By Lori Bongiorno
Worried about rising heat bills now that there's a chill in the air? There's plenty you can do to trim your costs if you're willing to take on a few simple home improvement projects.
It's worth it when you consider that heating accounts for about 28 percent of the average home's energy use. So even small improvements can add up to big savings (not to mention a big reduction in how much fossil fuels we use).
The order you tackle projects is important. Go for the cheap and easy fixes first so that you can get the most bang for your buck and then move onto the more involved changes.
The important thing for homeowners is to think through the improvements they want to make, says Lane Burt at the Natural Resources Defense Council. These are Burt's suggestions on what to think about before heading to the hardware store:
- Concentrate first on sealing leaks and tightening up the building shell, so warm air isn't leaking out.
- Then make sure your ducts are