Home Heating Challenge: Testing weatherization products

By Lauren Lowrey - bio | email

Posted by Kate Oatis - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Everyone wants to lower their heating bills. But who wants to reach into their savings to do it?

Wanting to know what weatherization products can do to help save energy, News 11 equipped one Toledo home with $60 worth of products to see if they help save energy in the month of February. The products were donated by The Andersons and the house, by Ray Hayton and Melissa Netry.

Hayton and Netry say their usual bill for January and February runs from about $200 to $250.

Navigating the world of weatherization can be a challenge. So we enlisted the help of Columbia Gas and energy auditor Brad Huebner, with Energy Saver Advisors.

"The first thing they should do is probably go with a programmable thermostat," Huebner advised.

A new thermostat will cost about $30 on the low end. Columbia Gas offers a $25 rebate when you send them your receipt.

It's estimated that if you lower your thermostat for 8 hours every day, you'll save an extra 10- to 20-percent for every degree. Next, seal off electrical outlets with foam covers. The inserts pop right out -- and they keep outside air from coming in through the outlet; they work best on perimeter walls.

Also, putting plastic coverings on the windows should help save energy as well. Use double-sided tape to attach the plastic. Then, use the blow dryer to seal it.

And finally, make sure to insulate the hot water heater and the hot water pipes with foam covers. It's estimated 12 percent of your gas usage is spent there, so think about adjusting the temperature on the heater before sealing it up.

Our team will be back in March to see if the products helped Hayton and Netry save energy -- and money.