Follow the tips below to maximize your heating and cooling savings:

  1.  Conduct an energy audit to determine where your home needs weatherization
  2.  Check for holes and cracks in your walls and ceilings, around and in your windows and doors, around your light and plumbing fixtures and electrical boxes, and around your attic hatches and dryer vents where you might have air leaks.  An easy way to do this is to hold a lit incense stick next to these areas to see if the smoke streams move horizontally.  If so, you probably have an air leak.
  3.  Caulk and weather strip to prevent air leaks.
  4.  Make sure there are no cracks, holes, or gaps around windows and doorframes.  Caulk as necessary, on both the outside and inside, to stop airflow.
  5. Check weather stripping on all windows and doors.  Add or replace to stop airflow.  Tighten or replace window and door locks to ensure they clamp the windows and doors tight on the weather stripping.  Do not forget weather stripping on the attic entrance or whole-house attic fans.  Consider covering the attic fan in the winter. 
  6. Caulk around any places where pipes, wires, can lights, and vents go through exterior walls, floors, or ceilings and there is a visible space.  This includes pipes under sinks, vent pipes for oven and dryer exhaust, electrical wires, etc.  Make sure to look in the attic floor for pipes, exhaust fans, and can lights coming through your ceiling.  It will be necessary to roll back the insulation to find many of these and install proper caulking or weatherstripping.  However, do not place insulation around can lights and other electrical fixtures that protrude into the attic floor, unless they are approved to come in contact with insulation.
  7. Insulate your outlets and switches with insulating pads behind the switch plates.  This is relatively inexpensive and saves the cost soon.
  8. Inspect heating and air conditioning ductwork for air leaks.  Leaky ducts can often account for up to 30% or more of your total heating and cooling costs.  If the heated or cooled air does not make it into the living areas, it is wasted.
  9.  Fix leaks in heating/AC ductwork.  First repair sections that should obviously be joined but have separated.  Next, repair obvious holes and unsealed joints in the ducts, such as where ducts attach to vents.  Finally, turn your system on and look for air leaks throughout the duct system by feeling for escaping air.
  10.  When choosing a tape for duct repair, avoid common duct tape.  It really does not work well.  Look for a mastic, butyl tape, foil tape, or other approved tapes.
  11. Make sure all duct insulation is in place and repair all rips.  If the ducts are not insulated, consider insulating them.
  12. Check insulation levels in your attic, exterior and basement walls, ceilings, floors, and crawl spaces.  Make sure the insulation is in place and not missing.
  13. Ensure proper attic ventilation to reduce heat and moisture buildup, as well as proper crawl space ventilation to make sure excess moisture does not build up.
  14. Make sure your windows are saving you energy.  If you have storm windows, use them to save on both heating and cooling.  If you do not have storm windows, consider putting plastic over your windows.

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