Tuesday, January 10, 2012


In colder climates, every year, we're faced with jaw dropping heating bills.  Everyone has a different situation: different living space, different climate, different night-time lows outside, and different home efficiency.

Let's take the case of a family of four, who lives in the Midwest, where it gets mighty cold  from mid November to Mid-March.  Let's say their bill for last January was $400, with the November, December, February and March bills slightly less.  Let's say they keep their house at a comfortable 68F in the winter months, 24 hours a day.

First step: buy a programmable thermostat.  They sell these at Lowes, Home Depot, Sears, etc.  You can also buy one at Amazon, for anywhere between $25 and $100.  The programmable thermostat allows you to lower the temp at night and when everyone is at work.

A common figure that energy experts use is 2.5 percent energy savings per degree.  So in the case of a family who is gone for eight hours during the day, and sleeps eight hours at night, the savings could be as follows:

1) Lower the temp from 70F to 68F when everyone is home.
2) Lower temp from 70F to 64F when everyone is asleep or at work/school.
You could save as much as $175/year by following this type of plan.


The Frugal Maestro


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