Show Notes: Looking For Potential – On the House

Show Notes: Looking For Potential

By on January 12, 2020

Are you looking for potential in this new year of 2020?

We certainly are!

We’re starting the new year off with a quote for you listeners!

“ We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives …. Not looking for flaws, but potential.” 

Ellen Goodman

That’s some good advice. So join us as we look for the potential in this new year!

This week we discuss everything from house pests to solar for your home to home humidifiers. So jump into these show notes and see what you might have missed!

Missed our live show? Don’t worry! Because we have a podcast of the show. It’s the same thing we aired on the radio, but ready for you whenever and wherever you are! Check it out here. 


CES  2020 Innovation Awards

The Consumer Electronics Show Innovation Awards is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products.

Here are our picks!


Multi-function Smart Window Film By Brilliant Optronics 

Unlike a typical smart film, which can only display a black or cloudy effect when charged with a current, Brilliant Optronics‘ smart film is capable of showing three different kinds of effects. When not charged with power, its surface is clear and transparent; when charged with power, its surface can either turn dark or cloudy, or become a black transparent screen for displaying images and videos.  To apply it, just adhere it to the surface of a window. Users can press a button, a Bluetooth or WiFi device, or app to activate the voltage control module that allows the film to switch between its different states. 

This not no on the open market yet! 

Lutron Aurora: A Smart, Simple Dimmer Switch for Philips Hue Lights 

One of the smartest smart home gadgets is just $40. 

The Aurora looks like an old-school circular dimmer switch. It’s made up of two pieces: a base plate, which clamps to your light switch (you tighten it using a screw), and the top section, which you can rotate to dim your lights or press to turn them on or off. A small, removable CR2032 battery in the top section powers the switch and should last up to three years. 

Read about more of these award-winning innovations here!


It’s Time to Run Your 2020 Home Insurance Check-Up 

Thousands of homeowners lost their homes to fires in recent months. As the new year gets under way, conduct your own home insurance checkup to see if you’d be covered in the event of a disaster. 

 Floods, storms and tornadoes inflicted billions of dollars in damage across the U.S. in 2019. Each disaster resulted in thousands of home insurance claims on everything from window repair and lost belongings to full rebuilds. However, the broad discrepancy in reimbursement that various homeowners receive may surprise you. 

Some will see their home and property totally replaced—brick for brick, item for item—by their insurance company. Others may receive a check that covers only a portion of the costs. Unfortunately, some from the latter group might not have realized that they didn’t have enough coverage until it was too late. 

With 2020 beginning, now is an excellent time to conduct your own homeowners insurance checkup, to make sure you have the coverage you’ll need if your home is damaged this year. 

What are your policy’s limits? 

While most home insurance policies cover the structure of your home, the fine print of your policy will reveal how much you’ll actually be reimbursed if your house is destroyed. Policies describe their hazard coverage limits with one of three terms, and the payout that’s implied by each term can make a huge difference to homeowners. 

The three types of coverage limits 

  • Actual Cash Value (ACV):The ACV is the market value of your house, minus any depreciation. It’s possible that the value of your land may have increased since you bought it, but specific elements of your house, such as the plumbing or floorboards, have aged, and therefore may have depreciated in value. Because of this, the ACV likely won’t cover the entire cost to rebuild your home with new materials. 
  • Replacement Cost Value (RCV):The RCV is the amount it will cost to rebuild your house at the current prices for labor and materials. A policy that covers your home’s RCV will have higher premiums than one that covers only the ACV, but it could provide a substantial amount of additional reimbursement if you need to replace all or a part of your home. However, a policy that covers the RCV is still subject to limits. 
  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost (GRC) / Extended Replacement Cost (ERC):The GRC/ERC of a home is like the RCV, but with a guarantee that the insurance company will pay a certain percentage beyond your policy’s limits to rebuild your home. This is relevant if a regional disaster, such as a wildfire, temporarily drives up the cost of labor and building materials. However, this is the most expensive option. 

Someone with ACV coverage who loses their entire house in a wildfire would likely pay tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket to rebuild. If your current homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover the full cost of replacing your home, you should considerincreasing your policy limitsthis year. While this does raise your premiums, the extra coverage will be worthwhile if your home ever suffers significant damage. 

Do you have home or hazard insurance? 

Many people don’t understand the difference betweenhome and hazard insurance. Unlike hazard insurance, standard home insurance (HO-3) includes personal property and liability coverage as well. This is vital if your possessions are damaged, or if someone is injured on your property and decides to file a lawsuit against you. 

However, if you have an HO-1 policy, you only have hazard insurance. Hazard insurance, also known as dwelling coverage, insures only the structure of your home from the perils named in your policy. That means that if your home is destroyed, your insurer would help cover the costs of rebuilding your house and its attached structures. However, you would receive nothing for damaged personal property or structural damage done by an unnamed peril. 

If your current policy only includes hazard coverage, you should consider whether you’re truly comfortable paying to replace all of your possessions out of pocket: your TVs, furniture, laptops and more. Next, consider the sum all of your financial assets that would be at risk if someone were to successfully sue you for an injury. 

These are the types of risks from which you’re protected under a homeowners insurance policy. In most cases, a comprehensive home insurance policy is worth the additional premiums you’ll need to pay. 

Are you using the best company? 

You may be surprised by the rates you find if youshop around for the best ratesoffered by home insurance companies. However, rates alone do not imply the best deals. When shopping around, look for the factors we consider when comparing insurers, which include affordable rates, the best customer service and the highest claims process satisfaction score. 

While it might not sound like the most enjoyable exercise, beginning the year with a homeowners insurance checkup can help you uncover critical areas where you’re underinsured or overpaying. If your home is subject to an unexpected disaster, you’ll be happy you planned ahead. 


Green Up for 2020 

If this is the year to put a new roof on your home and add solar, consider solar shingles 

What are Solar Shingles?  

Solar shingles are a relatively new technology designed to look like ordinary asphalt shingles on your roof. They protect your roof and have the same durability and flexibility as regular shingles, while harnessing the sun’s solar energy to generate power for your home. Each solar shingle will produce between 13 and 63 watts of energy, depending on the brand of solar roof shingles.  Solar shingles are lightweight and easy to install and just like ordinary shingles, they are designed to withstand rain, wind, and hail. 

 Solar Shingles vs Solar Panels 

If you were trying to decide between installing solar shingles or installing traditional solar panels on your roof, here are a few advantages and disadvantages to consider beforehand. The benefits of solar shingles include being more aesthetically pleasing than bulky solar panels, being more cost effective (if you are replacing your roof anyway – 10% to 15% more cost effective per watt of solar energy), and are able to be removed and reinstalled if you were to move homes. 

The disadvantages of solar shingles is they can sometimes be less energy efficient than regular solar panels, you’ll need a particular roof slope with high sunlight exposure, lifespan is less, many solar installers do not offer solar shingles yet as they are still growing in popularity. Traditional solar panels can also produce more energy per watt in comparison to the cost of solar installation.  

 Ready to start  

Solar Shingles Cost 

The average roofing installation price for a solar shingle roof costs anywhere between $60,000 to $75,000 depending on the slope, pitch, and size of your roof. You can expect to pay $21 to $25 per sq. foot or $2,100 to $2,500 per square installed on a standard sized single story home. Costs will vary depending on local solar roof contractor’s pricing. View your potential roof installation savings with contractors serving your area below. 

How many solar shingles do you need? 

The number of BIPV shingles it would take to power your entire home depends upon the size of your house and your typical energy usage, but even installing a few can help out. It is not necessary to replace your entire roof as you can integrate solar shingles into your existing roof. If your roof is in need of an overhaul anyway though, replacing your roof is not a bed investment. According to the most recent Cost vs. Value report, replacing the roof on your home can have an ROI of 71.6%. Additionally, recent Department of Energy backed studies have demonstrated that homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for homes with solar roofing features, up to $15,000 more. 

 How long do solar shingles last?  

The average solar panel lasts from 20 to 30 years at maximum energy output. Your solar panel shingles will continue to create solar power after the 20 year mark but just like an older cell phone battery they may not produce energy at maximum capacity as they did before. 


Got Centipedes? You Might Have A Bigger Pest Problem  

 They’re harmless 

Centipedes aren’t like other pests. They won’t eat your clothes, furniture, or wood. They don’t create nests or webs. They’re also nocturnal, so you’ll rarely see them. 

 They’re your free organic pesticide 

House centipedes are an all-natural form of pest control. They eat a wide variety of bugs such as crickets, earthworms, termitesbedbugs, flies, ants, moths, silverfish, spiders, and cockroaches. 

“Centipedes are predators, so they are on the hunt for other arthropods in the home,” says Larson. “Some might even say they are biological control for real pests—they might be controlling other critters in your home you would rather not deal with such as cockroaches and silverfish.” 

 Their presence could indicate a larger pest problem 

House centipedes will stay around if they have ample food supply. And their preferred plat du jour? Other pests in your home. 

“Centipedes are insectivores, dining on small bugs and spiders,” says Clark. “One of the best ways to control them is to eliminate food sources. Keeping your home insect-free will send centipedes searching for food elsewhere.” 

Therefore, a constant presence of centipedes could indicate that your home has a pest problem you need to address. 

 They like moisture 

To eliminate their presence in your home, experts say to keep moisture to a minimum. Keep an eye out for any leaky pipes or appliances that use water that need to be repaired. 

“The weakness of centipedes is that they lack the protective waxy coating other bugs have, which helps to maintain moisture. That means that they are prone to dehydration, and must stay in moist environments to survive. Dry conditions dehydrate and kill them,” says Clark. 

Using a dehumidifier to dry out moist areas can rid centipedes from your home. Also, be sure to run a bathroom fan after showers. 

 They provide exterminator duties outside, too 

Clark says a house centipede can live its entire life indoors. If the sight of them gives you the heebie-jeebies, then catch and release them outside. They’ll put their exterminator hat on and get to work outside your home, too. 

“Since they eat many pest species of insects, like cockroaches, centipedes are actually very beneficial. We just want to make sure they stay outside where they can do the most good,” says Chelle Hartzer, board-certified entomologist and technical services manager for Orkin. 

 They’ll come knocking if conditions are right 

To keep centipedes out of your home, caulk all cracks in doors and windows. Clear any leaves, wood, and debris from around your home, especially if it’s damp. 

“Pest-proofing involves checking weather-stripping of doors, making sure screens are secure and do not have holes, checking entry points for pipes to make sure there aren’t gaps in caulking, and checking vents/attics for entry points,” says Larson. 

He says putting out glue board traps near the walls of the base level  of the home can help, too. 


Humidifiers Are Just As Healthy For Your Home As They Are For Your Sinuses! 

 You’re probably used topopping on a humidifierwhen you’re sick to ease your stuffy nose symptoms, or pulling it out to help give your winter skin some TLC. But that’s not all these handy household appliances are good for. A humidifier may actually extend the life of your wood furniture and floors, too—not a bad deal for an appliance that you can pick up for less than $50. 

Here’s the deal: Wood functions a lot like skin, and the low humidity of winter months can cause it to dry out. “A humidifier can be helpful in raising the relative humidity levels in the drier times of the year, which will minimize shrinkage cracks developing in any wood floors and furniture,” says Todd Schutte,Bona’s director of eLearning. 

The ultimate answer to keeping wood furniture and floors in good condition: Make sure the moisture in the air is at a relatively similar level throughout the year. TheNational Wood Flooring Associationrecommends a humidity level of 30 to 50 percent to maintain your floors, as well as a consistent temperature of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

“Wood is hygroscopic, meaning it will absorb moisture or release moisture until it reaches a point of equilibrium given the temperature and relative humidity that it’s exposed to over a period of time,” Schutte says. “The key is to keep both the temperature and humidity levels as consistent as possible year-round, in order to minimize any shrinking or swelling of your wood floors, furniture, or cabinets.” Ideally, Schutte says, you should keep humidity within five percentage points between wet and dry seasons—for example, between 30 and 35 percent. 

You can monitor humidity levels through a thermometer/hygrometer combo—they’re available online for as little as $10. This top-rated one is just $20 on Amazon. Another way to keep track? Look to your thermostat; many smart ones are able to track moisture levels. 


 things to do around the bay

Napa Lighted Art Festival 2020 | January 11-19 

Saturday, January 11, 2020– 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm | Cost: FREE 
Downtown Napa | 2nd St. & School St., Napa, CA 94559 

 Napa does Art After Dark. Iconic architecture becomes the painting in this unique lighted art walk. Original artwork created by local and international artists will be installed at approximately 13 locations in Downtown Napa, the Oxbow District and other places within the City of Napa. 


 Lantern Parade
Friday, January 17 | 6:30 pm 

This fun-filled people parade will start and finish at Veteran’s Park and proceed down 2nd & 3rd Streets to include views of the nearby art installations in downtown Napa. Cosmos Percussion Ensemble will be performing before the parade as well as leading the parade with their electrifying vibrations. Want to learn more about how to create your lantern? Click here for the Lantern Creation Guide. 


Night Bloom
Saturday, January 11 & 18 | Sunday, January 12 & 19 | 7 pm – 8 pm
Oxbow Commons (Weather Pending) 

Napa Valley’s majestic hot air balloons will be uniquely displayed as part of this year’s Art After Dark experience. Several tethered hot air balloons will light up the sky at Oxbow Commons on both weekends of the festival. You won’t want to miss this stunning light show. 


Mentioned Links 

Thank you~ 

A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming! 

Thank you to our Technical Support: 

  • Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer  
  • Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer  
  • Sam Reed – Associate Producer  
  • Rico Figliolini – Digital Master 


Thank you for tuning in to look for potential in this new year! And check in next week for more cool tips! 

“Looking for Potential” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired January 11, 2020. 

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