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Today's Homeowner Podcast

Oct 24, 2020

A lot of people receive fliers in the mail for free solar panels and a deal that seems too good to be true.

That’s the situation for Ross in Maryland, who says, “In an effort to cut our electric bill, I’m thinking about getting solar-powered panels installed on our home’s roof.

You can obtain solar energy systems two ways. The first is solar leasing, where you do get the system at no charge, but through a power purchase agreement, you pay for the electricity that it produces.
While you’re using a clean energy source, you’re not getting free electricity, which is often the draw for people who purchase solar panels. The upside is that energy you purchase from the company usually costs less than dealing with an electric company.
The other way to receive a solar energy system is through outright ownership. You pay for the system — which usually costs thousands of dollars, depending on your home’s size — and you maintain. Here, you get the best of both worlds: you enjoy a clean energy source along with no monthly electric bill.
So, consider your options, your household budget and choose the system that’s right for you.

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!

  • [1:11] Revisiting a roof cleaning with oxalic acid
  • [06:53] What you should know about solar-powered panels
  • [8:17] Tips for chimneys with structural issues
  • [11:44] Tips for tiling a shower wall that has a window
  • [13:29] Can floor and shower tiles be painted?
  • [18:08] Best New Product: Daltile QuicTile
  • [20:05] What’s the best single-room air purifier on the market?
  • [24:20] Simple Solutions: The importance of exercising your valves
  • [27:20] Question of the Week: Following a bathroom remodel, there are leaks. Now what?

Simple Solutions

Exercising Plumbing Valves — Every home’s plumbing system has shut-off valves for stopping the flow of water for maintenance reasons or in case of an emergency.

And everyone in the house should know where these valves are located, including near the water meter, under sinks and behind toilets.

However, it’s important to “exercise” these valves by opening and closing them at least once a year to ensure they’re operating properly.

Neglected valves have a tendency to seize up and become inoperable, making it impossible to shut off the water in an emergency.

Treating Treated Lumber — Everyone knows that pressure-treated lumber is designed for building outdoor projects, particularly any wood parts that get buried in the ground or come in contact with the ground.

However, you might not realize that pressure-treating chemicals don’t soak all the way to the center of most boards or posts.

That’s why it important to always treat the cut ends with a wood preservative.

After every cut, brush on a liberal coating — or two — of wood preservative, such as Wood Life Copper Coat or AnchorSeal 2 End Grain Sealer.