Contact: Kyle McCaskill, 207-581-3185
ORONO, Me. — As the thermometer approached 30 below in many parts of the state, University of Maine Cooperative Extension announced ublication of “Maine Home Energy,” aseries of bulletins designed to help Mainers keep warm, save money, heat safely, and conserve energy. The bulletins can be freely downloaded at extension.umaine.edu (click “Publications”). Printed copies can be purchased by calling 800-287-0274 (in Maine) or (207) 581-3792.
“The biggest way to save energy is to keep your house from losing energy,” says UMaine Associate Extension Professor Kathy Hopkins. “A one-sixteenth-inch crack around a window can be like having a three-inch hole in your wall, Look for cracks and tiny places to seal up because that’s the biggest loss of heat in your house.”
Windows present another insulation problem; they lose a lot of heat through the glass as glass has no insulating value. But there are a range of things homeowners can do, from using materials readily available around the house, like plastic bags and cardboard, to more expensive options. One simple way to make a difference is to lock windows, which seals the sashes more tightly in the windowframes.
According to Associate Extension Professor Donna Coffin, even the more expensive options pay off.
“I just made an insulated Roman shade for alarge picture window in my house, including an inner liner, insulating iberfill, a vapor barrier, and an outer liner. Including the hardware, I calculated that the shade will pay for itself in heating oil savings in just eight months.”
Topics currently available in the “Maine Home Energy” series include weather-stripping doors and windows, making inexpensive indoor shutters, making insulated window coverings, heating one’s home safely, and saving energy in apartments. Information on comparing heating fuels, doing a home energy audit, and taking advantage of passive solar heating techniques will be available shortly.