Top 10 Ways to Cut This Month’s Energy Bill
|1. Set your thermostat to 68°F while you’re at home, or as low as 60°F when you’re away or asleep. You’ll save as much as one percent on your heating bill each degree you lower the heat for at least eight hours. This does depend on the temperature outside as well.
2. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically reduce your home’s temperature to as low as 60°F while you’re at work. That one simple step can reduce your heating costs five to 15 percent a year, depending on your climate.
3. Check the age of your furnace or heat pump. If your heat pump is at least 12 years old or your furnace is 15 years old, upgrading to an ENERGY STAR® qualified model can dramatically reduce your heating bill.
4. Let the sunshine in. Open curtains and blinds during sunny days, but close them at night to reduce heat loss.
5. Replace furnace filters once a month. Choosing a filter with a higher MERV rating will not only keep your furnace working efficiently, it will keep indoor air much cleaner.
6. Add a fireplace insert to an existing wood-burning fireplace. Heated air will stay in your living room, rather than escaping up the chimney. Also, keep fireplace doors and dampers closed when the fireplace is not in use.
7. Just add water (to your air). The more humid the air, the warmer you feel. Adding humidity to dry, heated air in the winter helps you stay comfortable at a lower thermostat setting.
8. Take a shower instead of a bath. About 15 percent of the average home’s energy bill goes for heating water. Washing only full loads of clothes and dishes can also reduce your water heating bill.
9. Add insulation to your attic to keep your entire home warmer. Go to energystar.gov to learn the recommended insulation level for your home and your climate.
10. Get a tune-up. Having your HVAC system cleaned and serviced each year can improve your comfort and energy efficiency.