Beat Your Heating Bill This Year

It's that time of year again. The weather is cooling down and you're finishing up on fall cleaning and maintenance, right?! Whether you are an organizer or procrastinator, here are five easy tips to help you save on your heating bill this year:

1. Turn down your thermostat when you are sleeping or not at home.

For every degree you turn your thermostat down, you will save money. Installing a programmable thermostat can help raise the temperature of your home just before you wake up in the mornings so you are always comfortable.

2. Install ceiling fans or reverse the spin direction of your existing fan.

Reversing the direction of the blades on your ceiling fans pushes warm air down into the room. Fans should spin clockwise in the summer and counter clockwise in the winter.

3. Close off fireplaces when not in use.

When you are not using your fireplace, the dampers should always be closed. Having glass doors to close it off also helps, as fireplaces let more heat escape then they can generate. Consider this: Fireplaces are the same as having a giant hole in your wall.

4. Wash your clothes in cold water.

About 90 percent of the energy used in washing your clothes comes from heating the water - this accounts for about 16% of the average household energy bill. Moving your temperature setting from hot to cold can almost eliminate this expense.

5. Check and repair your caulking and weather stripping.

Try your best to reduce drafts in your home.  If you can pass a sheet of paper through the door jamb while it is closed, you need to replace your weather stripping. Fix up holes or deteriorating caulking that can allow drafts.