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Helpful Hints to Conserve Heating Costs

Release Date: December 13, 2010
Here are some helpful hints to make your home energy efficient.

Helpful Hints to Conserve Heating Costs

Sussex County winters are historically cold. With the high cost of fuel oil in mind, here are some helpful hints to make your home energy efficient and to help you prepare for a cold winter:

  1. Put plastic sheeting on screen doors and windows. Make sure door can still open and close.
  2. Use door on warmest side of house if that is an option or go through garages or enclosed porches to create an airlock entry. Less wind and cold air enter directly into a house when there is an airlock. Minimize the number of times you go in and out during the day.
  3. Install storm windows if possible.
  4. Layer windows with draperies and curtains to create airlocks and put up insulated and/or lined draperies.
  5. Use draft dodgers at base of doors and windows.
  6. Close damper on fireplace.
  7. Change furnace filter every month.
  8. Keep thermostat at 68 degrees. At minimum reduce thermostat a few degrees at night and when you are not at home for long periods of time. Lowering it every time you go out is not cost effective if you are constantly bringing your home back up to a comfortable temperature.
  9. Insulate electrical outlets and light switches, especially on outside walls. Also hot water heater, pipes in basement and unheated areas.
  10. Remove or insulate window air conditioners.
  11. Use fireplace if you have one; have chimney cleaned. Have alternate heat sources, such as electric heater or legal kerosene (blue) or diesel fuel can (usually 5 gallons) so you can purchase that fuel in an emergency if delivery cannot be made before you run out. Keep emergency cash, $15-$20, in an envelope with the can, so you have it available to purchase fuel. Know where the nearest supplier of kerosene or diesel fuel is to your home.
  12. If you heat by oil, do not let the tank go to empty. Get on the program for automatic delivery for 200 gallons. Consider the budget plan. If you are a renter, and you do run out of fuel, call the local Board of Health immediately. Have the number available. Call 211, People Help, etc.
  13. Do not remain in an unheated house. Go to family, friends or neighbors who have heat. Close off rooms that do not have water pipes in the walls, ceilings or floors, and that you do not use.
  14. If you knit or crochet, make yourself afghans, hats, socks, etc. to keep you warm.
  15. Invest in an electric blanket.
  16. Wear a wooly hat to bed.
  17. Around the house, wear a sweat suit (jogging outfit) and/or layered clothing.
  18. Consult your utility company for free weatherization tips.