(BPT) - Winter is a time of year when expenses can soar, especially your utility bills. Thankfully, Chip Wade, HGTV expert, has some advice on how you can save energy, and ultimately money, this year:
* Lighting: LED bulbs are 90 percent more efficient than incandescent light bulbs.
* Prevent heat loss: Find and seal air leaks in your home. 'Areas around windows and doors are often culprits for allowing heat to escape,' says Wade. Use caulking or weatherstripping to seal these leaks and keep the heat inside your home.
* Water heating: Did you know you can control the temperature of your water heater? Most households only require water heater thermostats to be set at 120 F, which is lower than what the temperature is typically set at. By lowering your water heating temperature, you're not only reducing energy, but also preventing water from becoming dangerously hot.
* Adjust the temperature: Hosting a gathering? Consider turning the thermostat down. 'More people in your home means an increase in your home's temperature,' says Wade. 'To accommodate for this, I turn my thermostat five to ten degrees lower than normal before guests arrive, so that they are comfortable.' Also, if you're traveling, it's good to keep in mind that programmable thermostats like the YORK Affinity Hx Touch-screen Thermostat can take care of temperature adjustments for you while you're away. YORK's free downloadable app allows you to control the thermostat from your smartphone, no matter where you travel.
* Maintain your heating system: Be sure to schedule regular service appointments with your local technician to keep your heating and cooling system running properly. Also, set a calendar reminder to replace your air filters once a month to maintain proper airflow.
* Choose a high-efficiency furnace: Save energy heating your home by choosing a high-efficiency furnace. 'Always consider a furnace's annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating,' says Wade. 'The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace and the greater the amount of heat it delivers for your money. Look for models with AFUE of 90 percent or higher.'
For more ways to save energy and money, visit www.YORK.com.