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Link love: Getting ready for winter, good use of small spaces, and easy ways to save energy

By John Kirchner September 29, 2010

Getting your home ready for winter
Home Renovation Guide
“Turning on that furnace for the first time after months of inactivity is often a shock. It can literally be a shock to your heating system, or it might be a shocking experience when you get your first heating bill! But there are common sense things you can do to get your heating system ready for winter. And, take it from a technician who visits a variety of homes every day, most people do not adequately prepare their home for the peak winter months. Here is some advice to consider before the next big chill.”

Just how important is a home energy audit?
CalFinder Blog
“Everyone wants to make their home more energy efficient, but most have no idea where to start. That’s where home energy audits come in handy. By completing a DIY audit or hiring a professional home energy auditor, you can begin cutting your energy dependence and lowering utility bills at the same time.”

Squeezing the most out of a small space
This Old House
“Karen Shen and Kevin Costello loved the extraordinary craftsmanship of their four-story 1904 Renaissance Revival brownstone in Brooklyn, New York, site of the current This Old House TV project. But to save money, the couple is renting out one and a half floors of the house, leaving about 1,500 square feet of narrow living space for them and their three boys. … Squeezing a family of five into a two-floor apartment posed several logistical challenges, but they managed to make a compact space feel like a roomy home. Here are a few of their best solutions for making a small house feel bigger.”

Design dilemma: 10 simple ways to save energy
Home Design Find
“When it comes to saving energy at home, a lot of us think we need to undertake major renovations or completely replace inefficient appliances to really make a difference. Costly measures like buying new windows or new energy-efficient refrigerators come to mind. Actually, though, there are a number of very small steps you can take to help reduce your energy and water use while helping you save money, too. None of these steps require that you buy a new appliance or invest thousands in home renovations.”