Shirley Brown, your local Coquitlam REALTOR®

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Simple Ways to Reduce Your Monthly Utility Costs

Many homeowners think there’s not much they can do about telephone, heating, water and other utility expenses. Sure, you may grumble about a high heating bill one month, but what can you do about it?


Turns out, you can do plenty. There are several ways to reduce monthly utility costs that can save you tens or even hundreds of dollars. For example:


  • Shop around for a better phone plan. Then contact your phone company. They might match the rates.


  • Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. You likely don’t need tap water to be that hot.


  • Clean the screen on your outside air conditioning unit regularly. (Gently with the water hose.) Dirt and leaves can build up on it, reducing the unit’s efficiency.


  • Leverage the sun. Open curtains in the winter to gain heat. Block direct sunlight in summer to keep the cool air inside.


  • Scrutinize your bill. There may be extras you’re paying for that you don’t need.


  • Play with the thermostat. Experiment with setting the temperature a couple of degrees lower. You might not notice any difference.


    It’s worth paying attention to your utility costs. Just a few smart moves can save you some serious money. 

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Home safety is more than locked doors and alarms 



When it comes to home security, most homeowners think about door locks and alarms. These are, of course, very important. However, there is also a lot you can do around your property to prevent the possibility of a break-in.

 

One important part of home security is outdoor lighting. Your home doesn't need to be lit up like a baseball diamond at night, but your exterior lighting should illuminate your yard enough to be a deterrent to burglars.

 

Some burglars hide around the property and wait for someone to arrive and open the door so they can use that opportunity to force their way into your home.

Security experts suggest that you walk around your property and look for areas where someone could hide, such as behind tall shrubbery like a cedar hedge or behind a tool shed. Make sure these areas are well lit.

 

Pay particular attention to lighting around exterior doors, especially the back door.

 

Home security experts also recommend that exterior lighting be installed with a timed dimmer. The lights can then be set to cast a bright light in the early evening, and then a dimmer light throughout the rest of the night.

 

Lights installed with motion detectors can also be effective in certain areas. The sensors will cause the light to turn on or brighten when someone comes onto that part of your property. Generally, thieves will flee as soon as they see a light turn on.

 

Do you hide a spare key under the front door mat or in a flower pot? No matter how clever you think you are, experienced thieves know all the common hiding places. So, if you need to have a spare key available, put it in a small combination lock box and hide the box. That way, if a burglar finds the box, he still won't be able to open it and access the key.


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