Turn Down Your Thermostat and Your Heating Costs

The price to stay warm this winter is going up. In an October 12th article by Reuters, the author notes that “U.S. consumers can expect to pay up to 28% more to heat their homes this winter than last year due to surging fuel costs and slightly colder weather, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected in its winter fuels outlook on Wednesday.” Whether you heat with gas, oil, or electric, it’ll cost more to stay warm this year.

In upcoming posts we’ll discuss several ways reduce home heating costs. One major way, recommended at https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/programmable-thermostats, is to use a programmable thermostat to reduce the furnace setting while you are away or in bed. In the article they state that “You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.” Other sources estimate that setting back just 5 degrees for 8 hours can save up to 10%. Likewise, two setback periods of 5 degrees for a total of 16 hours can reduce costs up to 20%.

Programmable thermostats cost anywhere from $20 for a basic model, to $250 for a smart, wi-fi model. I use a Honeywell 7-day programmable unit that is well on the low side of that range. If you can’t afford new thermostat, or to have one installed, create a routine to change the thermostat manually. Programmable thermostats don’t always work well with heat pumps or radiant heat systems, so the first step is to do your research before purchasing any new hardware.

Thanks for reading.
And remember to take the next step…

PS: I’d love to hear any cost-saving tips you may have as well.

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