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8 surefire ways to conserve heat this winter

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Stay warm or save money? You can do both this winter by conserving indoor heat. According the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the largest energy expense in an average U.S. home is heating, accounting for 45% of the home’s energy bill.

Here are eight ways to keep your bill down while enjoying a comfortably warm home:

1. Open your curtains and drapes during the day to let the sun naturally heat your home, and close them at night to retain warmth.

2. Use space heaters, also called point-of-use heaters, to supplement heat in an individual room to avoid cranking up the thermostat. To ensure safety, every home should have an operational carbon monoxide detector.

3. Install a programmable thermostat to save an estimated 10 percent annually on heating and cooling costs. This device allows home temperatures to be pre-set, using less energy when the house is empty or people are sleeping, and more when residents are home and awake.

4. Insulate your walls and attic to retain heat. Up to 25 percent of a home’s heat is lost through a home’s small cracks and holes. Add weather-stripping around doors and windows to prevent heat loss.

5. Dial down the temperature setting on your hot water heater to 120-degrees, from the factory setting of 140.

6. Set ceiling fans to spin clockwise to blow the rising hot air down into the living areas.

7. Make sure furniture is not blocking the heat vents to allow for optimum circulation.

8. If you need to replace your heating system, improve the efficiency of your house first. This will allow you to purchase a smaller unit, saving you money on the upgrade and operating costs.

Dowe & Wagner : 11215 Commercial Street, Richmond, IL 60071 : 815.678.3000 : http://doweandwagner.com/

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