5 ways to save on energy costs this winter

Winter is upon us and temperatures have dropped, but that doesn’t mean your wallet has to take the plunge as well. Getting the most out of your energy dollar can seem like a tall task, but even doing a few small things can make a big difference. Use the following tips, which we borrowed from the U.S. Department of Energy, to help save money and energy this winter.

  • Lower water heating costs by turning down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120 degrees F). The default setting for most manufacturers is 140 degrees, but unless you’re soaking dishes in boiling water, there isn’t much difference in turning it down to 120 degrees.
  • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
  • Schedule service for your heating system with a qualified technician. Find out what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently.
  • Cover drafty windows by placing heavy-duty clear plastic sheets over the frames. Window insulator kits can be found at your local hardware store and cost only a few dollars per window, which is a small price to pay when saving on your energy bill.
  • When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10-15 degrees for eight hours and save about 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.

Looking for more energy-saving tips? Check out this Energy Saver Guide from the U.S. Department of Energy.

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