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Prepare your home for cooler weather
Published Tuesday, October 04, 2011 9:30 AM
Green Living: Energy-Saving Tips from Santee Cooper

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – Fall has arrived and soon cooler weather will be making its way to South Carolina. Taking steps now to weatherize your home can save you energy and money when Old Man Winter comes knocking on the door.

Outside air can easily enter your home through cracks and other openings, causing your heating unit to work overtime in the cold weather,” said Juan Holmes, manager of conservation and energy efficiency. “Weatherizing your home before cold weather hits will help ensure lower energy use, which will save you money on your utility bills during the cooler months of the year.”

Start your weatherization efforts by detecting air leaks in your home. Check for air leaks around windows, doors, ducts, vents and electrical outlets. Don’t forget to inspect your attic and basement for air leaks, and examine where pipes lead out of the home under your kitchen and bathroom sinks.

Weather stripping, caulk and extra insulation around ducts and pipes leading out of your home can help stop unwanted air flow. You should also install door sweeps on your exterior doors. For electrical outlets or switch plates, adding a foam gasket can be an easy fix to an air leak. Sealing air leaks will not only cut down on your energy use, it will make your home feel warmer when it’s cold outside.

In addition to sealing air leaks, check to make sure you have adequate insulation to ward off the cold weather. Upgrading from three inches of insulation to twelve inches can cut heating costs up to 20 percent and cooling costs up to 10 percent.

Consider installing insulated glass windows if you currently have single-paned windows. To find out if you have insulated windows, place a shiny object, like a key or a coin, against the window. If you see one reflection of the object in the window, it is a single-paned window. If there are two reflections, the window has two panes, or insulated glass. Properly fitted storm windows and window treatments are also effective in reducing energy use when it gets cold outside.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, and the state’s largest power producer. The ultimate source of electricity for 2 million South Carolinians, Santee Cooper is dedicated to being the state’s leading resource for improving the quality of life for the people of South Carolina. For more information, visit www.santeecooper.com.

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