Energy Savers Tips On Saving Energy & Money At Home

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Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home is available online The booklet was developed in partnership with:Tips on SavingEnergy & Moneyat HomeProduced for the1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20585By the National Renewable Energy Laboratory,a DOE National laboratoryDOE/GO-002003-1760June 2003Printed with renewable-source ink on paper containing atleast 50% wastepaper, including 20% postconsumer wasteIllustrations 1998 Greening Americanishapin SelbailavANow

ReferencesEnergy efficient improvements and tips are easy ways forAmericans to save energy and money in their homes,support our economy and protect our energy security.Conserving energy in the home saves consumers moneytoday while also helping to ensure abundant energysupplies for the future.Spencer AbrahamU.S. Secretary of EnergyBy making just a few of the energy efficientimprovements found in this Energy Savers booklet, youcan make your home more comfortable and attractiveand easier to heat and cool - while you save money.ContentsContentsIntroductionYour Home’s Energy UseInsulation and WeatherizationHeating and CoolingWater HeatingWindowsLandscapingLightingAppliancesMajor Appliance Shopping GuideSource ListReferences124101618202224293133Solar Rating and CertificationCorporation (SRCC)C/O FSEC, 1679 Clearlake RoadCocoa, FL 32922-5703Phone: (321) 638-1537Fax: (407) 638-1010E-mail: Department of Energy’sEnergy Efficiency and RenewableEnergy Clearinghouse (EREC)P.O. Box 3048Merrifield, VA 22116Fax: (703) 893-0400(800) DOE-3732 (800-363-3732)E-mail: expert/U.S. Department of Energy’sBuilding Technologies Program, EE411000 Independence Ave. SWWashington, D.C. Savers: Tips on Saving Energy &Money at Home is available online atwww.energysavers.govAssociation of Home ApplianceManufacturers, 1111 19th St., NW,Ste. 402 Washington, DC 20036(202) 872-5955Heede, Richard, et al. HomemadeMoney. The Rocky Mountain Institute,1739 Snowmass Creek Road, Snowmass,CO 81654-9199, (970) 927-3851Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryHome Energy Saverwww.hes.lbl.govU.S. Department of Energy Officeof Building Technology, State andCommunity Programs, 2002 Core Databook,www.btscoredatabook.netWilson, Alex, and Morrill, John. ConsumerGuide to Home Energy Savings.American Council for an Energy-EfficientEconomy (ACEEE), 1001 ConnecticutAvenue, NW, Suite 801, Washington, D.C.20036NOTICE: This booklet was prepared by an agencyof the United States government. Neither theUnited States government nor any agency thereof,nor any of their employees, makes any warranty,express or implied, or assumes any legal liabilityor responsibility for the accuracy, completeness,or usefulness of any information, apparatus,product, or process disclosed, or represents thatits use would not infringe privately owned rights.Reference herein to any specific commercialproduct, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or other-wise does notnecessarily constitute or imply its endorsement,recommendation, or favoring by the United Statesgovernment or any agency thereof. The views andopinions of authors expressed herein do notnecessarily state or reflect those of the UnitedStates government or any agency thereof.To learn more about DOE programs that promote energy efficiency and renewable energy,visit the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s web site at: special thank you to Owens Corning for printing this award-winning booklet and forparticipating in DOE’s Energy Awareness Month Campaign.33ReferencesWe at the U.S. Department of Energy are committed tobringing the American people a prosperous future whereenergy is clean, abundant, reliable and affordable.

IntroductionGas Appliance Manufacturers Association2107 Wilson Blvd, Ste 600Arlington, VA 22201Phone: (703) 525-7060Fax: (703) 525-6790www.gamanet.orgInsulation Contractors Association ofAmerica (ICAA)1321 Duke Street, Suite 303Alexandria, VA 22314Phone: (703) 739-0356Fax: (703) 739-0412E-mail: icaa@insulate.orgwww.insulate.orgNational Arbor Day Foundation (NADF)100 Arbor AvenueNebraska City, NE 68410Phone: (402) 474-5655www.arborday.orgNational Association of Home Builders(NAHB)1201 15th Street, NWWashington, DC 20005Phone: (202) 266-8200(800) 368-5242E-mail: info@nahb.comwww.nahb.orgSource ListNational Association of State EnergyOfficials (NASEO)1414 Prince Street, Suite 200Alexandria, VA 22314Phone: (703) 299-8800Fax: (703) 299-6208E-mail: information@naseo.orgwww.naseo.orgNational Insulation Association99 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 222,Alexandria, VA 22314-1538Phone: (703) 683-6422Fax: (703) 549-4838www.insulation.org32National Wood Window and DoorAssociation1400 East Touhy Avenue, Suite 470Des Plaines, IL 60018Phone: (847) 229-5200(800) 223-2301Fax: (847) 299-1286www.nwwda.orgNorth American InsulationManufacturers Association (NAIMA)44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 310Alexandria, VA 22314Phone: (703) 684-0084Fax: (703) 684-0427E-mail: insulation@naima.orgwww.naima.orgOwens CorningOne Owens Corning ParkwayToledo, OH 43659Customer Service Hotline:(800) GET PINK (800-438-7465)E-mail: ocyanurate InsulationManufacturers Association (PIMA)515 King Street, Suite 420Alexandria, VA 22314Phone: (202) 628-6558Fax: (202) 628-3856www.pima.orgRocky Mountain Institute1739 Snowmass Creek RoadSnowmass, CO 81654-9199Phone: (970) 927-3851Fax: (970) 927-3420E-mail: outreach@rmi.orgwww.rmi.orgSolar Energy Industries Association(SEIA)1616 H Street NW, Suite 800Washington, DC 20006Phone: (202) 628-7745Fax: (202) 628-7779E-mail: info@seia.orgwww.seia.orgDid you know that the typical U.S. familyspends close to 1,300 a year on theirhome’s utility bills? Unfortunately, alarge portion of that energy is wasted.And electricity generated by fossil fuelsfor a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. Byusing a few inexpensive energy-efficientmeasures, you can reduce your energybills by 10% to 50%, and at the sametime, help reduce air pollution.The key to achieving thesesavings is a whole-house energy efficiency plan. To takea whole-house approach, view yourhome as an energy system with interdependent parts. For example,your heating system is not just afurnace—it’s aheat-deliverysystem thatstarts at the furnace and delivers heatthroughout yourhome using a network of ducts. Youmay have a top-ofthe-line, energy-efficient furnace, but ifthe ducts leak and areuninsulated, and yourwalls, attic, windows,and doors are uninsulated, your energy billswill remain high. Takinga whole-house approachto saving energy ensuresthat dollars you invest inenergy efficiency are wisely spent.Energy-efficient improvements notonly make your home more comfortable,they can yield long-term financialrewards. Reduced operating costs morethan make up for the higher price ofenergy-efficient appliances and improvements over their lifetimes. Improvementsmay also qualify you for an energy efficiency mortgage, which allows lenders touse a higher-than-normal debt-to-incomeratio to calculate loan potential. In addition, your home will likely have a higherresale value.This booklet shows you how easy itis to reduce your home energy use. It isa guide to easy, practical solutions forsaving energy throughout your home,from the insulating system that surroundsit to the appliances and lights inside.Please, take a few moments to read thevaluable tips in this booklet that will saveyou energy and money and,in many cases, help theenvironment by reducingpollution and conservingour natural resources.Whole-House Energy PlanPrioritize your whole-house plan byviewing your home as an energysystem with interdependent parts.IntroductionFlorida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)1679 Clearlake RoadCocoa, FL 32922-5703Phone: (321) 638-1000Fax: (321) 638-1010E-mail: info@fsec.ucf.eduwww.fsec.ucf.edu1

Your Home ’s Energy UseThe first step to taking a whole-houseenergy efficiency approach is to find outwhich parts of your house use the mostenergy. A home energy audit will showyou where these are and suggest themost effective measures for reducingyour energy costs. You can conduct asimple home energy audit yourself, youcan contact your local utility, or you cancall an independent energy auditor fora more comprehensive examination.Waterheating14%Lighting,cooking,and otherappliances33%Heating andcooling44%After you have identified placeswhere your home is losing energy, assignpriorities to your energy needs by askingyourself a few important questions: How much money do you spend onenergy?Refrigerator9%Energy Auditing TipsYour Home’s Energy Use Study your family’s lighting needs anduse patterns, paying special attentionto high-use areas such as the livingroom, kitchen, and exterior lighting.Look for ways to use daylighting,reduce the time the lights are on, andreplace incandescent bulbs and fixtureswith compact or standard fluorescentlamps.Formulating Your PlanHow We Use Energy In Our Homes(based on national averages)The largest portion of a utility bill for a typicalhouse is for heating and cooling. Check the level of insulation in yourexterior and basement walls, ceilings,attic, floors, and crawl spaces. Contactyour local contractor for advice onhow to check your insulation levels. Check for holes or cracks around yourwalls, ceilings, windows, doors, lightand plumbing fixtures, switches, andelectrical outlets that can leak air intoor out of your home. Check for open fireplace dampers.2 Make sure your appliances and heatingand cooling systems are properlymaintained. Where are your greatest energy losses? How long will it take for an investmentin energy efficiency to pay for itself inenergy savings? Can you do the job yourself, or will youneed to hire a contractor? What is your budget and how muchtime do you have to spend on maintenance and repair?Once you assign priorities to yourenergy needs, you can form a wholehouse efficiency plan. Your plan will provide you with a strategy for making smartpurchases and home improvements thatmaximize energy efficiency and save themost money.Another option is to get the adviceof a professional. Many utilities conductenergy audits for free or for a nominalcharge. For a fee, a professional contractor will analyze how your home’s energy

Major Appliance Shopping GuideU.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s)Energy Efficiency and Renewable EnergyClearinghouse (EREC), (800) tinghome.cfmCoolFinding a contractorWhen searching for a contractor, youshould: Ask neighbors and friends if theyhave worked with a contractor theywould recommend Look in the Yellow Pages Focus on local companies Look for licensed, insuredcontractors Get three bids with details in writing Ask about previous experience Check references Inquire with the Better BusinessBureau.Owens Corning Customer Service Hotline,(800) GET-PINK (800-438-7465),www.owenscorning.comYour Home’s Energy Usesystems work together as a system andcompare the analysis against your utilitybills. He or she will use a variety of equipment such as blower doors, infraredcameras, and surface thermometers tofind inefficiencies that cannot be detectedby a visual inspection. Finally, they willgive you a list of recommendations forcost-effective energy improvements andenhanced comfort and safety. A goodcontractor will also calculate the returnon your investment in high efficiencyequipment vs. standard equipment.For more information about homeenergy audits, contact:HotHeat Loss from a HouseA picture is worth., in this case, lost heating dollars. This thermal photograph shows heat leakingfrom a house during those expensive winter heating months. The white, yellow, and red colors showwhere the heat escapes. The red represents the area of the greatest heat loss.Thermogram/photograph copyright 1997, Infraspection Institute, Inc., Shelburne, VT3

Insulation and WeatherizationChecking your home’s insulating systemis one of the fastest and most costefficient ways to use a whole-houseapproach to reduce energy waste andmaximize your energy dollars. A goodinsulating system includes a combinationof products and construction techniquesthat provide a home with thermal performance, protect it against air infiltration,and control moisture. You can increasethe comfort of your home while reducingyour heating and cooling needs by upto 30% by investing just a few hundreddollars in proper insulation and weatherization products.InsulationFirst, check the insulation in your attic,ceilings, exterior and basement walls,floors, and crawl spaces to see if it meetsthe levels recommended for your area.Insulation is measured in R-values—thehigher the R-value, the better your wallsand roof will resist the transfer of heat.The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)recommends ranges of R-values basedon local heating and cooling costs andclimate conditions in different areas ofthe nation. The map and chart on pages 6and 7 show the DOE recommendationsfor your area. State and local codes inInsulation and WeatherizationAtticWallsFloorsCrawl spaceBasementWhere to InsulateAdding insulation in the areas shown here may be the best way to improve your home’s energyefficiency.4

Insulation Tips Consider factors such as your climate,building design, and budget when selecting insulation R-value for your home.Should I insulate my home?The answer is probably “yes” if you: Have an older home and haven’tadded insulation: in a recent survey,only 20% of homes built before1980 were well insulated Are uncomfortably cold in thewinter or hot in the summer—adding insulation creates a moreuniform temperature and increasescomfort Build a new house or addition, orinstall new siding or roofing Pay excessive energy bills Are bothered by noise from theoutdoors—insulation helps tomuffle sound Are concerned about the effect ofenergy use on the environment. Use higher density insulation, such asrigid foam boards, in cathedral ceilingsand on exterior walls. Ventilation plays a large role in providing moisture control and reducingsummer cooling bills. Attic vents canbe installed along the entire ceiling cavity to help ensure proper airflow fromthe soffit to the attic to make a homemore comfortable and energy efficient. Recessed light fixtures can be a majorsource of heat loss, but you need to becareful how close you place insulationnext to a fixture unless it is marked“I.C.”—designed for direct insulationcontact. Check your local buildingcodes for recommendations. As specified on the product packaging,follow the product instructions oninstallation and wear the proper protective gear when installing insulation.The easiest and most cost-effectiveway to insulate your home is to addinsulation in the attic. To find out if youhave enough attic insulation, measurethe thickness of insulation. If there is less5Insulation and Weatherizationsome parts of the country may requirelower R-values than the DOE recommendations, which are based on costeffectiveness. For more customized insulation recommendations, visit the U.S.Department of Energy’s insulation pageat insulating.html. The Zip-CodeInsulation Program can tell you the mosteconomic insulation level for your new orexisting home.Although insulation can be made froma variety of materials, it usually comes infour types—batts, rolls, loose-fill, andrigid foam boards. Each type is made tofit in a different part of your house. Battsare made to fit between the studs in yourwalls or between the joists of your ceilingsor floors. Batts are usually made of fiberglass or rock wool. Fiber glass is manufactured from sand and recycled glass,and rock wool is made from basaltic rockand recycled material from steel millwastes. Rolls or blankets are also usuallymade of fiber glass and can be laid overthe floor in the attic. Loose-fill insulation(usually made of fiber glass, rock wool, orcellulose) is blown into the attic or walls.Cellulose is usually made from recyclednewsprint treated with fire-retardantchemicals.Rigid foam boards are made of polyisocyanurate, extruded polystyrene (XPSor blueboard), expanded polystyrene(EPS or beadboard), or other materials.These boards are lightweight, providestructural support, and generally have anR-value of 4 to 7 per inch. Rigid boardinsulation is made to be used in confinedspaces such as exterior walls, basements,foundation and crawl space walls, concrete slabs, and cathedral ceilings.

New ConstructionFor new construction or home additions, R-11 to R-28 insulation is recommended for exterior walls depending onlocation (see map below). To meet thisrecommendation, most homes andadditions constructed with 2 in x 4 inwalls require a combination of wall cavityU.S. Department of Energy Recommended* Total R-Valuesfor New Construction Houses in Six Insulation Zones231122155243Insulation and Weatherization6344264*These recommendations are cost-effective levels of insulation based on the best available information on localfuel and materials costs and weather conditions. Consequently, the levels may differ from current local buildingcodes. In addition, the apparent fragmentation of the recommendations is an artifact of these data and shouldnot be considered absolute minimum requirements.602477423mYou may also need to add insulationto your crawl space. Either the walls orthe floor above the crawl space should beinsulated.than R-22 (7 inches of fiber glass or rockwool or 6 inches of cellulose) you couldprobably benefit by adding more. MostU.S. homes should have between R-22and R-49 insulation in the attic.If your attic has ample insulation andyour home still feels drafty and cold inthe winter or too warm in the summer,chances are you need to add insulationto the exterior walls as well. This is a moreexpensive measure that usually requires acontractor, but it may be worth the cost ifyou live in a very hot or cold climate.

ago. This adds up to between 525 and 1,050 during the average 15-year lifeof the unit.Refrigerator/Freezer Energy Tips Look for a refrigerator with automaticmoisture control. Models with this feature have been engineered to preventmoisture accumulation on the cabinetexterior without the addition of aheater. This is not the same thing asan “anti-sweat” heater. Models withan anti-sweat heater will consume5% to 10% more energy than modelswithout this feature.insulation, such as batts and insulatingsheathing or rigid foam boards. If you livein an area with an insulation recommendation that is greater than R-20, you maywant to consider building with 2 in x 6 inframing instead of 2 in x 4 in framingto allow room for thicker wall cavityinsulation—R-19 to R-21.When shopping for insulation watchfor the ENERGY STAR label.WeatherizationWarm air leaking into your home during the summer and out of your homeduring the winter can waste a substantialportion of your energy dollars. One ofthe quickest dollar-saving tasks you cando is caulk, seal, and weatherstrip allseams, cracks, and openings to the outside. You can save 10% or more on yourenergy bill by reducing the air leaks inyour home. Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezertoo cold. Recommended temperaturesare 37 to 40 F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5 Ffor the freezer section. If you have aseparate freezer for long-term storage,it should be kept at 0 F. To check refrigerator temperature,place an appliance thermometer in aglass of water in the center of the refrigerator. Read it after 24 hours. To checkthe freezer temperature, place a thermometer between frozen packages.Read it after 24 hours.The EnergyGuide label on new refrigerators will tell you how much electricityin kilowatt-hours (kWh) a particularmodel uses in one year. The smaller thenumber, the less energy the refrigeratoruses and the less it will cost you tooperate. In addition to the EnergyGuidelabel, don’t forget to look for theENERGY STAR label. A new refrigeratorwith an ENERGY STAR label will saveyou between 35 and 70 a year compared to the models designed 15 yearsInsulation and WeatherizationRefrigerators Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers; frost buildupdecreases the energy efficiency of theunit. Don’t allow frost to build up morethan one-quarter of an inch. Make sure your refrigerator door sealsare airtight. Test them by closing thedoor over a piece of paper or a dollarbill so it is half in and half out of therefrigerator. If you can pull the paperor bill out easily, the latch may needadjustment or the seal may needreplacing.7

49371215118131410512166Insulation and WeatherizationSources of Air Leaks in Your HomeAreas that leak air into and out of your home cost you lots of money. Check the culprit areas listed here:123456Dropped ceilingRecessed lightAttic entranceElectric wires and boxPlumbing utilities and penetrationWater and furnace flues789101112All ductsDoor sashes and framesChimney penetrationWarm air registerWindow sashes and framesBaseboards, coves, and interior trimWeatherization Tips First, test your home for air tightness.On a windy day, hold a lit incense sticknext to your windows, doors, electricalboxes, plumbing fixtures, electricaloutlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches,and other locations where there is apossible air path to the outside. If thesmoke stream travels horizontally, you813141516Plumbing access panelElectrical outlets and switchesLight fixturesSill plateshave located an air leak that may needcaulking, sealing, or weatherstripping. Caulk and weatherstrip doors andwindows that leak air. Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors,ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.

Look for dirty spots in your insulation, which often indicate holeswhere air leaks into and out ofyour house. You can seal theholes by stapling sheets of plasticover the holes and caulking theedges of the plastic. Install storm windows over singlepane windows or replace themwith double-pane windows. Stormwindows as much as double theR-value of single-pane windowsand they can help reduce drafts,water condensation, and frost formation. As a less costly and lesspermanent alternative, you can usea heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on aframe or tape clear plastic film to theinside of your window frames duringthe cold winter months. Remember,the plastic must be sealed tightly to theframe to help reduce infiltration. When the fireplace is not in use, keepthe flue damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed specifically for smoketo escape, so until you close it, warmair escapes— 24 hours a day! For new construction, reduce exteriorwall leaks by either installing housewrap, taping the joints of exteriorsheathing, or comprehensively caulking and sealing the exterior walls.For more information on insulation,weatherization, and ventilation, contact:Cellulose Insulation ManufacturersAssociation (CIMA), (937) 222-2462,www.cellulose.orgENERGY STAR , (888) STAR-YES (888-782-7937),www.energystar.govPlumbing Windowspenetrations 10%13%Doors11%DuctsFans and vents15%4%FireplaceElectric14%outlets2% Floors, walls,and ceiling31%How Does the Air Escape?Air infiltrates in and out of your home throughevery hole, nook, and cranny. About one-thirdof this air infiltrates through openings in yourceilings, walls, and floors.Insulation Contractors Association ofAmerica (ICAA), (703) 739-0356,www.insulate.orgNational Association of Home Builders(NAHB), (800) 368-5242, www.nahb.orgNorth American Insulation ManufacturersAssociation (NAIMA), (703) 684-0084,www.naima.orgOwens Corning Customer Service Hotline,(800) GET-PINK e Insulation ManufacturersAssociation (PIMA), (703) 684-1136,www.pima.orgU.S. Department of Energy’sEnergy Efficiency and Renewable EnergyClearinghouse (EREC), (800) ulation and Weatherization Install rubber gaskets behind outletand switch plates on exterior walls.

Heating and Coolingmake sure they’re not blocked byHeating and cooling your home usesfurniture, carpeting, or drapes.more energy and drains more energydollars than any other system in your Bleed trapped air from hot-waterhome. Typically, 44% of your utility billradiators once or twice a season; if ingoes for heating and cooling. What’sdoubt about how to perform this task,more, heating and cooling systems in thecall a professional.United States together emitover a half billion tons of60carbon dioxide into theatmosphere each year,50Naturaladding to global warming.gasThey also generate about53%24% of the nation’s sulfur40dioxide and 12% of thenitrogen oxides, the chief30ingredients in acid rain.ElectricityNo matter what kind of26%20heating, ventilation, andair-conditioning systemyou have in your house,10you can save money andincrease comfort by0properly maintaining andupgrading your equipment.But remember, an energy-efficientfurnace alone will not have as great animpact on your energy bills as using thewhole-house approach. By combiningproper equipment maintenance andupgrades with appropriate insulation,weatherization, and thermostat settings,you can cut your energy bills and yourpollution output in half.Heating and CoolingHeating and Cooling Tips Set your thermostat as low as iscomfortable in the winter and as highas is comfortable in the summer. Clean or replace filters on furnacesonce a month or as needed. Clean warm-air registers, baseboardheaters, and radiators as needed;10Fuel oil11%Other10%Household Heating SystemsAlthough there are several different types offuels available to heat our homes, about halfof us use natural gas. Place heat-resistant radiator reflectorsbetween exterior walls and theradiators. Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilating fans wisely; in just 1 hour, thesefans can pull out a houseful of warmedor cooled air. Turn fans off as soon asthey have done the job. During the heating season, keep thedraperies and shades on your southfacing windows open during the day toallow the sunlight to enter your homeand closed at night to reduce the chillyou may feel from cold windows.

Close an unoccupied room that isisolated from the rest of the house,such as in a corner, and turn downthe thermostat or turn off the heatingfor that room or zone. However, do notturn the heating off if it adversely affectsthe rest of your system. For example,if you heat your house with a heatpump, do not close the vents—closingthe vents could harm the heat pump. Select energy-efficient equipmentwhen you buy new heating and coolingequipment. Your contractor should beable to give you energy fact sheets fordifferent types, models, and designsto help you compare energy usage.Look for high Annual Fuel UtilizationEfficiency (AFUE) ratings and theSeasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio(SEER). The national minimums are78% AFUE and 10 SEER. Look for the ENERGY STAR andEnergyGuide labels. ENERGY STAR is a program of the U.S. Department ofEnergy (DOE) and the EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) designedto help consumers identify energyefficient appliances and products.DuctsOne of the most important systems inyour home, though it’s hidden beneathyour feet and over your head, may bewasting a lot of your energy dollars. Yourhome’s duct system, a branching networkof tubes in the walls, floors, and ceilings,carries the air from your home’s furnaceand central air conditioner to each room.Ducts are made of sheet metal, fiberglass, or other materials.Unfortunately, many duct systemsare poorly insulated or not insulated22What’s a Btu?One Btu, or British thermal unit, isroughly equivalent to burning onekitchen match. That may not soundlike much, but a typical home consumes about 100 million Btu per year.Approximately 44% of the total isused for space heating.properly. Ducts that leak heated air intounheated spaces can add hundreds ofdollars a year to your heating and cooling bills. Insulating ducts that are inunconditioned spaces is usually verycost-effective. If you are buying a newduct system, consider one that comeswith insulation already installed.Sealing your ducts to prevent leaks iseven more important if the ducts arelocated in an unconditioned area suchas an attic or vented crawl space. If thesupply ducts are leaking, heated orcooled air can be forced out unsealedjoints and lost. In addition, unconditioned air can also be drawn into returnducts through unsealed joints. In thesummer, hot attic air can be drawn in,increasing the load on the air conditioner.In the winter, your furnace will have towork longer to keep your house comfortable. Either way, your energy losses costyou money.Although minor duct repairs are easyto accomplish, ducts in unconditionedspaces should be sealed and insulated byqualified professionals using the appropriate sealing materials. Here are a fewsimple tips to help with minor duct repairs.Duct Tips Check your ducts for air leaks. Firstlook for sections that should be joinedbut have separated and then look forobvious holes. If you use duct tape to repair and sealyour ducts, look for tape with theUnderwriters Laboratories (UL) logo11Heating and CoolingDuring the cooling season, keep thewindow coverings closed during theday to prevent solar gain.

White RoofsDucts—Out-of-Sight, Out-of-MindThe unsealed ducts in your attics and crawl spaces lose air — uninsulated ducts lose heat, wastingenergy and avoid tape that degrades, cracks,and loses its bond with age.Heating and Cooling Remember that insulating ducts inthe basement will make the basementcolder. If both the ducts and the basement walls are uninsulated, considerinsulating both.* If your basement has been convertedto a living area, install both supplyand return registers in the basementrooms.* Note: Water pipes and

Energy & Money at Home N o w A v a i l a b l e i n S p a n i s h Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home is available online at The booklet was developed in partnership with: Produced for the 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20585 By the National Renewab

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