WASHINGTON - Opening winter energy bills can be painful, but it's not difficult to lower them.
Here are quick and easy recommendations from the Alliance To Save Energy:
- Don't block heating vents with furniture.
- Adjust ceiling fan blades to circulate clockwise to push warm air off ceilings toward walls.
- Change furnace filters as frequently as once a month.
- Make sure fireplace flues are closed tightly.
Energy saving measures that may take a little more effort include sealing cracks with caulk or weather stripping and installing sufficient attic insulation.
Programmable thermostats can cut heating costs up to 10 percent. but they're no longer given an ENERGY STAR rating from the Environmental Protection Agency.
"People weren't using them properly so they couldn't be guaranteed to lower your energy costs," says Alliance to Save Energy spokesperson Ronnie Kweller.
When set correctly, Kewller says programmable thermostats lower a home's temperature by a few degrees when occupants are asleep or away.
Lowering a home's water heater thermostat is another near effortless way to save on energy bills. Water heaters are the second biggest energy drain in a home after heating and air conditioning, according to U.S. Department of Energy.
Kweller says 120 degrees is sufficient to be sanitary for cleaning clothes and dishes and is comfortable for showers.
How to set your ceiling fan for winter:
How to Set Ceiling Fan Direction for Winter -- powered by ehow
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