Would you like to replace leaky and inefficient doors and windows? How about that grouchy furnace or water heater? It’s a budget thing – many of us can quickly nix such upgrades as affordable options. So if you’re not saving now, start! But in the meantime, here are some low-cost ways to decrease the amount of energy wasted from your home during the winter months:
1. Caulk the Cracks: Search for draft gaps around windows, pipes, and wires. Draft blockers are made to specifically fit behind light switches and electrical outlets.
2. Upgrade Thermostats: Programmable thermostats rock! Keep the heat low while you sleep and higher while you work, eat and live your day. But don’t stretch the day & night settings by too much because the furnace gets grouchy (and inefficient) if it has to work too hard.
3. Limit Hot Water Usage: Efforts to use cold water for dishwashers and washing machines and take shorter showers will favorably appear on your gas bill.
4. Change your filter: clogged filters reduce heating (and cooling) efficiency
5. Buy door strips and gaskets: Doors can be terrible culprits!
6. Choke the chimney: Chimneys can be a significant source of heat loss. Retrofit your wood-burning chimney to EPA standards (http://www2.epa.gov/burnwise) or convert to gas for pollution purposes. If you’re not using it, then use a chimney balloon to prevent drafts.
7. Get a home energy audit: see Summit Community Power Work’s (SCPW) website at scpw.org for information on low-cost or Free energy audits.