As Texas begins to thaw, homeowners and renters alike begin to think of bluebonnets, swimming pools and, of course, spring-cleaning. A time-honored tradition, this is typically the time when the whole house gets turned inside out in an effort to roust the dirt from all its many hiding places. With the hot summer months just around the bend, spring cleaning is also the best time to make your home more energy efficient. With these quick and easy energy saving tips from Cirro Energy, you can get the most out of spring cleaning.
Making your home more energy efficient may be easier than you think! Little things like using energy efficient light bulbs, dusting air vents and changing air filters can add up to make a big difference. Use this checklist to make the most of your spring cleaning, and start saving energy in your home:
What else should you do for your home this spring? It’s a great time to perform a safety inspection. Test and replace batteries in all smoke detectors, check fire extinguishers and check/clean power outlets. Keeping your home safe, clean and in good working order is all a part of helping your family thrive.
Helping homeowners and their families is important to Cirro Energy. That’s why we offer electric plans to fit your family’s needs and work within your budget. For more information on Cirro Energy electric plans, visit the website. To connect with the online community, visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
At Cirro Energy, we understand that sometimes being thrifty can put a damper on your social life. This is especially true on holidays such as Valentine’s Day, when everyone’s either going out and spending money on a big date or staying in and spending energy cooking an elaborate meal. How can you conquer this conundrum? Cirro Energy has some great ideas for energy-saving Valentine’s Day dates.
- Enjoy the great outdoors. A stroll in the park, a day at the arboretum, or even a trip to the lake costs little to nothing, and yet benefits the body and soul. Plan a day date to fit your couple personality: if you’re active, try a new adventure; if you’re more easygoing, try a scenic walk.
- Have candlelit snacks. Taken from an ancient Persian poem, “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.” Why not dine on bread, cheese and wine by candlelight and reminisce about your relationship?
- Order in. Save your energy, and the energy in your home, by deciding not to cook this year. Instead, order in, perhaps exploring a cuisine that’s new to you or maybe just enjoying an old favorite.
- If you’re determined to cook that romantic dinner, use good energy sense. Consider something that can be made in the slow cooker or a dinner that requires minimal cooking time. If you’re using the oven, use ceramic or glass baking dishes, and you’ll be able to set your oven for 25 degrees less than the recipe suggests.
- Make Valentine’s Day a family affair. Save gas, energy and money by skipping the usual babysitter and date night routine. Instead, throw a family party with homemade decorations, favorite snacks and handmade cards to exchange. You’ll be saving energy while building memories and reinforcing familial bonds.
Building strong relationships is important to a strong family life, and helping families thrive is important to Cirro Energy. That’s why we offer electric plans to fit your family’s needs and work within your budget. For more information on Cirro Energy electric plans, visit www.cirroenergy.com. To connect with the online community, visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
At Cirro Energy, we understand the needs of families in our community. When the weather outside is frightful, and all your kids want to do is sit and play the video games they received as holiday gifts, your family probably needs some new ideas for staying active while stuck indoors. Don’t worry! Here are a few suggestions from Cirro Energy for fun indoor activities to keep the kids active (and perhaps save the sanity of their loving parents).
- Have an impromptu dance party! Nothing gets the heart pumping like some lively music, and this is a great activity for the whole family. Not only is it a good way to help kids burn energy, but you can also show off your silliest dance moves for some family fun!
- Create an indoor obstacle course. Use an inexpensive indoor tunnel and some throw pillows or couch cushions, and maybe a hula-hoop or two, to turn a large room into a fun obstacle course raceway.
- Make the most of the video games. When choosing video games for your children, choose games that encourage them to be active. You know they’ll want to spend all their time playing, so why not use that time wisely?
- Organize an indoor holiday parade! Designate a parade route through the house, give the little ones some toy instruments or pots and pans, dress them in holiday finery, throw on some marching music, and let the noisy fun begin!
- Pull out the old favorites. You don’t have to be high-tech or modern to have a great time being active inside. Think back to the games you played as a child for inspiration: tape off a hopscotch game in the kitchen, have crab-walking races across the living room or play Simon Says in the family room.
Finding ways for kids to burn off their energy is great for the whole family, but burning through energy at your house is not so good for your electric bill. If you need help managing your energy costs, you’ve got an ally, because helping families thrive is important to Cirro Energy. That’s why we offer electricity plans to fit your family’s needs and work within your budget. For more information on Cirro Energy electricity plans, visit the Cirro Energy website. To connect with the online community, visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
One thing most homeowners have in common is the watchful eye they keep on electric costs. During the winter, those costs can rise due not only to the expense of heating your home, but also because of the big family meals that seem to stack up at this time of year. A homeowner’s choice of appliances can have an impact on utility costs, so we’ve lined up a helpful guide to help you make energy-smart decisions while you’re keeping your crowd fed.
- Slow cookers are an all-season favorite. During summer, when you want to serve hot meals without heating your kitchen, they can be extremely helpful. In the winter, though, their efficiency is questionable. The advantage of a slow cooker is that it saves time spent in the kitchen during this season in which most of us are constantly running. On the other hand, slow cookers use about the same amount of energy as electric ovens; while slow cookers run continually, ovens cycle on and off during the cooking process. Additionally, slow cookers can only be used to prepare one thing at a time. If coming home to a hot one-dish meal is your priority, go with a slow cooker; otherwise, your oven offers you the ability to cook multiple items.
- A pressure cooker can save both time and energy. For those homeowners unable to plan meals far enough in advance to make a slow cooker worthwhile, a pressure cooker can be a good option. Used on the stovetop, a pressure cooker uses steam to cook food quickly, saving time and energy while preserving the nutritional value of the food. The down side of pressure cooking is that you can’t easily check on the food while it’s cooking, and it’s easy to overcook.
- Microwaves take far less time to cook food than traditional ovens. Because they cook so rapidly, microwave ovens can really cut energy costs; using a microwave instead of your oven four times each week can save you about $20 on your electric bill in a year.
- Want to really invest in stepping up your energy conservation? A solar oven is by far your most energy-efficient option. Available as hybrids with electric backup, these ovens use up to 75% less energy than conventional electric ranges.
Cirro Energy has deep roots in Texas and loves being close to the homeowners and communities we serve, providing energy to families across this great state. To connect with other Cirro customers, follow Cirro Energy on Facebook and Twitter, or visit the Cirro Energy website to learn more about how we can help your family find the best utility plan to fit your lifestyle.
Electricity is such an integral part of our lives that we often take it for granted, but electrical safety is something that should never be far from our minds. As we enter the new year, it’s a good time to take stock, review safety practices and make sure we’ve got our homes set up in the safest possible way. Here are some helpful electrical safety reminders from Cirro Energy of things you’ve probably heard before, but may not always consider:
- Take good care of your electrical cords. Never run extension cords across doorways or under carpets, and check cords for damage periodically so that you can replace or repair loose or damaged cords. Don’t use cords for anything other than their intended purpose, and never put a nail or staple through an electrical cord. When unplugging something, always pull on the plug itself instead of the cord.
- Don’t overload your outlets. Only one high-wattage device should be plugged into an outlet at any given time, and extension cords should be seen as a temporary measure, not a permanent solution. If you find yourself relying on extension cords, it’s time to consider hiring an electrician to install additional outlets.
- Give your appliances room to breathe. Electrical appliances should be given room for air to circulate and keep them cool. They should also be kept well away from water to prevent accidents, and any vents or fans should be kept clear of dust. When you’re not using them, consider unplugging appliances and tucking the cords safely away.
- When in doubt, replace it! This goes for any appliance or tool that gives off any level of electric shock and light switches that flicker or are warm to the touch.
- Make sure the whole family is on the same page. Teaching your children about electrical safety is a great way to protect them from harm. Review the basic principles of electricity and rules for staying safe, on a regular basis, so the information is fresh in their minds.
Cirro Energy has deep roots in Texas, and takes pride in being close to the families and communities we serve, providing energy and promoting electrical safety for families across this great state. To connect with other Cirro customers, follow Cirro Energy on Facebook and Twitter, or visit the Cirro Energy website to learn more about how we can help your family find the best utility plan to fit your lifestyle.
For homeowners, the top of the resolution list is often to make home improvements, and we at Cirro Energy would like to share a simple fact: sometimes the biggest results come from paying attention to the smallest details. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to spruce up your home, you’ll want to see this list of little tasks that homeowners tend to overlook.
- Clean the washer. How often do you wipe down your washing machine? Take the time to give it a good cleaning, and you’ll find it looks and smells better. Wipe the exterior, clean inside the lid, check the rubber door seal on a front loader for mildew and remove the fabric softener dispenser to the sink to give it a good scrubbing. Then, run the empty washer on the hottest setting, with 2 cups of vinegar in the wash water.
- While you’re in the laundry room, clean the dryer’s lint vent. This is actually a big thing disguised as a small thing! Most homeowners clean the lint filter when they use the dryer, but how many of us take the time to use a long brush on the whole vent or make sure the air is flowing well to the exterior? These are important steps to take to reduce the risk of a dryer fire.
- Wipe down your fan blades. Dust them with a pillow case, to contain the dust and keep it off the furniture and floor.
- Clean your window treatments. Drapery and blinds can catch dust, dirt and germs, so make sure to take curtains down from time to time for a good washing. Make cleaning blinds easier by simply opening and closing them several times, so that dust falls to the floor where it can be easily wiped up or vacuumed.
- Don’t neglect your small appliances. Cleaning your microwave can make it more energy efficient. Toaster ovens can also benefit from a good cleaning, and now is a good time to wipe down the outside of your slow cooker, coffee maker and other kitchen gadgets.
- Your stovetop wants your attention, too. Have you noticed the gunk under your burner rings or on your glass top? A solution of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will get your stovetop sparkling clean.
- How are your showers looking? If they’re a little moldy, the easiest way to remedy this is to spray the whole surface with bleach cleaner or mold remover, leave it to sit for 15-20 minutes, then wipe it down.
- Dust the things you don’t usually notice. This includes corners, hard-to-reach places, and the back of your television, stereo or computer monitor.
- While you’re looking for things to address, don’t forget light bulbs and batteries. It’s easy to overlook burned out bulbs in multi-bulb fixtures, so now is a good time to replace whatever needs changing. If you didn’t change out the batteries in your smoke detectors when the time changed, go ahead and do that now.
While you’re looking around your home for little things to fix, there’s a big thing you might want to double-check: your energy rates. Cirro Energy has deep roots in Texas and loves being close to the homeowners and communities we serve, providing energy to families across this great state. To connect with other Cirro customers, follow Cirro Energy on Facebook and Twitter, or visit the Cirro Energy website to learn more about how we can help your family find the best utility plan to fit your lifestyle.
Cirro Energy is a company with deep roots in the community and a great affection for the families we serve. We know that the upcoming season is full of time away from work and school, perfect for spending quality time with the family. But, what exactly will you and your family be doing together? Cirro Energy has some ideas to keep your home lively and full of family fun!
- Play board games; you can never go wrong with a family round of Cranium or Scattergories. For those with littler children, try Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, or Uno.
- Drive around nearby neighborhoods to view holiday lights. You can spend money visiting special light displays and holiday fairs, or you can spare your budget and look for gorgeous lights around town. Make a game of it, and vote on the best light display!
- Enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate or a hot peppermint tea with a peppermint stick and freshly baked cookies. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, let the kids help you bake the cookies with you! Nothing is quite as entertaining on a winter day as decorating your own sugar cookies with plenty of sprinkles.
- Go ice skating. It doesn’t matter if you live in the frozen north or the balmy south, you’re sure to find somewhere to ice skate during the holiday season.
- Have a holiday movie night. You can share your favorite films, and maybe introduce the kids to some classics they haven’t seen!
- Make personalized mugs with the family. This is not only a fun activity, but it creates a keepsake to make you smile for years to come. It can even be a conversation starter when friends come for coffee!
Happy Holidays from Cirro Energy! No matter how you spend them, the holidays are all about celebrating family and getting back to your roots. Here at Cirro Energy, our roots are deeply entrenched in Texas. We love being close to the communities we serve, providing energy to families across this great state. To connect with other Cirro customers, follow Cirro Energy on Facebook and Twitter, or learn more about how Cirro Energy can help your family find the best utility plan by visiting the website.
As homeowners, one of the joys of the holiday season is sharing our homes with family and friends. While we all want to have our homes looking like the pages of a magazine, not everyone has time to put together extensive and elegant holiday decorations for when the family comes to stay. That is why Cirro Energy has taken the time to put together a list of simple yet elegant holiday centerpieces that are simple for even the busiest homeowners to create, requiring very little time and effort.
- This ornament tree is festive yet elegant. For homeowners who prefer to outsource their crafting, there’s even an option to buy it on Etsy.
- Candy or cranberry filled mason jars are simple to assemble.
- Putting ornaments and light strands in a vase is pure genius. Mix up the ornaments with other objects to put your own spin on this creative idea.
- This Winter Wonderland centerpiece is made of balloons and floral stems. Used found flora from your yard for an even less expensive yet more personal version.
- Spray paint pinecones with holiday colors and put them in a clear glass bowl or vase. This is an especially neat centerpiece idea because you can involve the kids in its production.
- A Reindeer centerpiece is simple to make and very versatile. Use it as it is, or hang ornaments, tie ribbons, or decorate it with name tags for a gift exchange.
- You won’t believe how easy this ornament table runner is to assemble. Just use ribbon to string ornaments together along the table center.
- Vintage Glitter Bulbs are sparkly and fun. They’re also a great way to repurpose old lights.
- This Bleached tablescape is a little out of the ordinary. It’s a really interesting way to use simple items to create a Winter Wonderland on your tabletop.
- Snow covered bottles are another surprising winter touch. With some empty bottles, white spray paint, spray adhesive and Epsom salts, you’ll be able to create unique vases for your holiday arrangements.
One of the best parts of any homeowner’s holiday season is sharing their homes with others, and if you can do it with style, that’s even better! Any of these simple centerpieces are sure to be a hit with your guests. No matter how you serve it up, Thanksgiving is all about celebrating family and getting back to your roots. Here at Cirro Energy, our roots are deeply entrenched in Texas. We love being close to the communities we serve, providing energy to homeowners and families across this great state. To connect with other Cirro customers, follow Cirro Energy on Facebook and Twitter, or learn more about how Cirro Energy can help your family find the best utility plan by visiting the website.
The holidays are one time of year that energy saving tips are welcomed by just about everyone. All those gifts are expensive enough, so don’t let holiday decorations overpower your energy bill. Instead, follow these simple steps for extra savings this season:
- Using LED holiday lights is a smart move since they use less power than regular lights. How much money will you save? It depends on how many lights you use. A home with a bright display could save up to $250! That money could get you a bunch of stocking stuffers!
- Plugging light strands into a power strip makes them easy to turn off and unplug during the day. This energy saving tip can be easily applied to many other energy intensive devices around the house as well. Unplugging power strips during the day will help keep lights and power sucking electronics from unnecessarily draining power.
- Put indoor and outdoor decorative lights on a timer. There is no reason to leave them on all night when no one will be seeing them. Shoot for 6 hours or less each day to keep them turned on.
- Turn off and unplug lights and decorations in the rooms that are not being used. If no one is enjoying them, they’re using energy for no reason. Remember, even when switched off, a decorative display can still use energy if it remains plugged in.
- Use battery-powered decorations when possible. Battery-powered candles can go a long way toward decorating your home for the holidays. They provide just the right amount of soft light, they look elegant and the batteries last a long time. If you invest in rechargeable batteries, you’ll save even more in the long run!
- Place fabric or cloth ribbon decorations along window seals to decoratively keep the cold out and the warm in. Just like other products made to keep cold air from rushing under doors, these decorations can help keep you and your company toasty.
- Cook your holiday meals in large batches. That way, you can save energy by reheating them in the microwave rather than firing up the oven over and over again.
Following these energy saving tips can help you save money on your electricity bill through the holiday season. No matter how you serve them up, the holidays are all about celebrating family and getting back to your roots. Here at Cirro Energy, our roots are deeply entrenched in Texas. We love being close to the communities we serve, providing energy to families across this great state. To connect with other Cirro customers and learn more energy saving tips, follow Cirro Energy on Facebook and Twitter, or learn more about how Cirro Energy can help your family find the best utility plan by visiting our website.
The holiday season is fun for everyone, but it holds a special appeal for homeowners. The chance to decorate the house and yard is so irresistible that some people go overboard every year! Even those with subtler taste, however, can have fun making their home festive for the holidays. Looking to dress up your yard for the holiday season but don’t want to spend a fortune in money or time? Here, Cirro Energy offers some fun DIY holiday decorating ideas that will look great in any homeowner’s front yard. Even better, these projects can be done with your kids!
- Create a wreath to hang on your door or mailbox. This ribbon wreath is not only festive, it’s also super easy to make! All you need to know is how to tie a ribbon, and you’re all set.
- Hang plastic ornaments on trees in the front yard – so if they fall they will not break. As all homeowners know, it’s important to steer clear of objects that will make your yard dangerous. These cute plastic ornaments are inexpensive, and they look great hanging from a tree or even from your eaves.
- Make giant lollipops. With little more than hollow plastic balls and PVC pipe, you can transform your yard into a candy wonderland!
- Turn ordinary yardsticks into a unique decorative star. This is easy and inexpensive, and once you have assembled your star, you can make it your own, decorating it with wreath, light strands or anything else you dream up.
- Design a decorated lantern for your porch or front yard. The beauty of this simple craft is that you can easily change out your design elements seasonally to make it the perfect decoration for any holiday.
No matter how you dress up your holidays, the season is all about celebrating family and getting back to your roots. Here at Cirro Energy, our roots are deeply entrenched in Texas. We love being close to the communities we serve and providing energy to homeowners and their families across this great state. To connect with other Cirro customers, follow Cirro Energy on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about how Cirro Energy can help your family find the best utility plan, visit our website.