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Morning Sun
  • EXTENSION CONNECTION: Winterizing your home

  • Investing time in home maintenance before winter officially arrives can yield savings in home energy costs and keep the family comfortable. It’s not too late to save money this winter by putting these suggestions to use.

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  • Investing time in home maintenance before winter officially arrives can yield savings in home energy costs and keep the family comfortable. It’s not too late to save money this winter by putting these suggestions to use.
    Home heating and cooling costs account for up to one-third of home energy costs. Start by checking the home heating system. Basic maintenance such as cleaning or changing the filter, oiling the motor and fan, and checking to see if vents and ducts are open and clear and insure an efficient operating system for the winter months.          
    Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for seasonal maintenance. A scheduled service call can help to ensure a smooth transition to the heating season. The cost of a service call can be offset if a potential mechanical problem is found.           
    Consumers can trim home heating costs with a programmable thermostat. This will allow a homeowner to maintain a comfortable temperature when family is home and reduce energy use at night and when away at work or school. Programming also will bring the temperature back into the comfort zone before the family wakes each day.
    Adjusting a traditional thermostat also can yield a savings. Lowering the thermostat to 67 degrees (down from 68 degrees) can yield a 2-3 percent savings; turning the thermostat down while sleeping (8 hours a day, for example) can yield a 1 percent savings.   
       
    To further reduce home heating costs try the following tips:  
    • Caulk around windows and doors, in gaps or cracks between the foundation and siding, stone or brickwork, or fill other obvious air leaks
    • Checking ductwork for leaks and repair if needed
    • Seal and insulate an attic floor        
    • Seal and insulate the perimeter of a crawl space
    • Clean gutters and remove any tree leaves, branches or other debris
    • Wrap pipes with insulation
    • Block off unused rooms
    • Reverse ceiling fans
    • Keep blinds or drapes closed
    • Invest in plastic sheeting to go over the windows
    For additional information, contact the Wildcat Extension District, Crawford County, 620-724-8233, Labette County, 620-784-5337, Montgomery County, 620-331-2690, Pittsburg Office, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education (EFNEP), 620-232-1930.
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