Energy Busters that will reduce your energy usage and costs for winter

Welcome to the Scot Williams Realty blog. Hopefully you will find us informative, helpful, and at times fun. We look forward to hearing from you.
These do it yourself tips can produce cost savings imediately, and will make you a greener neighbor, with nothing more than a weekend trip to the local hardware store.
1. Reclaim the heat that is flowing from your furnace into your attic and basement/ crawlspace instead of your living room! Buy Mastic and metallictape along with a cheap paint brush. Find areas of exposed ductwork in your attic and basement, then turn on your furnace and notice all the holes and leaks at joints where heated air is escaping. Pull back the insulation around the boots, where ductwork meets the vents and tape around the metal box to seal. Tape all holes and joints in the ducts, then apply Mastic on top with a paint brush. This will increase the heat entering your living space. Cost: about $20
2. Pull Down Attic Stairs: Huge loss of heat thru the cracks around the pull down stairs. Purchase a sealable cover (online best bet) about $200, but the cover reduces the chimney effect of hot air being drawn up into your cold attic space.
3. Wood burning fireplaces: They are pretty but HUGE heat suckers! When the fireplace is not in use, place a piece of Plexiglas in front of the opening to eliminate the heat loss during off hours.
4. Hot Water Heaters: Wrap them up! Water heating consumes 15% of the electricity and 25% of the natural gas in residences annual usage. Insulating the heater with a thermal wrap will reduce the heat lost while the water is hot and sitting in the tank awaiting use. The amount of heat lost in standby can be 20-60% of the energy it took to heat that water and keep it hot. So buy the appropriate insulation and apply it carefully.
5. Water saving shower heads: Once installed they will reduce heat needed to heat the water plus will have water saving benefits. Easy to buy, easy to install.
6. TURN OFF LIGHTS WHEN LEAVING THE ROOM: significant savings when electricity is used only when in a room. Family members can take a long time to retrain, but it can be done.
7. Replace the old light bulbs with CFL’s. They do not loss heat like traditional bulbs and they last 10 X longer. They now offer varied color ratings like the old light bulbs.
These are just a few things that can make a difference in your pocketbook and help the enviroment at the same time. It just takes a weekend and some friends to help!
Contributing writer Nan Williams
Planning a renovation or new contstruction, next month we will offer some sexier but pratical ideas that can be implemented to make us Greener.