Like it or not, winter is here! If you own an older home you know that equals drafts. The best solution is replacement windows but that isn’t always budget friendly. What you can do is protect your home with an easy-to-install window insulation film. They sell them at most stores and they drastically cut down on drafts and energy costs, saving you money. Who doesn’t like that?
How to Install a Smart Thermostat
Winter is here and with it comes an increase in energy costs. One way to cut down on those costs is to install a smart thermostat.
What is a smart thermostat?
Whereas a typical room thermostat just lets you change the temperature in your home using a dial or control panel, a smart thermostat gives you full control over your home’s heating.
Smart thermostats allow you to manage your home’s temperature based on the time of day and from a remote location, using your smart phone, tablet or desktop. Another key feature of some smart thermostats is that they learn and adapt to your behavior.
Most smart thermostats will also display your real-time energy consumption and even adjust this automatically based on factors such as humidity and weather conditions.
Why do I need one?
Here are 8 benefits to a smart thermostat!
Now that you have all of the information, how do you install one? It’s easy with this DIY video from Home Advisor. So grab your tools and let’s get to work!
Guide To An Efficient Home
Save up to 30% on energy costs with this handy infographic!
Energy Efficiency – An infographic by the team at MrHandyman.com
How To Winterize Your Home
Winter is coming and it’s coming fast! Temperatures are dropping and things are starting to freeze. Don’t let your home be one of them. With these helpful tips, you can make sure your home stays nice and warm all while saving energy. Take a look….
Chimney Cleaning 101
Did you know that most structure fires, fire deaths and fire injuries occur in the home? According to the National Fire Protection Association, an average of 357,000 reported home structure fires caused 2,470 civilian deaths per year. During the five-year period of 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 357,000 home structure fires per year. These fires caused an annual average of 2,470 civilian deaths, 12,890 civilian fire injuries, and $6.9 billion in direct property damage.
Home fire deaths occur more often in winter and between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. In 2009-2013, 28% of home structure fires and one-third of home structure fire deaths occurred in the winter months of December, January and February. Of these fires, heating equipment was the second leading cause of home fires, home fire deaths, and home fire injuries during this period. Chimney fires were the most common type of heating fire!
I’m not saying all this to scare you. I am, however, trying to warn you. We all think it’s not going to happen to us. Well, why not make sure of it? The number one way to prevent a chimney fire is by cleaning your chimney EVERY year BEFORE you use it! I know it’s dirty work but isn’t it worth it? Below is a video on how to do it yourself. It’s really not that hard. Give it a try. It could save your life!
As with anything, if you are not comfortable handling it yourself, hire a professional. Whatever route you choose, just do it!
Is Your Home Green?
I’m not talking about color. I’m talking about lifestyle. “Going green” means to pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.
There are several ways you can achieve this. Here are just a few…
Install a programmable thermostat
These automatically adjust for when you are away or asleep, saving you money.
Set your hot water tank to 120
Not only does higher temperatures increase risk of injury, it also increases energy costs as well.
Start a nightly routine
Go through the house and make sure all unused lights, appliances, ceiling fans, electronics, etc are all turned off.
Upgrade your appliances
Today’s appliances are so energy efficient. They come with ratings so you’ll know exactly what you are getting.
Seal, Seal, Seal!
Around windows, doors, basements, attics! Everywhere that cool air can get in and heat can escape. Also, if you have older windows, you may want to cover them with those shrinking plastic kits until you can afford to replace them.
Buy energy efficient light bulbs
These typically use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescent, saving you money and they last significantly longer!
One last thing I want to include is specific for Massachusetts home owners. Have you ever heard of Mass Save? It is an initiative sponsored by Massachusetts gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers. They work closely to provide a wide range of energy efficiency services to help residents manage energy use and related costs. They have rebates, incentives, tips, resources and more. There is even a place to take an online assessment to see where you could save more. It’s a great program and is worth checking out. Just click HERE!
Well, that’s it for now. Stay warm!
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