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Reducing Your Heating Bill

As we approach November, you will undoubtedly be turning on the heat, if you haven’t already. After all, we have had some cool nights here in the Myrtle Beach area over the past week or so.

The Energy Information Administration reports that this winter’s heating fuel costs should be $928 for the average household, down from $947 last winter. Not a big savings, but down is always better than up when it comes to costs for heating your home.

If you want to find ways for reducing your heating bill even further this season, consider giving some of these free or low-cost tips a try.

1. Tap heat that’s there anyway. There are plenty of activities you do around the house that generate warmth, such as cooking a meal or taking a shower. When you shower, keep the bathroom door open so steam spreads to other rooms, and don’t turn a ventilation fan on; it will rapidly remove the warm air you’re hoping to keep around.

wearing socks will help in reducing your heating bill this winter2. Learn to love socks. If your feet are cold, your whole body will feel cold, so make a point of wearing socks around the house in the winter. The next step if you’re still feeling cold: Bundle up in a sweater or a blanket rather than cranking up the heat.

3. Lower your thermostat. You likely won’t notice a huge difference if you turn it down just a couple of degrees, a move that can shave 5 percent to 10 percent off your heating bill. It’s especially wise to turn down the heat whenever you leave your home for several hours. Just be careful not to turn it back up too far too fast when you get back home if you heat with a heat pump, or you may drive your heating costs up even further than if you just left the setting alone while you were away. Reducing your heating bill with a heat pump is a little trickier than using gas or oil to heat your home.

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If you’re going away on vacation during the winter, be absolutely sure to set your heat down before you go. 60 degrees is plenty warm enough if your home is going to be vacant for days or a week. Again, gradually warm the house back up when you return.

4. Watch the water heater. It’s also not likely to be noticeable if you turn down the thermostat on your water heater to, say, 120 degrees from about 140 degrees.

5. Don’t let heat escape unnecessarily. Keep your doors and windows shut when the heat is on. If your home has a fireplace that you aren’t using, be sure the flue is closed and glass doors are in place to minimize heat loss. In addition to those bathroom ventilation fans, turn kitchen ventilation fans off when they aren’t needed.

6. Consider a programmable thermostat. They cost between $30 and $100, but it’s money you’re sure to make back over the course of a year because you’re reducing your heating bills. A programmable thermostat allows you to adjust the heat on a predetermined schedule, so you can lower the heat when you’re not home or when you’re sleeping. Read our article on how to Save Energy with a Programmable Thermostat.

7. Call for a checkup. Proper maintenance will help your heating unit run more efficiently. Electric and oil heaters should get professional attention at least once a year and gas heaters every other year. Also, here’s a step you can take all on your own: Remember to check the filters in your heating system and make sure they’re clean and clear. Dirty filters lead to higher heating costs.

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No matter what type of heating system you have, reducing your heating bill should be a priority. Brown and Reaves Services can help by giving your heating system a full tune-up for the winter. Call us today. 843-497-9867. And don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and grab your 20% off coupon on our next service call.

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