Today is the first day of autumn, and Americans across the country are preparing for the cold season, and heating bills that will follow suit. CNNMoney.com has put together a helpful new article with advice on how to cut down on your energy bills this winter, you can find a few of their tips below or check out the full list at CNNMoney.com.
Storm windows that go inside, not out
Typical cost: $1,875*
Annual energy savings: $770
Pays for itself within: 3 year
If your windows are old and drafty, but you're not eager to spend $1,000 apiece to have a professional install energy-efficient vinyl-clad wood replacements, there's another alternative: interior storms.
"They're a better value," says Bruce Harley, technical director of Conservation Services Group in Westborough, Mass., and author of Cut Your Energy Bills Now.
These products, which typically have an aluminum frame that spring-loads to fit your window, generally cost the same as or less than exterior storms and are just as energy saving. (Both can reduce heat loss by 25% to 50%.) But they're much easier to put in and take out; no more teetering on a ladder or paying someone else to.
Thermal leak detector
Typical cost: $50
Annual energy savings: $220
Pays for itself within: 5 months
Wonder why your heating bills are high even though you've done everything you can think of to make your home airtight?
You could hire a professional to do a home energy audit, which will set you back $100 to $400. (Some utility companies offer free audits, but they may not be as comprehensive.) Or you could buy a thermal leak detector.