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11 Tips to Winterize Your Home This Fall

Posted by Hanscom Federal Credit Union on Oct 22, 2018 7:30:00 AM

Longer nights and falling leaves are the precursor to heating bills and chilly times at home. When you winterize your home now before the snows blow in, it can minimize the impact to your wallet later on. Here, ten easy winterizing tips at a variety of price points...plus a bonus tip:

Free

Here are some simple things you can do that require no financial investment...just a few minutes of your time are all that's required:

  • Open the shades. While lowered shades provide a break to summer's heat, raising them lets you take advantage of "solar heating" during winter's sunny days.  Let those rays heat your home!
  • Turn off your lights. Your parents’ refrain to turn off the lights still applies. Even with more efficient lighting (fluorescent or LED), turning off lights when leaving a room still makes good sense.
  • Adjust your hot water heater. Set the temperature on your hot water heat between 110° Fahrenheit and 130° Fahrenheit. A perfect target is 120° Fahrenheit. This simple move saves energy and prevents dangerous scalds.
  • Air dry clothes and dishes. Air drying helps to reduce costs and even introduces some beneficial moisture into dry winter air.

Low Cost

If you've got a little money to spend on winterizing, try these tips:

  • Install a door sweep. Make sure the gap at the bottom of exterior doors is sealed. A door sweep is the best way to do this, or you can make a fun one by using a necktie stuffed with batting!
  • Seal all holes and cracks with caulk. Latex caulking is easy to use and clean up. A little dab will go a long way preventing heat loss. If you have a larger hole and suspect mice may be looking for a warm place to overwinter, stuff the hole with steel wool first, then seal.
  • Change filters. If you heat with forced hot air, replace the filter as indicated by the manufacturer. A simple filter may need to be replaced monthly while a more sophisticated pleated filter can go for a longer period of time.

Higher Cost

These winterizing options also provide lasting payback, and may be partially funded after a home energy assessment:

  • Add insulation. Insulation is a simple passive addition to homes providing long term benefit. Focus on attic insulation, electrical outlet insulation and hot water tank insulation. Insulating exposed hot water pipes is simple and provides a payback. Insulation can also increase your home's value!
  • Install updated thermostats. Thermostats are a key part of your heating system and often go overlooked. Standard manual thermostats depend on human interaction to change settings. Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to add additional information about when people are expected to be home, away, or sleeping. Now the latest "smart thermostats" actually learn your schedule and preferences and anticipate when heat is needed. They also try to expand your comfort zone and slowly change settings over time, encouraging energy consumption.Programmable thermostats allowed homeowners to add additional information about when people are expected to be home, away, or sleeping. The latest "smart thermostats" actually learn your schedule and preferences, anticipating when heat is needed. They also try to expand your comfort zone by slowly changing settings over time, encouraging energy conservation.
  • Update the furnace. While a new furnace is a substantial cost, if you're heating with a furnace dating from the Dark Ages, you’ll be surprised by how much more efficient your home heating system can be, providing you with ongoing savings.

Now for our bonus tip: A home energy assessment is a great way to uncover improvement opportunities for winterizing your home. The assessment will give you a top-to-bottom review of your abode and include concrete tips, many of which you can apply immediately to realize cost savings this winter. One that we often discuss in this blog is the no-cost Mass Save® Home Energy Assessment. What we especially like about this program is that Mass Save® provides the opportunity to apply for 0% financing through its Mass Save® Heat Loan program. This is available for qualified energy efficient home improvements, such as adding high efficiency heating or water systems, improving your home’s insulation, and replacing windows. Hanscom FCU is a participating statewide lender for the Mass Save® Heat Loan program. To learn more about this program, what it covers and how to qualify so you can winterize your home wisely and economically, visit our Mass Save Loan Program page. 

Keep in mind that home heating costs are projected to continue at high levels for the next few years, so any investment you make now will pay off nicely over time.

So go forth and winterize your home with the confidence you're making a sound financial decision!

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Topics: Mass Save, Home Ownership, Green

7 Places to Get Free Flu Shots in 2018

Posted by Hanscom Federal Credit Union on Oct 19, 2018 7:57:00 AM

We’re in the thick of autumn, with leaves falling and pumpkin everything filling store shelves. We have lots to do this time of year, but there’s one task that deserves the top spot on everyone’s to-do list: getting flu shots before flu season arrives. What may make the task more palatable for you is getting your flu shots for free!

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Topics: Insurance, Money Management

Celebrate International Credit Union Day With Us!

Posted by Hanscom Federal Credit Union on Oct 17, 2018 7:18:00 AM

Thursday, October 18, 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of International Credit Union Day. This year’s theme is “Find Your Platinum Lining.” It combines the traditional gift of platinum for 70th anniversaries with a play on the saying, “Every cloud has a silver lining.”

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Topics: Credit Unions, Hanscom FCU

We Have Answers to Your Money Management Questions

Posted by Hanscom Federal Credit Union on Jul 15, 2018 10:54:00 AM

We created a financial education suite with you in mind. It gives you tools to manage your money wisely. Find our popular MoneyWisdom blog, downloadable how-to guides, and 24/7 access to financial counselors – all available to you in the privacy of your own home and at no cost.

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Topics: Money Management, How-to Guides, Financial Wellness

Free checking with rewards? Say hello to Kasasa

Posted by Hanscom Federal Credit Union on Jul 13, 2018 11:50:17 AM

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Topics: Financial Wellness, Kasasa, Checking

Boston Marathon Team Raises $44,000 for Boston Children's Hospital

Posted by Hanscom Federal Credit Union on Jul 13, 2018 11:42:16 AM

 
Team Hanscom FCU – Elizabeth, Andy, and Ray

Despite some of the worst weather in Boston Marathon history, our Team Hanscom FCU runners pushed through the difficult conditions and finished the race, raising approximately $44,000 along the way. Your generous contributions will be given to Credit Union Kids at Heart, which last year donated $180,000 to Boston Children’s Hospital. Thank you for contributing to this effort!

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Topics: Boston Marathon, Raising Money, Hanscom FCU, Hanscom FCU Community, Community

Emergency savings accounts: Where to stash your cash

Posted by Hanscom Federal Credit Union on Jul 1, 2018 1:48:00 PM

What if your income stream suddenly stopped? Would paying for the essentials be difficult? What if an unexpected expense, such as a medical bill, popped up? Would you be able to pay it? Many people turn to credit to help them make ends meet in difficult times. While it may provide temporary relief, it could cost you, as interest accumulates on your balance if you cannot pay it in full. Not to mention, it may be a struggle to make the payments each month.

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Topics: Savings, Money Management

6 Summer Saving Tips

Posted by Hanscom Federal Credit Union on Jun 30, 2018 1:29:00 PM

Everybody loves summer, right? School’s out. Students are graduating. Friends are getting married. And everybody’s thinking vacay! Trouble is, the costs for all that fun can add up and sink your savings goals in the process. The good news is that with a little planning, you and your family can enjoy all that summer has to offer, without busting your budget.

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Topics: Savings, Saving Money

Are you financially prepared for a natural disaster?

Posted by Hanscom Federal Credit Union on Jun 29, 2018 12:56:10 PM

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Topics: Insurance, Money Management

Should you pay for travel insurance?

Posted by Hanscom Federal Credit Union on Jun 21, 2018 1:20:56 PM

You’re about to purchase airfare online. You’re almost done booking the ticket when you’re confronted with the question: Do you want to add travel insurance to your purchase?

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Topics: Travel, Insurance

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