7 On Your Side: Home Heating Tips

Seven On Your Side
January 10, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
It's been a relatively mild winter so far but many homeowners are getting sticker shock when they see their heating bills. Home heating oil has risen one third in the last year. You can't control prices but you can control how energy efficient your home is. That's why 7 On Your Side went with an expert to save upwards of twenty percent on your heating bill.

An infra-red camera doesn't lie. Every dark spot you see is where cold air is leaking into a home -- and money is going out.

One homeowner we met hired Kyle Haddock to warm up his 26-year old house.

Since heat rises the first place Kyle took us was the attic. This house has plenty of insulation, but Kyle saw holes where pipes ran through and heat escapes. Even the attic ladder was a problem.

"This tends to be one of the weakest points of just about every house that we're in ... the pull down stair itself," Kyle said.

Some rooms in the house Kyle found toasty, but in the master bedroom it was downright frigid.

First, a lot of cold air was coming in from the electrical outlet, and the dark areas on the infra-red camera show where cold the cold comes in.

Here's the problem: a cantilevered portion of the bedroom isn't sealed off from the cold.

Kyle also suggests using a programmable thermostat, and on cold nights, forget the fireplace.

"Use your fireplace on a cool day, not so much on a very cold day," Kyle said.

Modifications to this house will cost about $600 bucks -- and energy savings are about 20 percent.

"Usually about three or four years or so air sealing by itself will pay for itself," Kyle said.

Home heat audits cost a few hundred bucks, and New Jersey and Long Island utility companies will pay for low-income families to have it done.

To get your own home energy audit for free from PSEG click here.

And on Long Island, click here
Phone number: 800 263 6786

For more information on how a Comfort Home Performance Assessment can improve comfort, reduce energy usage, and provide a safer and healthier indoor environment email: energyaudit@comforthome.com