Heading into this winter season many families are understandably nervous. It’s a tough economy and many people are worried about their jobs and keeping up with rising costs. But there are many cheap, or free, things you can do to cut energy bills. Here is a list of some of the easy, yet effective, changes you can start making today.
1. Make sure your furnace is ready for the winter. Have a qualified HVAC professional check and clean your unit. Once the heating season starts make sure to change your filters monthly. If the filter is dirty it will restrict airflow which will use more energy since it has to work harder.
2. Add a programmable thermostat. You can set it to automatically adjust the temperature at certain times of the day and certain days of the week. That way the temperature in your home will automatically go down during the day when no one is home, or overnight. It can also raise the temperature shortly before you get up in the morning.
3. Take care of your fireplace. Make sure the chimney is cleaned and in good repair. If you use your fireplace more than once a week you should have it professionally cleaned yearly. Also install a cap or screen at the top of your chimney to prevent birds from building nests.
4. Caulk around your windows and doors. The more heat loss you can prevent the less your furnace will have to run, and that will save you money all season long. Using window kits is another way to prevent heat loss from older windows.
5. Using wind power, (think home windmill) along with the above-winterizing tips and this will more than put you ahead of the game; on cutting your long-term electric bills.
Now is a good time to make some simple changes that can help you cut energy bills this winter. Take a few minutes now to save hundreds not only this winter but throughout the year and for years to come.