With oil and natural gas prices heating up, we offer the following tips to save you money.
Check your heating system before you turn it on for the winter. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated, and properly adjusted can save about 5 percent on your heating bill.
Consider replacing an old furnace. Today’s furnaces are about 25 percent more efficient than they were in the 1980s.
Minimize Heat Loss:
Seal up the leaks. Sealing and insulating duct systems can cut heating costs by as much as 40 percent.
Add insulation to your home’s attic. Even if your attic floor already has a couple of inches of insulation, another six inches can help.
Wrap an insulation blanket around your hot water pipes and tank. This is especially valuable for older water heaters and can save up to 10 percent on water-heating costs.
Don’t use an open-hearth fireplace for heat. The heated air that’s drawn from your home and up the chimney offsets almost all the warmth that a fire provides.
Keep your fireplace damper closed when you don’t have a fire burning. This will prevent up to 8 percent of your furnace-heated air from going up the chimney home for free.
Turn down the thermostat a little. For every two degrees you lower the thermostat, you’ll save about 4 percent on heating bills. Consider a programmable thermostat. One of these can help you cut heating costs as much as 20%.
Reduce hot water temperature. Save 7 to 11 percent of water-heating costs by keeping your water heater at the “normal” setting or 120º.
Shorten showers. Showers account for two-thirds of your water-heating costs, so even shaving off a few minutes can help.