom in Your Home!

LED lightsIf it seems like your energy bills keep going up and up while you’ve been doing everything you can to reduce your usage, read on! There’s a “phantom menace” that’s at work here and it’s all the rage in consumer electronics.

While increased energy costs are certainly playing a part, long gone are the days when shouting at the kids to “turn off the light!” was a sure way to save on electricity (though installing reduced-energy bulbs is a good move, too).  75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while products are turned off, according to the The U.S. Department of Energy.  The term to describe this is known as “phantom load.”

Home entertainment systems with remote controls, wireless routers, appliances with clocks, electronics that use a power adaptor (i.e. a wall cube) and computer printers are all good targets for reducing phantom loads. If you can feasibly eliminate these loads, you can save a lot of money over the course of the year.

So how do you eliminate phantom load? Unplugging devices every day is a hassle, but one sound alternative is the use of power strips which allow you to kill the connection to the main outlet without having to unplug devices.Check out Staples or your favorite office supply store to find a variety of options for allowing certain devices to “pass through” while others are shut off. This can be useful when you have certain devices which do need to be “on standby” while others do not.

While going green is a perfectly good reason to reduce your power consumption, the money you save on power can go to other household expenses, family vacations, and perhaps even the down payment on your next (or first!) home.

Keep an eye out for those energy vampires! Usually you can tell who they are by their LED lights glowing in the night.

I love to help my clients get the most out of their home. If you’re thinking of selling or searching for a home soon, please get in touch today by calling my office at 484-893-1234 or by email at joe@debandjoe.com.

Advertisements

New iPad Reminds Me of Great Apps for the Home

Photo of iPad

The announcement of the new iPad this week got me to thinking about some really cool apps I’ve seen over the last several months.  Here are the five best, most of which are free. (Even the ones that aren’t free are so worth it that you might want to try them out anyway.)

Who would have thought that you could control your TV with your iPad? And match colors you see in the world to exact hues with Sherwin-Williams? And carry a comprehensive wood grain library with you everywhere you go? Oh, and did I mention: An app to measure your rooms and a different one to help you decorate them? 

ColorSnap: Capture real world colors and match them to Sherwin-Williams paint colors—for free.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/colorsnap/id316256242?mt=8

Remodelista: Looking for the perfect couch, stylish DIYs, or inspiration to refresh your space? Get your daily deco fix with the new Home Design App from Remodelista.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/remodelista/id377290615?mt=8

 Control4: Turn your iPad into a touch screen remote! Control your TV, lights, sound system and home security from one place:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/control4-my-home-for-ipad/id364304056?mt=8 

Photo Measures Lite: Photo Measures is the most elegant and the easiest way to save measures on your own photos on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photo-measures-lite/id417222688?mt=8

I.D. Wood: A powerful reference guide to help you ID any kind of wood, or choose a color and grain for future projects.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/i-d-wood/id325838725?mt=8 

Not a homeowner yet?  I can help you with that! I guide first-time buyers through a pain-free process all the time. Reach out to me today and I’ll send you a free copy of a great book called “Your First Home”.  E-mail or call me at 484-893-1234 to get yours!

New listing is Open this Sunday

Photo of fireplace in living roomWe’ve got a brand new listing to tell you about today and if you know someone who’s looking for a really nice home with little to do, this is it!  I used to live right down the street from this cute 2-bedroom home in Hellertown’s Society Hill community so I know how nice it is to live here.  It’s really quiet and so close to some nice parks and walking and riding trails.  You’re close to Lehigh University and I-78 commuters will find it really convenient but not too close to the highway.  This home has nice sized rooms with plenty of kitchen cabinets and a fireplace in the living room.  I thought these were very comfortable and cozy homes when I lived there, I’m sure you will too!  We’re having an open house this Sunday, March 4th from 1-3PM, why not drop by and check it out for yourself?  This home is priced to sell at only $150,000!

Buyers have the edge!

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist from the National Association of REALTORS, “Home buyers over the past year got a great deal, and buyers for the balance of this year have an edge over sellers. Affordability could reach a generational high in the second half of this year because of rock-bottom mortgage rates, helped partly by the Fed’s very accomodative monetary policy.” For more reasons why now is prime-time to buy a home, contact us and we’ll send you a free ebook!