Winter Weather And Your Home Energy Budget

Winter Weather And Your Home Energy Budget

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As the next round of cold weather pushes across the lower 48 states, homeowners are finding it very tempting to turn up the thermostat in order to keep their homes warm.

Energy StarAlthough being comfortable in your home is important, maintaining a budget is essential too. Come February and March, many people will be shocked to see just how high their energy costs rose, thanks to the bitter winter weather.

The federal government through the Department of Energy has issued guidelines to help consumers manage their costs. They’ve also set up a website at www.energysavers.gov which shares details on how you can curb your energy bill.

“The Energy Savers site is a great first stop for personal actions that can make an immediate difference in your energy bill,” said Doug Seiter of DOE’s Building Technologies Program. “It includes several low-cost, no-cost tips like sealing windows or using a programmable thermostat; it guides folks through a self energy audit and suggests how to work with local providers to install better insulation, new windows and Energy Star appliances; and includes links to financial assistance to complete the package.”

Suggested tips for the home:

  1. Turn down the thermostat by just one degree to reduce home heating costs by four percent, which typically saves between $30 and $60 a year, depending on the fuel being used to heat the home.
  2. Wash clothes in cold water to save your household up to $83 per year.
  3. Set the water heater to 120 degrees.
  4. Plug leaks or gaps around windows and doors with materials such as caulking, weather-stripping or foam sealants.
  5. Install proper insulation, especially in the attic and crawl spaces, to reduce household energy costs from $70 to $460 per year.
  6. Replace the four most used bulbs in your home with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent bulbs to save about $195 over the lifetime of the bulbs.

Consumers can also find energy saving tips through their gas, electric, or oil company. In some cases customers can spread out their energy costs throughout the year to ensure that an equal bill amount is paid no matter the season.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

Adv. — Are you looking for tips on how to control your costs, perhaps how to set up a budget? SayLowerBills.com is your one stop resource center designed to help you gain control over all of your expenses. Don’t let a sour economy hold you down — take charge by learning how to save money and use your resources wisely.

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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".