Old Man Winter has settled in for a few months and it's important to be proactive when trying to combat high energy bills. Begin taking time immediately to prepare your home for the colder weather and you'll not only see a drop in your energy bill, but you'll feel the difference in the comfort of your home. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Turning down the thermostat even a few degrees helps a lot. Reduce normal thermostat setting to 68 degrees.
- Install a programmable thermostat (available at many hardware and discount stores)
- Change the furnace filter
- Have the furnace cleaned and checked
- Moist air feels warmer. Make sure you maintain adequate humidity during the drier winter months. Open the dishwasher to dry dishes and release steam and hanging clothes to dry will not only cut down on your electric bill but also add humidity.
- Wash laundry in cold water only. This is very cost effective and most clothes wash just fine in cold water only.
- Lower the thermostat set point on the water heater (it should not be higher than 125 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Install a water heater blanket
- Put on an extra layer of clothes if you're always cold. Adding a layer on top such as a sweater or sweatshirt OR a layer underneath, like silk long underwear helps a lot.
- Keep a lap quilt for those times when you're sitting down, reading a good book versus turning up the heat. Sticking that microwave cozy under the quilt with you is pretty nice, too.
- Let the sun shine in south windows during the day
- Check and replace weather stripping on doors and windows
- Close storm windows and doors
These tips and others are available at the following websites. Use them to keep your energy bills lower and your home more comfortable this winter.