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| Education and Financial

01/09/14

Making (Heat) Waves: Energy costs is pushing your money right out the window

Winter is a constant struggle in terms of determining how to stay snug with heating their home while balancing a budget. More often than not, their temperament on the topic is hot and cold.
Some systematically set their thermostat at a specific degree, and stand pat on that numeric figure without fail. The flip side is adopting a mentality that fleece blankets and "Snuggies" fit the bill in the absence of heat.
A healthy mix probably should entail keeping the temperature at a reasonable number, or a little lower, and implementing few tricks to tame the high cost of heating your home.
Something as rudimentary as flipping on a ceiling fan to push the warm air down from the ceiling to the middle part of the room is enough to save plenty of cash during the colder months. Even easier than turning on the ceiling fan is going around to each room and closing the shutters, drapes or blinds to help keep the heat inside the home, rather than have it migrate out the windows.
And speaking of windows, when was the last time you had them replaced? If you're struggling with old windows in the house, and don't have $5,000 to replace them, you may want to insulate them as a precaution.

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A general rule of thumb is to take your thermostat down a few notches while you're sleeping. This is based on the assumption that you'll be perfectly content under a heavy down blanket or thick comforter. That eight hours of "down time" for the temperature in your home could save you a significant amount of money each year.
As the holidays have already come and gone, it's probably too late to rethink the lighting situation at your home, but then again, there's always next year. Electricity aficionados would encourage you to buy LED lights; they're proven to cut down on costs, regardless if you string together a few lights on a front porch or go totally Clark Griswold on the entire place.
The lights may cost a few dollars more, but that pales in comparison to the savings you'll experience over the course of the holidays, leaving you plenty of extra money for gifts.
Over the long haul of the winter, just a few minor modifications could mean the difference between constantly worrying about your heating bills or simply living through those months feeling totally comfortable.

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