INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — This January, Hoosiers are facing home energy bills that are a lot higher than normal. However, home heating experts are outlining ways to help reduce costs.
Claire Dalton with IPL says the extremely cold temperatures are driving up energy usage and therefore costs for home heating. She says the colder it is outside the harder a heating unit must work to heat a home.
“Today it’s zero, and if you’re heating your home, you have your thermostat set at 62, 65, 70. I mean, that’s a huge difference,” Dalton said.
To help customers who may be struggling with the mounting costs, Dalton says IPL is encouraging the use of their “Budget Billing” program. The program essentially allows customers to evenly disperse their bill payments across an 11-month period. They would then be responsible for settling the difference during the 12th month.
“Budget billing helps during the really cold months, it helps during the really hot months as well,” she said.
Dalton also recommends doing things such as using a programmable thermostat, or lowering the temperature in your home when you’re not there.
“We understand the extreme cold temperatures can be a hardship for our customers,” she said.
Home heating experts say often times drafty windows and doors can drain your home of its built-up heat, forcing furnaces to work in overdrive.
“Any place where you have gaps or holes cuts into your home you have a good chance of air entering or escaping,” Menards assistant manager Mark Wachowski said.
Wachowski says using window insulation kits, weather stripping and draft guards to help seal windows and doors can significantly cut down on the amount of heat your home loses. He also recommends doing things like replacing your furnace filters to help reduce energy bills. A dirty furnace filter can “choke” your furnace and force it to work harder than it needs to.
“You’ll have a lot more comfort, in the fact that you’re not going to have a draft, your heat won’t be going out the window while cold is replacing it. It’s a very temporary fix, but it’ll last as long as you want it to be there”
Wachowski says the best part about most of these solutions is that they require little to no experience to install and are fairly cost effective.