(StatePoint) With today’s high fuel prices, heating your home in the cooler months can be expensive. By turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours, you can save up to 15 percent a year on your heating bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
“There are basic steps homeowners can take to maintain a comfortable home while living with a lower thermostat setting,” says Bob Vila, home renovation and repair expert.
To help you get started, Vila offers some useful advice:
Seal Your Drafts
One way to make sure you’re not throwing money out the window is to ensure heat’s not escaping through it as well.
From mail slots to doorways, to cracks and loose window fittings, air leaks can be found throughout the entire home, sending heated air outside. Without compromising the ventilation system or air quality, you can seal most of these leaks by applying weather-stripping.
Weather-stripping comes in many forms, including adhesive-backed foam strips for door and window frames, sealants for cracks and shrink-film for windows. Many come with easy application features.
Warm air can even leave a room through electrical outlets. Seal these holes tight with fire retardant plastic foam outlet covers.
“Not all rooms should be treated equally when it comes to heating,” says Vila.
By targeting only frequently used rooms of the home, you can turn down the thermostat and save energy. But don’t forget to close the doors of rooms not in use.
Portable heaters are ideal for zone heating because there is no installation involved, so you can create cozy spaces quickly. But traditional units can get very hot, posing a risk to pets, children, and flammable materials like curtains and carpet.
“Opt for a product with no exposed heating elements,” advises Vila. “You get the warmth you want without any risks.” For example, EdenPURE heaters don’t get hot to the touch, don’t have exposed heating elements that can cause a fire, and won’t reduce humidity or oxygen in a home. For more information, visit www.edenpure.com.
Five Minute Fixes
There are also many quick fixes that will help you heat efficiently.
- Between annual furnace check-ups, clean or replace air filters once a month. Dirt and build-up prevent systems from operating at maximum efficiency.
- Ensure heat registers are dust-free and clear of obstructions like drapes and furniture. Change the direction of your ceiling fan to a clockwise rotation. This forces cooler air upward, sending the warm air down into your living space.
- Don’t forget that thermostats need upkeep as well. Calibrate your thermostat for proper temperature readings and dust the inside and cover with a soft brush.
With a little effort, you don’t need to sacrifice your family’s comfort to save a dime.
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