Free Ways To Lower Your Heating Bill
The market is full of nifty little devices and gizmos that can help you to lower your heating bill. Some of them are even easy to install. The problem is that they cost money, and some of them require installation that might require the landlord's permission, first if you're renting.
There are ways, however, to take the edge off of your King County area heating bills without spending one dime on the latest DIY goodies advertised on TV or at the hardware store. If you're on a tight budget or simply are not handy with tools, here are six simple things that anyone can do:
- Lower the thermostat. The rule of thumb is that by lowering your thermostat a little, you can save about 3% off your monthly heating bill. By lowering it a bit more, 10 degrees when you go to work and go to bed (bundle up under a nice pile of blankets for warmth), that's a potential 16 hours of savings coming out to about 14% savings on your heating bill, according to Bill Prindle at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
- Turn off fans. According to the Department of Energy, kitchen and bathroom fans can expel a whole houseful of heat in the space of just one hour. Yes, it's tempting to leave the bathroom fan on to clear out the moisture from a shower, but you really wind up paying for it in the long run. Turn them off once they've done their jobs to help retain warmth in your house.
- Close fireplace dampers. If you have a fireplace, close the damper when it's not in use. It's like having a big hole in your ceiling letting warm air escape to the outside. Just remember to open it again when you go to use it!
- Lower the water-heater temperature. A drop from 120 degrees to 115 isn't that noticeable and can even be safer for sensitive skin and for people with high blood pressure. Five degrees off the hot water is not only more economical, it's healthier!
- Unblock heating vents. Carpeting or furniture that blocks heating vents prevents the warm air from circulating properly throughout your house. Sometimes, it's just a matter of a few inches that can make a difference between a sensible heating bill and an insane one.
- Make those curtains work! During the day, opening the curtains on south-facing windows allows solar heat to warm up a room. Close them as the sun goes down to trap the heat inside. Thicker, heavier curtains work best for this.
For those living in the greater Seattle - Bellevue area there are many ways to lower your heating bills in this winter. Those are just the freebies. Contact us for even more ways to live more energy efficient, such as tankless water heaters and other energy-saving technology!
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