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10 things not to do with heat

You may think you're saving energy with the methods you're using to regulate your heat, but you may be making one of the 10 things not to do with heat. 

1. Use the Fireplace

While this sounds like a sure way to cut your energy bill, the fireplace flue can actually draw cold air into the house. When it's time to put the fire out and turn the heat up, you could be looking at a higher bill.

2. Use Incandescent Bulbs

While these give off more heat than other bulbs, they are less energy efficient and do not justify not making the switch to CFL's or LED's which save significantly more energy.

3. Replace Your Furnace

If you're thinking of replacing your old furnace, you need to take care of the other problems first. Consider caulking around the windows, better insulation and other tactics to save energy. All of these strategies can make a big impact on your energy bill without spending a lot of money.

4. Upgrade Your Furnace

There are other more energy efficient furnaces on the market, but most home owners get over-sized furnaces which actually use more energy. If you're thinking of getting a new furnace, use the other tips here to make your house more energy efficient first.

5. New Windows

Many people think they need to replace all the windows for better energy efficiency. While this is definitely an option, you don't have to front the expense. Instead caulk around the windows for a fraction of the cost and save energy that way.

6. Switch to Electric

You may think electric heating is the only way to go for energy efficiency, but this can actually increase your energy bill. You are likely better off how you are unless your energy is supplied from a coal-fired plant, which are extremely unfriendly to the environment.

7. Use Space Heaters

Not only does using space heaters lead to higher energy bills, but it increases your risk for a house fire. One exception is the use of a single space heater in a small room when your house furnace is turned off. Still watch for the fire risk and never leave a space heater on when you're out of the room or gone.

8. Close Vents

You may think closing the vents in the rooms you're not using save energy, but it doesn't. This actually can increase your bill because it causes your heating system to work inefficiently as the air pressure in the house changes. 

9. Quick Warm Up

If you keep your house cold during the work day you may get home and crank up the heat to get it warmed up quickly. This causing the heating system to work over time, which runs up your bill as well. Instead place the temperature setting on 68 degrees (the recommended winter temperature) and allow the house to heat up on its own terms.

10. Keep the Temperature Steady

Keeping the temperature at the same level all the time doesn't make the heating system work more efficiently. You save more energy and money by programming your thermostat to lower the tempurature during the day and at night. On a general basis you want to keep the temperature about 10 degrees lower than your comfortable temperature while your gone and around 65 degrees for optimal sleep. 

You can make better decisions about how you handle your heat by avoiding these ten things. Use the tips and tricks instead to save energy and money. All of these changes are cost effective and will reflect on your energy bill. You don't have to spend a lot of money to save money.