According to the U.S. Department of Energy, home heating costs account for about 45% of the average American family’s energy bills (Source: U.S. Department of Energy, December 2013). And with winter fast approaching, now’s the time to prepare for the annual battle between the thermostat and your wallet.
Fortunately, there are some relatively simple steps you can take to help make your home more energy efficient and help you save on your heating bills this winter:
- Keep the heat in. To keep heat from escaping your home, apply weather stripping and caulking around drafty areas such as doors and windows, and inspect storm doors and windows for broken glass. Make sure that all areas of your home are properly insulated, especially attics, basements, crawl spaces, and outside walls.
- Adjust your thermostat. Turning down your thermostat even just a few degrees when you go to bed or when you are not home can help you save on your heating bills. To make it easier, install a programmable thermostat that will allow you to preprogram your heat to a lower temperature at certain times of the day.
- Utilize window treatments. Keep window curtains, shades, and blinds open during the day to allow sunlight in to warm your home, and keep them closed at night to retain the heat inside your home.
- Close the damper. To prevent heat from escaping through a fireplace, keep the damper closed when it’s not in use. You can also avoid further heat loss by refraining from using the fireplace on extremely cold nights.
- Have your heating system serviced. Make sure that your heating system is working properly by having it serviced on an annual basis. In addition, clean furnace filters, warm air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators to ensure maximum heating efficiency.
- Consider an energy audit. An energy audit can offer tips on how to heat your home more efficiently and save money on your energy bills. Contact your utility company to find out whether it offers free or discounted energy audits, or visit energy.gov for more information.
Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2014