Lower winter heat costs

(NAPSI) - As the temperature drops during colder months, there are ways to keep heating bills from getting too high.

A Web site celebrity, Lou Manfredini, known as “Mr Fix-It,” from the ourhouse.com Web site, says there are things you can do to lower heating bills, such as:

● Service your heating system every year. Have the unit cleaned and filters changed.

● Install a programmable thermostat. This can be programmed to lower the temperature during the day, when most people work or at night while sleeping.

Outdated thermostats are the weakest link in conserving energy.

● Add weather stripping around windows and doors. This can have a real impact on drafts and conserving energy. Door thresholds, window caulking and plastic window film can save a lot of money this winter.

● Use or install ceiling fans in your home. Because heat rises, running the fans slowly and in reverse will keep warm air circulating, making it more comfortable and reduces the time your furnace runs.

● Check the arrangement of furniture. Many times people put couches and chairs over vents and in front of baseboard radiators decreasing the efficiency of the units. Restricting the airflow can increase the use of furnace or boiler, and ultimately the energy used to heat your home.

● Consider installing a tank-less-water heater. These units work by heating hot water on demand so there’s no stored water that needs to be continuously heated.

● Be smart about the temperature you set in your home. According to the EPA, you’ll save up to three percent on your energy bills, simply by turning down your thermostat one degree.

●Install thermo-pane windows. Multi-pane windows can have R-values of as high as 9.1. The higher the R-value, the more resistant the glass is to losing heat. Conversely, typical single pane glass has an R-value of 1.

● Make sure your ceilings and attic are properly insulated. If there isn’t enough insulation in the space above, your money is going through the roof. Literally. Most ceilings and attic spaces should have at least a 30 rating, although some areas of the country recommend an R-40-50 rating.

● Let the sun be your guide. During the day open up drapes and blinds and let the sun heat your home. At night draw the curtains to keep the heat inside.

●  Bonus Tip

A small label can save you big money. Look for the Energy Star label on your appliances, easily found on washing machines, computers and stereo equipment. This label means the Department of Energy and the EPA have deemed these products as energy efficient.