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Simple Energy Projects to Save You a Bundle This Winter

With the cost of natural gas going up, heating bills are expected to increase up to 30% this winter. Conserve money by considering ways to conserve energy in your home.

Programmable Thermostat

An electronic thermostat that lowers the temperature while you're in bed or away from home is the fastest, easiest way to save energy. In a cold climate, you can save about 10 - 30% on your heating bill. Most of these thermostats cost between $100 and $200, and they're easy to install.

Insulation

The floor of the unheated attic: Check recommended insulation levels and lay new insulation at right angles to the old.

The basement or crawl space: Fasten foam or fiberglass panels to the walls and cover with drywall. Either glue panels to the wall or fasten them to furring strips.

Heating ducts: Insulate an unheated attic or basement by wrapping fiberglass insulation.

Weatherstrip

Weatherstripping is a flexible sealer for the moving parts of windows and doors. Many new windows and doors require a specific type of weatherstrip, which you find in hardware stores or online. The generic "V-strip" adapts to many doors and windows and can even be applied in cold weather. The weatherstrip at the threshold often needs replacement. If the door bottom is still leaky, add a door sweep to seal against the floor or threshold.

Caulking

Caulking seals exterior cracks around windows, doors, pipes, and vents. First, scrape away the old caulking and dirt, then squirt new caulking into the gap.

Window Jamb Liner Kits

A window jamb liner is a strip that goes inside a window frame, giving the window a snug fit and preventing air leaks. It's an easy way to update double-hung windows, and it's installed from the inside. You can install jamb liners in less than an hour without touching the storm window, jambs, or casing molding. Be sure to order a kit to match the size of your window.

Replace Storm Door

Battered storm doors are easy to replace on a standard-size door opening. A wooden door has better durability than an aluminum door and will insulate better. Strip off the old door, then follow the installation instructions included with your door, using a drill and other essential tools.