Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Make Energy Savings Simple

Energy savings is on everyone’s mind these days. Fuel prices have shot through the roof over the last several months. Crude oil prices are over $100 a barrel again. Some of this can be attributed to increase demand by China and India as well as by the United States. This leads us to pay more money for the gasoline in our cars and the heat for our homes.
I live in the Northeast of the United States so I keep a close eye on oil prices. I switched from heating oil to heat my home to propane gas a few years ago. It seems as if propane prices  are cheaper than heating oil prices. For example oil prices rose around 45 cents a gallon this winter while propane prices were up only 15 cents. I also like using propane gas because it is a cleaner burning fuel. Heating oil is very dirty, but propane is much more environmentally friendly. So not only am I lowering my energy costs, but I’m also helping to clean the air around me.

But I didn’t just stop at switching to propane to lower my costs. I also try to weatherize my home to make it more energy efficient. I hate wasting money, so I do what I can to insulate my home.

When you think of weatherizing your home, you might be thinking you have to spend a fortune on windows, door and insulation. If you have the money to do that, that’s great. But for most of us on a tight budget, we need to take other steps to find low cost ways to save energy in our home.

You can start by looking for the obvious things first. Check around your front door. Can you see gaps where light is coming through? Perhaps you can have someone stand outside the door at night with a flashlight and have him or her shine around the edges while you are inside the door. If you see light coming through, then you know cold air can leak into your home that way. To fix that you can go to any hardware store and buy weatherstripping. If you already have weatherstripping around the door, note how thick it is. This will be the same thickness you will buy when you replace it. A typical roll will do one door and costs under $3. In just minutes you can stop that door from being drafty.

This is just one idea to save money on your heating costs.

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