Dear Friend…

Determining and addressing energy drains in your home can save hundreds of dollars annually–and you don’t need a professional to catch basic issues. In today’s Service For Life!® Free consumer newsletter, you’ll learn some simple ways to inspect and fix common energy problems with a do-it-yourself home energy audit.

You’ll also learn how to help a loved one suffering from depression, how to predict the weather using clues in nature – plus fun facts, a trivia challenge, and lots more.

Boodie Madden
Licensed Residential Builder / Contractor
Carolina Realty and Construction, LLC
and Real Estate Broker
Real Estate Partners, LLC

P.S. When you notice people talking about real estate in the next few weeks, can you tell them about the free consumer information I provide?

They may be people wanting to move into a smaller home. To help them learn important tips and strategies for getting a fast, top dollar sale, tell them about my Free Consumer Report called, “Secrets For Selling Your Home For Top Dollar.” Then give them my phone number 803-600-2125. Or,

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Today’s Brain Teaser . . .

You walk into a room with a kerosene lamp, a candle, and a fireplace. What do you light first?

(see answer below)
How To Save A Bundle On Your Home Energy Bill

Have you ever conducted a “Home Energy Audit” on your home? It could save you a lot of money by lowering energy costs. A home energy audit evaluates how much energy your home uses. Though a professional audit is a good idea, here’s how you can conduct a personal walk-through assessment of your own to help cut costs.
Seek out air leaks or drafts. Look for gaps along baseboards, on the edge of flooring, around outlets and switches, and where walls meet the ceiling. Anywhere two different building materials meet is a potential place for leakage. If there are cracks or holes, seal them (depending on where they are, use caulk or weatherstripping. You can search energy.gov for those products to learn how to use them).

Evaluate insulation. Insufficient insulation contributes to heat loss, especially in older homes, but it’s inexpensive to fix. Find out how much insulation is recommended for homes in your area, then go into your attic and measure the depth of your home’s insulation. To measure insulation in the walls, you’ll need an infrared thermometer, which can usually be rented from stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Assess heating and cooling features. Furnaces, air conditioners, and other similar features should be inspected annually or as recommended by the manufacturer. Check and replace filters as needed, and make a note to keep them cleaned and changed on a regular basis (usually monthly).

Identify energy-sucking appliances and electronics. Even if you aren’t using them, anything that is plugged in to an outlet may be consuming standby power. Common culprits include office equipment like printers and kitchen appliances such as coffee makers. Unplug these items when they aren’t in use, or plug them into a power strip that can be turned off.
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Thinking Of Buying A Home Soon?

If you’re planning to buy a home in the next 6 months, you’ll want a copy of my Free consumer guide, “7 Secrets For Saving Thousands When Financing Your Next Home.” My report will help you avoid frustrations and costly pitfalls when buying a home. Simply call me to get a free copy…803-600-2125

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Help Someone With Depression

Depression isn’t talked about often, but about 7% of adults in the United States (nearly 16 million people) have shown signs of being depressed in the past year. If you know someone who shows signs of depression, here are four tips to help your friend or loved one:
Recognize symptoms. Common signs include lack of interest in things the person used to enjoy, problems with sleeping, showing feelings of hopelessness, and withdrawal from daily activities and conversations.

Listen. Do not deny what the person has to say. Instead, validate their feelings. Keep in mind that speech may be slow and less coherent, so be patient.

Encourage them to find help. You can provide support and listen to their concerns, but a trained professional should assist with long-term care. Offer to help find information for mental health resources or make an appointment, if necessary.

Enlist help from others. If they are resistant, talk to other important people in their lives (such as family, clergy, or healthcare professionals) to ensure they get the help they need.
If your loved one may be suicidal, don’t assume the situation will simply pass. Let them know you take their feelings seriously, and offer to accompany them to the hospital. Call their doctor or your own for advice if you need help deciding what to do. If it’s an emergency, call 911; responders are trained to deal with mental health crises. You can call the National Suicide Prevention hotline 24 hours a day for help and information at 800-273-TALK. You can also chat online with someone at: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

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Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Thank You! Thank You!

Thanks to all of my clients and friends who support my practice and graciously referred me to your friends and neighbors. Rather than pester people with unwanted calls and visits, I build my business based on the positive comments and referrals from people just like you. I couldn’t do it without you!

Thank You Debbie Bushee!
Fun Facts and Laughs

Can You Predict the Weather?

With a smartphone in hand, you always have the weather forecast at your fingertips. But how can you tell if it will be sunny, rainy, or stormy without this handy device?

Observe animals. Animal behavior often reflects a change in air pressure, which is often a sign of upcoming rain. Bees and butterflies disappear, and insect-eating birds fly lower to the ground.

Watch the moon. If you see a halo around the moon, it’s because ice crystals from high-altitude cirrus clouds are reflecting light. These clouds are a sign that a low-pressure warm front – and a storm – is on its way.

Time the thunder. Because light travels faster than sound, you can tell how far away a storm is – and whether it’s moving toward or away from you – by counting the seconds between seeing a flash of lightning and hearing the thunder. Divide the number of seconds by five, and that tells you the approximate distance of the storm.