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3 Surefire Signs That You Need A Programmable Thermostat

As a homeowner, keeping up with the demands and financial responsibilities of your HVAC system can be quite the challenge. Sometimes, it feels like you’re constantly adjusting your thermostat in hopes of coming to a solution that keeps your home at a comfortable temperature without breaking the bank. If this sounds like your daily struggle, you’re definitely not alone. But you should know that installing a programmable thermostat could save you up to 10% on your heating bills, and there are plenty of other ways they can simplify your life and save you money. Here are just a few undeniable signs that your home is in desperate need of a programmable thermostat.

You’re consistently paying for high utility costs.

As mentioned, a home with a traditional thermostat can easily result in spending too much on utility costs. The fact is, most people like to adjust the temperature of their home throughout the day, but without a programmable thermostat, temperatures often stay higher or lower than they have to. If you wake up in the morning and are always cold, for example, a programmable thermostat can adjust your air conditioning or furnace temperature overnight to ensure a more comfortable (and affordable) awakening.

You have an erratic schedule or are not home very often.

If you’re not home very often, why keep your home heated or cooled when it’s empty? This won’t do anything but add to both your utility costs and your air conditioning’s level of wear and tear. Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to customize your home’s temperature at any time of the day, meaning you can turn the system off when you’re leaving while ensuring that it will be at the perfect temperature when you return home.

You care about the environment.

Finally, if you truly care about the impact that your home’s energy usage has on the environment, investing in a programmable thermostat is one of the best steps you can take to improve home energy efficiency. A programmable thermostat reduces the amount of heating and cooling energy your home uses unnecessarily, improving long-term sustainability.

Ultimately, understanding these signs can help you determine whether or not a programmable thermostat is the right investment for you.

5 Ways To Add A Personal Touch To Your Apartment Without Breaking The Rules

It can be challenging to make your apartment feel like home when you can only do so much with it. Many property owners won’t let their tenants paint the walls of their apartment let alone renovate.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can give your apartment the personal touch it needs to make it feel like home.

5 Tips For Bringing (Personal) Life To Your Apartment

One of the most difficult parts of renting an apartment is not being able to decorate the way homeowners can. You may not be able to drill holes into the walls to hang shelves or mount paintings.

That being said, here are five tips to bring your personal touch to your apartment without going against property rules.

  1. Upgrade your lighting. Apartments are known for their unsightly overhead lighting. Consider swapping out your light fixtures for a more flattering option like sconces and floor lamps.
  2. Upgrade your floors with adhesives. Adhesive materials are readily available for a whole range of uses, including floors. If you hate your apartment’s kitchen floors, consider using adhesive tiles in a new and vibrant pattern to give your space some life.
  3. Cover your unflattering backsplash. Speaking of adhesive materials, they can also be used to cover up an unsightly backsplash in your kitchen. It can also be used to create a backsplash if your apartment is lacking one and you’d like a little more separation between your kitchen and other rooms.
  4. Cover old appliances. You may not be able to scrap the old appliances in your apartment, but you can give them a new face with either magnet or peel-and-stick covers that give your appliances the look of stainless steel.
  5. Use roller shades to your advantage. Roller shade fabric allows only 5% of light in and keeps 95% of light out, making them perfect for privacy. They also make for great alternatives to painting your walls. Roller shades come available in a variety of colors and patterns so you can change up your apartment’s color palette without completely covering the walls.

Window treatments are a great way to bring your personal touch to your apartment without planning any renovations.

How to Determine if Your Antiques Are Worth Something

If you’ve recently come into jewelry or other household items, you could be in the possession of antique sterling. Jewelry is often composed of alloys of two precious metals: silver and gold. Gold and silver prices rise and fall in juxtaposition to market trends, but they can still be worth a hefty amount.

Household objects that have a cash-trade value are often things such as sterling silver tea sets, silverware, sterling candelabras, and other similar items. If you are looking to get these items appraised, the first step is to visit a shop that buys and sells precious metals. However, if you’re generally curious if what you possess has any significant monetary value, there are certain tells that will alert you to it’s value.

Sterling Silver Versus Sterling Plated

Many people believe that the items they possess are pure silver or something similar if they appear to be. However, many times these objects are simply covered in a layer of silver, rather than being composed of it.

If an object is considered sterling, or sterling silver, then it is composed of 92.5% silver. Sterling silver is inherently different then fine silver though, and the market price is actually based on a standard of .999, or 99%, fine silver. Sterling silver is referenced in troy ounces, which is about 31.2 grams per troy ounce.

Sterling plated items are commonly confused for being sterling silver, and many antique silver items such as sterling trays are actually plated and not pure. Sterling plated items are metal objects such as brass, copper, or nickel that have a thin layer of sterling silver bonded to the surface. Silverware is actually silverplatedflatware, more often then not. Many of these items will have markings to indicate that they’re silver plated, such as ‘EP’ or ‘EPNS’ etched somewhere. Some items may also state something such as “silver on copper” to indicate what metal is plated.

Even though sterling and sterling plated are two very different terms and you should know the difference, both can be worth something. Sterling silver tends to be worth much more because of it’s purity, but objects such as silver plated copper can also have value. The market prices for copper is raising so it may be worth it to hang on to any copper-based items for scrapping.

If you think your antique sterling may be worth something, contact today to find out.

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