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dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder (and use more electricity) to keep you warm or cool. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system, which can lead to expensive mainte- nance and/or early system failure.
ADJUST YOUR WATER
TEMPERATURE If your home has a water heater with a tank, set the heater thermo- stat to 120 degrees F or lower. This will reduce the amount of energy it takes to produce and maintain your hot water by not overheating it. When you're away on vacation, turn off electric heaters and turn down gas heaters so you’re not heating water that no one is using. The average household spends more
than $250 per year on water heat- ing, which makes it the second largest home-energy expenditure behind heating and cooling.
SEALS Let’s say you’ve sworn off manu- al labor for the weekend but you’re annoyed by a drafty window. It doesn’t get much easier than slap- ping up some self-stick weather- stripping. The stuff is sold in rolls, so the only tool you’ll need is a pair of scissors to snip it to length. You’ll find adhesive tapes made of vinyl foam, rubber foam, and EPDM rubber in a number of pro- files. Thickness typically ranges from 1/4 to 1 inch. Does your home need to be caulked, but you hate the sticky, gooey application process? I don’t blame you. One option is rope caulking which has a dry, clay-like consistency similar to plumber’s putty, and you press it into cracks or gaps up to 1/4 inch, shaping the bead with your fingertips. Rope caulk is easy to remove, and no caulk gun or cleanup is required. Sealing air gaps around doors and windows can save you 10 to 15 percent on your energy bills. EHT
Rope caulk has a clay-like consisten- cy, and you press it into cracks and gaps with your fingertips.