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Archive for Saturday, October 6, 2001

Experts offer tips for beating the bite of winter bills

October 6, 2001

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Ten tips for cutting home heating bills this winter, from the Department of Energy and Owens Corning, the insulation company:

Turn on the humidifier. Additional moisture can boost the heat index in your home, making 68 degrees feel like 76 degrees.

Warm yourself first. Put on a sweater. Each degree you raise the thermostat can boost your energy bill by 3 percent.

Install a programmable thermostat. Then you can reduce the heat while you're sleeping or away at work.

Let the sun shine in. Open window shades on south and west sides of the house during the day, to take advantage of warmth provided by the sun.

Cover windows. Putting a thin layer of plastic over the inside of a window can cut the heat lost there by up to 40 percent.

Change furnace filters monthly. It can boost your heating efficiency by up to 10 percent.

Seal ducts. Use duct tape to seal holes that otherwise inefficiently heat undesired areas of the house, such as a basement.

Plug drafts. Use caulk, seals and weather-stripping around all seams, cracks and openings.

Close vents to guest rooms. You always can open the vents when guests visit.

Add attic insulation. It can help reduce the amount of heat lost through the roof.

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