Hamptons Home: How To Tell If Your Home Heating System Is Up For The Coming Winter
Do you feel a chill in the evening breeze? Are your woolens slowly coming out of the closet? Winter is around the corner, and it is time you got ready for it.
Your Heating System: The Most Vital link to Winter Comfort

When it is snowing outside, water freezes on the sidewalks, and an icy wind cuts across the neighborhood is the time to cozy up with your family in a comfortably heated home, enjoying the warmth of human relationships. Winter can be the loveliest season of all, provided it does not invade the comfort of your home.

Get your Heating System Winter Ready

Your heating system has been lying around doing nothing since last spring. It has idled through the summer months and even now lies in deep slumber. However, before the winter arrives it needs to be fighting fit. So how and when do you get it back into shape?

Autumn – the Season of Preparation

In the days gone by, autumn was the period of preparing for the winter. The harvest was brought in, and a store of provisions was stocked in the larder.

As it was then, so is it now. According to heating experts, autumn is the right season to get heating systems back into working order. Give everything a check and have a dry run. See if everything is working correctly. Otherwise, you would be forced to conduct repairs while your whole family freezes in the cold.

Getting Heating Systems back into Shape

The simple rule is – check everything, and then check again. Everything was working the last time you switched it on, but that was almost a year ago. So make sure that every little thing is in working order.

Here are a few things that you need to do to get your home ready for winter.

Will Winter Come in Through the Cracks?

No matter how well heating systems work, if there are leaks and cracks through which heat can escape, they will never be effective. So check all your doors and windows. Do they close properly? Are they allowing the outside air to come in?

Let the Air Filter Through

A steady supply of air is necessary for your furnace to work properly. So if dirt and debris are clogging the filter, it could reduce heating efficiency while significantly increasing energy consumption. The best thing to do would be to change the filter before the onset of winter, and then do regular checks every week. You will probably need to install new filters once every month of winter.

Get the Temperature Just Right

Thermostats are a critical part of heating systems. These make sure that the heating of a home is just right – not too cold nor too uncomfortably warm. A malfunctioning thermostat can cause more trouble than you can imagine. So check whether your thermostat is working correctly. Use a thermometer for this test.

Take Care of the Leaks

The hot air is circulated through your home through ducts. If the duct is damaged or leaking, it could mean that the heated warm air is not reaching where it should. So check all your ducts carefully.

Get Professional Help

It is true that with due diligence and care, you can solve most of the problems of your heating system. However, heating systems tend to be complex and difficult to repair. It would, therefore, be wise to call in a professional such as the ones over at to give it a thorough going over before the onset of winter.

A Warm Winter, A Safe Winter

If you choose to take care of your heating system by yourself, be sure to be careful. Wherever there are furnaces and fuel involved, there could be danger. So take all the precautions you can think of, and then some. This will not only ensure that your family stays warm but safe as well during the winter season. href=’’>image source

The writer, Edrick Hypolite, is a do it yourself enthusiast who cares about helping to keep his family warm in winters and cool in summers, and thus has learned a number of tricks to do just that without breaking the bank. You can learn more about Edrick by visiting on Google+.

Hamptons Home Fall Maintenance To Do List

We think of spring as the season for cleaning, but in fact, fall has its own To-Do list. Now’s the time to prep your yard for next summer and to make sure your house is up to snuff for cold weather. There’s no time to dawdle: Many items need to be handled in the next couple weeks, before the ground freezes (and pipes begin to burst).

Here’s a look at fall’s major maintenance requirements. If you don’t have the hours to tackle these tasks on your own, a property management company can help. A property manager can identify service providers, schedule appointments and oversee workers at your house to make sure chores are completed, which means you can enjoy your downtime.unnamed

When water freezes, it expands. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands, the pipe bursts, water escapes and serious damage results. Don’t let this happen in your Hamptons home!

If you won’t be using your home at all off-season, get a plumber in to drain all your pipes (hot water heater, toilets, faucets, appliances, etc.) and generally close your house down. If you plan to be out occasionally, you still need to have a plumber blow out the water in all pipes that could freeze. This means all pipes connected to your irrigation system, pool, AC units, hose bibs and any outdoor kitchen appliances and showers. Make sure you disconnect all garden hoses from hose spigots (even the frost-free ones) as they can cause interior pipe damage as well.

Even if you completely drain your plumbing system, it’s best to leave some heat on in your home. Mold and mildew form from condensation and your upholstery will take a hit. Leaving the heat on at least 50 degrees if you close your house will help eliminate this problem. If you plan to use your home off-season, many energy companies recommend setting your heat at 60-63 degrees while you’re away, ensuring pipes won’t freeze and giving you a couple days of wiggle room if your burner shuts off.

If you don’t have a property manager checking your home frequently (at least once or twice each week) consider installing a WiFi thermometer to monitor your home’s temperature remotely or an alarm system with an alarm company to monitor the temperature for you.

Take good care of your outdoor furniture or it’ll rapidly show its age. In addition to becoming weathered and faded by the elements, it can slowly start to fall apart. Bring outdoor furniture inside and store it in a warmer, dry place. Same goes for grills and outdoor sports equipment. If you need to leave these items outside, cover them with a protective layer.

Make an appointment with a professional for your furnace’s annual checkup. Without this yearly cleaning and inspection, your system can wear itself out quickly, pump deadly carbon monoxide into your home or simply stop working. The plus here? A clean system will save you money on fuel this winter.
Get a pro to vacuum out your burner, clean its blower, inspect belts and change the furnace filter. He should adjust dampers from summer to winter settings and seal any leaks, as well as change/clean the filters in all vents throughout your home for maximum operating efficiency.

Who knew? Throughout fall, grass is busily absorbing energy, moisture and nutrients in preparation for a long, dormant winter. This means it’s time to tackle leaves, aerate and fertilize.
The rake is your friend. Use it to get those mountains of leaves off your grass. Leaves prevent sunlight from reaching grass blades, suffocate grass and breed fungal diseases. Lawn aeration — the process of perforating soil with small holes that allow water, oxygen and fertilizer through to get closer to the grass roots — is also key. Add a fall fertilizer application to deliver essential nutrients for grass to grow deep roots now and to keep nutrients on reserve for a healthy start next spring. Go the whole nine yards and seed any bare, bald spots.
Trim trees away from your home and driveway, cutting any hanging, dead or diseased limbs. Not only does this promote fast and healthy growth in spring, but these branches can be hazardous! We get a lot of freezing rain and snow in the Hamptons, and when it hits, weakened branches can’t hold the additional weight of snow and ice and often collapse, causing serious damage.

Clogged gutters can cause serious damage to your home, potentially leading to expensive repair. Clean your gutters at least once in the fall — twice if you have a lot of trees nearby. The excess weight of leaves, twigs and standing water can cause gutters to sag and pull away from your house. In winter, clogged gutters keep water from draining off your roof, causing large ice chunk formation. When snow begins to melt, the ice prevents proper drainage and water pools on and around the edges of your roof, breaking it down.
Don’t forget to give your chimney a bath! Chimneys, fireplaces and vents should be inspected at least once a year for soundness, sooty buildup and clearances in order to prevent fire hazards. Even if you don’t use your chimney much, animals may nest in the flue or there may be other types of deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use.

Last but not least! Buy a cord of seasoned, dry wood and have it delivered and stacked. Many nights lie ahead when you’ll want to curl up with a glass of pinot in front of a roaring fire.

____ Pool
____ Outdoor shower (remove nozzle)
____ Outdoor kitchen (Turn off and blow out water for sinks
and icemakers, turn off electricity for refrigerators
and icemakers)
____ Hose bibs (drain and winterize; detach all hoses)

____ Outdoor furniture
____ Umbrellas
____ Outdoor TV
____ Tennis net
____ Pool pump
____ Pool floats and toys
____ Kayaks, paddle boards, bikes, etc.
____ Garden hoses

____ Inspect burner (replace furnace filters and air filters, clean
air vents and ducts, inspect blower)
____ Clear gutters
____ Clean chimney
____ Change batteries in smoke and carbon dioxide alarms

____ Remove Leaves
____ Aerate, fertilize seed and lawn
____ Turn back irrigation clocks, and ultimately, turn irrigation off
____ Trim Trees

AND MORE . . .
____ Suspend garbage pickup, if possible
____ Place snow posts along driveway to mark in the event of snow
_____ Set heat to 61 – 63 degrees even when away

Hamptons Home: Five Simple But Creative Ways To Declutter Your Home
It may take a few days, weeks, months or even years to accumulate. However, sooner or later we all at one point have clutter. Sometimes the clutter can be so overwhelming that there don’t seem to be an end to the mess and chaos.

Don’t let the mountain of clutter intimidate you. Try to spend just five minutes a day on clearing clutter. Then spend five minutes the next day clearing some more clutter. It will take time but eventually you will obtain a home that becomes clutter free. Here are some fantastic ways on how to organize your home, eliminate that mess and get more space in your home.


  • Imagine how clean and spacious your home will become. Visualization is a very powerful method for inspiring motivation. Take it room by room and only keep items that belong in that room. Get rid of what doesn’t. But how, you ask?

  • Everything in its place. Try to pick say five things and find a place for them. These must be items that you actually use on a regular basis. Only use the item when needed and immediately return it to the place it belongs. This will become second nature. For example, you will find yourself not wanting to leave that pair of scissors on the TV because they just don’t belong there. Do this for every item in your home that you use regularly. Do this a little at a time so it does not become overwhelming. Pat yourself on the back for starting the decluttering process.

  • Clear out your drawers. Start in any room and choose one drawer, any drawer. Then dump the contents onto a table. Make three piles: 1. A pile of things to throw away. 2. Things that actually belong in the drawer. 3. Things that belong somewhere else. First throw away the stuff from the first pile. Don’t wait because you may change your mind and keep things that only add to your clutter. Clean out the drawer and put stuff from the second pile neatly into the drawer. Immediately take items from the last pile and put them where they belong.

  • Designate one area for any incoming papers. Paper accounts for a whole lot of clutter. They are placed just anywhere, on counters, in drawers, in our cars and on tables. The places and possibilities are endless. Is it any wonder we can’t find anything? Here’s how to solve the problem of paper clutter. Get all of your paper and place storage containers, then choose to designate a few hours a week to work on shredding any unwanted paper. Then place any paper, whether it is letters or receipts (this is a big paper clutter contributor) into an inbox. You can buy an inbox from any office supply store. Continue to work on getting rid of papers you absolutely do not need.

  • Schedule time for decluttering. Don’t feel like doing a big decluttering session right away? Then plan a time in the near future. Maybe next weekend, or a few hours during the week? Whatever you decide, stick to it. Plan to take a trip to your local charity to donate any clothes you haven’t worn in a while and items you do not need. Use storage containers to store these items until you are ready to donate them. Don’t feel bad if you do not declutter as much as you planned. Instead of beating yourself up, pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Plan to do the same again the week after.

  • “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak—–A Quote by Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Boostrap, 1933”

    Featured images:
    • License: Image author owned
    • License: Image author owned

    +Jodi Call has an impressive collection of bed, bath, kitchen and home furnishing decorum needs that can be found at

    Hamptons Spotlight: Ronald McDonald House of Long Island Project Design 2014 Last week I was invited to a special Bloggers day to see The Industry’s first permanent show house. Many designers from around the country volunteered their time, talent and resources to Phase II of the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, Project Design 2014. The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island gives comfort and shelter to families experiencing the pain of having a sick child in local hospital facilities. A “home away from home”, the House provides the parents and siblings of these children with a temporary haven in a secure and comfortable environment among other families sharing a similar burden.

    Project Design 2014 is a groundbreaking initiative in the design community created by KRAVET and Anthony Baratta, the original designer of the house and creative director for the project, New York Cottages & Gardens gave their support in this project for the house to receive a top-to-bottom makeover by leading design taste masters. There are many sponsors that made this project possible, some of those sponsors included Stanton Carpet, AERIN, Kravet Inc, Planet Fitness, Ralph Lauren, Accents et details, Avanti Furniture, Benjamin Moore Paint, Behr’s Furniture, New York Design Center,Serena & Lilly and many many more…

    The Project Design program is the largest redesign RMH-LI has seen in its 28-year history. The interior design-led initiative began through a partnership with global fabric provider Kravet Inc. and NYC&G magazine. The goal was to provide a calm and restful healing environment for families experiencing the pain of having a child in area hospitals. More than $4 million in design, labor and materials were donated to complete the makeover of 42 bedrooms, eight kitchens, several common areas, laundry rooms, fitness center and meditation room. DSC_8498

    During my tour of the showhouse, each room I visited I felt the love,compassion and complete joy that each one of these very talented designers poured into the redesign of their room. The passion and attention to detail was so prevalent that it brought tears to my eyes. It was wonderful speaking with many of the designers and listening to their reason for participating in this project was so emotional. To hear them tell me about their design and what they were seeking to achieve for the family that would be staying in their room was beautiful. One of my favorite rooms was designed by Input Creative. This room was designed for the inquisitive mind, the designer tells the story of an old japanese fable that shows a child going through a journey and coming out victorious. The room was full of bright bold happy colors, full of wonder to escape into a world of make-believe. There was so much creativity put into the design and I knew any family staying in this room would feel at ease after a very long day at the hospital. click on the video…

    Libby Langdon’s Outdoor Lounge was of course breath-taking, it is colorful, happy and joyful. I felt relaxed and comfortable and the landscape design was perfect.

    Libby Langdon, Outdoor Lounge
    Libby Langdon, Outdoor Lounge

    The collaboration of ideas are cohesive throughout the house. Each room is unique and has its own character. There is a room for every mood and that is what makes it so special. The organizers and designers really put their whole heart into this project, and you could feel it in each space you visited from the Laundry room to the Rooftop Lounge.

    Rooftop Retreat..Suzanne Costa
    Rooftop Retreat..Suzanne Costa

    The Tower Lounge nicknamed the “Rabbits’ Run” designed by designers Danielle Colding, Drew McGukin and Young Huh was exactly what they intended the space to be, a place where families could bond and share in their healing process together. Both Children and adults can safety access a wonderland where everything makes complete sense. The designers created a setting not only vivid but also thrilling different from imagined places with each mise en scene delineated by surfaces painted and papered.

    Dcdny, Young Huh,Drew McGukin Interior Designers,
    Dcdny, Young Huh,Drew McGukin Interior Designers,
    Their goal was to create a child-friendly, warm and hopeful environment for children to play and families to gather in a kind of sanctuary transcending time and place where loved ones share in the healing process.
    Dcdny, Young Huh,Drew McGukin Interior Designers,
    Dcdny, Young Huh,Drew McGukin Interior Designers,

    The Ronald McDonald House will sometimes house families from other countries and designer Bonnie Steves had that in mind when she designed her Hello New York room. The colors were vibrant, bold and the room just made you joyful. The bathroom was playful and designed for both a child and the parents… Bonnie love of bright bold colors is displayed throughout the entire suite, from the lime green toilet tissue to the bright bold blue walls. She brought the NYC attractions in her art design on the wall to share with the families who might not have time to visit these attractions during their visit. What a beautiful gift to share with these families to help them escape from a gloomy long day and relax in this fun and playful place.

    Bonnie Steves Interior
    Bonnie Steves Interior

    The stunning kitchen & dining area transformation at the 2014 Project Design Ronald McDonald Show House was created by Long Island designers Vasi Ypsilantis, owner of Poggenpohl Long Island and Margreet Cevasco contemporary space features several design and architectural details that accentuate the room and offer a dramatic outcome: the enhanced coffers created to offset low drop ceilings, energizing green wall color, whimsical chandeliers, cerulean sliding pantry doors that make a bold statement alongside classic white European frameless cabinetry and state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances.
    Photos courtesy:Margreet Cevasco & Vasi Ypilantis36376597b70211a43305c6e26573f585
    The kitchen layout functions to support both cooking, storage and eating at any hour of the day or night and multiple integrated appliances complete the design. Additional shelves were built-in to the expanded pantry so each family can store grocery items.The adjacent dining area with cozy banquette seating offers a soothing home-like setting that helps guests unwind and offers a moment of relaxation. “If we can allow families caring for their children in the neighboring hospital some comforts of home and a living space that supports them, then we have achieved our goal,” said Margreet Cevasco.b4fd0bde2800dbcba0d2a374577a0964

    The Designer Showcase Open House is open to the public until Sunday October 19th 2014. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students and children under 12. The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island is located at 267-07 76th Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY. The proceeds of this fundraiser will ensure that RMH-LI’s programs and services continue to assist families in need, regardless of any financial constraints they may have. After the 19th of October, these rooms will be occupied with families and I wish I could be there to see the look on their face when they open the door to these beautifully designed rooms. May God help them through this very challenging and difficult time in their life. I pray that when they open the door to these rooms they feel the love and compassion that went into the design.

    How can you help? Everyone can do something, kids can draw pictures for those children who are having a difficult time right now. The Ronald McDonald house could use donations either financially or volunteer. Please visit the website for more information.