By Alec Deacon
So much for economic stability these days… The economic crisis is still going strong — no matter what politicians say in front of the camera — and we’re still struggling with hard times that force us to become self-sufficient and to keep our finances on track. But the good thing is you can save a lot of money, in a lot of ways and also set aside an emergency fund. My favorite way of saving money is combating energy prices that seem to keep on going up. This and the fact that I’m thrilled whenever I find new alternative domestic heating solutions or all sorts of green energy inventions.
I think a lot of us don’t know there are dozen of energy saving tips out there and it’s a shame to pay higher and higher utility bills. Here’s how you can make your home a little warmer without turning up the heat.
#1. Fix all your air leaks
Drafty windows, gaps in plumbing and gas lines (and all air leaks you don`t even know you have in your house) can drastically affect your heating and cooling system. Just think about it: drafty windows can cause up to 20% heat loss.
Here are the most common air leaks, so you know exactly what to fix:
– Windows – glaze them or fix them with double-proofing, close the blinds at night to reduce heat loss, repair all the cracks – it’s one of the most popular energy-saving and cost-effective measures (one that all family members can apply).
– Doors – they tend to be the leakiest, especially old wooden doors; you can replace them with new energy efficient doors that have weatherstripping foam, rubber or plastic frames and are made of fiberglass or steel which seal very well the air, substantially reducing the amount of heat lost.
– Outlet boxes on outside walls – a lot of air can escape through the gaps of your switch boxes installed on your home’s outside walls – you can fix this by filling the hole where the wires enter the outlet box with silicone caulk and then install some foam insulator over the switch.
– Ventilation ducts and pipes – wrap your ventilation ducts in your attic and insulate your plumbing and gas lines (especially exposed copper plumbing pipes) and you will reduce heat loss by two-thirds; thin batts or fiberglass insulation secured with duct tape will do.
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