Simple weatherizing steps can save homeowners hundreds of dollars a year

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LACEY — One of the biggest misconceptions is that new homes don’t need to be weatherized. But taking a few steps could end up saving the homeowner hundreds of dollars a year.

“I was losing so much energy in so many sources,” homeowner Linda Gossett said Thursday.

The small gaps and cracks all over Linda’s home added up to a 17-inch-square hole — and a lot of heat was escaping from the attic.

“Air seal your attics, make sure your wall tops are sealed, all of the bypasses, all your electrical, plumbing penetrations are sealed,” said Sam Dougherty, of the Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason & Thurston counties.

He said weather stripping doors and windows is a must, especially with the cold and rainy weather in the Northwest.

Also locate all your heat ducts around your house. A rubber-backed tape and a sealant can be used to keep the heat in. Easy to use products are available at any hardware store. You are guaranteed to keep the heat in rather than it going into the crawlspace or attic.

Another easy fix -- use LED lights. Linda changed out her bulbs for LED ones, and Dougherty said her kitchen alone will save her $250 a year.

“I know, it’s exciting to me; the lights are wonderful,” Gossett said.

She’s on a fixed-income and said every dollar counts.

"I am super thrilled to see how much it’s going to go down,” Gossett said.

With the rainy season here to stay, make sure your gutters are also cleaned and connected and downspouts are angled away from the home.

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