Cold weather, heating season arrived early this year

Snow-Cold-ThermometerThe recent cold weather is more typical of December.

The end of October and early November were 50% colder than normal for this time of year, and the next few weeks are forecast to be at least 50% colder than normal.

That means that furnaces and heating equipment are working harder than usual for this time of year, and they will use more energy. As a result, customers can expect heating bills to be more typical of December than late October.

Higher heating bills means it’s time to think about Budget Billing and ways to increase the comfort of your home.

Even out your bill amounts

furnaceSign up for Budget Billing. Take the volatility and surprise elements out of your heating bill. You can even out your heating bills by signing up for Budget Billing. The program will average your usage and send you a set billing amount each month. There are two true-ups per year.

Increase comfort

Use ceiling fans. They can help push down warm air from near the ceiling and distribute it around the room, so the space requires less heat.

Seal the leaks and close the gaps. Caulk, seal and weather-strip doors and windows.

Turn fans off. Kitchen and bath-ventilating fans can blow out a house-full of heated air if left on. Turn them off after they’ve done their job.

Switch to low-E windows. Install low-E windows and reduce drafts, noise and heat loss. Wisconsin customers can take advantage of a 25% discount at participating retailers. Visit focusonenergy.com/low-estorms

Control costs

Install a programmable thermostat. Or program the one you already have. Set it so your heating costs will go down when you are away or asleep. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60- to 70-degree range, you’ll save up to 5% on heating costs. Rebates may be available in Wisconsin and Iowa.

Be careful with space heaters. Space heaters only save money if their use is restricted to a small area and you turn down your central heating for the rest of the house.

Tune up equipment

Replace your furnace filters regularly. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Changing or cleaning your filter once a month helps your bill and the quality of air you breathe.

Schedule a furnace tune-up. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use.

Apply for financial assistance

Income-eligible Alliant Energy customers can apply for financial help with heating bills:

 

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