Cutting heating costs this winter isn't difficult

The cold weather for the winter really began to arrive in the first full week of January, leaving millions of Americans on the East Coast especially wondering how they were going to stay warm without cranking up the heat in their homes. However, there are a number of steps that experts generally suggest for homeowners to take when they're trying to stay warm and financially secure in the winter.

One of the biggest things that energy experts suggest is for homeowners to make sure that they are insulating anywhere their homes meet the outside, such as doors and windows, according to a report from Des Moines television station KCCI. Many may not think of it, but plenty of cold air can seep in through these spaces, especially if they're old and not properly sealed. But even simple measures can go a long way toward keeping a house warm.

"When the sun goes down, those draperies can serve as insulation to keep that warm air in the house and keep the cold air out," Ruth Comer, of MidAmerican Energy, told the station.

Other simple steps to take
For people in homes with wood floors that don't have much insulation under them, owners likely know how cold those surfaces can get, the report said. But just by putting a rug down where a floor is uncovered, a lot of heat can be saved.

Likewise, it's smart to go through a home and make sure there's nothing blocking air vents that either push in warm air or suck out cold air, because that can obviously create some flow problems, the report said. Moving furniture is often a simple solution at ground level or on the second floor, but going down into a basement to make sure there are no blockages on that end is usually a good idea as well.

Finally, consumers might want to think about just how important it is for them to have their home set to 70 degrees, the report said. But Comer noted that for every degree below 68 a home's thermostat is set, heating bills will usually drop about 4 percent.

Taking these simple steps, and others, can go a long way toward freeing up some money for many homeowners across the country. That cash, in turn, can be used to deal with other pressing financial matters, such as credit card debt, that can create problems for many Americans every month.

Want to learn more?