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Homexpert Simple ways to improve your home comfort, safety and value.

©Hudson, Ink Corp.

Winter 2011

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Illuminate the Darker Winter Days Ahead

By <Name> Optional Photo Here

Has Your Home Been Collecting Strange Smells? Page 3

Money Wise

My Word

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Inside This Issue:

Dear Friends, I trust this season finds you well and enjoying life. You could think of this as a time when a lot of people are living by the motto: “Do your best with what you have.” You can see that, in a sense, with the increase in remodeling projects across the country. It seems that many homeowners are opting to make improvements to where they are living now, instead of putting their home on the market.

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he new standards have been in the works for a while. Light bulbs were the subject of Congressional attention back in 2007, and the energy act that President Bush signed into law then has some elements coming to fruition now. The result is that common light bulbs sold in the U.S. will be using about 25% to 80% less energy. The upside is that the newer bulbs save energy dollars, and many of them will last much longer than traditional light bulbs.

So if you’ve been looking around your home and wondering what you can do to add comfort and value, we’d be glad to talk with you about ways we can help. Even if you’re planning to tackle many of these projects on your own, for the sake of your safety, working with your electrical wiring should always be done by a trained professional.

The first thing to go will be the traditional 100-watt incandescent bulbs. They won’t meet the standards, effective January 1, 2012. New standards will also be phased in for the traditional 75-watt incandescent bulbs, effective January 1, 2013, and for the traditional 40- and 60-watt incandescent bulbs, effective January 1, 2014.

Hopefully your electrical system is keeping up with your family’s

You’ll have options for replacing these bulbs, but you’ll want

continued on page 4

Inside… • Keeping Remodeling Costs Under Control • Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

to learn a new word as you do: lumens. Lumens measure how much light you are getting from a bulb. More lumens means it’s a brighter light; fewer lumens means it’s a dimmer light. To shift from looking for watts to lumens, here’s what the DOE recommends: • To replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb, look for a bulb that gives you about 1600 lumens. • Replace a 75-watt bulb with an energysaving bulb that gives you about 1100 lumens. • Replace a 60-watt bulb with an energysaving bulb that gives you about 800 lumens. • Replace a 40-watt bulb with an energy-saving bulb that gives you about 450 lumens. Shouldn’t be too hard, but if any of this talk of “lighting changes” has you thinking about changing your lighting fixtures, give us a call and let’s talk. Your Quick Call Comfort Hotline:

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Keeping Remodeling Costs Under Control

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hen making plans to remodel your home, your eyes can get as big as a kid in a candy store when you see all the stunning home improvement options. How do you create more home value while sticking to a budget? The National Kitchen and Bath Association offers simple guidelines for keeping costs under control: yy Differentiate between “need” and “want.” What are your must-have items? What can you do without? Start with major appliances. That’s the biggest cost. yy Make a top ten list. Use that to determine what needs to be replaced now, and what can be taken care of later. yy Resist temptation. Know what you need, research the prices on your list, and keep away from the temptation of spending outside your range. yy Get a quote. It should involve a full survey of the project in your home, and make sure it’s thorough to avoid misunderstandings. yy Double-check the products for quality. In a showroom or the home of a friend or acquaintance, get a first-hand look at the products you’re planning to install. yy Keep track of payments. Get a clearly defined payment schedule, preferably with installations. You don’t want to pay in full until delivery.

HomeWise Yawner Alert: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

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leep, for many people, is so yy Avoid alcoholic drinks before natural and desired that you’d bed. Though they can make almost wonder why anybody needyou sleepy, it’s a lighter sleep that doesn’t produce best qualed tips on how to do it better. Yet ity. the quality of your sleep matters. Sound sleep takes us through many yy Avoid large meals and beverstages that will enable our bodies to ages late at night. You can get feel rested and energetic. If we skip indigestion from that full feelsome of those stages, we don’t wake ing, and drinking beverages late can prompt late-night bathroom rested. breaks. Quantity also counts. Adults tend yy Don’t take naps after 3 p.m. – to need 7 to 8 hours. Preschool it’s harder to fall asleep later. children could need 11 to 12 hours. Skimping on the amounts our bod- yy If possible, avoid medicines that disrupt sleep. ies require makes it tough to focus and slows response time. yy Unwind before bed with a So how can you sleep better? The National Institutes for Health offers several tips, including: yy Stick to a sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day – even weekends. yy Don’t exercise late in the day – no later than 2–3 hours before your bedtime. yy Avoid caffeine and nicotine. These are stimulants, and they affect sleep.

relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music. Or take a hot bath. yy Don’t lie in bed awake. If you’re still awake after 20 minutes, get up and do a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy. yy If you consistently have trouble sleeping, or are consistently tired and not well rested during the day despite a good sleep schedule, see a doctor or sleep specialist. You could have a sleep disorder.

Fun Facts • In 30 minutes, the average body gives off enough heat (combined) to bring a halfcan gallon of water boil. recipes or for anything special This space be used for to trivia, you’d likeare to no furnish. • There ants in Iceland, Antarctica, and Greenland.

• You Because heatuse expands the metal, theaEiffel Towerand always leans away can also this space to put QR Code direct your from the to sun. customers a web portal Hudson, Ink can create and host. • The University of Alaska stretches over 4 time zones. This portal can host an online-only article, informational video, answers to trivia questions, online coupons and links to your • There was once an undersea post office in the Bahamas. website to build web traffic and help your SEO.

• There is more real lemon juice in Lemon Pledge furniture polish than in Country Time Lemonade.


Seasonal Shift Has Your Home Been Collecting Strange Smells?

News

Flash

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f your home has been closed up pour a cup of vinegar and let it for a few months to keep warm stand for a half hour – then rinse air in and cold air out, you may with hot water. For the disposal, have accumulated a number of use a household cleaner and scrub smells. They’ll usually have logical the flaps. You can also drop lemon causes, as long as you follow the rinds for the disposal to churn, scent. Open the windows, if weath- then flush with hot tap water. er permits. Keep Contain baththings clean as best room culprits. you can. And there Good news: vinegar you should are also other ways is useful for the to freshen the air. respond toilet too. Just pour immediately What’s cooking? a cup in the bowl, Cooking aromas to the smell of let it stand for a may be delightful as few minutes, then danger the pots are being scrub and flush. You stirred. But when it’s could also light a done and the dishes candle. Or light a are cleared away – not so much. match and let it burn for a second For potent aromas, like cabbage or two. Also, keep the drain clear or fish, fill small bowls of white and running freely – any debris vinegar and place them near the that collects in your drain can colstove. Or, you could place a pan lect odor, too. of vinegar on the stove and let it Is there something more serisimmer. ous at work? If you’ve got a Vinegar is a wonder substance musty, stale smell in your house, for the household, and one of its that could be the scent of a plumbperks is that it absorbs odor. If ing leak and mold growth. you’ve been slicing or chopping While most of the smells we’ve garlic and onion with stainless mentioned are merely unpleasant, utensils, you can wipe them with lemon juice – and your hands too! you should respond immediately to the smell of danger, including gas Got sour milk? Keep an open leaks and smoke, by leaving the box of baking soda in the refrighome and calling for help. erator to reduce odor. Check your refrigerator for outdated, moldy, sour, or just plain gross items. And don’t forget to take out the trash! No telling what’s in that can.

“Quotable”

Run hot water. To reduce kitchen drain odors, run hot tap water down the drain daily. Every week, sprinkle with baking soda first – or

To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring. —W.J. Vogel

Smart Snacking Means Choosing Wisely

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ids of all ages (adults of all ages too) are known to crave snacks for quick pick-me-ups. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you make smart choices. But what makes for a smart choice? Look for nutritional value and look away from something filled with sugar and fat. yy Trail mix or granola bar –

smarter than a candy bar. yy Apple slices with yogurt dip –

smarter than potato chips with French onion dip. yy A bagel with low-fat cream

cheese – smarter than a donut yy Smoothies with low-fat yogurt,

fruit and ice – smarter than a whip-cream topped chocolate milkshake. yy Raisins and other dried fruit –

smarter than fruity-flavored candy yy Vanilla wafers or graham

crackers – smarter than cookies yy Fruit juice and skim milk –

smarter than sugary soda and powdered drink mix. Fresh veggies with low-fat dip, rice cakes with peanut butter, popcorn and grapes are good choices. Snacks like these can provide the boost you need to make it through the day. So, be smart and look for snacks that give fuel, instead of a quick sugar high.


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©2011

Good for Nothing That’s what many things you get in the mail are worth, but not this…

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P.S. Please use the coupons in this newsletter for helpful savings for yourself – or share them with a friend!

So pass our name along to the people you care about – we care about their comfort as much as you do. And to say thanks, we’ll gladly take $20 off your next service for each referral you send our way. Just call <Company> at <phone> and let us know you’re sending another friendly face our way.

Just present this ad with your next repair bill, and we’ll give you $25 dollars off. Why? Because when you need a repair on your electrical system, you’re already not having a good day. We understand and would like to make things a little easier on your wallet. Of course, the best benefit is that our repair professionals can get your system up and running as soon as possible. And that’s good for a lot. Call <COMPANY> at <PHONE>. ©2011

Dim Lighting Isn’t Always Romantic se fo th r a is pa ad, ck on ag e e of of y ot ou he r o rs w am n, o pl r c e a ad ll s. us

Sincerely,

Now what kind of question is that? You’d think I wasn’t raised properly. But the truth of the matter is that all of us at <Company> enjoy providing superior service and value to our customers (that’s you!). And we’d like to offer the same expertise to your friends and family.

Especially when it turns into a full blackout. Stumbling, tripping, worrying about food in the refrigerator – there isn’t anything convenient about the power going out. Of course, with a backup plan there’s no need for an interruption to your busy schedule. A home generator gives you security and peace of mind no matter what’s going on with the electrical grid. So call us at <Phone> to get the generator solution that’s right for you. U

Look forward to seeing you soon.

se fo th r a is pa ad, ck on ag e e of of y ot ou he r o rs w am n, o pl r c e a ad ll s. us

Chilly days have meant many days indoors, but we’re always glad to get out and see friends! So don’t hesitate to let HomePoints us hear from Switching one incandescent you. In fact, for a CFL saves $35 in energy costs over the you can think of us as living projected 10-year life of the bulb. by the motto: “We want to do our best for the people we serve.” Whatever the need is, you’ll get our best value and our best service.

Could I Borrow Several of Your Friends?

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demands this season. But if you have any problems at all, just give us a call, and we’ll get someone out to see you right away.

se fo th r a is pa ad, ck on ag e e of of y ot ou he r o rs w am n, o pl r c e a ad ll s. us

My Word (…from page 1)

©2011

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HomeXpert 2C Winter 2011