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How to lower your heating costs in winter
Even though in this valley we have some of the most affordable power rates in the country, many are looking for ways to decrease the winter heating bill. With temps dipping quite low in recent weeks, you may have seen an uptick in your heating bill. There are several tips to heat your home for less during the winter.
Inspect your vents
If your vents are blocked, your heater can end up working overtime or not being able to heat parts of the home. Both of these scenarios will result in an increased bill. Inspect your vents to make sure all are clear and are not blocked by rugs or furniture. If there is a room that is never used this time of year, you can go ahead and close the vents in that room and shut the door. Consider adding something to the bottom of the door to prevent the warm air escaping into the unused room.
Use the fireplace!
If you have a wood burning fireplace, this can be one of the most cost effective ways to heat your home. However, if the fireplace is not currently in use, make sure the damper is closed. If the damper is left open, that is the same as leaving a relatively large window wide open. Costs can add up quickly!
Check the window & door seals
Over time the seals on windows and doors can become less effective. Small leaks can cause drafts that make your energy bills creep up. An easy way to check windows and doors is to hold a candle near the frame. If the flame starts to flicker, then you have a draft. The seal can be repaired using caulk or a new piece of weatherstripping.
Use the ceiling fan
It may sound counterintuitive, but the ceiling fan can help you heat your home in winter. If you reverse the direction of the fan to go clockwise at a low speed you will push the warm air that rises back down the walls to the floor. This will actually help the room to feel warmer, allowing you to lower the temp on the thermostat.
Know when & how to use window treatments
On a bright and sunny winter day, make sure all blinds and curtains are opened. The direct sunshine will help to heat your home much more efficiently, especially if you have tile, wood or concrete floors. However, on cloudy days or when the sun goes down, you will want to close up those curtains. Curtains and blinds can serve as an insulator against the cold glass of the window.
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