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    There are easier ways to save on your heating bill than shivering through winter. Try these tips to keep your home warm and energy efficient.  

     

    Free

    Coffee by the window in winter
    • First, get a sense of your energy use now - Compare your energy use to similar homes in your area and see what you can do to save more energy and lower your monthly bill. Complete a free HomeCheck® Online assessment to get a personalized breakdown of your energy use. Plus, Iowa and Illinois customers can receive a free kit with energy efficiency products to use! 
    • Dress for success - The quickest way to warm up during the winter won’t add a dime to your heating bill: dress in warm clothes. Wearing pants, sweatshirts and socks will help you stay warm without ever touching the thermostat. 
    • Test the waters - About 18% of your energy use goes to heating water for showers, dishes and laundry. Turn down your water heater temperature to a warm 120 degrees to save on costs and avoid scalding showers. 
    • Set it right - Setting your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees lower when you are away or asleep can save approximately 10% per year on your heating bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Smart thermostats can make this an easy process. Did you know customers in Iowa and Illinois can take advantage of a rebate for qualifying smart thermostats?
    • Let it shine - Keep curtains, shades and blinds open on sunny winter days, especially with windows on the south side of your home. Closed drapes also double as insulators for those cold days.
    • Keep it clear - Make sure your air registers and radiators aren’t blocked by furniture, rugs, drapes or other objects in your home. In addition, be sure to dust or vacuum registers or radiators on a regular basis.
     
    Setting your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees lower when you are away or asleep can save approximately 10% per year on your heating bills. (U.S. Department of Energy)
     

    Low Cost

    • Buy it right - Install ENERGY STAR® lighting and appliances in your home. ENERGY STAR light bulbs use 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. If you live in Iowa or Illinois, you can get ENERGY STAR light bulbs in a free energy efficiency kit when you complete the HomeCheck Online assessment.
    • Seal it up - Use weather stripping and caulk to seal air leaks and block drafts, even in the basement and attic, around doors, windows, chimneys, electrical outlets and other potential areas for air leakage. When you’re not using your fireplace, keep the damper closed to prevent warm air from going out your chimney.
    • Wrap it up - Put clear plastic sheets over the inside or outside of your windows to reduce heat loss and increase comfort. Window wrap kits, available at your hardware or home store, are an ideal choice for the job.

    Medium to High Cost

    • Keep it up - Have your heating system serviced once a year so it runs properly and efficiently. Change your furnace filters regularly since dirty filters make the system work harder and use more energy than necessary.
    • Roll it out - Make sure your home has adequate insulation. This includes the attic, exterior walls, floors, basement and crawl spaces. In unheated areas, be sure to insulate around furnace ducts or boiler pipes. The effectiveness of insulation material is measured in R-value. Talk with a local insulation specialist to determine what level of insulation is needed for your home.
    • Upgrade your system - If your furnace is older or approaching the end of its recommended life span, it might be time for an upgrade. Newer furnace systems are better designed for energy efficiency and can lower your heating bills in the long run simply from replacing your old furnace. Customers in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska can receive a rebate for getting a new heating or cooling system professionally installed.
     

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