Cost-cutting ideas to keep your utility budget on track this winter.
- Blow off steam. Moist air feels warmer and holds heat better, so a humidifier can help you feel comfortable when your thermostat is set at a lower temperature. If you’d like a greener solution, house plants will also increase the level of humidity.
- Play it cool. Lowering your thermostat by just one degree can save you up to three percent in heating costs. Try turning it down by 10 degrees when you head to work in the morning and again when you go to bed at night.
- Find every nook and cranny. When you add up the cumulative effect of all the small leaks in your home, it has the same effect as leaving a window open all year long. Pay special attention to poorly insulated windows: consider purchasing window insulation film from any hardware store and heating it with a blow-dryer. The extra layer will protect from drafts.
- See the light. Try switching out incandescent bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFLs can last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and save $44 over the life of the bulb. Also try using one large bulb instead of two small ones.
- Keep out of hot water. Because showers account for two-thirds of your water heating costs, cutting your daily shower in half will reduce your bill by 33%. If that’s not an option, install low-flow showerheads and faucets, which can cut your water heating costs by 10-16%.