Forget about high prices at the gas pump. This winter, heating bills will be much more devastating to the already-struggling average American.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the average American household will pay $1,182 for heat this winter – up 20 percent from last winter!
At a time when the economy is shaky at best and the cost of living keeps rising, many Americans will feel the pain of fuel poverty during the approaching cold weather months.
Fortunately, with a small investment of time and money, you can dramatically lower your heating bills.
First, inspect your home for drafts, especially around doors and windows. Weather stripping will help keep warm air from escaping. Some people use duct tape or plastic sheeting on older windows.
Make sure that you have adequate insulation, especially in the attic. Remember: heat rises. A poorly insulated attic will lead to much lost heat. You may also need to put weather stripping around your attic door.
Open up shades and drapes during the day to let warm sunlight into your home, but keep windows and doors closed tightly. Move furniture away from cold walls and toward the center of rooms.
Don’t heat your entire home if you only spend time in one or two rooms. Keep the thermostat as low as possible, and heat primary living spaces with space heaters.
Humidifiers will allow you to keep the thermostat lower, too. They will not only help you to maintain moist, healthy skin and sinuses during winter, but they will also make the air feel warmer because water vapor holds onto heat better.