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6 Tips For Cutting Winter Heating Costs

cut heating costs

Heating your house during the cold winter months can be a pricey necessity. And with El Niño casting a colder-than-normal winter on the southern states this year, taking the necessary measures to keep your heating bill as low as possible is important. These six tips can help.

 

1.     Seal All Air Leaks

By properly sealing all air leaks, you can save 10% or more on heating bills; that’s typically anywhere from $50 to $170 a year in savings. Drafts can occur in the following areas:

  • Electrical boxes: electrical outlets in exterior walls are known for being drafty without proper insulation. Remove all cover plates and fill the gaps around the boxes with acrylic latex caulk. Replace the foam gasket and the cover plate before using the outlet.
  • Holes in exterior walls: pipes, gas line and electrical cables frequently have gaps due that lead to drafty air leaks. Seal these gaps with expanding foam.
  • Worn weatherstripping: did you know that 7 to 12 percent of heat loss comes from windows and doors? By replacing worn and torn weatherstripping and caulking around doors and windows, you can cut back significantly on lost heat.

 

2.     Reverse Your Ceiling Fan

Contrary to popular belief, ceiling fans can actually help keep your home warm in the winter. If you set your fan to spin clockwise on a low speed, you can push the warm air that’s trapped at the ceiling down, and spread it throughout your home. By following this simple tip, you could save as much at 15% on your heating bill.

 

3.     Lower Your Hot Water Temp

There is a good chance that your water heater is factory-set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but the Department of Energy suggests to dial back the temp on your water heater to 120 degrees.  Not only will that be sufficient for taking showers, doing laundry and washing dishes, but you can also save 6 to 10 percent on water heating costs as well.

 

4.     Buy A Portable Furnace

Consider buying a portable space heater and set it in frequently used rooms, like the living room or the kitchen. Even though the rest of your home might be cooler, the places you’ll be spending most time will be warm and you can turn down your thermostat.

 

5.     Get A New Thermostat

Outdated thermostats can actually be costing you money. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat. By turning down the temperature 10-15 degrees for eight hours a day – like when you’re at work or while you’re sleeping – you can save significantly on your monthly heating bill. Better yet- programmable thermostats are incredibly affordable, with models starting around $25.

 

6.     Open Blinds

Keeping blinds and curtains shut during shaded or nighttime hours can significantly reduce heat from escaping through leaky windows. However, by opening these blinds when the sun is shining through your windows, you can use the natural light to heat your home. This added heat increases the temperature inside your home and prevents your heater from overworking.

 

For more information on how to properly care for and insure you home, visit Heuer Insurance Agency. Since 1929, Heuer has been serving homeowners in the Reno, NV area with reliable insurance coverage and friendly service. To learn more tips for keeping your home in good condition, visit the Heuer Insurance blog.

 

8 Ways To Stay Cool and Save Money

Stay cool & Save Money

Did you know that the average residential electric bill costs more that $110 per month? What else could you do with that money? Nice dinners out, airplane tickets, weekend activities… the list goes on and on. Save yourself some money this summer by following these 8 easy tips and cut costs on your monthly air conditioning.

 

Cut Your AC Bills

 

  1. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees. Experts say that for every two degrees you raise your thermostat, you’ll decrease your cooling costs by nearly 10 percent.
  2. Use drapes or curtains in the heat of the day. Keeping the direct sun from streaming through your windows will help your home stay significantly cooler.
  3. Regularly change your HVAC filter. Air conditioning systems with dirty filters tend to use 5 to 10 percent more energy.
  4. Make minimum use of your oven and stove. These appliances heat up your kitchen to unbearable temperatures and require your air conditioning to work harder.
  5. Change your light bulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs. Not only do LEDs save you money and last for years, but they also generate less heat than incandescent bulbs.
  6. Line-dry your laundry outside. The benefits of this tip are many: your clothes get freshly air-dried, you save money on electricity from your dryer and you don’t add extra heat to your already warm home.
  7. Use fans. Whether they are ceiling fans, stand fans or tower fans, you’ll be able to use a lot less energy and add cool circulation in your home.
  8. Fully shutdown all unused electronic devices. Since many electronics have transformers, they put out a substantial amount of heat. Turn off any TV, entertainment system, computer, etc. not in use.

 

For more money saving tips or to learn more about ways to responsibly insure and care for your home visit Heuer Insurance Agency, today.

10 Tips To Help You Save Money Now

save money

Are you looking for ways to keep a little extra money in the bank? Maybe you want to save up for a trip to the Bahamas or maybe you just want to pay off your student loans faster—either way, there are plenty of easy ways to start saving now. Here are 10 ideas to get you started:

1. Track Your Expenses

Do you know how much you spent on coffee last month? Set aside a month to track your expenses carefully. Keep track of every single thing you buy. At the end of the month, take a look at your spending habits. It is quite possible you’re spending more than you realized. Tracking your expenses can help you find problem areas where you are wasting money and areas that could just use a little improvement.

2. Learn To Cook

Eating home cooked meals is healthier and cheaper. If you don’t know the basics, talk to a friend or take a few cooking classes. You’ll learn a new skill and save money every day.

3. Plan Meals Ahead Of Time

It is almost always easier to order pizza if you don’t have something planned and prepared for dinner. At the beginning of each week, sit down and plan out your meals. You’ll save money by eating out less often.

4. Create A Shopping List And Stick To It

Whether you are shopping for groceries or birthday presents, a shopping list can help you save money. Before you go out, write down everything you need to buy. When you get to the store, stick to your list, even if you see the perfect new pair of shoes.

5. Pay Attention To Your Utility Bill

You can’t get out of paying your utility bill, but you can make it cheaper. Avoid running large appliances like dishwashers and clothes dryers during peak hours, shut off the lights when you leave the house, and invest in a programmable thermostat.

6. Buy In Bulk

Items like toilet paper, deodorant, and trash bags will stay good forever. When they go on sale, stock up.

7. Stay Home

Instead of going out for drinks with friends, invite them over and play games together. Everyone will save money and you’ll still have a great time.

8. Pack A Lunch

Pack a lunch for work at least 3 times a week. You’ll save money and you’ll probably get a healthier meal than you would if you went out.

9. Make Smart Substitutions

Switch to generic brand cereal, go to matinee movies, drink water instead of soda, and go hiking for your next date. You don’t have to give up the things you like—just find cheaper alternatives.

10. Be Patient

Whenever you decide to buy something unnecessary, wait 30 days. This gives you time to save up so you can buy the item without getting in more debt, and it gives you a chance to re-think your purchase.

Saving money is all about making little changes. Use the tips above to start saving money now.

 

Tips for Saving Money on Vacation

We all wish that we could have more vacation time, but when one vacation drains your piggy bank of its innards, there isn’t much you can do. This is why it is important to save a little extra for that next trip when you are on vacation. Here are some tips to help you do just that!

Timing is crucial

If you are really looking to save money, it is best to go when most people won’t be there. Disney land can be exciting during spring break, but it can also break the bank.  The same goes for most any hot-spot you go to. It’s important to Choosing to go during the school year will save you loads of cash on hotels that need to be filled by paying customers.

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