Saving heat saves money, tips on how to keep warm for less

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Infrared heaters work by heating objects, not the air. As such, they won’t dry out the air or stir up dust, making them a healthier alternative for some.

DENVER (KDVR) – Electricity and natural gas prices are at record highs in Colorado. Reducing energy with low or no-cost measures can help reduce costs by 20 to 30%, according to Colorado State University Extension.

Do-it-yourself ideas from CSU Extension that can be used for homeowners and renters:

Windows, doors and sealing

  • Check for leaks around windows
    • Clean tracks for a good seal
    • Lock windows for better seal
    • Caulk and weather-strip exterior doors and windows as needed
  • Use a door sweep to reduce air leakage under exterior doors
  • Caulk and seal leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors and ceilings
  • Install foam gaskets behind electrical outlets and switch plates on exterior walls
  • Open blinds and shades on sunny winter days, and close them at night
  • Install storm windows over single pane windows or use plastic film window kits

HVAC – Heating, ventilation and air conditioning

  • Set your thermostat as low as comfortable (68 F is suggested) when you are at home
  • Set back the thermostat to 60 F at night or when no one is at home
  • Set back the thermostat to 50-55 F when the house is empty for over 24 hours
  • Install a programmable thermostat to automatically provide these setbacks
  • Operate the system on the “auto” fan setting on the thermostat
  • Have your furnace checked annually by a trained professional
  • Replace furnace filters once a month during the heating season

Attics, Basements and Crawlspaces

  • Inspect all visible ductwork
  • Check for holes that go from a heated space to a basement or attic, caulk or foam were needed
  • Seal all joints in ducts with duct mastic
  • Make sure heating registers are not blocked or closed (as closed registers add pressure to ducts and can make them leak)
  • Insulate ducts passing through unheated spaces

Water Heater and Leaky Faucets

  • Turn the temperature setting down to 120 F
  • Fix any leaky faucets, hot water faucets are costly

Pipes

  • Disconnect, drain and store any garden hoses
  • Exposed water pipes in uninsulated spaces such as in a crawlspace, attic, or exterior wall should be protected with foam insulating sleeves to prevent burst pipes

Insulation

  • Upgrade recessed can light fixtures to ones that are rated for insulation contact and air tightness
  • Upgrade attic insulation to R-49 or greater (higher R values mean greater insulation levels and thus more energy savings)
  • Insulate exterior heated basement walls to at least R-11
  • Insulate floors over unheated areas to R-19

Woodburning Fireplaces

  • Close your fireplace damper, seal the opening when the fireplace is not being used
  • Use a chimney balloon to plug air leaks in lightly used or inactive fireplaces

Colorado Low-income Energy Assistance Program benefits can include repairs or replacement of a home’s primary heating system and weatherization services. Information about the application process, eligibility or the LEAP program is available online.

The Arapahoe County Weatherization Division installs many of these energy-saving measures at no cost for eligible homeowners and renters. Services may include: energy audit, furnace and water heater safety test, insulation, sealing, LED light bulbs, storm windows and furnace replacement if eligible.

Check the weatherization webpage for information about eligibility and services.

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