With the cost of natural gas going up, heating bills are expected to increase up to 30% this winter. To conserve your money, it's time to consider ways to conserve energy in your home.
- Programmable thermostat — Electronic thermostats that lower the temperature while you are in bed or away from home are the fastest, easiest way to save energy. In a cold climate, you can save about 10% to 30% on your heating bill. Most of these thermostats cost between $100 and $200 and they're easy to install.
- Insulation —
- Floor of unheated attic: Check recommended insulation levels and lay new insulation at right angles to the old.
- Basement or crawl space: Fasten foam or fiberglass panels to the walls and cover with drywall. Either glue panels to the wall or fasten them to furring strips.
- Heating ducts: Insulate an unheated attic or basement by wrapping with fiberglass insulation.
- Weatherstrip — Weatherstripping is a flexible sealer for the moving parts of windows and doors. Many new windows and doors require a specific type of weatherstrip, which you find in hardware stores or online. The generic "V-strip" adapts to many doors and windows and can even be applied in cold weather. The weatherstrip at the threshold often needs replacement. If the door bottom is still leaky, add a door sweep to seal against the floor or threshold.
- Caulking — Caulking seals exterior cracks around windows, doors, pipes, and vents. Scrape away the old caulking and dirt, then squirt new caulking into the crack.
- Window jamb liner kits — A window jamb liner is a strip that goes on the inside of a window frame, giving the window a snug fit and preventing air leaks. It’s an easy way to update double-hung windows and can be installed from the inside. You can install jamb liners in less than an hour without touching the storm window, jambs, or casing molding. Order a kit to match the size of your window.
- Replace storm door — Battered storm doors are easy to replace on a standard-size door opening. A wooden door has better durability than an aluminum door and will insulate better. Strip off the old door, then follow the installation instructions included with your door, using a drill and other basic tools.
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