Financial Friday: How to cut high heating costs this Winter
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - All U.S. households can expect to spend more money to heat their homes this winter compared to last year, federal officials announced.
The reason? Fuel prices are rising and fuel demand has increased over the previous winter. So whether you heat with natural gas or electricity, here are some ways to cut those costs:
- Lower the temperature: It may seem like a no-brainer, but lowering the temperature when you aren’t in your home or at night when you can get under the blankets and stay warm, is a simple and smart way to maximize savings. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that for every eight hours you lower the thermostat by one degree, you’ll save 1% on your bill.
- Eliminate dust: While you’re stocking those refrigerator shelves, get out your duster. If the coils under the refrigerator are blanketed in dust, that means your appliance is working harder and costing you more money.
- Replace your filters: Like dust, unchanged air filters often lead to air-conditioning units and heating systems breaking down. An unchanged air filter means the airconditioning unit or dryer will work harder or run longer, and – you guessed it – use more energy.
- Take shorter showers: Trimming two minutes off your shower time can cut your water usage by five gallons.
- Swap out your lightbulbs: Save $75 per year by swapping out the bulbs in your five most-used light fixtures with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs that bear the Energy Star label.
- Use smart power strips: Some electronic gadgets never truly power off; instead, they sit in standby mode using a trickle of power that can add up over devices and time. These are usually — but not exclusively — items with remote control because the remote sensor needs power while waiting for your input. Plug these electronics into a smart power strip, which cuts off the current when the devices aren’t in use.
For more ways to save be sure to tune in at noon every Friday for WAFF 48′s “Financial Friday” segment.
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