Offers Tips on how to Save on Winter Heating Bills – Virtual

January 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips

The average American household is expected to pay $992 in heating costs in the winter of 2013, representing an increase of nearly 11 percent from 2012, according to projections from the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association.

Boise, Idaho (PRWEB) January 17, 2013

Heating a home isn’t an optional expense in the winter. While it’s easy to trim finances in other areas such as clothing purchases or dining out, heating a home is essential whether or not there is room in the household budget. Family finance and frugal living experts Heather Wheeler and Joanie Demer of offer the following tips on how to save on heating costs this winter.

  •     Start cooking. A hot oven heats the kitchen and surrounding areas, so this is a perfect time to bake or make oven-based dishes for dinner.
  •     Clear clutter and other obstructions from heating vents. Keep furniture, toys and curtains away from vents so the hot air has a free path. Clearing obstructions away from vents can shave 20 to 50 percent off a heating bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
  •     Turn down the thermostat a few degrees. Wear a sweater to stay warmer indoors and drop the temperature. Experts say that each degree that is lowered saves 3 percent on a heating bill.
  •     Turn on the fan. Ceiling fans are popular for cooling a home, but if the direction of the fan is adjusted so it turns clockwise it will circulate warm air instead. This can reduce heating costs by 10 percent.
  •     Adjust the water heater to 120 degrees. That temperature is still warm enough to wash dishes and take baths, but the adjustment helps save money in the long run.
  •     Don’t heat unused rooms. Close the vents and keep the door closed in rooms that aren’t used regularly (like storage rooms and guest rooms).
  •     Bring in the sunlight. Open the curtains or blinds when the sunlight is strong and hits a window or glass door. Use that natural solar power to bring heat into the room.
  •     Cover it. Use a pillow to stop the draft under a doorway or cover windows with heavy plastic to keep out the cold air. Use heavy blackout curtains to cover drafty glass doors. Cover outlets on exterior walls with child safety socket plugs. Remember to close the damper on the fireplace when it isn’t in use.

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