smart spending

6 tips to save on home heating

Space heaters, fans and energy monitoring apps
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Portable space heaters contribute to 57,300 fires and 270 deaths caused by home heating every year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. To avoid this hazard, Lindstrom recommends a quartz or oil-filled heater, which look like radiators.

"If it looks like (an exposed toaster) in your house and you can touch the heating element, you've got problems," he says.

Here are more money-saving home energy tips:

  • Reverse your ceiling fans: It will help circulate rising heated air down to where you need it.
  • Close heating vents and doors to little-used rooms.
  • Insulate outlets and light switches with inexpensive switch insulators to eliminate these small but numerous energy leaks.
  • Replace the light bulbs you leave on longest with CFL, or compact flourescent light, bulbs. They use 75 percent less energy and save $40 in energy costs over their lifetime.
  • Download an energy monitoring app: New energy monitoring desktop applications can help you monitor your energy use in real time from your computer or smartphone.
  • Take advantage of federal and state tax rebates, including Energy Star appliance upgrades.




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