These days, anything you can do to cut down on the cost of energy and keep more cash in your wallet certainly can't hurt... Here are a few tips & minor household projects which will help you keep your home and your family warm & safe through these winter months, plus may save you a few dollars to boot:
- Upgrade Your Thermostat When you replace your old thermostat with a new digital model, it will allow you to easily program your temperatures for different times of the day (including energy saving nighttime and workday schedules), not only making it extremely convenient, but also avoiding wasted energy and money caused by forgetting to turn down the thermostat at night.
- Clean and Service Your Wood Burning Stoves and Fireplaces Make sure your fireplaces and wood burning stoves are clean and working correctly - check flues & flue caps, thermostats, door gaskets and all other aspects of these appliances. Check with a qualified professional if you are unsure of what to look for.
- Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive, easy to install, and readily available at most home centers and hardware stores. If there are any gas appliances in your home, there is always a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, should any of the appliances malfunction - a very large danger indeed!
- Check Your Smoke Detectors Its always a good rule of thumb to change your smoke detector batteries every time you change the clocks to or from Daylight Savings Time. Make sure you have a smoke detector outside of each bedroom, and at least one on each floor of the house.
- Change Your Furnace Filters Replacing your furnace filters is simple and inexpensive, and can add to your home's energy efficiency. It's a good idea to change your furnace filters at least once a year.
- Check Weather Stripping & Seal Exterior Penetrations Cold air can enter your home through gaps around doors & windows, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Check each exterior window & door carefully to see that there are no visible gaps, that the weather stripping is clean and in undamaged, and that the windows and doors operate smoothly and close completely. Plumbing and electrical penetrations also provide air leaks - use a high quality caulk to seal any gaps on the outside of the house around window & door trim and plumbing and electrical fixtures.
- Check and Seal Heating Ducts Check for gaps between ducts and fittings, and seal them with qualified metallic tape (not regular duct tape, which does not last as well). Check to be sure that all of the ducts are off the ground and properly supported.
Just a few ideas to help give your home and your wallet a little extra edge when in comes to energy efficiency!!
** For any questions or advice regarding any of the tips provided, it is suggested and strongly recommended that you check with a qualified and certified professional.
(Source of info: Inman News, 10/08)