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How to Reduce Your Winter Heating Bill

 

 

December 9, 2013 (2013-14)
 

Contacts:
  Susan Ackerman, Chair, 503 378-6611, Stephen Bloom, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
 
Salem, OR.  The cold snap in Oregon likely will not be the last we will experience this winter. Cold weather means higher heating bills. However, there are things you can do to keep in check the cost of heating your home or business according to the Oregon Public Utility Commission.
 
Use Furnaces and Heaters Wisely
 
  • Set your thermostat as low as it is comfortable. Each degree you lower your thermostat can cut your heating costs between one and three percent. A common strategy is to lower thermostat settings to 68 degrees. The lower you set it, the more you'll save.
  • Turn your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees during your sleeping hours or while you’re away, to save even more on your heating bill.
  • Use a programmable thermostat with your furnace to adjust the setting while you sleep or no one is home.
  • Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month, or as needed.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
 
Weatherize - air leaks waste energy dollars year-round.
 
  • Caulking and weather stripping keeps warm air in during the winter.
  • Add insulation around heat ducts when they are located in unconditioned spaces such as attics, crawl spaces, and garages.
  • If you see holes or separated joints in your ducts, hire a professional to repair them.
  • Check to see that your fireplace chimney damper is tightly closed, when it is not in use.
  • During the heating season, keep draperies and shades on south-facing windows open during the day to allow sunlight to enter your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
 
Everyday Tips to Save Energy
 
These no-cost or low-cost tips can help you save energy and money all year round.
 
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lights.
  • Air-dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  • Use a microwave oven instead of a conventional electric range or oven.
  • Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and VCRs, into power strips and turn power strips off when equipment is not in use.
  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater; 115° is comfortable for most uses.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
 
Many of the tips for saving energy at home are adapted from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Savers Consumer Tips website and their Energy Savers booklet (this link is no longer active). (For a Spanish language version of the Energy Savers page and booklet, visit Ahorro de Energía: Energy Savers in Español.) (Spanish version link is no longer valid)
 
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