Brrrrr! Engineered Construction has some tips to warm you up this winter!!

  1. WARM YOURSELF FIRST – It’s easier to change your body temperature than room temperature, not to mention more eco-friendly. Instead of turning up the heat, put on another layer of clothing.
  2. WEAR A HAT – Your mom may have said that you lose 80 percent of your body heat through your head, but that’s not actually true. If you’re otherwise clothed, you’ll lose heat from any surface that’s exposed. So put on your hat, even if you’re inside.
  3. TURN ON THE CEILING FAN – Warm air rises to the ceiling. Run your fan on its lowest setting in a clockwise direction to push the warm air back down to where you can feel it.
  4. SWITCH BETWEEN HOT AND COLD WATER IN THE SHOWER – Hot showers immediately warm you up, but cold showers improve blood circulation between your skin and organs. Cold showers are also correlated with a stronger immune system.
  5. BLOCK DOOR DRAFTS WITH A POOL NOODLE (Seriously…) – Keep heat in and cold out by cutting a pool noodle in half lengthwise, wrapping it in fabric, and sliding it under your door. It’ll stay put all winter, and you can re-use it at the pool come summer. (But we recommend you spring for a new one.)
  6. PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT – Stay warm on schedule, so you never go home to a living room that’s colder than outside. You can even do it with your smartphone.
  7. DRESS YOUR WINDOWS UP IN WARMER CLOTHES – Replace thin curtains with heavier wool or fleece drapes in the winter. But be sure to open them on sunny days for free heat.
  8. START BAKING – Using your oven heats up the whole house. You’ll feel even cozier if you invite friends—and all their body heat—over to eat four dozen cookies.
  9. START COMPOSTING – If you’re already interested in composting, here’s another reason to do it: The microbial breakdown of organic material produces heat. Some people use it to warm up showers and greenhouses, but even small-timers in studio apartments can feel a difference.
  10. LAYER YOUR COVERS WITH THE THINNEST, DENSEST ONES ON TOP – It’s intuitive, but fluffy blankets should be closer to your skin. Thin, dense blankets should be on top to prevent convective heat loss. Bonus tip: Don’t put your bed directly against an exterior wall. You’ll be warmer if you leave a little space.
  11. STUFF YOUR COAT POCKETS WITH HAND WARMERS – You know…those little packets you can pick up at most any hardware, drug store or home store. Toasty!

ECI offers some tips on how to deal with those annoying mosquitos!

Mosquitos. We love to hate ‘em.  And recent weather conditions have been perfect for the annoying little guys. ECI shares some tips on how to keep them out of your yard and off of you.

  • Burn a little sage or rosemary over coals to repel mosquitoes.
  • To keep mosquitoes to a minimum, eliminate their breeding sites on your property. They need standing water to lay their eggs in, so empty those puddles, old cans, buckets, and plant pots. If you have a pond, don’t worry—dragonflies love ponds, and they are a big mosquito predator.
  • It is thought that certain plants repel a broad spectrum of insects. Marigolds, chrysanthemums, asters, and pyrethrum daisies, as well as herbs such as basil, anise, and coriander, are all thought to repel insects.
  • Add a bat house to your home! Did you know that one small brown bat can eat as many as 600 mosquitoes in one hour?
  • Be aware that using pesticides to get rid of mosquitoes can also harm more beneficial bugs like fireflies and dragonflies. Try some home remedies before making that decision!
  • Light a citronella candle or torch.
  • Plug in a fan and point it at your porch or deck seating area.
  • Utilize insect repellent. There are some fantastic natural alternatives on the market.

And last but not least, stay indoors during heightened activity hours between dusk and dawn.

Ahhh…. Summer. ECI and provide some tips to keep you cool.


  • When it cools off at night, turn off your cooling system and open your windows while sleeping. When you wake in the morning, shut the windows and blinds to capture the cool air.
  • Install window coverings to prevent heat gain through your windows.


  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
  • Keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lower the thermostat setting to 78°F only when you are at home and need cooling. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.


  • If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
  • Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
  • When you shower or take a bath, use the bathroom fan to remove the heat and humidity from your home. Your laundry room might also benefit from spot ventilation. Make sure bathroom and kitchen fans are vented to the outside (not just to the attic).


  • Schedule regular maintenance for your cooling equipment.
  • Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
  • Vacuum registers regularly to remove any dust buildup. Ensure that furniture and other objects are not blocking the airflow through your registers.


  • On hot days, avoid using the oven; cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.
  • Install efficient lighting that runs cooler. Only about 10% to 15% of the electricity that incandescent lights consume results in light—the rest is turned into heat.
  • Take advantage of daylight instead of artificial lighting, but avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Consider air drying both dishes and clothing..
  • Take short showers instead of baths.
  • Minimize activities that generate a lot of heat, such as running a computer, burning open flames, running a dishwasher, and using hot devices such as curling irons or hair dryers. Even stereos and televisions will add some heat to your home.


  • Seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.
  • Add caulk or weather-stripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.


  • Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands.

Spring Maintenance Tips from ECI

As we spring into the season, it’s important to remember that not only our gardens need attention, but so do our businesses and homes.  Here is a checklist to help you get ready.

HVAC –Inspect the unit, change the air filter and keep the area around the unit free from leaves, grass and pollen.

Interior Sprinkler Systems and exterior Irrigation Systems- Up to date and inspected.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide alarms- Perform a test.

Roofs- make certain it is in good repair and that you are ready for spring showers and stormy weather.

Windows and doorways- Drafts and leaks are no fun.

Gutters, downspouts and drainage systems- Keep them clear.

Foundations- check for cracks and potential sink-age.

Pest infestation- Ahh yes… Boxelders and ladybugs and spiders, oh my.

A little preventative maintenance can save you money, time and headaches. Happy Spring!!