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According to the U.S. Department of Energy, as much as 5 to 30 percent of a home’s energy costs often go right out the window due to drafts and leaks. That’s right. If there are cracks and gaps around your windows, doors, electrical outlets, or window air-conditioning units, you could be throwing away hundreds of dollars in expensive treated air every year.

Take action now by sealing or filling as many gaps as you can. If you can’t afford to replace old doors or windows with newer, more efficient ones, instead install weather stripping along doors or low-cost plastic sheeting over windows. Also caulk or seal holes or air penetration around faucets, electrical outlets, or wiring. Any reduction at all of air coming in or out will help lower energy costs and reduce overall energy consumption.

In winter and summer months, keep doors and vents to rooms that don’t get frequent use closed. There is no sense in heating or cooling a room that sits empty. You can always open the vents to the guest bedroom when you know the in-laws will be visiting for the weekend.

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