background image
¡°When you¡¯ve seen beyond
yourself, then you may find,
peace of mind is waiting
there.¡± - George Harrison
to keep their bedrooms toasty warm at night
when it¡¯s frigid outside, while turning the heat
down (or off!) in the rest of the home to help
save energy.
Clear heat registers
One common mistake homeowners make is
covering heat registers with furniture, toys
or other items that block the heat flow. To
improve heating efficiency, inspect all heat
registers in your home and remove anything
that¡¯s blocking them.
Seal leaks and lock windows
Phantom heat loss is a huge energy drain.
Test for leaks by using a flashlight to see
if light filters through cracks or try pulling
a dollar bill through. Then, seal air leaks
around utility cut-throughs, chimneys and
recessed lights with spray foam. Use caulk
and weather stripping to seal windows and
doorway drafts. Don¡¯t forget to close and lock
windows and doors. Locking pulls the compo-
nents tight against the weather-stripping to
block cold air from entering the home.
Install an Energy Star certified system
Energy Star certified energy-efficient prod-
ucts provide superior performance while
saving energy to help lessen the impact on
the world around us. The EPA Energy Star
program identifies heating and cooling prod-
ucts that are energy efficient and can save
you money.
Use your fireplace wisely
The warmth and ambiance of a wood-burning
fireplace are hard to beat on a chilly day. But
to ensure you don¡¯t lose valuable heat when
the fireplace is not in use, always remember
to close the damper when the fire is com-
pletely out.
Home & Garden
2016 October/November
Pg 7 - The Sunshine Express
Cut That Utility Bill This Winter
10 smart ideas to heat your home for less;
Budget-friendly ways to save
on home-heating costs
(BPT) As cooler temperatures begin to sweep
the nation, homeowners are turning on their
heat for the first time in months. With every
degree increase on the thermostat, utility bills
follow suit.
A warm, comfortable home shouldn¡¯t cost you
a small fortune. Luckily, there are some simple
strategies for combating the chill while lowering
heating costs at the same time.
Change the filters
The summer and fall months are a prime time
for airborne allergens and microbes, which
can clog furnace filters and inhibit airflow. This
makes your furnace work harder and in turn,
costs you more. Change your filters monthly to
help open airflow and save money.
Embrace the sun
Want to help heat your home for free during the
winter? Pay attention to the sun. Try opening
curtains on south-facing windows and the radi-
ant heat from the sun will help naturally heat
your home. Just remember to close them at
night to keep out the evening chill.
Use a programmable thermostat
You can save up to 10 percent a year on heating
and cooling by simply adjusting your thermo-
stat 7-10 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 hours a day,
according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Use a programmable thermostat to change the
temperature for time periods you are sleep-
ing or away from home. Some air conditioning
systems can be controlled remotely through a
smartphone app like ¡°Smart AC,¡± which works
seamlessly with LG duct-free systems, allowing
Fill attic insulation
When was the last time you checked
your attic¡¯s insulation? Heat rises
- so if you don¡¯t have proper insu-
lation in your attic, you¡¯re losing
money. Start by checking to make
sure insulation is evenly spread
throughout your attic. Then, visit
to learn recommended insulation
amounts for your region.
Lower your water heater tem-
Water heating accounts for about
18 percent of the energy consumed
in your home, according to the U.S.
Department of Energy. Consider
setting your water heater to a lower
setting of 120 Fahrenheit and you¡¯ll
still enjoy hot showers without a
utility bill that will scald you.
Hectic Holidays:
Keeping Your Cool
the homeowners to
wirelessly connect,
control and moni-
tor the temperature
through an easy-
to-use smartphone
Consider zoned
Instead of moving
air through duc-
twork as central
heating and air
conditioning sys-
tems do, duct-free
systems deliver
warm conditioned
air directly into a
room. Duct-free
systems like those
from LG provide
zone heating, allow-
ing homeowners
With end-of-year celebrations coming one after
another, transitioning from holiday to holiday can
ratchet up your stress level.
If you really want to enjoy the holiday season to the
fullest, it¡¯s important to find ways to create calm in
the chaos of party preparations, gift shopping, meal
planning and other forms of busy-ness. Here are
some tips to remain calm and in control as you move
through the hectic pace of the holidays:
Have a plan
The holidays are busy and stressful enough with-
out adding uncertainty and last-minute challenges
into the mix. Plan ahead for holiday celebrations so
that you know well in advance what you¡¯ll need to
make a memorable gathering. The further ahead you
plan, the more time you¡¯ll have for preparation, so
go ahead and create your Thanksgiving menu while
you¡¯re sneaking treats from the kids¡¯ Halloween
stash. Start your Christmas shopping list at the same
Establishing a budget can also help ensure you stay
calm during the holidays. Overspending is one of the
most stress-causing experiences of the season. Plan-
ning how much you¡¯ll spend for gifts, decorations and
entertainment can help remove the stress of watch-
ing the bills pile up.
Relieve stress with renting
The amount of clutter you need in your home always
seems to increase with the holidays - from Halloween
costumes and decorations, to dishes and silverware
for meals. Trying to gather everything in time can be
stressful, and figuring out where to store it all after
the holidays are over can be even more frustrating.
Renting holiday-related items can be a hassle-free
way to get what you need without the expense of
buying, the logistical challenges of borrowing and
the headache of storing stuff after the holidays. Lo-
cal rental stores carry everything you need to move
quickly and calmly from holiday to holiday.
You can rent Halloween costumes; chafing dishes,
silverware, dishes and linens for a big Thanksgiving
meal; and decor for Christmas and New Year¡¯s. You
can find tables and chairs, lighting, centerpieces and
even portable dance floors for New Year¡¯s parties.
Visit to find an American Rental
Association member store in your area, and remem-
ber to reserve items early as the holidays are a busy
time for rental stores as well.
Repurpose recipes
Your guest list probably changes from celebration
to celebration. The big Halloween party might in-
clude friends from the neighborhood or co-workers;
Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are for spend-
ing time with family; and your annual New Year¡¯s Eve
party involves practically everyone you know. Trying
to make different dishes and entirely unique menus
for every one of those holiday celebrations could
drive you crazy.
Try repurposing recipes and reusing dishes that are
easy to make, impressive to eat and work for you
and your budget. For example, the punch you made
for Halloween could also be great for New Year¡¯s,
especially with a grownup flare. The pumpkin cheese-
cake that was the perfect ending to your Thanksgiv-
ing menu can be just as delicious for New Year¡¯s.
Since each event will probably have a different guest
list, it won¡¯t look like you¡¯re repeating yourself.
Soothe your senses
Gaudy store displays, flashing holiday lights, blaring
TV and radio commercials - the sights and sounds
of the season can sometimes get to be too much.
Soothing your senses can help create calm amid the
chaos. While it may not be possible to completely
unplug from the sensory overload the holidays can
become, certain tactics can help relax you.
Try using aromatherapy at home and even in the
office to create a scented oasis of serenity. Scented
candles, potpourri or room spray in popular holiday
aromas like pine, cinnamon, peppermint and vanilla
can subliminally create calm. Music is also one of the
most enjoyable aspects of the holiday season. If you
love holiday music, playing it in the background while
you tackle chores like meal prep or gift wrapping can
help relax you and put you in a festive mood. Or, if
you¡¯re feeling overloaded with holiday music, put
on something else that you find soothing - classical
music, jazz or hip hop. Whatever works for you is the
right background music to help you enjoy the season!
Smart ways to create calm
as you rush from holiday
to holiday
(BPT) Less than a month separates
Halloween from Thanksgiving. And,
this year, Christmas, Hanukkah and
Kwanzaa are all within a day of each
other, and the two multi-day holi-
days both end on New Year¡¯s Day.