Ways to Lower Your Heating Costs

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-The most important thing you can do is to seal your home – get rid of all air leaks! There are many companies that will come to your home and check for air leaks, but they may charge a fee. Depending on where you live, your utility company may even offer this service for free. One way you can check for yourself is by placing a candle in front of a closed window and watch to see if it flickers. Once you’ve found the sources of air leaks – SEAL THEM!!! A quick trip to your local home improvement store can save you plenty of bucks in the long run! The library even has an electricity usage meter you can borrow to see how much kilowatts you are using.
-Windows and doors: are the most common culprits of air leakage, but there are others. Start by pulling off mouldings around windows and exterior doors (this can be easily done with a flat head screwdriver or a pull bar and just give it a little shimmy!) – fill the gaps with an aerosol can insulation like “Great Stuff.” Wait until it’s dry and then you can trim off any excess with a utility knife. You should be able to hang the trim back up after 1-2 days. You can also check around air ducts to fill also.
-Attic Space: One of the most heat wasting spaces! If you have an attic, make sure you have it well insulated with the thickest R rating possible for whatever joists you have. As it is said – heat rises – so every time you turn up that thermostat, you’re also heating wasted space. The more your attic is insulated, the longer the heat with stay down in your living space – thus, the fewer times you’ll run and crank the heat up! Besides insulation, you should also add a reflective barrier to the ceiling of your attic to use the sun to your advantage. A bubble wrap barrier like “Reflectix”, can retain interior heat during the winter AND can reflect the sun’s rays in the summer, keeping your home cooler.
-If you really want to get fancy, you can buy (or make) those draft guards for exterior doors. The home improvement store also sells insulated pads for exterior wall outlets and switches that you simply place under the cover to help seal drafts. You can also buy (or make) insulated shades for your windows and glass doors.

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