Lower Your Heating Costs This Winter

The winter season can have a way of sneaking up on you. We all get busy. Luckily, saving money on your heating costs this winter doesn’t have to take a lot of time. There are a few simple things that you can do.

Buy a Programmable Thermostat

Making the switch to a programmable thermostat will save you money without leaving you cold. Expect a savings of up to 30% just by programming your home’s temperature to lower a few degrees while you’re away at work for the day or sleeping at night. The According to the Department of Energy (DOE), each degree that you lower your thermostat equates to roughly a one percent savings off of your heating bill.

A programmable thermostat averages in price from $30 to $150. Why the big range in prices? It’s the doodads. Some of the pricier programmable thermostats come with added features. You will pay extra for control that offers multiple temperature settings. This allows you to preset different temperature settings for each day of the week. A dehumidifier control is another add-on that will cost you money.

Insulate Your Home

Taking the time to insulate your home will cut down your heating costs this winter. Insulation foam used in the basement and attic is a must-have. If you have existing foam in place, make sure it is still in good shape. Check for thickness and quality. If the foam is worn, ripped, and offers less than six inches of protection, then it’s time for new insulation. New technology has greatly increased the insulation power of foam out on the market today.

Insulation does not stop with the basement and attic. You can also insulate your hot water pipes and heating tank. Doing this will save up to 10% off your heating bill.

Windows are another source of energy loss. If your windows are not air-tight, cold air from outside will have you turning up the thermostat. Prevent this from happening by either buying new windows with a better seal or, if money is tight, weather-stripping plastic across your windows. And if the idea of plastic hanging over your windows is unappealing, you can simply hang heavier drapes.

These tips are not the only things you can do to cut heating costs. There are many other ways to save. For more information about saving on energy costs this winter, start by checking out the Department of Energy’s consumer guides at http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/.

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