By ecoRI News staff
As the temperature outside plummets, our home-heating bills skyrocket. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that almost 65 percent of the energy consumed in the Northeast is used to heat our homes. There are many ways to reduce your home-heating costs, from expensive measures such as re-insulating and replacing old windows, to less dollar-intensive methods like sealing cracks in your home and covering existing windows with plastic sheeting. But the most inexpensive way to save on your heating bill is by far the simplest, and probably won’t require purchasing anything.
Everyone knows that when spending time outdoors during the winter, dressing in layers is essential to staying warm, but why not take your layers inside? Statuses as far ranging as "a bit chilly" to "freezing cold" can be remedied by simply throwing on a hat, sweater, sweatpants, and/or warm socks or slippers. Make this a part of your daily routine by leaving these warm clothes near the door and don them as soon as you come home. Finding your bedroom a little cold? Throw another blanket on the bed.
In addition to bundling up when you’re at home, you can turn your heat way down when you won’t be there. You should be setting your thermostat at least 5 degrees lower when you leave the house. A programmable thermostat can help you keep on top of the ups and downs.
In addition to the lowered carbon output of reducing your home’s heat, there also can be significant cash savings. Up to 3 percent of a home’s heating cost can be eliminated for every degree that a thermostat is lowered.
So break out all of those ugly sweaters that your aunt has given you every Christmas and leave a couple on the coat rack or next to your bed. Your aunt will love that you're wearing her gifts and you’ll love saving a few bucks on heat.