Not freezing to death is expensive! SmartMoney offers up its own advice on how to cut heating costs this winter—mostly the usual stuff about shopping around for a supplier, upgrading old equipment, and winter-proofing your house. Also: new insulation may qualify you for a one-time tax credit of $500 if you do it before the end of the year. [SmartMoney]


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  1. consumerd says:

    Yep, costs are going to hit the roof this year. I am wondering what it’s going to cost me.

  2. Spamwich says:

    One thing they don’t mention in the list that is handy for reducing heat loss: If you still have old single-pane windows, cover them with the shrink-plastic insulation that is available at most hardware stores. Even if you have all the cracks sealed up, glass conducts heat well enough to cost you a few bucks.

  3. JiminyChristmas says:

    If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, get one. They are not expensive (under $50) and will pay for themselves in less than one heating season. It is easily the most painless way to lower your heating/cooling costs.

    I have mine programmed to set back 10 degrees when I’m either away or asleep. It’s also set so the furnace/AC turns on ahead of waking or coming home, so the temperature is comfortable whenever I’m about the house.

  4. eys says:

    Great! Now, any tips for us apartment dwellers?

  5. GearheadGeek says:

    @eys: Depending on the apartment, a programmable thermostat might be an option for you if you’re slightly handy. The last time I was sentenced to serving time in an apartment (the nearest good job in the tech bust in ’01 was on the wrong side of 80 miles of bad traffic) I bought a cheap Hunter programmable thermostat from Home Depot and installed it, then swapped back the original manual one when I moved out. The plastic window-sealing technique would work too. If you have force-air heat you can make a point to reduce the vent opening in rooms you don’t use as much.