Another Heat Saving Tip

Wondering how much you'll save if you turn down your thermostat? Well, I've just received a brochure from my local natural gas company, and they include this nifty statistic: if you reduce the temperature in your home by 2 degrees F (or 1 degree Celsius for our Canadian friends) over a 7 hour period each day (for instance, overnight) you can save about 1 percent on your heating bill per month.

So I started thinking: how could I save at least 5 percent on my heating bill? Seems it would be pretty simple. Turn down the house 5 degrees F and do it TWICE a day! Want to save 10 percent? Turn down the thermostat 5 degrees F and leave it there. It's that simple.

Not prepared for a colder home all the time? This is where a programmable thermostat is worth its weight in gold, especially if you are a two-income family and your home is empty during the day. Just before you get up in the morning, you set the heat to come on. It stays on until just after everyone leaves the house. Then, it gets set back 5 degrees F. It stays at this lower level until just before the family comes home (which is usually at least 7 hours). Then, the heat comes on at a more comfortable room temperature. It stays at that temperature until 9 o'clock or so. Then it sets back for the night. Depending on whether you have early birds in your house or not, the heat can come back on at about 5 am ready for folks to jump into the shower just around 6.

If your schedule is a little different, you can shift the times as appropriate for your "night-owl" spouse, or your "early bird" folks who are fighting for time in the shower. And, if you aren't quite saving 10 percent, perhaps you can set back your temperature just a bit more.

The result? If you set back twice a day in an average home, you could save between $50 and $100 in a heating season! Given the predicted high prices of natural gas for this winter, it could really add up. If you have a larger than average home, you could be looking at even more savings. In my opinion, well worth the effort. After all, would you rather pay the gas company, or would you rather have some extra spending cash?


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