There is a familiar chill in the air that, as Wisconsinites, we know can only mean one thing…our heating bills are about to go up! Take the bite out of high heating costs this winter by following a few of these suggestions offered by We Energies:
- Maintain the furnace. Clean your furnace filters monthly or replace if necessary. A clean unit runs more efficiently.
- Use insulation. Insulate your attic to an R-value of 38 for a gas-heated home and 50 for an electrically heated home; your walls to an R-value of 19; and your sill box (upper portion of your basement walls) to an R-value of 10. Proper insulation allows you to use less energy to keep your home warm.
- Insulate around windows and doors. Weather-strip and/or caulk all areas of noticeable leaks around windows and doors. Removable caulking is a good option for windows that you open in summer but not in winter.
- Change your thermostat settings. In the winter, set your thermostat at 60° F when you are sleeping or gone. Set the thermostat to 68° F when you are at home. This can save 10 percent or more on your heating bills every winter.
- Turn down the thermostat when away. If you are going to be away for an extended period of time, turn your thermostat down to save energy but never lower than 40° F. If you have delicate houseplants, keep the setting at 50° F or higher.
- Let the sun in. The sun’s energy can have a noticeable effect on the temperature in your home, especially from windows facing south and west. Keep window shades and drapes open during winter months to let in the sun’s radiant heat.
- Purchase Energy Star windows. When installing new windows, select, at a minimum, double-paned (double-glazed) thermal windows. With existing single-paned windows, make sure you use storm windows during the winter months.