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Reduce Your Heating Costs

I had to give in this week and turn the heat on. I usually insist on bundling up and waiting until November, but with a chilly 29 degrees outside it was time to crank it up.

As a homeowner in The Poconos, I know that when the temperature outside begins to fall, our heating bills quickly start to rise.  For many homeowners, keeping their house warm in the winter means paying a hefty heating bill.  Luckily, there are some ways to help reduce those costs and keep a little extra cash in your pocket for a rainy (and warmer) day.

 Don't Be Shade-y

 Even though it may be cold outside, the sun still peaks through on occasion.  When it does, make sure to open your curtains and/or blinds in order to welcome the sun's heat into your home.  This will help to add a touch of warmth to help keep your heating costs down.  After all, the time for seeking shade from the sunlight is in the summer.

 Insulation Information

 Insulation is used to maintain your home's temperature.  Some houses, especially older ones, may require additional insulation to keep the cold air out during the winter and the warm air in.  The latter is especially important if your goal is to lower your heating bills.  Check with a local insulation professional about upgrading or replacing your outdated insulation.

 Temperature Control

Turning the thermostat down when the house is empty or at night (when you can snuggle up under the covers) will help to reduce your heating costs.  Consider installing a programmable thermostat.

 Window Woes

If you feel a cold draft near your windows, chances are good that it isn't the only direction that the air is flowing.  Specifically, air leaks or gaps in your window can cause the warm air to leave your home, which can result in a rising heat bill.  If you notice a draft, use caulk to seal the area or hire a professional to repair any cracks or imperfections that may be causing an airflow problem.   A very simple do-it-yourself fix is to install plastic window coverings - the type you shrink with a hairdryer. We have this on the windows in our office and it does an amazing job of keeping out cold drafts.

Don’t forget to install weather stripping around your doors. One way to check if drafts are coming in around your door is to hold a lit candle on the inside of the door. Move it around the door frame and watch to see if the flame wavers.

Now that you know how to keep your heating costs down, it's important to note a certain amount of fresh air must be able to enter the home in order to prevent a buildup of moisture, which could lead to mold during the winter.  In other words, don't prevent a natural airflow by making your home excessively airtight. 



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