Squadron offers energy saving tips

By 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron

October is Energy Awareness Month and the 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron offers these tips to ensure your dollars are not wasted during the cooler season.

• Weather stripping and caulking can save 5 to 30 percent on heating costs — this is one of the least expensive, simplest, and most effective ways to cut energy costs. Check around doors, windows and plumbing vents for leaks and drafts.

• Improve your windows — Energy Star rated windows can reduce heating bills by 25 to 50 percent over single pain windows. If your windows are in bad shape, consider replacing them or add plastic sheeting.

• Check ducts for leaks — repairing these leaks can save up to 10 percent. Over time your duct junctions can separate or tear causing heated air spilling into your attic or under your house.

• Check electric wall plugs and switches — purchase simple pre—cut foam gaskets that install behind the plate to effectively stop leaks.

• Inspect heating system for proper operation can save from 27 to 47 percent on heating costs. A 15-year-old heating unit’s efficiency can be as low as 50 to 70 percent. Consider installing a new high efficiency system that can rate as high as 97 percent.

• Check your vents — It takes 25 percent more energy to pump air into a room if the vents are blocked by items such as plants and newspapers.

• Let the sun shine in — open your drapes and let the sun heat your house for free. Close them at night to help insulate your windows.

• Rearrange your rooms — move your furniture so you are sitting near interior walls. Exterior walls and windows can be drafty making it feel colder than it really is.

For more information visit the Energy Star Web site at www.energystar.gov and the Alliance to Save Energy Web site at www.ase.org.

Information: Steven Myers, 784-0349.