The intensive cultivation of plants in small living spaces, growing a micro-garden has become an urban phenomenon in the past decade. Using gardening tricks like vertical gardening and hanging planters, you can optimize the space at your disposal to garden away from your worries and reap rich health benefits out of it!
Growing a micro-garden is all about the management of space – be it a little strip of soil at the base of your porch or a few feet of a landscaped garden on your terrace.
Creating depth and dimension by using mounds, tiny hills and valleys can add to the surface area, and provide for different plant types at the same time.
Give the carrots and beets a little extra room to grow below the surface, allowing for the daisies to flourish in the shallow end.
Micro-gardening also requires you to plant in tandem with what the space can handle. Planting broccoli and cauliflower in pots for example, narrows down the yield to one plant per pot, each only giving you crop once. On the other hand, salad leaves, peas, peppers or vegetable creepers can last a whole season and feature at the dining table pretty much every meal.
Choosing to landscape your yard, however small, with only grass uses up the nutrients in the soil and requires way too much water to maintain. Hit two birds with one stone – aesthetics and fresh organic produce, and all from your own garden.
It doesn’t have to be all about the produce, and along with chemical-free homegrown vegetables can be great for your health, the lush maroons of beet leaves along with dwarf lemon trees and even cherry tomatoes can make for a beautifully landscaped micro-garden – a decorative landscaping strategy!
For your fruit bearing plants to flourish and the plants – both edible and flowering – to retain their strength and reproducing ability each year, pollination cannot be ignored. Herbs such as rosemary and basil act as great pollinators, as do flowers of plants such as squash and eggplant with their bright shades of yellows and violet calling for attention.
Gardening in limited yard spaces, pots and containers confine the availability of soil nutrition to a great extent, making it all the more important to consciously fertilize the soil during the planting process with compost and then keep it up with regular top soil additives.
Making sure that the plant grows to its fullest though the space available is restricted, fertilizers can not only boost the speed of fruit bearing but also keep the plant healthy and pest-free.
Nutrition can be kept at its optimum by using companion planting as well. A technique known often as soil real-estate, planting pairs of creepers and trees with tubers – potatoes under tomatoes, or carrots and onions under herb bushes for example – can not only save space but also allow the soils nutrients to cater to the different needs of different plants, often even replenishing itself.
Not all plants require yards and balconies, in fact, those precious kitchen spices and herbs can grow right at the kitchen window sill, as long as they get a daily dose of sunlight. From thyme and parsley to even ginger and tender garlic and pepper, windows work as just the right bridge between the elements outside and the comfort of your home.
It doesn’t have to be herbs in the kitchen, pretty much any window which is east facing can act as an active decorative space – full with pansies, gardenias, and purple passion, amongst many others.
Look at every space with a new perspective, and you can extend your micro-garden to creepers on the mailbox posts, cacti in broken crockery, lettuce along the walkways and even grapevines on the gate.
Hanging gardens aren’t off the table either – containers hanging on fences and railings or even simple hooked pots from the ceiling can overflow with creepers, maybe even some fruit bearing. The added benefit of hanging gardens, as opposed to those rooted in the soil, are that they can be moved around, making them easy to clean and shift according to season or sun exposure.
The fun of micro-gardening is its perfect balance between creativity and good-old landscaping. Don’t think of it as just a conventional utilization of your green thumbs; you can grow your garden in anything from old tires to broken tanks and fish bowls!
Cracked vessels make great containers as well, especially since the crack acts as a ready drainage system.
Decide which plant to pot according to your container size, a large plant will not grow in a small container and the other way round is just a waste of space. Also provide enough water to your container garden, as containers that have soil in them dry out faster and those nutrients flush out sooner.
Everyone’s heard of the famous vertical gardens scaling up walls in Hong Kong and Singapore, but they can just as easily be recreated right at home. With vertical gardens, there is a range of methods that you could employ; from the use of a traditional trellis to a recycled pallet planter or hanging hydroponic window gardens.
Accommodating everything from tomatoes and strawberries to squash and melons, these micro-gardens function just the same way as any others do, as long as the plant isn’t one that has very deep roots.
We’ve explored possibilities flat on the ground, scaling walls and even creeping up poles and pillars, but we have one last treat for you micro-gardeners – upside down hanging gardens.
Provided you choose plants with a dense root structure and support them well, upside down planters can hold and nourish anything from cherry tomatoes to strawberries and even kale – all with the added fun of seeing your garden head first!
For those of you who have space for soil beds, raising the bed a few inches or even a couple of feet off the ground can greatly help the gardening process. Giving the roots more space, allowing the excess water to drain and letting you restrict the soil to only where you want it, raised soil beds maximize space and minimize effort.
Having the plants a couple of feet off the ground reduces your need to hunch as well, a sure blessing for your spine.
Besides the weekly dusting off of topsoil, checking for cracks in the containers and weeds strangling the plants, micro-gardening is too close to your living space for you to not keep an eye on its possible repercussions.
None that can cause serious immediate damage, any micro-gardener must know that a part of the job is to keep a check out for seepage on the walls and possible weight bearing issues related to rooftop gardens and heavy planters.
Not allowing these concerns to come in the way of you keeping your green fingers busy, HomeWarrantyReviews.com acts as a threshold for you to enter the world of Home Warranty. A simple, quick and reliable escape from service and repair related errands and coordination. Home Warranty Reviews ensures peace of mind for you by providing with the vast knowledge base of research, ratings, and free tools so that your home never runs out of home warranty coverage according to your specific needs by calculating what exactly you want!
Just as we have discussed the various aspects of micro-gardening, what to do and what not to do when you garden at home and all tips and tricks on how to get the best out of it, HomeWarrantyReviews.com gives you a chance to explore the world of home warranty from the inside, with tips and tricks of its own. With access to reviews from professionals as well as customers, consumer research based articles give you the best of both worlds – the technical aspects as well as the personal experiences of users and agencies.
Our lives in the twenty-first century are irrevocably bound to technology is one way or another, be it at work, home or for leisure time activities. Our daily routines are punctuated with the usage of machines and home appliances of all kinds, from a coffee maker to wake us up, an oven to heat the morning bagel, washed vessels out of the dishwasher to a carton of cold milk in the refrigerator.
Now that convenient and comfortable living is synonymous with the usage of home appliances, keeping them up and running becomes an absolute necessity – imagine going even a couple of days without a garbage disposal, coffee maker or refrigerator! Adding to the day to day need of these home appliances as a reason to make sure they are maintained, there is also the simple fact that they don’t come cheap, and if a little sprucing up now and then can keep them new, shiny, energy efficient and functional for longer, then why not!
Home appliances are not always sturdy enough to survive rough and constant use without maintenance and require a routine round of cleaning, servicing, and safety measures to be followed to make sure they work right. The unseen side of burnt grease in your oven, deposits in your dishwasher or corrosion of your washing machine coils can lead to your home appliances malfunctioning, and if you wait too long then the only solution left at your disposal may be a replacement.
Another extremely important factor to keep in mind when it comes to home appliances is that they are directly linked to your electrical systems and usually take up a large part of your electrical load. Even if a perfectly functioning washer or air conditioner uses up a considerable part of your total electrical consumption, and as the appliance begins to deteriorate, its efficiency when it comes to energy consumption only drops further. In fact, if the appliance is left too long and is affected by rust, corrosion or damaged internal circuits then it could even cause your home’s electrical system to short circuit or blow out.
Each of the home appliances has its own mode of functioning and requires specialized care and attention to certain details like coils, filters and external switches and controls. Though the general thumb rule is to make sure an overall level of cleanliness is maintained, here are a few things to keep a check on when it comes to individual appliance systems.
The first step to maintaining your home appliances effectively is getting acquainted with its major functioning processes and parts.
Filters and coils are the life of an air conditioner, the former keeping the airflow steady and clean and the latter doing the actual cooling and temperature stabilization within the machine.
A routine cleaning of air filters and replacement them when just cleaning is no longer sufficient is essential to keeping your air conditioner in a suitable working condition. When air filters get blocked with dust, grime and larger particles, the normal airflow is obstructed and the appliance uses a much larger amount of energy to pump in the same amount of air, making it an inefficient use of power. The dust that has settled will also transfer to the coil, creating a layer of insulation that will hamper its capacity to absorb heat. Adding to that, the filter will be unable to serve its primary purpose of purifying the air, and the room will gradually get laden with dust, causing allergies and other respiratory issues.
Depending on the climatic conditions of where you stay, or even if you have furry cats and dogs in the house, the need to clean the filter may become more frequent. Dust storms, humid weather causing the filter to get damp and clogged and a lot of dust being sucked into the filter can have the energy consumption of your air conditioner to drop anywhere from 5% to 15%, if not more. Also, check if your filters are reusable or have to be replaced after a certain period of time, because after a point, cleaning a non-reusable filter doesn’t help.
Dirt and grime aren’t isolated in only the filter; the evaporator coil and condenser coil of an air conditioner collect layers of dust as well. As the whole purpose of the coil is to act as a conductor, when an insulative layer settles on it, its ability to heat and cool reduces, reducing the effectivity of the cooling system as a whole. This, in turn, sucks at more energy to keep down the temperature of the room. Usually, a clean filter helps keep coils clean for longer, but eventually they too need to be cleaned.
Condenser units which are outside must be maintained as well, as they collect dust and debris very easily. Any obstruction to the airflow around them can be the cause of overheating and excess energy usage.
While the maintenance of an air conditioner is dependent on the air around your home, a washing machine’s upkeep is dependent almost entirely on the quality of water. Besides a general use of baking soda and detergent to run empty cycles and keep the machine fresh and smelling good, descaling and cleaning out lint are two essential tasks on your hand.
If you stay in a part of town that gets hard water supply, then cleaning your washer drum with an empty hot water cycle once a month is crucial. You can add a decalcifier right from your kitchen – either baking soda or white vinegar – to the hot water, or use a commercial decalcifier available in any supermarket.
The filter and pores of the washing machine are a part of keeping the drum fresh and dry, so make sure you check for any caught dirt, lint or hair in the filter and clean it out at least once a month.
Once the drum is clean and sparkly, shift your attention to the dryer. Invariably, a normal weight load shouldn’t take more than an hour to dry, at most. If the speed is dropping below this, or the dryer still gives you partially damp clothes after a full cycle, then it’s a good idea to check the vents and get them cleaned or replaced. A damaged dryer vent could be dangerous even when it comes heating up of the appliance, which could cause internal short-circuiting or even fires.
You can choose to call a professional, a vent replacement shouldn’t cost more than $100. If you prefer to check and clean yourself, start by removing the exhaust from the back of the washer-dryer, clean out the clogged lint in the crevices, and inside the tubes and opening in the back. You can use a long thin object to help you reach the narrow crevices, but don’t use anything sharp that can scratch off the film and cause more damage.
Any clogging of coils in a refrigerator directly obstructs the flow of air, making the generator unit of the machine use up more energy and work much harder to maintain the temperature inside the unit. Any debris can cause the coil to clog up, from dirt and dust to pet hair and particle lint. Use a rag to dust off the visible portions of the coil – usually located in a panel beside the door or at the back of the unit – and then do one quick round of vacuuming to make sure all the fine dust is taken care off.
The water filter in the refrigerator serves the purpose of purification as well as temperature moderation of the water in the ducts. If the filter’s working is compromised due to impurities, then there is a chance that you are being exposed to contaminated water. The process of replacing the filter is specific to each model of refrigerator, but it is usually a simple turn on either side to unlock the old filter from its place and lock in the new one. Replacing the filter at least 3 to 4 times a year is usually recommended.
A home appliance that is all about hygiene and is used on a daily basis, a broken garbage disposal can be a very difficult thing to deal with even for just a few days. To keep the foul smells, residue, and grime in check in the chute, a simple home remedy is to use a combination of ice cubes and either salt or white vinegar to sanitize it. Pour in the mixture, wash it down with cold water and then turn it on, adding activated carbon or lime peels and slices to cut out the odor.
Ovens that are self-cleaning are usually easy to maintain, but it is important to run regular cleaning cycles before the inside of the appliance is too caked with grease and food particles. A self-cleaning oven cuts out the need for chemical cleaning agents, using temperatures up to 900 degrees (Fahrenheit) to incinerate the leftovers within the oven and smoke them out.
Regular cleaning, in this case, is necessary to make sure that the smoke production in each cycle is kept to a minimum; it helps to use a soft absorbent pad and dust off the larger particles beforehand.
Ovens that do not have a self-cleaning preset must be maintained regularly and very carefully as well, especially since grease residue can cause fires and malfunctions in the thermostat, especially if the vent is clogged and doesn’t allow for fumes to escape. Warning: commercial cleaning compounds are safe to use but should never reach close to the electrical connections inside, or the heating elements as it could cause disaster reactions.
Microwaves can be maintained by just sponging them down on the inside and out to remove any dirt and spills. Check regularly if the door seal shut tightly, and in the case of an abrasion call for a professional to service it. If you feel the need to handle issues of smells within the microwave, one trick is to use a diluted mix of baking soda and water – keeping it to heat inside the appliance and removing it once it has completely cooled down.
While home appliances come with manufacturer warranties of their own, our usage of home appliances far surpasses the given period during which this warranty serves its purposes. What is more, when we buy a home then often home appliances come with it, many out of warranty or even maintenance.
Both in terms of cost effective servicing as well as hassle free problem solving, investment in a Home Warranty scheme can help you through every step of the process. From identifying the problem at hand to repair and replacement, companies provide unlimited support all year around on all your home’s major appliances and systems, giving you the freedom to delegate.
To know more about how to get yourself warranty, what coverage schemes are available, individual state laws and companies which are highly rated, scroll through the articles, reviews and guides on HomeWarrantyReviews.com – comprehensive information right from the consumer.
Do you have a trusted appliance lying around your household for the past few years that you don’t want to give away or replace? Yet you are worried that it’s going to crash pretty soon leaving you with no other option other than repairing it or replacing it with a new one? Fret not! This article will shed some light on how to insure your household appliances against potential breakdowns
Let’s begin by comparing Home Warranty from the Homeowner’s insurance policy. The primary difference between the two is that Home Warranty covers repairs and replacements of failed appliances and systems, while the the Homeowner’s Insurance covers damages caused to your home and its content by natural hazards or theft. You can always find a contractor to repair your damaged appliances, but more often than not the costs involved in such scenarios are rather high. The other option that you have is to apply for a Home Warranty plan.
The Home Warranty plan is a contract of service that covers repairs and replacement of appliances and systems in your home. Depending on the kind and extent of coverage you wish to avail, the annual premium for the Home Warranty plan can range anywhere between $ 250 to $ 450. In addition, each time you approach the warranty company for a service, you have to pay a service fee usually called as the deductible. This is around $ 50. You can take a look at the table below if you want to know he systems and appliances that are covered under the Home Warranty Plans.
If you have doubts regarding whether or not your appliances need a Home Warranty Plan right now, take a look at the following chart. It tells you what the average lifespan of the common household appliances.
Now lets discuss the most important question.
Let me clear the former first. You have two options, you can either avail an extended warranty for each appliance or you can get a Home Warranty which covers all your appliances. Although, getting extended warranty on each appliance is not a wise decision, the best way out is to get a Home Warranty.It is also suggested that if your appliances are not new and over four years old, getting a Home Warranty will turn out to be highly useful. However, if your home and the appliances you own are reasonably new and still covered by the Manufacturers warranty, you may want to consider taking an extended warranty. You can click here for further details and comparisons between the two.
If you are wondering how this works then here’s the answer. The company offering a Home Warranty plans often sign contracts with vendors offering repair services to appliances. Each time you approach your warranty provider with a claim, they call up these repair facilities which in turn sends a technician to evaluate the condition of your appliance.He shall decide if your appliance needs to be repaired or replaced.Service charges(deductible fee) of the technician shall be paid by you and it is always nominal.
If you have read so far, then it would mean that you are genuinely interested to know as much as possible about Home Warranty plans. Few hiccups that you may encounter are as follows:
It is again stressed that you read your contract carefully and have it looked over multiple times , paying immense attention to the monetary factors.
Despite the issues that were mentioned, it is advised that you insure your appliances by availing a Home Warranty Plan. Costs incurred during repairs and replacements can be considerably reduced if you have a sound Appliance Protection plan. Also, if you choose to sell your home while the Home Warranty plan is still valid, the value of the property is likely to be higher than when it is sold without a Home Warranty. Most buyers recommend strongly in favor of Home Warranty plans. You are likely to do the same if your choice of home warranty provider is good.
Here is the summary of benefits you shall have if you avail a Home Warranty Plan
May it be reminded again that reading the contract well is of utmost importance. You can get a free estimate on home warranty from top rated companies on our website before you purchase the plan.
Extended home warranty provides warranty coverage for major home appliances after the manufacturer’s warranty period is completed.
Buying the home warranty, avoids unnecessary stress and to assists you in peace of mind. It is truly a best insurance for your investment. The costs are very low compared to repair bills of any of your appliances.
Homeowners are generally provided with home warranty coverage along with the purchase of new house by the seller. But when your original home warranty expires, you have the choice of extending your existing warranty. Before deciding on extension of home warranty it is essential to know whether it is really beneficial to consider the warranty to continue hence let us find the facts on this issue.
The basic home warranties are available at about just $400 per year. Let us assume that the warranty period has expired on any major appliance where the device may have lost manufacturer’s warranty. Just an initial visit may be charged minimum of about $50 to $100. Repair companies will also bill on an hour basis, for the first hour they may charge you about $50 to $70 and sometimes the subsequent hours will be charged less but varies from case to case. Addition to it you are expected to pay for the repair job.
Planning for home repairs is not predictable. Charges on repair job will differ depending upon the system, duration of time since how long you are using the device. In the usual cases home warranty policies covers up the equipments insured for the period of one year once the warranty is about to expire you can just extend the home warranty just by additional payment and renewal of documentation on what all appliances the policy should cover.
Extended home warranty can surely help homeowners in leading stress free life and saves tons of money. It is realistic if you have been repeatedly spending on maintenance and repairs. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability, if you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services. Extended warranty service just makes things easier you are already guaranteed of competent and licensed repair company.
If you calculate, you will surely save thousands of dollars on all the possible repairs, this is quite a big amount of money that you have to set aside if you choose not to opt on warranty. At the end of each passing year you would get a clear idea on how much you need to pay on the renewal of your policy to extend the assurance. There is no need to search for fresh home warranty companies to renew the scheme you can just pay the extra amount and set your life in calm. Any unexpected issue will also be taken care of such companies hence it is truly worth to invest money in affording extended home warranty plan.
Based on your choice, these policies can be extended online or in person. You may be able to find better deals on home warranties online. On the other hand, a benefit of this is that you can take your time to make up your mind without salespeople constantly pestering you. You do not even have to browse the pages of your directory and call them one by one to ask for availability, if you have this service. All it takes is one call to make your life simpler and relaxed.
Moving into a new home is always something people look forward to. While new beginnings promise hope and happiness, there are some things you need to consider before you pack up and make the move.
Whether you are buying a home or renting , the rules remain pretty much the same. One must carefully inspect the property and neighborhood to determine whether it suits your needs and lifestyle.
Hire a professional home inspector to take a look at your new place irrespective of whether the home is old or new. As discussed elsewhere on our site, home inspection reveals existing and potential faults with the property and the appliances. This is all the more necessary if you are planning to buy the house.
If there are multiple faults with the house, it means that you will be spending a lot of money on repairs in the future. While all home warranty companies do not mandate a home inspection, it may be a good idea if you are planning to purchase a home warranty to protect your budget. However, if the owner is selling a house with an existing warranty plan, an inspection may not be necessary.
However, if you are planning to rent the house, you don’t need a professional home inspection. You can do a basic assessment yourself to ensure that the home is functional.
This step consists of several little things. Most sellers and owners exhibit their property claiming that it is ready to move in. However, there are some vital points that you need to check/implement.
If you are buying the house and if you plan to do it on mortgage, homeowner’s insurance is always mandatory. Apart from this, you may need to buy a home warranty to cover your budget in case any of your appliances break down.
Select the plans well in advance so that you won’t have to spend time on it later when you are tired after all the moving and unpacking.
Speak to your neighbors and get to know your neighborhood. New neighbors are the best sources of information about facilities available in the vicinity. Also ask about the general atmosphere in the area.
Once you meet your new neighbors, it will not be a bad idea to drive around the place. When you do so, make a note of the department stores, hospitals, eat-outs and other essential joints in the vicinity.
And You’re Done!
You’re almost there. Once you change your address and telephone numbers, you are ready to move! Last but not the least, make sure you hire a reliable and reputable packers and movers. Lousy ones cause damage to your items. Best avoid them. Good luck!
Hope you enjoy your new home!
Do you fear the onset of your monthly energy bill but discover yourself unwilling – or unable – to pay out the money required transforming your home into a self-sustainable abode? Good news: There are some convenient, simpler ways to save energy at home – and money.
It’s no big shock that energy costs money, but some people welcome their bills each month with surprise when they see how much their utilization is costing them. According to the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), the average family uses about $1,600 per year on utility bills alone. Anything you can do to preserve energy puts some of that money back in your pocket.
Many people are concerned about effects of energy on environment. Sometimes energy issues may seem complex, pricey and out of our control. The truth, however, is that conservation and efficiency are the most useful ways to reduce energy usage.
Your collective efforts will make for real changes in our energy independence, our financial security and our actions to lessen global climate changes.
These days, it’s more of a win-win than ever to save on energy. Every time you lower your utility bills, you put more money back in your back account. And lesser energy bills also means less energy consumed, which means less harmful emissions released into our environment. And what makes this an even better deal is you don’t have to renovate your home to make it more energy efficient. There are many simple, effective things that you can do, with little investment and little or no DIY experience, to save energy at home.
Let’s take a look at 10 simple ways you can save energy at home.
1. Have an Energy Audit
Before doing anything else, learn how your house is working at present. An Energy Audit (or Home Performance Review) will provide you an assessment of you energy use, insulation levels, air leakage and mechanical systems like cooling, ventilation, and heating). Offered through utility companies and private contractors, an Energy Audit may include numerous diagnostics, such as a infrared camera scan, blower door test, and a combustion appliance test. The outcomes can help you fix on what energy improvements to do first, and which ones can wait.
2. Use Your Thermostat
Turning up the thermostat during the summer and turning it down during winter are great tactics for putting your thermostat to work for your wallet. The DOE suggests setting the furnace at 68 degrees and the air conditioner at 74 to keep your house comfy while reducing your energy costs and decreasing the demand on energy grid. A programmable thermostat allows you make the house cooler or hotter during the times when you are not in home. This lessens the temperature difference between the exterior and interior of your house, which in line reduces loss of energy. In case you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the existing unit yourself.
3. Seal Air Leaks
A huge amount of energy is spent when inside air (heated or cooled) escapes to the outside through leaks in walls, windows, doors and attics. Pipes, wires and ducts that enter the attic must have caulking or foam sealant applied – insulation is not sufficient! Doors and windows must have tight weather stripping and caulking, and wall penetrations need to be caulked or sealed. Sealing joints in duct work with approved foil tape or mastic can increase the effectiveness of your heating and cooling systems by carrying heated or cooled air where you want it
4. Energy Star Appliances
Buy Energy Star products as these identifies energy-efficient appliances which include dryers, washers,refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, computers, room air conditioners, and many more. To get the Energy Star, they must meet severe energy efficiency and reliability criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. For warranty of all these appliances check out our Home Warranty Company Reviews site.
Since Energy Star appliances use less energy, these products save you funds on your electricity bill and aid protect the environment by causing fewer harmful emissions from power plants. The point here is to not increase the use of these items just because they are energy savers. This is much the same as idea low-fat food: consuming more beats the purpose.
5. Control Hot Water Use
A standard showerhead can use up to 5.5 gallons of water per minute. Based on your mix of hot/cold water, that means a 10 minute shower could make use of 40 gallons of hot water! Latest low-flow showerheads are available which delivers a high pressure spray at less than 2 gallons per minute. You not only save the energy to heat all that water, you save the water, too. Don’t forget to turn down your water heater to 120 degrees, and wash clothes in cold water.
6. Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
A quick and easy way to lessen your energy use is to substitute existing incandescent lights with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights. As per General Electric (NYSE:GE), compact fluorescent bulbs makes use of two-thirds less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs, and last up to 10-times longer.
GE reports that employing a 13-watt compact fluorescent instead of a 60-watt incandescent will result in a $30 savings in energy costs over the life of a bulb. In spite of the bulbs that you use, turn them off when you go away from room. For garages, laundry rooms, basements and other little-used areas, think about installing timers that automatically turn off the lights after a predetermined amount of time – just if you forget to shut them off.
7. Ceiling Fans
Turn your ceiling fan on and use them properly. As per Energy Star, a voluntary labeling program sponsored by the DOE and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ceiling fans must be set to spin counter clockwise in the summer, which pulls hot air up to the ceiling and away from the living space. During winters, reverse the setting so the fans blow the hot air down.
8. Home Electronics
DVD players, stereos, kitchen appliances, televisions and other plugged-in appliances draw a little amount of power when turned off. Plasma televisions and large LCD use up to 400 watts of energy and about 4 watts when not in use. Make use of the surge suppressor to turn them completely off when not in use, or unplug these items until you actually need them.
9. Use Your Surroundings
Strategically placed trees can help to cut your heating and cooling costs. During the summer, trees provide shade and during winter they provide a windbreak. Placing large deciduous trees in the right places can decrease cooling costs up to 25%, as per U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). These trees must be planted on the south and west sides of your home and properly positioned to shade hard surfaces. Because they lose their leaves in winter, they permit the sun to warm your house. Evergreen trees planted on the north side of your home will help to guard the house from cold winds in every season.
10. Make Windows More Efficient
Even if you seal windows properly, window glass is a thin barrier against outside temperatures. If you can pay for it, set up new storm windows in your home. Storm windows reduce temperature loss by sealing leaks and making a dead airspace between window panes. Though installation is pricey, storm windows have a fairly short return on investment (about 10 years).
There are arrays of solutions to save energy. You can all save by changing your habits like remembering to turn off lights and start to see a difference in bills
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Life throws many unforeseen things at all of us. As we can’t stop these things from happening, we can choose to give our lives a bit of protection. Insurance is meant to grant us some measure of financial protection, when a disaster occurs. There is plethora of insurance options available and it is suggested by many financial experts to have these insurance policies in place. Yet, with so many choices, it can be difficult to decide what kind of insurance you need to get.
Buying the right insurance is always decided based on your specific situation. There are however, four insurances that are suggested by most financial experts namely life, health, auto and long-term disability. Each of these covers up a definite feature of your life and is vital to your financial future.
The greatest aspect in having life insurance is providing for those who depart. This is really important when your family is dependent on your salary. Experts recommend that life insurance policy should cover “ten times your yearly income”. This amount would give a sufficient amount of money to cover funeral expenses, existing expenses and provide your family a financial cushion which will assist them re-group after your demise.
When estimating the amount of life insurance coverage you want, keep in mind to factor in not only funeral expenses, but also mortgage payments and living expenses such as credit cards, taxes, loans, child care and future college costs.
Life insurance is something that will be required by everybody at some point. Unless you work in the insurance industry or are familiar to somebody that does, what do you really know about the life insurance types that are accessible to you? The answer to that question probably is ‘not a lot’, and why you be supposed to?
Many of us think that there is a common life policy for insurance that everybody procures but this is actually not the case and there is a variety of life insurance that can be bought. Each of the types has its own precise features and benefits that may be of concern to the consumers.
Below is the brief explanation as to what these different kinds of life insurance are in order that you can be familiar with the difference between them.
Life insurance comes in several sizes and shapes, but they generally fall into two categories namely Term Life Insurance and Permanent Life Insurance.
This is the most affordable life insurance and coverage in this type is bought for a definite price for a specific period of time. After the demise of the insured, the recipient will receive the death benefit. It makes the death benefit longer only for a definite period and if the insured doesn’t die within the term of the policy, he gets nothing in return.
This kind of life insurance makes logic if you have monetary needs that will reduce over time, such as a child’s tuition or a home mortgage.
Types of Term Life Insurance
Permanent life insurance by definition is a policy that provides lifelong protection. The policy never ends as long as the premiums are paid. In addition, this type of policy provides a savings element that builds cash value over a long period of time.
Types of Permanent Life Insurance
Once you know the type of protection applicable to you and would like to procure, you can get online rates for the policy you wish. With the help of online life insurance quotes, you are able to examine and compare insurance quotes from various insurance companies.
Americans buy home warranty to protect themselves from repair and replacement costs of home appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear. Unfortunately a lot of policy holders feel let down by the result after filing a claim with their warranty company. Some people are ignorant that they have the power to dispute the outcome of a claim when one is filed; others are conscious that many customers succeed when they dispute a claim correctly. The procedure involved in disputing a claim can be extensive, but can be worth time investment.
A home warranty is a service contract that covers systems and items in your home that are usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Furnaces and outside air conditioning units, plumbing and electrical systems are items commonly covered under a home warranty protection plan. The homeowner requests a claim with the warranty company when a covered item requires repair. Some home warranty providers repay the homeowner for the cost of the repair while others send a contractor directly to the home for repairs.
You should look at these factors carefully for any items that you estimated to be covered by the home warranty contract you aim to procure. Make sure you read the contract one more time and understand the reason for denial. In some cases, even courts cannot help you if the claim was denied for a reason clearly stated in the contract.
So what are some of the common reasons for denial of claims on home warranty?
Always be polite and be friendly with customer service professionals. They will go an extra mile if they like you. The first step should always be that you speak to customer service supervisors and their bosses who make the decision. Assuming those steps did not result in a favorable outcome, you can follow these escalation steps:
Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G) is an energy company headquartered in New Jersey. They also have a host of products meant for homeowners across NJ. Here, we will be reviewing their appliance repair services.
WorryFree is an appliance protection plan covering a range of heating, cooling and appliance repair/replacement services. The protection plans are offered by PSE&G to New Jersey residents. The company claims that customers who move to Worry Free protection, experience peace of mind and budget protection.
The company is said to have a large team of skilled contractors who provide efficient repair services. Here is the list of heating and cooling devices PSE&G WorryFree plan repairs for you.
To schedule a repair service, customers can simply visit their website and place a call to the customer service center number provided onsite. After providing all the relevant information, the representative will then schedule the appointment at the earliest.
All NJ customers receive replacement services when they sign up for the WorryFree plan. To avail this service, customers must call up the company to get a free estimate and information about the various replacement options. Customers may even qualify for N.J state rebates up to $900. For further details, readers are requested to visit their website.
PSE&G also offers business protection to N.J. business customers. A WorryFree Business Heating Protection Plan is said to be one that provides fast service when you are in need. It covers your water heater (gas) PLUS one gas boiler furnace OR one rooftop gas heating unit.
The company claims that you can avail additional benefits like the following:
Reviews and feedback reported about the WorryFree plans by PSE&G are mixed to positive, with positive reviews being reported more often. Like most companies that sell home warranty services and products, PSE&G too will have their own set of hurdles. On the whole, the plans seem to be as good as warranty plans provided by other reputable companies. However, since warranty needs vary from person to person, only a customer can make a choice on whether the plans are suited for his needs or not. We suggest that our readers visit the website of PSE&G to gather further information about their plans and services before you make a purchase
Official website: pseg.com
Contact number: 800-4367734
35 Journal Square Suite #2, Jersey City, NJ 07306 (corner of Bergen and Newkirk St.)
317 George St. New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Readers here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are a diverse bunch. You have home buyers. You have home sellers. You have real estate professionals, and you even have members of the various professions involved directly and indirectly with the home warranty and home service contract industries. Today’s article is for anybody who is new to the idea of home warranty. The topic is one of the first things that any consumer or professional new to home warranties should be familiarized with. Without further ado, let’s get down to why a home warranty and a home service contract are two completely different things!
What’s in a name anyway? Well, sometimes a lot. Take a home warranty, for example. In the marketing world, a home warranty is a term that’s generally used to describe more than one type of contract. And marketers don’t always make it perfectly clear to consumers whether “home warranty” is just a convenient label that’s used due to the need for a familiar way of describing a home service that isn’t always well known among homeowners and homebuyers. You may have seen an advertisement or piece of literature about a home warranty. Is that “warranty” really a home warranty, or is it a home service contract? If you don’t know the difference between the two then read on and learn something that’s important to know when you own a house.
No matter what it was called when you bought it, if you purchased a “home warranty” then you probably bought a home service contract. Builders are typically the only people who have a need to buy a true home warranty. A homeowner typically needs a home service contract. Knowing the difference is important. Here’s how it works in the simplest terms.
A home warranty, the true legal contract that warranties labor and materials, is passed from a seller to a buyer without cost when a house is new and being sold to the first occupant. Though a builder’s warranty can be transferred to a second buyer during the sale of a house, it still doesn’t involve an added cost to that buyer. A warranty, in the legally defined sense, isn’t something that can be sold. It’s a guarantee, a right afforded to a customer, to expect that a product purchased will function properly inside a particular time frame. In a true legal warranty contract, there is a form of compensation for failures, whether that amounts to failure due to material defect or workmanship. The home warranty typically covers everything between the foundation and the roof, but not items that are not permanently installed, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, or ovens.
Since a home warranty is free of charge and is a legally binding contract, the home buyer has little reason to research the company backing the warranty. And since the warranty is oftentimes purchased from a third party, in order to free the builder from any future liability to pay for repairs of poorly built or defective parts of a house, there is always a risk of a warranty being backed by a financially unstable company. If the builder is the one backing the warranty then there may be an even greater risk than if the warranty was backed by a large company which specializes in providing insurance and/or warranties.
So far we’ve covered a very basic description of what a true home warranty is, what it covers, and the risks that can be associated with it. Now let’s look at what a home service contract looks like by comparison.
A home service contract is NOT a warranty! Why the emphasis on “not?” Well, you might be surprised how many consumers are confused about what they have purchased. And it’s really not their fault that they are confused. When you call a home service contract a home warranty you make confusion almost unavoidable. But when you’re selling something you can’t afford to risk the consumer not knowing what your service or product is. Between the market needing a convenient label for home service contracts, something that consumers will immediately relate to, and the almost inevitable confusion that results from the use of that convenient label lies the need to educate customers. And that’s what we’re about to try to do in this article.
If you are in a house that is no longer covered by a warranty then anything that goes wrong, whether it be electrical wiring, plumbing, fixtures, etc, you’ll probably pay 100% of the cost of repairs or replacements out of your own pocket. But you do have the option of buying a contract called a home service contract. The purpose of a home service contract is twofold. Let’s break down the two reasons for home service contracts being offered.
So we’ve covered what a home warranty is and a bit of what a home service contract is, but we have not covered what a home service contract covers. Let’s break that down into some detail. Bear with us. It’s a bit lengthy, but readers will be glad they read everything that follows before buying a home service contract.
In some cases, a home service contract might cover most of what a home warranty originally covered. But it varies greatly from one company to another. So here’s the best advice anybody will give you about buying a home warranty. Do NOT fixate on the price alone! Pricing may look like the bottom line, but you really have to compare home service contract coverage, the companies’ reputations, and other factors aside from the prices.
Coverage might include structural parts of a house, appliances, system components such as air conditioning and heating, water lines that run from the house to the city’s water lines underneath the street, and lots of other things. But it’s important to be aware that not all home service contracts are the same. In fact, they vary so much that a consumer really cannot afford to buy one without doing a lot of homework. At the very least the buyer should read the contract word for word.
The biggest difference between a home warranty and a home service contract in terms of the way the contracts are written is sometimes in the loopholes. These loopholes can be the difference between a home service contract being worth the money or not. Here are some loopholes to watch out for.
It’s exactly what it sounds like. A pre-existing condition is something that was already wrong or on its way to being wrong, due to neglect, poor installation, or other factors that the home service contract company deems to have caused a breakdown. And this language is so vague that some companies use it as a way to deny any and every claim by their customers. But a consumer can typically spot companies that abuse the pre-existing condition loophole by simply reading reviews from other customers.
It’s not always safe to assume that if a home service contract covers an item that every part of that item is covered. Some consumers find out the hard way that a part or a set of parts in an item, say a refrigerator, for example, are excluded. Nobody wants to find that out the hard way, so it pays to check out every detail of the company’s reputation and the contract before buying a home service contract.
This one is a big, big area of concern for anybody buying a home service contract. Some home service contracts will only pay a maximum amount per contract period. Some have different allowed maximums for different items covered under the contract. Some will only pay a set maximum amount during the lifetime of a customer’s relationship with the company! And some reserve the right to cancel or not renew a contract. That leaves the company an opening to get rid of customers who are making too many repair requests. It’s very important to look for language in the contract that might be taken more than one way. If a consumer does not see every word of a contract as being explicitly clear then it may be necessary to get clarification of some parts of the contract in writing before buying the service contract. And “in writing” is the most important part.
Also, take a look at these important pointers if your claims are denied by the home warranty company!
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Purchasing warranty plans for household items has become a common thing these days. Over time, it has become one of the best ways to protect your budget against unexpected repairs and replacements of damaged household devices.
A Home Warranty, sometimes called an Appliance Warranty is a contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of the covered devices. They cover damages resulting from wear and tear and hence are ideally suited for houses whose appliances are over 4 years old.
Home warranties differ from homeowner’s insurances in the fact that the latter covers damages and losses resulting from natural hazards or crimes while appliance warranty covers damages due to regular wear and tear. You can never replace a homeowner’s insurance with a home warranty. It is generally considered that home warranties are best suited for the following people who –
So naturally, they are not suited for people who
There are a lot of home warranty companies offering a range of packages to suit your requirements. So never feel that you have only one option. In fact there are so many options out there that you may want to read a Home warranty buyer’s guide before you make a decision. In general, home warranties are affordable, with the annual premium ranging anywhere between $250 to $1000. The premium usually depends on the amount of coverage you are purchasing.
The advantages of owning a home warranty are many. And also, it is the closest thing you can get to peace of mind when it comes to protecting your budget. Let’s take a look at the pros.
If you have doubts about the devices that are covered and omitted, you can go through What is covered under Home Warranty plans to get a clearer picture. If you are still not sure if you need home warranty or not, we suggest that you read an article on “Do I need home warranty?”, this will certainly give you some guidance.
Home warranty works in a very simple way. An appliance crashes and you call up the warranty company and inform them about the damage. They will ask you to give them all the necessary information like device name, manufacturer’s details, model no, batch no, and other relevant matters.
Once they collect this info, they will call up a service vendor with whom they maintain business ties. The vendor then collects your contact details to talk to you about fixing an appointment. A qualified and experienced technician then comes over to look at your device. If the repairs needed are minor, he will do them right away. However, if major repairs are needed or if parts need to be replaced, the technician waits for the approval of the home warranty company. Parts needed will be procured by the company. You will pay the service call fee to the technician when he comes to your home.
This is not a free of cost arrangement. In addition to the annual premium, you will be paying a service call fee (around $50) each time you place a claim. Like a coin with two sides, home warranties too have a few drawbacks. Let’s discuss them.
Home warranties are indeed a great way to insure your household devices. It protects your budget too. It is necessary that you make a wise decision regarding the choice of company and warranty plan so that you make the best out of the deal. The policy booklet and the contract are vital documents and they must, without fail, be studied and preserved carefully.
You can go through reviews about various companies and their plans on our website to compare and choose the best.
The recent AHS class action lawsuit is creating waves in the real estate industry. The lawsuit alleges that American Home Shield violated federal laws by not disclosing the fact that real estate agents were paid for recommending their home warranty service. Many of the home owners and sellers were not aware of the different practices regarding the fact that the brokers and the agents are being paid for promoting the home warranty policies. There are many thousands of home owners and sellers who had purchased the warranty from the American Home Shield Corp and realtor commission was not disclosed to them during the sale.
American Home shield is one of the most popular companies in the home warranty industry. They account for majority of the sales in this industry and their last year’s revenue was about 600 million dollars.
The aim of the Home warranty policies is to offer services in terms of the repairs and the replacements for the owners when their specific home products and appliances are not working properly. Though the policy is creating controversial waves throughout, attorney‘s doubt as to how many of the customers will ultimately think of filing for the case and wait for receiving the cash from the settlement. It is alleged that the American Home Shield has not adhered by certain federal laws while promoting the warranty policies to customers. It is also claimed that they paid kickbacks to the realty brokerage firms and also the agents to serve their own purposes. This affected many of the customers who had applied for the home warranty policy. According to the Real-estate Settlement procedures Act, payments for referrals of the Settlement services in connection with the mortgage transactions is actually prohibited and it really goes against the law. It also prohibits any transactions in fees or other compensation when there is no substantive service provided.
But the American Home Shield has denied of the charges of wrongdoing heaped upon them. The Homeowners in Alabama had complained about a payment which includes a sum of $524 at the closing of the one year home warranty from the American Home Shield. The home owners also complained that a specific amount of money has already been paid to the real estate agents beforehand only. So why will they need to pay for the extra sum of money. The consumers groups said that sometimes the entire terms and conditions regarding the payment issue is not entirely disclosed to them. The warranty policies costs somewhere around $400 to $500. The lawsuit is now settled.
Regarding the payment of the fees there has been some problems in the real estate brokerage industry itself. While some of the real estate companies have declined to participate in home warranty commissioned sales, there are others who are in favor of the practice. According to the members of the National Association of Realtors the federal anti kickback terms and conditions will not cover home warranties as they are not regarded as the settlement services and have no effect on the closing of a real estate transaction. The chief regulator of a real estate settlement statute-AHS Settlement.
In a letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development it has been clearly mentioned that the brokers and agents have always been helpful to the buyers and agents by making them aware of the existence of the different home warranty services. At times the home warranty companies complained that it has also been found that some of the consumers are not aware of the different home warranty products that are available in the market. The brochure of these products are not handed over to the individual customers by the real estate brokers. Rather they show concern in educating the consumers about the different limitation and prices of the home warranties.
Prospective customers are always advised to understand all the terms and the conditions of the home warranty before signing any of the documents.
Maintaining everything in the home is one of the major concerns homeowners have to deal with. Every homeowner worth his salt will tell you that the primary expenses incurred in the process of home maintenance are due to appliance and system faults.
Having said that, we’re sure that everyone has heard of Appliance / Home maintenance plans or simply put, home warranty plans. Such plans are contracts that agree to provide you with discounted repairs and replacement services for household appliances and systems. Do keep in mind that such plans are for ageing appliances that have suffered quite a bit of wear and tear over the years. Appliance warranties only cover damages that are due to age, wear and tear.
The working of such plans are quite simple. You purchase the warranty from a home service provider for a specific duration. During the coverage period, if your appliances / systems breaks down, you only need to call the your warranty provider. They will send a technician to fix your faulty item at just a nominal service charge fee. The actual cost of repairs will be borne by the company.
Hence, in many ways, a warranty is a wise way to protect your budget from unexpected expenses. To know more about home service contracts, read things to know about home warranty. You’ll find that helpful.
Now, coming to the actual problem that this article addresses, cost of home maintenance plans. In general such appliance warranties are affordable and reasonably priced. Most companies offer a specific set of plans from which you can choose, based on your requirements.
The annual premiums for a home service contract ranges between $200 – $ 600, for a home under 5,000 sq.ft. When you purchase a plan, you will be provided with a policy booklet that explicitly specifies all the items that will be covered. You will also be provided with information about various other terms and conditions. Like we said before, home service contracts do not cover damages due to anything other than age and regular use. For faults due to crime, hazards and other perils, you may want to check the difference between home insurance and home warranty.
In addition to the annual premium, you may also have to pay a nominal fee as the deductible each time you raise an issue. Deductibles usually cost between $50 – $100. There are some companies that offer zero deductible appliance protection plans
Like we discussed before, different providers charge different amounts for their plans. Following are the facts that decide the cost of home warranty.
If you want to purchase a home warranty plan, we suggest that you get your home inspected first. While some companies offer this service prior to the contract being signed, some companies do not. A home inspection reveals a lot of potential problems that your house may face and the inspector may even recommend a plan to make the best out of home warranty.
If you are still unsure about home warranty, we suggest that you go through our web site and read some informative articles that may help you solve some confusion. That said, we still think that a home warranty is a clever way to protect your appliances and save cash in the process. Cheers!
Adding to a long list of home warranty companies which have entered the home service contract space only to quickly exit, Stanley Warranty announced recently that the company is immediately terminating its services. Visitors to Stanley’s website see this message:
The company’s closing may come as little surprise to those who are aware of last year’s announcement of an investigation into the new company’s business practices. In June 2015 New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced that it had filed a complaint against Stanley Warranty, LLC, alleging that the company had committed acts contrary to its contractual commitments to its customers. Among the state’s specific complaints against the company were alleged offenses that specifically involved Stanley’s home service contract customers. Stanley also operated a business unit which provided consumers with extended service agreements for motor vehicles, commonly called auto warranties.
Here’s a quick analysis that we can provide to readers seeking more information about Stanley Warranty’s abrupt closure and the precedences set by other companies that pulled this same move in recent years. Come back to HomeWarrantyReviews.com for updates as we learn more about the fallout from Stanley Warranty’s announcement.
Like Sensible Home Warranty did in 2014 when it closed shop, Stanley provided no apparent warning to their customers that pre-paid services would not be provided, though at this time it’s still unclear to HomeWarrantyReviews.com whether the company contacted customers via telephone or postal mail prior to closing its doors. It’s also not known yet whether Stanley’s failure to uphold its commitment to any pre-paid customers will compound the company’s problems with New Jersey’s consumer agency.
Another company in the home warranty space that closed its doors in 2014, Colonial Home Warranty, sought bankruptcy protection. Through bankruptcy, the company appears to have been able to escape financial responsibility for unfulfilled service contracts and repair bills from their contractors. Whether or not Stanley Warranty will seek similar protection is not clear at this time.
Reviews for Stanley Warranty, also known as Stanley Safe Club, here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are almost entirely negative. The reviews reflect an apparent trend of the company not honoring its promises to customers or contractors who performed repairs on its behalf. Many of the worst reviews mention repair contractors pursuing payments from the homeowners after Stanley Warranty failed to fulfill its duty to make those payments in a timely manner.
On its Better Business Bureau page, Stanley Warranty already had an F rating prior to the announcement of its cessation of services to its customers. On Yelp, a recent review includes a comment about a refund check from the company to the customer, who had canceled services ahead of the expiration of the contract period, being denied due to insufficient funds. That review was created in December of 2015, leading to the obvious question whether or not Stanley was insolvent well before it closed its doors in 2016. Interestingly, reading past reviews on Yelp leads you to at least one claim in 2014 that Stanley Warranty had announced on its company website that it was closing. And no matter how far back in time a reader travels on Yelp, the story seems to be consistently poor, one unhappy customer after another.
Perhaps the most insulting element of this story is that Stanley Warranty sold its service contracts with a promise of zero service fees. Anyone familiar with the home service contract industry knows that most companies charge a fee, paid by the customer to the service provider, at the time of a service call. For a company to offer competitive rates with no service fees is a pretty compelling deal for consumers. And many of the consumers lured in by that deal are now left with every required repair being paid entirely out of their own pockets, despite having paid well in advance for home service contracts from this company.
The home warranty industry has a history of companies like Stanley Warranty popping in and out of the space and taking loads of customers’ money out the door when the companies fold or burning up the money received from customers through mismanagement and unhedged risks. Consumers who have been buying home warranties for years probably recognize some of the company names, ones like Arkidus, Sensible Home Warranty, Colonial Home Warranty, and Certified Warranties Corporation. All of these companies have something in common. They sold home service contracts right up until the day they shut the office lights off and locked the doors.
This may be the single biggest black eye that the home warranty industry has received in the last decade, and it just keeps happening. As if companies being able to enter an industry that is so much like insurance, often undetected by the state agencies that regulate their industry, improperly funded, and perhaps even criminally intent on defrauding their customers is not enough, the end result of the companies is consumers left with financial losses sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars in service contract fees paid in advance. All too often the regulators in the states where the customers live are powerless to retrieve those customers’ funds, and even when bankruptcy courts are involved the individual consumer is usually out of luck when liquidated assets are divided up among registered claimants.
In a nutshell, the chance of Stanley Warranty’s customers seeing refunds is very, very slim. It’s quite likely that this story will end the same way it did for customers of Sensible Home Warranty in 2014 when that company disappeared overnight. But that should not stop consumers willing to do whatever they can to seek justice. Readers who wish to pursue legal action should immediately seek advice from an attorney, preferably one with experience with defunct service contract companies.
If there’s any worthwhile piece of advice we can give to our readers who are shopping for a home warranty company it’s this:
Do your homework! Despite it not always being easy to do, consumers must research companies in the home service contract space before making a purchase. Here’s an example of the kind of detailed reporting available to consumers trying to evaluate the financial health of companies selling home service contracts in the United States. That article by Warranty Week is an excellent resource. Keep in mind that if the home warranty company you choose is using its sales to finance its claims then you can probably count on two things happening. One, the company will do whatever it can to avoid paying your claims. Two, the company will eventually get into hot water and close up quickly in order to try to avoid the owners bearing personal responsibility for the actions of the company.
Be safe out there. And if you are a Stanley Warranty customer who would like to share information with other readers in the same boat as you then please share your story in the comments section below.
There are five types of warranties plans available such as manufacturer warranty, home warranty, seller’s warranty, extended warranty, appliance service contract etc. All the above mentioned terms are basically protection policies of your household appliances. All these warranty contracts are slightly different and we will get into them in just a moment. Please note that we do not cover homeowners insurance here but you can refer to the article that talks about home insurance and home warranty differences
Home warranty is a service contract on your home appliances and it covers repairs and maintenance of household machinery. Home warranty plan takes care of repair and replacement of all your insured appliances by the qualified service provider. This plan is also referred as
One of the basic thing people look for while purchasing any appliance or gadget is the warranty. A warranty is a kind of assurance provided by the manufacturer for the product and if the item does not meet the expectations then the insurance provider is bound to repair or replace the product within the stated warranty period. The standard coverage is generally for the period of one year. A warranty is a legal binding which means if the seller does not stick to their words, then you can legally file lawsuits against them.
These days all the online stores and offline stores are providing manufacturer’s warranty and the original bill along with the purchased product. The products shipped are also completely sealed and as good as what you can get from retail stores. You can extend the warranty for additional years if you desire, although it is not necessary in most cases. Generally, big ticket items such as HVAC units come with 5 years warranty, but the coverage will be limited to parts only from second year onwards. That means you will have to pay for the repair service.
Home appliance warranty companies generally do not cover an equipment when it is under manufacturers warranty.
Seller Warranty is also known as dealer warranty. The warranty is basically provided by the respective seller or the dealer of the products. Most of seller warranties last for the period of 6 months. In case of any sort of defect of malfunction of the product, you have to take the product particularly to the seller from whom you bought it.
You have an option to extend manufacturer’s warranty when it expires. It is recommended only for those appliances that are not covered by home warranty, such as laptop, PC, TV and other electronics.
You can also extend home warranty when your original plan expires. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability. If you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services, extended warranty service just makes things easier
Service contracts are also considered as agreement or protection agreements. Most of these are offered by vendors selling the appliance, a service company, or a third party service provider. Home service contractors are basically local, licensed, and insured team to provide service. The price, terms and coverage choices widely vary as these companies tend to be local service providers. The repair and customer service may also vary depending on the vendor. Make sure you thoroughly understand the contract before you sign it.
Do your homework before buying home warranties, extended warranties, or service contracts for your major appliance. Understand the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract, especially its limitations.
Make sure you know and understand:
Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcome surprises.
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HVAC appliances are one of the most vital components in a home. Naturally, unexpected crashes and breakdowns of HVAC units disrupt a peaceful living. And once they crash, boy! They are really expensive to repair (or replace).
Any homeowner, in his right sense would therefore make sure that the heating, cooling and ventilation units are well taken care of and maintained. For all of you who are wondering how to extend the life of your HVAC appliances, this checklist is just the right thing for you!
Yes, all HVAC appliances will do well if you give them some basic cleaning every month. Ensure that you do the following two steps at least once a month.
The U.S. Dept. of energy advises homeowners to carry out a maintenance routine at least twice a year. This ensures that the power consumption is optimized and hazards are avoided. Here are the steps that you should carry out yearly to ensure healthy running of your HVAC appliances/ systems.
If you think that these tasks are difficult and that your warranty plan will save you, here’s some incentive for you to get going in the right direction.
Home Warranty Companies usually DO NOT cover damages caused due to lack of maintenance. Which means that if your system stops working and the technician diagnosis says that the damage was caused due to lack of maintenance, your claim may be denied.
If that is not compelling enough, here are some more things that will happen if you are careless about HVAC maintenance
Appliances and systems in our home and around us help us lead a happy and easy life. So it is only fair that we do for them at least a fraction of what they do for us. Take good care of your appliances, don’t use them roughly and above all, purchase a home warranty plan to protect your budget against unexpected appliance crashes.
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If you’re on the lookout for a home or if you are planning to sell a property, chances are you may have hired a real estate agent. Such agents are the godsend when it comes to real estate transactions as they can help you get really good deals. That said, they can also be a pain in the neck if they are not competent enough. So the question is, is your real estate agent good enough to get you that dream deal? Let’s find out.
When you hire someone to help you buy or sell a property, keep in mind that the money involved is not little by any means. You may want to look for the following qualities in a potential agent.
Although there is no foolproof way to find out if a potential agent has these qualities, the best approach would be to interview multiple agents and pick the one who reflects most of the above qualities.
If you have already hired an agent, here are few things you could check to decide whether your agent needs to be replaced or not.
You’re not ok with a part-time doctor to treat your illness, then why-oh-why would you let a part-time agent handle your real estate transactions? Most part-time agents are off their game and may fail to get you the best deal.
If the one you have right now is indeed a part-time agent, you may want to consider replacing him/her.
The typical commission charged by agents for buying/selling a house is 6%-7%, which is equally split by the buyer and the seller. Most agents refuse to sell for a commission lower than that. So if your agent agrees to a lower commission, be cautious. This does not mean that the commission is not a negotiable sum. It’s just that most good real estate agents disagree to go below the typical norm.
If your agent doesn’t return your calls or messages within two days or is, in general, a very difficult person to get through, it could be a bad sign. Competent agents are always on top of their game so they would never keep a client waiting.
This is especially true in the case of part-time agents. One way to check for experience is to ask for references. If the references span over many years, well and good or you can directly ask your agent to give you details about how many deals he has closed.
It wouldn’t have been a bad thing 10 years back, but today, not making use of resources available online to market/sell properties is a bad call. This should be one of the signs that your agent needs to be replaced.
Like in any profession, there are good ones and there are bad ones. But in this particular case, picking a bad real estate agent can cost you heavily so you may want to interview many agents before you make your final pick. If you are a seller, you should look into some ways to get your home sold faster. And if you are a buyer, you should also be aware of what to look for when you buy a new home.
Hope you enjoyed reading this. Cheers!
An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.
The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.
Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.
It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.
We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.
It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.
The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.
If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.
If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.
Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.
If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.
Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.
As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.
The basic coverage usually covers the following:
The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.
Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.
Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.
Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.
When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.
Any homeowner who lives in Nevada and is shopping for a home warranty, also called a home service contract, will want to read this article. Why? Well, for one reason, HomeWarrantyReviews.com is one of the most established sources of reviews for home warranty companies in the U.S. And thanks to the thousands and thousands of reviews we’ve compiled on our website, we can offer you fair and objective input regarding the home warranty companies in Nevada that are doing the best job serving their customers needs.
So, which home warranty companies are the best in the state of Nevada? Let’s find out!
Nevada is famous for its desert areas, Las Vegas in particular. And with desert days you can expect several months of daily average temperatures above one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. As if the desert days are not challenging enough, desert nights can be a bit extreme too, temperatures plummeting from the daytime highs. When you push your heating and cooling systems to their limits you increase wear and tear and increase the chance of encountering frequent problems. With this in mind, Nevada homeowners should carefully consider their choices of home warranty companies, assuming the heating and cooling systems will be covered items.
All of the top companies listed in this article have something in common. That common thread is quality service. No matter what appliances and systems you want covered, you primarily want to know that when something breaks down it will be fixed quickly and correctly. And for that reason you can compare one common aspect of every home warranty company, that being the performance of the company when claims are filed by customers. To do that though you need real, accurate, fair feedback from homeowners like you. Luckily, you’re at the right place for that.
HomeWarrantyReviews.com ranks companies based on user feedback, not based on how much companies pay for advertising. You will find that some other websites that rank home warranty companies do not do the same thing. If you trust a website that ranks companies arbitrarily then you may not be happy with the end result. What we can offer you below is a list of top companies that service the state of Nevada, a list that is only influenced by consumers just like you, people with direct experience filing claims with these companies. So get out your paper and pen. Here is the list of top companies servicing Nevada, based on the current standings on our website.
You may be familiar with these companies. All of these companies advertise their services widely. But what makes them so successful in Nevada? As is the case with nearly any home warranty company, a great repair contractor can make the customer experience much better than it would have been if the home warranty company didn’t have a good network of qualified contractors in the area. Home warranty companies have to work very hard to make sure they have enough contractors in each area they service. The companies also must maintain records of customer satisfaction in order to ensure that the contractors are making their customers happy with each service call. So how do these companies do with regard to customer satisfaction if you focus on the contractors doing the work? Read on to find out.
When you have as many customers as American Home Shield does it becomes a challenge to keep them all happy. But AHS has clearly made a good impression on its customers in recent months. Just scanning through the top ten reviews we found nine of ten reviews with very high ratings and very positive comments specifically mentioned the great service from the repair contractors. In several reviews the comments referred to AHS’s consistent delivery of timely, high quality repair services via the company’s contractor network. And that network is one of the strongest reasons for choosing a top rated company like AHS.
In eight of ten recent reviews we examined we found specific praise for the repair technicians that The Home Service Club sent to their customers’ homes. Though there were two negative reviews in the group we looked at, overall the customer reviews were consistently positive, particularly with regard to the time it took to receive repair services and the accuracy and cleanliness of the work performed. HSC appears to have good contractors working with them in most areas they service and appears to have a very efficient process for dispatching contractors when claims come in.
In the case of Select Home Warranty we found that nearly all of the recent reviews had extremely positive things to say about the claims process, from start to finish. One reviewer contacted Select after 11:00 pm to report an air conditioning problem and had a contractor at his home within five hours. Another reviewer wrote that Select Home Warranty authorized the use of a repair contractor the homeowner picked, instead of asking the homeowner to wait for a network technician to be available. Stories like this are not altogether unheard of in the home warranty industry, but when you see consistently high praise for the timeliness of repair contractors arriving after claims are filed you know you are looking at an exceptional company. And that is the type of company that every homeowner wants to do business with.
Landmark Home Warranty has some very happy customers. Looking through the company’s recent reviews we noticed that all are positive and nearly every one gives specific credit to the customer service representatives and the repair contractors. This sort of applause from customers is important, because when you see that most reviewers are happy with the entire claims process, end to end, you can expect that the company will deliver similar results to any of its customers.
Home Warranty of America, like the other companies listed here, has a very high rate of great review comments and ratings. With only a handful of negative reviews among the many that we examined it’s not surprising that HWA consistently ranks among the top companies on our website in most of the areas the company services. Many of the reviewers indicated that they were introduced to HWA’s services by a real estate professional. In some cases real estate professionals themselves took the time to write reviews. So it’s possible that many of our Nevada readers can learn first hand about HWA from the professionals helping them list or purchase their houses.
Being great in any business means being great consistently. What our readers can take away from this article is the benefit of thousands of consumers’ personal experiences. Knowing that so many customers in Nevada have been pleased with the service from these companies, readers can be much more confident in considering any one of these companies for a home service contract. But don’t just take our word for it. While you’re on our website we encourage you to read reviews about home warranty companies, not only for these ones but for any others you may be considering.