5 On Your Side

Fight rising heating costs with household maintenance

With some sources predicting that heating costs could rise by as much as 54% this winter, you'll want to use less.

Posted Updated

Monica Laliberte
, WRAL executive producer/5 on Your Side reporter

With some sources predicting that heating costs could rise by as much as 54% this winter, you’ll want to use less.

“Your HVAC system actually uses the most energy in your house, and it’s important to make sure everything is running efficiently and not wasting fuel,” said Dan Wroclowski with Consumer Reports.

For that, you’ll usually need some professional maintenance at least once a year.

But here are some other things to do:

Check your filters. Dirty ones make your unit work harder, so replace them regularly.
Dust the vents to keep air moving easily.
Seal leaks around your doors and windows. “You can easily install new weather stripping and draft blockers around your doors and windows to seal in warm air. For bigger gaps use foam. Cold air can come in through outlets on external walls, so pop in some foam outlet sealers," said Wroclowski.
Consider a smart thermostat. They save energy by using sensors to adjust the temperature when you’re asleep or away.
Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans, so the blades push warm air down can also help.
For even more savings, check with your utility company. For example, Duke Energy offers rebates for energy upgrades.

Consumer Reports has another strategy that could save up to 10 percent on heating costs, and maybe even help you sleep better. Simply lower the thermostat 10 to 15 degrees at night and add a few blankets.


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