Madison Magazine Holiday 2020 - Page 5

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Simple ways to save on heating costs this winter

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Comfort takes center stage each winter . As people look to stay warm , many may be quick to turn up the thermostat so their entire home is toasty warm . But much like cranking air conditioners during the dog days of summer , turning up the thermostat each time the winter winds begin blowing can prove costly for homeowners . According to estimates from the National Energy Assistance Directors ’ Association , homeowners spent an average of $ 911 on home heating costs in the winter of 2019-20 . The winter of 2020-21 could prove even more expensive , as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to force much of the world to practice social distancing . That means many professionals are still working from home full-time , while even those who aren ’ t are no doubt spending more of their free time at home . All those hours spent at home figure to increase reliance on heaters this winter , which means heating bills are likely to go up as the temperatures go down . Finding ways to save on heating costs will no doubt prove a priority for many homeowners this winter , and the following are some ways to do just that .
• Add insulation . Extra insulation throughout the house can dramatically reduce home heating ( and cooling ) costs . According to the Environmental Protection Agency , adding insulation in attics , crawl spaces and basement rim joists can help homeowners save as much as 15 percent on heating costs .
• Lower the temperature on your water heater . Another way to trim your energy bill this winter is to lower the temperature on your water heater . The U . S . Department of Energy notes that , for every 10 F reduction in temperature on their water heaters , homeowners can save between 3 and 5 percent on their water heating costs .
• Close the flue on your fireplace . Fireplaces can keep a home ’ s inhabitants warm in winter , but only when they ’ re in use . When they ’ re not being used , fireplaces can allow heat to escape a home . When the fireplace is not being used , close the flue to prevent heat from escaping the house . Keeping all windows and doors closed throughout the day is another way to prevent unnecessary heat loss .
• Have your HVAC system serviced before winter begins . Inefficient HVAC systems cost homeowners considerable amounts of money each year . Annual maintenance performed by a certified HVAC professional can ensure filters are clean and operating at peak efficiency , saving homeowners the costly trouble of having to turn up the thermostat to overcome dirty systems . Home heating costs figure to increase this winter as people spend more time at home . Various simple strategies can help homeowners stay warm without overpaying to heat their homes this winter .

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HOLIDAY 2020 Madison Magazine 5