When you received an energy (heating) bill last winter, were you afraid to open it? Granted that we have a home with a lot of really big windows, but we saw energy bills last winter in the hundreds of dollars. Your bill probably wasn't that bad but I'm guessing that it was a lot higher than you would have liked.
The good news is that there are some inexpensive things you can do to cut that cost. Here are 10 of them.
1. If you have a fireplace, be sure to keep the damper closed. You can lose up to 5 percent of your heat if your damper is open when the fireplace is not in use.
2. Keep your furnace filter clean. Replace it at least once a month during heating season. This alone can cut your heating costs by as much as 5 percent.
3. Be sure to keep inside doors open to improve heat circulation. This will help the efficiency of your heating system.
4. Lower the setting on your thermostat. If you can reduce your daytime indoor thermostat temperature from 72 to 68 degrees, you should save about 5 per- cent during the heating season.
5. If your hot water pipes and water heater are warm to the touch, insulate them. This will reduce heat loss and water heating costs.
6. Every minute you cut from your shower saves three gallons of water and the energy required to heat it.
7. Install compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. Over the life of just one of these bulbs, you'll save about $15. Use just a handful of these around your home and you could notice a difference in your energy bill.
8. Motion detectors put light where you want it, when you want it, for brief periods of time. They provide safety and security for you and your property, but require much less energy since they are on only when you need them.
9.Be sure to check for cold air leaks at doors and windows. If you have a question as to whether or not they are leaking cold air, light a match and hold it at the bottom of the window or door. You should be able to see very quickly if there is a draft.
10. Apply weather stripping around any doors that are leaking air, and caulk around all your windows. Weather stripping can be purchased from just about any hardware store, as well as stores like Home Deport and Lowe's.
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