Your thermostat is rising and so is your heating bill. Learn how to save money and reduce your carbon footprint with these easy energy-saving tips.
Take Advantage of the Sun’s Heat
Did you know your home has free year-round temperature control? It’s called the sun. Open curtains and blinds on south-facing windows during the day to draw in heat, and close them at night to lessen the chill from your windows.
Use LED Holiday Lights
LED lights use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Plus they’re safer because they emit less heat and are more resistant to breakage.
Unplug your holiday lights and other electronics and appliances to keep them from drawing power when not in use. Use a power strip for energy-draining devices like digital television boxes and video game consoles so you can easily turn off power.
Dress Yourself and Your Home for Warmth
Instead of raising the heat, bundle up in heavier clothes, socks, slippers and throw blankets. Keep windows and floors warm with insulated curtains and area rugs, and make your bed with flannel sheets and a heavy comforter.
Heat Only the Rooms You Use
Seal off vents in the rooms you rarely use and direct air flow to the rooms you use most often. Place a portable space heater in high-traffic rooms to lower your energy bill even more. Read our 10 Important and Useful Tips For Space Heater Safety.
Lower Your Thermostat
Reduce your heating bill by about 10 percent annually by lowering your thermostat by 10-15 degrees for eight hours when you’re out or asleep. Control the temperature when you’re away by investing in a programmable thermostat.
Use Ceiling Fans Year-Round
Better ventilation means better energy efficiency, so take advantage of ceiling fans to improve airflow. Run the blades clockwise at a low setting to push rising hot air down during the winter. Switch the rotation to counter-clockwise to push warm air upwards in the summer.
Insulate Doors and Windows
Don’t let poor insulation drain your bank account. Seal air leaks on windows and doors using inexpensive caulk or foam weather stripping from your local home improvement store. For a low-cost alternative to storm windows, seal windows and sliding doors with clear plastic film.
Change Your Furnace Filter Regularly
Dirty, blocked filters restrict air flow and require more energy. Check yours once a month and change it if it’s clogged or dark. Households with smokers and pets require more frequent changes.
Reduce Heat Loss from Your Fireplace
If your fireplace isn’t in use, an open damper will quickly push cold air in and hot air out through the chimney. Make sure the seal on the chimney flue is as snug as possible, or plug and seal it if you never use your fireplace. See our 7 Chimney and Fireplace Safety Tips You Need to Know.
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