The Cold's Here...How to Cut Down on Your Heating Bill
With temperatures like these, electric meters seem to be spinning faster and faster, and bills are going higher and higher. To stop those high heating costs, Tim Carter's favorite weapon...is the caulk gun. Showing off his selection at Carter Brothers Ace Hardware on south Virginia, Tim told us, "For those small cracks around the windows, and you can feel the draft coming in, a little bit of caulk goes a long ways. The caulk gun packs a lot of heat. Hey, you want the biggest bang for your buck, you want to save money, caulk pays for itself in a month."
Electric costs go up in winter, and of course you want to lower those bills. But you'd be surprised how much energy you use when you're away from home. There are ways not to pay while you're away…namely, the programmable thermostat. Tim says to "Have it kick on a half hour before you get home from work. You're not going to know any different because by the time you get there it's going to be. It's a big break on the power bill."
His next favorite penny saver: foam tape for your doors. He showed us just how easy it is, sealing the gaps around one door frame in just 2 minutes: "Seal that gap, so when I close it, we are not going to have any air come through there anymore."
And install a door weeper for the bottom of the door. As he told us, "My investment for this door sweep would be $5.99. I would probably recoup that in a day."
For even bigger savings, keep replacing your air filter. Tim said "If you don't change these, you're going to get sediment buildup, and your furnace is going to work harder."
There's also the danger of pipes bursting. Tim says it happens a lot in this area, with a high cost. "Oh it's thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars if you don't catch the break. You know, if it happens in the middle of the night." He says the solution is cheap and easy to do, with heat tape and foam covers that just snap over the pipe.
No, you can't change the weather. But you can prevent the big freeze from emptying your wallet.