LITTLE ROCK – As fall season kicks into high gear, temperatures drop which means home heating costs begin impacting families’ budgets across Arkansas. But there are steps consumers can take to stay warm and save money.
“By taking a few practical steps we can find the balance of keeping warm and saving money,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “It is unknown what winter will bring this year, but as temperatures drop, keeping energy costs down is important to every family.”
Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips to save energy costs through the colder months:
- Keep curtains open during the day for natural heat, and close them at night to retain the heat.
- Use a programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when no one is home.
- Seal cracks or holes around the home by weather-stripping doors and windows and adding insulation to walls, the attic and crawlspace to prevent it from losing heat.
- Set ceiling fans to spin clockwise to recirculate rising warm air.
- Make sure baseboard heaters, air vents and radiators are not obstructed.
- Service the heating system at least once a year to ensure it is operating properly.
- Consult with a licensed plumber regarding potential options to insulate the water heater to spend less to heat the water.
- Close the vents and doors to rooms that are not being used.
- Keep air filters clean and replace regularly.
Use caution while using space heaters. Always keep them away from flammable materials and consider the impact it could have on the energy bill. The Department of Energy reports that space heaters account for about 45 percent of energy bills in average U.S. homes.
Also, be cautious of products claiming to drastically lower heating costs and avoid unsolicited high-pressure sales calls for visits from contractors offering furnaces, windows, roofing and other home-improvement projects. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Arkansans having trouble paying heating or electricity bills this winter should learn more about the Weatherization Assistance Program.
For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, please call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov orfacebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.