Category Archives: Spring Cleaning

8 Tips For Keeping Home Energy Costs Down This Summer

Home Energy CostsIt’s that time of year again. The days are long and the summer weather is beautiful. But with all the bright and shiny fun comes the heat, which in turn, creates higher home energy costs to keep cool. The outdoor temperatures are one thing that we are helpless to reduce in the short-term, but there are some steps that everyone can take to lower the amount of energy being used during the summer. Some of the biggest savings around the house come from doing a number of small things.

Here are 8 ways to save big on home energy costs.

1. Windows

Take advantage of the cool New England air at night. Turn off your air conditioners and open the windows to cool off your home. When you wake up in the morning, close the windows and lock them for a tight seal to trap in the cool air. Close your blinds as well, as this will block unneeded sunlight which can significantly warm up a room.

2. Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans won’t cool your home but they do circulate the air in your home making you feel cooler. This is only useful when you are home, so be sure to turn these fans off when you are not going to an area where they will affect you.

3. Vents & Filters

It is a little-known fact that if you shut your vents you actually are making your AC unit work harder to cool the rest of the house. By leaving your vents open you can save money and stress on your unit. The same goes for your filter, change it often and your system will last longer and not need to use unnecessary energy to keep your home cool.

4. Thermostat

Try to keep your thermostat in the range of 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a comfortable temperature and if used in conjunction with your ceiling fan will actually feel up to 4 degrees cooler than the set temperature.

5. Appliances

If you need to do a load of laundry, try to hold off until the evening. Also, consider not using hot water when you wash, as it is known that cold water requires less energy. If you have a dishwasher, refrain from using it during the daytime and try to hand-wash dishes when possible. All appliances consume energy when they are plugged in, even if they are not being used. Unplug any and all appliances when they are not in use.

6. Leaks

Take a lap around your home and make sure all of your weatherization is in good order. Much like leaving a window open while your air conditioner is on, cool air will escape from the tiniest leaks in window panes, doorways, etc. There’s no sense in paying more and stressing your AC to cool the outdoors.

7. Dress For the Weather

This tip doesn’t just apply to when you are in the household. Running errands or working in the yard with long sleeved shirts and thick pants will only entice you to go inside and stand in front of your AC until you’re cooled off. Wear short sleeved shirts, shorts and/or skirts whenever possible.

8. Hydrate!

Beat the heat from the inside out. Keeping those ice cube trays filled and consuming 8-10 glasses of cold water will not only keep you cool internally throughout the day but will also help you avoid potential health complications such as heat stroke. Lowering your body temperature this way will minimize the need for air conditioners or excessive fanning.

And don’t forget, staying mindful of your home energy costs isn’t the only way to save from month to month. Another great way to keep more money in your pocket year-round is through a homeowner’s insurance policy perfectly catered to your specific needs, so contact us today to find a plan that works for you!

Get Your FREE Homeowner’s Insurance Quote HERE!

Spring-Cleaning: 11 ‘To-Do’ Tasks We Sometimes Forget.

Spring CleaningSpring weather is starting to peak out! This means it’s time to get the yard in shape, cook on the grill, and spend quality time outside with family and friends. It is also the time of year to start from the ground up and get the house in order. With so many things to do, it’s no wonder we can often overlook important tasks to put on our spring-cleaning list. Here is a list of 11 chores that may slip your mind when making up that spring to-do list:

  1. Gather Unwanted Items

    The first step is to get rid of clutter around the house. Collect and separate unwanted items to either donate or throw away. Keep in mind that donating items to organizations such as Goodwill can be tax deductible if you obtain a receipt.

  2. Dust From Top to Bottom

    Begin your cleaning tasks by dusting absolutely everything. From the ceiling fans to entertainment centers and all flat surfaces, dusting first will ensure that no excess dust will fall onto areas you have already cleaned.

  3. Wipe Down the Walls

    Use a damp cloth with a mild cleanser to wipe down all painted walls and remove dust, dirt, handprints, etc.

  4. Wash All Linens

    Bed sheets, comforters, pillowcases, mattress pads and even cushion covers on couches should be washed and sanitized to remove built up germs and bacteria.

  5. Clean the Blinds and Curtains

    Washing windows is easy to remember, but blinds and curtains are often overlooked. Use a cleansing cloth to wipe blinds; Check to see if the fabric of your curtains is washing machine friendly and wash accordingly.

  6. Clean and Disinfect Trash Cans

    Use a hose (preferably outdoors to prevent a wet mess) and a disinfectant soap to wash the interior of your trash cans to eliminate odors that can accumulate and linger over time.

  7. Shake and Beat Rugs

    Shake your rugs outside and then wash with a scrub brush and stain remover appropriate for rugs and carpets. Hang them on a clothesline or banister to get a fresh, clean scent.

  8. Clean Out the Fridge

    Remove all expired food. Wipe down all interior shelves and storage bins with a sanitizer that is safe for the fridge. Insert a new and full box of baking soda to keep food odors to a minimum.

  9. Replace Batteries

    This task should be conducted YEAR-ROUND. Replace all of your fire and carbon monoxide alarms with fresh batteries and test them every month.

  10. Organize Documents

    All important documents should have a designated filing area. Any files or documents that are no longer necessary to keep must be shredded to prevent someone from obtaining your personal information.

  11. NEVER Mix Cleansers

    Combining cleaning substances doesn’t make them more effective, it can actually make them more dangerous! Mixing cleansers without proper knowledge of their contents could result in combustion or even illness.

We all have our “laundry list” of tasks that we automatically prepare for every spring season, but we hope that the list above has helped you think a little outside of the box. These are just a few suggestions for ways to freshen up your living space as warmer weather is finally among us. For additional information on healthy living, insurance inquiries, everyday safety and much more, check out our Facebook Page!