-- As an arctic chill grips much of the country, home heating costs are soaring. The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts they could spike as much as 32 percent this winter. That could increase even more if temperatures continue to drop below the current forecast.
So how can consumers save on heating bills this winter?
Tip 1: Turn down your thermostat. For every degree you drop the thermostat you can save 5 percent on heating costs, according to California Energy Commission’s Consumer Energy Center.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day can save around 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills.
Tip 2: Keep the heat inside. Scott Fisher, co-founder of Ciel Power LLC tells ABC News, “One of the simplest things we can do that most homeowners can do is simply replace the existing incandescent bulbs with LED retrofit kits.”
For as little as $15 LED retrofit kits will keep warm air from seeping out of the house and use only a fraction of the energy of an average light bulb.
Tip 3: Weather-proof. Using a weatherstrip or caulk to seal doors and windows can have a huge savings impact on your heating bill, for a relatively inexpensive cost. And if your home has an attic, be sure to use a weather strip around that door as well.
Tip 4: Check your fireplace. The DOE suggests keeping your fireplace damper closed unless there is a fire burning, as it’s like having a window wide open during the winter. Alternatively if you have a fireplace you never use – plug and seal the chimney flue to keep warm air from escaping.
Tip 5: Close your drapes. Even simply closing the curtains and drapes can help to further insulate your windows keeping the warm air in and the cold air out further reducing your energy cost.