Saving You Money
"You light a match and hold it next to your outlet," says Staggs. "If you see that match start to flicker back and forth, you know air is coming in or going out of that outlet."
In his book "Spend a Little, Save a Lot", Staggs likens a bunch of small leaks like this to leaving a window open. A bag of outlet gaskets will usually cover all the outlets in your exterior walls, and anybody can do it.
"It's just an entrance to the outside," says Staggs. "Once you slide that little gasket over, you see how that covers that up. Once you put the plate back on and put the screw back in. With electric rates rising, every little bit helps, and if you're going to spend $1.50 and spend an hour going around your house and putting these in, why not?"
Baseboards are another place where cool air seeps in in the winter, especially in older homes. Staggs says use a paintable caulk and painter's tape for an easier job.
"I'm going to squeeze a little bit out, and take my finger and run it across that to smooth it out," says Staggs. "Watch what happens when I take off the tape. You have a nice, neat line. So, while you're saving money, you're also doing it neatly at the same time."
Gaskets and caulk, 2 inexpensive ways to seal in the savings. Sometimes those outlet gaskets can be hard to find. Typically, they're located near the insulation in home improvement stores.
Tuesday, October 11 2011, 04:29 PM CDT
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