“During cold Minnesota winters, being able to heat your home isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity,” according to Senator Amy Klobuchar. Which is why, when that budget-busting energy bill arrives in the mail, many North Oaks residents think desperately of ways to cut them down.
Start with the Basics
If your furnace is dirty you might as well be throwing money into it to burn. According to CBS News, nasty gunk in your furnace filter may add 25 percent more to your heating bill and increase the wear and tear on the furnace.
Not only that, but a dirty furnace may be emitting noxious fumes. If anyone in the family starts experiencing watery eyes and headaches just when the weather cools and you start running the heater, check your furnace’s air filter and change it if it’s dirty.
Easy DIY Projects
By wrapping your hot water pipes you can raise the water’s temperature from 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit, according to John DeSilvia, host of DIY Network's "10 Grand in Your Hand.” This means you can lower the temperature setting on the water heater, which can help lower your energy bill.
DeSilva suggests purchasing pipe sleeves and be sure to buy the ones that are “about 3/4-inch thick or R-4,” he says. It’s an easy DIY project, guaranteed to shave a few dollars off your bill.
Consult with the Pros
About a third of the heat in our homes is lost through drafty doors and windows. If you haven’t checked the caulking or weather stripping lately, you might want to start there. If all is well, consider Low-E window film or even replacing your current windows with Low-E glass. Call a North Oaks window professional for more information.
Finally, if you feel that your energy bills are exorbitant for the amount of heat you actually use, and suspect a problem somewhere, call the utility company and ask them to do an inspection. This is typically a free service.