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Keep your cool while heating your home

By Staff | Nov 1, 2008

Every home is a castle but that is not a good enough reason for property owners to spend unnecessary money on winter heating bills.

While living accommodations provide shelter from the natural elements and wildlife, they need to be checked annually for other culprits-those cracks and leaks that may be raising your cost to heat the structure during the cooler/colder/freezing times of the year.

Grit Magazine, a publication celebrating rural America since 1882, offers ways to decrease winter energy costs in the November/December 2008 issue.

Tips include:

n Consider purchasing a new, more efficient heat unit if your model is 10 to 15 years old.

n Check the attic for adequate insulation because that’s where it matters the most. Be sure to add a new layer if the previous material is old and compressed or virtually nonexistent.

n Make sure to inspect every door and window for cracks, cracked weather-stripping and other leaks. Use a layer of heat-shrink plastic to cover leaky windows. It may not be the most appealing but it will add another layer. Apply caulking or spray foam to seal around window or door moldings. There’s big savings in the use of storm windows and doors.

n Refrain from using the fireplace too often. Install an insert or stove. When not in use, make sure dampers and doors are closed.

n When the sun isn’t shining, close the drapes, but open them to let in the light and sun’s warming rays.

n Consider replace doors and windows with energy-efficient types.

n Check, clean and/or replace the air filters in your heating and cooling equipment at least once a month.

n Invest in a programmable thermostat. This device will automatically adjust the temperature of your home when you’re away or sleeping. At the very least, keep the thermostat at 70 degrees or lower in winter and layer your clothing. A one-degree decrease in temperature can save 2 percent on your heat bill. Consider turning down the thermostat even more, to between 65 and 55 degrees, when sleeping.

n Think spring!