Garskof says there are 6 things you can do, that will initially cost about $1,500 but will save you about $4,000 within a one-year time period. Best of all, once you do them, they will continue to save you money year after year. Even if you don’t have the $1,500 to spend right now, doing just a couple of these energy-saving tasks will save you a ton of money.
1. Insulate Your Attic – The attic floor is the most important barrier to heat
loss because heat rises. The insulation thickness should be at least
10 to 12 inches.
Cost: $500 to $1000 Savings: $500 to $1,000 per year
2. Cover the Heating Ducts – Locate your “exposed” heating and cooling
ducts, normally located in the attic or basement. If you find exposed
metal ducts; seal the seams with foil tape. Scotch-brand Duct Sealing
Foil Tape is suggested. After sealing the seams, cover the entire
ductwork with insulation (Thermwell Self-Adhesive Duct Insulation).
Cost: $50 to $250 Savings: $500 to $1,000 per year
3. Use a Programmable Thermostat – Lower the heat when you go to bed at night and set the time to warm up the house just prior to your alarm clock ringing. Just by lowering the temperature by 7 degrees, you will knock off 10% from your heating bill.
Cost: $40 Savings: $500 per year
4. Seal Cracks – Seal holes and gaps in your basement, attic, floorboards, chimney and recessed lighting. Use expanding foam insulation and you can save an additional 10% in heating and cooling costs.
Cost: $14 Savings: $500 per year
5. Wrap Your Water Heater – Keep the heat from leaking away by wrapping a
water-heater blanket around the tank. But don’t stop there. Wrap pipe insulation
around the cold and hot water pipes leading to the water heater.
Cost: $40 Savings: $100 per year
6. Service Your Furnace & Air Conditioner – Hire a pro to clean, repair and
service your heating and cooling systems. Gunk and dust build-up reduces the
efficiency of those units.