Consumer Reports: Home heating hacks for winter

Consumer Reports
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(WSYR-TV) — The government report made headlines and shocked consumers: Home heating
bills could jump an average of 30 percent for most Americans, depending on the
type of fuel they use.

Consumer Reports can’t make energy costs lower, but its experts can share some easy ways to help you reduce the amount of energy you use.

Consumer Reports Home Editor Dan Wroclowski says, “Your HVAC system actually uses the most energy in your house, and it’s important to make sure everything is running efficiently and not wasting fuel.”

That usually requires some professional maintenance at least once a year, but there are things you can do yourself.

Start by checking the filters-when they’re dirty, the unit has to work harder, so clean and replace them regularly.

Next – check your doors and windows. Don’t let the warm air you’re paying for
inside leak outside.

Consumer Reports’ Wroclowski says “You can easily install new weather stripping and draft blockers around your doors and windows to seal in warm air. For Bigger gaps use foam. Cold air can come in through outlets on external walls, so pop in some foam outlet sealers.”

And think about installing a smart thermostat. They save energy by lowering the temperature when you’re asleep or away.

Adding an extra blanket and lowering the thermostat 10 to 15 degrees overnight can cut your heating costs up to 10 percent.

And for even more savings, check with your utility company–It might even offer rebates and incentives to make some energy upgrades.

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