Tips For Homeowners to Conserve Fuel
Close outside doors promptly and securely.
Insulate walls, ceilings and floors as required. See R Values for recommended R values. Savings in fuel costs in a well insulated home over an uninsulated home will pay for the cost of proper insulation in a few years.
Install storm windows and storm doors. These items of good quality and properly installed are a major factor in fuel savings as the reduce both heat transmission and air leakage.
Caulk all cracks around door and window frames and at the foundation.
If storm window and doors are not installed, use good weatherstripping to reduce air leakage.
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Keep doors of an attached garage closed.
If the garage is heated, maintain the temperature at about 40F.
If the basement is to be heated, or there is no insulation in the floor above the basement, insulate the walls and seal cracks at the foundation, windows and doors. If possible install storm sash.
If the house is built over a crawl space, make sure the ventilating grills are closed and air tight during the heating season. Insulate the walls of the crawlspace if possible.
Closing the damper in the room with the thermostat can cause the rest of the house to overheat.
Lower the thermostat settings in unoccupied areas and close doors to those areas. A 10% setback overnight will save fuel.
For best performance a thermostat should be located on an inside wall where it will not be affected by sunlight. Do not locate on an outside wall, on a chimney wall, over a radiator or in direct drafts.
Keep the windows closed and locked when not opened for ventilation.
Close the fireplace damper when the fireplace is not in use. With the damper open, the warm air in the room will be drawn up the chimney. Install a set of glass doors on the fireplace which can be closed when the fireplace is not in use or when the fire is very small.
Have your heating equipment serviced and kept in top working condition. A dirty furnace wastes fuel.
Insulate heating pipes or ducts in an exposed or unheated space.
Make sure inspection doors and cleanout openings on your furnace are closed. Prevent air leakage into the combustion chamber.
If an automatic draft regulator is supplied on the flue pipe, make sure the damper swings freely.
Replace or repair hot water faucets if they drip. Always close securely after use.
Do not let carpeting block the bottom air opening of a baseboard heating unit.
Periodically examine the fins on the pipe inside the baseboard heating enclosures. If they have a lot of lint or other material on them that will restrict air flow vacuum or otherwise clean them.
A major source of air infiltration into homes is through wall outlets
and switches. To stop the infiltration, install wall plate gaskets and
safety plug covers.
While building our home, I discovered that I could
save many dollars by manufacturing my own gaskets rather than buying the
"prefab" gaskets. I went to the local building supply center and
purchased a roll of 1/8" sill plate gasket. I took a plug and a switch
cover plate and traced them onto the gasket material then cut them out
with a razor knife. I was able to make all of the plug and switch cover
gaskets for the house (over 100) in about two hours and at a cost of
I also shopped around for safety plug covers that
completely cover the plug and its joint with the cover plate. This
helps to reduce the amount of air infiltration throught the plugs by 95%
To help prove my claim, I had our local electric cooperative
conduct an air infiltration test on my home and we had to put our hands
within two inches of a plug or switch before we could feel any draft.
When we removed the cover plate gasket and safety plug covers, we could
feel the air draft with our hands at eight to ten inches away from the
plugs and switches.
Our Thanks for this tip to Robert B. Christmas of Texas