Saving the planet and saving money go hand-in-hand when you reduce your home heating bill.
Step 1: Get your furnace tuned up Get your furnace tuned up before winter sets in. Doing this annually will keep your furnace running efficiently.
Step 2: Install a programmable thermostat Install a programmable thermostat so you can lower the heat when no one is home and at night while everyone is sleeping.
TIP: Lowering the heat to 72 degrees and putting on a sweater is a carbon-free, money-saving way to stay cozy.
Step 3: Use curtains to regulate heat Close curtains and quilted blinds at night to help keep heat from escaping through windows. Open them during the day to let in the sun’s warmth.
Step 4: Cover your heating system Use a boiler blanket and pipe insulation to keep heat inside the heating system where it belongs. Before using a blanket, consult your owner’s manual—make sure the blanket you plan to use is safe for your boiler.
TIP: Ask your gas or electric company if they do free energy audits, in which they appraise each room for its energy efficiency and make cost-cutting recommendations.
Step 5: Look into utility company rebates Look into your utility company’s efficiency programs. Many will pay for programmable thermostats and some even subsidize roof insulation.
Step 6: Seal cracks Hold a piece of toilet paper near windows and door frames to check for drafts. Sealing cracks with weather stripping can save big bucks.
TIP: If you improve your home’s energy efficiency by replacing an old boiler, furnace, or water heater, or by investing in storm windows and doors, you’re entitled to an energy tax credit.
Step 7: Fill outdoor cracks Review the outside of your home for cracks that are draining heat and caulk them.
Step 8: Clean radiators Keep baseboard heaters and radiators clean and make sure your furniture and curtains are not blocking the vents.
Step 9: Centralize your winter life Since pioneer times many a family has found warmth by gathering around a stove in winter. If you live in a big house, try sealing off little used rooms and/or an entire wing when the snow flies.
FACT: Lowering your thermostat to 68 degrees while you’re at work can decrease your heating bill by 12 percent.