Keeping Energy Costs Low

It's projected the cost of heating your home with natural gas will increase as much as forty-eight percent this year. If you use propane to heat your home, you could see an increase of thirty percent.

I went shopping at the Home Depot to see how to weatherize my house and save a little money this winter. When I got to the store, I met up with Charles Adams, the resident expert at Home Depot on keeping your heating bill low. He says the water heater is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to wasting energy. He told me I needed a sixteen dollar water heater jacket.

"It's three inches thick, so it's going to keep all the heat inside your water heater that otherwise would be radiating out into your room," said Adams.

If you go to the trouble to wrap your water heater, you need to do the pipes too. Insulation costs about a dollar fifty a foot.

"Any exposed piping, go ahead and cover it with foam insulation," said Adams.

Doors that don't shut completely are problematic as well. Weather stripping starts as low as two dollars per pakcage.

"You peel the back of the tape off, so when you go around the door, it seals those gaps off," said Adams.

Something that will help you year-round.  Replace incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient florescent.

"This is your standard bulb. I can plug in the energy saving bulb that's equal to the incandescent bulb as you can see," Adams said.

It could save you ten cents per kilowatt hour, which equals two-hundred and seventy-six dollars over the life of the bulb.  They are more expensive, about 2 dollars a piece.  But they last nine or ten years.

Before I left, Charles reminded me of one last tip that doesn't cost a thing. Heat rises so-during the winter, reverse the direction of your fan to push the hot air down.

When I checked out it was thirty-seven dollars. I certainly could have spent more money, but hopefully, by making a few small purchases, I'll save big this winter.

Lindsay Wilcox, reporting.