Consumers can expect energy costs for heating their home to increase dramatically this year. These tips will help reduce next month's energy bill.
The easiest way to save energy is to lower the thermostat setting.
You will save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling
bills by turning the thermostat back 10 to 15 percent for eight hours
You can do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing
an automatic setback or programmable thermostat.
Set the thermostat to
reduce temperatures at night or during the day when you are not at home.
The home will be more comfortable and energy-efficient if you block
out the cold air and allow radiators to heat adequately. If windows leak
air or rattle in the wind, you need to replace the weather stripping.
Check the seal around exterior doors. Air leaks around the door stops and thresholds are a major source of cold air infiltration.
Caulk can be used in the cracks during the winter. Keep the blinds or
drapes closed in the evening hours to help block the cold air.
Make sure that warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators are
clean and fully functioning, and that drapes, furniture or carpeting are
not blocking the outflow of warm air.
Unoccupied rooms that are isolated from the rest of the house can be
closed up and vents can be turned off. Don't turn the heat off, however,
if it would adversely affect the rest of the heating system.
The furnace should be working properly with clean furnace filters.
filters once a month or as needed.
Ventilating fans in the bathroom and kitchen can pull out a houseful
of warmed air in just one hour. Turn fans
off as soon as they have done the job.
Use kitchen and laundry appliances wisely to further reduce energy costs.
The dishwasher should be full, but not overloaded. When rinsing dishes,
use cold water, and let the dishes air dry. Check seals around the refrigerator
and oven doors to make sure they are airtight.
When washing laundry, use warm or cold water, and rinse clothes in cold
water. Fill clothes washers, but don't overload them. Remove clothes from
the dryer as soon as they are dry.