What Should I Do if I Start Hydroplaning?

If you can't avoid traveling on wet roads altogether, it's best to drive slow and steady. But what should you do if you start hydroplaning anyway?

The first thing to do is relax, as frantic movements will only make your situation worse. As you feel your car lose contact with the road, calmly but firmly grip the steering wheel with both hands. Don't slam on the breaks or make dramatic motions with the steering wheel - these actions will jeopardize your control of the car.

Instead, aim the nose of your vehicle forward and calmly make slight adjustments with the steering wheel to keep your vehicle going in the right direction. Then take your foot off the gas and allow your car to slow down naturally as you continue to navigate. Resist the urge to slam on the brakes.

But what if you are going to hit something?

If you're headed toward another car, tree or median, then you may be forced to apply the brakes. How should you apply the brakes depends on the car you drive.

If your car is equipped with regular brakes, pump them regularly and lightly as you continue to steer in the direction you want to go. If your car has anti-lock brakes, you should brake as normal by applying steady pressure to the brakes. Just try not to slam on the brakes. The process for braking when you're hydroplaning is actually very similar to braking when you are skidding on ice.

Hydroplaning is scary, but you truly can handle it with extra precaution and a little knowledge.

 

Today's insurance tips and ideas brought to you by ERIE Insurance.

 

Cyber Crimes Still Common - AND Expensive

We've reported before on how common - and how expensive - identity theft can be. Sadly, it appears that this is still the case.

Research from Hartford Steam Boiler shows that 37 percent of Americans' accounts were hacked in a recent year. That's a surprising statistic - and it wasn't the only shock contained in the report. Other ones included:

  • Cyber crimes cost you. Victims of cyber crimes nearly always spent money to recover from an attack. The main costs were to restore data and purchase software. In 23 percent of these cases, people spent between $1,000 and $5,000 per incident.
  • Young people are affected the most. Almost half of those who experienced a cyber attack (42 percent) were between 18 and 24. Another 34 percent were between 55 and 69, while 22 percent were older than 70.
  • Cyber extortion is on the rise. A cyber extortion threat or demand was experienced by 11 percent of respondents. More than half (53 percent) of them refused to pay, although some of them paid multiple times - 15 percent of them four or more times.

Experts warn that these kinds of crimes will likely only grow as a result of the many devices Americans use on a regular basis. While there are many steps you can take to prevent identity theft, no measure is 100 percent fullproof. That's why it's worth looking into identity recovery coverage. It will help you undo identity theft damage and reimburse you for covered losses like lost wages, administrative expenses and even some legal fees. It protects everyone in your household, including your children. You would be surprised how affordable this coverage can be!

 

Today's insurance tips and ideas brought to you by ERIE Insurance.

 

The Add-On Every New Car Needs

Ah, there's nothing like that new car feeling when you buy a car - that distinct new car smell and the lush interior. The techy gadgets and sweet sound system. But after you finish selecting all the options you want, there's one more you might consider. And that's a small add-on to your auto insurance policy.

Let's say you get into an accident a week after buying your new ride. Cars do depreciate the minute they're driven off the lot. According to Carfax.com, new vehicles lose value at an average decline of 15-25 percent each year during the first five years. That means if your new ride gets totaled, your insurance payout could be much less than what you paid for the car (or what you owe on your loan, for that matter).

HOW ERIE CAN HELP

Erie Insurance offers a coverage endorsement that makes sure you're not left with a cap in coverage. It's called New Auto Security, and you can add it to your ERIE auto policy for a nominal increase in premium. If you've had your car less than two years and it gets totaled, ERIE will reimburse you the cost to replace it with the newest model year (minus your deductible)>

And if your new car is in an accident but it's not a total loss, ERIE will pay to repair the vehicle withouta deduction for depreciation. That's good news for your wallet.

OLDER CARS ARE COVERED TOO

The endorsement from ERIE isn't just for brand-new cars. Here's another reason to add it to your policy: if you've had your car longer than two years, ERIE will pay the cost to replace it with a model that's two years newer. That means the coverage is good to have no matter what the age of your vehicle.

Plus, you can add the New Auto Security coverage any time - it isn't restricted to when you buy the car or when you first insure the vehicle with ERIE.

So don't let worries over a possible accident ruin your new- (or used) car moments. Drive the car you love and rest easy knowing you're a step ahead of depreciation with New Auto Security from ERIE. Talk to a local Erie Insurance agent today who can explain the details and give you a quote.

A vehicle is considered new when it is less than two years old. Eligible vehicles must carry both comprehensive and collision coverage. The endorsement is sold on a per-vehicle basis, not per policy, and contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage is not available in all states. Please refer to our disclaimer and talk to an ERIE agent for policy details.

Today's insurance tips and ideas brought to you by ERIE Insurance.

How to Safely Heat Your Home

It's an unfortunate face that space heaters, fireplaces and wood-burning stoves cause more structure fires than central heat and hot-water heaters combined. Between 2009 and 2013, the National Fire Protection Association reported that these heat sources caused 72 percent of home heating fires. And fires caused by space heaters led to 84 percent of deaths caused by home heating fires.

This information isn't meant to scare you into closing off the fireplace and stashing the space heater. By all means, keep enjoying them - just keep safety in mind so you can protect yourself, your family and your home against smoke and fire damage.

FIREPLACES

Few things are as nice as curling up in front of a fireplace that uses real logs in the heart of winter. And if you've just spent lots of time in the cold air, the pleasure of basking in a fire's glowing warmth is somehow quadrupled.

The last thing you want is to interrupt your cozy time with a trip to the emergency room or a call to the fire department. With these tips, you can keep the home fires burning while keeping your home and family safe.

  • Before you light the fire, make sure the chimney has some flow. Not taking this step could cause your cozy session to go up in smoke. As you prepare to light the kindling, do this simple test: Open the damper and reach inside the firebox (the place where you light the fire). In the firebox, light and blow out a match. Then, watch where the smoke goes. It should float up and away into the chimney. If it doesn't, you will want to reach out to a chimney inspector to see if there are any issues.
  • Keep the glass door cracked open when the fireplace is in use. Open it just enough to draw air up into the chimney. It should be able to block any sparks from flying out, which can start a fire.
  • Consider cracking open a window in your home. It will improve the airflow
  • Invest in a fireproof mat and place it in front of the fire. Sparks can still escape when you have to reach in and poke around the fire.
  • Establish a 3-foot safety zone around the fireplace. Remind children that running, throwing and horseplay are off-limits.
  • Properly dispose of ashes. Even after the embers die away, the ashes can still hold plenty of heat. If you vacuum the ashes or shovel them into the trash too early, they could still be hot enough to ignite a fire. Either allow the ashes to rest for at least three days before you clean up or dispose of them in a closed metal box outside of your house.
  • Make sure the chimney is well maintained. These guidelines can help keep your chimney in good working order and reduce the risk of fire.

WOOD-BURNING STOVES

A wood-burning stove adds old-fashioned charm to anyhome, especially if you have a cast iron version. They're also great for target-heating a cool space - and some models are also suited for cooking and roasting.

Before you install one, it's worth taking the time to understand how to install, ventilate and use a wood-burning stove. Here are some tips to safely enjoy your stove.

  • Check your stove placement. It should be on a sturdy, fire-resistant base and protective floor covering should extend 18 inches from all sides of the stove.
  • Leave enough space between the stove and the floors, walls and ceiling. The National Fire Protection Association advises that the clearance between the stove and combustible surfaces be at least 36 inches. If you can't get enough space in between the wall and stove, add a protective covering such as sheet metal.
  • Choose the right wood. Use only dry and hard wood that has been seasoned for at least six months. Burning green wood can pose a fire hazard since it leaves an oily substance on your chimney flue called creosote. When creosote accumulates, it can start a chimney fire.
  • Never burn trash in your wood stove.
  • Use paper and sticks as kindling. When the smoke starts drawing up into the chimney, start adding the wood. Never use combustible fluids, such as gasoline, to get the fire going.
  • Crack open a window. This will help the air flow up into the chimney and help prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide in your home. Also, install a fire detector and a carbon monoxide detector in the same room as your stove, and always have a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Have the chimney cleaned and inspected regularly by an expert.

SPACE HEATERS

Because they are portable and affordable, space heaters are hard to beat when you need extra heat for your home.

Unfortunately, space heaters cause more house fires than any other home heating source. And these fires lead to more deaths. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters are linked to more than 25,000 residential fires a year and more than 300 deaths. Also, 6,000 people a year seek emergency care to treat burns after coming in contact with a space heater's hot surfaces.

Follow these tips and guidelines to safely use space heaters in your home:

  • Consider an upgrade if you have an older heater. Today's models are designed to shut off when the unit tips over, while others are designed to keep surface temperatures no hotter than 90 degrees. If your heater has loose, cracked or damaged cords, plugs or connections, you should stop using it.
  • Put it in a safe place. It should operate on a flat, even and solid surface away from foot traffic and out of doorways. Keep three feet of clearance around the unit and keep it away from any walls and furniture.
  • Turn off the heater when you leave the room.

PORTABLE FIREPLACE

Indoor portable fireplaces cast that warm flickering glow we all love and crave in the winter, without the fuss, expense and maintenance that come with running a fireplace or wood stove.

Another advantage is these portable fireplaces run on ethanol, a renewable fuel that doesn't release carbon monoxide in the air. But they do produce an open flame. As nice as this looks, it's something to be aware of. Here are tips when it comes to using one.

  • As with other portable heat sources, placement is key. Place portable fireplaces on a flat, even and fire-resistant surface that is far away from table edges.
  • Never allow children to operate these units.
  • Only add fuel to the unit when it's turned off. Give it 15 minutes to cool down and wipe up any spills before lighting. Never "top it off" while it is running - the heat could cause the fuel to ignite right in the container.
  • Never move a portable fireplace while it is still hot. Since they are small and easy to pick up, don't be tempted to move a portable fireplace while it is still hot, and especially when it's operating. An accidental burn or a stumble could lead to home damage and injury.
  • Keep kids and pets at a safe distance. Unfortunately, portable fireplaces can easily tip over.
  • Never leave your portable fireplace burning unattended. Before you head out or go to bed, extinguish the flames.

No matter which heating source you use, keep a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector and a fire extinguisher in the same room it's in. Set a reminder to test the batteries regularly.

Whether you're using these options to stay warm or just to create some cozy ambiance in your home, it's worth keeping these guidelines top of mind to help keep your family and house safe all winter long.

 

Today's insurance tips and ideas brought to you by ERIE Insurance.

 

13 Ways to Help Others This Winter

Even if it's been a relatively mild winter, it can feel like winter will never end. And while the harsh weather is inconvenient for many, it can be a major issue for the elderly, disabled, sick and homeless in your community.

If you're of able body and kind heart, you may wonder how you can help your neighbors in need. Here are 13 ways to show you care this season.

  1. Shovel your neighbor's walkway and/ or driveway. It lets them come and co with ease - plus, it's often the law.
  2. Brush the snow and ice off their car. (Here are some tips to make it easy.)
  3. Clear snow off of the street signs, storm sewer grates, fire hydrants and mailboxes if they're covered with snow. It benefits everyone's safety.
  4. Check on your elderly neighbors before and after a bad snowstorm or cold snap. (bonus points if you bring soup!)
  5. Leave hand warmers in your mailbox for the mail carrier.
  6. Offer to pick up a neighbor's groceries or prescriptions. We all know how hard it is to drive on black ice or in a blinding snow storm.
  7. Offer to get a neighbor's mail if it's at the end of a long drive or on a country road.
  8. Bring over a baked good or have your kids draw pictures for a neighbor. (Preferably beach scenes!)
  9. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or food pantry. They tend to be at capacity in the winter as people seek relief from the cold temperatures.
  10. Donate to a coat drive.
  11. Donate money to a heating assistance program - often times, you can do so when you pay your heating bill.
  12. Volunteer for Meals on Wheels or another program that helps the homebound.
  13. Donate an old (but still working) snow blower or a shovel to a neighbor in need.

Doing any one of these kind deeds could make a world of difference to someone - and studies show that it will benefit you as well!

 

Today's insurance tips and ideas brought to you by ERIE Insurance.

 

6 Reasons that Shouldn't Hold You Back from Buying Life Insurance

What are the real reasons holding you back from getting life insurance? Are you like the majority of Americans who don't have it, but say that they know they need it?

A study by the financial and insurance organization LIMRA shows that 6 in 10 Americans have life insurance - yet 30% of them feel they need more.

Does this ring true for you? If so, maybe it's because of one of these reasons. *

  1. It's too expensive. Cost is the number one reason people don't have life insurance. Yet another LIMRA study shows that 80 percent of consumers think life insurance costs much more than it actually does. Life insurance is probably more affordable than you think - and there are lots of ways to bring the price into your comfort zone.
  2. I have a health condition. The good news is that having a health condition doesn't automatically disqualify you from getting life insurance. If you overcame a serious condition in the past or if you are managing a condition with the help of a medical professional, you can still be covered.
  3. I don't have any kids. There are many reasons people with no children still need life insurance. Just a few include providing for a financially dependent spouse or another family member, having the money to pay for a funeral or being able to pay off a loan that has a cosigner. Life insurance can also help you leave a gift to a religious, educational or charitable organization near and dear to your heart.
  4. I don't work outside of the home. If you stay home to care for kids or other family members, it may take hiring someone to replace all that you do. And that could be pricey. so definitely consider buying life insurance as a way to cover those additional expenses.
  5. I'm not sure what I need. Most people aren't - but we are here to help! Erie Family Life offers options like term insurance that's designed to last for a specific period of time and permanent plans designed to last a lifetime. Your agent can recommend one that works with your life and budget.
  6. I don't have the time. Life is busy, which is why Erie offers e-signature on life insurance policies to make the process easy and convenient. Erie LifeSense can also provide up to $90,000 worth of coverage in about 15 minutes. There are no doctors visits or complicated forms - just a simple application with only a few medical questions.

Life Insurance probably isn't something you want to talk about, but it really is too important to put off. When it comes to life insurance, the only wrong choice is doing nothing at all.

 

Today's insurance tips and ideas brought to you by ERIE Insurance.

  

The Car Tech Revolution

For decades Americans have had a love affair with their cars - from the sweet 1950's Ford Thunderbird to the slick Corvette of the '80s. There is just something about being behind the wheel - it's that free feeling you get on the open road.

But that love affair is changing. Every year, car manufacturers are adding new safety features and the latest bells and whistles to new models. And it's not just auto makers who are changing the game. Companies like Google, Amazon and Uber are challenging the way we think about driving and transportation altogether. The act of driving as we know it is about to change - dramatically!

Throughout 2017, ERIE will keep a finger on the pulse of automobile technology advancements to keep you not only informed, but maybe even riding safer in your travels, too. For now, here's a glimpse into some of the exciting trends to watch for this year.

 

CARS THAT TALK TO EACH OTHER - AND TO YOU

Some car makers are introducing a revolutionary system that allows cars to share information about driving conditions like weather, speed, sudden braking and accidents. Imagine your car "reading" traffic signals and telling you how long you'll have to wait for the green light. Check out the source article from USA Today that describes this and other hot car technology trends.

WHEN WILL AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES BECOME COMMONPLACE?

2017 may be the year car manufacturers take us farther down the road toward fully autonomous driving. A substantial number of automakers have introduced - or will introduce this year - significant developments that bring us closer to an autonomous reality. Think brake and lane-keeping assistance and radar-assisted cruise control. Recode magazine, an independent journal featuring tech news and reviews, put together a complete timeline to self-driving cars that might answer your questions about when all of this will become routine.

And while you may not be able to buy a fully autonomous vehicle from the lot just yet, you may see them next to you on the road, depending on where you live. Uber has deployed a fleet of self-driving Ford Fusions in Pittsburgh to test the technology and introduce it to passengers. And according to Wired, a magazine focused on emerging technologies, Google is vigorously testing autonomous technology in minivans, too.

ARE THERE ETHICAL CONCERNS SURROUNDING SELF-DRIVING CARS?

Behind the wheel, drivers are constantly making human judgement calls - for example, swerving to avoid a pedestrian in the street. With the influx of autonomous car technology, suddenly those ethical questions become more complex: Who makes those human judgment calls when a machine is behind the wheel? Is it possible to program an "ethical" crash? This article from Fortune Magazine takes a closer look at the issue.

DIESEL ENGINES COULD MAKE A COMEBACK

Diesel technology delivers high fuel economy and very excellent performance, but has been virtually unavailable since Volkswagen got caught up in an emissions-cheating scandal. That said, diesel could make a comeback after Chevrolet and Mazda do some testing on new diesel models being introduced this year.

ELECTRIC CARS MAY CHARGE INTO MAINSTREAM

Demand for electric cars will face a crucial test this year. The Chevrolet Bolt and other manufacturer's electric cars are expanding the range a single charge provides, allowing the cars to compete with gasoline-powered gamily favorites. 2017 may be the best year car buyers choose to switch to zero-emissions options like the Bolt, Volkswagen e-Golf, Kia Soul and Tesla's Model 3.

WHEN WILL BACKUP CAMERAS NO LONGER BE JUST OPTIONAL?

2018. A new ruling by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires all new cars, SUVs, Vans and small trucks (under 10,000 pounds) to have rear visibility technology (i.e. backup cameras) by next year. That means some 2017 models will be the last to have this as an optional feature. This should significantly reduce the risk of back over accidents. With the compliance date on the horizon, many automakers are already incorporating the equipment into this years models in preparation for the change.

Other safety technology likely to become standard includes automatic braking, parking sensors and inflatable seat belts. There will be plenty of technological developments to look for if you are shopping for a new vehicle in 2017.

HOW YOU PAY FOR TOLLS MAY DRASTICALLY CHANGE

If you regularly travel toll roads as part of your commute, you're probably familiar with E-ZPass or other automatic toll paying systems, If not, you may soon be exposed to this technology as more areas automate or eliminate toll booths.

The New York Times reports that in several states, open road tolling is the new norm and toll booths are being removed, which means no more fumbling for loose change or hoping the booth will take credit. Where these systems are in place, drivers can say farewell to the traffic congestion caused by frequent stops at the toll booths.

The open road tolling system uses sensors and cameras to charge cars that pass through, saving travelers' time and fuel. This means drivers may need to purchase a transponder, which is the small device that goes in your vehicle. This article gives the low-down on which transponders to consider as well as apps that can enhance your travels.

IS RIDESHARING MORE THAN A TRANSPORTATION TREND

There's been an explosion in the ridesharing economy over the past four years, with ridesharing becoming a billion dollar industry. With the popularity of phone application-based ride services like Uber, Lyft and more, today there are hundreds of thousands of drivers and millions of riders. According to Concur, a travel management company, 70 percent of business travelers say that ridesharing is an acceptable or preferred ways to get around.

The impact on drunken driving crashes alone makes ridesharing technology a trend worth keeping an eye on. Plus, research shows ridesharing drivers are among the safest on the road. It would seem ridesharing is a movement that is here to stay.

STAY TUNED...

 Regardless of where auto and transportation technology takes us In the future - whether you drive the car or the car drives you - ERIE will be there for you. Be sure to check out their blog throughout 2017 for updates on trending topics. And be sure to connect with us so that we can help make sure you stay protected on the road.

 

 

Today's insurance tips and ideas brought to you by ERIE Insurance.

 

14 Hacks to Deal with Snow and Ice on Your Car

Even people who love winter do not enjoy one of the season's most unpopular jobs - clearing snow and ice off of their cars.

The good news is that the job can definitely be made easier by following a few rather simple tips. They include:

  • Turning on your front and rear defrosters as soon as you start clearing. If you have a push start, now is the time to take advantage of it!
  • Give yourself more time than you think. This can be a tough job, and you may need a break or two after scraping away at ice for a long stretch of time.
  • Don't pull on frozen windshield wipers! This could TOTALLY ruin them. Instead, use an ice scraper to chip away at the ice and give the car defroster some time to do its job.
  • Avoid hot water! Pouring hot water on ice-cold glass can cause the glass to break. (Plus, the puddle it leaves behind can lead someone to suffer a nasty spill!)
  • Use a proper snow brush. Shovels and other brushes not marketed for safe use on cars can leave behind scratches.
  • Start from the top. Clear snow from the roof and work your way down - clearing the top part of the car later could undo the work you did on the bottom half of the car. And you can't drive around with a roof full of snow anyhow.
  • Consider using a de-icing spray. Commercial-grade sprays can make the job faster AND easier.
  • Blow through a straw to let your breath melt a frozen lock. Another option is to apply a bit of hand sanitizer to your key and the door lock.

Of course, the best way to deal with winter is to park your car in a garage or carport. If that is not possible, try taking these steps beforehand.

  • Place socks over your windshield wipers and pop them up. This will help prevent them from freezing.
  • Put plastic bags over your mirrors. Use rubber bands to secure them into place.
  • Spray a little cooking oil on rubber seals. This will help prevent them from sealing doors shut.
  • Apply ice prevention spray on windows. You can find this at any auto specialty store!
  • Cover your windows. A piece of cardboard, towel or folded sheet can help prevent ice from forming on your windshield.
  • Face your car East. In for the night? Then try to park your car facing East so the rising sun can help melt the snow and ice!

Clearing the snow and ice off of your car definitely isn't the most fun job, but it helps keep you and other drivers safe -- and it might even be the law in your state!

 

Today's insurance tips and ideas brought to you by ERIE Insurance.

10 Ways for Your Business to Deliver Great Customer Service

At the heart of every great business is great service. And there are certain things that businesses with a reputation for incredible service all do.

Curious about what they are - and ready to take your business service to the next level? If so, here are 10 tips to do just that!

  1. Greet each person who walks through the door. It's a small gesture, but trust us, it goes a long way!
  2. Empower your employees. In addition to knowing how to do a job, your employees need to know how to treat a customer. Share your service guidelines with new employees - and offer refreshers to veteran employees as needed.
  3. Offer customer comment cards. Giving customers the opportunity to weigh in shows that you care about their experience - and helps keep you in the loop when it comes to what your clients really want.
  4. Have a web presence. People want to learn about your hours and other specific things about your business online. A website is best, but a Facebook page with photos and information about your business can work as well, or in addition to.
  5. Respond to online comments. Whether someone leaves a comment on a social media page, a review website like Yelp or sends a message through your website, it is important to acknowledge and respond to each one.
  6. Offer a customer loyalty program. Did you know that it costs anyway from five to ten times more to gain a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one? One way to keep loyal customers is with a customer loyalty program. There are several kinds of programs to consider, so definitely read up on how to create an effective customer loyalty program for your business.
  7. Send out an e-newsletter. E-newsletters can inform your customers of specials, new deals and events. Also consider offering special subscriber-only coupons through yours.
  8. Immediately acknowledge any issues. If a customer has a legitimate complaint - or you simply sense that things aren't up to snuff - act fast. Immediately acknowledge the issue and apologize if necessary. Considering adding a discount to the work performed or offering an upgrade to compensate for the inconvenience.
  9. Give them something extra. Let customers know how much you appreciate them by offering a little something extra from time to time. Some ideas can include an unexpected discount, a small gift or promotional swag.
  10. If possible, offer a guarantee. A money-back guarantee or a performance guarantee can entice customers to buy and shows them that you are serious about service!

These are just some recommendations for increasing your customer service and customer retention! There are tons more ways out there that might be better tailored to your business. Sometimes, just a smile can give a little encouragement!

 

 

 

4 Green Home Improvement Projects that Will Save you Money

You know the old sayings about money going out the window or prices being through the roof? There is some truth to these statements when it comes to home and energy use.

The good news is there are ways to improve your home's ability to hold onto cash - and do something good for the environment! Below are some green home improvement projects that can make a measurable difference in the state of your home's financial picture. Perhaps 2017 is the year to tackle one (or more) of them!

  1. DO AN ENERGY AUDIT. In order to know where you stand with your energy usage, it's always a good idea to start with an energy audit. In one simple home visit, an energy professional can quickly determine the areas in your home where you could improve your energy ratings. Armed with this knowledge, you'll know just which projects to tackle first.
  2. UPDATE YOUR WINDOWS. The first place to look to find long-term home energy savings is your windows. How old are yours? What shape are they in? Do they feel drafty in the winter? Are they single or double pane? While there is certainly an initial investment to upgrade older windows to today's energy-efficient versions, the payoff in the long run makes this home improvement project well worth the cost.
  3. INVEST IN SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY. The ability to efficiently control the temperature in your home can set the tone for both energy and financial savings. Look down below to see a few technologies worth considering.
  4. CONSIDER AN ENERGY-EFFICIENT ROOF AND/OR SOLAR PANELS. A roof in disrepair can lead to energy leaks and high utility costs. Make sure yours is in good shape. If it sustained damage from a recent storm or is starting to show signs of aging, consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient surface such as a metal roof. A metal roof can reflect sunlight so that it isn't absorbed into your home, which helps reduce overall cooling costs. This large area over your home can also generate energy with the installation of solar panels. By harnessing the power of natural resources, you will reap additional savings.

Keep in mind that savings on energy use will come with time. What you invest today to create a more energy-efficient home will soon show up as extra money in your pocket.

 

Technologies Worth Investing In:

  • Smart thermostats can be used to adjust your heating and cooling units to run only when you are actually home.
  • Water Sense labeled fixtures will reduce water use and your water bill.
  • Energy Star appliances use modern technology to reduce energy use by as much as 50 percent.
  • While not a smart home technology, most advanced and efficient spray foam insulation will prevent energy from escaping your house.

Today's insurance tips and ideas brought to you by ERIE Insurance.