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Donation for the "Pink is Beautiful" Fundraiser

by Joanne Hiller

Dear Business Owner,

Thank you very much for your donation to the Island Estates Women's Club "Pink is Beautiful" Fundraiser Luncheon for the Pinellas Mammography Voucher Program. We had 111 local women attend the luncheon/fundraiser held on October 21, 2014 at the Island Way Grill. Each attendee received a copy of the enclosed program listing the names of businesses who generously donated gifts for the event.

Through the generosity of yours and other local business, we raised in excess of $5,500 to support the activities of the Pinellas Mammography Voucher Program which helps women without adequate healthcare receive much needed preventative screening. That number equates to about 70 routine mammograms for women with no known problems or 50 diagnostic mammograms or 59 necessary ultrasounds. By your donation to the IEWC you are making a difference and helping many women in our community.




President, Island Estates Women's Club

Clean Your Indoor Air by Cleaning Your HVAC System

by Joanne Hiller

When the temperature gets cooler, you shut the windows and turn the heat on in an effort to keep your house warm. But what you're also doing is sealing the air inside your house.

While a good tight seal is very important to staying warm and keeping your energy bill in check, it also can really have an impact on indoor air quality.

"When you flip that switch on your heater, there is a lot of dust and debris - collected in the coils over the summer months - that either burns into fumes or gushes into the house through your vents," says Aaron Marshbanks, board member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA).

In addition, your heating system blends warm temperatures with air that can be moist, and which can be a haven for mold and mildew. Throw a fan on top of that, and the air quality inside your home can quickly plummet.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria and very small particles of dust. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. The removal of such contaminants from your HVAC system is crucial to improve indoor air quality. Plus, a clean system can save you money on your energy bill.

Further research from the EPA found that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to break down, have a longer life span, and generally operate more effectively than dirty systems.

"Heating and cooling uses up about half of the energy in your home," says Marshbanks. "But having a clean HVAC system can save you up to 30 percent in energy costs. Which means you have better air inside the house, and are helping the environment with an extra bit of cash in your pocket at the same time."

The top issues that affect a home's HVAC system, its efficiency and air quality are:

1. Filtration - Low-efficiency filters, lack of a filter replacement program and improperly sized filters can allow particles and debris to flow into a home or building.

2. Duct work contamination - It is estimated that about 90 percent of HVAC systems more than 10 years old will have some level of insulation deterioration. Over time, the insulation fibers are distributed and blown into occupied spaces every time the blower turns on.

3. Dirty evaporator coil - Over time, evaporator coils become matted with dust and dirt. During cold months, the heated air can flow over the dirty coils and be distributed into your home's interior space.

The best way to determine if your HVAC system is clean is to perform a visual inspection. If any dust or debris can be seen, the system needs to be serviced. Some of the things that may lead a home owner to consider more frequent cleaning include:

* Smokers in the household.
* Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander.
* Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system.
* Residents with allergies or asthma.
* Home renovations or remodeling.

The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems is to employ source removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum.

NADCA has published an internationally recognized standard that specifies requirements for proper cleaning. NADCA is a widely recognized nonprofit trade organization representing certified contractors worldwide that sets standards and provides certification and training for the industry. For more information about HVAC cleaning and to find a certified and knowledgeable contractor, visit

Create a Cozy Home This Fall with These Staging Tips

by Joanne Hiller

If you are selling your home during the fall, it is important to keep its exterior well-maintained and create a welcoming, cozy atmosphere indoors. Here are some ways to ensure your home appeals to as many prospective buyers as possible.

Yard Work
Mow your lawn and remove leaves and debris. Weed, get rid of dead flowers and trim back all branches and foliage so that everything looks neat, clipped and in keeping with the season. Give your flower beds a splash of color by adding some plants that flower in the fall, such as chrysanthemums, coneflowers, and salvias.

A Perfect Porch
Place seasonal flowers in large pots on both sides of your front door. Give your front door a fresh coat of paint and hang up a wreath made from seasonal flowers and foliage. This will provide the perfect finishing touch for your entrance area.

Exterior Excellence
Is your home exterior clean and free from paint chips or does it need to be pressure-washed and re-painted? Make sure the windows are clean. Do not forget to remove leaves, foliage and other wind-blown material from your gutters on a regular basis.

Inviting Interior
Remove clutter from all surfaces each day and keep as many personal items as possible out of sight. This can be a challenge now that the children have gone back to school, so ensure that they put away their school work, backpacks, and other school-related items each evening.

Holiday Decor
Don't let Holiday decorations overpower your home. Prospective buyers may find it hard to look beyond the decorations and see your home's true features and advantages. 

Keep It Cozy
Create a warm, cozy atmosphere that will encourage people to fall in love with your home. Adjust the temperature on your thermostat before each viewing to ensure that your home is comfortable and welcoming.

Add Some Warmth
Another way to create an inviting atmosphere is to add touches of warmth to each room. Place a fleecy throw on the arm of a comfortable chair, pile sumptuous pillows on your bed, and display fluffy towels in the bathroom.

Seasonal Decorations
Add some well-chosen seasonal decorations, such as a small basket of pine cones, long twigs in a terracotta vase, or a bowl of cinnamon-spiced potpourri.

Smells Like Fall
Do not neglect the scent of your home. Air fresheners and scented candles in such fragrances as apple, cinnamon, and vanilla will give your home an appealing atmosphere

5 Hot Home Decor Trends for Fall

by Joanne Hiller

Hot Home Trends

The weather may be cooling, but there are plenty of hot trends in home décor this fall. If you’re looking for a complete overhaul, or just a new way to freshen up a room or two, this fall features trends for every taste. No matter what your budget, there’s a trend to fit. Whether you hire an interior designer for a professional update, or hit the flea markets for an on-trend item or two, home décor is hot this fall.

1. Heavy Metal
Metal is making a comeback with everything from brass bathtubs, to stainless steel table bases, to tin backsplashes. Metal wall art, tabletop objects and bold picture frames are simple ways to try this trend without making a big commitment. Be careful not to overload on metallic, but a pop of shine here and there can take a room from drab to dramatic.

2. Light Wood
Dark wood has taken center stage for years. This fall, the pendulum on this trend swings the other way and lighter wood is making a comeback. An easy entry into this trend is a light wood accent chair. Available everywhere from high-end home stores to garage sales, light wood is making its way back into homes across the country.

3. Brighten up With Blue
Blues are back for fall and the hottest shade is turquoise. It’s a bold choice, but when done right it can brighten any room. From an accent wall, to bedding, to small appliances, turquoise is everywhere. Go big and paint an entire room, or start small with throw pillows. No matter where you incorporate turquoise, you can’t go wrong with this trend.

4. Pantone’s Predictions
Every year Pantone®predicts the hottest color palette. This year the choices are bold, and incorporating pops of color here and there in your home is simple. Colors include Radiant Orchid, Royal Blue, Aluminum and Aurora Red to name a few. Using one, or several of Pantone’s predictions can bring warmth and vibrancy into your home this fall.

5. Softer Black and White
Black and white have always been home design staples. This fall, the trend is toward softening these two hues. In their purest form, black and white can both be bold choices, but softening either turns a room from shocking to soothing. Whether it’s on the walls, upholstering the sofa or accenting a bathroom, try a softer side of black and white.

Try one, or all of these trends this fall and transform your house into your dream home.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Contact Information

Joanne Hiller
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
110 Island Way
Clearwater FL 33767
Fax: (727)446-2691