It’s another Merry Monday so that means it’s giveaway time! Today, we’re giving away a really fun Winter Efficiency Philadelphia Eagles Fan Pack to one very lucky winner courtesy of NRG Residential Solutions as part of their Winter Efficiency educational campaign in Philadelphia.
The temperature has dropped and I don’t know about you but my house is just cold all the time lately. We’ve got an older home (built in 1830) so it’s one of those homes that’s really difficult to heat in winter. Our energy bills are through the roof this time of year so any tips to help winterize the home and save some money are greatly appreciated.
Heating your home is one of the biggest expenses during the cooler months ahead. Thankfully, Jim Steffies*, President of Northeast Retail at NRG Residential Solutions, has shared his best tips on how everyone can become more efficient at winterizing their homes. These simple steps can help make sure you are doing everything you can to be energy smart while still staying cozy during the winter months.
Winterizing Your Home: An Easy How-To Guide By Jim Steffes
Tune-up before you turn up the heat.
A poorly functioning furnace can be an inconvenience, more importantly; it can be dangerous if left undetected. A qualified HVAC expert can help you inspect and maintain the key components of your system, including:
- Chimneys and Fireplaces – Inspect and repair issues before colder temperatures set in. Make sure the flue damper works properly on your wood-burning fireplace so you can keep it closed when the fireplace is not in use.
- Filters – Often one of the easiest things to check and change, filters act like lungs to keep the air in your home clean and pure. Replacing “congested” filters helps make sure that your system is not working overtime, using more energy than necessary, to do its job.
- Fuel Lines – Last but not least, make sure a qualified expert checks all fuel lines for safety and functionality.
Seal up the house.
According to The Department of Energy, by reducing drafts in a home, energy savings can range from 5% to 30% per year, and the home is generally much more comfortable afterward. Check and replace the seals in your house, especially doors to the basement and attic. Try sliding a piece of paper through the crevice between the door and the frame; if it slips through, it’s time to replace the seal.
Be energy smart about heating up.
Once you’ve done everything to keep the heat in your house, it’s time to be smart about how you keep warm at home. Combining technology with some tried-and-true tools will go a long way to maximize energy efficiency. For instance:
- Invest in learning. According to the Consumer Energy Center, even installing and setting a basic programmable can lower electricity bills by 10 percent. The next evolution beyond traditional programmable thermostats, newer versions, such as the Nest Learning Thermostat™ help set your home’s temperature efficiently by learning your patterns and helping ensure that you are not using energy unnecessarily when you don’t need to. The learning thermostat will learn your schedule and adjust itself automatically. You can even use a smartphone app to adjust the thermostat so your home is comfortably heated when you come back from work. While this technology sells for $249 at most home improvement stores, some energy providers, including NRG Residential Solutions, offer it for free as part of a plan that is designed to promote energy conservation.
- Smart ways to keep cozy. Space heaters might be an obvious way to turn up the heat, but they can use a lot of energy and could potentially be a safety risk. If you’re one of those people who need to be extra toasty, consider energy efficient items like an electric blanket to stay warm instead. Don’t forget to take advantage of heat generated by the sun simply by opening blinds and curtains during the day to let the sunshine in.
- Keep hot air from rising. When turning back the clock in the fall, turn fans clockwise for the winter to redirect air toward the living space, making the most of the warm air in the house.
Thanks to NRG Residential Solutions, one lucky Phillyfun4kids reader will also get to score this great prize of an official Eagles jersey, an official Eagles scarf to keep you warm and toasty this winter, an NRG branded mini-football, as well as a $25 home improvement retail gift card to purchase winterizing products for your home at a local home store.
To enter, simply fill out this rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends on Saturday December 21st at 11:59pm. Good luck! And stay warm this winter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
* Jim Steffes is president of NE Retail for NRG Residential Solutions, one of the area’s newest energy providers committed to bringing smart and innovative energy solutions to residents in Baltimore. To learn more about NRG Residential Solutions plans available in your area, go to www.picknrg.com.
Disclosure: This post and giveaway were created in connection with my appointment as an NRG Residential Solutions Ambassador. NRG Residential Solutions generously provided two Winter Efficiency Themed gifts (one for me and one for a lucky phillyfun4kids reader). As always all opinions expressed about winterizing your home being smart especially in temps like we have here in Philly this week are my own.