WINTERIZE YOUR HOME: FIVE TIPS TO STAY COZY

You've turned on the heat and there's snow in the forecast; winter is coming to the Northern Hemisphere, and whether you're excited or dreading it, the impact on your home is the same. Heating costs can be a huge financial strain, and the wasted energy has a long-term impact on the environment. Don't worry; you can make some small changes that add up to big savings. 

1. Use Your Fans! Yep, those fans still have a lot to offer your home even in the dead of winter. Many ceiling fans have a switch that allow them to turn in the opposite direction, which can help push warm air back down and keep your space comfortable. This handy trick can reduce your heating bill by as much as 10%. 

2. Stop Drafts. Even the newest homes can lose 5 to 30% of heat through gaps in windows, doors, and roofing joints. Using the simple draft snake, a long, tubular piece that covers open spaces in your door frame, can save you hundreds of dollars over your lifetime. Examine these spaces and take measures to reduce or eliminate cold air rushing in, cooling your home, and even giving your thermostat false readings. 

3. Address Your Windows. The next step after you stop up those gaps is to really reduce cold air through all of the windows. Plastic kits are available at any hardware store, and they're very easy to install. If you have old windows, it may be a worthwhile investment to replace them with more modern and efficient windows. Many of these improvements qualify for a federal tax credit totaling as much as 10% of the expense! 

4. Turn down that thermostat. Don't heat an empty home! When everyone is gone to work or school, turn down your thermostat during the day. We recommend 55 degrees or so. The same goes for evenings when your family is tucked away in bed and under warm blankets; you can sleep in 58-60 degrees rather comfortably. Many modern thermostats are programmable to adjust by the hour, while others connect to your phone using WiFi, making it easy to adjust your heat at home no matter where you are! 

5. Use An Energy Monitor. New products offer a way to monitor how much energy you are using in real time! Seeing what you're using, and projecting your monthly bill, allows you to see what activities and behaviors have the biggest impact on your day-to-day energy needs. It's a great way to gain valuable insight to your energy uses and a way to motivate more efficiency. Monitors can cost between $50-80 for most models, while experts say they can help homes save hundreds of dollars a year! 

There are lot of ways to offset costs, and these are just a few. For a more comprehensive look at your unique needs, residential or commercial, we offer a free consultation! 

Bundle up, stay cozy, and enjoy your winter more efficiently and responsibly! 

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" We increased our lighting on the interior & exterior areas and decreased our lighting cost! A big improvement in the quantity and quality of light... handling of our rebate and tax incentives was an added bonus. "

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