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Chill Out, Save Big: 10 Winter-Ready Tips to Slash Utility Bills

With prices of everything rising, it’s good to know that a few adjustments in your home can give you some control over your utility costs. Here are 10 tips to help you keep warm and save at the same time.

  1. Seal out drafts. This is one of the best places to start. Your doors and windows may be allowing precious heat to escape from your home. You can easily put a stop to this by applying weatherstripping around them. Also, a door sweep can help seal the space between the bottom of your door and the doorframe. Even draft stoppers can give you some measure of protection from the cold air.
  2. Install a smart thermostat. This technology allows you to program the temperature in your home. Set it lower when you are away or sleeping and higher when you are at home. You can save on your heating costs without sacrificing your comfort.
  3. Schedule an annual heating system checkup. Try to do this early in the winter season to avoid any issues during a cold snap. Regular maintenance of your heating system ensures that it’s operating efficiently and extends the lifespan of the equipment. A regularly maintained furnace doesn’t have to work so hard to heat your home.
  4. Don’t block the air vents. Make sure that furniture, rugs, or drapes aren’t blocking your heat vents making your furnace work harder than it should to heat your home.
  5. Check your home’s insulation. Good insulation can be a cost-effective way to reduce your energy bill. Place it in the attic, in the walls -- especially around electrical outlets and places where utilities enter your home -- and anywhere cold air can get inside. Look at your plumbing and consider insulation around the pipes to keep heat from escaping and to prevent freezing.
  6. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater. For most people keeping the temperature at 120 degrees provides plenty of hot water. For additional savings, consider adding a hot water heater blanket to keep more heat in so the heating element doesn’t have to work as often.
  7. Unplug electronics when not in use. Many electronic devices and appliances use energy even when they are set in the “off” position. The most common culprits include desktop computers and displays, printers, televisions, microwaves, and video game consoles. You can save energy by unplugging these devices when you’re not using them.
  8. Switch to LED lightbulbs. Making this simple change will save electricity. It will lower your bill because LED lights use 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than CFL or incandescent light bulbs.
  9. Turn the thermostat down. Lower your thermostat a few degrees during the day and even more at night. Turning down your thermostat by 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day may save you as much as 10 percent off your heating bill.
  10. Let the sunlight in. Sunshine coming through your windows can help heat up a room during the day. So, open the drapes and pull up the shades. Don’t forget to close the drapes and pull down the shades at night to prevent drafts and slow heat loss through the glass.
Implementing these inexpensive tips may help reduce your utility bills this winter season.

 

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