One of the most simple and effective ways to lower your overall energy bill is to reduce the amount of air leaking into and out of your home. Of course, the air itself isn't the problem. It's the fact that you spend so much money adjusting the temperature of that air. That's why the Department of Energy estimates that you can save up to 20% on your overall heating and cooling costs through proper sealing and insulating techniques.
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To create a To Do List, first you need to fill out the questionnaire in the Personal Energy Advisor. Then you'll receive a personalized MyEnergy Savings Plan. And once you have a plan, you can create a To Do List.
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1. Seal Your Windows
It's not smart to rely on air leakage for ventilation because you get either too much or too little air. Instead, use controlled ventilation and seal your windows. You can use window panels to seal up for a quick storm, rope caulk for a seasonal fix, or either sealant or foam for a more permanent solution.
2. Seal Your Doors
Of course, the best way to stop air leaking through your doors is to close them immediately after you enter or exit. But once you and your family have made that a habit, you can also apply self-adhesive weatherseal for a removable solution, or screw on some door sweeps for a more permanent one.
3. Seal Your Ducts
Old ducts can be a large part of your air leakage problem, and sealing them can dramatically improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Depending on the location of the leak, you can either wrap it with sturdy, long-lasting tape or apply mastic sealant with a caulk gun or putty knife.
4. Seal Your Electrical Outlets
It's common sense to think of outlets and switches as sources of electricity, but they're also sources of air leakage. So even though installing gaskets and covers will only take a few minutes, it will save you money for years to come. It will also help in moisture control, which can be a source of health problems.
5. Seal Your Chimney
If you've got an old chimney, there's a good chance that your chimney damper has begun to warp and might even be broken. This allows cold air to leak in and warm air to leak out. Chimney balloons are easy-to-install solutions that not only stop the air leakage, but also keep out debris and odor.
6. Seal Your AC Covers
During the winter, stop cold air from leaking through your air conditioning registers with tight-seal, clear-plastic draft shields. They're so well designed that you don't need tools to install them, and they're so durable that you can use them year after year.