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Winter Home Preparation

Save money while you stay warm this winter, by winterizing your home. To avoid a high power bill, have your crawlspace and attic sealed. This step will help trap the heat inside your home. Make sure to lock all windows to avoid air flow in your home. Also replace the seals in your windows if you feel a draft. Next check the doors that lead outside and make sure the seal is working well. Also, put what's called a "sweep" under the door to stop air flow. Conservation Pros say you can save a lot of money by preparing now.

"Going with an  efficiency measure is not only going to make you more comfortable, but your home more efficient," says Marcus Renner, Conservation Pros.  "It will save you money, it will increase the comfort and durability. Because we are not going to bring that moist air into the home and have it run through all the cracks and holes in the building."

This is also a good time to protect your plumbing.  Experts say to make sure foundation vents are closed.  Also, disconnect hoses from outside faucets.  They say it's never a bad idea to leave your faucet dripping to avoid pipes from freezing.

The following are the top ten home efficiency tips by Conservation Pros:

1) Know your home. Monitoring with temperature and humidity meters and regular visual inspection helps you understand how your home works and lets you know if anything is wrong.
2) Regular maintenance. Read owners manuals for all equipment, change filters and keep vent pipes such as the dryer vent clean. Have the HVAC system tuned up.
3) Air seal the building envelopes six sides- floor, ceiling, and four walls. Seal duct work with mastic paste.
4) Increase insulation levels, floor, ceiling and duct work first, walls last.
5) Get an energy audit. Have a building performance specialist perform home diagnostics.
6) Increase water efficiency. Change out shower heads and faucet aerators. Insulate the hot water heater and water pipes.
7) Improve lighting. Change old incandescent bulbs for LEDs or compact fluorescent ones.
8) Buy energy Star appliances.  As appliances need replacing be sure new ones have the Energy Star label.
9) Install and program a new thermostat for the heating and cooling system.
10) Seal windows and doors. Replace old weather strips and latch windows.


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