CHICAGO, Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- After a summer of record heat indexes, fall weather is now a reality for northern Illinois residents. Since temperatures will largely be on the decline through winter, ComEd encourages customers to begin preparing their homes to save energy and money on electric bills this season. The Department of Energy estimates that weatherization reduces average energy costs by $218 per household each year.
"Air leaks can make your home's heating and cooling equipment work harder than necessary, which can leave you with higher energy bills," said Maryl Freestone, ComEd Energy Doctor. "Sealing air leaks will not only increase the comfort of your home, but also keep your energy bills in check."
ComEd reminds customers to employ weatherization techniques by following a few easy tips:
- Air seal properly before insulating the home. If concerned about sealing the home too tightly, hire an energy specialist to perform leakage tests. Older homes are less likely to be sealed too tightly, as they generally leak more than newer homes.
- Cover gaps and cracks on exterior doors and windows using new weatherstripping. As a rule of thumb, if you can see light through a crack, it needs weatherstripping. Caulk and foam are two low-cost ways to plug small air leaks around windows, doors, pipes and vents.
- Seal heating and cooling system ductwork. Use metal-backed tape or aerosol sealant to protect joints from air leaks. Duct tape should not be used because it cannot withstand high temperatures. Ensure that mastics and tapes utilized are UL 181 approved.
- Use the appropriate insulation for exterior walls, ductwork, water heater piping and attic floors. A qualified home energy auditor can assess where and how much insulation is necessary. If the home is suspected to have vermiculite insulation, please take special precautions as offered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines which can be found at http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/insulation.html.
- Shop at ComEd's online store and take advantage of 20 percent savings on weatherization products. Visit ComEd.com and click on 'Home Savings' to begin shopping.
- Get help paying for home weatherization. Eligible, low-income customers can apply for weatherization assistance programs offered by the state of Illinois or their municipality.
For more information on weatherization tips and best practices, visit ComEd.com and go to the 'Weatherization & Insulation' page under 'Home Savings' and 'Tips & Guides.'
Visit ComEd.com to learn about other energy-saving tips and ComEd's Smart Ideas® portfolio featuring energy efficiency programs and incentives.
Home weatherization is the latest in ComEd's 12 Ways to Green campaign, which aims to educate customers about ways to save money and reduce their carbon footprints. This campaign is a component of Exelon 2020, a comprehensive environmental strategy to reduce, offset, or displace more than 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year by 2020 among ComEd's parent company, Exelon, its subsidiaries, and customers.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE : EXC ), one of the nation's largest electric utilities with approximately 5.4 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.