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Energy tip #11: fixing a hole where the draft gets in

weatherstripping.gifSaturday Night Live’s Jack Handy once offered the following Deep Thought: “Blow ye winds like the trumpet blows…but without that noise.” In the home, there are plenty of silent winds that blow. Unfortunately, they are the type that inflate your energy bill by sneaking in through small gaps between window and door seals. As we head into the colder seasons, a do-it-yourself audit of all the seals in your home could pay big dividends.

One way to do this is to take a lit incense stick and slowly move it past suspected draft areas. Any subtle breezes should be easy to detect. Then brush off your home improvement books or use some simple solutions provided by the DIY Network’s home energy page. Weatherstripping can be accomplished in many ways and needn’t be particularly difficult.

Estimates put potential savings at a whopping 10% of energy costs and many older homes can benefit even more from some minor improvements.

Let’s runs the sums:

Average yearly home energy bill: $1,900
Cost of caulking and weatherstripping: $50
10% energy savings: $190
Total yearly savings: $140
Total CO2 savings: 2,800 lbs. CO2

So, there you have it. Fill in the gaps and you’ll be saving saving a nice stash for some premium warm cocoa or a hot-off-the-presses Home TerraPass.

Last week we had our most popular tip to date, with 145 people pledging to unplug their rechargers and other electronic appliances (Tip #11) for two weeks. If we can keep it up for a year, we’ll be saving about 176,465 pounds of CO2 or roughly 9,117 gallons of gas. Pretty darn impressive.

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