Spring has Sprung!

Spring is finally here! (Well, maybe… if Mother Nature can make up her mind…) Time to actually start that diet you promised yourself you would do in January… and time for the DREADED spring cleaning. But where to even start? In this month’s blog we are going to break down a couple of “must do” home maintenance items. So even if you don’t get your “beach body ready”, your home will look its best come summer!

1. Gutter Check!

“April showers bring….” A whole lot of mess! That’s what they bring… Before the rains get too heavy it’s a good thing to check your gutters to ensure they are in good working condition as debris from fall and winter can cause your gutters to get clogged.  Think clogged gutters are “No big deal”? Well think again! The excess weight of leaves, twigs, and standing water can cause your gutters to sag and pull away from the fascia on your house, causing you to need major gutter repairs or replacement and rotten fascia boards. Standing water can also attract unwanted pests such as mosquitoes and roaches!

seriously… this isn’t what i meant by “add a little green…”

Don’t have gutters? You may want to consider this investment for your home. Gutters carry water away from your home and prevent siding damage, wood rot and foundation damage due to prolonged moisture exposure. The minor cost associated with having them installed now vs. replacing siding or dealing with a foundation crack later generally makes this home improvement worth it!

2. Check safety devices

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries should be replaced at least twice a year. Make it part of your spring cleaning routine to replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check for recalls on your detectors by visiting Recalls.gov.

 

3. Eliminate insect breeding grounds!

Inspect your property for standing water to help eliminate mosquito and other insect breeding spots. Make sure to check any flower pots, trash cans, bins etc that may have collected water over winter/spring. Puddles in your yard and garden can also be a major culprit and a hotbed of annoying insect activity!

 

4. No pressure… but you need to pressure wash.

Siding, fences, decks, porches, patios…  all these items can probably use a good pressure wash come spring. Mildew and dirt can build up over time and removing it will not only keep your fixtures lasting longer, but will maintain your homes curb appeal. And if you live in an HOA… it will keep you from getting those nasty warning letters!  Just make sure to move any breakables and avoid windows if you are going to tackle this chore on your own!

 5. Re-caulk windows.

Here in NC our winters aren’t generally very severe. However, after an especially cold snap (or if you haven’t done it in the last few years) you may want to consider re-caulking your windows. This will help keep the cold air in and the warm air out (and vice versa come cooler months!) AND help ensure that your HVAC system runs more efficiently… saving you $$$ on your electric bills! Not sure how? Check it out here!)

 

6. Get your Air Conditioner serviced

Now is the time to ensure that your AC system is functioning properly! Call a professional out to clean the AC BEFORE you plan on needing it. Most AC companies offer a Maintenance Agreement that includes a Freon check, air filter check, coil clean, motor lube, drain line check, compressor check, thermostat check … you get it. If a problem can be identified BEFORE it causes an issue you won’t have to worry about your AC going out when the temps reach 100+!

 This could be you this summer…

7. Roof Inspection!

Visually eye the roof to check for any damage that may have occurred over the winter. Look for any loose shingles, check the seals around the chimney, flashing and skylights. Check corners, soffits and fascia while you’re at it. These are all areas that are subject to water damage and wood rot. Try to avoid climbing up on the roof (unless you are a roofing professional, then have at it!) and use binoculars to check it out. If you see any issues, call a roofing professional (*cough* capefearflooringandrestoration *cough*) to conduct a roof inspection and ensure that there are no more serious issues, and to get your roof fixed before it becomes worse. A leaky roof can lead to collapsed ceilings, rotting support beams and of course… the dreaded MOLD!

8. Inspect concrete.

Often people don’t notice an issue with their sidewalks or driveways until it is too late. When ice and snow melt during the winter months, the water flows into any available cracks and crevices. It then refreezes, expanding and causing the once small cracks to slowly grow and grow until they become a major issue. Loose concrete, as well as heavy cracking, can cause serious injury (to you and your guests!) and even damage to your vehicle. Now is the time to take care of those tiny cracks and repair them if need be with caulk or concrete crack filler.

9. Check outside water sources.

Before too long you will need to use your outdoor faucets and water sources for your plants, gardens and sprinklers. Before use, it’s a good idea to check your hose, sprinkler systems and faucets to ensure that no dry rot or winter damage has occurred. Inspect hoses and faucets to make sure water is flowing properly. Flush your sprinkler system and check the heads and lines for leaks. A damaged hose, faucet OR sprinkler system can cause quite a mess to occur in your yard, and your water bill to skyrocket.

 

10. Replace outdoor lighting.

Just because the sun has set doesn’t mean you will want to go inside! Exterior lighting such as porch lights, flood lights and solar lights all need to be checked this spring. Make sure all lighting is in good shape to include; wires are safe, bulbs are replaced, all components are working and functioning properly. And while you’re at it, clean the bugs out and give that globe a good washing!

 

11. Check the attic.

Winter is over (hopefully) and now its time to take a look up… to the attic! A couple of key items to keep an eye out for include:

  1. Signs of rodents! These include chewing, bedding and holes. Handle any issues you may see with traps and preventative measures.
  2. Signs of leaks! This includes wet spots, sagging, puddles and of course mold. This is a sure sign that you may need to have your roof repaired or fixed. Need assistance? Give us a call!

 

12. Wood rot…

Wouldn’t you rather not? (see what I did there?) Unfortunately, this annoying chore is also necessary. Melting snow and ice can cause havoc on the wooden areas of your home. Siding, window/door frames, garage door frames, soffits and fascia, fences… the list goes on and on. Replace or repair as needed. This will help to ensure that the issue doesn’t get WORSE and cause MAJOR repair costs down the road (plus it keeps your house looking its best. If you repair as you go you save money in the long run!). Also, when dealing with door and window frames, resolving any issues can prevent drafts AND bugs

Something small can quickly turn into this…

Which can turn into this…
(This last one may be a BIT extreme… but you get my point…)

13.    Clean out that garage!

Over the fall and winter the garage tends to fill up with stuff. Halloween decorations, Christmas ornaments… they all get thrown in the garage and come April it can be a chore just to find what you need! Start by tossing out items that are broken and donate the things you don’t use anymore. Organize kids toys, garden equipment and tools with shelves, hooks and handy cubbies (see helpful link HERE ) Sweep the floor or use a shop vac to finish up.

 

(If your garage actually looks like this, I’m gunna need you to come do mine…)

18. Watch for termites

While you may hear “Spring” and think of flowers and kites… spring is also peak pest season. Termites can be among the most detrimental pest to your home, causing hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars’ worth of repairs. They begin to emerge after the last winter freeze. Look for swarms and mud tubes as a sure indication that you have a problem. If you see them schedule a visit with a licensed pest control company to remove them as soon as possible to prevent damage to the structure of your home. Termites are one of those issues that you do NOT want to risk “DIY-ing”. Call a professional to assist you.

How to prevent them? Store wood away from the structure and foundation of your home. Keep shrubbery trimmed near your home, allowing at least a foot between the shrub and your home (does anyone else have the sudden urge to quote Monty Python with all this shrubbery talk??)  Use pine needles instead of mulch. Apparently termites are a bit of a picky eater and they don’t like pine needles (ants dislike pine needles as well…). Don’t like pine needles? Try pea gravel, rubber or other ‘non organic’ material instead of mulch. Avoid moisture around your homes foundation (see #’s 3 and 12…), make sure to properly maintain your homes exterior (wood rot anyone?) and minimize moisture with a good vapor barrier (check out our crawlspace encapsulation services HERE).

 

19. Add a touch of green!

  I’m not talking money. I’m talking flowers and plants! A simple raised flower bed is an easy weekend project, and a hanging basket costs $9 at Wal-Mart… Do you have existing landscaping already? Inspect flowerbeds and trees for damage, disease and unwanted pests. Fill any bare spots with a mulch like substance (pine straw, pea gravel etc… remember?) and replace any plants that have died. This will boost your curb appeal and you’ll love seeing the gorgeous greenery and flowers every time you drive up to your home!

Before

After

See the difference? PLUS you will get a brand new Maserati!
(Brand new Maserati not included with landscaping. Your results may vary…)

20. Inspect and maintain lattice, fences, deck and outdoor stairs.

All these items can be damaged from snow, ice and cold. Make sure to include stairs, balconies, rails, lattice, fences and decks in your checklist. If they are made of wood check for signs of mold, rot, moss and fungus. If they are metal check for rust, and if they are concrete check for cracks/crumbling. Beyond that ensure that steps are stable and level and railings and handrails are securely attached. Safety first!

See? Don’t just take my word for it!

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Criticisms? Shoot us an email! marketing@capefearflooring.com

2018 Decor Trends

Looking to redecorate, remodel and redesign in 2018? We have compiled this list of the hot new decor trends for the year for you all in one place… enjoy!

1. High contrast pallets – Light, neutral colors will always be a timeless classic because of their ease to pair. However, in 2018 BOLD and “moodier” color tones are coming on the scene. The darker color tones add richness and warmth to the room. You can create a high contrast palette by pairing light with dark. This results in an elegant combination and doesn’t “darken” the room like an all dark palette would do, but catches the eye and adds depth.

 

2. Two tone Kitchens – Two-toned kitchen cabinets have been growing in popularity, but the trend has evolved by incorporating bleached wood with a vibrant paint color as shown in this modern farmhouse kitchen by Blakes London. Do you love sea foam green but aren’t sure how it would look over the ENTIRE kitchen? Two toned kitchens may be just the thing for you!

  

 

3. Natural Elements – 2017 was dominated with the tech-obsessed décor. In 2018 the trend is moving towards more fresh, natural materials such as stone, copper, plants, concrete and granite. These elements help bring a serene peaceful ambiance to your space, and embracing the world around you. We can all relax, succulents are still in and your air garden is safe for another year!

 

4. Subway Tiles – Subway tiles have always been a safe material to use for renovations as well as new construction. Say goodbye to the same old boring subway tiles you may be familiar with… recently, there has been a trend towards using larger format tile and even slab sized porcelain sheets- and ALL sorts of colors! As a bonus – larger tile has less grout and is both easier to install and clean!

 

5. Bold Bathroom Walls- Look for a dramatic accent wall to get even bigger in 2018 as homeowners look for unique accents to incorporate into a bathroom remodel or design project. We’re not talking just painting one wall a bright color though… oh no, it has gone beyond that. Bold patterned wallpaper is making a big comeback, but may not be a good fit depending on the humidity levels in your bathroom. Shaped tiles can make just the perfect accent piece as well. Plus, you can put them just about anywhere in a bathroom…

 

6. Maximalism – This new trend operates on the principle that MORE is better! More texture, color, pattern, embellishment, rich layers, comfort and eclectic style… Embrace your personality and display it for the world to see. Buy the huge statement piece and the zebra print couch! Throw pillows galore! Accent lights, a bright rug… the more the merrier! This trend has a strong emphasis on travel and the exotic. That statue you bought in Mexico? This may be just the time to bust it out!

 

7. Terrazzo – Groovy baby! This 1970’s esque material is taking over this year. If you haven’t seen it yet you may have been living under a rock… The multi-colored speckled composite material has dimension, its fun… it brings a very cool, modern look to any room. You can expect to see this everywhere from furniture to décor this year

 

8. Statement Ceilings – AKA the “5th wall”. This year we’ve gone beyond statement walls and have turned our eyes to the ceiling. All that extra space – why not showcase it? Printed wallpaper, tile mosaics, exposed beams, vibrant hues and more made all make for the perfect statement ceiling…

 

9. Modern Farmhouse – Rustic country styling is going urban. The farmhouse style has been gaining popularity over the last couple years. Now, however, they are choosing only a few elements to incorporate. Warm wood details, vintage lighting, trough sinks, shaker cabinets… pick a couple and mix and match for the REFINED farmhouse style of 2018. Don’t think this trend is just for the kitchen! The dining area, living rooms and bathrooms are all great spaces to incorporate the ‘Modern Farmhouse’ design!

 

10. Color in the kitchen – White will always be a classic. But in 2018 all white kitchens are giving way to cabinetry that is heavier, ombre (yes, ombre…) and more colorful. Look for less all white back splashes and counter tops and bolder colors in the kitchen. Updating your cabinets or adding a colorful backslash is a great way to incorporate this hot trend.

 

11. Open Shelving – This is an option we saw in 2017, and is here to stay in 2018! People seem to love that they can customize the height and length to fit items on the shelves that normally wouldn’t fit into the cabinets. With thousands of options of textures, brackets (corbels, anyone?) and colors, the shelving itself is a design element. Open shelves display collections with ease, keep items handy and force us to stay organized because guests can see our belongings! Open shelving is an inspired look highlighting both function and style.

(did anyone else notice how this incorporates the natural, open shelving and farmhouse looks all in one?)

 

12. Stone – a more natural stone look is taking over in 2018. It’s not all white Carrara marble anymore! Grays and greens are very big so far this year. The trend extends to all sorts of stone types; marble, onyx, agate, alabaster… these beautiful materials add texture and depth to any design for a timeless look that’s also modern and fresh.

 

13. Patterned floors- In 2018 Think about introducing patterned flooring into your room design. Distinctive natural stone and wood characteristics, or creatively arranged tiles and planks could really make your room stand out. Patterned flooring is a unique and stylish way to catch the eye and add interest to a room. And you can achieve a unique look with a variety of flooring types and styles.

 

14. Unique countertops- The countertop is an essential part of a kitchen design. Its where all the action takes place! It matters a lot what material, finish and design you choose. Quartz is here to stay, but gaining popularity are countertops with “Character”…it’s all about the texture and pattern in 2018!

 

15. Textures- They aren’t just for countertops in 2018! Rattan, hardwood, bamboo… The focus of this hot new trend is moving to our “natural surroundings” (see #3…) and organic materials. Furniture has a natural handmade feel with materials such a rattan and wicker. Textiles take a playful role with lots of embellishments, raw edges and appliqué details – all irresistible to the touch. Whatever the color palette, mixing textures can instantly create another layer of decoration and interest.

 

16. Geometric/ circle tiles – Similar to floral patterns and brass decor, incorporating geometric patterns is no new trend. Yet for the new year geometric patterns are expected to become a dramatic presence. Colors will be bolder with oversized patterns. This is a trend that will help make a bold statement in any room. Perhaps one of the most common ways to include the geometric look in your home is in your tile choices.

 

17. Kitchen Organization – Homeowners are opting for a clutter free look in 2018. Hidden nooks and crannies to keep all the ‘brick a brack’ out of sight and make the most of your space are taking over. A clean counter is a happy counter! And why not? Who wouldn’t love a hidden spice rack and more room to work and entertain? As usual, the Island is still the most sought after kitchen feature, giving both more storage options, and more counter space to work with.

 

18. Bold Patterns & prints – Floral, animal and anything in between. Bold colorful prints are taking over in 2018! From couches to art these bright patterns draw the eye and really help bring that personal touch to any space. We’re not talking your grandmas couch with the paisley design. The prints of 2018 are more classic and elegant with warmer tones and a more modern feel. Do you love flowers AND cheetah print? Go crazy – 2018 is your year!

 

Well, if there is one thing we can take away it is this: 2018 is all about the natural elements in the home. Stone walls, textured furniture and bold bright nature prints will all be your decorating friends for the next year. Feel free to mix and match – as you can see from the pictures and items above several of the trends overlap and mix very well together. A stone wall pairs nicely in your farmhouse kitchen with an island and accent ceiling! Whatever you do decide in 2018 – above all have FUN! Your home design should be a reflection of you as a person. Need help? Our design experts would love to start making your dream a reality!

Privacy Policy

www.capefearflooring.com Privacy Policy
This privacy policy has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their ‘Personally Identifiable Information’ (PII) is being used online. PII, as described in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. Please read our privacy policy carefully to get a clear understanding of how we collect, use, protect or otherwise handle your Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with our website.

What personal information do we collect from the people that visit our blog, website or app?

When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your name, email address or other details to help you with your experience.

When do we collect information?

We collect information from you when you register on our site, subscribe to a newsletter or enter information on our site.

How do we use your information?

We may use the information we collect from you when you register, make a purchase, sign up for our newsletter, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways:

• To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature.
• To ask for ratings and reviews of services or products
• To follow up with them after correspondence (live chat, email or phone inquiries)

Do we use ‘cookies’?

Yes. Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computer’s hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the site’s or service provider’s systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. For instance, we use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart. They are also used to help us understand your preferences based on previous or current site activity, which enables us to provide you with improved services. We also use cookies to help us compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future.

We use cookies to:
• Keep track of advertisements.
• Compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interactions in order to offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may also use trusted third-party services that track this information on our behalf.

You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. You do this through your browser settings. Since browser is a little different, look at your browser’s Help Menu to learn the correct way to modify your cookies.

If you turn cookies off, Some of the features that make your site experience more efficient may not function properly.It won’t affect the user’s experience that make your site experience more efficient and may not function properly.

Third-party disclosure

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your Personally Identifiable Information.

Third-party links

Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third-party products or services on our website. These third-party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

Google

Google’s advertising requirements can be summed up by Google’s Advertising Principles. They are put in place to provide a positive experience for users. https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/1316548?hl=en

We have not enabled Google AdSense on our site but we may do so in the future.

California Online Privacy Protection Act

CalOPPA is the first state law in the nation to require commercial websites and online services to post a privacy policy. The law’s reach stretches well beyond California to require any person or company in the United States (and conceivably the world) that operates websites collecting Personally Identifiable Information from California consumers to post a conspicuous privacy policy on its website stating exactly the information being collected and those individuals or companies with whom it is being shared. – See more at: http://consumercal.org/california-online-privacy-protection-act-caloppa/#sthash.0FdRbT51.dpuf

According to CalOPPA, we agree to the following:
Users can visit our site anonymously.
Once this privacy policy is created, we will add a link to it on our home page or as a minimum, on the first significant page after entering our website.
Our Privacy Policy link includes the word ‘Privacy’ and can easily be found on the page specified above.

You will be notified of any Privacy Policy changes:
• On our Privacy Policy Page
Can change your personal information:
• By emailing us

How does our site handle Do Not Track signals?
We honor Do Not Track signals and Do Not Track, plant cookies, or use advertising when a Do Not Track (DNT) browser mechanism is in place.

Does our site allow third-party behavioral tracking?
It’s also important to note that we allow third-party behavioral tracking

COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act)

When it comes to the collection of personal information from children under the age of 13 years old, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) puts parents in control. The Federal Trade Commission, United States’ consumer protection agency, enforces the COPPA Rule, which spells out what operators of websites and online services must do to protect children’s privacy and safety online.

We do not specifically market to children under the age of 13 years old.
Do we let third-parties, including ad networks or plug-ins collect PII from children under 13?

Fair Information Practices

The Fair Information Practices Principles form the backbone of privacy law in the United States and the concepts they include have played a significant role in the development of data protection laws around the globe. Understanding the Fair Information Practice Principles and how they should be implemented is critical to comply with the various privacy laws that protect personal information.

In order to be in line with Fair Information Practices we will take the following responsive action, should a data breach occur:
We will notify you via email
• Within 7 business days
We will notify the users via in-site notification
• Within 7 business days

We also agree to the Individual Redress Principle which requires that individuals have the right to legally pursue enforceable rights against data collectors and processors who fail to adhere to the law. This principle requires not only that individuals have enforceable rights against data users, but also that individuals have recourse to courts or government agencies to investigate and/or prosecute non-compliance by data processors.

CAN SPAM Act

The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have emails stopped from being sent to them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

We collect your email address in order to:
• Send information, respond to inquiries, and/or other requests or questions
• Market to our mailing list or continue to send emails to our clients after the original transaction has occurred.

To be in accordance with CANSPAM, we agree to the following:
• Not use false or misleading subjects or email addresses.
• Identify the message as an advertisement in some reasonable way.
• Include the physical address of our business or site headquarters.
• Monitor third-party email marketing services for compliance, if one is used.
• Honor opt-out/unsubscribe requests quickly.
• Allow users to unsubscribe by using the link at the bottom of each email.

If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, you can email us at
• Follow the instructions at the bottom of each email.
and we will promptly remove you from ALL correspondence.

Contacting Us

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy, you may contact us using the information below.

www.capefearflooring.com
2727 Hope Mills Rd
Fayetteville, North Carolina 28306
United States
marketing@capefearflooring.com

Last Edited on 2018-03-14

Cape Fear Flooring & Restoration opens state of the art showroom in Fayetteville!

 

Last Thursday March 1st Cape Fear Flooring & Restoration hosted their showroom Grand Opening event and WHAT AN EVENT!

The day started cold and rainy, but we weren’t about to let that stop us! The forecast may have said rain, but we had a brand new 4000 sq. ft. warehouse with PLENTY of space! The event started off with the Greater Fayetteville Chamber ribbon cutting out front. Several noteworthy members were present for the cutting including State Representatives John Szoka and Elmer Floyd, City Councilman Johnny Dawkins and the President/ CEO of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Christine Michaels.

 

Breakfast hor d’oeuvres were served afterwards and several members stayed to mingle. 96.5 BOB FM was present from 12-2 with several giveaways, and we had local food trucks R-Burger and The Little Taco in the parking lot for our guests.

 

At 5:30 we welcomed the Hope Mills Chamber members for an ‘after hours’ event and ribbon cutting. Belmont Village catered and we had a local DJ on site. The Hope Mills Mayor Ms. Jackie Warner was present to assist with the ribbon cutting. Drinks, music and food – what more could you ask for at a Grand Opening?

We extended the event through the next day, with breakfast hour d’oeuvres once again and Friday we had Q98 on site giving away Eagles concert tickets! A photo booth was present on site and several of the employees too advantage of the chance to goof off. As a special ‘Thank You’ to all our guests, CFFR served a grilled lunch of hot dogs, chips and coleslaw to everyone present. Our winners for all our giveaways (x4 Hurricanes tickets, Cole Swindell tickets, A bathroom makeover…) were all announced.

This event was the accumulation of years of hard work for owners Amie Crouter and Thomas Foldesi.

 “We are all very excited to finally be able to host this event. We have had quite a few road blocks along the way – including TWO hurricanes! This state of the art showroom will enable us to bring better service to our customers due to the added space in the showroom and warehouse. Added space equals more stock!”

The new showroom features a plethora of tile, laminate, hardwood and carpeting – from all the major name brands! If you can imagine it, our design experts can bring it to life! We can assist every step of the way – from design to install and everything in between!

 

 

 

We would like to invite everyone to take the chance to stop by and view the new showroom. It’s not just a showroom – its a work of art!

For more information give us a call at 910-426-4956!








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Utility Bills and YOU!

Tempers Rise as Temperatures Drop!

It all started when local businessman Clarance Biggs (AIT Inc.) noticed his companies PWC utility bills had risen substantially- resulting in bills ranging from $10,000 to $14,000 per month from October through January 2018. Mr. Biggs created a Facebook group to make local Cumberland County residents aware of the issues he saw, and reached out to reps at PWC about the ongoing issue. Mr. Biggs was not the only one who noticed the rise in utility costs – some customers’ bills went up almost 200%!

PWC Spokeswoman Carolyn Justice-Hinson attributes the rise in costs to the uncharacteristically cold weather that has been affecting the area over the last several months. Temps are up to 20* below normal (almost 60% colder than the same period last year). This drastic drop in temperatures caused a rise in bills, leaving many people angry, confused and concerned with how they are going to be able to afford to pay their utility charges.

“We realize people are surprised at their bills,” Ms. Justice-Hinson told ABC11. “Energy use and weather go hand in hand – a higher energy use, a higher demand on our system.”

ABC eyewitness news 11 received a barrage of customer complaints and decided to run a piece on the issue.   They met with Mr. Mike Foust, a local Fayetteville HVAC expert and owner of Foust Heating and Air, who was able to shed some light on the issue. Mr. Foust explained that most Heating and air systems are not built to handle such a drastic drop in temperatures. To make up for it, the heating systems activate heat strips that assist with keeping up with the demand placed upon it. This will help with keeping your home warm, but “(the heating strips) are .. hot coils that work like a toaster but sap electricity like an SUV guzzles gasoline.”

Think of it like this:  You’re on a boat that’s 50 meters from shore. You jump out of the boat and swim to shore. You do this on a daily basis, and your body gets used to the swim. Then suddenly one day you are forced to move your boat an additional 20+ meters away. While it may not look like a huge difference, your legs and lungs are going to feel the strain those extra feet added to your daily swim.  Your body has been trained to swim 50 meters on a daily basis and it takes quite a bit more to swim those extra 20 meters.

In this analogy the boat is the temperature outside, the shore is the temperature you have your thermostat set at, and your body is the HVAC system – working overtime to maintain the temperature in your home. While you may not have messed with the thermostat, your system still has to work harder to keep your home warm.

“When you drop into the low teens, or even into the single digits, you’re below the design of most heating and air equipment,” Foust told ABC11. “Doors, windows, plumbing pipes, the stairs that lead to the attic and things of that nature…”

 

What Steps can I take to keep my utility bills low?

  1. Replace worn weather stripping

This can be the cheapest – but most effective way to help keep your home warm and utility bills low! There are many different options to choose from, but here are a few guidelines:

  • Weather stripping should be applied to a clean, dry surface
  • Measure twice – cut once!
  • Apply weather stripping snugly against BOTH surfaces. The material should compress when the window or door is shut
  • For air sealing windows, apply weather-stripping between the sash and the frame. The weather-stripping shouldn’t interfere with the operation of the window.
  1. Have your HVAC system serviced regularly
    1. Just like your car, your HVAC system needs regular checks, diagnostic and maintenance. This should be done at least once a year, but may not be a bad idea to have done in the Spring and Fall of each year. The indoor and outdoor coils need regular cleaning to ensure the efficiency of the system and life-span of equipment. Benefits of having your system serviced regularly can include increased dependability, early diagnostic of potential issues, maximum efficiency and prolonged lifespan of equipment- among others.
  2. Insulate pipes under your home
    1. Insulatingthe hot waters pipes in your house is something of a no brainer. Why let the heat escape willy-nilly? Pipe insulation is inexpensive and the project is one that any homeowner could finish on a Saturday afternoon and can potentially save you up to 4% annually! Insulating your hot water pipes reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature 2°F–4°F hotter than uninsulated pipes can deliver, allowing you to lower your water temperature setting. You also won’t have to wait as long for hot water when you turn on a faucet or showerhead, which helps conserve water.
  3. Eliminate drafts and plug all holes in exterior walls and attic doors
    1. Homeowners tend to feel drafts around windows and doors, though the biggest air leaks are typically in attics and basements,” says John Galeotafiore, who oversees Consumer Reports testing of products for the home. “If you have an easily accessible attic you can check to make sure your insulation is covering the areas where leaks are likely to occur—where the walls meet the attic floor, the access hatch, and around plumbing and electrical fixtures.” In basements, look where the foundation meets the framing of the house and where wiring conduits and plumbing enter through the foundation. If you seal most of these leaks, you can save between 10-20% on your heating bill this winter!
  4. Replace existing windows and doors with energy efficient doors
    1. Windows and doors provide our homes with light, warmth, and ventilation, but they can also negatively impact a home’s energy efficiency. You can reduce energy costs by installing energy-efficient windows and doors in your home. When properly selected and installed, energy-efficient windows can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs. Improving window performance in your home involves design, selection, and You’ll find that you have several options to consider when selecting what type of windows you should use in your home. When selecting windows for energy efficiency, it’s important to first consider their energy performance ratings in relation to your climate and your home’s design. Let our experts at Cape Fear Flooring & Restoration assist you with making the right decision for your home! Not only will you save money on your utility bills, you can also qualify for a tax credit by upgrading your existing windows and doors to energy efficient windows and doors!
  5. Lower your water heater temperature settings
    1. We spoke with Woods Plumbing who told us that “Lowering your water heater temperature by just 20 degrees can lower the appliances energy consumption by as much as 10%!” Considering that heating water can account for up to 25% of your households total energy usage, it easy to see how lowering the temperature can provide significant savings! Most water heater manufacturers have the thermostat set at a default temperature of 140. Dropping it down to 120 can make a drastic difference in your bills, and your family won’t even notice the drop.
  6. Change your air filters on a regular basis
    1. Air filters can be found in any forced air system. They do exactly what their name suggests – they filter the air to eliminate hair, dust and other allergens from the system before pumping it into your home. This is often something that gets overlooked, but is very important to ensure that your HVAC system is working to its full capacity. A dirty filter can place undue stress on your system, so not only does it have to heat and force air through your ducts, your system has to deal with a dirty filter on top of all that! Air filters are relatively inexpensive and can be found at a plethora of stores from Wal-Mart to Lowes. Air filters come in several different sizes, but most shops will carry the standard sizes in 3-5 packs. The “allergy free” filters have actually been found to place undue stress on your heating and air system, so we recommend just getting a cheaper filter and replacing it on a monthly basis.
  7. Lock doors and windows
    1. Have you ever noticed that when you lock your windows and doors you can feel them push together more tightly? This little extra seal can make a difference on your heating bill! Even when doors and windows are closed – air can still escape if they are not pressed tight against the weather-stripping. If not locked, cold air can infiltrate your home. Lock your windows early so they don’t freeze in their current position!

 

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1 http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20180206/utility-price-increase-explained-amid-facebook-group-accusations

  1. https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to/g737/9-sneaky-ways-to-cut-your-home-heating-bills/
  2. https://www.today.com/home/10-tricks-reducing-your-heating-bill-2D80555200
  3. https://energy.gov/energysaver/fall-and-winter-energy-saving-tips
  4. http://abc11.com/finance/i-team-whats-to-blame-for-skyrocketing-utility-bills/3044437/