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For many of us in the U.S., winter is approaching. After running a cooling system all summer, you’re eager to see the energy bill lower. Begin by understanding your current heating system, the mechanism, and its efficiency.
Jeff Clayton, an operations and resource manager for gas delivery at Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (PSE&G) in Newark, New Jersey, says older systems run long, attributing to higher costs. In addition, electric systems are more expensive than gas and oil. He also notes that having a fireplace can lower costs by using it during the day, then switching to the furnace at night.
By practicing these energy-efficient measures, you can turn on the heat without burning a hole in your wallet:
Seal up. Cover holes and cracks around windows, doors, light fixtures, outlets, and walls.
Insulate. Proper insulation of the attic, basement, crawl spaces, ceilings, and water heater will create a more uniform temperature.
Close vents. Don’t waste heat in unused rooms. However, be certain the pipes in these rooms are insulated because they can freeze.
Change filter. Clean air systems mean warmer, more efficient air systems. Check your furnace’s filter before the temperature plunges to avoid a possible service visit.
Lower your thermostat. Lower it 5 degrees when no one is home, and at night when bed linens can keep you warm. Every degree lowered saves 3% on your heating bill.
Be sure to contact your energy provider for more tips.