Care For the Places Around People You Love

Malachi Rein

By Malachi Rein,
Building Energy Exchange Saint Louis Director

It might be an evolutionary defense mechanism in the heart of winter, before spring life, to celebrate love. Not against the weather, but the vitriol that builds up when people are cooped up together and at least one of them (me) has a hokey sense of humor. Channeling my inner dad/engineer, let me share some heartfelt advice: if you genuinely care about someone, gift them energy efficiency this February. Amid the sea of cards, saccharine candies (I confess, those conversation hearts turn my tongue into a technicolor masterpiece), fragrant flowers, and social media serenades, it’s easy to overlook the places where we truly live out our lives.

I’m not suggesting grandiose gestures; simple acts like changing the furnace filter or vacuuming the vents can make an impact. Consider it a prelude to that romantic dinner—clean surroundings set the perfect mood. Most people have something that’s a headache or on a list to fix. Old or burnt-out light? Upgrade to an LED. Choosing the color temperature and brightness is like applying a real-life photo filter—just remember to get their feedback on preferences; partly because we might not be as stunning in bright daylight as we imagine. It’s also about safety; a clean dryer vent is a silent guardian against fire hazards and it just works so much better. Who knew you could be such a lifesaver?

It is also about comfort. Complaints about a cold spot or drafts? Weatherize! If you are really committed, windows and doors are far superior to a framed picture. A programmable thermostat and Wi-Fi connections can keep you snuggled up while you sensibly tweak the performance of a new system. No cloud of perfume or cologne this year because there’s nothing to hide with a good, efficiently heated shower. To do all this you got Ameren, Spire, and tax benefits? Slow down dreamboat.

Contributing to health, safety, comfort, and financial well-being – that sounds like true caring. Impacting someone’s life is investing in where they spend their time. It’s not just about a “special someone”, we are surrounded by people we care about. This advice works for parents, grandparents, children, friends, and neighbors too. The beauty lies in knowing that by investing in our spaces, even our own, we’re not just improving our lives; we’re supporting a workforce, boosting the economy, and enhancing the community. What are you waiting for?