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Archive for Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tips for weatherizing your home before temperatures turn cold

October 10, 2010

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The phone is steadily ringing at Advance Glass and Mirror in Lawrence from homeowners looking to fix windows and doors as the weather starts to cool.

“We are getting 10 calls a day on it,” said Rob Wilson, general manager. “A lot of people procrastinate, they wait until fall when it starts getting chilly and then remember a window is broken.”

Keeping costs down while adjusting to warm autumn days and cool nights can be tricky.

But deciding when to turn the heat on and the air conditioner off is a decision that will likely be made soon.

Energy experts say you can do some of the home weatherizing maintenance yourself.

“It’s not that difficult and it’s not that expensive,” said Curt Floerchinger, Black Hills Energy communications manager. “Normally you can do it for less than $100 and you will save a lot more than that on your heating bill by weatherizing your home.”

Here are a few tips to keep costs down this season.

  • Keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees. You can save 8 percent of your home’s heating energy consumption by doing this.
  • Have your heating system serviced regularly to ensure it is running properly, making sure to change filters as prescribed.
  • Seal the inside of your home by putting plastic coverings on the windows and caulk and seal any air leaks around doors and windows.
  • Install foam gaskets behind outlet covers and switch plates. Foam gaskets prevent air form leaking through wall outlets.
  • Turn off exhaust fans within 20 minutes after cooking or showering.
  • Reduce your hot water temperature setting and be sure to insulate water heaters and hot water pipes that are 10 years old and older.

“Weatherizing your home is something most people can do on a weekend,” said Floerchinger.

For big jobs, of course call the pros.

The city of Lawrence has a weatherization program for low income residents but enrollment is only during the summer for the winter season.

Comments

LogicMan 4 years, 2 months ago

"be sure to insulate water heaters and hot water pipes that are 10 years old and older."

The water heater? Didn't mean the age of the pipes, did you? And I think we stopped using pipes 50+ years ago, in favor of tubing.

LogicMan 4 years, 2 months ago

Really? Steel or brass pipes? Maybe if your abode is very old.

Or are they actually copper or plastic tubing?

Alceste 4 years, 2 months ago

What is the value in reducing the amount of energy one uses to heat if the utility companies are granted rate increases as demand and use goes down due to this "energy efficiency"?

Joe Blackford II 4 years, 2 months ago

al·tru·ism n. 1. Unselfish concern for the welfare of others; selflessness.

As in it reduces the size of your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of energy you consume & the utility company has to produce. Maybe IF all of Larryville did so, there would be one less coal train a week to JEC, or one less radioactive spent fuel rod @ Wolf Creek.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

Good question.

Actually, interestingly enough, right now Westar provides an incentive to use less electricity during the summer months - if you use under 30 kwh/day, you qualify for the regular winter pricing instead of the increased summer pricing - I'm actually not sure why they do that.

Bill Griffith 4 years, 2 months ago

To shave their peak load in the summer when their energy expenses are at their highest.

Bill Griffith 4 years, 2 months ago

A good question that deserves a reply. Based on rate increases due to ee programs across the country, the amount of savings due to ee upgrades is over triple the rate hike. Plus, it delays transmission investment and new power plants that require even more pricy rate hikes.

jafs 4 years, 2 months ago

Do you have a source for that?

If it's true, then the utility companies will be making very little extra due to the rate hikes - so as people use less energy, the companies will be making less money - not exactly why they're in business, right?

Bill Griffith 4 years, 2 months ago

Sure, try aceee.org/research-report/u092. It is correct that energy companies will make less money unless they are guaranteed a fair rate of return in a rate case and also that their reiumbursement is not drawn out over a longer period of time. The two ee rate cases at the KCC right now are going through that debate.

independant1 4 years, 2 months ago

Thermostat? Firewood, Duct Tape = warm and cozy, open a window just a smidge to exchange the air from time to time. Airtight homes need to breathe else it's not healthy.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 2 months ago

Stuff your shorts with lemur wool and laugh at the cold weather.

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