Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Temperatures are cooling down and that means it’s time to start thinking of ways to prepare your Ball home for fall and winter. These simple steps can lower your utility bills and keep you and your family warm and comfortable throughout the cold season.
- Clear your gutters and downspouts from debris frequently throughout the fall. Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems, pest infestations, wet basements, foundation damage and many other expensive complications. Consider installing gutter guards to cut down on the amount of leaves that can clog your drainage system.
- Caulking is one of the least expensive home repairs out there, with some of the biggest energy savings. Caulk around windows and doorframes to prevent heat from escaping. Silicone caulk is great for outdoor use because it won’t crack or shrink when the weather gets colder. If your weather stripping is cracked or loose or you can see daylight from inside your home, consider replacing it.
- Now is the best time to get your lawn ready for the spring. By spreading seed now, you give the roots enough time to germinate and develop a good root system before the cold weather sets in. If you can, aerate your lawn before you put down fertilizer, which will allow moisture and nutrients to get into the roots. We’ve found a great tutorial from DIY Network on how to aerate your lawn. If you aren’t able to aerate, consider mulching dry, fallen leaves rather than raking them. When you mow, remove the bag and let the pieces fall among the grass blades. This will allow them to decompose and nourish your lawn over the winter.
- Change your furnace filter regularly. Before you switch over to the heat setting, contact a licensed heating contractor to inspect and service your gas heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Your local utility company will often provide this service for free. Also have your wood-burning fireplace inspected, cleaned and repaired to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Just because it’s getting cooler does not mean that your ceiling fan can’t help you lower your utility bills. Change the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling.
- Take the time to do some additional fall cleaning you don’t normally get around to, like laundering window treatments, vacuuming your mattress and box springs, and cleaning out the clothes dryer vent. These small tasks will help remove dust and dirt that can be circulated into the air while your home is closed during the winter months. This cleaning will also save you time when you begin your preparations for the fall and winter parties and guests you will be hosting in your home.
Are there any other maintenance tips you'd like to share? Let us know on our Facebook page!
Friday, September 20, 2013
The weather is finally cooling down and the leaves are about to change. With fall right around the corner, now is a great time to head out to local events with your friends and family. Here’s a list of a few things going on in Knoxville this fall.
Movies on Market Square, every Friday night, downtown Knoxville
The Knox County Public Library present Movies on Market Square beginning September 13th and running through October 18th. This FREE event happens every Friday night beginning at dusk in downtown Knoxville. Bring your chairs, blankets, and –of course– the kids for these fun, family friendly movies. For a list of the movies shown, visit their website.
34th annual Greek Fest, September 20-22, Friday & Saturday 11 am-10 pm, Sunday 12 pm-6 pm, St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 4070 Kingston Pike.
Enjoy authentic Greek food, Greek pastries, live music and traditional Greek dancing. Admission is $2.00 for adults. Weekend Passes are $3.00. Children 12 and under are free. For more information, visit http://saintgeorgeknoxville.com/GreekFest.dsp
7th Annual Louie Bluie Music and Arts Festival: A Celebration of the Life of Howard (Louie Bluie) Armstrong, Saturday, September 28, 10 am- 8 pm at Cove Lake State Park, Caryville, TN
The Louie Bluie Music and Arts Festival is named in honor of Howard "Louie Bluie" Armstrong, internationally acclaimed string band musician who grew up in the area and became one of the nation's finest string band musicians, as well as artist, storyteller, and writer. Enjoy live music, theater performances, a kid’s fun-zone, craft fair, and food court. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. For more information, visit http://louiebluie.org/
Foothills Fall Festival, October 11-13, downtown Maryville, TN
Nestled at the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Maryville, Tennessee hosts the #1 family event in East Tennessee. Enjoy music from local and famous entertainers, works from over 75 artists and crafters while the kids explore Children's Adventure Land. For a full schedule of concerts and events, visit http://www.foothillsfallfestival.com/.