Keep Heat from Going Through the Roof
- 2009 5 Jan
As it turns out, the cost to heat our homes this winter won't be as high as originally predicted, which is only somewhat comforting. Soaring costs will still send our heating bills through the roof. Learn these easy ways to keep your heating costs down, and you'll be warm and snug until spring.
Keep the heat inside. This is the bottom line of all cost-saving tips when it comes to home heat. A leaky house encourages all your warm air to get sucked out into the big, cold world. It's all about plugging up the leaks. Use weather stripping around all windows and doors to close all cracks and gaps. Find it cheap at a home improvement center.
Go low. Set the thermostat as low as you can and still be comfortable. Can't get used to cooler temperatures? Wean yourself by reducing the temp by one degree every few days. You'll be surprised at how quickly you can acclimate.
Love Socks. If your feet are cold, your whole body feels cold. Soft wool socks are like a furnace for your feet. Still cold? Grab an extra sweater instead of cranking up the heat. Frenetic knitters beware: This tip could easily cause you to spend all the money you save buying more sock yarn which, while totally understandable, is not wise.
Close the damper. A wood-burning fireplace is a lovely thing, but it's a big hole in your house, created to draw air from inside right up through the chimney. Be sure to close the damper while it is not in use.
Ventilate sparingly. It takes just one hour for a ventilating fan in your kitchen or bathroom to suck every last breath of warm air out of a house. That means your furnace must work twice as hard to keep the place warm when it is running.
Go progammable. Install a programmable thermostat (as low as $30 at a home improvement center) and set it to come on 30 minutes before you get up in the morning and again right before everyone comes home in the evening. You can even create a different schedule for weekends. This device will pay for itself in no time with lower fuel bills.
Tip-top shape. No matter how old your furnace, make sure it's working properly. Check the filter monthly during the winter, replacing it as needed. A loaded filter means your furnace is working overtime, consuming more energy than necessary. Electric and oil heaters should get professional attention at least once a year and gas heaters every other year.
Copyright © 2008 Mary Hunt. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint required.
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