Speaking of snow storms and fireplaces, I’m so glad I could share this very helpful article full of tips on how to winterize your home, courtesy of NRG Residential Solutions. Taking these simple steps will help ensure you and your family will stay cozy and safe during these winter months!
- 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. Make sure you have your chimney cleaned to prevent corrosion of the chimney walls.
- 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.
- Windows – Cracked or old windows can be a big source of heat loss in your home so you should think about replacing older windows in your house.
- 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.
- 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.
There’s no doubt heating your home is one of the biggest expenses during these cooler months. But by following the above “energy smart” tips, you’ll save yourself from more serious home problems and spending more money fixing those problems later on!
To help you make your home more energy efficient and continue to applaud our beloved Redskins NFL team, one of you, lucky Hip Mama’s Place readers, will get to win this awesome Energy Efficient prize pack from NRG Residential Solutions!
This prize pack contains:
- One official Redskins team jersey shirt
- One Redskins scarf
- One NRG-branded mini football
- A $25 Home Depot store gift card for you to purchase energy efficient products for your home
*CONTEST ENTRY RULES:
To enter this contest, you MUST FOLLOW ALL (4) four simple steps to earn your entry!
1. “Like” Hip Mama’s Place on Facebook
2. Follow Hip Mama’s Place on Twitter
3. Follow Hip Mama’s Place on Pinterest
4. Leave a comment on this post answering the question: “How do/did you prep your home for the winter to make it safe and energy efficient?”
In your comment, please include your Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest user names to verify your participation and your email address to contact you if you win.
To earn an extra entry, simply tweet this post or giveaway that includes the link: http://bit.ly/1dbhvlC and hash tags #giveaway AND #winteriscoming AND @HipMamasPlace in your Twitter post. You will earn (1) ONE EXTRA ENTRY PER TWEET and there is no limit to how many times you can tweet per any day throughout the duration of this giveaway contest.
Example of a valid tweet:
I want to win the Redskins and Home Depot gift card #giveaway #winteriscoming @HipMamasPlace! http://bit.ly/1dbhvlC
To get credit for each extra entry by tweeting, make sure to leave a comment on this post with your Twitter post link – one for each tweet you do. Be creative with your tweets and don’t just copy the above sample tweet.
This contest is open to U.S. addresses only and ends on December 27, 2013 at 12MN, EST. One (1) winner will be picked at random using Random.org at the end of the contest. Good luck!
About the Author: Jocelyn Cañasa-Brown is a working mom of two boys and is a recognized blogger and mom influencer in the Washington, DC area. In her spare time, she designs and creates her own handmade jewelry, maintains her jewelry store on Etsy and is an active moms group organizer and leader both online and offline. Hip Mama’s Place was nominated for Parents 2011 Best All-Around Mom Blog and named one of the Highest Rated Blogs and Sites on Nickelodeon ParentsConnect for the Washington, DC area. Follow Jocelyn on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.