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Geothermal Heating

Oil-less Infrared Fryer

Energy Tax Credit

Cold Weather Humidifier

Double Oven Range

Roof Ready For Santa

Scented Ornaments

Vacation Home Safety

Energy From The Earth: Geothermal Heating

(NAPSI)-According to the Department of Energy, the average family in the United States spends about $1,900 a year on utility bills-a lot of that energy is wasted. Fortunately, there’s a way to keep heating bills from making you hot under the collar.

For example, consider a geothermal home comfort system. These tap into the abundant source of free solar heat energy stored in the earth and use a series of pipes (an earth loop) buried in the ground to move that heat into a home during cold weather. Most systems are easy to install in both new and older homes.

The energy source is free and renewable and the average system lasts for more than 24 years-compared to 15 years for an ordinary system.

In many cases, the monthly savings the system offers let it pay for itself quickly. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency considers geothermal systems to be among the most efficient heating and cooling systems available.

Once installed, a geothermal system requires less maintenance than a conventional heating and cooling system and operates more efficiently, delivering an astounding four units of energy for every one unit of electrical energy used. That translates to a 400 percent efficiency rating and savings up to 70 percent for heating, cooling and hot water costs.

Another plus: A geothermal system uses no fossil fuel and emits no carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or other greenhouse gases.

In addition, homeowners who install a geothermal system before Dec. 31, 2016, can take advantage of a federal renewable energy tax credit of 30 percent of the total investment for the system, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Homeowners may also take advantage of utility rebates and state tax incentives where available to make geothermal systems more affordable than ever.

To find a geothermal system that fits your needs, you can visit www.waterfurnace.com or talk to a WaterFurnace expert at (800) GEO-SAVE.

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New Ways To Wow Them This Holiday Season

(NAPSI)-While more than a quarter of the country expects to celebrate Thanksgiving at the same time and place this year as last year, the fare they’ll be eating may be very different indeed.

Survey Says

The latest “Juicy Secrets Survey” from Char-Broil LLC discovered home cooks plan on making the menu more interesting than ever. The survey also uncovered a few new facts and debunked conventional wisdom about how Americans prepare and enjoy their holiday feasts. While 40 percent of the people surveyed said they serve the same menu that mom created, more than half say they’re open to trying new recipes or techniques to make the meal special—and a full 10 percent make it a tradition to do so each holiday.

Frying Has Fans

Frying the turkey is at the top of that “must try” list, with one in three Americans reporting they’ve eaten fried turkey. The majority said it was better than traditional oven-baked turkey. The primary reason: It’s juicier. Of the few who didn’t like their turkey fried, more than half said it was because of the grease.

Cooks Warm to Infrared

Fortunately for them, Char- Broil has created the first oil-less infrared turkey fryer: The Big Easy. A safer and healthier alternative to traditional oil-based fryers, it uses natural infrared heat to cook moist, flavorful turkey in significantly less time than an ordinary oven.

Now, with The Big Easy oil-less fryer, the idea of “frying” a turkey doesn’t have to mean loads of calories, safety hazards or messy cleanup at Thanksgiving.

More Timesaving Tips

Other popular ways home chefs save time and trouble include:

• Letting guests bring a side dish

• Using frozen vegetables

• Serving store-bought desserts

• Adding dry mix to get the gravy just right.

Learn More

For more information, tips and recipes, go to www.charbroil.com. The Big Easy can be purchased at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Bass Pro Shops and Amazon.com.

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Incentives For A More Comfortable Home

(NAPSI)-A recent tax credit lets homeowners looking for a more energy-efficient way to heat and cool their house get a new geothermal heating and cooling system. A onetime tax credit of 30 percent of the total investment is offered to homeowners who install residential ground loop or ground water geothermal heat pumps.

The System

A geothermal home comfort system taps into the abundant source of free solar heat energy stored in the earth and uses a series of pipes (an earth loop) buried in the ground to move that heat into a home during cold weather.

The Tax Break

Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, homeowners who install a geothermal system before Dec. 31, 2016, can take advantage of the federal renewable energy tax credit for the system. Homeowners may also get utility rebates and other tax incentives.

Other Advantages

Even without the tax break, the long-term return on installing such a system can make it worthwhile. The energy source is free and renewable and the average system lasts over 24 years-compared to 15 years for an ordinary system. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency considers them to be one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems available.

According to the experts at WaterFurnace, most geothermal systems are easy to install in both new and older homes. Once installed, the system requires less maintenance than a conventional heating and cooling system and operates more efficiently, delivering an astounding four units of energy for every one unit of electrical energy used. That translates to a 400 percent efficiency rating and savings up to 70 percent for heating, cooling and hot water costs.

Another plus: A geothermal system uses no fossil fuel and emits no carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or other greenhouse gases. Homeowners experience added comfort, improved indoor air quality and less noise as they reduce their carbon footprint.

Learn More

To find a geothermal system that fits your needs, you can visit www.waterfurnace.com or call (800) GEO-SAVE.

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Humidifiers: A Must-Have For Cold Weather Comfort

(NAPSI)-Cold outdoor air doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable indoor air that can leave you feeling dry, itchy and congested. Using a humidifier is an easy way to help counteract the effects of dry harsh air by adding essential moisture to any room.

As cold temperatures set in, humidity levels drop, leading to dry indoor air. Humidifiers raise indoor humidity levels and help keep indoor air moist for more comfortable living.

A comfortable humidity level should be between 40 and 60 percent. This helps provide temporary relief from dry-air discomforts as well as temporarily relieve congestion and cough. According to a published study in Environmental Health, keeping indoor air at a relative humidity level between 40 and 60 percent reduces the survival of flu viruses on surfaces and in the air when compared to relative humidity levels that are lower. It also indicates that when used as directed, a humidifier can achieve and maintain this 40-60 percent relative humidity level.

Now it’s easier than ever to make your home more comfortable during the dry winter months with Honeywell Easy to Care and Germ Free Humidification products.

Easy to Care Humidifiers were developed to make it simple to add moisture to your room without adding hassle to your busy day and clutter to your home. The breakthrough design incorporates the top-fill feature-making them as easy to fill as watering a plant. Filling can be a snap, with no more heavy tanks to lug back and forth to the sink. Simply pour water into the humidifier as you pass by. These humidifiers have dishwasher-safe components and easy-wipe surfaces that eliminate struggling to clean grooves, crevices and tough-to-reach places. Flowing water lets you know it’s working and easy-to-operate controls make it as easy as the flick of a wrist to set.

Select humidifier models with germ-free humidification are equipped with UV technology, which, based on independent laboratory testing, kills up to 99.9 percent of bacteria, molds, fungi and viruses in the tap water used in your humidifier. This provides the assurance that the moisture the humidifier emits is virtually free of germs. The new unit with Germ- Free Humidification also incorporates features to make operating simple, such as self-regulating evaporative technology, which maintains optimal room humidity levels, dishwasher-safe parts and a break-resistant water tank.

Humidifiers can help you enjoy your day, breathe better and sleep more comfortably at night.

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Save Time, Energy And Trouble

(NAPSI)-If the holiday festivities are at your house this year and you’re concerned about the cooking, you’re not alone. According to a recent online survey conducted by Harris Interactive, more than 80 percent of respondents said they cook for their guests when entertaining but many still struggle to reduce time, energy and mess in the kitchen. Thirty-five percent said they mostly cook what they know but might try a new recipe when entertaining.

Tips To Help You

To help make cooking more fun and efficient, consider these tips:

• Use pots and pans with flat bottoms that fit the burners. A 6” pot on an 8” burner wastes over 40 percent of that burner’s heat.

• Try cooking food in as little water as possible to save energy and preserve nutrients.

• Don’t open the oven door during cooking; each time you do, you can lose about 25° to 30° of heat. Try cooking with a full oven, too, and using the broiler when possible, which needs less energy and doesn’t require preheating.

• Use the leftover heat as a food warmer and turn off the oven immediately when you are finished cooking. An oven retains heat for up to 30 minutes after it’s been turned off.

A double oven range can help increase efficiency in the kitchen-from preparation to cleanup-without the need for major renovations. For example, with the Whirlpool® double oven range, you can roast a turkey while simultaneously baking a vegetable lasagna for those non-meat eaters. You can bake the green bean casserole at the same time as the cookies so you don’t have to jump up in the middle of the meal to take them out on time.

Learn More

For more information, visit www.whirlpool.com and www.instituteofkitchenscience.com.

 

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Is Your Roof Ready For Santa?

NAPSI)-By following a few simple steps, you can help prepare your roof for Santa’s arrival and the harsh weather that may follow.

Roof maintenance begins on both the inside and outside of your home, and taking a few moments before winter hits can save headaches later.

• Clean rain gutters: Clean water and debris from the gutters. Clogs could force rainwater or melting ice under the eaves of your roof, leading to extensive damage.

• Check the metal flashing fitted to the roof intersections around your chimney. Incorrectly fitted flashing can lead to leaks. Check all other metal areas for warps and holes and, if found, repair.

• Apply waterproofing products to help protect your roof from water and preserve and condition your roof as well. Standing water, melting ice and snow can lead to a wide range of issues.

• Proper attic ventilation can extend the life of your shingles, so consider adding attic vents to help prevent ice damming if you don’t already have them, or clean out the vents you already have to reduce heat and moisture buildup in the attic that can cause damage to your roof.

Roof Replacement

Finally, if your roof is getting up in years, you may want to consider replacing your shingles. This may be an appropriate time to speak with a general contractor about a new roof installation.

With each passing winter on an aged roof, the chance for greater structural damage increases. Roof repairs are not something to delay as they can ultimately lead to more expensive home repairs. And with continuing increases in the price of building materials, waiting could mean paying more later. Asphalt shingles are still the most economical and popular roofing material, covering nearly 85 percent of U.S. homes.

You may want to consider a premium asphalt shingle, which typically comes with a longer warranty that could save money in the future. For instance, TAMKO’s Heritage Vintage laminated asphalt shingles resemble wood shake and have a lifetime limited warranty. It’s advised you read the limited warranty for complete details and restrictions when considering a roofing purchase.

TAMKO also offers other products for winterizing your roof, such as flashing, waterproofing and cements, and a variety of roof vents, including a new solar attic vent that is powered entirely by energy from the sun.

For other home-winterizing tips and to learn more, visit www.tamko.com or call (800) 641-4691.

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Scents Of The Season

(NAPSI)-There’s good news for the estimated 50 million American homeowners who opt for the convenience of artificial holiday trees.

Choosing this no-fuss festive decoration no longer means depriving yourself of the nostalgic scent of fresh pine. There’s an easy way to add that inviting scent to fake trees and other holiday decorations.

One way to make the mood in your home merrier is to decorate with scented ornaments called ScentSicles.®

Infused with pure fragrance oils, the ornaments can make any tree smell fresh cut for weeks. You can stash them in the tree, hang them as decorative ornaments, or use them in floral arrangements. They also make a timely holiday hostess gift.

Easy to use and biodegradable, the ornaments are safer for children and pets than other home fragrance products.

There are three distinct fragrances of the season: Douglas Fir, Blue Spruce or White Pine. The ornaments are available seasonally at Walmart, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Michaels and Hallmark stores. For more information, visit www.ScentSicles.com and www.HomeDepot.com.

 

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Taking A Vacation? Make Sure To Secure Your Home First

(NAPSI)-Four to five minutes-that could be the difference between whether or not your return home from vacation is ruined by a burglar.

According to experts, that's the maximum time most thieves will spend trying to break into a house before giving up in search of easier prey. That holds true year-round, whether you're blissfully off on a winter ski getaway or spending the summer on the beach.

"People don't realize that going on vacation can be an invitation for would-be thieves," says Mike Convery, vice president and chief claim officer at MetLife Auto & Home®. "Or that the average burglary will result in a loss of more than $2,000."

In fact, the Insurance Information Institute indicates nine out of 10 break-ins could have been prevented if homeowners had burglar-proofed their properties. The simple act of locking your doors before leaving home can go a long way toward deterring a burglar. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 50 percent of burglars use an unlocked door or window to gain access to a home.

How else can you avoid returning to a home that's been ransacked? Read on for some "Do's" and "Don'ts" from the experts:

DON'T advertise you're away. Arrange to have the lawn mowed, put lights and electronics on variable timers, and-to really complete the illusion-ask a neighbor to park a car in your driveway.

DO make would-be thieves feel both exposed and contained. Choose picket or chain-link fencing instead of solid fencing to create a physical barrier that's less easy to hide behind. Keep hedges clipped to around waist level.

DON'T hesitate to rearrange things. Those expensive belongings, including TVs and stereo systems, might as well have a sign on them saying "Take Me" if they're left in plain view from windows and doors.

DO get an assist from technology. A solar-powered, motion-sensor light-which doesn't require an electrician to install-illuminates your property so that lurking intruders are easier for neighbors and passing patrol cars to spot.

DON'T hide keys in "secret places" outside your home. Most burglars know where to look. Better to leave a duplicate with someone you trust.

DO invest in a burglar alarm. The most effective ones notify an outside service of trouble, but any kind is a good deterrent. Just make sure there's a friend or family member available to turn it off if it's set off in your absence.

One last thing: "In addition to those preventive measures, all homeowners should complete a personal property inventory," says Convery. "That way, if you are burglarized, you'll already have a detailed list of your valuables for the authorities, which can be a difficult task after the fact."

You can get a free Personal Property Inventory brochure from MetLife Auto & Home by calling (800) 608-0190.

 

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