Ways to Stop Air Leaks and Save on Energy Costs

There are many ways to slash your energy costs and save on heating during the cold winter months. Making minor and in most cases, inexpensive changes will save you big bucks during the winter. It’s not too late to take steps to save energy and keep the house warmer and reflect long-term savings.

If replacing windows and doors is too expensive at the moment, purchase enough weather stripping to fill in gaps where heat is escaping and cold air is seeping into the house. Line the perimeter of exterior doors along the tops, the sides and at the floor. Use window and door draft stoppers as a way to temporarily plug gaps where heat and cold exchange happens.

Another way to reduce fuel consumption is to turn down the thermostat. Think of it as a valve between you the gas or electric company and your wallet. For every degree you turn it down, you will use up to 3 percent less heating energy. Turn the thermostat down 10 degrees at night and while you are at work during the day and you can cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent.

Replace your manual thermostat with a programmable thermostat and you will save energy without thinking about it. Adjust the settings to turn the temperature down automatically while you are not home. Never adjust the thermostat above your desired temperature. Keep in mind that it takes approximately 15 minutes to get the house warmed up to your desired temperature and turning up the thermostat doesn’t make it heat any faster. You’re just wasting fuel on heating.

One of the biggest energy wasters is old, drafty windows. If you can’t replace them right now, consider re-caulking them to seal the gaps between the glass and the pane. You can reduce heat loss by covering them with plastic window film or insulating window inserts.

Another area to check for air leaks is through the electrical outlets in the house. Check the outlets and put foam gaskets behind the outlet plates and light switch plates.

Have you had the insulation in the attic checked? Perhaps an upgrade is necessary to stop heat from escaping through the attic and roof. One way to notice if you are losing heat through the roof is to check snow on the roof. If there are places that melt faster, this could indicate a need for more insulation.

Last of all is to keep your furnace maintained and cleaned twice a year. Change the filters monthly to keep dust down. Make sure the air registers are free of obstructions such as furniture and drapes. These will definitely affect the airflow throughout the home. If a furnace or heating system is older than 15 years, it might be time to make a change and install a new one. Remember, windows, doors and furnace replacements qualify for tax credits from the federal government. Keep in mind, they are due to expire by the end of December 2010.

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Source by Mike E Dee