Balancing the Budget: Outsourcing Business ServicesBalancing the Budget: Outsourcing Business Services

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Balancing the Budget: Outsourcing Business Services

My company is now over a decade old and I still outsource several key functions. It isn't that I can't afford to keep them in house. It is just that outsourcing is the most financially responsible decision I can make. I outsource all sorts of support services. One company manages my IT needs. Another partner takes care of the payroll and remitting taxes. I even have a cleaning service that comes in at night, does the windows, and in general keeps everything spotless. If you think outsourcing might benefit your business, let's talk. I'll tell you what I outsource and why. From there, you can decide if my strategy would also work for you.

5 Ways To Take Your Heating System To The Next Level

A warm, cozy house is imperative if you want your family to be comfortable in the winter. In order to provide maximum warmth and comfort, you should think beyond just a run of the mill heating system. Here are five luxurious ways to totally upgrade your home's heating system and keep your whole family warm and happy:

Heated Bathroom Floors

Radiant heating under your bathroom floors is a nice way to add a bit of luxury and comfort to your home. Instead of dreading showers in the winter because you don't want your bare feet to touch the freezing cold floors, you can relax knowing your entire bathroom is cozy and warm, right down to the tile.

Heated floors are an especially effective way to stay warm because, if your feet are warm, your whole body tends to be warm. Heated bathroom floors are becoming increasingly popular, so this feature will also make your home more attractive to potential buyers should you decide to put it up for sale.

Programmable Thermostats

With a programmable thermostat, your home will always be a comfortable temperature, and you will also most likely save money on your electric bill. You can program your thermostat in a variety of ways, but generally speaking it will automatically turn up or down the heat as appropriate depending on the weather.

 Some programmable thermostats can even be accessed and programmed remotely on your smartphone or computer. According to Consumer Reports, these thermostats reduce heat and air conditioning waste, saving customers an average of $180 per year on their electric bills.

Heated Driveway

A heated driveway can make you and your family's lives much more convenient and comfortable all winter. Having a heated driveway means that even in heavy snowstorms, you can simply get in your car and safely leave for work or school, without spending a ton of time shoveling or snow plowing your driveway.

Heated driveways also keep your family safer, since the lack of snow and ice prevents scary falls. Heated driveways even help your driveway to last longer, since you won't have a need for salt or other harsh snow removing agents that damage your driveway over time.

Geothermal Heating

Geothermal heating and cooling systems use the earth's own energy to keep your home a comfortable temperature. These systems tend to be very energy efficient, meaning your energy bills will likely be quite a bit lower than with traditional electricity.

Installing a geothermal heating system even entitles you to a tax credit from the government. The upfront costs of having a geothermal heating system installed can be on the steep side, but the cost is typically recouped in savings on your electric bill and taxes.

Heated Sidewalk Mats

If you live in a part of the country that receives a decent amount of snow, you may feel like you spend all winter shoveling snowy, icy sidewalks. Constantly shoveling is a huge pain, but skipping this chore is a terrible idea: icy, snow-covered sidewalks are inconvenient for you, your family, and neighbors, and can easily lead to injuries.

A high-tech solution is heated sidewalk mats that melt away the snow. These mats can usually be wired to be turned on from inside the house when it snows, and turned off after the snow stops. They stop snow and ice from ever accumulating on your sidewalks, and you can safely leave them outside the entire winter.

Any of these five heating system upgrades will improve your family's comfort and quality of life. For maximum impact, talk to your local heating installation experts about combining multiple features from this list.