Premium or Plain Jane? Choosing the Best Service Options for Your Home
If you’re one of the 4.9 million people who bought homes in November 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors, you’re probably almost ready to move in. It’s time to make some major decisions about how to set up your home. Decisions like the type of heating, cooling, appliances, and security will be choices you’ll live with for years. Know what your options are and make the best choices for you and your family with the following suggestions:
Gas or Electric Heat
Electric furnaces are less expensive to buy and install, as Diffen explains. Gas furnaces need a chimney for the exhaust gases, something that an electric furnace doesn’t produce. Gas heating, though, is often lower cost, but that can depend on the part of the country where you live and the availability of natural gas and electricity.
While the initial costs of electric heat are less, the long-term costs of operating a gas furnace are less, notes SFGate. Using natural gas as a fuel is less polluting than burning coal, which generates the electricity for your furnace, reports the EPA. A gas furnace is a better choice for your home, because it saves you money and is less harmful to the environment.
Satellite or Cable TV
If your neighborhood is wired for cable, you will also have a choice between satellite and cable television. Satellite service can be installed anywhere there is a clear view of the sky. You can get a comparison of services from a site such as directtvbeatscable.com.
A satellite TV system through DirecTV gives you more programming choices, and is available anywhere in the country. The satellite dishes have become smaller and less noticeable on your home. With various features, including access through your mobile devices, satellite TV is the option your can rely on for constant home entertainment.
Home Security Systems
Do you really need a home security system? While some people install a home security system because they say it makes them feel more secure, MSN Money points out some facts that question its value:
- They can be expensive to install and the monthly fee can add up
- False alarms will annoy you and your neighbors, and the city may charge you for responding with police or fire units
- The monitoring centers may not respond promptly, delaying the police response
- Many people ignore alarms in the neighborhood because of false alarms
- Burglars have learned to disable alarms and to get in and out of a home quickly before someone responds
They also note that these home systems may not add much more value than a family dog. If you have done everything to your home to deter burglaries already, you may not need an alarm system. Put up some alarm system signs in the yard to ward off thieves around the neighborhood. If you need a more secure feeling in your home, buy a dog.