Tips & Resources

Getting Ready for Fall

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Autumn is invariably a prelude of falling winter temperatures but along with the colder weather the symphony of vibrant red, orange and yellow foliage, lots of pumpkins and the anticipation of the holiday season. So while the weather is still cooperating here are some simple projects to get your home ready for the cold weather season.

  1. Stock up on furnace filters, clean ducts and consider switching to a programmable thermostat. (We love “Nest”)
  2. Get the Fireplace ready, make sure that it has been cleaned in the last 2 years, cap or screen the top of to keep rodents out.
  3. Inspect the roof, gutters and downspouts
  4. Service weather specific equipment, drain the gas from lawnmowers, service the snow blower to make sure its ready for use, replace old rakes and snow shovels, clean dry and store gardening equipment.
  5. Check foundation
  6. Check smoke and carbon dioxide detectors
  7. Check the windows to make sure that they close properly
  8. Remove mosquito screens
  9. Check the calking around the windows
  10. Consider Krumpers Solar Blinds so that you can enjoy the view while reducing your heating and cooling costs by up to 41%

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A well kept secrect: Healthy Home Tax Renovation Credit for Seniors

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Article Source: Ontario Ministry of Finance

The Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit is a new permanent, refundable Personal Income Tax credit to assist with the cost of permanent home modifications that improve accessibility or help a senior be more functional or mobile at home.

The credit is worth up to $1,500 each year, calculated as 15 per cent of up to $10,000 in eligible home renovation expenses that will help seniors stay safely in their homes. It can also be claimed by senior homeowners and tenants, and people who share a home with a senior relative.

Amounts claimed by couples are subject to a combined maximum of $10,000 in eligible expenses per year. Different family members in a shared home can claim the credit. However, the total amount of the eligible expenses that can be claimed, per year, by all of those family members cannot exceed $10,000.

What expenses qualify?

Some examples of eligible expenses include:

  • certain renovations to permit a first-floor occupancy or secondary suite for a senior
  • grab bars and related reinforcements around the toilet, tub and shower
  • handrails in corridors
  • wheelchair ramps, stair/wheelchair lifts and elevators
  • walk-in bathtubs
  • wheel-in showers
  • widening passage doors
  • lowering existing counters/cupboards
  • installing adjustable counters/cupboards
  • light switches and electrical outlets placed in accessible locations
  • door locks that are easy to operate
  • lever handles on doors and taps, instead of knobs
  • pull-out shelves under counter to enable work from a seated position
  • non-slip flooring in the bathroom
  • a hand-held shower on an adjustable rod or high-low mounting brackets
  • additional light fixtures throughout the home and exterior entrances
  • swing clear hinges on doors to widen doorways
  • creation of knee space under the basin to enable use from a seated position (and insulation of any hot-water pipes)
  • relocation of tap to front or side for easier access
  • hands-free taps
  • motion-activated lighting
  • touch-and-release drawers and cupboards
  • automatic garage door openers

Healthy Home Renovation Check

Contact Krumpers to install a new set of Krumper Solar Blinds to reduce heating and cooling bills by up to 40%.

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Take Care of Your Home’s Health, Like Your Own

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If your home could talk, its walls would tell you much more then just the history of the people whom inhabited its premise; it would ask, beg and nag for the attention it deserves.

healthy home

It would tell you “I am envious of you”. You go to the doctor, you heal yourself with medicine, but you neglect me. Perhaps you give me a quick cosmetic overhauls to keep my age a well kept secret, but I too need a physical. How grateful I would be to have new windows to keep me warm, or to just have a taste of the latest technology in efficiency. Your home is your castle, but how do you treat it? When you are cold you dress warmly and how do you dress me for those chilly days? Yes, you turn up the furnace but that’s just hard on me. I start to cost you more and all you think is that you might have to get rid of me.

Thus, I finally have a voice and on behalf of all homes I would like to beg and plead with you to take action. We homes will serve you better, cradle you in comfort and save you thousand of dollars if you the homeowner will just do a few of the measures we homes are asking. We can only respectfully request, as we have no unions or pension plans, and are at the mercy of your kindness. But believe us when we say, we shall pay you back in more ways that you could fathom, not only directly but indirectly, as we are all participants of this planet.

You have me inspected before you buy me, to quote Mike Holmes “Most Homes are NOT Inspected Properly” in the first place. Then you forget that I too age, and have issues and wants, or rather needs. You are lucky you get a physical every year; you brag that you are fortunate enough to have your own family doctor. As I age, my issues might be easily remedied if only caught early enough. A good inspection including an infra red scan (this scan will only run you between $150-$300) will be like an MRI for me and thus you can heal quickly and inexpensively.

We homes have all sorts of small deficiencies that are quickly and easily rectified. For instance, make sure my vents are actually vented to the outside, as prior to 1975 the building code did not require it. See how smart you have become over the years. Please have my chimney cleaned as I not only worry about you but I am petrified of burning down.

We also like to let you know that we love the view we have through the windows, but as soon as you are cold or hot you cover them up. Please get the latest technology. Get Krumpers Solar Blinds, we all get to enjoy the view and you get to save 40% off your heating and cooling costs. Krumpers Solar Blinds are the “Apple” of blinds, and we homes want to have a taste of the high tech toys you have had for years.

I know, I know as soon as I start to cost you money you just want to get rid of me. But if you click on http://krumperssolarsolutions.ca/news/ you will find all sorts of ways to save money and enjoy me for years to come.

I bow my head to you and await a promising future.

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Renovation Energy Rebates in Canada

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Scotiabank created an excellent resource for homeowners and contractors alike to calculate renovation energy rebates available to homeowners in Canada.

At http://ecoliving.scotiabank.com/rebates, consumers are able to find energy rebates available in their province.

See the average cost to complete the renovation, average savings, environmental impact and rebate amount. In this rebate list, the majority of items are related to improving your insulation (walls, windows and doors). Something that is not on the list is “insulating your windows“! With Krumpers Solar Blinds reduce winter heat loss by up to 45% and stops more than 92% of the U.V. rays. The heat control benefits are more than a rebate can ever offer.

“People think they’re being environmentally responsible by doing small things, like turning off the lights, but they forget about the big-ticket items like the cost of running an old furnace,” says Shaun Loney, executive director of BUILD.

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Green Renovation Ideas for Homeowners

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Kaz Flinn, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility at Scotiabank shared his insight with Home BUILDER Canada on how to continue encouraging Canadians to adopt energy efficient updates. Educating homeowners about green renovation ideas will further increase their interest to make these changes. 

“A June 2011 special report from Scotiabank found that while substantial progress has been made in improving household energy efficiency, more needs to be done, especially with energy usage and pricing on the upswing. “

“Canadians are increasingly adopting energy-efficient and environmentally friendly practices in their homes, and with the breadth and depth of knowledge available to builders and renovators, there is a distinct opportunity to inform even more Canadians of their green options. “

“As experts in their field, builders and renovators can educate clients about the benefits of using sustainable materials, appliances and lighting when completing a renovation. By demonstrating the savings on household electricity and water bills, these experts can show Canadians how simple changes are smart for both the planet and the wallet. “

“Additionally, government rebates available to Canadians at the regional and federal levels are excellent incentives to choose sustainable renovation options. The comprehensive rebate guide on Scotiabank’s EcoLiving website, www.ecoliving.scotiabank.com, shows the user rebates available by city and province and by renovation project.”

 Energy efficient renovations don’t need to be major. Small energy efficient updates can add to be to great savings.

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Aging Demographic Interested in Energy Efficient Renovations

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A great article was posted by Home BUILDER Canada’s website. This article was written by Mike Martin, owner of Michael J. Martin Luxury Renovations in Ottawa.

“Provincial and municipal agencies are also offering home renovation incentives and awareness campaigns to help industry growth with such incentives toward home efficiency and environmental stewardship.”

“The demographic is changing with 1,000 retirees a day in Canada. Therefore, renovators should gear themselves toward barrier-free renovation projects. Automation and efficiency is a primary concern for this demographic, and renovators should try and educate themselves with these elements to tap into this huge market.”

“Green renovations will continue to be an important facet of any project. Demands for “Green homes” include everything from HVAC systems to building materials to product finishes. Tying in energy efficient renovations to an existing house requires much up-to-date knowledge and technical know-how to make it “one” with a home.”

It is true that retired homeowners would appreciate the benefits of energy efficient renovations.

  • Many are now on a fixed income so would appreciate a reduced energy bill
  • Making updates to the home before selling to increase the value
  • Reducing allergens in the air and thus reducing illness
  • Increasing the warmth of the house, again reducing illness

As mentioned in Mike’s statement the aging demographic is most interested in “barrier-free renovation projects” so they can remain in the comfort of their home during renovations. Krumpers Solar Blinds is one energy efficient update that doesn’t alter your lifestyle.  Toxic-free, allergen-free, and affordable!

Article Source: ArcticFoam blog (permission granted)

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Reduce Heat Loss with Krumpers Skylight Blinds

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Most people install skylights because they want to brighten up their space with natural lighting. However, when adding an extra window, you are also adding another place for heat to escape.

Krumpers Solar Blinds is the ideal solution for skylights to continue letting the light in without letting the heat out.

Home Stars Review

My family has Krumpers Solar Blinds in the skylights in our home. They are wonderful products. They reflect the heat in summer, and in the fall, you reverse the blinds (easy peasy to do) so they’ll keep the heat inside. Besides the energy savings, we love the bright sunlight, but don’t like the glare – Krumpers’ blinds are a fantastic product to give us our natural light, but enabling us to still sit comfortably and/or watch TV in skylighted rooms (which we couldn’t do previously). Diana and Yuri are extremely professional, courteous, and knowledgeable people; and are very attentive to your needs. I’d highly recommend them, and their product.

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Energy Costs Continue to Rise in Ontario

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Sympatio Finance featured an interesting article last week titled “Little Protection for Consumers on Energy“. 

Jim McCarter, Auditor General, was addressing his findings relating to Ontario energy in his annual report. “Electricity bills are expected to rise 46 per cent over the next five years” says Jim McCarter. “Part of the the increase will come from billions of dollars of new wind and solar power projects that were approved without the usual oversight.”

“It’s “critical” that the government and its agencies have “good underlying information” to strike the right balance between promoting green energy and its impact on the price of electricity, he warned.” 

Click to read more about major Ontario Energy initiatives.

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