Save during winter: 7 tricks to lower costs and stay warm

<p>Ball State received somewhere between 3 to 7-inches of snowfall on the night of Jan. 5 and into the morning of Jan. 6. DN PHOTO ALAINA JAYE HALSEY</p>

Ball State received somewhere between 3 to 7-inches of snowfall on the night of Jan. 5 and into the morning of Jan. 6. DN PHOTO ALAINA JAYE HALSEY

The Weather Channel’s 2014-2015 forecast heralds a milder winter for the Midwest than last year’s record-breaking season. Still, with Wednesday’s minimum temperature of minus 12, off campus students may still be looking for ways to lower their electricity expenses. Here are some tips for a toasty home without breaking bank.

Change your filters

Dirty filters cause heating systems to work harder and use more energy. To avoid this, replace the filter every few months or purchase a washable filter (they can last up to five years). Added bonus: changing the filter also cuts down the amount of dust in your home.

Control your thermostat

According to Duke Energy, turning the thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day, can save around 10 percent a year on heating and cooling bills. Adjust the thermostat during classes to lower energy costs.

Use your ceiling fans

Ceiling fans are great for staying cool in the summer, but they can also warm a room in the winter as well. Set the fan to move in a clockwise direction. The motion will push warm air down from the ceiling and back into the room. Turn off fans when leaving a room to cut costs even more.

Keep it cool

Set the washing machine to cold. Most clothes don’t need hot water to get a thorough cleaning. According to Duke Energy, 90 percent of energy used by washing machines goes into heating the water.

Pre-rinse on your own

When cleaning dishes, turn off the pre-rinse option on the dishwasher and rinse the dishes manually. For additional savings, don’t run the dishwasher until it is full.

Turn down for saving money

Some TVs are automatically set to “store” mode to make them look bright and flashy in the stores. When watching at home, turn the TV to the “home” setting to turn down the brightness. This will give the TV a longer life and will save your energy costs.

Unplug the energy suckers

Take a look around the house or apartment. See all the devices currently plugged in and not being used? Unplug them. Even when not in use, these devices are using energy (and costing you money).

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