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Maximize Your Energy Efficiency this Winter and Save on Heating Costs
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Winter has descended upon southern Ohio and northern Kentucky with a fury this year. Even if you have an energy-efficient heat source you may be seeing higher heating bills than ever before. No matter what kind of heat source you have, there are plenty of opportunities to save money on your bill. Here are ten ideas for keeping the chill where it belongs—and your hard-earned cash in your pocket.
  1. Consider a programmable thermostat. When you’re cozy under the covers at night, you can lower the temperature in your house considerably. Rather than tie a string around your finger so you remember to change the temperature each night and again each morning, a programmable thermostat ensures that you won’t forget. Lowering your heat to 55° at night can save up to 20% on your heating bill.
  2. Keep furnace filters clean—or replace them—as directed in the manual. If heated air has to flow through a dirty filter, your furnace has to work harder.
  3. If you’re home during the day, set your thermostat to 68°. If your house is empty, set it even lower but program the temperature to rise to 68° a little while before you come home in the evening. This simple adjustment can help you save as much as 5% per degree you lower the temperature on your heating bill.
  4. Keep your heat source well maintained. Electric and oil heaters should get professional maintenance annually and gas heaters should be looked at every other year.
  5. Save as much as 10% on your heating bill by lowering your water heater temperature to 120°. The only exception to this common-sense idea is if your dishwasher requires a higher setting.
  6. While you’re adjusting your water heater, wrap it in insulation to keep the heat moving in the right direction. Do the same thing with your furnace.
  7. Caulk and weather strip places that are letting heated air escape. If you feel a draft, you’ve got a leak.
  8. Cover your windows at night. You may not want to pull the heavy curtains during the day—for a number of reasons including the fact that sunshine will warm your home—but at night, it’s the perfect opportunity to add another layer to keep the chill outside.
  9. Do you have a fireplace? Make sure the flue is closed when it’s not in use, otherwise you’ll be warming your roof unnecessarily.
  10. Put on a pair of socks. You’ll be surprised how fast you feel warmer!

Of course the best defense against a high heating bill is to have an energy-efficient heat source. But if that’s not in your immediate future, or you just want to save a little extra money this winter, try these simple fixes and watch your bill drop.





 

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