Find Warmth, Savings with Energy Efficiency


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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The crisp autumn air might be a nice reprieve after the summer heat, but it can wreak havoc on home energy bills.

During Energy Efficiency Month in October, energy experts have tips to help Ohioans stay warm and save money.

Penny Martin, a public information officer for Ohio Development Services Agency, explains that a home energy audit can help determine weak spots in a home where energy is escaping.

"Insulation, attics, sidewalls, floors, water tanks, those sorts of things, we recommend turn to a professional," she states. "But you can also check for air leaks yourself and go to your local hardware store and see if they have the right materials to seal an air leak on your window."

Caulking and weather stripping are simple, cost effective projects that can result in net energy savings of 10 to 20 percent, according to the Department of Energy.

Martin says Ohio also has a Home Weatherization Assistance Program that can provide energy efficiency services for qualified low-income households.

Martin says simple steps such as opening blinds to allow the sun to heat your home or adjusting the thermostat can also yield savings.

"If you keep your thermostat at 68 degrees and you turn it down a degree or two when you're not in the home, when you're away from your home, you can save up to 3 percent on your heating bill," she states.

Martin adds to keep in mind the energy that can be lost from electronics that are not in use.

"Take that charger out of the wall, because when it's plugged in you have electricity coming through that, going nowhere, kind of ghosting out into the universe," she points out. "So things like making sure when you leave a room you turn a light off."

Lighting choices can also make a difference. Experts say swapping 15 incandescent light bulbs for energy saving lights can save about $50 a year.

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