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Have a Green Lawn with Less Work

August 4th, 2020 by tisner


Summer is here and that means grilling out, fun in the sun, cooling off in the pool, and mowing grass! If that last activity causes some angst, you are not alone! There are ways to keep your lawn looking great without filling so many of your precious hours
 at home with yard work! 

  • Planting the right grass:  If you are planning on creating a lawn, whether by sodding, plugs, or seeds, find the type of grass that will grow best in your region for best results.   
  • Water correctly:  Not sure how much water your sprinkler is delivering? Set out tin cans (tuna cans work well) and keep an eye on their water level.  You will soon figure out how long you need to leave the water on for your grass to get what it needs (about 1-2 inches per week). 
  • Feed less often:  Applying fertilizer twice per season is best:  Spring and mid-Summer. Fertilizing too much will cause growth, which causes more mowing!  Spread fertilizer when the grass is dry, so the grains do not stick to damp blades and burn the plant. 
  • Maintain the mower:  Keep your mower’s blades sharp, as a dull blade leaves a jagged edge, which causes yellowing, and the need for more water. 
  • Know the magic number:  Different grasses require different cutting heights, and no more than one-third of that optimum number should be cut each time you mow. 
  • Let it grow:  Want less weeding and watering to do in your manicured lawn? Longer blades not only help shade the soil and retain moisture, but they do not allow weeds to get sunlight, or at least keep their growth to a minimum. 
  • No raking needed:  Using the mulching feature as you mow will allow the clippings to be cut well enough to leave on the lawn and become fertilizer as they decompose. 

Lawn maintenance does not have to take up all your free time each weekend.  Taking more time to relax your habits for yard work will allow more time for relaxing in general so you can enjoy the yard you have put time and energy in! 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: energy.gov

Stayin’ Cool With Ductless Mini-Split Systems

July 23rd, 2020 by tisner


There’s nothing like a glass of cool lemonade on a hot summer day, unless of course the reason it’s so hot is that your air conditioner needs to be replaced. In that case, a new air conditioning system is pretty much the best thing ever. Maybe yours has lived a long and full life and is ready to be replaced, or perhaps you’ve added on to your home and need a solution for cooling that EZ Bake Oven you’ve created. In either case, installing a new ducted air conditioning system or plopping a window unit into the nearest window aren’t your only choices. You could go with Door Number Three: the ductless mini-split system.

What is a Ductless Mini-Split System?

Ductless mini-splits are air conditioning systems that are made to cool (and sometimes heat) smaller spaces. They can work together to improve climate control in entire homes and can even replace a traditional ducted system. Much like a central air conditioning system, there are two parts: the condenser, which is installed outside, and the inside air handler.

The main difference from traditional systems is that they don’t use ductwork, so they eliminate a ton of temperature loss that would normally occur in your crawlspace or attic. And unlike a window unit, a ductless mini-split system can be hung out of the way of windows, since it only requires a three-inch hole to run the refrigerant lines and electrical controls.

Advantages of a Ductless Mini-Split System

There are a lot of reasons to love a ductless mini-split, but energy efficiency has to be up there among the top. These systems can have SEER ratings of around 28, which is substantially more efficient than a ducted system’s 13 SEER national minimum requirement. Of course, a ducted system’s rating will vary by unit, but generally speaking, the higher the SEER rating, the higher the price tag.

Ductless mini-splits systems also boast these advantages over a traditional central HVAC system:

  • More precise control of room temperatures. Mechanically, one of the most important differences between ductless mini-split systems and traditional systems is that mini-splits are controlled by an inverter system that allows your heat or air to come out of the air handler at the temperature you set. This is different from a ducted air conditioner that only blows air at one temperature, constantly switching on and off to maintain room temperatures.
  • Ability to set room temperatures independently of one another. Although zoning is possible with ducted systems, it can be costly to install and is not a reasonable solution for many rooms that need different temperatures. This is especially a concern in multi-generational households or those where the home heats or cools irregularly throughout the day. With a ductless mini-split system, you can set the living room to stay a constant 72 degrees despite the heat baking your picture window, without your office having to become an ice cave. Everybody wins!
  • No more dirty air cycling endlessly. Ducts are filthy, there’s no question about it. This is just an inevitable side effect of their design, especially in an older house that’s had decades or generations to collect substantial amounts of dirt in the home’s ductwork. Ductless mini-splits are just that: ductless. Each unit has its own filtration system, and there are no ducts for dirt to settle in, keeping room air significantly cleaner all the time.

When Not to Split?

Not every house is going to be a great candidate for a ductless mini-split system, no matter how awesome they seem. Newer homes with highly efficient central HVAC systems that are in great shape or those that don’t generally have a lot of temperature differential across the structure likely won’t recapture the cost required to install these systems.

However, if you’re not sure if your home can benefit from a ductless mini-split system, you can always consult an HVAC expert for more specific recommendations. Sign up for your free HomeKeepr account to find the professionals you need.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli

Severe Weather Prep

July 21st, 2020 by tisner


Warm months mean severe weather in the form of storms:  lightning, rain, flooding, and/or damaging winds.  Are you and your family prepared?  Just like a fire safety plan, getting ready for the effects of severe weather should be done in advance. Follow th
e tips below to make sure you are storm-ready: 

  • Know your area’s evacuation routes and keep your car’s fuel tank full. An impending storm is not a good time to run to the gas station, and if severe weather has already blown through, power to run the gas pump could be an issue. 
  • Contact your insurance agent, and make sure all your policies provide the correct coverage. 
  • Outside, check any trees or large shrubs for diseased or damaged branches, and have them removed. Any trees with major damage should come down. 
  • Consider installing ground anchors for small outdoor buildings, so you can apply straps to them in case of high winds. You are not only protecting your own property but those around you as well. 
  • Have a family plan in place and have emergency contacts stored in every family member’s cell phone. At least one contact should be outside of your area. 
  • Practice drills as a family! Even children can learn what to do in case of emergencies, and older children can help with the younger ones.  
  • Create an emergency kit with the following items: 
  • at least three days’ worth of non-perishable food and water for each family member if you are evacuating, more if staying in place 
  • battery-operated radio, flashlights, and extra batteries 
  • cleaning items 
  • important documents or certified copies 
  • Find a more extensive kit checklist here. 

Do you already have all of these in place from years past? Great! But it is a good idea to go back to each and update any necessary information and replace outdated items in your emergency kit.  If you do nothing else, have a family plan, children included, so everyone will know what to do when severe weather strikes. 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: WNDU

Accentuate the Positives: Highlight Your Home’s Best Features

July 16th, 2020 by tisner


Your home’s a looker, so why aren’t you doing all you can to point all the attention at its best features? Maybe you’re afraid that drawing so much attention to the details will leave your friends jealous, or maybe you just need some ideas for how to make those interesting details even more obvious. Either way, there are plenty of tricks you can use to accentuate the positives in your home.

Painting to Perfection

Paint is just one way to make your home’s best features shine, and there are all kinds of methods to make this happen. You don’t have to be a professional painter to get a lot of mileage out of some basic attention-getting paintwork, though hiring a pro can certainly help you get exactly the effect you’ve got in mind.

One easy way to catch the eye is to paint an accent wall, a wall or a section of a wall that’s a different color than the rest of the paint in a room. The accent wall’s location and color will really affect how well it does its job, but if you have a wall with a feature you want people to look at, it’s safe to assume that would make a good accent wall. In addition, painting the inside of a bookcase or alcove a different color than the main wall color can also get serious looks.

Another way to make paint an absolute neon sign is to use it to draw out the details in interior or exterior trim. If your millwork is relatively simple, a basic white can really grab attention. If there’s extra fancy trim involved, try using different colors to offset the trim’s different levels of detail.

Light It Up!

There’s no easier way to highlight something specific than by putting an actual spotlight on it. Got a great mantlepiece? Point a spotlight on it so you can really draw attention to it, especially after dark. Spotlights are great for art, murals, alcoves and other good features in your home. Just be aware of their location and proximity to things like windows that might make a spotlight a little less wow.

You could also install other accent lighting, such as LED strips, on the underside of a floating cabinet, around a particularly interesting mirror or trim piece or within a cutout in your room. This can bring a little more focus on the things you’re doing with that space. When in doubt, light it out… err… up.

Make Some Space

It may sound simple, but one of the best ways to draw attention to the great stuff in your house is to get rid of a bunch of other stuff in your house. When you have too many interesting things in one room, it gets visually overwhelming quickly! So instead of storing all your collectables in one exceptional built-in, for example, just pick a few of your best to display so you leave plenty of negative space for contrast.

Eliminating bulky furniture, excess accent pieces and even pictures can also help the eye move to the architectural details. There’s a lot to be said for decluttering if you really want your house to stand out. Keep pieces that mimic or have features or styling in common with what you want to accent, and move out those that seem to clash with the details in question.

Need a Little Help Finding the Positives?

Not everybody has an eye for details, but some people do it every day. If you’re struggling to figure out how to really put a point on the hand carved details in your woodwork or aren’t sure which wall should be your accent wall, you’re not alone. Log into HomeKeepr for help locating the best painters, interior designers and other home pros in your area.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli

Choosing the Correct Fencing for Your Home

July 14th, 2020 by tisner


Are you looking for backyard privacy or need to provide a safe space for children to play or for pets to exercise? Deciding to install fencing on your property takes a few major decisions.  With so many types available, the purchase process can be confusin
g. Here, we will look at different types of fencing material to help you make your decision. 

  • The most common types of fencing are wood, vinyl, and metal.  
  • The type of wood you choose depends on your budget. Pine is inexpensive and treated to resist rot and insects. Different types of cedar and Douglas fir, on the other hand, is naturally resistant to moisture and pests and will cost more upfront. 
  • Wood composites are made of sawdust and recycled plastic. It looks like wood and comes in many styles, finishes, and colors. Most manufacturers of composites offer a warranty on their products, making it a more expensive choice, but a long-lasting one. 
  • Vinyl fencing is almost maintenance-free and comes in many styles. Costs are high initially, but its durability and little upkeep pay for themselves in the end. 
  • Wrought iron, aluminum, and chain link fencing are all long-lasting choices. Chain link is likely the easiest for DIY, but the others would be best installed by a pro. Maintenance for wrought iron mostly consists of painting and keeping an eye out for rust.  
  • If cost is not an option but security and durability are your concerns, there is the option to have steel fencing installed.  
  • Hiring a fencing contractor is a smart move because they are knowledgeable about materials and styles that perform well in your area.  Installing fences is what they do; their expertise can save you money and time in the long run. 

Consider a living fence, grown from such plants as privet or another evergreen, but that will require some patience as the plants fill in. Remember to check with your local municipality or homeowner’s association for permits and regulations regarding your plans. 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: Rustic Fence Company

Green Indoor Gardening

July 7th, 2020 by tisner


Fresh produce, right in your own home, using what you have? Yes, it is possible! 
Gardening is just one way to boost your mental health, and when you are using what you have as planters, and even food scraps to get your plants, it is a win-win!  

So many of our food containers get tossed into the recycle bin these days, so why not use them for planting? Plastic is the easiest material to plant in because you will need to drill holes in the bottom for drainage. Add small gravel or shredded newspaper to the bottom to help the water drain away, and fill with potting soil made for indoor plants. Ideas are not limited to these types of containers: 

  • Coffee containers 
  • Milk jugs 
  • Laundry detergent/bleach jugs 
  • Disinfectant or baby wipe containers 
  • Soft drink bottles 
  • Cat litter jugs 

Metal cans and tins would work well, too, especially for plants with shallow roots. Add sturdy tape (like electrical tape) around the top edge, use a hammer and large nail to put in drainage holes, and you can have an indoor herb garden on your windowsill! Another–and surprising–idea is using cardboard boxes to grow a variety of plants, depending on the depth of the soil in the box. Why not give this unique approach to container gardening? Birds & Blooms tested out a few different methods and found the right way to use boxes.  

Plants that will grow well indoors: 

  • Root vegetables like carrots, onions, beets 
  • Most herbs:  basil, parsley, sage, dill, rosemary, chives 
  • Tomatoes can be grown inside, but that job is best for Winter, as a sunny window can get too hot inside. 
  • Houseplants do not have to be only green in color! Add a burst of color to your interior with African violets, begonias, kalanchoe, jasmine, and geraniums. 

Another way to save waste–specifically food waste–is to regenerate food scraps instead of throwing them out or composting them! 

  • Leafy veggies like lettuce, celery, or bok choy will sprout new plants from the base. Placed cut-side up in a dish with about ½” of water in a sunny window will soon produce new leaves, and eventually, a full-grown plant ready for the table! 
  • Try the other side of root vegetables, the greens, by placing the cut-off top of a beet, turnip, or other root vegetable into a dish of water. Leaves can be sautéed or used in a salad. 
  • Many have seen how to grow a pineapple plant from scraps, but other fruits may need more care and patience.   
  • Seeds from peppers will produce plants, just be sure to use seeds from the red fruit; the green peppers, though delicious, are not ripe, and neither is the seeds inside. 
  • Planting seed from fruits like apples and even citruses can be fun to watch grow into a small tree, but all take years before producing any yield. Avocado trees, for instance, can take up to thirteen years before producing. 

If you plan on creating a growing space inside, make sure the amount of sun, the temperature and humidity levels are right, and you can have a small garden at your fingertips. Not to mention that gardening is good for the soul, and we all can use some of that right now! 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: Chicago Sun Times 

Closet Clean-Out!

June 30th, 2020 by tisner

Do you open your closets with dread, knowing it’s going to take several minutes to find that certain pair of shoes, or for fear that something will fall off the top shelf onto your head? As dreaded as it can be, now is a great time to get said closets cleaned out and better organized! The longer you dread it, the more it will be piled up, so let’s get to work now! 

Clothes First 

  • Have an empty box or laundry basket handy and take everything on the handing rod off so that you must look at everything as you’re cleaning. 
  • If it hasn’t been worn in six months, doesn’t fit, or you simply don’t like it anymore, get rid of it.  
  • Try on anything that you’re not sure about. If you still love it, and it fits, keep it. Otherwise, send it to the declutter box. 
  • Business attire can be donated to charities that assist those on limited incomes with their wardrobe for job-hunting.  Women’s clothing can be donated through dressforsuccess.org, and men’s clothing is accepted through careergear.org. Be sure to check with any organizations for their policies for donations. 
  • Once you’ve gone through everything, re-hang your items by color or season so you won’t be spending a lot of time hunting them down. 

Shoes, Accessories, etc. 

  • Same as with clothing, get rid of any shoes or accessories you haven’t worn in a long time, no matter the reason.  
  • Organizing shoes can be a pain with or without their original boxes. Purchase clear plastic shoe boxes in bulk at a discount store and use them to store lesser-worn shoes. 
  • Place hangers on the back of the closet door or other little-used space, and hang hats, ties, scarves or even jewelry.  Keep your most-used items at eye-level. 
  • Storing sweaters on a hanger isn’t the best thing for the sweater–they’ll end up misshapen. Fold them and place them in a plastic storage container lined with fabric softener sheets or sachets. A hanging shoe organizer would be another great way to keep them in shape--just roll them up and put them in the pockets. 

General Closet Organization 

  • Add a second rod to your hanging space, which can be a DIY for one day, or purchase a kit that makes this one a cinch to add more storage. 
  • For closets with limited space, use wall-mount towel rods and shower curtain hangers to hang handbags or other odds and ends. 
  • Use laundry baskets for storing odd items on the top shelf. 

Don’t forget to wipe the closet down when you remove everything for sorting. Wipe down the walls and shelving with a mild cleanser and warm water. Once everything is clean and organized, set aside an hour at every season’s change to keep it that way. 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: vibe

Smart Homes and Mesh Networks

June 25th, 2020 by tisner


Smart homes and smart home tech are becoming increasingly popular these days. Various smart home devices, sensors and more can add new functions to a home, automating some tasks and even increasing your home’s security. Unfortunately, some homeowners run into problems with smart home devices that have to be on the same home network to interact. Traditional WiFi extenders sometimes create separate but overlapping networks, meaning that devices outside of the range of your wireless router might not work correctly.

There are ways to get around this, however. One option is to set up a mesh network within your home. Unlike traditional WiFi extenders, mesh network extenders create a single wireless network that all your devices can attach to. If you’re considering adding smart home devices and have signal problems within your home, a mesh network setup is definitely worth considering.

What Exactly Is a Mesh Network?

With a standard WiFi network, your router or other access point typically serves as a hub for network connectivity and any extenders or other network components connect directly to it. Mesh networks are set up a bit differently, however. In a mesh network, each device connects not only to that central hub but also to each other. This creates a “mesh” of paths throughout the network, allowing signals to route through the network in multiple ways to ensure even coverage. This helps to prevent dead spots or weak signals, eliminating the need for overlapping wireless networks.

Do You NEED a Mesh Network?

Mesh networks can be useful, especially if you’re trying to keep smart home devices on the same network so that they can interact with each other. Depending on your home and where your wireless access point is located, though, they may not be entirely necessary. If your router is centrally located, or has a strong enough signal to provide good coverage throughout your home, your smart home devices should be able to communicate even without a mesh network.

With that said, mesh networks can be very useful if some parts of your home have weaker signals than others or if you plan on adding devices outside of your home and aren’t sure how well your network will be able to handle it. Even if your network seems adequate for your needs, you may consider a mesh option to create more uniform coverage.

Smart Home Devices on the Mesh

There are a wide range of smart home devices that could benefit from being connected to a mesh network. Devices such as cameras and intrusion sensors should stay online and connected, regardless of whether they’re inside or outside the home. Likewise, safety sensors such as smart smoke detectors need to be able to communicate, as do heat sensors and even leak sensors, to ensure that your home is well covered without the need for multiple devices or apps to help them stay connected. Even devices such as smart door locks and a smart thermostat can benefit from being on the same network to make automatic temperature adjustments more intuitive depending on whether the doors are locked or not. The more you’re able to connect your devices to a single network, the more likely you are to come up with innovative ways for your various smart home devices to work together.

The Smart Home of Your Dreams

Whether you want just a couple of smart home devices or a fully automated house, picking the right components to make your home a little smarter can sometimes be a daunting task. This is especially true if the devices you want actually need to be installed as opposed to simply plugging them in. Fortunately, HomeKeepr can help you get the smart home you want. Sign up for a free account today to connect with electricians and other specialists who can help you pick the devices you need and get them installed at a price you can afford.

By: Homekeepr

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Six Home Items You Should Inspect Now

June 23rd, 2020 by tisner


Home ownership is a big responsibility! Sure, you have the financial responsibilities, but what about maintenance? Letting your house just sit and be a shelter for you is not
 going to work, even if you live in a newly constructed home. It is up to you to keep it in tip-top shape! Take a day to go over these items to make certain all is well at your house: 

  • Roof:  Your roof is probably your home’s most important part of its structure, so inspect it well:  take binoculars or use your phone’s camera to zoom in on the roof and look at every aspect. Check for damaged, missing, or curling shingles. For a tile roof, look for cracks or missing tiles, and metal roofs should be gone over for loose screws or damage to the metal. On a rainy day, go into the attic and check for leaks. Have any issues repaired as soon as you possibly can. 
  • Foundation:  The other important side of your home is its foundation. Check for cracks in the bricks, look at the grading around the outside (making sure water is running away from your home), and check for gaps in the outdoor walls and windows. On the inside, look for sagging floors or bowing walls, doors that do not want to close or windows that do not want to open. These are all signs of possible foundation issues. 
  • Siding:  Look for peeling, blistering, or fading paint, as these may be signs that you need new siding. Check for rot and warping on the soffits and any fascia boards. Visible mold can be a sign of a major moisture issue and should be investigated by a pro. 
  • Plumbing:  Grab a flashlight and go under your sinks and look for any signs of leaking. Toilets can leak “silently,” and you can figure out where the leak is coming from with a little food coloring and time.  Inspect around the water heater for any signs of leaks as well. 
  • Smoke/CO Detectors:  If you have battery-operated detectors, checking the batteries is fine, but you need to be sure they are working as well. CO detector kits are available at most home stores and testing a smoke alarm is as simple as blowing out a candle and allowing the stream of smoke drift towards the smoke alarm. Be sure to let everyone in the house know you are “crisis testing” the alarms! 
  • Gutters:  On a rainy day, or using the water hose, check to be sure gutters and downspouts are running freely (no clogs), and have no leaks around the seams. 

Taking the time to look carefully at possible problems in your house can save you time and money down the road, especially if you plan on reselling the house in the future. You are protecting your investment and protecting your family as well. 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: StormGuard

Explaining the Air Conditioning Freon Ban to Buyers & Sellers

June 17th, 2020 by tisner

On January 1, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ban on Freon® went into full effect. This ban forbids the production or import of Freon (also called R-22) throughout the United States. Since many air conditioning units manufactured before 2010 use Freon, your Buyers and Sellers might wonder what the ban means for them. Here are some common questions you can help your Buyers and Sellers answer about the Freon ban.

Does the Freon ban require homeowners to have new air conditioning installations?

No, the ban does not require homeowners to have new air conditioning installations. If a homeowner’s current air conditioner uses Freon, they can still use that air conditioner. In fact, they can still have an air conditioning contractor recharge it with Freon.

However, finding an air conditioning contractor who works with Freon will be much more challenging. While the ban does not force HVAC technicians to stop using Freon altogether, it does make it much harder and more expensive to source. If they can find an existing supply, they can use it to recharge air conditioners. But once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. And some air conditioning contractors refuse to carry Freon anymore, either due to cost or because of negative environmental impacts.

If homeowners have Freon, can they get still get an air conditioning repair?

Yes. Homeowners who have air conditioners that use Freon can still get air conditioning repairs. The problem they might face is related to the refrigerant itself, rather than the entire unit.

For example, if a homeowner’s air conditioner fan burns out from routine wear, the fact that it uses Freon shouldn’t affect the air conditioning repair process. But if that air conditioner develops a refrigerant leak and uses Freon, the air conditioning repair process may get a little more complex. If the air conditioning contractor carries Freon, they may be able to fix it as usual. But they may also recommend either replacing the unit or retrofitting it.

Replacing the air conditioner is fairly straightforward. It can also be extremely expensive. With a home warranty from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10 HBW), it’s possible to get an air conditioner replaced for a much smaller Service Fee. This can be invaluable coverage for Sellers, since a broken down air conditioner can hurt their chances of a sale and cost a fortune replace out of pocket. But a home warranty would only cover a replacement if repairs weren’t possible and the problem was caused by routine wear and tear.

The other option a homeowner has is retrofitting their air conditioner to accept alternative refrigerants. This is a much easier and less expensive option than replacing the entire system. For more information about the process of retrofitting an air conditioner, you can read our guide to retrofitting.

Can homeowners recharge with a similar refrigerant instead of getting a retrofit?

No they can’t. Knowingly mixing refrigerants is illegal. When someone mixes refrigerants, it’s impossible to recycle and properly dispose of the mixed refrigerants. The goal of the Freon ban in air conditioners is to better protect the ozone layer (Freon damages the ozone layer). Mixing refrigerants defeats the purpose and can get homeowners in trouble, too.

Additionally, mixing refrigerants can damage the air conditioner. Alternative refrigerants require different parts to move through the air conditioner properly. But a quality air conditioning contractor can install these parts in a matter of days, not weeks or months.

Do alternative refrigerants work as well as Freon?

Yes! There are many alternative refrigerants to choose from, and they work just as well as Freon. These alternative refrigerants do the same thing Freon does but without the detrimental effects of Freon. Though the government ban will make Freon more difficult and expensive to source, alternative refrigerants are a great solution.

For example, a common alternative refrigerant is MO99. MO99 uses the same kind of oil as Freon, which makes retrofitting for MO99 easy for air conditioning contractors. Another alternative refrigerant, R-410A (Puron), is common in many air conditioners manufactured after 2013. You can get a full rundown of common alternative refrigerants using our guide.

Does a home warranty help address the Freon ban?

A 2-10 HBW home warranty can help address the Freon ban in several ways. Our Buyer and Seller coverage both come with unlimited refrigerant. No matter how many refills a Buyer or Seller needs under 2-10 HBW coverage, they can get it for the simple cost of a Service Fee. This can save Buyers and Sellers tons of time and money if their air conditioner leaks refrigerant.

(Please note that Sellers who want A/C and heat pump coverage as a part of their Seller coverage need to pay a one-time $50 fee. Also note that Seller coverage is $60 in Florida.)

In some cases, a home warranty can reduce the cost of an air conditioning retrofit itself. Though a home warranty doesn’t cover retrofits for units that haven’t broken down from routine wear and tear, it can lower repair costs.

Say a Seller has Seller coverage (including A/C coverage) and their air conditioner develops a refrigerant leak due to normal wear and tear during listing. They pay a small Service Fee for an air conditioning contractor to diagnose the issue. The contractor determines that to repair it, the only option is a retrofit. In that case, 2-10 HBW would pay the repair cost, which is a retrofit. This can save Sellers time and money while making the home more attractive to Buyers, since retrofitted units are easier to fix and maintain.

Whether a Buyer or Seller uses Freon or not, encourage them to keep maintaining their air conditioner! Proper maintenance is important to extending this expensive system’s life span. And before that inevitable day when the A/C breaks down, consider recommending a home warranty from 2-10 HBW. A home warranty protects expensive systems from unexpected breakdowns caused by routine wear and tear, making protecting a home simple and affordable.

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Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

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By: 2-10.com

Teri Isner, CIPS, CRS, GRI
Keller Williams At-The-Lakes
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