$ave Energy, $ave Money

Flikr Creative Commons | Some rights reserved by sneaka

Flikr Creative Commons | Some rights reserved by sneaka

With the drop in temperatures, many of us have seen utility costs increase.

Check out these tips to keep your home toasty warm all winter long while saving some cash.

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Get with the Program. For every degree you set your thermostat back over eight hours, you’ll save about 1% on your heating bill each year.

Heat Space-by-Space. Spend much of your time in only one room of your home? Use a space heater to heat the space you are using (remember to turn it off when you leave the room!).

Watch your Windows. Open blinds during the day to let sun in. At dusk, close them to trap heat. Another option is to hang drapes to help block drafts from where the window meets the frame.

Sealing Solutions. If the foam and rubber strips that seal your doors to the outside are old and cracked, it’s time to replace them (strips start at about $2 at home-improvement stores)

Get New Bulbs. You probably know that those twisty compact fluorescent light bulbs are more energy-efficient — in fact, ones that are Energy Star qualified use about 75% less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescents. LEDs are another great option.

Make your toilet low-flow. Know that you don’t have to replace your toilets to save on your bill. Fill a plastic drink bottle with water, cap it, and put it in a corner of the tank, where it will decrease the water needed per flush.

Turn off electronics — really. 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are off, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Group plugs by function (think computer, printer, paper shredder on one power strip; TV, DVD player, stereo on another). Get in the routine of switching them off when turning off your machines.

Breath Clean Air. Replace or clean furnace filters regularly during the winter to amp up efficiency.

If you have questions about managing your household bills this winter, we’re here to help. Contact LSS Center for Financial Resources at 888-258-2227 or cccs@LssSD.org

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