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2013-12-19

Save money with simple winterizing tips

By TCEQ

Fortifying insulation and sealing off air leaks in your home are like putting on a warm sweater on a cold day. You can maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, and cut energy consumption and bills with weatherizing projects such as storm windows, insulation, roofing, and siding.
Weatherproofing your home can reduce heating and cooling costs up to 20 percent. Here are a few easy ideas to save energy this winter:
Check your insulation and plug air leaks to save up to 10 percent on heating and cooling.
• Use caulk and weather-stripping to seal cracks around windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches and electrical outlets.
• Check and add insulation if needed in your attic, exterior walls, ceilings, floors, and crawlspaces.
• Close the fireplace damper when not in use.
• Grab a sweater for yourself too - in Texas, up to 50 percent of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling.
• Lower your thermostat in the winter. Raise it as high as is comfortable in the summer.
• Use a programmable thermostat with four temperature settings which can save the average household up to $180 per year in energy costs.
• Clean or replace HVAC filters once a month, or as needed.
• Regularly schedule HVAC service visits.
• Cut down on water heating - typically 13 percent of your utility bills.
• Use less hot water, by taking shorter showers, washing laundry in cold water, and turning off water when brushing teeth. Using cold water for laundry instead of hot or warm water can save the average household more than $30 annually.
• Turn down the thermostat on your water heater. For each 10-degree reduction in water temperature, you can save between 3 to 5 percent in energy costs.Insulate your water heater.
Consider buying an ENERGY STAR water heater.
Find more ways to Take Care of Texas and save on your energy bills this winter. Additional resources are available at the Texas State Energy Conservation Office, Energy.gov, and Energystar.gov.