Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Brrr...It's Cold in Here! Winterizing Your Home


It's December and the cold weather is just setting in. As we all know, cold weather inevitably leads to increased heating bills, which leads to people choosing to bundle up in three sweatshirts rather than turn on the heat and face high bills.
Instead, try these energy saving tips from Duke Energy to stay warm and lower your energy bills.

Winter Top 10 Energy Saving Tips
1). Seal windows with a layer of plastic for the winter. New heat-shrinking films are airtight and easy to see through.
2). Install the proper amount of insulation in exterior walls, roofs, ceilings, and floors above cold spaces.
3). If you have ductwork in the attic or garage, be sure it is covered with at least 6 inches of insulation. Seal the seams and joints in these ducts with a duct sealing compound sold at hardware/home centers.
4). Lower your thermostat temperature to the lowest temperature that is comfortable to your family. You may save as much as 3 percent on your energy bill for each degree you lower your thermostat.
5). If your home has a crawl space with air vents in the walls, close the vents and seal with insulation from the inside during the winter.
6). Never switch a heat pump to the “emergency heat” setting on the thermostat, unless the unit is malfunctioning.
7). Most fireplaces that are open to the living space will increase winter heating costs. Do not use a fireplace during periods of extreme cold. Keep your fireplace damper closed tightly when not in use.
8). Consider adding a heat pump to any electric, gas or oil furnace to take advantage of a “dual fuel” heating system.
9). Energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy than standard bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
10). A new ENERGY STAR®* refrigerator can use approximately one-third less energy than a 15-year-old model.

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