Wednesday, November 5, 2014

5 Ways to Save Money and Stay Warm this Winter

As winter approaches, it may seem like all you can do is count your losses and accept spending more on your heating bill. While you likely will be running your heat more, you don’t have to be like everyone else and start shelling out the big bucks to stay warm. Follow these 5 tips to not only stay warm but also save money this season.

1. Unplug Unused Appliances

Yes, you’ll be using more electricity this winter to heat your home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save money elsewhere. Make a habit of unplugging any unused appliance in your home to cut costs on residual use. Even though turned off, appliances like your television, washer and dryer, and other limited use appliances suck power. Unplugging these items eliminates this energy waste.

2. Improve Insulation

Insulation is your home’s primary defense against high energy bills. It is what keep your home from losing the warm air in the winter time and the cool air in the summer. It literally functions as a force field of sorts, against heat loss. Adding in insulation presents an upfront cost; however, the money you’ll save this season and throughout the year will offset that investment. Depending on how old your home is, you may want to consider gutting the walls and replacing the old insulation with something more energy efficient. 

3. Maintain Your HVAC System

Obviously your heating system will cost you money through the winter, but did you know it could also save you money? When your HVAC system is functioning effectively, it wastes less energy, which equates to dollars saved for you. Call an HVAC technician like those from Academy Mechanical Services Inc., to complete a comprehensive inspection of your system and to get recommendations for saving on heating costs this season. A seasonal maintenance checkup is also important to keep your system in good working order.

4. Install a New Thermostat

A thermostat is the key mechanism for controlling the temperature in your home. If you thermostat isn’t functioning properly, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars on heating your home. Consider installing a new thermostat that reads the appropriate temperature to save on heating your home this winter. Also, when selecting a new thermostat opt for one that is digital and can be programmed throughout the day. It doesn’t make sense to heat your home when you’re not there, so set the thermostat to regulate itself with your schedule.

5. Heat Used Space

Most families don’t use all of their home all of the time. You can save a load of cash by only heating the space that is used. Consider investing in a space heater for the room you spend the most time in and heat only that room. This investment alone could save you nearly $200 for the season. With technology today, you can also invest in a thermostat for each room and control the temperature of each room. This way you can keep the heat on in the rooms you are in the most and the heat off if not at a lower temperature in the other rooms. If you have an old home with a fireplace or a wood stove, consider using this to its full advantage. You won’t be able to control the heat in each room, but it will keep most of if not all of your house warm this winter. This way you can turn your furnace down or completely off.

Winter weather does mean that you’ll have to beef up your heat, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot doing it. Implement these tips and you’ll be warm and still save money all season long.

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