Easy Steps To Save Money During Cold Snap
by Chris Cannon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Weeks of below-normal temperatures have taken a toll on heating bills, costing residents extra money this winter. There are several easy steps you can take to save money, without leaving your home.
You can put a old towel in front of your door to stop any drafts from coming under the door.
Experts explain if you set your thermostat to 68 degrees when you are home, and then 58 degrees when you are not home - or sleeping - you can save 10% on your heating bill.
Also, there is a switch on your ceiling fan that reverses the direction it pushes air. Once you change the direction, it will send air towards the ceiling, pushing warm air back into your living space.
You can save even money by visiting your local hardware store and purchasing some items that will increase your home's energy efficiency.
"Heating costs are very high and every little bit you can do will help you in that regard," said Frank Shope from Hart's Ace Hardware in Bellevue.
Shope said window film is simple to install with just a hair dryer, and it can save you a lot of money.
"That can actually help with blocking the actual air that's coming through your glass when it's getting cold," Shope explained.
Door draft guards are another easy and more permanent way to reduce the amount of cold air coming into you house. They make peel-and-stick versions, or the type you can screw to the bottom of your door.
If you have a crawlspace, it is also important to close the vents that let in air under your house. It will not only help prevent your pipes from freezing, it will keep cold drafts from coming up through the floor.
They sell removable vent covers at Hart's Ace Hardware, and Shope said they are easy to install.
"It has a spring you put on here, and push in, and hook on your vent and it pulls it up tight. And that just blocks the air from infiltrating the vent and keeps that from being a big drafty area," according to Shope.
Removable weather sealant is also available, and will block air coming in from around windows.
"Apply it, just like a regular caulk, and at the end of the season, you just peel it right off and use your window again, open it, close it," Shope explained.
There are also spray foams available that will fill in cracks and gaps in your foundation, keeping cold air out of your house.