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Save money by maintaining temperature

If you hyperventilated looking at your last utility bill, you may need to make some changes at home to start saving money. Maybe you're keeping the thermostat at a reasonable temperature and even using a programmable interface but you may still be wasting energy. Air leaks can happen throughout the home and if you have enough of them you're effectively heating or cooling the outdoors as much as the indoors. The first step is to identify air leak sources, then you have to seal them and/or insulate them. In most homes, apartments or condos the windows are the worst culprits. Luckily they can be easily addressed to start saving you money quickly.
Start simple Caulk and weather stripping play a huge role in closing small air leaks around window panes and window frames. Before you caulk be sure to have an understanding of how the window operates so you can be sure it will still work once you've addressed the leaks. Many older homes have storm windows that can be placed on the outside of the window frame. You won't be able to get any fresh air flowing through the house but you will be cutting down on air leaks. If you have them, put them up in fall and feel free to take them down for spring and summer.
Layer, layer, layer Once you've addressed the basics it's time to look at your window dressings. The choices you make on blinds, drapery and curtains can make a significant dent in your energy costs.
Blinds are a great base for any decorative window treatment. During the summer you can block the sun's rays to keep your home cooler. Additionally, you can easily control the amount of light coming into a room which can reduce the number of lights you're turning on during the day while still maintaining privacy. There are myriad options for fashionable window coverings. The key to energy savings is choosing insulated curtains or drapes. Thermal back curtains insulate well against cold air entering the home, and prevent heat from seeping out. These curtains can be made using a sewing machine and the right material from local fabric shops. If you're looking for function over fashion old blankets, thick fabrics and comforters will work just as well and they're probably packed in the closet or lying around the house somewhere. Old comforters can be taken apart and redone. To get the correct size, windows should be measured horizontally and vertically. If making them isn't your thing try second hand stores, garage sales, and flea markets that sell thousands of household items inexpensively.
Drastic measures If you really need to seal your windows, especially for the winter, clear plastic window insulation kits will help limit energy loss. plastic is taped over the whole window frame and shrunk to size with a hairdryer. This will mean no access to open the windows or even to adjust blinds. This is really a last resort for renters in older homes and apartments who have no other options as they are annoying to put up and should come down in the spring.


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