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6 Simple Ways to Slash Your Winter Energy Bills

These simple DIY insulation projects from AARP The Magazine can help you save up to $1,000 on your energy bills this year.

1. Plug wall openings
About 15% of air in the average home escapes through wall openings, an inconvenience that can be remedied by spraying insulating foam sealant around holes that lead to the outside. This quick trick can save you as much as $150.

2. Weatherize windows and doors
Control drafts by sealing small leaks around windows and doors with acrylic caulk to put $200 back in your pocket.

3. Update your thermostat
Did you know that replacing your thermostat can slash your heating and cooling bills by 20%? Purchase a programmable thermostat to control your bills and your bank account.

4. Blanket your water heater
By insulating hot water pipes with foam sleeves, you can increase tap temperatures 2 to 4 degrees and save up to $200 a year.

5. Seal and wrap ductwork
Eliminate unnecessary air leaks by sealing basement, attic and furnace ducts with mastic (a waterproof, flexible sealant). This simple project can increase your savings by $400.

6. Dress the hearth
Though fires warm you up for the moment, the flames remove warm air from the house and send it up the chimney, increasing heating costs by about 10%. Purchase a glass screen or heat exchanger to reduce heat loss and put $200 back in your wallet.

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