10 Tips to Save Money On Your Heating Bill

Put Up Some Plastic

For just a few dollars, pick up a window insulation kit at your local Westlake Hardware and you could save up to $18 per window this heating season. Don't worry -- properly installed, window plastic is essentially invisible. Adding a buffer against drafts and extra still air space can give a nice boost to your home's ability to hold heat.  To find out more, check out 3M's energy savings estimator and enter your city and window specs.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Installing a programmable thermostat can significantly reduce energy costs because they allow you to automatically adjust the temperature throughout the day, creating a specific energy-saving 'program' for weekdays and weekends. Some models even allow you to set preferences on the hour for each day of the week. Average Savings: $125 - $350 per year and up

Lower the Temperature

During winter months, lowering the heat by one degree during any 24 hour period can decrease your heating bill by up to 3%. Set your thermostat to 65 – 68 degrees when you’re home and 60 – 65 degrees during the evening.  Turn down the thermostat 10 degrees when you go to work, and again when you go to bed -- a total of 16 hours a day -- and you can save about 14% on your heating bill.

Change Your Furnace Filter

Make sure you routinely clean or change the air filters of your heating  system. Dirty air filters restricts air flow so your furnace has to work harder to deliver the warm air that it created. Keeping the filter clean can lower your system's energy consumption by 5%–15% which could save you up to $100 a year.

Turn Down Your Hot Water Heater

Your water heater may be working harder than it needs to, costing you precious dollars. Reduce the temperature on the unit to about 120 degrees - the water doesn't need to be any hotter. If the unit is older than 12 years, you may want to look into replacing it with a new, more energy-efficient model. Average Savings: $20 - $50 per year

Use Kitchen and Bathroom Fans Wisely

In just one hour, a hard-working bathroom or kitchen fan can expel a houseful of warm air, according to the Department of Energy. Turn them off as soon as they've done their job.

Run Your Ceiling Fan in Reverse

Most people think of ceiling fans only for cooling, but many ceiling units come with a handy switch that reverses the direction of the blades. Counterclockwise rotation produces cooling breezes while switching to clockwise makes it warmer: air pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space - cutting your heating costs as much as 10%!

Take Advantage of Passive Solar Heat

During bright sunny days open those south-facing window curtains or blinds to let the sun heat your home. Just remember to close them at night night to keep the heat in.

Seal Up Those Gaps

Simple leaks can sap home energy efficiency by 5% to 30% a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That means it pays to seal up gaps with caulking and weatherstripping.

Take a close look at places where two different building materials meet, such as windows, corners, around chimneys, where pipes or wires exit and along the foundation. Use the incense test: carefully (avoiding drapes and other flammables) move a lit stick along walls; where the smoke wavers, you have air sneaking in. And your hard earned dollars are sneaking out. 

Buy door sweeps to close spaces under exterior doors, and caulk or tacky rope caulk to block those drafty spots around window frames. Apply weather-stripping to movable joints.

Insulate Outlets and Light Switches

This is something often overlooked because people don’t realize that outlets and switches can be sources of air leaks. But outlets and light switches need to have insulation added to them, especially when they’re on an outside wall. Just make sure you get specialized outlet and switch plate seals, which can found inexpensively at Westlake Hardware store. The insulation is made specifically for outlets and switch plates, so you don’t have to worry about fire.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and safety of this information. Neither Westlake nor any contributor can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.

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