How to Fight Rising Heating Costs

With fall approaching, the leaves drop to the ground and the temperature begins to plummet, but your heating bills move in the opposite direction.

‘Tis the season of high heating costs! According to early reports, heat and oil prices will continue to rise, which can cut a large chunk out of your home heating budget this winter, if you’re not careful.

It’s not too late to do something in the battle against rising heating costs. You can start by plugging up the leaks and drafts that deplete energy – and your family budget.

I like to think of these projects as half time projects, if you have a few minutes to spare…such as a half time of football game you have the time to do most of the projects that I discuss below.  And if I told you that you could save a lot of money by doing so, wouldn’t you think just a few minutes of your time would be worth it.  So what are you waiting for champ?

Here’s your money-saving strategy:

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Start early – When the weather is still balmy, take care of the places outside your home where the uncomfortable chill of new seasons can creep indoors. Then, move inside to ensure there are no “holes” in the house where the chilly drafts of winter can hide.

  • Weatherization is a cost-effective and approachable DIY project.
  • Weatherization isn’t just a winter project – it can be done in the summer, as well, to block cool air from leaking out and warm air from seeping in.
  • Many weatherization projects can be done in a day or even over a weekend – and many produce energy saving results almost immediately.
  • It may seem difficult to locate the source of leaks and drafts, but there are a few places that should be at the top of the list to check – windows, doors and electrical sockets.

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Windows and doors are the two most common places to find leaks and drafts. Using weatherization products can block drafts around doors and windows, as well as keep out dust, insects and pollen during the summer months.

  • Energy loss can also happen from behind-the-scenes sources like electrical sockets.
  • The Duck brand has an array of products to “weatherize” the home and help keep energy costs low.

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Be prepared – Rounding up products in the fall that will ensure comfort and warmth is a DIY task that is easier than you think. With the affordable, easy-to-use tools from our friends at Duck Brand the job is doable in a weekend. Try these products for a sure victory in the heating cost battle:

For interior and exterior doors, there’s Duck® brand Double Draft Seal. Engineered to hug the bottom of a door or window from both sides, the seal offers two layers of protection from drafts. It has exclusive adjustable straps to keep the seal from sliding and getting stuck in the door. The seal is designed to work on a variety of floor types and features abrasion-resistant, washable fabric. Double Draft Seal works well on windows as well. The window can be closed onto the flat middle section of the Double Draft Seal for a snug, double sided seal.

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Stop drafts through windows by using Duck® brand Roll-On® Window Kits, which provide an airtight seal against the energy sucking winds of winter. They are practically invisible, come in a variety of sizes, are easy to install and fit snugly to your window frame. Once the warm weather of spring rolls around, Duck brand’s Roll-On Window Kits are easily removed. You might also consider dressing your windows for the winter. Thermal drapes, blinds or other window clothing can protect not only your windows and your family’s comfort, but your finances as well. If you are able to make a more costly investment in window replacement, double glazed windows provide the best protection against wind and ice.

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For outdoor faucets that freeze from frustrating cold winds, consider covers that insulate and protect. Faucet covers can help prevent pipes from freezing and save on expensive repair work. Duck® brand offers two kinds of faucet covers: a rigid foam version and a flexible, insulated version. These faucet covers work on a variety faucet types.

Layer up – As the winds of November cause you to wear extra layers, it’s time to think about insulation for your home too. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that homeowners can typically save up to 20% of heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% of total energy costs) by air sealing their homes and adding insulation in attics, floors over crawl spaces, and accessible basement rim joists. Discover the best products available, such as foam or eco-friendly ways to do-it-yourself. Insulation does not require maintenance, upkeep or adjustment, so it’s a reliable member of the team that will secure your home from the frigid weather.

Protect the warmth – Make sure your furnace is well maintained, which means cleaning filters monthly to maximize their efficiency (and save money). At a minimum, change the filter every three months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool – wasting energy. A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. According to Energy Star, a properly programmed thermostat can save about $180 every year in energy costs.

Plug the holes through walls – Select Duck® brand Socket Sealers® to combat the cold air that invades your home from indoor and outdoor electrical outlets and switch plates. They are easy to install and made from flame retardant foam. Rubber, foam or silicone weather-strip seals can also be used to insulate around doors and windows and keep your home comfortable and cozy.weather 4

Here are some helpful tips for locating gaps and cracks around the home: To check for problem areas that need to be properly sealed, have a person stand outside after dark and shine a strong flashlight around the edges of doors and windows. With the lights turned off inside the house, take note of where the light is shining through to narrow down areas where cold air is entering the home and warm air is escaping.

Next, you can try to slide a sheet of thin cardboard under a closed door. If the cardboard slides under, the gap is large enough for cold air to enter and heat to escape. Finally, utilize incense to check for cracks and gaps and other points of entry. Look for areas that cause the smoke from the incense to be blown by incoming air or escape through cracks.

By doing one of these three experiments, you will be able to pinpoint areas of the home in need of winterization.

Make yourself a promise this fall – you will close the door on heat loss, slam the windows on energy drain and reward yourself with ample savings throughout the winter. Improving your household’s energy budget will help keep your family warm and comfortable, so start early! Rest assured the tools to be victorious over energy loss are better than ever, the steps are simpler than imagined and the results are almost immediate.

For more information, tips and product suggestions to help winterize your home, please visit our friends at Duck Brand at

http://www.duckproducts.com/homesmart.

Matt

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