(WMC-TV) – United States energy leaders are predicting anywhere from a nine to 13 percent increase in heating bills this winter. With that in mind, Andrew Douglas has five quick ways to get more bang for your buck on your utility bill.
1. Deck the Halls with LEDs
The holiday season wouldn't be complete without Americans lighting up neighborhoods with colorful Christmas displays. LED holiday lights use up to 90 percent less energy and can last up to 40 holiday seasons.
For example, the costs to operate an incandescent C-9 string of lights would cost about $10, but the same LED string of lights would run just barely over a quarter. That's about $10 of savings per string!
2. Stop throwing money out the window.
Your home loses most of its heat to drafts and air leaks (inside and out).
Simple steps like caulking windows, sealing leaks around chimneys and sliding draft guards under your doors and you can save up to 20 percent on heating costs.
3. Maintain your furnace
Change your furnace filters regularly. A dirty furnace filter will slow down air flow, making the system work harder and costing you more money.
Also, consider getting a winter tune-up. Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a winter tune up can save you money and make your home more comfortable.
4. Let Your Thermostat Think for You
Don't waste money heating an empty home. A programmable thermostat allows you to lower the heat when you are away or asleep and turn back up when you are returning home or waking-up. It can save you $180 or more during the winter months.
5. Let the sunshine in
Open curtains and other window treatments during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home. You can save anywhere from two to 12 percent.
All these stats are from the Alliance to Save Energy and can be found here: http://www.ase.org
If you have an idea for Bang for Your Buck, reach Andrew Douglas on social media or email him at ADouglas@wmctv.com
Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.