smart spending

6 tips to save on home heating

Teach your thermostat to tame the watts
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Who says you can't change the weather? We alter the temperature inside our homes all the time with the press of a button or the turn of a dial on our thermostat.

But what many of us fail to do is "teach" our thermostat how to save us money.

You can save 10 percent on your winter heating bills by adjusting your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees cooler for the eight hours you're at work, according to the Department of Energy. Cut it back an additional eight hours when you sleep and you might save 20 percent.

Depending on where you live, that savings could pay for a new programmable thermostat in its first month of use.

"That's a no-brainer," says Lindstrom. "For $40 to $70, you can get a really nice setback thermostat that is going to last forever and you can program it any way you want. It's a big plus."

Cost: $40 to $70 plus installation.

Savings: 10 percent to 20 percent on winter heating bills.




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