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If there’s ever a good time to be “iced in” with bad weather it’s on a long weekend when you can be home with good food, in front of a fire with lots of football games on TV. Kind of like this Thanksgiving weekend.

The challenge is keeping the cold air out and the warm air in. The more efficient our heating is the warmer we stay and the more money we save on energy costs.

So what are some ways we can save money on our winter energy costs?

Take advantage of natural heat. That sunlight streaming through the window brings more than happiness. It brings natural heat. Take advantage of that by opening the curtains during the day to let that sunlight in. Then close them in the evening to keep heat in.

Multiple little cracks in windows and doors equal major energy loss. Windows and doors account for up to 30% of energy loss in the home. Go outside your home and inspect all your windows. If there is caulking around the frame, be sure it’s still soft and pliable. If it’s old and brittle, use a putty knife to chip it out and re-caulk it. Also look for holes or openings around plumbing or electrical boxes that allow air to enter. You can fill these with an expandable spray foam.

If you have older windows that just don’t fit as well as they used to, or older single-pane windows that aren’t energy efficient consider installing a clear plastic film to the interior window frame. These are designed for winterizing windows and keeping out drafts. They are inexpensive and work well. Easily installed and easily removed in the spring when the weather warms up.

On the inside, be sure your exterior doors are weather stripped. Close the door during the day, then stand back and look for the obvious. If you see any daylight, you have a leak. Get down on the floor and look at the bottom of the door, too, to check that there is a tight seal between the floor and the bottom of the door. Quality weather strips are readily available at your local hardware store and are easily attached to your door frame.

The temperature on your water heater should be set no higher than 120 degrees. The primary reason is for your safety as hotter water will quickly burn your skin. It also saves you money on energy costs. Of your energy bill, water heating accounts for up to 18%.

Speaking of thermostats, you can save considerable money on your energy bill by putting on your favorite sweater or sweatshirt and lowering your thermostat a degree or two. We highly recommend installing a programmable thermostat. This will automatically lower your temperature settings at night when you are sleeping and raise them during the day. Obviously it works equally well in the summer to adjust your air conditioning settings.

Finally, have your furnace professionally inspected. Technicians will go over every component of your system to insure it is operating efficiently. A professional inspection also catches small problems before they become big expensive ones.

The experts at Sinclair are all about keeping warm air in your house and money in your pocket. Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to inspect your heating system and give you suggestions on how you can stay warm and save money this winter! Call us at 806-749-2665!

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