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A Frugal Heating Guide: Tips to Keeping Your Heating Bill In Check

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

Even during this roller-coaster of a season, you know that Jack Frost is just around the corner and soon you’ll need the heat on at all times. The thought of the cold isn't just depressing when you’re an avid summer lover, but also to anyone who knows they’ll have a horrifying heating bill to look forward to, as well. There are frugal steps to counteract that rising heat bill, however, through simple steps and cost effective tips.

Start by sealing up your storm panels and weather stripping your windows. This will be one of your biggest tips for sealing out those winter-time drafts that keep the heat pumping in your house. When the cold air is leaking in, not only is it making the room chillier, but it’s also letting the warm air escape. By spending a little extra now to secure your windows you’ll save a lot of on your heating bill in the long run.

Chase down what may be considered the smallest of drafts. Even small drafts can mean a great loss of heat. Use sticks of incense to chase down smaller drafts, especially around power outlets and receptacles. Cracked and semi-dysfunctional plates and receptacles should be replaced. As a temporary fix masking tape does wonders for cracks and holes.

Make sure to insulate your hot water heater. Wrap your water heater in a piece of any fiberglass insulation, cutting away just enough to expose any access points that you may need to get to in case of emergency. This will keep your heater from constantly making up for the heat it loses throughout the day when the tanks gives off its thermal energy to the cool air around it. If you want to go a step further (which will need you to spend a little more money in the short term) you can invest in a timer for your water heater, which will only keep it running at the times you actually may need hot water.

Speaking of hot water, whenever possible washer your clothing on cycles of cold water rather than hot. Most washing machines and reliable detergents clean thoroughly in either hot or cold water, so you don’t have to worry about the old wives tale that “only hot water gets it clean.” When you do wash in cold water, you’re not only conserving on your heating bill throughout the year, but you’re also increasing the lifetime of your clothing! Hot water can actual harm your clothing more than it helps.

Keep yourself warm at night by insulating your mattress. The plastic sheets that protect mattresses against nighttime “accidents” also help to insulate them, retaining your body heat within the bed. Simply place the plastic sheath beneath your normal bedclothes and enjoy a warmer night’s sleep. Keep the heating bill down in your bedroom by also investing in a good electric blanket. This will give you a warm blanket to snuggle up with while keeping your thermostat from working overtime during the night.

Lastly, consider the space that you actually use in your house and consider closing rooms off. If you have a little two bedroom ranch with a child or two, chances are every inch of your home is used quite regularly. However, if you’re newlyweds in a 4 bedroom house without children, there are probably a couple rooms that you can live without for a couple months. Keep their vents shut and the doors closed. Why pay extra to heat rooms that no one uses? Also, if drafts come from the door jams, masking tape is a great sealer that won’t hurt the paint.

Long Island Money & Careers Articles > A Frugal Heating Guide: Tips to Keeping Your Heating Bill In Check

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