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Preparing Your Home For Winter

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

It is that time of year. Cold fronts are moving in, storms and strong winds are sweeping the land and we want to spend our time indoors, bundled up and warm. During these months it can be quite a fight to keep warm, so we put together a list of things you can do to keep the cold outside.

  1. Avoid Drafts From Doors
    Between 5-30% of energy can be wasted due to drafts, says the US Department of Energy. Combat these air pockets with draft snakes. These can be purchased, but even a rolled up towel can do the job. This could also be a fun DIY project, filling some fabric with sand or cat litter, adding some eyes or decorating it do your liking.
    Draft-Snake
  2. Replace Your Air / Furnace Filters
    Clogged up air filters can restrict airflow and waste energy consumption. Why not get on a firm schedule to replace your filters once a month (or according to the filter recommendation) to get maximum performance out of your heater or furnace?
    filter
  3. Insulating Window Shades
    Windows are one of the biggest energy loss sources on a house, especially on older homes. One can offset this by installing window coverings with insulating properties. By far the best insulators are double cellular shades or double cell honeycomb shades. The honeycomb design traps cool air inside the cell, creating a double barrier with the double honeycomb design. An insulating window covering can be a true energy saver.
    cellular-shades
  4. Fan in Reverse
    Few people would think of this and not all fans are designed that way, but then again many are. When running the fan in reverse it actually sucks air up, pulling cool air to the top and distributing the warmer air into the room. It’s all in the blades direction. See what your fan is capable of!
    clockwise_winter_direction
  5. Install Storm Windows and Doors
    Now, this is a bigger project that might not be on everyone’s’ to do list, but what a difference it can make! Quality storm windows can decrease energy loss by 45%. They reduce drafts, help insulate and increase light in your home. Should your windows be due for replacement look for Energy-Star certified models.
    storm-window-bg-hero
  6. Give Your Heating System A Tune-Up
    Just like our cars need maintenance to run properly, our heating systems do as well. Many companies recommend twice a year for your unit to run as efficiently as possible.
    fall-furnace-tune-up
  7. Buy Window Insulation Kit
    For just a few bucks your can purchase insulating tape in your local home goods store. This tape is not visible, so not a headache to install either. It helps with drafts and adds a buffer.
    frost-king-film-lg
  8. Wear A Sweater
    Especially down here in the south we are guilty of not putting on the right wardrobe for cold weather. Walk the streets during cold temps and you still see people in flip flops and shorts; yet they complain about how cold it is. So put on that sweater, those wool house boots and a pretty scarf. You will feel much more comfortable in an instant.
    penguins-wearing-sweaters

Insulating Your Home For The Summer

Monday, April 28th, 2014

ThermostatSummer is just about here, and for us Texans it already is. The last couple of days have been around 100 degrees and we know it won’t be long before these temperatures become a constant. In case you still have a little while to prepare, it isn’t too early to think about how to better insulate your home and keep the summer heat out and the AC bill low. So here are some tips:

  • Get the right window shades for your problem areas of the house. Cellular shades are superior in regards to insulation. The cellular design keeps air trapped inside the honeycomb and helps to insulate your home.
  • A digital thermostat is a great way to regulate temperature in your home. Change temps and settings during times you are at work and have the AC kick in before you come home. This can be a real money saver.
  • Make sure windows and doors have proper seals. Checking windows and doors for leaks and getting seals updated can help keep rooms cooler during summer.
  • Use your fans first. Circulating the cool air that is pumped into your room will help to get a room cooled down quicker. At the same time the breeze of the fan will help us feel more comfortable.
  • During the day when kids might be in school and you are mostly in only one or two areas of the home, keep only those areas at the lower temperature. Kid’s rooms and other areas can be 10 percent warmer and save you money.
  • Plant trees! What a difference shade can make. Homes that are protected from direct sunlight have a huge advantage when it comes to keeping it cool. It might take years to get there, but it will be worth it. And who doesn’t enjoy the beauty of nature right in front of our windows?
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