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7 Tips New Homeowners Need To Know Before Moving In

7 Tips New Homeowners Need To Know Before Moving In

If you’re in the process of buying your first home, you most likely have a ton of questions regarding basic maintenance and upkeep—stuff that you used to let the landlord take care of. While there is definitely a lot to know, you shouldn’t get overwhelmed in the process of becoming homeowners. If you keep up with this routine maintenance throughout the years, you’ll find the little things much easier to deal with than if you were to ignore them and let the problems build up. Before you even start moving in your furniture, all new homeowners:

1. Check the insulation

Insulation keeps the warm air in during the winter months and out during the summer ones. Check the attic to see if there are any patches missing, or if the insulation is growing thin in some areas. Proper insulation should be about 6 inches thick throughout the entire area. If any area is missing or has been damaged, don’t ignore it. You’ll end up letting some much needed warm air out during the winter months, and your heating bill will show it.

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2. Lower the hot water heater temperature

Your hot water heater should be set no higher than 120°F—that is, unless you like making coffee straight from the tap. All joking aside, you most likely won’t have any use for water over 100°F anyway, so setting your heater for higher than 120° only wastes energy. While you’re at it, throw an old blanket over your hot water heater. Even if it’s more modern, you won’t run the risk of losing heat and expending excess energy over time.

3. Wrap pipes with insulation

You’ll likely have at least a couple feet of visible piping throughout your house. Invest in a good insulator for them to avoid losing heat as the water travels from the heater to its destination. Again, a loss of heat causes the heater to work harder, causing more and more energy to be expended. Losing one or two degrees from the heater to the shower might not seem much, but over time your wallet will end up feeling it.

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4. Replace air filters and check the vents

Even if they look clean enough, replace the air filters for your furnace and air conditioning units. Remove any blockages to improve air flow and overall effectiveness of your HVAC units. Depending on the system’s condition, however, you may need to refer to a furnace or AC repair company, especially if there’s a problem with the central unit.

5. Check plumbing for leaks

Your plumbing system has the potential to lead to disaster if not maintained properly. First of all, even the smallest drip or a toilet that won’t stop running could end up costing you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. Second of all, any excess leakage could damage your interior and foundation, and lead to mold and other issues that simply will not be easy (or cheap) to fix.

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6. Replace light bulbs

It might be a little time consuming, but you’ll save yourself time and money in the long run if you replace all the light bulbs in the house with LED bulbs. Not only are they more energy efficient, but they last much longer than standard bulbs. This will save you not only time and money, but it will also save you from the aggravation of having to run to the store in a few weeks to pick up even more bulbs.

7. Secure the perimeter

If you do nothing else on this list, at the very least change the locks on all of your doors. Ensure that all openings to the outside of your home, no matter how high up, have secure locks on them. If necessary, install a security system and camera that will monitor any outdoor movement throughout the overnight hours. While ignoring all other items on this list may cost you in money and time, an unsecured home may cost you much, much more.

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Featured photo credit: house for sale by owner / Images Money via farm6.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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