Ways to save on winter heating costs
With the winter we have had thus far, chances are you’ve seen at least one or two high heating bills. While home heating costs can put a strain on your wallet during the winter, you can do certain things to save money on these expenses while still keeping your home warm.
Sunlight, even in the winter, is a great way to add natural, free warmth to your home. Open your blinds and curtains during the day, particularly on south-facing walls as they get the most exposure to the sun. As the sun sets, close them to help trap in the warmth.
Leaks in your windows and doors can allow warm air to escape and cold air to come inside. Check your home for air leaks, and fill gaps and cracks with caulk or insulation. Air can also escape through your chimney. When you are not using it for warmth, close your fireplace’s damper to keep in warmth. Use area rugs on tile, wood or laminate floors to help trap in heat.
Turn your thermostat down when you leave the house for work or other extended periods of time. This keeps you from paying for heat you are not using. When you return, set the thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting. For every degree you lower the thermostat, you can save about 3 percent on your heating costs. Wear layers of clothing inside, and add extra blankets to your bed or to help you stay warmer at a lower temperature.
For more money-saving tips, contact the Harlan County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
Lora Davidson is the Harlan County Extension agent for family & consumer sciences. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.