Money Saving Tips for Your Car

save on vehicle costsWith the economy still not what it used to be, people are still trying to save money wherever they can. One often overlooked expense is transportation. If you are like most Americans, you simply see your car as a necessity and not a place where there is any money to save. But even if you don’t have a hybrid or vehicle you are not making payments on, there are still ways to keep your car while saving money on fuel and other costs. Here is my top 5 list.

  1. Properly Inflate your Tires. Did you know that over 25% of cars on the road are driving around with improperly inflated tires? This is not optimal for fuel economy and can lower gas mileage by 3% or more which adds up over time.
  2. Slower, More Constant Driving. When you accelerate quickly in your car you are using far more gas, up to an amazing 33%. Quick stops also reduces fuel economy and will wear out your breaks quicker.
  3. Turn Down the AC. Something most drivers don’t consider, the use of air conditioning while you are driving can lower your mpg by up to 25% when its on full blast depending on your vehicle.
  4. Carpooling and Combining Trips. This is a no-brainer, carpooling to work or other places saves big on travel expenses. And when you go to run errands, its much more efficient to do them either on your way home from work or all at the same time.
  5. Perform regular maintenance. Use a service like Aarrow Transmissions Auto Repair to take care of your car by having the recommended maintenance done in a timely manner you will help save money by avoiding the bigger, much more expensive problems down the road.

Just because you need a vehicle doesn’t mean you should be spending too much on fuel and repairs. Using these tips may not make you rich but they will certainly help you save money each month. You might also be interested in my recent post about increasing your cars value and performance if you are thinking about selling your vehicle.

Subwoofers, Size, and Your Vehicle

Subwoofers are a great way to enhance the sound of your car. If you value the quality of speakers and enjoy blasting your music, you should invest in getting a pair that will give you the best sound possible with a strong bass. This means you will be able to feel the beat for an ultimate effect.

Do Your Research

If you don’t know much about speakers, it may take some extra research for you to find what will work best in your car. There are different sizes of amplifiers and subwoofer enclosures that need to be tailored to your vehicle.PIC00459.JPG

You can purchase a bundle that already has different types of amplifiers and boxes assembled, or you can buy the components separately. If you have a strong understanding of subwoofers, you may be able to buy the pieces separate for a custom experience.

You could also walk into a store and have an associate help you pick out the best combination. The issue is, salespeople will try to pressure you to spend more. They may have you looking at larger, more expensive subwoofers when you have a smaller car that can’t handle the sound. The way that the sound waves echo and bounce off the walls of your vehicle make all the difference in quality of sound. Understanding this, make it your priority to buy an amplifier and enclosure that is the proper size.

The best way to buy custom subwoofers for your car is to find a retailer that sells the subs by vehicle. For example, some online stores let you sort by your car or truck’s make and model, then find the subwoofer that will fit specifically to the dimensions of your car.

A subwoofer and enclosure that fit in a Hummer would not be the same speaker that would give the highest quality sound in a sedan. You would only purchase 12 inch subwoofer boxes for a vehicle that has enough space to efficiently use these sound waves.

Never be shy to ask a friend or salesperson for help. As long as you have done your research ahead of time and have an idea of the size and dimensions you are looking for, no one should be able to pressure you into buying something inappropriate.

3 Ways to Improve Your Car and Increase Value

Like many things in life, automobiles are an asset that depreciates and will most likely lose value over time. However, if you are looking to protect your investment as much as possible you may need to invest some time and elbow grease into your car. Below are three tips to improving your car’s appearance that can also help to increase your re-sale price.

Window Tinting DurangoDe-clutter Your Car: After all, presentation is everything! No one wants to ride around in car that is piled high with clothes, fast food wrappers, and junk. Cleaning out your car should be on you to-do list because, best of all, it’s free! You will be surprised the difference a pristine and clean car will make as opposed to a messy one. It is sure to raise your potential selling price and depending on how many things you have in your car, you could potentially improve your gas mileage.

Get Your Information in Order: Everyone can say they properly maintained their vehicle however; having the evidence in black and white can only help to assure your buyer. Keep a folder of any and all repairs and maintenance records. This proves that you have cared for your car and that is priceless to your potential buyer. If you haven’t kept your receipts, don’t worry. Check with your auto repair shop. Depending on their business practices some companies keep receipts on file for up to three years following service. Also do your homework. Have a copy of your CarFax or Experian report so that way you know what your buyer knows as well.

Make Those Fixes You’ve Been Putting Off: That dent in the bumper, scratch in your window tint, or scuffed car door paint, it’s time to finally cough up the money and repair your car. Your potential car buyer is going to potentially over-estimate the repair costs or just not even consider buying your car if they see glaring imperfections. Getting your car repainted or upgrading your window tinting are relatively small costs compared to the potential loss of funds if those problems make your buyer walk.

Best time to install a Generator

The spring is a time of warm comfortable weather, light rain showers and overall great weather. Its probably not the time of year many people would think to buy a home generator designed to give backup power in the event of an outage. But living on the east coast we know that hurricane season is just around the corner. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t think ahead like they should and wait until its too late to have a generator installed, forcing them to go days or weeks without power each time there is a local outage.

home backup generatorMany people don’t realize it takes time a preparation to install a generator. When the weather is bad, companies like Master Electrical are often overloaded with calls and may not be able to install your generator when you need it the most. That’s why its always smart to plan ahead and invest in having your generator installed when the weather is nice and they have the time to do the installation. Planning ahead will save you in the long run.

So why not prepare when the weather is nice so you and your family can be comfortable when it gets bad. Backup generators let you run the things you need to carry on live as usual. It can save all your groceries from spoiling when the fridge powers down and allows you to cook meals as usual.

If you want to have one installed but are not sure which brand to use I would recommend generac from a certified generac installer. They are known throughout the industry as having some of the most efficient and reliable generators.

Four Ways to Choose a Fence Builder

A friend of mine is a fence contractor, but unfortunately he lives in a different city and doesn’t serve my area. So when I needed to have a fence built in my backyard it was a no brainer to ask him how I should choose the right fence builders. Here are the four pieces of advice he gave me:

  1. The first thing he told me was to do my own research and decide what materials I wanted to have it made out of, type of wood vs metal ect. The reasoning for this is because different fence builders specialize in specific types of materials.
  2. Next is an easy one, he told me to check how long the company has been in business. While this isn’t a deal breaker, more experience is better all else equal.
  3. As with any service these days, check out reviews both online and from other people you might know including friends and neighbors. These days companies who don’t install quality products whether it’s a fence or replacement windows can’t hide for long.
  4. Then probably the more important thing he said was to check out the materials they will be using before the job starts. See if you can take a look at the type of lumber or metal they will be putting up to make sure its up to par with what you are paying for. Don’t hire a fence builder who tries to cut corners by buying cheaper supplies for the job. This will likely end in more expenses long term with repairs, replacements and maintenance.

While it would have been easy to just have my friends company build the fence I have been wanting, taking his advice turned out to be just as good. I found a great Houston area fence builder who was able to put up a sturdy wooded fence just a week after I called them. So far it looks great and I couldn’t be happier. Use the professional advice I got im sure you will have good experience too.

HVAC Tips That Will Lower Your Energy Costs

Most home owners are concerned with the cost of high energy bills. It is important for you and your family to be comfortable around the house, but does it need to be so expensive?

In addition to contracting a heating and cooling specialist like Arundel Cooling, here are some HVAC tips that can help lower your heating and cooling expenses.

1)      Insulate your Home
Homes that are not properly insulated will leak cold and hot air that will make their heaters and coolers less efficient and increase energy costs. One way to improve insulation is to check your windows and replace broken frames and seals.

2)      Check the Condition of the Filters
Filters should be changed regularly or replaced when needed. This should happen every six months or when you feel that it’s not performing as well as it should.

3)      Regular Tune-Ups
Your unit needs to be checked by a licensed technician to make sure that there’s nothing wrong with it. Have it tuned-up at least twice a year for maximum performance.

4)      Use a Programmable Thermostat
A thermostat can help control the temperature around the house and save electricity. When it’s cold already, it can lower the temperature and increase it when it gets hot.

5)      Protect Units from Direct Heat and Cold
Installing an awning that will keep your unit in the direct heat of the sun can lower your energy bills by 10%. In the winter, you can protect your unit by covering it.

6)      Choose Energy Star

Brands that have earned the Energy Star are more energy efficient.

Keeping your cooling and heating equipment well-maintained and your home well insulated will lower your consumption and therefore, your bills. The initial investment you need to make can be recovered from the savings you will incur. Aside from that, an efficient HVAC system will keep your family more comfortable in your home.

Replacement Window Service

A very important service that any home owner needs immediately is window replacement. All of our homes can take a big beating from weather and our kid’s activities. I can’t tell you home many times my son has damage my windows throwing rocks or sports balls. Weather can take a very large toll on homes by damaging the window frames and wearing out the energy efficiency of the glass. There five very common signs to look for when considering whether or not your windows need replacement.

  1. If you see rotting or cracks in your window trim then you should be thinking about replacing your windows. This is generally a sign of water damage and if not handled immediately you have a good chance of having a mold issue.
  2. Leelayoova_Patarin for bloggerFinding cold spots on your windows mean that the insulation of your window is wearing off and need replacement. During the winter months, do you find your windows feel extremely cold? This will put added pressure on your HVAC system and raising your energy costs.
  3. Feeling cold drafts by your windows is another sign that you will be looking into replacement. This means that there is an issue with your insulation and if moisture enters through then you could end up replacing interior products from mold or water damage.
  4. When the window sticks or constantly closes when trying to keep open then you will need a new window. This is a sign that the frame has warped in some way and preventing the smooth opening and closing motion of your windows.
  5. Cloudiness of your windows is also a sign of replacement. Most windows are double or triple panes and are designed to keep moisture out. If there are signs of cloudiness then that means air is entering in between the window panes.

When you inspect your windows and find any of these issues it is important to find a contractor that will provide quality window replacement. If you are looking for expert window replacement then I suggest visiting Metropolitan Contractors at www.metro-contractors.com. They provide expert knowledge and quality products for all of Northern Virginia.

The Benefits Of Andersen Windows

energy efficient andersen double hung windowWindows are great. They allow us to see the great outdoors without leaving the comfort of our home. They let you watch the snow fall as enjoy a hot beverage. But with so many window manufacturers out there, it may be hard to see the difference between producers and find the right one to go with. If you’re looking for new windows for your home, you should go with Andersen Windows. Here are some of the benefits of Renewal by Andersen Windows.

  • Clarity you can see. Windows are great to look through but when they aren’t clear, they don’t serve their purpose very well. Andersen Windows are the clearest windows you’ll find on the market, made with the highest quality glass around.
  • They are great insulators. Your house loses a lot of energy through its windows. In the wintertime, this can add up to hundreds of dollars on your energy bill. Andersen Windows are made to insulate your home, so that it can maintain temperatures in the winter and summer. Nothing is worse than having a cold house in January and an unbearably hot home in August.
  • Security you can count on. Windows are another way to enter and exit your home. Although you may not be crawling through them everyday, it is in your best interest to make sure no one else can either. Andersen Windows are strong enough to stand up to the greatest pressure, so you can feel safe from danger. These windows will make your home more secure than before.

The benefits of Andersen Windows are very easy to see. You’ll feel safe knowing they’re protecting your home and you’ll enjoy looking through them year after year. They’re a great investment in your home as they both protect your family from the elements and save you money on your energy bill. Don’t let this window of opportunity close! Upgrade your home’s windows today.

Value in Repairing Home Appliances

As busy homeowners we don’t have time for things to break around the house. We also don’t have the time or expertise to diagnose or fix a lot of the problems or things that break. Maybe you are different, but for me, I don’t like having to spend the extra money overpaying a service technician every time something goes wrong. Worse yet would be to hire someone who couldn’t figure out and fix the problem quickly and efficiently.

The Right Service Contractor Makes all the Difference

While I haven’t found a good plumber in my area near Redmond and Bellevue Washington, I have found an excellent appliance repair service in the area. Im talking about Mr. Appliance, a local business which is part of a national franchise of appliance repair professionals. While many of them do business right out of their homes with a van, all the workers I have had the pleasure of meeting have been highly responsive, polite and work to fix my problem quickly.

Finding the Right Appliance Repair Solution

Having a simple problem with your appliances can put a major halt in your day to day activities. For example a broken refrigerator means you cant store food and plan meals in advance and is a major hassle. If your washing machine breaks it makes it a lot more difficult just to get ready for the week ahead. Don’t let little problems like this put a damper on your day when you can call a reliable and affordable appliance repair man to take care of your problems.

Allergy Relief With Home Cleaning

Anyone with spring allergies knows how frustrating it can be to deal with all of the symptoms each and every day. For those of you who think there is nothing to be done about these allergy symptoms, I have some good news for you. There are actually some pretty simple things you can do to help yourself feel better during the season you normally feel your worst.

While making sure to take your allergy relief pills is an obvious first step, there are some things to do to make sure you don’t suffer from allergies all the time. Im talking about ways to allergy proof your home so you don’t have to experience the symptoms while you are indoors. I was trying to figure this out last week and discovered I could reduce my symptoms if I cleaned my home, getting all the dust and allergens out.

The Solution

living room after cleaningI eventually found my solution by first doing a search for carpet cleaning Virginia Beach online to find a home cleaning service near me. You see, over time you and your family will bring inside pollen and dirt which basically created an outdoors environment inside your home. I soon found that Chemdry would be able to help me so I called them for complete carpeting and upholstery cleaning service. Just days later I noticed I was able to breathe easier inside my home and the symptoms of my allergies were not as bad when I woke up in the morning.