Cooler temperatures mean good things, like the return of pumpkin spice lattes and your favorite sweater. But as the mercury falls, energy bills rise — and that’s not comforting. The good news is that there are energy-saving tips you can follow to reduce your heating costs while still staying cozy this winter.
Remember that favorite sweater?
Put on an extra layer and turn down the thermostat. For every degree you lower your heat between 70 and 60 degrees, you save up to 5 percent on heating costs. By dialing the heat back to 68 degrees (or lower) during the day and 55 degrees at night and when you’re not at home, you can save 5 to 20 percent on your heating bill.
Do some winter cleaning.
Dirty furnace filters restrict air flow, which increases energy use. Replace or clean filters as recommended, and check your furnace to make sure it’s clean, lubricated, and properly adjusted. These steps alone can save up to 5 percent on heating costs.
Don’t get into (very) hot water.
By setting your hot water heater to “normal,” or 120 degrees, you can save another 7 to 11 percent on heating costs. (Before you do, though, check your dishwasher owner’s manual; some models require a higher temperature setting.)
Seal the leaks.
Use caulk to seal small leaks around windows and doors, as well as around pipes, vents, or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. This will keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
Heat a room without heating the whole house.
If you need a little extra heat in part of your home, but don’t need to heat the whole place, a portable fireplace (like the ClassicFlame “Serendipity” Fire Display from RAC) adds ambiance as well as warmth.