Energy costs rise every year, whether it’s gas, electricity or oil. There’s not much you can do about that. But there are simple steps you can take to keep your winter heating and electric bills under control. All these steps require are a little discipline, minimal effort and a healthy dose of common sense.
|During the day you may lower the thermostat when you’re not there – but don’t turn it off. This may cause a pipe to freeze and then thaw, resulting in significant water damage. Just turn it down to 60 degrees. This may seem counterintuitive, but it actually takes more energy to restart your heating system to get your apartment to a comfortable temperature than it does by lowering and raising the temperature as needed. At night when you are under covers, you may also want to set your thermostat to a lower temperature.|
|Inspect the heating system. If it’s in a closet inside your apartment, don’t use that closet area for any type of storage. If you have a forced air system, check your filter and change it as often as necessary. Shedding pets or a dusty environment will require more frequent filter changes. Make sure your filter is properly sized. Also, keep in mind that the greater the filtration, the more often the filter will need to be replaced, while a denser filter may restrict airflow. The inexpensive blue filters provide a nice balance with reasonable filtration and minimal restriction.|
|Keep your window treatments open during the day to take advantage of solar heat and close them at night to help keep that heat inside your apartment. If your windows are actually drafty, consider inexpensive “window insulation kits” and/or draft stoppers sold at home centers and Amazon.|
|Cook your own meals. Take advantage of the heat from your oven and cut your monthly food costs at the same time!|
|Dress appropriately. If you’re wearing sweaters and winter coats outside, why do you need to walk around in a t-shirt and shorts inside? It’s a lot less expensive to dress in sweats and socks than it is to turn up the heat so you can be comfortable in summer clothes.|
|If you’re moving into complex with multiple floors in an area where winters can get cold choose a higher floor if you have the option. Heat rises, so you can take advantage of the warmth from your neighbors!|
|Explore alternative energy solutions to lower your electric bills each month. Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) have been established to identify and evaluate energy-saving opportunities.|