With the temperatures dropping, Chris Anderson of Boston said he was worried that the family home’s heating, cooling and gas bills — a whopping $500 a month just on heat — were putting a damper on the budget.
“It’s significant,” Anderson said of the bills.
Ben Bixby, founder of MyEnergy.com and director of energy products for Nest Learning Thermostat, visited the Andersons and brought along a thermal imaging camera to show the family where cold air was sneaking back into the house.
After exposing the leaks, Bixby shared the following tips — including easy, two-minute changes around the house — with the Andersons to help them winterize their home.
1. Weather-strip your doors.
Bixby called this a “simple fix” that would take just minutes.
“He’ll be warmer all winter,” Bixby said.
In the living room, he found that cold air was entering the house through the windows and also the floors. Anderson said he had no idea his baseboards were letting so much air in.
2. Seal baseboards and caulk windows.
So far, Anderson had spent about $11 on supplies and 15 minutes on work. He wasn’t finished and had already slashed $284 off the family’s heating bill.
3. Wrap the water heater and ducts, insulate the pipes and change the filters.
In the basement, Bixby inspected the furnace and showed Anderson how heat spilled from the pipes.
“We’re gonna make sure we’re not losing heat before it gets into the house,” he said. “Simple fix.”
4. Add a door sweep to rooms that you use less frequently.
5. Replace an old thermostat with a high-tech, smart thermostat like Nest.
Nest, which automatically learns a family’s habits and runs when it needs to, helped the Andersons get $337 back this year.
So in total, for one hour of work with Bixby, the family was able to plug hundreds of dollars back into their heating budget this winter.