Home Energy Tips
These steps can help you be energy-conscious all year round.
Install proper insulation - When purchasing insulation, compare the R-value number on the package. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation is. Check the recommended R-value for your area of the country.
Prevent drafts - Drafty windows and doors, or the cracks where plumbing or electrical wires go through walls, floors and ceilings, can increase your energy bill. Caulking and weather stripping are simple ways to prevent these air leaks. Materials cost around $50 for the average house (12 windows, 2 doors). The savings in annual energy use alone may range as high as 10 percent.
Finding a draft is easy. Use your hands to feel for a slight breeze in the area. Or make hold a piece of tissue paper in front of or over a suspected crack and watch for any movement.
Shop carefully for appliances - Be sure to read labels when shopping for new appliances or a new heating/cooling system. Compare energy-use information and operating costs of similar models by the same and different manufacturers.