Vol. 8, Issue 8January 2017


Save on Heat This Winter

Winter is, by definition, cold. But some weather experts predict that many parts of the country are going to experience the extreme cold of a polar vortex this winter. In addition to being uncomfortable, this kind of cold can result in higher-than-expected heating bills. However, there are things you can do to control your costs:

Turn down the thermostat. Sounds basic, and it is. According to the Consumer Energy Center, for every degree between 60 and 70 that you lower your thermostat, you can save up to 5 percent on heating costs. So put on a sweater and go as low as you can. When you are not home or when you are snuggled under the covers asleep, go even lower.

Consider a programmable thermostat. This can automatically turn your heat up a few degrees before you come home from work or before you get up in the morning.

Change your furnace filters regularly. The harder your furnace has to work, the more it costs you and the less efficient it will be. If you have not already done so, have your furnace serviced by a professional.

Check for leaks – and plug them. Take a few minutes to stand in front of windows and doors. Do you feel a leak? If so, stop it. Depending on the source of the leak, you have several options. You can caulk leaky windows and doors. You can use heavy curtains or plastic film on windows. You can use draft blockers if your doors leak from the bottom.

Use your fireplace wisely. Generally speaking, fireplaces are not energy-efficient. Although they can make a room feel toasty, they also can suck heated air up the chimney. If you are not using your fireplace, make sure to close the flue.

Take advantage of the sun. On sunny days, open the drapes or blinds on south-facing windows. Then close them when the sun goes down.

Move furniture away from exterior walls, where it tends to be colder.

Photo © Jerryb8 |