We’re half way through February and it’s still COLD! Okay, as cold as we Long Beach residents are used to dealing with. So, how can you and your family keep warm without your heating costs ballooning? Why not take a second look at the tips from our February newsletter? And for your convenience, we have them right here for you.
1. Turn down the thermostat: According to the U.S. Department of Energy. the easiest and most direct way to save on energy costs is by setting your thermostat back a few degrees (7-10) for eight hours a day. You can save up to 10% on your heating bills! If you set your thermostat down to about 68 degrees during the day, especially when you’re not home, you may not even notice the difference in temperature. But you will certainly notice the difference on your next gas bill! An added bonus to setting your thermostat down while you sleep is that sleeping in colder temperatures may aid in our body’s natural temperature drops at night and lead to more restful sleep, according to the Mayo Clinic.
2. Upgrade your heating system: While spending money to upgrade your heating equipment to save money may seem counter intuitive, the math can work out. The US Department of Energy tells us that fuel efficiency ratings on newer high-efficiency heating systems can run from 90 to 98.5%. Older low-efficiency systems only rate at 56 to 70%. This is in part due to newer programmable systems which can adjust heat settings for time of day as well as when you are home or away. Such systems can save a household on average of about $180 per year.
3. Additional sources of heat: There are other ways that you can help generate or capture heat that doesn’t originate with your heating system. For example, by opening window shades, curtains, or blinds during the day, you can let the warming rays of the sun in. The cold days of winter is also an ideal time for baking and home cooked meals!
4. Check for heat leaks: One of the easiest ways to control the temperature inside is by good insulation and preventing unnecessary heat loss. Make sure your home is properly insulated, particularly your attic. Also, check for drafty windows and doorframes. Some easy to install weather stripping will fix that right up. And don’t forget personal insulation. Wearing layers is another effective way to stop unnecessary heat loss. So is sharing a warm blanket!