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Fighting Your Heating Bill

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It's almost that time of year again, the time of year when we glance at our outrageous heating bills and swear the decimal point is in the wrong place. Heat, unfortunately, can cost an arm, a leg, and a toe or two. It's not an expense we can get rid of, though.

Those of us who live in winter prone climates can't live in unheated houses. It's not a luxury; it's a necessity. Luckily, there are ways to reduce your heating bill. You won't make it go away altogether, but the price of heat might just make you a little less hot under the collar.

Insulate, insulate, insulate: A house that doesn't have proper insulation is a cold front waiting to happen. It's not only the livable areas of your house that need insulation, it's also the areas you never enter, such as your attic and basement.

Cold air seeping in through the attic and basement will find its way into your living room, bedrooms, and kitchen. If you aren't sure your house has proper insulation, schedule an appointment with a professional. It's better to be safe than left out — or in — the cold.

Dress Warmer: It sounds so simple, dressing warm while indoors to reduce heating bills, yet so many people don’t do it. Believing it's more comfortable to lounge around in a t-shirt, shorts, and fuzzy bunny slippers than long pants and a wool sweater, those dwelling inside often dress likes it's summer even when it's winter.

If you refuse to wear warm clothes while inside, at least wear socks. A pair of thick socks can do wonders for your body temperature.

Increase Humidity: Usually, people aren't fans of humidity. No one likes a weather factor that feels like being locked in a stuffy bathroom, but humidity helps keep heat in, allowing you to keep the thermostat on low.

Since heaters often dry out the house and leave it void of humidity, placing a humidifier in commonly used rooms can help make them nice and cozy. Don't increase the humidity too much, though. You don't want your house to turn into Florida.

Seal the Deal: Cracks, no matter how small, are a great way for Old Man Winter to sneak into your house. For this reason, using sealant, caulk, and storm windows is imperative. You want to keep heat in, not try to heat the whole neighborhood.

It's also a good idea to leave your drapes and curtains open during the day. The heat from the sun can help keep your house naturally warm.

Get an Electronic Thermostat: These days, most thermostats are electronic. If you have an old one or live in an old house, your thermostat may be a little outdated.

Because electronic thermostats are programmable to adjust to temperature fluctuations, you can spare yourself extra degrees, and extra billing, by using one. If yours is outdated and not electronic or not programmable, then simply get a new one – stat!

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