TIP OF THE WEEK

Find the right insulation for your house

When shopping for insulation, it’s important to know your options. Three of the most common types are fiberglass batts, rigid foam panels (such as expanded polystyrene, or EPS) and mineral wool.

Fiberglass

* Pros – non-flammable, inexpensive

* Cons – difficult to install properly without leaving gaps, which renders the insulation much less efficient; handling danger due to glass powder and glass shards

EPS rigid foam panels

* Pros – excellent sound and temperature insulation; inexpensive; easy to install

* Cons – must cut pieces to fit around pipes, etc.

Insulation expert Paul Kopelson, regional sales director for Insulfoam, advises that EPS is the easiest for DIY-ers. “Other forms of insulation are challenging to install without leaving gaps and wrinkles that can cut the efficiency of the product in half,” he said.

Mineral wool

* Pros – easy to install; flame resistant

* Cons – more effective when combined with other forms of insulation (meaning more work to install); higher price

HEALTHY HOME

3 steps to a healthier, happier home

To make your home a healthier place, follow these tips:

* Stick to a maintenance schedule. Shutting your exterior faucets off before the winter, checking the batteries in your smoke detectors each month and cleaning your gutters are all simple tasks that, if done routinely, can make your home a safer, more enjoyable place for everyone inside.

* Clean up your air. Change your air filters regularly. Now there even are subscription services that automatically send you new filters, according to Canopy.

* Make cleaning a family affair. A clean home is a happy, healthy home but all of the work of cleaning needn’t fall on your shoulders. You can make it a team effort by devising a family cleaning chart and assigning specific tasks to each family member.

MADE IN USA

Luxury home products made in the US

Peruse any home improvement media and you may get the impression you just can’t build, renovate or decorate a quality home without relying on foreign-made products like granite from Italy for countertops, cherry hardwood flooring from Brazil or textiles from India. However, you don’t have to sacrifice quality and luxury in order to buy American for your home; some of the finest home decor products originate right here in the U.S.

For example, Ann Sacks tiles are handcrafted in its Portland, Oregon, headquarters. Other luxury items made in America include plumbing fixtures, smart medicine cabinets and mirrors, custom-made mattresses, carpeting and furniture.

OUTDOOR FALL CLEAN-UP

Now is a good time to trim trees

Look for weak trees or those with dead branches, particularly those near your home. As snow accumulates, the weight may bring down a tree or branches, potentially damaging your house.

Eliminate this risk by removing any dead trees or dangerous branches now before the first snow. Be safe by using the proper equipment for tree trimming and removal, or, consider hiring a pro to do so. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and handling this issue now could prevent costly damage to your home down the road.

— Brandpoint