How did your home fare during the sub zero plunge?

I had amazing frost patterns on my windows. Fortunately, they were on the outside; many people experienced frost on the inside of panes, and frozen pipes on north-side walls. If you want to take steps to prevent issues like these in the future, consider a visit from the Home Energy Squad. I had one done after I bought my SoFa (south of the Falls) cottage a few years ago and it was fun following the energy squad from room to room asking them random energy questions, and then programming the awesome new thermostat after they left.

There are a few different versions of their program. The enhanced visit is typically $100 and includes a visit from the Home Energy Squad, who will wrap your water heater in a coat,  install a nifty programmable thermostat and new low-flow shower head, PLUS (if you’re an Xcel customer) swap out your light bulbs for LED versions. The visit takes about 2½ hours and after the audit, you’ll receive a formal report with your next steps and information on rebates from Xcel Energy and/or CenterPoint Energy. Call 866-222-4595 to book an audit.

Chinese New Year

Gung Hay Fat Choy, the typical sentiment welcoming the new year, does not mean Happy New Year, but “Wishing you great happiness and prosperity.” The Year of the Pig 2019 began February 5 and is celebrated for 15 days until the Lantern Festival.

Also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is something like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the 4th of July all in one. The celebration revolves around family reunions, symbolic feasting, fireworks and the color red everywhere.

It also ushers in the Spring Festival, kicked off by cleaning rituals to “sweep away” the bad luck of the year just past and ready one’s home for good luck in the year ahead. A fresh start, so to speak. And who doesn’t need one of those, especially after being house-bound for days on end during the Great Polar Vortex?