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Energy Saving Tips

Changing weather may be good fun for meteorologists, but it can mean stress-inducing utility bills for you. Learn how to save money.

Weatherize your home now to reduce energy costs later!

There are several things you can do to take step to keep the weather out of your home and reduce increased energy costs:

Windows

- insulate inside with heavy-duty, clear plastic sheets
- apply caulk to the outside joints to prevent leaks
- close curtains or shades at night and keep them open during the day
- clean windows on the south side of your home to maximize sunlight exposure

Attic and Doors

- check insulation to make sure it meets the levels recommended
- close off and weather-strip doors that lead to cold or outside areas
- use draft-stoppers (also called "draft-dodgers" or "draft snakes") to keep heat in and cold out

Plumbing

- wrap and insulate waterlines to prevent them from freezing
- repair leaky faucets immediately and use low-flow showerheads
- when you're away, set thermostats at 55°F or higher to prevent pipes from freezing. If you set them too low, walls can crack and pipes in external walls may freeze

Furnace

- have Collins Indoor Air Solutions inspect you heating system and ducts
- if they can be closed or sealed off, close heating vents in seldom-used rooms
- set your thermostat to 68°F when you're at home and awake and as low as 60°F when you're asleep or away in      the heating mode
- clean or replace your furnace filters every month

Hearth

- have a professional chimney sweep check the chimney and flue system for leaks
- keep the flue damper tightly closed when the fireplace is not in use

Water Heater

- insulate the tank and the first six feet of hot and cold water pipes connected to the unit
- lower the temperature to 120°F for every 10-degree decrease in temperature (you may save 3%-5% on your energy costs)
- install heat traps on the hot and cold pipes at the unit to prevent heat loss (some new water heaters have built-in heat traps)
- drain a quart of water from the tank every three months to remove sediment that can hinder the performance and efficiency (be sure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines)

Other Helpful Ideas

- install rubber gaskets behind outlets and use switch plates on exterior walls
- repair damaged wood trim or roof shingles, which can act like a sponge for moisture in the winter
- turn off computers, monitors, copiers, printers and fax machines when not in use

Did You Know?

You could save up to 10% on your energy bill by reducing air leaks in your home. Check the following areas:
- dropped ceiling
- recessed light
- attic entrance
- sill plates
- water and furnace flues
- all ducts
- doorframes
- chimney flashing
- window frames
- electrical outlets and switches
- plumbing and utility access

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