Top 10 Tips to stay warm and SAVE cash this winter
1. Have Your Furnace Serviced Regularly
Heating can account for almost half of the average family's winter energy bill. Make sure your furnace or heat pump receives professional maintenance each year. A clean furnace is an efficient furnace. If you're looking to save money on energy bills, you should start with having your furnace checked and cleaned. Not only will a clean furnace save on your energy usage it will also prevent premature wear and extend the life of your furnace.
2. Change Your Air Filter
For less than $4 you can change the air filter on your furnace. A dirty air filter will block the airflow from your furnace and will decrease the furnace's life expectancy. We recommend customers that have standard 1" filters to use the least expensive pleated filter available. We DO NOT recommend allergy or asthma filters for a 1" application. A 1" filter's purpose is to protect you heating equipment. If you need air filtration for allergy or asthma then you need to invest in a Whole House Air Cleaner. 3. Install and Use a Programmable Thermostat
If you talk to any energy wise heating and cooling specialist, they will tell you that one of the best things to do in order to save money on your energy bills is to install a programmable thermostat. You'll be able to program the thermostat to reduce the heat of your home when you're away and when you're asleep.
By resetting your programmable thermostat from 72 degrees to 65 degrees for eight hours a day (for instance, while no one is home or while everyone is tucked in bed) you can cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent.
4. Use Your Ceiling Fans
This advice may sound counter-intuitive, but you should actually use your ceiling fans during the winter. A ceiling fan set in reverse can draw warm air through your home, helping to keep it warm.
5. Use Washing Machines and Dishwashers Wisely
When running your washing machine or your dishwasher, make sure that you only do full loads of laundry or dishes. If you don't run full loads, you'll need to run your appliances more frequently, wasting energy in the process.
6. Use Compact Fluorescent Lighting
Compact fluorescent light bulbs use less than half of the energy of incandescent light bulbs, and they last longer as well. Fluorescent lighting technology has improved dramatically over the past few years, so even if you didn't like fluorescent lighting in the past, it's worth trying again now.
7. Keep Shades Up and Blinds Open
Take advantage of natural daylight and solar heat through your windows. Rather than having light bulbs running all day, keep your shades and blinds open and you'll be able to make use of the natural sunlight and the warmth that naturally comes from the sun.
8. Insulate Your Water Heater
Water heating can account for 14%–25% of the energy consumed in your home. Insulate your natural gas or oil hot-water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the water heater's top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the thermostat. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations; when in doubt, get professional help. When you need to replace your water heater, buy an energy efficient model. (This is also good advice when you need to replace your furnace -- buy a high-efficiency model.)
9. Seal Leaks
If you have air leaks in your home, seal them up with caulk or weather strips. Drafts can add significantly to your home heating costs during the winter, so make sure that you locate and seal off any drafts in your home.
10. Turn It Off! It seems so obvious, but is too often overlooked. Really take notice of all the electrical equipment that is left on when not in use and start shutting it off.