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HOME & FALL 2017


Ready your lawn for winter Page 2


PSE energy audit Page 6




SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

Lawn care doesn’t stop when fall comes


has more than 300 customers of which about 80 percent are residential. He will bid jobs individually without cost and currently has 19 employees. His wife is a landscape designer and she can be contacted through Pro-Lawn. The company, which has been in operation for 16 years, grew from a lawn-mowing business Payment began when he was 13.


This is the time prepare your lawn for winter if you want it to look great next spring. That’s the advice from Ezra Payment, owner of Pro-Lawn Care Etc., Silverdale. His company is a full service lawn care company that can provide landscaping maintenance, fertilization, irrigation installment and maintenance, lawn clean-up and mulching. “If you haven’t been watering, and your lawn is dormant, once the rain returns use a fertilizer with a high nitrogen content,” Payment said. “Then in October, put a winterizer on it.” With both applications, the lawn will pull the nutrients from the fertilizers into the roots so that the grass will bounce back in the spring, he said. Payment said that many people still think that you need to apply a fertilizer with potassium and phosphate but something with nitrogen is best. “You’ll have healthier, fuller, greener grass in the spring,” he said. “It’s all about planning for the next season.” If your grass has thinned out, fall is also the time to de-thatch. Then aerate the lawn and re-seed, he said. “Before seeding you can add a half-inch of compost or new soil.” He added that you can apply lime, if desired. As to whether to cut your lawn before winter, Payment said they always suggest to keep your lawn at 2 3/4 inches in height. “The more blade, the more nutrients get

I love to see green lawns. I want to make lawns look like golf courses.” — Ezra Payment

Ezra Payment tells homeowners to prepare their lawns for winter. to the root,” he said. Fall is also the time to spray for weeds. “Spray for broadleaf (weeds),” he said. “The weeds will start to actively grow in the fall again for a short period, translocating sugars and nutrients to the roots. So this is a great time to spray and control broadleaf, so there will be less in spring.” Other things to think about include mulching the beds in your yard. And con-

Leslie Kelly/Kitsap News Group

sider feeding the roots of trees and bushes with a good fertilizer. If you have fruit trees, fall is the time to “oil” them. “Use a dormant oil on the trees,” he said. “It coats them and it’s organic. It will smother insect eggs and protect your fruit trees. It protects them from mites.” Besides Pro-Lawn Care Etc., Payment also has the local Spring-Green franchise which is a fertilizer company. He currently

“I’d mow my neighbors’ yards to get money to buy the things that kids buy,” he said. “When I was in high school, a couple of my buddies joined me because I needed help. “Then I went to Olympic College for a bit and thought I’d become a teacher. But the lawn business just kept growing so I stayed with it.” His passion for lawn care has always been with him. “I love to see green lawns,” he said. “I want to make lawns look like golf courses. It’s all about keeping my community beautiful and I like being outside.” To contact Payment, call 360-265-1497.



SEPTEMBER 29, 2017


Fall can be a great time to sell your house By LESLIE KELLY


If you plan to sell your home this fall or winter, don’t let anyone tell you it’s the wrong season to sell. According to Bonnie Chandler, broker at Windermere Real Estate, Kitsap County, transactions continue to take place, especially in the hot markets like here in Kitsap County. “Last December, I closed five transactions,” Chandler said. “All these deals started in the fall through November.” She has some hints for sellers that can make the difference in whether you get your home sold. “I would suggest that the change of seasons requires some changes in your home’s atmosphere,” she said. “Fall flowers on your porch and patio, wreathes depicting fall and Christmas seasons, light candles for your showings.” Decorate lightly for Thanksgiving and Christmas except for outdoor lights, she said. “Also, it’s important to keep the home comfortable, so when there is a showing we want the heat on,” Chandler said. “If you’ve gone on a holiday and turned the heat

Bonnie Chandler

Contributed photo

down, it would be good to set the heat on a timer that will come on from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to keep things comfortable.” Another tip is to make sure there is plenty of outdoor lighting around home. Chandler thinks a great advantage to

selling your home after the kids go back to school, is that “it will be easier for home upkeep with them in the classroom.” “Also, the kids can tell their friends and, who knows, they may bring you a buyer,” she said. Buyers can come from anywhere. “Many folks are traveling to our area to visit adult kids and grandkids,” she said. “They may want to buy to be closer to family in the Northwest.” Getting your house ready may mean clearing out some items. “This is a great time to pack away anything you won’t be needing before you move,” Chandler said. “We want the house to have a ‘vacation home’ look. Just lightly furnished with all personal items packed away.” As an experienced broker, Chandler said to expect showings during the holidays. “And leave your home well-lit in all rooms during showings,” she added. As a Realtor for 27 years, Chandler continues to do open houses for her listings during the fall and winter months. “If the Seahawks are playing I have the game going on mute,” she said. “I encourage homeowners to make cookies and have

cider available for open houses.” The housing market in Kitsap County is strong, she said. “Our market continues to thrive and we are seeing Baby Boomers from all areas, especially Seattle, coming over to explore opportunities to get out of the congestion of Seattle, looking for a more peaceful environment,” Chandler said. “Millennials are taking advantage of low interest rates which make for some attractive home-buying options. Many folks are looking in our area because of the new fast foot ferries from Kingston and Bremerton to Seattle as they are being priced out of the King County market.” Interest rates are holding at under 5 percent, she said, and the lack of inventory is causing buyers to be completely lender-qualified to compete in the market. “So any offer we get will probably be a good one,” she added. Chandler said sellers and buyers should enjoy the change of seasons and “you can bet that this listing agent will be working right up to Christmas Day!” To contact Chandler, call 360-509-4949, email her at bchandler@windermere.com, or go online at www.bonniechandler.com.

Ways to add curb appeal and color to your home Want to give your home a dash of curb appeal? Focus on color, experts say. “The home exterior is an open palette, and there’s so much opportunity to add curb appeal with colorful accents,” says color expert Kate Smith, chief color maven with Sensational Color. Here are ways to give your house a colorful facelift. • No matter what style your home is, the roof is a major aspect of its curb appeal -- sometimes as much as 40 percent of the view. So think about it first. Use free online resources like the new Top Down Color visualizer from DaVinci Roofsapes to quickly visualize how different colors and products will look on your home. • Make landscaping decisions with color top-of-mind. Either go for a vibrant and natural look, or create a stylized look with patterns and designs. • Replace the numbers on your house or clean the old ones. Brass will certainly stand out on most housing materials; however, you may prefer to use large colorful accent

numbers to contrast with your home exterior. • Forget about your bland, boring garage door. Use free online resources like HaasCreate, an online visualizer, to select one with color and distinction. Available at haascreate.com, the tool allows you to upload a photo of your home then select different garage door styles. • Give your mail carrier a warmer welcome. Spruce up your mailbox with a fresh coat of paint. Or, if it’s rusty or splintered, replace it. There are many styles available, so consider selecting something with character. • Add decorative glass windows for a distinctive accent to your home exterior. An assortment of square, geometric and oval shaped options are available in both fixed and operable styles from such brands as Hy-Lite. Certain windows feature black, satin or brass caming to offset beveled glass pieces and other privacy textured glass, while other windows boast silkscreened designs.

• Soft touches, such as adding new colorful pillows to a front porch swing, laying out a new welcome mat or hanging a flag, can give your home cozy, colorful curb appeal. • Add color to shutters, door and window surrounds, and other trim pieces. Start with low maintenance polyurethane pieces that are moisture-, insect- and rot-resistant. Through the Classic Color Program available at Nu-Wood, you can have pieces pre-painted in any of 9,000 Sherwin-Williams paint colors and ready to install out of the box. • For natural hues that accent and add contrast to siding, consider applying mortarless stone veneer as full accent walls on your home’s exterior or as a half wall/wainscot application. Check out easy-to-install products, available at manufacturers like ClipStone. Colors of their Ledgestone and ProStack styles. • Pressure wash and repaint where necessary to restore your home to its original colorful splendor.

Using color strategically, you can make your home more valuable to potential buyers or just more personalized for your own tastes. Source: State Point

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SEPTEMBER 29, 2017


Energy audit can save homeowners money By LESLIE KELLY lkelly@soundpublishing.com

After four months of high electric bills from Puget Sound Energy last winter, I decided it was time for a home energy audit. When our highest bill reached $442 in December 2016, I knew we needed help.

Fall 2017

So I called PSE’s Home Energy Assessment team to come out and take a look around. The service is something that PSE offers customers at no cost, as a method of helping homeowners with their bills, and as a way to conserve and reduce energy use. A week later, Kyle Brighton and Sean Gorton were at my door, iPad in hand ready to go to work. Gorton is program coordinator for the energy efficiency services for PSE, and Brighton is a member of the team of professionals who make assessments at residences. As I explained to them, our house is a log home, pan abode style with 30-foot ceilings. Because of that, there is no insulation in the walls or ceiling, but an inspection in the crawl space showed that the underneath of our house was well-insulated. The official report stated: “Crawlspace was well insulated and ducts were sealed and insulated well.” Brighton next checked out the furnace that we have, which is more than 10 years old. While is it working and is an 80 percent efficiency rated furnace, PSE’s suggestion was that we think about a heat pump, or a ductless heat pump as a replacement for the older furnace. “Ductless heat pumps are high efficient electrical zonal systems that don’t require ducting,” I was told, and because our home has many open spaces, and the upstairs does not have vented duct work, but just one wall heater, our best bet would be to try the ductless zonal heat pump. “That way, you can turn on and off the zones where you are,” Brighton said. “That will save you heating spaces that don’t need to be heated.” Some heat pumps can be installed for as little as $1,500, but most will cost in the neighborhood of $2,500. And PSE has already done the leg work on finding licensed reputable firms to do the work. Just

Homeowners who are customers can get a free energy assessment from Puget Sound Energy. Leslie Kelly/Kitsap News Group

check out the Contractor Alliance Network at www.pse.com/can. In the meantime, Brighton suggested that we have our furnace checked and tuned up and install a new filter every six to 12 months. Most tune-ups run about $300 to $400. Next, the team checked out our appliances. The electric stove passed, but we were reminded that gas stoves are more efficient. We need to invest in a new Energy Star energy-efficient refrigerator. That could save us up to 10 percent more energy. There are programs through PSE that offer rebates on new refrigerators, and PSE has a program where they will recycle your old appliance. To find out more call 1-877-341-2314. Our washer and dryer passed because they are energy efficient and are only a few years old. But we were told that if we buy new ones in the future, check out the rebates offered on the PSE website. As a part of the assessment, PSE also checked the light bulbs used in the house, replacing them with LED bulbs at no cost, and the shower heads which needed to be upgraded to low pressure head, which they

& Garden is published by Sound Publishing. For information about upcoming special publications, call 360-779-4464 Publisher: Terry R. Ward General Manager/ Advertising Director: Donna Etchey Special Publications Editor/Writer: Leslie Kelly Managing Editor: Richard Walker Copyright 2017 Sound Publishing

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left for us to do without any charge. They also left us aerators for the bathroom sinks. Just those items alone were estimated to save us $111 in annual energy savings. That also means we would reduce our consumption by 929 kilowatt hours. Gorton said once the weather turns colder, homeowners begin to think about saving on their energy bills. “That means they call us,” he said. “And sign up for an energy audit.” But he said, the biggest factor in the cost of energy in the winter is the weather and

the outside temperature. “And the weather is something that we can’t control,” he said. Keeping the heat set at 70 degree or less can pay off. For every four degrees lower that the thermostat is dropped, energy savings can be $3 a day, he said. If we have another cold winter like last year, keeping the thermostat turned down is a must. “And use a timer,” he said. “If no one is at home during the day, make sure to set the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees lower and then set it to warm up then house an hour before you’ll arrive home from work.” Also, set the temperature lower when you go to bed, and “put another blanket on the bed,” he said. One other option is a free-standing wood or pellet stove. But he said for some people in smaller homes, the house heats up too much too fast and isn’t comfortable. And you have to factor in the costs of the wood or pellets, unless you have trees on your property that can be cut. PSE performs close to 10,000 energy audits each year, with the goal in mind of conserving energy. PSE wants to educate its customers about energy savings and “about how to save dollars every month,” Gorton said. The audits are paid for through the energy conservation program, which is funded through a line item on customer’s bills. “If everyone reduces their consumption, it means we’ll be able to operate with fewer plants and less infrastructure,” he said. “And all of that will keep consumer’s costs lower.” To schedule an assessment, go to the PSE website, email energyassessment@pse. com, or call 855-973-1575.



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tree expert and have weak limbs taken down before a storm does it. Make sure they are licensed with the state. And call tree trimmers now, ahead of the storms, to do the inspection because they are busy removing fallen limbs after the storms. And, when a big storm is in the forecast, look around your property for objects that could become dangerous flying debris. Even heavy structures like playground equipment, porch swings and grills should be secured to the ground. Take your lawn furniture inside the Multi-colored fall leaves are pretty to look at but homeowners garage. Another thing to need to remember to clear gutters of them. Contributed photo think about is your sump pump. It needs a backnies and gutter placement companies also up. Often the sump pump is overlooked will do routine cleanings for under $150. during storm preparation, yet it provides A big item is tending to trees and other the main line of defense against basement things susceptible to wind hazards. If you flooding. If you have a finished basement, have trees near your house, have an expert install a sump pump with a battery backup look at them once every year or two to to ensure it will continue to operate in the trim away dead limbs that could break off event power is lost. during a storm and crash through your Be sure to not open the windows. It’s a roof. Don’t just hire the guy with a chainsaw common misconception that you should who knocks on your door. Find a qualified


Preparing your home for winter storms


With winter approaching, and with the knowledge that we get a few good windstorms in Kitsap County every fall, it’s time to think about preparing your home for storms. The first thing to think about is the roof of your home. Keep your roof in good shape. The roof is your home’s primary defense against the elements, and an annual roof inspection should be part of your storm preparedness plan. During an inspection, a roofer will check the overall structural integrity of your roof; look for loose shingles that could easily blow away in a storm, and other areas that may be prone to damage. For homeowners who live in areas prone to high winds, a roofing company can install wind-resistant shingles, plug areas where water could enter the home, and add extra fortification to your gables, rafters and sheathing. Most local roofing companies will do an inspection for a small fee or without charging the homeowner. Next, make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of obstructions and in good repair. This is important to do anyway, but they will need to work overtime during a major storm. Poorly sloped, leaking or obstructed gutters and downspouts can overflow, causing water damage to your home’s exterior or foundation. Many homeowners like to clean their own gutters, but window-washing compa-

open windows in the home in anticipation of a wind event such as a tornado or hurricane. It was incorrectly assumed that it would help move air through the home and prevent it from becoming too pressurized and exploding. This theory has been debunked, and it actually puts your family at a greater risk of injury caused by flying debris. What about the refrigerators or freezers when the power goes out? A common solution is to have a gasoline generator that can keep the appliances working. Home generators range in price, based on their size and ability to produce power. Some start as low at $749, with 6,200 watts of power, and range up to $1,889 for those that produces 10,000 watts of power or higher. These type are powered by gasoline or propane and are portable. There also are permanent standby generators that attach to a concrete pad on the exterior of the home. These generators will provide uninterrupted backup for days because they’re connected directly to your home’s electrical panel and powered by an external fuel supply, such as natural gas, liquid propane, or diesel. Smaller, air-cooled essential-circuit units are slightly larger than portable generators and can energize just a few circuits at a time. Larger, liquid-cooled whole-house systems will do just as their name suggests — they’ll comfortably power an entire home and they can cost upward of $20,000. Source: Angie’s List

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SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

Air Masters keeps on growing in Kitsap



In the year that Air Masters has been at their new location, they’ve experienced happy customers and a growth in business. “We attribute it to the more stable economy and to people being able to get in and out of our location more easily,” said Lena Price, operations manager at Air Masters. “I’d say we’ve experienced about a 25 percent growth in business. Businesses all throughout Kitsap County are doing well.” Air Masters, a heating and cooling business that’s been around for more than 30 years, moved from its former location on Mile Hill Drive to the Port Orchard Industrial Park at 1340 Lumsden Road. Air Masters is the premier Lennox dealer in this area. Price said the new location allows customers and delivery trucks better access, just off Highway 3 at the Highway 16 exit. “Since we first moved here, we’ve expanded to two suites, almost doubling our space,” Price said. “We now have lots of room for our vehicles and large items.” In all, the company has 17 vehicles in its fleet and employs 20 people. But, their business growth has meant a need for more employees. “We’re looking to hire qualified installers and service technicians,” Price said. “Anyone who is interested should stop by our office.” Among what’s selling are heat pumps and ductless heat pumps. “Customers with high electric bills are looking to ditch electric heat and get a heat pump,” Price said. “This is what we most often suggest. But for those homeowners who don’t have duct work in their homes and use baseboard heat, there’s the ductless heat pump.” Ductless heat pumps operate with zones and can keep only certain parts of the home heated. “There can zone up to five indoor areas,” she said. “And the units are placed high up on the wall and are really quiet.” In either case, the homeowners will save money on the heating bills. And currently, there are some special savings offered by the National Energy Efficiency Alliance, which allows owners of mobile homes to cut a rebate on heat pumps. “After the rebate, it’s only about $2,500 to install,” Price said. “Over a few years, the

Mark and Rosemarie Timmerman are the force behind Air Masters heating and cooling company that works throughout Kitsap County. Contributed photo efficiency systems that we are retrofitting in their existing homes.” In most cases, that’s Lennox heat pumps and Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling systems, their most popular items. Another reason for increased business he said is that there’s a pent-up demand. “In the past 10 years, homeowners have been cautious about spending I’d say we’ve experienced money,” he said. “They were about a 25 percent growth in our just repairing the old systems and holding on to their cash. business.” But they’re feeling more confident about the economy now — Lena Price and they’re deciding to make the improvements they want. We’re here to grow with that and to assist customers in whatever system in June of 2016 after celebrating 30 years in or improvements they want to have.” the business. As Air Masters looks ahead to the future, According to Mark, he’s seeing many they have other reasons to celebrate. They Baby Boomers decide to replace heating have just received the Best of West Sound and cooling systems in their homes. “Best Heating & Air Company” for the fifth “They’re at that time in their life where year in a row. Also, they were awarded the they know soon they will retire and be 2016 Super Service Award from Angie’s List living on a fixed income,” he said. “And for the second year in a row. they’re tired of the old inefficient systems. “We are very happy to receive these So, they’re replacing them with new high homeowner can get that back in savings on their heating bills.” Air Masters owners Mark and Rosemarie Timmerman have been a part of Air Masters since 2010, after running their own HVAC business Mark Air Inc. for 10 years. The original owners, Steve and Susan Krecker, retired

Getting your car ready for winter By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com Seasonal changes don’t affect just you. They also affect your car. You wouldn’t dream of heading outside without a coat if the wind chill brought the temperature below freezing. Don’t expect your car to function properly without some attention to its winter needs, too. • Engine oil in the winter: The oil in your engine changes depending on how hot or cold the engine is running. Because the outside temperatures will influence the internal temperature of your engine, you need to make sure you’re using the proper oil for the conditions. During the winter months, if you live where temperatures get below freezing,

you’ll want to switch over to thinner viscous oil. If you run a 10W-30 in the summer, for example, try moving to a 5W-30 when changing your oil in the fall or winter. If you are in doubt, refer to your manual or the manufacturer. • Engine coolant: You car’s coolant system is not intended only to keep your engine from overheating. It is also responsible for protecting your valuable engine against corrosion. Before the weather gets too cold, make sure you are using coolant with ethylene glycol to help protect your engine. Every vehicle requires a certain ratio of coolant to water, and your owner’s manual or repair technician can explain what your engine needs. For most vehicles, a winter ratio is 60 percent coolant to 40 percent

water. Adjusting this ratio is an important step in winterizing your car, so if you need help, ask someone who is experienced and knowledgeable. Additionally, some engines can only take specific types of coolant. Be sure to check with you vehicle manual to make sure you are putting the right type of coolant into your car. • Cold weather and battery capacity: It isn’t only your engine that doesn’t like to start in the winter. Your battery capacity is reduced by the cold weather, too. A thorough inspection of your battery, cables, terminals, and fluid will help you make sure your car is ready for the winter. Check over the battery cables for cracks and breaks. The terminals should fit snugly with no loose connections. You can check

awards, they are all driven by the consumer’s opinion of us or their voting for us. That makes us feel good, that we must be getting something right,” Mark said. As the owners of Air Masters, Rosemarie and Mark are continuing to be supportive of the local community. They drive their trucks in most local parades and help at community events. They are active in Port Orchard Rotary and help with the annual crab feed. Mark is treasurer of the club. They also have food drives for South Kitsap Helpline and they have donated gifts and food for the holiday programs “Port Orchard Cares’”and “Project Holiday’” through the Shepherds & the Angels which supports families in need. Price continues her involvement with the Kitsap Building Association and planning all community events. She volunteers her time as a board member for Fathoms O’ Fun, which the company also supports as a sponsor. “She always looks forward to the ‘Back to School’ celebration every year,” he said. “She has fun getting the back packs ready for donations and, also ordering items to hand out to the children. With the help of our employees, Lynae Goodwin and Teresa Tinner, they work as a team to make the most of the event for the children.” The Timmermans have two sons, Vincent, 19, and AC, 12. Vincent now works for the company in the installation department. The Timmermans continue to be supportive of the South Kitsap schools. Mark is a 1992 graduate of South Kitsap High School. “We love our town,” Mark said. “We believe that giving to the community is a great way to show how we have been so wonderfully supported by our community and the best way to show our gratitude. I’ve been a part of Port Orchard all my life and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” What you need to know Air Masters, Inc. Visit their new location: • Address: 1340 Lumsden Road, Suite 130, Port Orchard • Phone: 360-895-2527 • Website: www.airmastersheating.com Air Masters Heating team and their 1955 Chevy Panel Truck is always at many local and community events in the areas they service. To keep up with where they may appear next, visit their Facebook page www. facebook.com/airmastersheating.

your battery fluid by uncovering the refill hole (or sometimes holes). If the level is below the bottom of the cap, refill with distilled water. • Snow tires: When it comes to really dealing with winter weather, your tires are out there mixing with the snow, sleet, and ice. Driving in snow can be very difficult and sometimes dangerous; still, the reality is you need to get to work. Mounting the right tires on your car or truck can give you a huge advantage when trekking through snow. Many car makers and tire manufacturers recommend changing all four tires to snow tires in the winter. Another option is all-season tires that you use year-round winter and summer. The advantage of all-season tires is that you don’t change the tires before winter or need to keep two sets of rims. • Windshield treatment: For best results in clearing off cold, heavy grime, select a washer fluid with an antifreeze solution.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2017



Ole’s is the place to go for pools and spas



If Ole Schow were to tell you anything, he’d tell you that the spas of today are far different from those sold back in 1983. Schow is the owner of Ole’s Pool and Spa, LLC, located in Port Orchard. He began in the pool business doing mostly repairs working for his father who had a store in Tacoma. In 2004, he struck out on his own and opened Ole’s Pool & Spa in Port Orchard. “I’ve seen the hot tub industry go from the very basic fiberglass shell with four or five jets to what it is today,” Schow said. “Hot tubs today are better engineered for therapeutic and health needs, and for recreation, not to mention efficiency, durability and power.” Ole’s is the authorized dealer for Bullfrog spas in the Kitsap County area. Schow likes to tell how spas first began. “They started in Northern California and were just old wine barrels full of water with one tiny pump, and were electrically heated,” he said. “The advancements in the technology on hot tubs is light years from where we were 25 or 30 years ago.” For example, with Bullfrog spas, there is up to 90 percent less plumbing than what an average spa has. The plumbing is easier to get to and takes less time and money to make repairs, he added. This makes the Bullfrog spa so much more efficient as it retains heat like a Thermos. “And Bullfrog spas can be customized, so that each seat has a different JetPak that addresses various locations of the body, such as the neck or the lower back. And those JetPaks can be removed easily while the spa is filled with water, if they need maintenance. They can also be exchanged with other JetPaks in your spa.” Customers who come in wanting to learn about spas are doing so because they are looking for a stress reliever, to address a health concern, or for recreational use. “We sell from 75 to 100 spas in a year and most people are interested in a medium-size spa that will fit four to five people,” he said.

Ole Schow knows that a spa can improve your health and life. That mid-sized spa can range from $6,500 to $11,000 depending on the specifics. Some customers say they have health concerns and they’ve been told that getting a spa would help. For example, Schow said, he’s sold spas to construction or shipyard workers who use it daily to help with their “aches and pains.” “It’s a great way to address issues with arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, or injuries if you are an athlete or just a backyard warrior.” Schow also said many folks want a spa as a way of relaxing and reducing stress. “I’ve had customers tell me that they start their day by getting in the spa before they go to work, and then they return home and get back in the spa to relax,” he said. He asks customers a lot of questions to try to determine which spa is right for them.

Leslie Kelly/Kitsap News Group

“I try to find out which hot tub will best suit their needs,” he said. “I have people call on the phone and want to buy over the phone. I try to narrow down the field and then ask them to come in and see what we’re talking about.” Some folks will actually buy spas over the internet without seeing what they’re buying, in an attempt to save money. But often times that backfires on them, Schow said. With a purchase from a spa dealer, such as Ole’s, the customer gets delivery and installation in the price. The only extras are getting an electrician to hook up the electricity and sometimes the use of a crane. “If it’s an installation on a second floor deck, and the spa has to be lifted into place, we have to use a crane,” he said. “But if the customer wants us to arrange that, and the electrical hook-up, we will do that for them, too.”

Much of Ole’s day-to-day business is working on spas or pools that are already in use. The company will service any brand of spa or pool and does work in residential and commercial locations including city pools, the Navy base pool, hotels and motels, homes and apartments. “That’s our bread and butter,” he said, about the repair and service work. And sometimes that work has kept them afloat, like in 2008 when during a recession very few people were buying new spas, but they were having their old ones serviced. Spas today are much more energy efficient and cost the average consumer only about $12 to $15 a month in energy costs. Also, it’s much easier to keep them clean. “There’s been so many advancements as far as taking care of the water and cleaning the spa,” he said. “It only takes a few minutes once a week to check the water, and about 20 minutes once a month to clean the filter. There is a water chemistry that has to be maintained in order to have a safe environment, but the products on the market now are so easy to use.” The old idea of having a hot tub and being the party place has mostly gone by the wayside, he said, although a few people come in looking for a large hot tub and want to have friends over every weekend. Much of their spa business is replacing existing tubs. “We replace a lot of old hot tubs,” he said. “Their current one has broken and they have gone a few months without one and then realize how much they miss it.” And while there are more expensive spas that have waterfalls and lights, most spa owners don’t want that. “It’s considered ’bling,’” he said. “And that’s always the stuff that breaks.” What Schow wants people to know is that having a spa is reasonable these days. “Spas can be financed and when you look at it, they can be cheaper than athletic club memberships,” he said. “Plus you have the spa all to yourself and you can go in it any time you want.” More: 1521 Piperberry Way, Port Orchard, 360-373-8131. www.olespoolandspa.com,

Get ready for those winter storm emergencies Whether it’s a situation where the power goes off for a time, or “The Big One,” officials from the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency say every home should have a ready-and-waiting disaster kit. According to both agencies, a disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. They say the kit needs to be prepared well in advance of an emergency. “You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them,” a FEMA official said. Prepare to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least 72 hours. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items: Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both Flashlight and extra batteries First aid kit Whistle to signal for help Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelterin-place Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Manual can opener for food Local maps Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger Additional emergency supplies include a First Aid Kit. You may want to consider adding the following items: Prescription medications and glasses Infant formula and diapers Pet food and extra water for your pet, or prescriptions for your pets Cash or traveler’s checks and change Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. Emergency reference material such as a first aid book. Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate. Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.

Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – when diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners. Fire extinguisher Matches in a waterproof container Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils Paper and pencil Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children Many local groups, such as the Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, offer classes in emergency preparedness. The department has training videos online at www.kitsapdem.org. They also have neighborhood program that teaches such things as turning off gas meters in an emergency.



SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

DIY: ways to make your home ready for winter

By JACOB HURWITH Improvement.com

Winterizing your home may feel like a chore, but it’s easy, cheap and will surely make the winter go by as smoothly and comfortably as possible. There are numerous ways to prepare your home for the colder months and they all fall into one of three categories: windows/doors, HVAC or insulation. Don’t let insulation or HVAC scare you. There are easy winterizing projects any homeowner can accomplish. Once December rolls around, you’ll be grateful you completed each one. Windows and doors Install storm doors and windows. When it comes to windows and doors, the best way to keep the cold air out of the home is to install storm windows and doors. In fact, installing a storm door can increase energy efficiency by 45 percent after sealing drafts and reducing airflow. Ventilating storm doors often offer an upper level of ventilation while keeping the aluminum or steel design on the bottom. This is useful when homeowners want more privacy, but don’t need a lot of ventilation. Models come with many options, like having the screen available at the top or bottom of the door. This is a great option for homes in cold climates where the

screen can easily be removed in the winter and replaced in the spring. It also adds an extra layer of security, making it harder for intruders to gain access as opposed to a fulllength screen storm door. Install new windows. Old windows may add to that vintage or traditional charm you always crave, but it certainly doesn’t keep the cold out of the home. In fact, old windows can be the No. 1 source of heat loss. Bear in mind, new windows are not cheap, but the long-term energy and heat savings are sure to make up for that hefty investment. Caulk your windows. Cold air tends to make its way through the windows and doors, giving your heating system a much tougher time to do its job. The best way to overcome those frosty breezes is by caulking your windows and doors. When you’re caulking your windows and doors, be sure to always smooth out the lines with a wet finger. This will keep everything even, looking just as though a professional did it. Buy or make draft stoppers for the doors. So many homeowners are using draft stoppers nowadays as opposed to installing new doors. While it may not be as effective, they certainly do work. You can purchase draft stoppers (or snakes) at many local hardware stores or you can even create one yourself. Just roll up a bath towel and place it under your door or window.

On the other hand, you can turn this winterizing tactic into a fun activity for the kids. Just grab some old fabric, pillowcases or anything that can hold solid material and fill it with sand. It’s as if arts and crafts class just came home! Add plastic to your windows. If you really don’t want to get your hands dirty with caulk, you can always purchase window plastic. The plastic is basically invisible and any homeowner can install it. As long as you remove all the air bubbles, it will look as if a pro just left the house. HVAC Replace furnace filters. No appliances are more relevant in the winter than your heating systems and furnaces. You must change those furnace filters often. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand. If you have not already done so, head to your nearest home improvement store and stock up on filters. The earlier you do, the cheaper they will be. Repair the furnace. Even if you regularly change the furnace filter, other problems can arise. As a result, you will more than likely have to repair the furnace or upgrade to a new one. According to our furnace repair cost estimator, the average price to repair a furnace is $258. However, know that this price can fluctuate quite a bit depending on your warranty. Keep in mind, the furnace’s age, size and overall condition also factor

into the repair cost. On the other hand, you could also go for an upgrade and install an Energy Star model. They could save you up to 20 percent compared to new models or as much as 50 percent versus older models. The average price to install a new furnace is $3,602. Empty pipes. Frozen pipes are never cheap to fix, but they are cheap to prevent. Draining the pipes ensures that nothing will freeze inside. Many pipes have manual valves you can open once you turn off your main water line. You may also need to open the waste valve to eliminate that extra water hanging around. Monitor the thermostat. When the temperature really start to drop, you must leave your heating system on. This will help keep your pipes unfrozen, ensure a comfortable inside temperature and save money on HVAC repairs down the road. Nonetheless, homeowners must always monitor their thermostat to ensure you are not spending more than you need. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the rule of thumb is that you can save about 3 percent on your gas bill for every degree you decrease on the thermostat. Furthermore, ACEEE says that if you turn it See DIY, next page

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SEPTEMBER 29, 2017


Continued from previous page down 10 degrees when you go to work and at night (for at least 16 hours a day), you can save about 14 percent. Reverse rotation of ceiling fans. Heat rises. In order to save energy and prevent the hot air from leaving your bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens, reverse the rotation of your ceiling fans to push the heat downwards. Ceiling fans should run clockwise in the winter. Many fans have a simple switch above the fan and others just use the

cord hanging from the ceiling fan itself. As a result, all the hot air your furnace is generating will be gently pushed back down. Boost Insulation. You may not be able to see it, but insulation is your biggest friend when it comes to winterizing your home. Adding new or extra insulation to you walls, attic, roof, ducts and pipes can make a huge difference in the overall temperature of your home. The average price to install new insulation is $1,289. However, adding extra insulation or repairing old insulation is much cheaper. Insulate your pipes. One easy way to


add insulation yourself is by wrapping your pipes. This will undoubtedly decrease the chance of frozen pipes, but also save money on hot water. A great way to see if your pipes need insulation is by checking its outside temperature. If they are very hot or cold, then add some insulation. You can get pre-slit pipe foam at most hardware stores. Try to buy materials with the highest R-value. Other winterizing tactics Build a fire or grab a sweater. Then again, there are always simple changes that may not make the biggest difference, but they

rarely come with a cost. Grab some extra firewood and make a fire in your living room. Not only will a properly maintained fireplace reduce your heating costs, but it also gives homeowners that homey and comfortable feel we all seek. On the other hand, you could always take out a comfortable sweater as you lounge around binging on Netflix. Roughly speaking, a light long-sleeved sweater is worth about two degrees in added warmth, while a heavy sweater adds about four degrees.

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SEPTEMBER 29, 2017

Get ready for Fall

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Home and Garden - Home and Garden Fall 2017  


Home and Garden - Home and Garden Fall 2017