It's the winter time - duh, it's cold outside - and many folks are looking for inexpensive ways to save dollars AND energy in their homes. I came across this list from GreenCville.com and thought I'd repost it (italics are mine):
- Seal duct work - this is the number one way to conserve energy during the winter. Duct work can leak heated air into the attic or crawl space if all the joints and intersections are not sealed with foil-backed tape or silicone caulking. (which is another reason Mt. Tabor Meadows is so unique)
- Seal air leaks to attic - seal all holes from pipes and wires that run in and out of the living space. This includes light fixtures, pipes, wires, attic stair openings.
- Seal fireplaces - never use a fireplace as a heat source for your home. Even as a supplemental heat source, the cold air introduced to a warm home through an open flue isn't as efficient as sealing off a fireplace and using the primary heat source. For natural gas fireplaces, turn off the pilot light when not in use.
- Lower thermostat - in the winter, set the thermostat between 65 and 70 degrees during the day and to 58 degrees at night or when away from home for several hours. Keeping the temperature at 70 degrees is recommended for homes where there are elderly or infants. (this can be hard to maintain in homes that take a long time to heat - a programmable thermostat might help as it allows the home to begin heating at a prespecified time of day)
- Lower water heater to 120-125 degrees - many water heaters are automatically set at 140 degrees. Lowering the temperature on your water heater will reduce the amount of fuel needed to heat the water.
- Change furnace filters every month - This is the number one reason for furnace breakdowns. Inspect heating and cooling equipment annually. Have a professional check and clean furnaces once a year.
- Weatherstrip doors and windows - inspect doors and windows for air leaks. If you can see daylight around a door or window frame, then it needs sealing. Air leaks can be sealed with caulking or weather stripping.
- Insulate water pipes coming from the water heater - insulate the first three to six feet of cold and hot water pipes near the water heater. Insulating all hot water pipes is not necessary if pipes are lo cated in an attic or crawlspace.
- Add an insulation blanket to your water heater - wrapping the water heater with an insulation blanket can save heating money by slowing the drop in temperature from the hot water tank as it sits unused. Inexpensive insulation kits are available at most home improvement stores.
- Add insulation to attic - when adding insulation, start at the top and word down only after eliminating air infiltration. (I've had clients do this and it drastically reduced their heating and cooling bills)
What are YOU doing to save money on energy costs this winter?