Performing a DIY in your home saves a lot of time and money. If you think something is wrong, well it’s time to do it if you think you have the right equipment and the right skills to take on the task.
Here are some great tips:
How to spot it: On a blustery day, close all windows and exterior doors and the chimney-flue damper. Light a stick of incense, move it around the perimeter of each window, and watch for air that interrupts the delicate rise of smoke.
How to stop it:. Scrape out any cracked or dried caulk around windows, and apply fresh calk. On the inside, add new weatherstripping.
Damaged Fireplace Damper
How to spot it: With the damper closed, hold a lit candle inside the firebox and watch the flame. If it gets beaten around or blown out, air is flowing up the chimney.
How to stop it: Hire a chimney sweep. In addition to giving the chimney a good cleaning, lubricating and checking the damper is usually part of the service call. In the off-season, when the fireplace isn’t in use, you can seal the flue completely with a balloonlike plug that you inflate and insert up the chimney just in front of the damper. When
cold weather starts again, simply deflate the plug for easy removal.
“Phantom” Appliances and Electronics
How to spot it: Devices with a so-called standby mode that sap power even when they aren’t in use can account for 10 percent of your electricity costs. If it has an indicator light, a charger or AC power adapter on the cord, or is a digital clock, it’s a phantom.
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