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Keep Those Heating Costs Down

Let’s face it, we all want to keep our utility bills lower. We change our light bulbs and put our TVs and computers on power strips just to see that monthly bill get a little bit lower. Now, autumn is upon us, our Wisconsin winter is just around the corner and we begin to search for ways to lower those heating costs. There are many ways to lower heating costs ranging from budget-friendly, simple habit changes, to more expensive appliance replacements that could lower your energy costs for years to come. 

Oftentimes, the first thought is that in order to save money you have to spend money, but that is not always the case and not an option for many individuals. Maybe you are on a tight budget and you do not have the extra money to spend, or maybe you are renting and making expensive updates is your landlord’s choice. Regardless of your situation, there are some great, budget-friendly ways to lower your heating costs in the winter just by changing some habits.

An energy wasting habit that you could have that would cost you money is running to the thermostat every time we are cold or hot. If you have a programmable thermostat, setting the program to keep it warmer when you are there and cooler when you are sleeping or away from the house is a great way to save some money. With the programs running you will not be constantly turning it up too high to heat the house more quickly or turning the temperature way down to cool it off.(read more) 

While keeping your thermostat down will reduce your energy consumption, you still need to keep warm and comfortable in the cold months. Another great habit for winter is dressing warmly and grabbing a blanket to ward off those cooler temperatures. It is also helpful to make use of the natural heat from the sun and keep the curtains open during the sunny times of the day to let the heat in your home and close them during the less sunny times to trap that heat in your home. Both of these habits are aimed at keeping temperatures in your house consistent and energy usage down.

If you are thinking you’d like to spend a little money in order to ensure that your wasted energy is minimal there are also a few steps you can take. One way to save energy is to weatherize your windows and doors with caulk and weather stripping in order to prevent drafts and heat escaping through those cracks (read more).  Secondly, you can insulate your attic to keep the warm air in the house.  Finally, an energy efficient furnace may be out of most people’s budget, but replacing the filter every two to three months to ensure optimal efficiency is a simple way to keep heating costs down and a little extra money in your pocket.

If you are able and willing to spend additional money, replacing larger household items is a long-term way to lower energy usage. Newer Energy Star appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, freezers, washers, and driers are good sources for cost savings if you are already in the market for a replacement. Older models do not perform as efficiently as the newer models due to newer technology and normal wear and tear. Also, replacing an outdated furnace or having your current furnace serviced is another place you can look for energy savings if you are willing to spend a little more money.    

Winter is right around the corner and as the snow banks creep up you can keep your bills from creeping up right along with them by making use of one or all of the suggestions mentioned in this article. By making these suggested updates you can transition into our winter heating season with a comfortable home and knowing that you are keeping the warm air in and the cold air out of your home.  

 


Posted on Friday, Oct 17, 2014

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