Tip of the Month
Seal Your Ducts and Save Money
Many duct systems are poorly insulated or not insulated properly. Ducts that
leak heated or cooled air into unconditioned spaces (spaces that aren't
heated or cooled, like crawlspaces) can add hundreds of dollars a year to
your heating and cooling bills, so insulating these ducts is usually very
cost-effective. Although minor duct repairs are easy to accomplish, ducts in
unconditioned spaces should be sealed and insulated by qualified
professionals using appropriate sealing materials. For minor repairs, look
for duct sections that should be joined but have separated, and then look
for obvious holes.
If you use duct tape to repair and seal your ducts, look
for tape with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) logo.
Note that water pipes
and drains in unconditioned spaces could freeze and burst if the heat ducts
are fully insulated, because there would be no heat source to prevent the
space from freezing in cold weather. However, using an electric heating tape
wrap on the pipes can prevent this. For cooling ducts, be sure a well-sealed
vapor barrier exists on the outside of the insulation to prevent moisture
For more information on other ways to save energy at home, visit
Last months tip
Keep Heating and Cooling Costs Under Control
Heating and cooling your home typically accounts for about 44% of your
utility bill. What's more, U.S. heating and cooling systems emit more than
half a billion tons of carbon dioxide each year, contributing to global
warming, and they generate large amounts of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen
oxides, chief ingredients of acid rain. You can significantly cut energy
costs and use by setting your thermostat low in the winter and high in the
summer, but it's also important to maintain your heating and cooling
Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as needed, and
clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators periodically,
making sure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes. Also,
use kitchen and bathroom fans wisely; in just one hour, these fans can pull
out a houseful of warmed or cooled air.
Here is a general list of useful tips and ideas for saving energy and lowering your homes operating expenses.
Many electric utilities offer programs to help you save energy in your home. Some will even subsidize the cost of a home energy audit.
To check into this, contact your local utility.
If you want to see if your local utility has information posted on the internet, check the following sites.
The Utility Connection provides links to 4,032 electric, gas, water and wastewater utilities, utility associations, organizations, news, magazines, utility financial resources, and related state & federal regulatory and information sites.
Determining Your Greatest Energy Losses:
If you want to figure this out yourself, the Lawrence Berkeley Lab has created a Virtual Home Energy Advisor that will use detailed information from you to estimate your home's energy usage.
You can use the Advisor to examine how changes to your home (such as increasing the insulation in the attic) will change your homes energy usage.
For instance, if you currently have single-pane, aluminum-framed windows, you might try changing your selection in the Virtual Home Energy Advisor to triple-frame superwindows. If that change cuts your estimate energy use in half, obviously your windows are one of your greatest energy losses.
Use energy-saving settings on refrigerators, dish-washers, washing machines, and clothes dryers. Air-dry your dishes instead of using the dishwasher's heater.
Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents. These can save up to 75% of electricity used for lighting. The best targets are 60- to 100-watt bulbs that are on several hours each day.
Close Vents to Guest Rooms. Today's larger homes often have more rooms than family members to fill them. By closing the vents to one spare bedroom in your house, you can cut your heating and cooling bills. You can always open the vents when guests visit.
Lets go Outside and Inside for some "Energy Saving tips"