CONSUMER 6: How you can cut the cost of heating your home

Thursday, November 9th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

With the price of natural gas nearly doubling last year, you may be paying more to stay warm this winter.

There are a few simple ways you can do to cut the cost of heating your home.

Begin by reviewing the heating and cooling systems in your home. Use a programmable thermostat to maintain the temperature. It automatically adjusts heat or cool air which is easier than manually setting it at night or before you leave the house. Install ceiling fans in your house. They keep the air circulating. These changes could save you up to 20% on your natural gas and electric bills.

Check your lights and switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. They use 80% less energy than standard bulbs, and last up to seven years. Use them to replace halogen bulbs in floor lamps, and you could save $30 per lamp. They're also safer, because they generate 95% less heat.

Look at your appliances to see if there's an Energy Star label. It means the item uses 20% less energy than other appliances. Replacing an old refrigerator with an Energy Star model could save you $100 - $150 a year on electricity.

Buy a front-loading washing machine. They use 50% less water, require less detergent as well as reducing the wear and tear on clothes. Front loaders cost more than top-loading machines, but a family of four could save $150 a year on their water bill.

Install storm windows to keep out the cold. Inspect your doors for gaps and install weather stripping to fill them. Check the attic. Are you storing items on the insulation? That's not a good idea, becasue insulation loses its effectiveness when its packed down. Also install fiberglass batts between the beams.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions for Consumer 6, call our tip line at 732-6111 or send an e-mail to

Related links:,, and the Alliance to Save Energy.