Spending to Save

@MySpot (2602)
United States
October 12, 2006 9:40am CST
Energy prices this heating season may be the trigger many people need to invest in a new, efficient furnace. But short of that, there are things to do (and buy) that can conserve a bit of heat and cash. CAULKING AND WEATHERSTRIPPING Pasty caulking comes in tubes and also as long strips; weatherstripping comes in self-adhesive rubber strips. Both seal spaces around doors and windows. Myriad versions, most of which cost less than $10. Proper seals (and don't forget the skylights) can save 10 percent of heating costs. DUAL-FUEL HEAT PUMP Relies on electricity until the temperature falls below a certain point, then natural gas takes over. Purchase and installation can run between $2,600 and $5,000.Cuts way down on gas usage. It can also cut electricity bills by 30 to 40 percent. ELECTRIC TANKLESS WATER HEATER Allows you to crank up the hot water when you need it, not keep it hot all the time. As low as $400; some whole-house continuous systems run around $2,000. Eliminates all the natural gas a gas-fired water heater uses; cheaper to run than an electrically fired water tank. ELECTRICAL OUTLET INSULATION Foam inserts that fit behind electrical outlets. Available at hardware stores for less than $1 apiece. Used on outside walls, they can eliminate sources of cold air. INSULATION For walls and attics, exists as long roll-out batts and blown-in "fluff." Prices vary widely depending on type and amount required. Insulation added above ceilings, inside attics, against exterior and basement walls can save up to 30 percent on heating bills. PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT Allows you to automatically program your daily heating needs, keeping the house colder when no one's home and/or during the night. Many brands, costing roughly between $40 and $100. Thought to cut heating bills by about 10 percent. STORM WINDOWS AND DOORS Additional windows and doors form an extra air barrier against the cold. About a quarter of the cost of replacing single-pane windows with thermopane windows. Can reduce heating bills by up to 36 percent, when windows, for instance, with a "low-e" coating are installed outside old windows. Sources: Washington Post Home Section; Savings Information from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy. via The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune www.startribune.com http://www.startribune.com/823/story/148590.html PLEASE ADD MONEY/ENERGY SAVING TIPS OF YOUR OWN ~~~
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