How to stay warm and save money on utility bills this winter
There are some good ways to stay warm for less money this winter, including the use of technology to control the thermostat in your home.
Frank Vetri, energy efficiency expert with Public Service Electric and Gas, says programmable thermostats can be turned down when you are away or asleep.
"They even have some cool technology that allows you to set it so that when your phone is a certain distance away from your thermostat, it automatically turns itself down," he said.
"Lowering your thermostat by just one degree could save you up to 3 percent on your heating bill. And if you are comfortable going a little bit further, you could continue to save energy and feel just as comfortable. I recommend lowering your thermostat while you are in the house by a few degrees. And then when you are away from the home, there is no reason to continue to heat that house as though you were home."
Also, according to Vetri, "one of the most important things to do at this time of year is to have your furnace cleaned and tuned." That helps prevent deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
Vetri says sealing up drafts around doors and windows will also keep the cold outside.
"Essentially, warm air rises. We all know that. It rises through your home, and seeps through the cracks and crevices in your attic and out through your roof. So essentially, you are heating your neighborhood if you do not air seal and insulate properly."
Adding insulation to attics and basements makes for a better cold weather shield.
Some other keep-warm tips:
— Open your curtains and blinds to allow the sun to heat your home. At night, close them to keep the cold from drafts at bay.
— Move furniture away from heating sources so that hot air can better circulate through a room.
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