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Winter Weather Special: Ways To Minimize Energy Usage While Staying Warm

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jeff Ray
Jeff joined CBS 11 and TXA 21 in December 2010. He came to North T...
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Do you remember those hot days last summer and the sound of the air-conditioner running almost non-stop?  You might be surprised to learn that the hottest month might not equal the highest energy bill of the year.

Arcadio Padilla with Reliant Energy says sometimes the most energy might be used “during the dead of cold, the middle of winter”.

Reliant Energy is one of several companies that will visit homes and dispense advice on how to lower your electric bill.

There are some ideas that homeowners can do on their own to cut those high utility bills.

For those with a water heater sitting in the garage, or outside of a heating space, think about putting a blanket on it.

Also, how much insulation is in the attic?  Padilla says he likes to see about a foot of insulation on the attic floor when he makes home inspections. While in the attic, check the exposed vents for any cracks.

Outside the house, check for exterior cracks around the windows.  Any cracks should be less than 3/8th of an inch, which is about the width of a pen. Homeowners can use caulk to fill the crack.

Inside the house, check to make sure all doors have weather stripping and sweeps at the bottom.  Set the temperature at 68 degrees.  Plus, consider using a humidifier.  The moist air makes the house feel warmer.

When the heating bill arrives at the end of the month, check how many kilowatts were used. It should be a little less than one kilowatt per square foot of living space.

If it’s more, and you’ve already taken care of many of the recommendations listed above, request an energy audit from your electric company.

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