By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TVBy Paula Ebben

BOSTON (CBS) — We’re about to face some of the coldest weather of the year this weekend which means cranking up the heat.

That leads to big bills for fuel, but there are some simple ways to save money.

Philip Neal has bought two heaters to try and keep his drafty home warm. He’d like to get to the root of the problem without making major renovations.

“We had drafts in the door and the air conditioning unit,” he explained.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports.

According to the Department of Energy, fixing those types of drafts by weatherizing could save him up to $437 a year.

He decided to try out a $20 do-it-yourself kit he got at the hardware store. After reading the instructions, he applied a self adhesive door sweep to the base of the door.

Foam tape went around the gap on the side of the door, as well as around the air conditioning unit.

Handyman Brent Newman checked out the work. He wasn’t impressed with the door strip. “You still have a good quarter of an inch gap right in here,” he told Philip.

Instead of the plastic door sweep that only sticks to one side of the door, Newman recommended a $10 door shoe which protects both sides of the door.

As for the side of the door, Newman said a new metal weather strip was needed to replace the one that is worn out. The foam wasn’t enough of a remedy.

The foam was, however, a good solution for the air conditioning unit. Newman pointed out that alone could be purchased for about $5.

Philip learned that you don’t have to spend a lot; you just have to spend wisely.

Brent added, “I think that the key is to find the one that works for you and the application that you are looking for.”

Before you start any project, it’s important to find out the source of the leaks first.

The easiest way to do this is with a stick of incense. Light it, and then follow the smoke and that will quickly indentify the source of the cold air.

A larger investment to consider is a programmable thermostat which can be set to a lower temperature when family members are out of the house.

Comments (2)
  1. Erin says:

    I’d like to get in touch with the handyman, Brent Newman, to help us with some winterizing in my home.
    I tried Googling him and XtraHand and havent had any luck.
    Could you provide his contact information?

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