Wichita Home

All About Wichita and Wichita Real Estate

Getting The Fireplace ready

It’s getting close to time to start thinking about firing up the fireplace, if you haven’t already.Fireplace

My friend in Wichita Kansas wrote me a note today telling me of problems with his sealed artificial log  gas fireplace in his home.  It would start up, burn for a few minutes then die out. The pilot light remained lit.

So he had a repairman come out. His unit had a condition called ghosting. It wasn’t getting  air.

Turns out a bird had built a nest in the exhaust vent! The combustion air comes from outside the house and was being blocked. Cost him a hundred bucks. Maybe he saved you the same.

Check your vents and chimneys for obstructions before using your fireplace this season, be it gas or a wood burner.

It’s always a good idea to have the chimney “sweeped” if you haven’t in while. Creosote, a highly combustible product, can build up in your chimney. Creosote is caused by the flu gas, or smoke, traveling up a relatively cool chimney where it condensates. The carbon based condensation that materializes in the flue is creosote.

Creosote in your chimney can catch fire….and that’s never a good thing.  So be pro-active, be safe and do proper maintenance on your fireplace this season.

November 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Repairing Windows to Save Money

At home in Wichita Kansas the extreme weather conditions and fluctuations can play havoc on our real estate.

Replacing windows in your home is sometimes a necessity.  Most of the time they can simply be repaired to save energy, money on utility bills and thousands in replacement costs.

Of course window manufacturers will tell you there is only one option, but we know better!

With age and abuse (abuse caused by non-maintenance mostly) windows will start to become “worn”.  The sashes become cracked and peeling, the glass rattling in the wind or condensation has begun to appear in between panels on vinyl insulated windows.

When maintained properly wood windows can last forever, or at least seemingly so.  When not they tend to quickly degrade.  Repair neglected sometimes rotting wood windows with a penetrating liquid epoxy and paint. Strip off old glazing that holds in the glass and replace. This doesn’t require a degree and anyone can do it.

Old double hung windows with counter weights for assisting in raising sashes are often broken. New replacement lifting products can be installed and the  cavities inside the walls from the old mechanisms can be filled with foam to prevent heat loss.

Replace latches, hinges and locks.

Non wood windows such as aluminum or vinyl just need caulk. Seal around the windows periodically and replace the gaskets that hold the glass in when needed. Loose aluminum sashes can be fixed by tightening the screws at the corners.

Most of these repairs can be completed in a day or two. The savings in energy costs are well worth the minimal effort involved and saving energy is good for the environment!  Supplies such as caulk, glazing, weather-stripping, foam and gaskets can be picked up down the block at the corner hardware store.

So turn off the game, get off the couch and make yourself useful.

September 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Much Is Really Saved?

In Wichita Kansas where I hold my real estate license energy conservation and efficiency is not as well promoted as it is in other parts of the country and the world.

It’s often pondered by consumers just how much money is actually saved in utilizing energy efficient programs, improvements and products. After all making a home energy efficient is in itself an expense. Here are some numbers calculated by greenandsave.com. Measurements are based on a 2,500 sq ft home.

Annual 10 year Return on
Cost Savings Savings Investment
Programmable Thermostat $115 $180 $1,800 156%
CFL $60 $80 $800 133%
Standby power reduction $20 $24 $240 120%
Hot water heater blanket $25 $20 $200 120%
Shower heads $180 $200 $2,000 111%
HVAC tuneup $200 $180 $1,800 90%
Seal duct leaks $450 $300 $3,000 66%
Water filters $200 $104 $1,040 52%
Water efficient toilets $50 $25 $250 50%

July 18, 2010 Posted by | Home, kansas, real estate, Wichita | , , | Leave a comment

CFL or The Old Fashioned Light Bulb

There are two price tags associated with the purchase of every light bulb:  The first being the price paid in the store and the second is the cost of the energy that your new bulb will consume in your home.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s) use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.  Changing five standard light bulbs over to compact fluorescent lamps would save you thirty dollars every year.

When buying real estate these days a lot of new homes are equipped with CFLs.

The environmental impacts are even greater.  If every household changed just one incandescent light bult to an ENERGY STAR labeled CFL, the country would save over $73 million in energy costs every year and reduce green house gas emissions by 397,000 tones of carbon dioxide- which would have the same impact on the environment as taking 66,000 cars off the road for one year.

And that’s all well and good. But…have you seen the prices of those energy efficient bulbs? Here in Wichita Kansas their expensive. Notice though the prices are going lower all the time as demand increases.  CFLs are supposed to last for 7 years. Many studies have been done that prove that you will save money, and energy, by switching.

July 16, 2010 Posted by | buy, Home, kansas, real estate, Wichita | , , , , , | 4 Comments

   

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