60 THE QUEENS COURIER • AT HOME • OCTOBER 11, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Quick ways to freshen up your home for fall
As fall weather sets in, many homeowners
take advantage of cooler days to
spruce up their living spaces since they’re
confi ned indoors. However, fi tting all that
work into a busy season fi lled with school,
sports and other family demands isn’t
Fortunately, a fall refresh doesn’t have
to mean mountains of daunting work.
Th ese tips can provide the inspiration
you need to spruce up your home without
Control the clutter. Even the cleanest
homes still look messy when they’re
disorganized, but it’s an uphill battle for
many to keep clutter from accumulating.
Tackle the house room-by-room. Divide
clutter into three piles: keep, donate and
Give fl oors a facelift . Aft er months
spent outside, it’s inevitable that you’ve
tracked some of the great outdoors back
inside with you. Get your fl oors back in
their best condition with a simple carpet
washing innovation like Hoover’s
Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner.
An auto-mix feature precisely mixes and
dispenses solution for optimal cleaning,
and operation is as easy as it comes:
push forward to wash, pull back to dry.
Let the powerful brushes do all the work
to gently remove embedded dirt and
Add some cheery light. If you’re like
many homeowners, light fi xtures aren’t
high on your list for everyday cleaning.
However, over time dust and debris build
up, which can impact the quality of light.
Take time to wipe down fi xtures for a
cleaner, brighter ambiance in minutes.
Swap out bedding. Updating the textiles
in a room is an easy way to instantly
transform a space. Bedding for cooler seasons
tends to be heavier and darker, so it’s
the perfect time to make a switch to sheets
and comforters that are not only practical
but look cozy and inviting for the cold
nights ahead. Similarly, you can swap out
airy drapes and window treatments for
more robust versions that refl ect the season
while helping keep draft s at bay.
Make DIY cleaning supplies. Some of
the most eff ective cleaning agents can
be made at home, so you never have to
worry about running out. Make your own
all-purpose spray cleaner by combining a
quart of water with four tablespoons of
baking soda. For extra cleaning power,
you can mix vinegar with water and add a
few drops of essential oils for an appealing
scent. Another quick fi x: Run citrus peels
through the garbage disposal for an easy
clean and fresh smelling kitchen.
Find more tips and ideas to get your
home fall-ready at hoover.com.
Courtesy Family Features
Going green a smart real estate strategy that adds value
Are you thinking of selling your house
and want to know some of the best ways
to boost your home’s value, demand top
dollar and potentially inspire a bidding
war? Whether you’re selling in a few
months or a few years, there is one strategy
that gets noticed in real estate markets
across the United States: green home
Green homes can sell faster and for
more money than comparable houses
without eco-friendly features. Better yet,
green homes are increasingly in demand.
More than half of people rank green and
energy effi ciency as top requirements for
their next homes, according to the U.S.
Green Building Council.
What are some of the most in-demand
features that can boost your home’s value
now and prepare it for a higher sales price
in the future? Here are fi ve improvements
to consider to green your home and help
it stand out from the competition.
Solar panels: Can you imagine producing
enough energy that your local utilities
company pays you for the surplus? With
solar panels, this is possible. Plus, solar
panels are extremely attractive to buyers
who like that a system is already in place,
and they can simply move in and enjoy
the benefi ts. Plus, there’s a $5,911 resale
increase per installed kilowatt, according
to the USGBC, which means a 3.1 kilowatt
system could improve your home’s
resale value by about $18,000.
Smart water-leak detection: Home
water leaks waste 1 trillion gallons of
water per year, according to the EPA.
Fixing detectable leaks is a no-brainer,
but what about hidden leaks? Use intelligent
water technology like the Phyn Plus
smart water assistant + shutoff , which is
installed on the main water line aft er the
meter. Th is device analyzes your home’s
water use 240 times per second to detect
tiny changes in water pressure. Not only
can you target invisible water leaks and
make repairs to reduce your water footprint,
but the device also shuts off the
water in an emergency, so you (and future
homeowners) never have to worry about
damage from things like a burst pipe.
Learn more at www.phyn.com.
New windows: Heat gain and loss
through windows are responsible for
25 to 30 percent of residential heating
and cooling energy use, according to
the U.S. Energy Department, which recommends
looking for the Energy Star
label and reviewing ratings from the
National Fenestration Rating Council.
Homebuyers are sure to like the updated
appearance of new windows, plus they’ll
appreciate the savings from increased
energy effi ciency. For a typical home, new
Energy Star windows can save $126 to
$465 a year when replacing single-pane
windows, and $27 to $111 a year when
replacing double-pane, clear-glass windows.
Landscaping and treescaping: Th e right
landscaping provides wonderful visual
allure to a home, but it can do so much
more than that. Strategically planting
trees and shrubbery can provide bountiful
eco-friendly benefi ts. During the hot
months, shade from trees and other large
plants can help keep a home cooler, so
your HVAC systems don’t have to work
as hard. During cold months, these same
plants can serve as windbreaks, cutting
those chilly gusts and helping protect
your home from heat loss. By adding the
right plants to your yard, you’ll add curb
appeal and green resale benefi ts that go
Smart thermostat: Programmable thermostats
are the norm for today’s houses,
allowing homeowners to set a schedule
and forget it. You can save as much
as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling
by simply turning your thermostat
back 7 to 10 degrees F for 8 hours a day
from its normal setting, according to the
U.S. Energy Department. Savvy homeowners
looking to get the most out of
green home improvements during resale
should consider a smart thermostat.
Th ese types of thermostats go beyond
simple programming and are able to analyze
home usage trends, make energy-effi
cient setting suggestions, and can be
Whether you’re moving soon or will
some time in the future, green home
improvements boost value now. When it
comes time to sell, these updates are sure
to capture the attention of the modern