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Monday, December 17, 2012

Stay Warm for less!

We are headed into full-on winter weather for most parts of the country, so it is worth mentioning ways to save money on one of the biggest energy expenses in the modern home: Climate Control. In this case, heating.

I am not super strict when it comes to electricity use, but most of these are fairly easily implemented tips, and can still add up to some serious savings.

It takes a lot of energy to do this, which also means it takes a lot of money. But there are plenty of ways you can save money on your heating this winter. Some are drastic, some not so much.

1. Wear more clothes!
Living it Florida we normally have the opposite problem (its too hot) and in college before starting on a mission of frugality I liked to keep the AC cranked ridiculously low. Lower than would even be comfortable for me now that I have allowed myself to actually acclimate to the weather. One of my roommates preferred it cool as well. But we had another roommate who was always complaining about it being too cold, but he was always walking around with no shirt on. Seems like a simple solution, right?

Well that can work for you too. No reason to be walking around your house in shorts and a tshirt and then paying to heat your house. Put on pants, socks or slippers, and at least a long sleeve shirt or sweater. Then even if you do still have to heat your house, you don't have to heat it as much to be comfortable.

2. Use waste heat in your favor.
There are a lot of things that you do normally that can generate some heat, like using your oven or clothes dryer(assuming you don't hang dry). Use them whenever it is coldest and they will be serving double duty.

3.  Use small one-room heaters.
If it is just a little bit colder than you can stand, try using a space heater to heat just the room you are using. It will use a LOT less power than central heating, and most of them are surprisingly effective.

4. Don't heat rooms you aren't using!
If you have to use your central heating, don't waste it on heating rooms you aren't using. Close the vents in rooms you aren't using to have all the hot air directed into the few you are actually in most of the time. Keep the doors closed, too.

5. Don't heat when you are gone!
If you have a programmable thermostat, make use of it, or at least be diligent about turning off your heater when you leave for work or anywhere else. There is no reason to waste money heating your house when you aren't even there.

These tips may not cut your power bill down to nothing, but they will at least keep you from drastically over-paying. Post any tips you have in the comments.

-The Money Monk

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