Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Six Ways to Minimize Your Winter Heating Costs

1. Turn Down Your Thermostat
When you are not home and at night, turn down your thermostat (preferably under 66 degrees). If you have a digital thermostat with a timer, set it for when you will be home and when you will be gone or asleep. That way, you won’t have to remember to turn it up or down. When you are home, try dropping your thermostat a few degrees. It makes little noticeable difference in how warm you feel, but can make a big difference on your bill!

2. Don’t Let the Heat Escape
Make sure doors and windows are properly sealed. Ask your landlord to help you replace any worn or torn weather stripping. Use blinds and heavy curtains at night. If you have south-facing windows, let the sun shine in and warm your apartment on sunny days.  Heat from the sun is free!

3. Go Rug Shopping
Using rugs on floors that are not carpeted may keep some heat in, but it will also help keep your feet warm so you won’t be tempted to crank up the heat.

4. Turn Down Your Water Heater
As tempting as it is to take a scalding hot shower on a cold winter day, turning down your water heater will definitely help you save on your gas bill. It will also help prevent dry skin.

5. Get a Furnace Tune-Up
If your apartment has its own furnace, it’s a good idea to have maintenance check your furnace to make sure it is running properly and has a clean filter. This will not only save you on your heating bill, but can also prevent fires.

6. Check Your Vents
If possible, close off heat to rooms that you never use and keep the doors shut. That will allow the heat to concentrate in rooms where you spend the most time. Also, move furniture or other items that might block vents. Depending on the location and type of vents you have, you may want to vacuum or clean out your vents (especially if you have small children or pets).

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