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Home heating costs can cripple a household budget in the winter. But buying a new energy saving furnace or boiler may be at the bottom of your list. Plus, most furnaces last 25 years or more, so it may not make sense to shop for a replacement now. There are some shortcuts to saving money.
- Weatherize your home. Keeping the cold air out by caulking, weatherstripping and insulation should lower heating costs. Proper weatherization of a drafty home may enable you to buy a smaller furnace when you replace the existing one.
- If your energy costs are still high, hire a professional to do an energy audit. The upfront cost of the consultation may be offset by the savings the technician recommends.
- A home energy audit evaluates the structure and condition of your home, from attic to basement. It also measures energy waste from heating and cooling systems. The consultant considers such factors as efficiency, air flow and heat distribution.
- After an audit, expect specific recommendations for upgrades to your system or replacement options. The technician may also suggest additional ways to make changes and improvements to your home to lower energy costs.