Make a plan now for cutting energy use this winter
Utility bills can add up to about $2,000 a year on average in U.S. households. But it’s not all money spent wisely. Costly air leaks are common, even in brand-new homes.
In fact, your doors and windows could be giving an easy escape route to as much as a third of your heat. Other trouble spots where air seeps in and out can include poorly insulated attics, chimneys, and even electrical outlets and switch plates.
Fight back before the cold weather arrives. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that many households can save between 5 and 30 percent on heating bills by making a few simple improvements that reduce air leaks.
Detecting the drafts can be a breeze. Here’s a simple test: Close a sheet of paper in a window or door, then pull on the paper. If the paper slides out easily, air will likely pass through, too.
You can also track down drafts using a thermal leak detector. This handheld infrared sensor measures surface temperatures. You’ll find it at most hardware stores.