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Xcel Energy offers infrared thermometers through library program

  Xcel Energy is making infrared thermometers available in local public libraries, allowing homeowners to check for air leaks and cold spots.

  "Infrared thermometers help a customer quickly identify where their home might be lacking in insulation," said Mark Nisbet, North Dakota Principal manager. "Since about half of the energy used in our homes goes to heating and cooling, homeowners who focus their efforts on tightening up their home can make a significant difference in their energy bill."

  The infrared thermometers allow a homeowner to compare the inside temperature of an exterior wall versus an interior wall in the same room. If the temperature difference is large, the wall probably has a low R-value (insulation amount) and more insulation would be recommended. The thermometer also can be used to detect air leaks.

  The infrared thermometers are available at all Fargo Public Library locations and the West Fargo Public Library. Each person who checks out a thermometer will also get a packet of materials provided by NDSU Extension Service, describing how to use the thermometer and evaluate the insulation levels in the various areas of their homes. 

Homeowners can learn where to focus their attention first, the characteristics of different types of insulation and how to install insulation properly. The packet also includes "60 simple ways to save money and energy on your bill," a booklet from Xcel Energy.

  "This is a great tool to help people manage their home energy costs," said Nisbet.  "Plus, it's fun and easy to use."

  If you are interested in using an infrared thermometer, visit the library and check one out.

  For further tips on saving energy, consumers may also check out an Xcel Energy DVD entitled "Using Energy at Home." Customers may find additional helpful resources at the library by searching "Energy Conservation."