The Heat Is On To Save

by Brandi Savitt – revised November 10th, 2014

Simple Ways to Cut Your Energy Bill

We’re all bracing for another epically cold winter, but there are some simple measures you can take to stay toasty and keep your energy use under control.  With a little Fab & Fru prep, you can reduce your carbon foot print and have a lower heating bill to prove it!

Buy a Programmable Thermostat – & Use It!

While it may cost a few bucks, installing a programmable thermostat is one of the best ways to reduce your energy consumption.  Why pay for what you’re not using?  The key is to program your system to a slightly lower temperature when everyone is out of the house during the day, and raise the temp 30-60 minutes before you get home in the evening.

For every degree you lower the thermostat during heating season, you’ll save between 1 and 3% on your heating bill!

Change Your Furnace Filter

How often do we think about this one?  But dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand.  Mark your calendars for a monthly filter change, and not only will you reduce your energy use, you might just add a few extra years onto the life of your furnace!

Make a Draft Dodger Snake

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts waste 5% to 30% of your energy use.  But by making or buying a decorative draft snake, you can easily eliminate the cold air coming from under a door or window and reducing the temperature inside.  Just take an old knee sock or create a tube out of some fun fabric.  Fill it with pillow stuffing, sand, or fresh kitty litter, then stitch up the ends and that’s it!  In addition to being practical, this is also a great project for kids.

Change the Direction of Your Fans

Ever turn your ceiling fan on in the winter?  In 1906, the maker of Hunter fans figured out that if a ceiling fan had a motor that could produce an alternating current, then ceiling fans could be used practically in both the summer AND winter.

While fans create cool breezes, flipping the switch to reverse (if your system permits) so the fan rotates clockwise will actually circulate warmer air.  Heat rises, so air pooled near the ceiling is warmer, and when a fan spins clockwise, that warmer air circulates back into the living space – cutting your heating costs as much as 10%!

Cover Your Windows in Plastic

While it sounds ugly and confining, sealing your windows with plastic doesn’t have to be!  For just a few dollars, pick up a window insulation kit at your local hardware store.  If properly installed, window plastic is essentially invisible, but it adds a fantastic buffer against drafts and the air that seeps through the extra sill space of your windows.  If you don’t have storm windows, sealing your windows can help save you BIG!

Make Sure Your Chimney Flue Stays Closed

If you have a fireplace, make sure you close your flue properly when you are not building a fire.  An open flue is a giant wind tunnel.  If it doesn’t close well, cold air will just flow into your home.  Getting a broken flue fixed will not only save you a ton on your heating bill, it’s important for fire safety too!

Here’s to staying warm without wasting energy this winter!
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One Response to “The Heat Is On To Save”

  1. louie says:

    Most people don’t pay attention to their chimney flue and if it’s out of repair a simple solution is to cut a piece of thick cardboard, from an old box, and place it in the open flu position, to seal this space off. Cardboard is a really good insulator and will suit you well in this situation. Also, at zero cost, it certainly is a simple a frugal fix.

Any Thoughts?