4 Ways To Prep Your Home For Winter

(BPT) – When you start feeling those first hints of winter, the instinct to get ready kicks in. You may dig out your car’s snow brush, blanket, shovel and winter survival kit and place them in the trunk of your car. The winter coats and boots come out of storage, and you may pick up some extra mittens at the store.

We do these things to protect ourselves from the cold when we’re out and about. But what do you do to protect your house against the hazards of winter? If you don’t take time for maintenance and winterization now, you can end up paying for it later, whether it’s in the form of higher energy bills, frozen pipes or fixing a broken furnace.

Here are four problems that can hit home during the winter and what you can do to ward them off.

Sky-High Energy Bills:

Do your electric bills rise during the wintertime? Heating your home accounts for about half of your home’s energy bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Combat the cold by sealing off any cracks or gaps with caulk and inspect entrances for worn or broken weatherstripping. Schedule a furnace inspection tuneup with an HVAC contractor and consider installing a smarter thermostat. Learning thermostats, such as Nest, can remember your favorite temperatures, turning itself down when you leave for work, as well as returning to your favorite temp at the end of the day.

Water Leaks:

We take our pipes for granted, but we don’t always anticipate what can go wrong when we’re not home. According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage accounts for half of all property damage claims. Add winter’s freezing temperatures to the mix, and you can end up with a big problem if your home has a power outage or your furnace malfunctions.

For extra peace of mind, there’s now a leak and flood protection system you can purchase that shuts off your water main’s supply when it detects leaks – and sends an alert right to your smart device. LeakSmart installs directly to your home’s main water supply, and wireless sensors placed around the house can detect a leak or temperature changes and shut down the whole house water supply within five seconds. And when the LeakSmart Hub is powered by a battery back-up, the system will still work if the power and internet go out, so you don’t have to worry about coming home to water damage.

The system can work on its own or be integrated with smart home systems.

If you’re interested in learning more about how this smart device can protect your home, visit LeakSmart.com.

Power Outages:

When a winter storm hits, the ice and wind can break power lines and interrupt the supply of electricity to our homes. It’s not uncommon for some outages to last for days, which is why it’s always smart to be prepared.

Before winter hits, make certain your generator or other backup power source has ample fuel and is in good working order. Keep some basic supplies at the ready, so you can keep your family comfortable. Make sure you have extra blankets, stocking caps, batteries and fully charged power banks for your mobile phones. It’s also good to have a few gallons of fresh water and some cans of ready-to-eat chili and stew. If you have a camp stove, keep it in an easy-to-reach place, along with a fuel supply.

Ice Dams:

Another thing to watch for in the winter are pools of water forming on your roof. These can be caused by ridges of snow and ice, and eventually cause leaks to the interior of your home. Ice dams can also lead to the formation of large, pointy icicles that hang from the gutters, which can fall and injure people.

Luckily, a little work upfront can go a long way toward preventing ice dams and the damage they can cause. First, make sure the gutters and downspouts are clear of leaves and other yard debris, so the snowmelt has a place to go. Next, poke your head into the crawlspace of your attic and see if the insulation layer is still thick enough to keep the heat from escaping through the roof. While you’re up there, look for gaps and leaks. Finally, this is a good time to invest in a simple snow rake, so you can easily remove wet, heavy snow from your roof before the dams can start forming.

Now that you know the most common winter hazards that can hit home, you can take the steps to protect your investment and keep your family comfortable and safe.

5 Tips To Amp Up the Natural Benefits Of Your Yard

(BPT) – It’s easy to appreciate the sights and smells afforded by lawns and landscapes, but when it comes to your yard there is much more to consider besides pleasing aesthetics and aromas. Many would even be surprised to learn that the benefits of a lush lawn and stunning landscape design extend well beyond a yard’s perimeter.

That’s right, well-managed landscapes offer tremendous benefits for the community and environment. Here are just a few:

Scrubs the Air

Beautiful greenery, including grass, catch dust, smoke particles and other pollutants to make the air you breathe fresher and cleaner.

Protects Waterways

Well-maintained yards and lawns help prevent soil erosion and unwanted runoff into nearby lakes, streams and rivers.

Adds Oxygen

A 50-by-50-foot lawn produces enough oxygen to supply a family of four.

Boosts Home Values

The yard is the first thing a potential buyer sees, and it sets the first impression. If you plan to sell your home in the next few years, investing in your landscaping now can pay dividends later. A recent study by the National Association of REALTORS and National Association of Landscape Professionals found that investing in landscape maintenance recovers 100 percent of the cost at the time of sale!

Makes You Feel Good

Having a nice yard with lush turf and well-tended landscapes delivers some mood-enhancing properties as well. Looking at plants and trees, even through a window, has been found to lower stress and blood pressure, while walking among plants and trees improves attention and memory.

Ideas To Enhance Your Yard’s Natural Benefits

Now that you know the benefits of your lawn and landscapes, you may be inspired to try some of these simple improvements to make it look and feel even better. Some of these can even save you time and effort, so you have more hours to spend outdoors.

Mow Properly

Raising the deck height of your lawn mower is one simple thing you can do right now to improve your green space. When mowing, the blade should remove no more than a 1/3 inch from the blade of grass.

Mow At the Right Time

Professionals recommend to not mow right after it rains. Mowing wet grass will cause clumping and ruts. This also leaves the lawn more susceptible to certain diseases.

Let the Clippings Drop

“Grass cycling” your clippings allows nitrogen and other nutrients to return to the soil. Even better, it eliminates the step of hauling around heavy bags of yard waste.

Invest In Smarter Watering Tools

An irrigation system saves time on watering chores, but one that uses smart technology and weather-based data will apply water only when your lawn and garden need it.

Consider Natural Landscaping

The next time you choose flowers, shrubs or trees, opt for species native to your region. These plants have adapted to the climate, so they’re more resilient to your region’s weather patterns, and require less watering than exotic species.

With these tips, you have plenty to get started on creating a beautiful lawn and landscape that looks and feels even better. If you’re seeking fresh ideas to amp up your landscaping or want to maximize its full environmental and enjoyment benefits, consider turning to the expertise of a lawn care or landscape professional. With help from a professional, you can have the outdoor oasis of your dreams. To find a professional in your area, visit LoveYourLandscape.org.

5 Common Mistakes When Planning a DIY Deck

(BPT) – Across America, decks have become a popular place for people to entertain guests or just relax. The greatest appeal? The elevated outdoor living areas offer a convenient option for enjoying the great outdoors in a comfortable, room-like space that’s somewhat removed from the elements.

Further, studies reveal adding a deck to your home pays for itself in terms of resale value. A 2016 report by the National Association of Realtors estimates new wooden decks recover 106 percent of their cost, with the average deck costing $9,450 and generating $10,000 in value. In fact, a deck was ranked third among home improvement projects recouping the most resale value.

“Backyard decks have replaced patios and front porches as the social centers of suburbia in the summer,” writes Steve Cook on Homes.com. “Decks are elevated to catch summer breezes and to facilitate conversations with neighbors. Large enough for a table and grill, most decks are more versatile than front porches and provide privacy from street traffic.”

While building a deck isn’t difficult, it’s helpful to understand some of the potential pitfalls before getting started. Here are some common mistakes made by inexperienced homeowners.

Choosing the Wrong Side Of Your House.

While your backyard is an obvious option, it’s not always the best choice for your lifestyle. Are you most apt to enjoy a full-on sunny spot, or a shady haven on a hot day? Will wind be an issue? Are you aiming for privacy, or a chance to socialize with neighbors? Which positioning provides the best views?

Not Researching Your Optimal Layout.

A nearly endless number of sizes and shapes are possible. Before choosing, think beyond just aesthetics and consider how you’ll actually use the space. Where will furniture be placed? What will the foot traffic patterns be? How will users access the deck from inside and outside your home? To what extent will new doorways and stairways be necessary?

Not Opting for Real Wood.

While the grain of authentic wood is hands-down more visually stunning than composite, many homeowners don’t realize wood can also be more affordable and just as easy to maintain. The NAR study also found wooden decks recoup greater resale value than composite decks. A particularly beautiful and versatile choice for decks is Western Red Cedar, a stunning species that inherently resists rot, decay, shrinkage and insects. And if left unfinished, it weathers over time into an attractive silvery gray patina. Do-it-yourselfers report it handles like a dream because it’s naturally flat and able to absorb a wide range of finishes.

Not Considering Air Quality.

Composite deck materials often emit greenhouse gases during the manufacturing process, whereas woods such as Western Red Cedar leave a smaller carbon footprint than any other building material. That means you can rest easy knowing you’re choosing the greenest option available.

Not Factoring In Maintenance and Upkeep.

Regardless of materials, decks typically need periodic cleaning to protect them from the elements and keep them looking like new. Fortunately, a Western Red Cedar deck is relatively low maintenance. Maintain its beauty by cleaning it annually with a plain bristle brush, and should you choose to stain your deck, be sure to select a quality product.

For more information about creating your dream deck, visit RealCedar.com.

3 Elements To Create a Dream Bathroom Sanctuary

(BPT) – Bathrooms reign supreme, overtaking kitchens as the most popular remodeling project, according to a new survey by the National Association of Home Builders. In the study, remodelers reported on the most common projects in 2017 and 81 percent performed bathroom remodeling.

Whether you’re hiring the project out or taking the DIY route, fashioning the bathroom of your dreams can enhance your home’s value and add enjoyment to your daily routine. A leading trend in bathroom design is to create a space that is not only functional but is a true sanctuary. To craft a spa-like bath setting that you’ll love for years to come, consider these elements.

1. Sinks and Vanities

Clutter causes chaos that can add to daily stress. To establish a peaceful retreat without the disorder that commonly overtakes bathrooms, it’s important to keep organization in mind when selecting a sink and vanity combination. The key is to find a balance between style and functionality.

Consider the DXV Modulus collection, which creates simple yet dramatic spaces with a selection of trending materials and finishes for optimum style. Its modular concept, highlighted with minimalistic bathroom sinks and coordinating vanities, allows for maximum flexibility in installation and organization. It brings high design to any project, including master bathrooms and powder rooms, where space may be at a premium.

2. Freestanding Tubs

When you select the right tub for your new bathroom, you’re giving yourself a way to unwind every day, as well as provide a stunning focal point to anchor the space. Deep soak freestanding tubs are a top trend for the ultimate in bathing relaxation. Immersing yourself in the warm water of a soaking tub can help ease muscle tension, making you feel like you’re at the spa while bathing in the comfort of your own home.

Soothing, romantic and indulgent, DXV soaking tubs create the perfect personal sanctuary. This must-have showstopper adds style, repose and a touch of luxury that elevates any bathroom setting.

3. Shower Systems

Forget boring single shower heads. Today’s complete shower systems go beyond the basic clean to provide a comprehensive bathing experience. Design the space to fit your preferences with different sprays and various angles for massage, invigoration or total relaxation. You can adjust the flow and temperature to your liking. It’s customization on demand.

To further enhance the shower experience, add in spa-like elements, like your choice of adjustable lighting and music to match your mood. Go ahead and close your eyes, feel the water, and escape while getting lost in your favorite tunes.

With the right elements and well-thought-out design, you can craft your own personal oasis. Adding to your home’s value while relishing in its pleasure – now that’s a dream come true.

Quick DIY Home Improvement Projects

(BPT) – The words home improvement usually conjure up images of major undertakings like tiling your bathroom or kitchen or tearing down a wall, taking hours or even days to complete. The fact is there are some meaningful home improvements you can finish in under two hours.

1) Need More Daylight?

Have you ever wished your home had more daylight? Maybe you want to bring light to a small place like a closet or laundry room. Or maybe you have a room with a window but still not enough light. One solution is a daylighting system from Solatube. This product can be installed in under two hours and floods the interior with natural light.

2) Concerned About Security?

Installing a video doorbell takes just a few minutes and you can monitor visitors at your front door on your smartphone through an app. This is a way to add some security to your home. You can be anywhere with your phone but answer your front door and see who’s there. They have no idea where you are, home or otherwise.

3) Dealing With Poor Indoor Air Quality?

The upstairs can often be hotter than the downstairs. Air can be humid and wet. House odors from cooking, pets, etc., can hang around. A Whole House Fan is quiet (with a light white noise) and can be installed without reframing. When you open the windows with the whole house fan on, it strips out the heat from the home as well as the unwelcome smells. In summer months it keeps the house cooler and it eliminates stale air in the winter.

4) Considering a New Bathroom Fan?

Another product that installs quickly is an upgraded bathroom fan. It comes with a variety of options such as heaters and lights. An upgraded bathroom fan can dramatically reduce bathroom humidity and odors and run more quietly.

5) Still Using Outdated Light Bulbs?

An easy home improvement project is to swap out light bulbs for LEDs. Even CFL bulbs can’t hold a candle to LED bulbs, which, while more expensive, last up to 20 years or more.

This gives you an idea of some ways to spruce up your home in under two hours. But the changes will be long-lasting!

For more easy home improvement ideas, visit www.solatube.com/residential.

5 Tips For Financing Your Next Home Improvement Project

(BPT) – Whether it’s transforming a fixer-upper into your dream home or just giving a makeover to your kitchen or bathroom, home improvement projects are on the minds of many new homeowners across the country.

While many things about renovating your home are flexible, your budget might not be. In general, not a single floor board is laid, or a new countertop installed without money, which is why every home renovation project should begin with careful financial planning.

To help homeowners with their renovation projects, Marcus by Goldman Sachs(R) is sharing budget-friendly home renovation tips.

There are several ways to finance larger projects and it’s important to explore your options to find the one that’s right for you. Below are five important tips to keep in mind when deciding how to fund your next home project.

1. Shop Around

The better you plan, the better chance you’ll save money. Before anything gets torn out or installed, you should spend time consulting with contractors and getting estimates. Look at the work they’ve done to see if they would be a good fit. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions to make sure you’re working with the right people and paying the right price.

2. Consider Financing Options

There are several options when financing a home improvement project and it is important to choose the right fit for you. Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOC) require you to borrow against the value of your home, with home equity loans offering a lump sum while home equity lines of credit provide you with a credit line you can borrow against. An unsecured home improvement loan can be used based on your creditworthiness and ability to pay, not tied to a piece of collateral.

3. Create a Budget

Because of the nature of remodels, things often end up costing more than you might think. No matter how big or how small the project, you need to have a solid sense of what your “all in” budget number is. This should not only account for hard and soft costs for things like labor, materials and designers, it should also account for contingency costs. Experts typically recommend budgeting an additional 15 to 20 percent for unexpected scenarios that might arise. A thoughtful budget will help keep your priorities in front of you and prevent you from spending more than you want.

4. Remember, This Is an Investment!

Not all home renovations will pay off in the long term. It’s important to consider cost vs. value before you start making changes, especially for homeowners looking to sell in the near future. If you plan on putting your house on the market sooner rather than later, be sure to keep track of the top home features to get the best return on your investment.

5. Work With a Designer

This might sound like a luxury or an added expense, but in many cases, a designer could actually help save money by finding deals or providing suggestions for less expensive alternatives, such as using quartz or white concrete instead of marble. Above all, their expertise can help avoid costly mistakes that can often arise when people try to cut corners on their own.

With these tips, you should be better prepared to finance your home improvement project. When you’re ready to start, you shouldn’t have to wait weeks for a home appraisal to get your renovation project underway. You could see your home improvement loan options from Marcus by Goldman Sachs in as little as five minutes and once approved, most people see the funds in their bank accounts in as little as four days. With Marcus you could be one step closer to your dream home.

6 Sure-Fire Tips to Save Time and Labor On Yard Work

(BPT) – It’s summertime, and you’ll want to spend many sun-drenched hours in the great outdoors. But while nature is flourishing, it feels like you’re wasting too many precious summer afternoons and evenings doing chores in the yard and garden.

Give some of these labor-saving tips a try so you have more time for your favorite summer activities.

1. Get Organized

Nothing wastes time like having to search around for misplaced trowels, seed packets and garden rakes. It’s worth the time and effort to create a zone in your garage or shed that’s just for gardening and yard care tools. Use organizing tools like pegboards and re purposed containers to keep like items grouped together. A dollar-store photo album is perfect for keeping seed packets and plant care sticks organized for future use.

2. Harness Perennial Power

Instead of planting a new set of annual flowers and plants in the ground each spring, opt for more perennials. These hardy plants will leap back to life without needing much attention. Talk to the university extension office in your area or a local nursery to discover the beautiful blooms that thrive and renew in your region.

3. Lighten Your Container Pots

Larger container pots add color and dimension to any yard or patio. Trouble is, they can get heavy and hard to move. Before planting, fill the bottom half of the empty container with packing peanuts. Then, fit a piece of landscaping fabric on top. This lets the water drain through, but still barricades soil. Fill the rest of the container with soil, add the plants, and, voila! Your containers are now several pounds lighter and much easier to move.

4. Automate Your Watering

Watering your lawn and garden is not only physically taxing, it’s easy to forget. Between over-watering and under-watering, it can also be tough to get just right. Luckily, there’s a new generation of irrigation tools that let you customize and automate your watering schedule for the entire yard with a smartphone app.

The Gro 7-Zone Controller is an easy-to-install smart irrigation system that uses real-time weather data to tailor watering schedules to your lawn’s needs. Add Gro Water Sensors to container pots and gardens to measure the moisture content in your soil; when plants get thirsty, you get a smartphone alert. Finally, Gro precision watering kits feature one-time, easy installation for hands-free watering while delivering water precisely where and when plants need it most. Even if you’re on vacation or getting through a hot dry spell, these tools will greatly streamline your watering routine while keeping your turf lush and blooms beautiful.

5. Use “Instant” Lawn Fertilizer

Emptying the grass catcher wastes precious time when mowing the lawn. Save yourself some labor and simply let grass clippings fall right onto the turf. They break down relatively quickly, providing the perfect food for your lawn.

6. Win the War On Weeds

If unwanted weeds start surfacing in garden beds, try this easy, chemical-free fix. Start by placing newspaper and cardboard on top of the soil, leaving a little space around the stems of the garden plants. Then, cover the entire surface with a layer of mulch. This barrier blocks weeds from emerging at the surface and lets you cross that chore off your list for the rest of the season.

The summer season is all too brief. But with these tips, you can spend less time on chores and more time enjoying yourself outside!

Build Boldly With These 4 Features of Advanced Decking

(BPT) – If you’re planning to create an outdoor living space, advanced decking enables you to show off your creativity. For years, complex deck designs have been difficult to achieve with traditional lumber. But, with advances in today’s decking materials, you have the flexibility to create virtually any design to reflect your style. The possibilities of creating a bold deck design are only limited by your imagination. For example, did you love hopscotch while growing up? Build a hopscotch board into your deck. Maybe you are an avid musician; why not design your deck in a giant guitar shape?

Let your imagination run wild with these four features of composite decking that will help your bold designs come to life.

1. Durable Above Ground

When you are considering a bold backyard design, an important factor is the durability of your building materials. If you are going to create a design that you enjoy, you will want it to last a long time. Think about the use a deck gets in the course of the year; from weather exposure to food stains, traditional decks lose their luster in areas of high traffic or exposure. The maintenance time investment of keeping your deck in tiptop shape could be spent enjoying your creation rather than working on it. Composite decking is manufactured for durability against the elements and frequent use so you have less work in the long term.

2. Bend It Like Beckham…

Chances are, a quick look at social media, TV or even a magazine will flood your vision with vivid images of beautiful outdoor living spaces anchored by large, curved decking. No, these decks are not Hollywood magic or an optical illusion. Such decks are possible due to a building technique called “deck bending.” Composite boards, like MoistureShield composite decking, are made, in part, with recycled plastic, which makes them flexible when heated properly. This flexibility makes your wildest design ideas possible for a truly bold and personalized look.

3. Installation On the Ground

For those who enjoy the natural serenity of your backyard, consider the benefits of composite boardwalks in your backyard oasis. Installing low-lying composite boardwalks on the ground in order to tie in naturally with your yard’s landscaping is an increasingly popular option for homeowners seeking a backyard escape from the hustle of the day. With the use of advanced decking in your boardwalk, you can take a relaxing stroll through your backyard without the worry of rotten boards and splinters, and you can create a path to the garden without tracking mud back to the house.

4. Underwater Installation

This may sound like a feature only Aquaman would use for his deck, but it is still relevant to those of us who live above the sea floor. Docks and marinas are frequently bombarded by weather, water and foot traffic that take their toll on the surface. Often, this weathering makes the surface an eyesore that doesn’t complement the beautiful scenery. “Dock surfaces tend to rot, warp and splinter after extended exposure to the sun, water, and elements, whereas high-performance composite boards will resist common issues found with traditional materials; even if they are fully submerged,” said Josh Landis, senior manager at MoistureShield. High-performance composite decking can be installed over water as a durable dock surface or even underwater as a boat launch or water access ramp for your lake house or oceanfront home.

With the availability and features of advanced composite decking materials today, your design can be as unique and personalized as you want it to be. Whether you are considering building a new deck or renovating an existing one, you can create a design that is a reflection of your personality. Take a chance, build boldly.

What Are the Effects of Hard Water in Your Home?

(BPT) – Hard water, which contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, can be found in nearly 90 percent of American homes. These minerals cause scaling, a buildup that clogs waterlines and plumbing forcing appliances to work harder and operate less efficiently. The scale may also harbor bacteria. The only way to truly remove the hard and soft scale from household water systems is with salt-based water softeners.

The benefits of salt-based water softening are significant. Hard water scaling can cause your showerhead to lose up to 75 percent of its flow rate in 18 months. Hard water also interacts negatively with soap, reducing its cleaning power. Soft water is up to 12 times more effective at cleaning dishes than increasing the amount of detergent used.

According to the Water Quality Research Foundation for washing machines, the most important factor in removing stains from clothing was water softness. Reduction of water hardness was up to 100 times more effective at stain removal than increasing the detergent dose or washing with hotter water. In fact, soft water can reduce soap use by as much as half. Hard water can also reduce the efficiency of water heaters and increase electricity costs by as much as 48 percent, according to the Battelle Memorial Institute.

Hard water scaling can also affect your health. The piping used in home plumbing, whether copper or PVC, has very smooth interior surfaces that don’t permit bacteria to settle and grow. However, hard water results in scale formation on the interior surfaces of those pipes, providing a perfect home for bacteria.

Researchers at the School of Sustainable Engineering at Arizona State University found bacteria may grow in pipes filled with hard scale and soft scale at the same rate. This is important because some forms of water conditioning produce this soft scale. The solution is to remove hard and soft scale in the pipes with a salt-based water softener.

Hard water you use to wash your fresh fruits and vegetables may contain more bacteria, and the problem isn’t only in the kitchen. When you take a hot shower, the steam you are inhaling can also contain the same microbial contamination that is in the rest of your plumbing, exposing you to bacteria such as Legionella, which can cause Legionnaire’s disease.

A salt-based water softener is the most functional and cost-effective means of removing hardness minerals. It is a tool to improve health and lower maintenance costs for home appliances like dishwashers and washing machine. It also reduces the need for detergents and high-water temperatures, leading to a smaller household carbon footprint.

Be Prepared For the 2018 Storm Season

(BPT) – For millions of Americans, the devastation of the 2017 storm season is still fresh in their minds. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the cumulative cost of the weather events in the U.S. was $306.2 billion. Whether you were directly affected by one of those storm systems, or saw images of flooded neighborhoods, there’s probably one question that you’re now asking yourself.

What can I do to prepare for the next storm season?

It’s an important question to ask. And considering the hurricane season officially begins each year on June 1st, now is the time to start planning.

Be Prepared

Whether you live in a coastal area that might be affected by a hurricane or anywhere else in the country, there are common-sense steps you can take to prepare you and your family. A basic emergency kit should include a supply of flashlights and lanterns, medication, food, water, cash and so forth. Being prepared in this way is important because even if you’re not directly in the path of a storm, you may still be affected by a power outage. Losing power means more than losing light. It means losing hundreds of dollars of food and medications in the refrigerator, losing connection to the outside world, watching basements flood as sump pumps fail, facing uncertainty and dealing with the stress that comes with this.

A steady source of power is something many of us take for granted. You really don’t know how dependent you are on electricity until it’s gone.

Power Up

There is a cost-effective measure every family can take to avoid the cost – and the stress – of a power outage. The solution is to invest in an automatic standby generator. Some people think power generators are pieces of equipment for either people with cabins or survivalists. But, this has changed. Generator manufacturers today produce a variety of standby generators – as well as portable and industrial options – to meet a diverse array of needs.

Similar to a central air conditioning unit, an automatic standby generator is permanently installed outside of a home. It connects to a home’s electrical system and runs on either natural gas or propane from the home. In the case of an outage, some models, such as the ones produced by Kohler, automatically turn on within 10 seconds of losing power. Depending on the size of the generator, they can power everything in the home, from lights, HVAC, refrigerators, sump pumps, computers, TVs, home security systems and more, while smaller units can power a few key circuits.

Not all units are the same. To ensure you invest in an automatic standby generator that is truly ready for the storm season, look to the models from Kohler. These feature an automatic start, so whether you’re at home or away, it will automatically turn on; a durable enclosure that can withstand storm-force winds; a commercial-grade engine that can handle heavy loads; remote monitoring from a smartphone or laptop; quiet, neighborhood-friendly operation and a five-year warranty.

Additionally, standby generators from Kohler deliver high-quality power that won’t harm your electronics and run on your home’s natural or LP gas, keeping your crucial systems powered at all times – even when you’re not present.

No matter where you live, the potential for experiencing a power outage is real. Having an automatic standby generator can help you get through some of the worst weather nature will throw at us this season.