Tag Archives: winter

Increase Efficiency & Cut Down on Costs

Now that winter is here and we’ve gotten those first heating bills most of us are looking for ways to reduce our heating costs (again). With so many more options available today than in years past, it is easier than ever to improve the effectiveness of home heating and cut fuel costs. There is a growing trend toward more energy-efficient heating choices for the most cost-effective heating solution possible, as well as enhanced environmentally friendly living. Most local utility companies are offering incentives for moving toward more energy efficient systems. Popular Mechanics has a list of suggestions for reducing energy bills.

Fun Winter Facts!

The US Post Office processes more than three billion Christmas cards every year.

It can be as warm as 40 degrees on the ground and still snow.

It is never too cold to snow. Snow can always fall if it is cold and there is moisture in the air.

The coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was -128 degrees in Antarctica in 1983.

“Guinness Book of World Records” says the biggest snowflake was 8 inches by 15 inches.

Winter Energy Savings Tips

  • You can save up to 5% in heating costs for each degree that you lower your thermostat in the 60°F to 70°F range.
  • Wear warm clothing and set the thermostat to 68° (20°C) or lower during the day and evening, health permitting.
  • Set the thermostat to 55° (13°C) or off when leaving home for a long time or at night to save 5% to 20%. (Heat pumps should only be set back 2° [1°C] to prevent unneeded use of backup strip heating.)
  • Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use; replace or clean furnace filters monthly. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use up to 5%.
  • To save 7% to 11% in water-heating costs, reduce the hot water temperature. Set it to 120° (49°C) unless your dishwasher requires a higher setting. Insulate the first five feet of pipe coming out of the top of your water heater.

Prepare your home for winter

Associated Content says, “The proper preparation of your home for the cold winter months [that] lie ahead can ensure that your heating bills will be lowered, your home will be protected from storm damage and potential worries will be dispatched. Preparing your home for the winter months should only take a day or two at most of your time, and the associated costs should be minimal if issues are addressed personally. While some preparatory [measures] do have a cost attached that cannot be avoided, it is foolish to overstep the boundaries of skill and common sense in the futile attempt to save a few bucks. If certain tasks require a licensed professional or are dangerous in any manner, pay a qualified individual to perform them and go have a cup of coffee while experiencing that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing you made the right call.” See the full article here.

How to prepare your home for winter

Associated Content says, “The proper preparation of your home for the cold winter months [that] lie ahead can ensure that your heating bills will be lowered, your home will be protected from storm damage and potential worries will be dispatched. Preparing your home for the winter months should only take a day or two at most of your time, and the associated costs should be minimal if issues are addressed personally. Continue reading

How to keep second floors warmer!

StaircaseDo your feet get cold on your upstairs floor in the winter? Does the downstairs roast while the upstairs chills? Are there big vaulted ceilings that restrict air movement? You’ve probably checked the furnace filter, but did you (or a professional) check the ducting for leaks, obstructions, proper sizing and number? Are your ceiling fans set for winter circulation? Is the insulation sufficient? All of these are factors are common heating issues in modern two-story homes. Here are some good suggestions from eHow for how to improve second-floor heating. If you continue to have problems after you’ve done all the common-sense things within your abilities, we suggest you find a qualified professional to check the system.

14 Winter Home Improvements that Save You Money

Money houseThe polar vortex has descended with a vengeance on much of the U.S. this year, setting records for low temperatures and threatening to send utility bills skyrocketing. While you can’t do anything about the chilly weather, you can take steps to make your home more energy efficient and pay less for heating. To start, the U.S. Department of Energy has a do-it-yourself energy audit on its website, or you can call a contractor for a professional audit. Homeowners should start with smaller tweaks to their home before making big-ticket purchases. “There are a lot of changes you can do before you get a new furnace,” says Todd Recknagel, CEO of AM Conservation Group in Charleston, South Carolina. What matters most is keeping the warm air in and the cold air out. There are a number of measures you can take to accomplish those goals, from inexpensive, do-it-yourself repairs to more pricey renovations that require hiring a contractor. The areas where you can get the most energy savings for the money are insulation, windows and closing up cracks in walls, around windows and doors and any other spot where air might slip through. See the complete U.S. News and World Reports article.

How to prepare your home for Winter

Snow for the HolidaysAssociated Content says, “The proper preparation of your home for the cold winter months [that] lie ahead can ensure that your heating bills will be lowered, your home will be protected from storm damage and potential worries will be dispatched. Preparing your home for the winter months should only take a day or two at most of your time, and the associated costs should be minimal if issues are addressed personally. While some preparatory [measures] do have a cost attached that cannot be avoided, it is foolish to overstep the boundaries of skill and common sense in the futile attempt to save a few bucks. If certain tasks require a licensed professional or are dangerous in any manner, pay a qualified individual to perform them and go have a cup of coffee while experiencing that warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing you made the right call.” See the full article here.

Laminate flooring care and maintenance

Laminate TextureWith the onset of winter weather there will be added wear and tear on laminate floors. A little common sense and simple maintenance can help you preserve them. As with most things, a little prevention goes a long way. Floor mats inside and out can be a good first preventive measure, as can areas rugs in areas of high traffic and protective casters under furniture. Clean dirt and other abrasive materials as quickly as possible; clean up spills as soon as they occur. Avoid wet mops, abrasive cleaners and soaps, and purchase a cleaning solution that is specially formulated for your floor type. There are some good care and cleaning tips here and here.