Heating your home can cost the average family $750 a year according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That is a major ouch for a cash strapped family. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can lower those bills.
Both you and your home can bundle up this winter. Start with the windows. Most home improvement stores sell plastic sheeting that you can shrink with a hair dryer. This will help the plastic seal around your windows, preventing heat loss more efficiently. You can wear a t-shirt or sweatshirt (sweater for the more fashion conscious).
Change The Thermostat
According to statistics released by EnergyStar, you can save $100 or more by changing the setting on your thermostat by two degrees, warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. A tip I read a while back suggested adjusting the thermostat an additional two degrees while you are at work. I have been doing this for about a year now and my bills have dropped year round. I would estimate that tip alone has saved my about $15 a month. Another suggestion is to install a programmable thermostat so you do not have to remember to change the settings each time you go to work.
Regularly replacing your furnace filter will prolong the life of your furnace, reduce allergens and dust, and help it work more efficiently, saving you money. It can be hard to remember to check the filter, though. Why not look at your filter every time you get a utility bill? Also, look into reusable filters. They will hit you in the wallet at first, but pay off after about two years.
Check The Ducts
Leaky ducts cost forced-air heating units efficiency. Twenty percent of a units efficiency according to EnergyStar statistics. You can crawl around under your home or in the attic and seal the ducts or call an HVAC company to do it for you.
For more information, try going to this resource page on the EnergyStar website.