How Do we improve the air quality in our Homes?

 Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of air pollution or to reduce their emissions. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed; others, like gas stoves, can be adjusted to decrease the amount of emissions. In many cases, source control for air quality is also a more cost-efficient approach to protecting indoor air quality than increasing ventilation because increasing ventilation can increase energy costs.

Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Opening windows and doors, operating window or attic fans, when the weather permits, or running a window air conditioner with the vent control open increases the outdoor ventilation rate and serves as a simple form of air cleaners. Local bathroom or kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors remove contaminants directly from the room where the fan is located and increase the outdoor air ventilation rate.

It is particularly important to take as many of these steps as possible while you are involved in short-term activities that can generate high levels of pollutants–for example, painting, paint stripping, heating with kerosene heaters, cooking, or engaging in maintenance and hobby activities such as welding, soldering, sanding, model making and gluing.

However, remember that for most indoor air quality problems in the home, source control is the most effective solution.

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New Mortgage guidelines in effect since December 1st !

New Mortgage guidelines in effect since December 1st !

WASHINGTON-MAY 23: Fannie Mae's mortgage portfolio shrank at 19%Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac launched their new mortgage guidelines that went into effect last December 1st, now requiring a much lower down payment. From the previous 5% to 3% in what lenders hope will be a good kick start from a sluggish housing market that we have seen lately.

Now the brain trust at WalletHub has released its 2014 Mortgage Insurance Report to help low-down-payment home buyers save up to $12,000 on their decision between a Federal Housing Administration loan and private mortgage insurance.

On the other hand FHA premiums, unlike private mortgage insurance, continue to be assessed throughout the life of a loan, even if the loan to value ratio drops below 80%. This creates a huge cost disparities over time, between private mortgage and the FHA option.

New mortgage guidelines are expected to significantly increase the availability of more new purchases.

Do you really need Earthquake insurance?

Do you really need Earthquake insurance?

While earthquakes are more prevalent in the state of California, they can occur in any state. The truth is that an earthquake can occur and cause damage to your property in almost any state.

Earthquake insurance will cover damage to your dwelling and its contents caused by damage from and earthquake such as walls that collapse or valuables that are destroyed inside your home.

CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKEYour regular homeowner’s policy does not cover damage caused by earthquakes. You must either purchase an earthquake coverage endorsement or purchase a separate policy for earthquake insurance.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you will rely on government disaster assistance to help you recover losses from an earthquake.  Government disaster programs, such as FEMA, are designed to take care of immediate needs such as food, clothing, medical assistance and temporary shelter.

If you live in an earthquake prone area, the only way your property and contents will be covered is through Earthquake Insurance.

Do You really need Earthquake Insurance?  Only you can make this determination. Many people, especially people who do not live in earthquake prone areas choose not to get this coverage. Earthquake Insurance policies can be quite expensive. Just know that if you do not have earthquake insurance, rebuilding your home and replacing all of your valuables will come out of your own pocket.

The state of California offers earthquake insurance through the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). Individual insurance companies in the state can elect to participate in the CEA.  By law, if an insurance company offers homeowner’s insurance in the state of California, it must also offer earthquake insurance.

Mini-policies are also available which only cover your dwelling, excluding items such as patios, pools or other detached structures. This was introduced in 1996 by the California legislature in an effort to keep earthquake premiums affordable for homeowners.

Tips to Keep Your Home Protected in Time of Change

Tips to Keep Your Home Protected in Time of Change

Tips to Keep Your Home Protected in Time of Change

By Sandy Flores

Real estate instructor at the College of Santa Ana

 In California time daylight savings (DST, for its acronym in English) is adopted. The essential idea is to make better use of daylight hours. In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a memorandum of law on the time daylight savings. However, any state can choose to be or not within the time savings by passing a state law.

A new energy policy act changed the dates on which DST begins. The new dates have been in place since 2007.

Now the daylight saving time starts on the second Sunday of March and ends the first Sunday in November at two in the morning in most states in the United States.

For this reason, on Sunday November 7 at two in the morning we will have our clocks one hour delay. Return to the regular schedule time when DST ends in March.

It is advisable for these schedule changes to get used to change not only watches, but also perform some other tasks that improve the safety of our homes. For instance it is advisable to replace alarms smoke detectors and carbon monoxide as well as check functioning normally. The batteries of this type of alarms are not eternal and consumers should be alert to the possible effects of carbon monoxide poisoning or fire.

In November 2007, the Commission on Product Safety (CPSC for its acronym in English) published its recommendations suggesting not only verify that the smoke detector batteries and carbon monoxide are active, but also check the age of detectors and replace if necessary.

The CPSC suggests that consumers substituyan alarms smoke detector every 10 years and carbon monoxide five.

Sensors in these alarms lose effectiveness after a certain period as a result of environmental pollution and wear and tear.

Another important consideration is to prepare an emergency kit and supplies package for emergency or natural disaster. The kit should include essentials like water, canned food, flashlights, blankets, basic medicines, batteries, etc..

Once you have created and gathered all the materials home, spend time checking the contents thereof and the expiry date of foods and medicines containing. It is advisable to go changing all those perishable products to ensure that they remain in perfect condition for consumption.

“Millions of Americans are without adequate protection from fire and carbon monoxide because the battery is dead or the alarm is too old,” the temporary CPSC Chairman Nancy Nord.

CPSC confident consumers and families the necessary attention to control items that pose a risk of fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical or can harm children.

CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products and contributed to a 30 percent reduction in the rate of deaths and associated with consumer products over the past 30 years injury. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772, or visit their web site at www.cpsc.gov / talk.html .