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keep cold air out of houseIn what is turning out to be a particularly brutal winter season with frigid temps and harsh weather lingering in the mid-Atlantic region, home heating systems are forced to work harder.  As a homeowner, this means you are faced with higher energy consumption which translates to higher electric bills. This is likely the case even if your primary heating source is gas or oil since your heating system likely uses an electric starter and fans to keep your home warm.

Add to this the spike in energy usage with shorter days necessitating more lighting and more time indoors increasing the use of appliances and electronics during winter months. The consequence is greater household expense at this time of the year.

What can you do now to lower your bills?

There are simple things you can do to reduce your energy consumption for the remainder of the winter.  The following are some easy steps you can take right now to see a change in your utility bills.

  • Close the drapes at night. During the day, only open those that receive direct sunlight.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use to close out the cold air.
  • Seal window and door leaks with caulk or weather stripping.
  • Turn your thermostat down. Lowering your setting by just one degree could noticeably reduce your bill.
  • Dress with extra layers to stay warm or wrap up in a blanket while you’re relaxing to be more comfortable without turning up the thermostat.
  • Turn off lights when you aren’t using them and schedule outdoor lighting with a timer.
  • Change furnace filters regularly so that your heating system performs efficiently.
  • Wrap exposed pipes and water heaters that are in unheated spaces.
  • Be sure that curtains and furniture do not block heat registers and return air ducts.

 A few home improvement projects to lower your heating bills

  • If you have less than six inches of insulation, consider adding more to prevent heat loss.
  • If you have an older heating system, have it inspected and explore the possibility of upgrading to a more efficient system.
  • If your thermostat is not located on an inside wall and away from windows and doors, have it moved to avoid cold drafts that can cause the thermostat to keep the system running when it should not.

Here at our Laurel, MD agency, our highly experienced Community Insurance Services of Maryland agents are always glad to speak with you about any insurance needs. Before you upgrade your home’s heating system or make any other significant changes, why not contact us to be sure you will continue to have optimum homeowners insurance coverage?

Friday, 02 February 2018 13:12

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