DEP offers tips to winterize your home, saving money and energy

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EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Winter begins next week and there are some ways to save money during the colder months.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offered tips Tuesday to help save money on utility bills by winterizing.

Home winterizing can keep homes warmer by using less energy and costing less money. DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell says a change as minor as setting back your thermostat can make a big difference in your bill.

“Each degree your thermostat is lowered can save you 3 percent on heating. Programmable thermostats are a cost effective solution and energy saver because they set back your temperatures at designated times,” McDonnell said.

The DEP offers more tips for winterizing:

  • Set back the thermostat; each degree lowered can save up to 3 percent on heating. A programmable thermostat can be programmed to be set back automatically at designated timeframes.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators regularly and make sure they are not blocked.
  • Weather-strip windows and exterior doors where you can feel leakage. Check the bottom of the door to see if there’s a gap. If there is a gap of a quarter inch or more, significant air can flow in and out of the house. Install a door sweep on the bottom of the door. Weather-stripping for the windows and doors is available in foam, rubber, vinyl and metal.
  • Check the door to the attic to make sure it seals well and closes tightly.
  • Do not heat unused spaces, other than as needed to prevent freezing of pipes.
  • If you have a wood stove, be sure to clean the flue vent and inside of the stove regularly.
  • If you have a fireplace, reduce heat loss from the fireplace by keeping the damper closed; when open, warm air goes up the chimney. Install tempered glass and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room. Check the seal on the fireplace damper and ensure it is snug and add caulking around the hearth. It is a good idea to have a carbon monoxide monitor, as well.

For additional tips, visit the DEP website.

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