Beat High Heating Costs This Winter
November 18, 2015
Temperatures are beginning to drop into the 30s overnight across Arkansas, which means winter is on its way. Lower temperatures also mean turning on the heater and increased energy costs.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released today’s consumer alert to offer ways to save money on energy this winter.
“Home heating costs can add up quickly for Arkansans during the colder months,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is important that Arkansans educate themselves about ways to stay warm and save money this winter.”
Attorney General Rutledge fights for lower utility rates for Arkansans, but there are tips consumers can follow to help keep energy costs lower throughout the colder months:
- Keep curtains open during the day for natural heat, and close them at night to retain the heat.
- Use a programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when no one is home.
- Seal cracks or holes around the home by weather-stripping doors and windows and adding insulation to walls, the attic and crawlspace to prevent it from losing heat.
- Set ceiling fans to spin clockwise to recirculate rising hot air.
- Make sure baseboard heaters, air vents and radiators are not obstructed.
- Service the heating system at least once a year to ensure it is operating properly.
- Consider wrapping the water heater in a water heater jacket or blanket and turning down the temperature to the warm setting to save money.
- Close the vents and doors to rooms that are not being used.
- Keep air filters clean and replace regularly.
Many Arkansans also burn wood as a heat source. Meanwhile, other consumers heat with liquefied petroleum gas, and those users should consider signing a long-term contract with a provider in order to lock in a specific price over a set period. In addition, homeowners should consider their consumption needs and order propane refills before the current supply runs out. And use caution while using space heaters and keep away from flammable materials. Also consider energy costs. The Department of Energy reports that space heaters account for about 45 percent of energy bills in average U.S. homes.
Be cautious of products that claim to drastically lower heating costs and avoid unsolicited high-pressure sales calls or visits from contractors offering furnaces, windows, roofing and other home-improvement projects. Remember if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Other tips and resources are available at EnergyEfficiencyArkansas.org, a partnership between Arkansas utility companies and the Arkansas Energy Office.
Arkansans having trouble paying heating or electricity bills this winter should contact their region’s Arkansas Community Action Agency to learn more about the Weatherization Assistance Program.
For more information about navigating utility costs and other consumer-related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.