Cranking up the heat is an easy way to stay warm in the winter. But did you know with every degree you raise the thermostat, that pushes up your heating costs by 3%? Energy.gov recommends keeping it at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and although one afternoon of extra heat isn’t going to make a big difference, over time you may end up with sticker shock at the mailbox. These simple tips will help you keep your thermostat low — along with your costs.
Adjust for asleep and away times
Dialing back your thermostat by 7-10 degrees F for 8 hours a day can save you up to 10% off your heating bills. So crank it down before you leave for work or go to sleep. Set a reminder on your phone, or invest in a programmable thermostat to help you save even more. If you get a programmable thermostat, check it every few days to make sure it's not stuck on a "hold" setting.
Generate some heat of your own
When watching TV, stay warm with an extra blanket while sipping tea or hot chocolate. If you're still chilly, pull on your fuzzy socks and a stocking cap. You can also put your oven to work by making a pot of chili and a pan of cornbread. Of course, nothing beats getting active. Go out for a run or dust off that treadmill and start jogging.
Save energy and lose weight
This tip is probably only for the extremely disciplined. Set your thermostat to 60-62 degrees F. Not only will you save money, but you'll also lose weight. Why? Because you have to burn more calories to keep warm, sometimes to the tune of 150 calories a day.
Since heating your home amounts to 42% of your annual utility bill, heat bills are just something you can't avoid. Budget for those heating bills, pull up your blanket, and try to take pleasure in feeling cozy when the weather is awful outside.