Falling Temperatures. Climbing Heating Costs.
November 23, 2016
Air conditioners across Arkansas are finally getting a break with temperatures now dipping into the 30s overnight, but the lower the temperature falls, the more work our furnaces and heating units do, which can lead to increased energy costs.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to help Arkansans save some money while heating their home this winter.
“High heating costs can have a big impact on family budgets,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “But there are a few steps to take that can help keep your home warm while saving money.”
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to 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.
Use caution while using space heaters. Keep them away from flammable materials and consider the impact it could have on the energy bill. The Department of Energy reports that space heaters account for about 45 percent of energy bills in average U.S. homes.
Also, be cautious of products claiming to drastically lower heating costs and avoid unsolicited high-pressure sales calls for 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.
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 consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@ArkansasAG.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.