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Free and low-cost energy-saving tips for the winter

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There are dozens of free and low-cost ways to keep your energy costs under control during the winter heating season. Keep in mind - nearly half of your energy bill in the winter goes toward heating your home. Therefore, maintaining your furnace and keeping the thermostat dialed down are the two most important ways to save.

Here are some ideas to help lower you winter energy bills:

  • Have your furnace maintained annually by a qualified technician and check your air filter monthly. Having a professional inspection of your heating system on a regular basis will help lower your heating bills 3 to 10% as well as maximize the life of your furnace.
  • Consider upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace if your unit is more than 15 years old: Replacing your old heating equipment with ENERGY STAR qualified equipment can cut your annual energy bill by nearly $200. Plus, Vectren will provide a $200 rebate if you purchase a unit that’s at least 92% efficient.
  • Open blinds, shades and draperies to let in the sun’s heat during the day. Remember to close them at night.
  • Make sure vents are not blocked by furniture or drapers to ensure proper air flow.
  • Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan. By changing the direction to clockwise in the winter, the fan will circulate the warm air.
  • Turn off the ceiling fan when not in the room. Ceiling fans warm people, not rooms. If the room is unoccupied, turn off the ceiling fan to save energy.
  • Turn down the thermostat. An optimal setting for improved energy efficiency is at or below 68 degrees. For every degree you turn down the temperature, you could save 1% to 3% on your heating bill.
  • Consider purchasing and installing a programmable thermostat. You can save about $180 a year by properly setting your programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings. Plus, Indiana customers with natural gas service can receive a $20 rebate for installing a new, ENERGY STAR qualified unit.
  • Caulk and weather strip around windows and doors to keep the cold air from escaping. These two simple air sealing techniques—will pay for themselves in energy savings within one year. Click here to watch a how-to video on caulking or click here for the how-to video on weather-stripping.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use. An open damper will allow the warm air to escape.

Vectren does not endorse any particular product or wholesaler


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