Cooler weather has arrived, which means you’ve probably started to turn up your heat. Like everything else, energy costs have increased in recent months, but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice comfort to save money. There are a number of no-cost ways you can stay warm without overheating your budget.

Several factors should be considered when it comes to circulating air throughout your home.

  • Be sure heat registers are clear from furniture and curtains so heat can circulate freely. 
  • Use a ceiling fan on low speed to force warm air down into the occupied space. This is especially useful in rooms with vaulted or high ceilings. Be sure to switch fans to rotate clockwise in the winter months.
  • Check your furnace filter each month and replace it when it begins to look dirty or at least every three months.

One of the easiest, most effective ways to reduce your energy costs without decreasing your comfort is to setback your thermostat when you’re away or asleep. ENERGY STAR® recommends adjusting your thermostat eight degrees cooler than when you’re home and awake. This can help you save eight percent on your energy costs. 

Insulation and sealing can help you save up to 10% on annual energy costs. Though this requires the purchase of materials like caulk, weather stripping and other insulating products, most of the work can be done yourself. See the ENERGY STAR® sealing and insulation guide to help you identify common air leaks, seal gaps and add insulation where needed. You can also close curtains at night to seal out the cold and open curtains on sunny days to take advantage of the warming rays. 

The following are things people may do in hopes of saving energy, however, they could actually lead to higher costs and should be avoided.

  • Closing heating vents in unused rooms puts added pressure on your heating system, causing it to work harder in order to achieve optimal comfort. This can lead to higher energy costs or more costly repairs to your system and should be avoided.
  • Electric space heaters are one of the most inefficient ways of heating your space and are associated with a number of safety risks. Consider using an electric blanket, which uses roughly 73% percent less electricity than a space heater, or add a layer of clothing to improve your comfort.
  • Fireplaces are another heating source that many think will help reduce energy costs. Although fire is cozy to snuggle up by, it is an inefficient way to heat your home and fireplace chimneys are a major source of heat loss.

30 responses to “Stay Cozy, Save Money & Energy This Fall

  1. I was told that to never adjust you heat/air more 2 degrees because anything higher makes your furnace work harder to bring it up to tempature.
    Your suggestion is to reduce it by 8 degrees when going to bed or leaving the house for a longer period.

  2. Well, I rent and unfortunately have electric heat and bills have risen to over $100/month which really hurts, so I keep thermostats off in most rooms & just keep warm with extra blankets!

  3. Electric Space Heaters-
    I always heard that it is more efficient to heat the space you are in, than the whole house. Therefore, a space heater saves you money over heating the whole house.

    1. My electric bill is $400 a month because of baseboard heaters and very little insulation. I live in a mobile home.

  4. I keep getting phone calls to go over my AEP bill to compare certain rates; is this just someone trying to get me to switch or are they a partner to AEP? I will NOT do business over the phone

  5. I really appreciate the advice you give for the different seasons. I tried it during the summer months and my payments went down. I am anxious to try it through this fall and winter. Thank you so much!!!!

  6. We have been told by our furnace tech not to drop the temp more than 2 degrees, or at least not try to raise the temp more than 2 degrees at a time to avoid over stressing and cracking the heat exchanger. Can you research this and get back to me?

  7. If I have an unused bedroom in a small home, it seems to make sense to close the vent and door and redirect the airflow to other rooms using the vent levers in the basement. That square footage is roughly 20% of my home. Is this wrong?

    1. Great question, Matt. Your best bet would be to consult with an HVAC professional who can visit your home and make the best recommendation for your space.

  8. Is AEP curretnly offering any rebates for higher effeciency heat pumps, and/or are there any other programs in Ohio which have rebates for heat pumps for residential use.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Mark. We are not offering any rebates for higher efficiency heat pumps and can’t advise on whether other rebates are offered in your area. Doing a web search for the name of your city or county and “heat pump rebate” may help you find some answers.

  9. I keep my thermostats at 60-65′ in all rooms as I’m totally electric. I was paying $142 and now am paying over $202? As a senior of 80 yrs. and living by myself, I think I should be on a better budget plan for a little less. When the electricity goes off so does my heat, etc. and I freeze as I have no way of staying warm. I sure could use some suggestions on not freezing to death in a totally electric house.

    1. We understand, Peggy. Someone from customer service will be reaching out to you to discuss your options. If you don’t hear from them soon, please call customer service directly at 800-672-2231.

  10. Hello how do i save money , i have been trying several time to so please help me or show me what to do i will be very happy if you assist me .
    Thank you
    Ayao Sogah

  11. I have always set my ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise in the colder months. I was told that it pulls the air up and then it circulates down the walls. Now I’m confused!

    1. Heat rises, Christina, so we recommend having ceiling fans rotate clockwise in the colder months to push the warm air back down. But you may want to consult with an HVAC professional who can make the best recommendation for your situation.

  12. The service charge on my electricity is higher than the kilowatts I use. Is there
    any way I can lower the service charges? Also, are the service charges fixed irrespective of the amount of electricity used? I’m a new AEP customer. Thank you.

    1. Welcome to AEP, Eunice! Your bill consists of charges for electric generation (or supplier charges), distribution and transmission. All three of these are based on kilowatts hours used. There is also a customer charge that is a flat fee and not based on kwh used. You might find it helpful to speak with a member of our customer care team about your specific charges. You can send an email to help@aep.com or a direct message to one of our social media channels. We are @AEPOhio on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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