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Reducing Heating CostsCold weather is steadily making its way to Greenville, and if you think you have to choose between staying warm and paying an arm and a leg for energy, you’ll be happy to hear that you can reduce heating costs this winter with four simple tasks.

Set Back the Thermostat

Lowering the thermostat setting by 10 degrees while you’re asleep and away from home can result in considerable energy savings. For every degree you lower the thermostat for an eight-hour period, you can save up to 3 percent on heating bills.

A programmable thermostat makes this easy. Program it to 68 degrees while you’re at home and to 55 degrees when you’re at work and asleep. You can program it so your house is warm again before you get home or wake up. A programmable thermostat can help you save a bundle on your energy bill without having to obsess over the thermostat.

Lower the Water Heater Temperature

The factory setting for most water heater thermostats is 140 degrees, but you can save about 6 percent on water heating costs by reducing it to 120 degrees, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). Not only will you reduce heating costs, but the lower setting also helps prevent sediment buildup and corrosion in the tank and reduce the risk of scalding.

Seal Air Leaks

Air leaks in your home make the heating system work extra hard to keep you warm. Seal air leaks around windows and doors with caulk and weatherstripping. Use expandable caulk on larger gaps around pipes and vents that lead outside. Install precut foam gaskets behind outlet and light switch plates on exterior walls.

Add Insulation to the Attic

Inadequate attic insulation can drive up heating costs and cause ice dams on the roof in the winter. Shore up the attic insulation to 12 to 15 inches of R-38 to stay toasty warm at lower thermostat settings.

For more expert advice about how you can reduce heating costs this winter, please contact J & J Mechanical. We take care of the home comfort needs of Greenville area homeowners.

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