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Winters in the northeast constantly put your home and wallet to the test. That’s why we’re always looking for smart ways to keep the house buttoned-up against the cold that don’t cost a bundle.

One of the best all-around deals: scheduling a Mass Save no-cost Home Energy Assessment. During your appointment, an energy efficiency expert will prepare a personalized report outlining recommended energy efficiency improvements and even install no-cost savings measures, including LED lights; programmable thermostats; and water saving devices that will save you money on your next bill. You’ll also find out if you qualify for certain rebates, incentives, or zero-percent financing for eligible energy efficiency upgrades to your home.

Also, inspect your home to find places where you could be losing heat. For instance, if you see daylight under your front door it probably means you’re losing warm indoor air you’ve paid to heat. Some thresholds have screws that let you adjust the height and eliminate the gap.  Just be sure raising the threshold doesn’t get in the way of opening and closing the door. If the door drags on the threshold, it can wear out weather-stripping.  There are plenty of very affordable fixes in this Do-It-Yourself Guide to Sealing and Insulating with ENERGY STAR .

Worn, torn weather stripping around doors and windows creates drafts and lets in cold air. The U.S. Department of Energy reports drafty windows can be responsible for up to 25 percent of your heating bill. Weather-stripping and caulking around doors and windows can be a big help, and covering windows and sliding patio doors with clear plastic film can reduce heat loss. The transparent film is inexpensive, simple to put on, won’t harm the trim, and if installed correctly is barely noticeable. In the spring, the film peels off easily.

The savings from programmable thermostats are well-documented.  By automatically turning down the temperature by 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day, either when you’re not home or sleeping, these thermostats can cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent.

Also, your energy efficiency project may qualify for the Mass Save HEAT Loan program. With our HEAT Loan, you could qualify for a loan of up to $25,000 toward qualified energy efficient home improvements with terms up to seven years, depending on your local program sponsor and the loan provider.

To get started, call Mass Save at 866-527-7283 to schedule a Home Energy Assessment. A Mass Save representative will review the results of the assessment, let you know which improvements would be eligible for HEAT Loan financing, and give you all the paperwork you need.

We can’t stop winter—but we can make it more bearable and affordable.

If you're a member of the media and would like to arrange an interview with Bill, please call Priscilla Ress at 413-787-1055.