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 Financial Topics & Tips

 

How to Reduce Home Energy Costs

 

Heating your home in the winter can result in high utility bills, which certainly puts a strain on your budget. There are a few things you can do in order to cut back on heating costs.

Upgrade Your Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is an important tool for helping you save money. You can program the temperature to be more comfortable when people are home.  And, for times when you know people won't be home, you can program the thermostat to lower the temperature in the winter and increase it in the summer.  You may be able to save as much as seven percent simply by setting back the thermostat by 10 degrees. Be careful not to set the thermostat too low if you go on vacation in the winter or you may come home to frozen pipes.

Utilize the Sun
During the winter, keep drapes and shades open during the day on south-facing windows to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home. 

Air Flow is Important
Clean or replace furnace filters on a regular basis as needed. Also, make sure air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators are not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes. 

Look for Air Leaks
Look for areas where your house may be leaking. Leaks will allow cold air to enter during the winter. Caulking and weather stripping the house to seal any leaks will help save money. If your utility company offers a free energy efficiency analysis, take advantage of the service and make an appointment. 

Replace Old Equipment
If your furnace or air conditioner is old, it's probably far less efficient than newer models.  For example, furnaces manufactured after 1992 must be at least 78 percent efficient in order to meet federal requirements.  Some operate in the 90 percent efficiency range.