Switch To CFL Bulbs To Reduce Energy Costs

Switch To CFL Bulbs To Reduce Energy Costs

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) have made their way into the mainstream after being invented in the 1970’s as a result of the energy crisis. However, due to a bit of a rocky history, consumers have been slow to get on the wagon. Many of the early versions of CFL bulbs had a delay in reaching full brightness and gave off a cold looking light. But advances in manufacturing and design have eliminated these issues and offer a tradition warm light for a more homey feel. The best part of CFL bulbs are their energy saving abilities. Here is why you should switch to CFL bulbs to reduce energy costs.

The best part of CFL bulbs are their energy saving abilities. Here is why you should switch to CFL bulbs to reduce energy costs.

Benefits Of CFL Bulbs

  • Choosing a CFL with an Energy Star label will generally save you over $30 in electricity costs over the lifetime of the light bulb compared with an incandescent lightbulb over the same time period. CFL will pay for itself within 6 months.
  • CFL bulbs typically last for 5-9 years, which is 10 times the average lifespan of an incandescent light bulb.
  • CFL bulbs come with a 2 year warranty. So you do not need to worry if you get a bad one.
  • While CFL bulbs are more expensive upfront, they are a long term money saver.

Where Not To Use CFL Bulbs

There are some places where a CFL bulb does not make sense and will not save you money. Anything other than standard lighting fixtures, digital timers, motion sensors, dimmer switches should be looked at and verified for use before hand. The packaging on the particular CFL bulb should advise you of compatibility. The same goes for outdoor and enclosed fixtures. You may also want to avoid use in fixtures that are turned on and off frequently, and areas that are subject to extreme temperatures, For those areas you will want weatherproof bulbs.

For more energy savings tips and an inspection of your home in NJ and NY contact  Aurora Home Inspections in Bergen County, NJ.

We are Licensed and Certified Inspection experts who inspect homes, condos, townhouses and apartments.

We can provide inspections for the following:

  • Residential Buyer Inspections
  • Pre Listing Inspections for sellers
  • Commercial Inspections
  • Radon testing
  • Wood Destroying Insect testing
  • Mold testing
  • Indoor Air Quality testing
  • VOC testing
  • 11th month warranty inspection

 

Winterize Your Sprinkler System In New Jersey

Winterize Your Sprinkler System In New Jersey

A sprinkler system is a fairly large investment into your the care and maintenance of your property. This being the case, people often want to protect their sprinkler systems in the colder, winter months. With these months rapidly approaching in many regions, it’s time to winterize your sprinkler system in New Jersey. By using compressed air to blow out the sprinkler system you can ensure that your your sprinklers will continue to work for many years.

Winterize Your Sprinkler System In New Jersey | Aurora Home InspectionsMany people will ask, if the sprinkler system is underground, why does it need to be winterized? Although it may seem that being buried would keep the system from freezing, that is not necessarily true. In times of freezing weather, which we see our share of in New Jersey, the frost level will sink deeper and deeper and the season progresses. To truly be safe from freezing, the system would need to be buried as deep as the water lines to your house. Instead of taking the chance, go ahead and winterize.

Why Winterize A Sprinkler System In NJ

  • There are too many variables to rely only on burying your system. You don’t know how deep it is, or what is under the ground with your system.
  • Sometimes the cold can last longer than expected and the frost line will sink deeper and deeper.
  • Windy spots can cause the cold to go deeper in that area.
  • Concrete retaining walls, soil conditions, mulch or the lack thereof, vegetation, and other things influence how deep the frost can travel.

The Consequences of Not Winterizing A Sprinkler System In NJ

  • Pipes can and often will crack if they freeze when filled with water.
  • Pipe fittings can also crack.
  • The the most expensive parts of your system are vulnerable to breaking from freezing temperatures. These being the anti-siphon devices and valves.
  • All metal parts will be affected by periods of alternating freezes and thaws. Even if you get by for a few years, this cycle will eventually cause pipes to split.

 

How To Declutter Your Home

How To Declutter Your Home | Bergen County NJ Home Inspector

How To Declutter Your Home | Aurora Home Inpections

One of the many tips we give homeowners ahead of a home inspection is to clear the clutter!  If you are having your home inspected, you will want to clear areas of clutter so the home inspector can see everything that needs to be seen. Closets and basement and attics should be as clutter free as possible. But, even if you are not preparing for an inspection, decluttering your home can add a sense of peace and freedom to your space and your life that you will certainly enjoy. Here is how to declutter your home.

 

  • Set a timeline. You don’t have to do everything at once. You can set out a schedule for yourself to minimize the strain it puts on you and the time it takes up in a day. Maybe every Sunday morning for the next month you can take out some time and work on decluttering.
  • Instead of going room by room organize by category. Take all your books one day, your clothes another, etc. Put everything in that category in the middle of a room so you can see all of it. You will be surprised how much stuff you can accumulate and not even realize!
  • Keep What You Need and What You Love. If it has great sentimental value, keep it! You don’t want to regret any decisions after it’s too late. Also if you use it and it adds value to your life, keep it. Everything else, say good bye!
  • Put your things back away neatly. This is important! When you put away the things you decide to keep, put them away in a nice, organized fashion. That way, when nw clutter makes it’s way in you will instantly see things are starting to get out of control.

 

Not only will decluttering your house benefit your level of comfort in your home, but it will also help you down the road. If you plan on selling your home, you certainly will want a clutter free home. It’s much easier to sell a neat and clean space than it is a cluttered one. Clutter makes everything look smaller. Plus, you won’t want to move all the clutter to a new home!

 

Add Value To A Home In NJ

Add Value To A Home In NJ

Add Value To A Home In NJ | Aurora Home Inspections

With home prices on the rise, it is a great time to invest in your home and pack the most value into it you possibly can. Whether you are planning to sell now, or in the future,  Aurora Home Inspections suggests these projects and remodels to help you add value to a home in NJ.

Paint

Freshly painted rooms are clean looking and updated. Plus, painting is one of the most cost effective ways to add value and appeal to your home.

Remodel the Kitchen and Bathroom

Remodeling the kitchen and/or the bathroom will bring back value to your home. Adding a granite countertop in the kitchen is a big winner when it comes to gaining value in the home vs money spent.

Add on a deck

You can recoup almost your full investment in resale value when you add a wooden deck to your home. They are enticing to a buyer both aesthetically and for the added useable space. Plus, who doesn’t like to relax out on a beautiful deck?

Finish the basement

A finished basement will add some serious resale value to your home, especially if you live in a state that considers a finished basement added square footage. Either way, a buyer will look at the finished basement as added living space and consider that as a part of the price they are willing to pay.

Replace or paint the front door

This one might sound unbelievable but a front door makeover could actually add a significant amount of value to your home for a very small investment. Never underestimate curb appeal!

Some of these value adding home remodels are smaller and simpler than others. But, they all have their pros and cons, and in the end all add value. Deciding which projects to take on depends on your home and exactly how much boost you need to add to your home value. Always be sure to consider the full price of the project versus how much return you will get on the remodel in your area.

How To Prepare For Home Inspection

How To Prepare For Home Inspection

How To Prepare For Home Inspection

If you’re in the market to sell your home, you my be nervous about the pre-sale home inspection. As long as you have represented your home honestly, you have nothing to worry about. While it is common for the seller to not be there during the buyer’s home inspection, there are still things you can do to make the job easier for the inspector, and make sure the home is at its best. Here are some tips on how to prepare for home inspection.

  • Make sure all your light bulbs are working and change any older ones. The home inspector will need to look at every area of the house, and will need the best lighting possible. It will also save time.
  • Clean clutter out of closets and pantries. The home inspector is going to need to be able to get good look inside them.
  • Remove items away from basement walls so they can be inspected for cracks and leaks.
  • Make sure the attic is easily accessible.
  • Change all filters to your furnace and heating systems. Leave service tags for the inspector to see.
  • If your home is vacant make sure the power is on and all systems are fueled up.
  • Never try to conceal any defects you know are present in your home. The inspector is going to find them. They know where to look! If your trying to conceal things, it will throw up a major red flag!!!

Following these tips on how to prepare for home inspection will ensure the inspector gets the true, honest picture of the condition of the home. The better the inspection, the happier the buyer. A happy buyer can only be a good thing for you when you are selling your home.

Potential Home Problems You Can Spot Yourself.

Potential Home Problems You Can Spot Yourself.

Potential Home Problems You Can Spot Yourself.

The last thing you want when buying a house is to discover you have bought a money pit, and it’s too late to turn back. You of course must hire a home inspector to protect your investment and be aware of all the hidden problems that could be brewing in the home. But, before the home inspector comes in, there are a few potential issues you can spot yourself. Potential house problems are not always a deal breaker. Sometimes they are simple issues that will give you leverage to negotiate a lower buying price. Here are potential home problems you can spot yourself.

Take a walk around the house and keep an eye out for the following foundation warning signs.

  • Cracks in the outside of the foundation.
  • Door jams that won’t latch.
  • Gaps above closed doors.
  • Large trees with roots near the foundation of the home.
  • Yard Sloping towards the house.
  • Cracks in the walls.

Next check for water and mold issues.

  • Water stains on walls.
  • Cracks around windows.
  • Visible mold anywhere in the house, especially the bathroom.
  • Musty smell anywhere in the house.
  • Wood rot around exterior doors and trim.
  • Peeling paint on walls.
  • Leaky faucets.

Now Look For Electrical and Plumbing Issues

  • Exposed electrical wires or taped wires.
  • Warm outlets.
  • Flickering lights.
  • Rusty/damaged main panel.
  • Stains around base of toilet or under the sink.
  • Poor water pressure.
  • Drains slow to empty.

Whether you find any of these issues yourself or not, it is important to call a home inspector and get a thorough, professional opinion. If you are in the Bergen County NJ area, call us at Aurora Home Inspections for your complete home inspection.

 

The Difference Between Mold And Mildew

The Difference Between Mold And Mildew

The Difference Between Mold And Mildew

Mold and mildew are both fungi and are both very similar to each other. However, there are some key differences between them. It is important to know the difference between mold and mildew, and the effects they can have on your health and home. When you have a problem with mold or mildew in your home it is important to have it taken care of as quickly as possible. Call us at Aurora Home Inspection to find out about our Mold Detection For NJ Homes.

 

We’ll begin with mold. Mold is usually fuzzy looking, and comes in several different colors.. It can be blue, green, yellow, brown, gray, black, or white. Mold can also cause numerous health problems, including respiratory problems, allergic reactions, migraines, inflammation and pain in the joints, mental status changes, and extreme fatigue. It can also cause structural damage to the home on top of all that. There are some beneficial uses to mold though. Mold is  used in food production. It is used to make cheese. Mold is also used to make medications, such as penicillin.

Depending on the kind of mold you are exposed to you make experience…

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throats
  • Migraines
  • Sinus infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Allergic reactions
  • Rashes or hives
  • Inflammation and pain in the joints
  • Mental status changes (depression, forgetfulness)
  • Extreme fatigue

Unlike mold, mildew grows in a flat pattern. It can appear powdery and also can appear downy. Powdery mildew usually looks either white, yellow, brown, or black. Downy mildew will appear yellow but then turn brown. Mildew is a threat to plants and crops, causing them severe damage. It also causes health problems just as mold does, only not on as broad a spectrum.

Exposure to mildew can cause:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches

Mold is definitely a bigger threat to your health and your home, but that does not make mildew harmless. The difference between mold and mildew is very small. You definitely do not want either of these to build up in your home.

Aurora Home Inspections in Bergen County NJ has the experience and educational background to perform a thorough and complete Home Inspection. We offer an industry leading 100% satisfaction guarantee. Headquartered in Bergen County, NJ, we also serve the NY metro areas.

Keeping Your Home Secure During The Summer

Summer Vacation Home Safety Tips

Home Security Bergen County NJ

Summer time is the most relaxing time of the year, but it’s also peak time for break ins. Criminals know that people tend to be out of the house more often in the summer, especially for extended periods of time on vacation. To make sure you can truly have a relaxing summer, and come and go as you please, here are some tips on keeping your home secure during the summer.

Lock your doors and windows!

Yes, it may seem obvious and silly to even mention, but thieves will look for the path of least resistance. If you accidentally forget to close a window, the odds of your home being broken into go up dramatically.

Have a neighborhood meeting.

You don’t have to start a full out neighborhood watch to keep a watchful eye. Police highly recommend getting together with your neighbors and keeping each other up to date on vacations and visits from people they may not recognize. You should all agree to never confront any potentially armed thief, but to immediately call 911 if you spot something that doesn’t look right.

Don’t let repair people in without a full check.

If a repair professional shows up in your neighborhood soliciting business in an unmarked van or without proper identification, do not hire them. They may simply be looking to either con you, or they may be casing your home. Always check up on them before letting them in! This includes home inspectors! You can be sure though, that with Aurora Home Inspection, we will always have the proper identification.

Secure your yard as well as your home.

There are undoubtedly valuables outside your home as well. Maybe a lawnmower, a jet ski or a motorcycle? Make sure to always have them securely locked and engrave them so if they are stolen, they are easily identified. Plus, if a thief sees this, he will simply move on.

Don’t post your vacation plans on social media

Wait until vacation is over to share your photos and comments. Thieves are notorious for trolling Facebook and Twitter. Telling them when you are not home gives them a huge advantage.

These may all sound like common sense, but many people forget to do these simple things. By following these tips you are greatly ahead of the game in keeping your home secure for the summer.

 

How to choose a home inspector

How to choose a home inspector

how to choose a home inspector

Choosing a home inspector may seem like an overwhelming task. However it is actually a very simple process when you keep just a few important factors in mind. These tips will tell you exactly how to choose a home inspector.

To begin, you will want to be sure that your inspector is properly licensed. All Aurora inspectors are certified master inspectors. You can be sure that with Aurora your inspector is experienced, educated and has the highest of standards. With any inspection, you should always ask for verification on these issues. As a homeowner, you can never be too safe.

Read more about what it takes to be a certified master inspector.

Any good inspector will have a good reputation. Online reviews, social media interaction and word of mouth from you friends and neighbors should give you a good idea of who you should trust to work on your property. It’s always a great idea to look local. A local inspector will have the right knowledge of the common environmental issues in your area.

Check out our excellent reviews from our customers.

Price is of course a factor when choosing a home inspector. You want to make sure you get a fair price but always keep in mind that the lowest price is not always the best price in the end. Always factor reputation, experience and customer service into your choice.

Your home inspection is a very important event. Take your time when choosing your inspector and keep these important factors in mind when deciding how to choose a home inspector.

Aurora Home Inspections is conveniently headquartered in Bergen County, NJ. We also service the NY metro areas for your home, apartment and condo inspections.

5 Common Home Inspection Pitfalls

5 Common Home Inspection Pitfalls

5 Common Home Inspection Pitfalls

Home inspection is an incredibly important step in buying a new home. There are, however several common mistakes people make involving home inspection all the time. To avoid possible headaches in the future, avoid these 5 common home inspection pitfalls.

Not inspecting new construction.

It’s a rookie mistake that even the most seasoned home buyers occasionally make. Just because a home is up to code and looks good does not mean everything is perfect. Sometimes too good to be true is just that. Are all the support beams in place in the crawl space? Are all the safeguards in place against flooding and pests? These things can not always be seen with the naked eye.

Not doing your homework

Price matters, but you cannot choose your home inspector based on the lowest price. You need to choose someone with a proven track record of competence, fairness and trustworthiness. Do you research. Choose a company like Aurora Home Inspection who is well known and trusted in the Northern New Jersey area.

Not being there for the inspection

A written report will not always give you the whole picture, even if it is perfectly detailed. Some things need to be seen to be understood. If you don’t go along on the inspection, you may misunderstand a minor problem and think it is a big one. Your inspector can settle your nerves right then and there if you are there with them.

Not following up on recommendations

If you ignore a problem that was brought to your attention by your inspector until after you close on the property, it may end up costing you a lot more money in the long run. Have all issues further evaluated before closing to avoid potential future headaches. Always stay proactive.

Taking warranties literally

A home inspector can advise you on the age of appliances for example, and their life expectancy. He can’t, however tell you exactly when yours will give out. An air conditioning system can last on average for 10 years. That means yours may last way longer, or may give out much earlier. So, do your homework and use your best judgement on repairs, maintenance and replacement of these systems.

 

A home inspection will give you peace of mind knowing that your new home will be a healthy, safe place to live for you and your family. Call Aurora Home Inspection for your Bergen county New Jersey Home Inspection.