How To Keep Heating Costs From Soaring

Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2004

(NAPSA)-Your home may be your castle but heating it need not cost a fortune.

"Rising costs are a real concern as home heating-oil prices are 60 percent higher than last year, natural gas is 11 percent higher and propane is 30 percent higher," explains Eric Nilsson, director of marketing with CertainTeed's Insulation Group. "Couple this with the average U.S. home size now over 700 square feet larger than 20 years ago and you've got $2,000 to $3,000 larger energy bills for many homeowners."

Check your home's walls, floors, roof, windows, and doors. Seal leaks between moving parts with weather stripping. Fill leaks between nonmoving parts with caulking.

Replace energy-inefficient windows. Double pane and low emissivity coated windows can reduce energy usage by 34 percent compared to uncoated single-pane windows.

Install an automatic setback or programmable thermostat to adjust home temperatures around your schedule.

To improve the efficiency of your furnace, change filters frequently. Clean air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed and change forced-air heating system air filters monthly.

Let the sun help heat your home. Keep blinds or drapes of sun-exposed windows open during the day and closed at night to conserve heat.

When replacing heating and cooling systems-as well as appliances, lighting, windows, insulation and home electronics-select Energy Star products for energy efficiency.

Put timers on your lights. Motion detectors on exterior floodlights improve your home security at a lower operating cost.

Replace your four most used 100-watt incandescent bulbs with four comparable 23-watt compact fluorescent bulbs to save $108 over three years.

Turn off everything when not in use: lights, TVs, computers.

Plant trees and shrubs in your yard to help reduce your energy costs.

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