This winter keep energy costs in check
Inexpensive home fixes to help keep winter winds at bay, energy costs in check
Keep the cold winds out and the warm air in this winter. (Dennis Earlenbaugh/Akron Beacon Journal/MCT)
A ceiling fan can help warm, as well as cool, a room, which can be especially valuable if the home has high ceilings, where heat gathers. Most ceiling fans have switches that reverse the direction of the blades, so the fan can gently pull cool air up and push warm air down. Look for Energy Star-rated fans, which will use less juice.
9. Add attic insulation ($50 to $100)
Experts recommend at least 12 inches of insulation, so if you can see your ceiling joists, you don't have enough. Blown insulation is best over existing insulation but requires a blower. (Some retailers will provide a blower free if enough insulation is purchased.)
10. Wear a sweater (Free)
This standby requires no professional installation, is portable and fits like a glove. Best of all, it can already be found in your closet.
Other resources to use:
To learn other ways to cut energy costs:
-- Energystar.gov, operated by the Department of Energy and the EPA, offers energy-saving tips.
-- Familyhandyman.com offers home-energy projects for the do-it-yourselfer.
Sources: SaveGreenUSA; Conservation Services Group; Lowe's; Family Handyman; Energy Star program
(c) 2010, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services