Money Talks: Preparing Your Home for Winter

Home improvement doesn't come cheap. But there are things you can do this weekend that won't cost much and might just pay for themselves. I'm talking about making your home more energy efficient.

We went to Home Depot to find five Do-It-Yourself projects that offer the biggest bang for the buck. Idea number one?

Cheapest thing is caulk. Costs less than $5 a tube, it will seal your house off, and you'll save tons on your energy bill," said Charles Freeman, from the Home Depot.

To do this project, you simply go around and seal air leaks. Use a candle - when it flickers, you've got a leak.

Idea number 2? Insulation.

"Average sized house will cost about $500 to install it. Takes you about 2-3 hours," said Freeman.

If that's too rich for your blood, idea number 3 is super-cheap and super-important: your air filters.

"It costs $3, takes 3 minutes to change, and you can change them every 3 months."

Idea number 4? A programmable thermostat...

"They're easy to install, inexpensive, and they're going to save you really a ton on energy bills," Freeman said.

And last but not least? A coat for your water heater.

"If you touch your heater and you're losing energy, you're heater's hot, you can wrap your heater for less than $25 - half hour and you're satisfied."

Bottom line? In the time it takes for me to do this standup, I can spend a couple of dollars and save myself some money on energy costs this year. Don't you want to do the same thing? Of course you do. And, there are more tips waiting for you right here at Just do a search for "energy savings."

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