(RightWing.org) – Americans are suffering the long-term impact of rising energy costs. The winter months are particularly difficult for impoverished inner-city residents who face the choice to either “heat or eat.” However, there are some ways to help lower heating costs.
Energy Star, a government-backed program administered by the EPA, has a webpage providing valuable tips for “warm savings.” For instance, it points out that sealing air leaks around windows and doorways and adding insulation to easily accessible places could save you as much as 10% on your monthly heating bill.
Likewise, checking your heater’s air filter once a month and cleaning it as necessary will help the unit provide optimal heat with maximum savings. Energy Star recommends checking or replacing the filter every three months at a minimum.
The Federal Trade Commission also has some good advice to help you save money on heating your home. Something as simple as lowering the temperature on your heater’s thermostat by a few degrees can lead to huge savings.
The commission also recommends contacting your utility company and see if they offer a budget-billing program. This program doesn’t lower your overall cost to heat your home. However, it lets you spread your energy cost evenly throughout the year, decreasing your usual winter spike.
Benefits.gov, one of the federal government’s first web-based initiatives, has some simple, common-sense ways to save money on your heating bill. Using sunlight is a great way to keep more of your hard-earned greenbacks. Open your shades and curtains during daylight hours. The sunshine will help warm your home, lowering the stress on your heater.
Another great way to lower your monthly heating bill is by adding an extra blanket to your bed. Doing so allows you to lower your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees, cutting your overall heating costs by as much as 10%.
Other tips listed on those sites include wearing socks and sweats at home, sleeping in long-legged and sleeved pajamas, and using space heaters. You can also cook more at home during winter.
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