A Cold Chill Doesn’t Have to Mean a High Heating Bill

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The seasonal winter chill has arrived, and as usual, there’s a bite in the air on cold days. It’s no wonder that according to the U.S. Department of Energy, space heating is the largest energy expense in the average U.S. home. It accounts for around 45 percent of energy bills.

Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce your heating costs. Here are six ways to cut down on your bill:

1. Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun. Sunlight can help heat your home naturally if you open the curtains on any south-facing windows during the day. Remember to close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

2. Cover Drafty Windows. You can winterize windows by using heavy-duty, clear plastic sheeting to cover your windows. You can put the sheeting on a removable frame or tape it to the inside of your window frames. If you’re not already using them, upgrade to insulating drapes or shades on windows.

3. Adjust Your Thermostat. Keep your thermostat in the lower range of what you find comfortable when you’re home. When you’re out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees. A smart thermostat can help you adjust it remotely. A programmable thermostat can do it automatically.

4. Lower Your Water Heater. You can dial back the temperature level of your water heater to 120° or even lower to save money during the winter months, or all year long.

5. Seal Leaks. Your house may have air leaks around cut-throughs for plumbing, gaps around chimneys or around recessed lights in insulated ceilings. These can be sealed up with the proper use of caulk and insulating foam.

6. Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace. If your fireplace is not in use, keep the damper closed. Otherwise, warm air will escape up the chimney. If you frequently use a fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system to blow warm air back into the room.

A little upfront costs now could save you money for years to come. Following these six tips could help put a dent in your heating costs this winter.

If you should need financing to beef up your home insulation or replace your aging heating system, BancorpSouth can help you with multiple personal financing options. Visit a branch to learn more.