Budgeting tips for the New Year
One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is getting spending under control, and a good way to do that is to cut your utility bills. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Saver page is packed with tips to save money on home heating and cooling, water heating and more. Even better, some of them are free!
Save Money on Your Utility Bills
One tip that doesn’t cost a penny is taking advantage of the sun. Open curtains on south facing windows during sunny days and let in all that free solar energy. There’s a reason cats are attracted to sunbeams, especially in cold weather. Be sure to close them at night to keep out the cold.
Replacing drafty windows saves money long term, but costs money upfront. If you can’t replace, use sheets of heavy duty, clear plastic and double sided tape to create a barrier. Make sure the plastic is pulled tight and use a hair dryer to shrink it even tighter. Double the insulating factor with tight fitting, insulated drapes. Storm panels added to single pane windows can reduce winter heat loss by 50%.
A programmable thermostat makes it easy to lower the temperature indoors when no one is home, and raise it again before everyone comes back. Try lowering the “stay home” temperature a few degrees and bundle up with cozy sweaters and socks. Fleece blankets are lightweight, warm and perfect for cuddling up while watching TV.
If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping it open is the same as keeping a window open; money literally goes up the chimney. If it never gets used, consider plugging and sealing the flue. Install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange that blows warmed air into the room. Check the caulking around the fireplace and add more if necessary.
Turn down the temperature on your water heater to 120°. Not only does this save energy, but it prevents scalding. Wrap the heater in a water heater blanket for even more energy efficiency and savings. They cost around $20 and can save between $20-45 every year.
Take care of your furnace! If you’ve ever lost power during a winter storm, you know how miserable life is when the heat is gone. Change filters on a regular basis and arrange for scheduled inspections and cleanings of the furnace and ductwork. Make sure there’s a carbon monoxide detector installed nearby.
Duct Cleaning Services and Cost
If you live in the Las Vegas area and need your ducts maintained, call on the professionals at ServiceMaster by Rebel. They’ll remove the dust from both residential and commercial ductwork, ensuring that your furnace will continue to work hard to keep you cozy in the cold weather.
The average cost to have ductwork professionally cleaned ranges between $300-500, depending on the size of the home and the ductwork configuration.