If your bank account is still feeling the bite of last winter's electric bills, now is the time to take steps that can make a difference this winter. Here are 10 ways you can conserve energy and gain some control over winter electric bills.
1. TUNE UP YOUR FURNACE. Call a professional HVAC technician to inspect and repair your system and change its filters.
2. ADD INSULATION. Especially if your home is older, the attic insulation might have fallen out of place and even diminished over the years.
3. SEAL GAPS AND CRACKS. Use caulk or weatherstripping to close up holes around doors, windows, outlets, and trim where heated air can escape.
4. OPEN THE DRAPES. In the daytime, the sun's rays will help heat your home for free, then cover windows once the sun goes down.
5. WRAP UP IN LAYERS. It costs a lot less to put on a sweater or wrap a blanket around you than it does to move the thermostat up even a couple of degrees.
6. HUMIDIFY. A humidifier will add moisture to the air, which makes it feel warmer and helps retain heat.
7. UNBLOCK HEATING VENTS. Move furniture and other items away from vents so they can do a good job of evenly distributing warm air throughout the house.
8. TURN ON CEILING FANS. Flip the switch to make blades spin clockwise so they push heated air--which naturally rises--back down into the room.
9. TURN OFF EXHAUST FANS. The longer an exhaust fan runs, the more heated air it sends outdoors.
10. LOWER THE TEMPERATURE AT BEDTIME. You could save up to 10 percent on your heating bill if you let your house cool off a bit for eight hours.
Information courtesy of Farmers Electric Cooperative
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