Sunday, February 01, 2015

Be Careful with Candles

Anthony Carr
(703) 819-9800
Weichert Realtors
6257 Old Dominion Drive
McLean, VA 22101

Be Careful with Candles

Few things can make you feel quite as cozy as the warm glow and pleasant aroma of scented candles. While soft candlelight and a welcoming fragrance can enhance your home, you should be aware that burning candles could also be damaging it.
Insurance claims for soot damage have increased in the past several years, in direct relation to an increase in candle sales. In fact, the cleaning and replacement of household furnishings damaged by soot has been reported to cost some homeowners tens of thousands of dollars.
It's not just furnishings that can be damaged by candle use though. Soot from burning candles can collect in heating and air-conditioning systems as well. Damage can develop over a couple of days or several years, depending on the home's airflow, the number of candles burned, and how long the candles are left burning.
In the past, some homeowners' insurers paid for the damage because they weren't aware of its cause. Many companies are now, however, denying such claims because the damage isn't accidental or sudden.
If you burn candles regularly, never leave one unattended or placed in an unsteady location where it could possibly fall. In addition to fire safety, keep candle wicks trimmed to ¼-inch and avoid drafty locations to reduce soot emissions.

Also in this issue...
Reduce Noise in Your Home
Touches of Luxury
Question and Answer
Work Out in Your Home Gym

Reduce Noise in Your Home

Noise can raise your stress level, whether it's barking dogs or loud music. You can make your home into an oasis of peace and quiet by following these sound-reducing tips:
Noise enters your home in the same locations where air seeps in, so use weather stripping or caulk to seal around your doors and windows. You may also want to consider installing energy efficient windows and solid wood doors.
Have your heating and air conditioning ducts wrapped with high-quality, fiberglass insulation.
Install acoustical tile to ceilings in noisy areas of your home, like the kitchen or children's rooms.
Hard surfaces can amplify sound, so soften your home by adding pillows, carpets or area rugs.
Hang curtains rather than window blinds.
Place pads underneath your washing machine, stereo and television to help absorb sound.
Line the bottom of cabinet drawers with rubber mats.
Add shelves filled with books along a wall.

Touches of Luxury

Indulge yourself and enhance the look and feel of your home by employing some of the same techniques used by luxury hotels.
Focus on your entryway. It can be both the first and last impression people will have of your home. Add a fresh coat of paint to the front door, accessorize by updating the knocker and welcome mat, and decorate with planters filled with colorful flowers.
Add distinguished touches by using crisp linen sheets for the beds and soft, thick towels in the bathrooms.
Create a comfortable space to read and write in every bedroom. Also keep guestrooms stocked with such tools as a reading lamp, pens, pencils and stationery.
Increase the natural light in your home by keeping windows sparkling clean and hanging sheer curtains rather than heavy drapes.
For a fragrant treat, add sachets of cedar or lavender to dresser drawers and closets.

Question and Answer

I have an opportunity to work from home but I'm not sure if I should take this step. How can I determine if I will enjoy it?
Many people yearn to work from home. This desire can become especially strong after a particularly hard day at the office or a miserable commute. But as dreamy as it may sound, not everyone is cut out to be their own boss.
Consider whether or not you have the type of personality to stay motivated without someone checking on your progress throughout the day. Will you be tempted to sneak off to the golf course or watch a couple hours of television?
People who tend to excel at working from home are highly independent and self-motivated individuals. If you enjoy being part of a team and getting constant feedback, you may miss the office environment.
If you decide to try working from home, draw both a mental and physical line between your work life and your home life. Have a spare room or at least a separate area that is devoted to work. Then, make sure you set and stick to office hours. If you don't define clear working hours, you may find yourself taking small breaks during the day and having to make up your work later in the evening. This can make you feel as though you are always working and never have enough time to relax.

Work Out in Your Home Gym

With busy schedules and expensive health club memberships, working out at home may save time and money. Here are some tips to make your home gym attractive, so you may be motivated to use it:
Make your home gym inviting by painting the walls an appealing color and hanging photos or other artwork.
Buy the best fitness equipment you can afford. Not only will this look nice, it will likely last longer and function better than less expensive equipment.
Arrange equipment with larger machines along the walls and smaller pieces more toward the center of the room. Maintain a clear path so you can move safely from one exercise to the next.
If you enjoy a little entertainment while you exercise, consider adding a television or stereo to your home gym.

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