• By Elizabeth Coots, Extension Agent

Family and Consumer Sciences -Ways to save on winter heating costs

With the winter we have had thus far, chances are you’ve seen at least one or two high heating bills. While home heating costs can put a strain on wallets during the winter, certain things can be done to save money on these expenses while still keeping a home warm.

Sunlight, even in the winter, is a great way to add natural, free warmth to a home. Open the blinds and curtains during the day, particularly on south-facing walls as they get the most exposure to the sun. As the sun sets, close them to help trap in the warmth.

Leaks in windows and doors can allow warm air to escape and cold air to come inside. Check the house for air leaks and fill gaps and cracks with caulk or insulation. Air can also escape through the chimney. When not using it for warmth, close the fireplace’s damper to keep in warmth. Use area rugs on tile, wood or laminate floors to help trap in heat.

Turn the thermostat down when leaving the house for work or other extended periods of time. This keeps from paying for heat that is not being used. Upon return, set the thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting. For every degree the thermostat is lower, the savings is about three percent on the heating costs. Wear layers of clothing inside and add extra blankets to beds to help stay warmer at a lower temperature.

For more money-saving tips, contact the Woodford County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

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