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Winter’s Coming! 10 Tips to Save Money this Winter on Heating

I know! It’s August! Why in the name of all that’s green are we posting an article about heating your home? Well, because up north, where we are—and in many places in the world—at some point in the next few weeks we could find ourselves reaching for the thermostat. Cold weather’s coming. And now is a great time for a reminder on best home heating practices for those of us who like to be environmentally (and economically) sensitive.

The following is an excerpt from Energy: Use Less–Save More by Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert. It has been adapted for the web.

  1. Take control of your heating. Consider turning down the thermostat controlling the temperature of your room or house by 2°F. You will have either a single control at a central position, such as in the hall, or thermostats attached to the individual heaters or radiators.
  2. Turn radiators off or down in rooms you use only occasionally.
  3. WARNING – IF YOU ARE ELDERLY OR INFIRM, TRY TO KEEP YOUR ROOM TEMPERATURES NO LOWER THAN 65°F, AND YOUR LIVING ROOM AND BATHROOM AT ABOUT 70°F.
  4. You don’t necessarily need to turn up the heating for babies: a room temperature of about 60°F–68°F is ideal.
  5. Turn down the thermostat when you are going away on vacation: 41°F will prevent pipes from bursting in cold weather.
  6. Set the timer for your heating system so that it comes on about 30 minutes before you get up and when you come home in the evening. Switch the heating off about 1⁄2 hour before you leave in the morning or go to bed.
  7. Heating and cooling account for about 56% of the energy use in a typical home.
  8. If you use electric heaters, such as bar heaters, oil-filled radiators, or panel heaters, use them sparingly, as they are very expensive to run.
  9. Move furniture away from any radiators or heaters to allow heat to get out into the room.
  10. If you are too hot in your room, turn the heating down or off rather than opening a window.
  11. Rather than turn up the heat, put on an extra layer of clothes.
  12. Draw curtains over windows at night; they provide insulation and help to keep the heat in the room.

 
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