(MoneyHippo.com) – In many places, winter brings the promise of snow, hot chocolate by the fire, and holiday cheer. Unfortunately, the season also ushers in a whole new expense Americans haven’t seen since last year: heating bills. Depending on where you live, the amount could do a number on your budget for months. Here are some tips to help reduce the sting this winter.
- Seal it up: Look around doors and windows for leaks. Use caulk and weatherstripping to seal warmth in during cold months. Conversely, having better seals helps during warmer months, too. This one simple step might save you 5% to 10% on heating and cooling bills.
- Program it: Many modern thermostats have programming features allowing you to set the home’s temperature at different times. Small changes can save you big bucks on energy bills, so program the heat levels accordingly when you’re gone during the day, sleeping at night, or away for the weekend.
- Use nature: It might be cold outside, but the sun still shines in winter. Take advantage of the sunlight during the day by opening the shades and curtains to warm your home. Heating living spaces this way might mean less strain on the thermostat and a lower overall bill.
- Move the air: Ceiling fans are useful not only in the summer but also in the winter. Reversing the direction of the blades will help pull rising heat from the ceiling and circulate it back to you. This method should keep you more comfortable and reduce the need to crank the heat. Blades should turn clockwise in cold weather and counter-clockwise when it’s hot.
Check with your energy company for more helpful tips on saving money this winter.
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