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Get ready for winter and save $$$

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy suggest these things to help you save over $1,000 on your home’s utility bills: By using a few inexpensive energy-efficient measures, you can reduce your energy bills.

Plug the Gaps Outside: Keep cold air OUT. Seal all cracks on the exterior of your home. Areas around windows and outdoor faucets let in cold air. Use a caulking gun to stop leaks inside, too. Check when you see a gap or feel a draft. If you can’t afford to replace windows, an insulation kit is low cost.

Programmable Thermostats: You can turn down your heat at night and when you are not at home.

Air Ducts: Many duct systems are poorly insulated or not correctly installed. Ducts that leak heated air add hundreds of dollars on your heating and cooling bills. Call a professional to check your duct work to make sure they are sealed properly, to save you money.

Fireplace: One of the most inefficient heat sources you can use. It literally sends your energy dollars right up the chimney along with columns of warm air. So be sure that the flue is closed when you aren’t using your fireplace.

Water Heaters: Wrap with a water heater blanket and insulate your water pipes to keep the water hot and save money. Remember to maintain your unit by flushing the water heater once a year. Check your owner’s manual for instructions or contact us at www.home-warranty.com for instructions.

Insulation: The fastest and lowest cost preventative way to reduce energy waste and maximize energy dollars. You can increase the comfort of your home while reducing your heating and cooling needs by investing a few hundred dollars.

Replace Door Stops: Check at the bottom of your exterior doors. If you can see light underneath a door, you’re losing warm air! Don’t forget about your garage door because most garages are not insulated.

Insulate Electrical Outlets: Hold your hand in front of an outlet on an outside wall and you’ll be amazed at the cold air that comes through. Multiply that by all the outlets and imagine how much of your expensive energy is lost. You can buy an inexpensive kit that fits inside the outlet plate.

Weather-Strip Exterior Doors: Replace the weather stripping if you can feel air or see daylight. Check for dents, bends, breaks or loss of tension.

When very cold weather hits: Allow water to drip from a faucet near an outside wall and open cabinet doors to allow heat to reach pipes under sinks. Disconnect all garden hoses and insulate your outdoor faucets with a “thermal cap” or wrapped rags and plastic.