Heat bills high in the winter?
You could save half or more by practicing some basic cold weather conservation habits.
And with the help of the Snohomish County PUD, you could get financial help to make home improvements that could save you even more.
One of the most effective ways to cut heating costs is to insulate well. But many people hesitate at the cost of improving insulation. That’s where the PUD can help.
The PUD will arrange for bids at no cost. If you decide to go ahead with one of the bidding companies, the PUD can arrange a low-interest, 10-year loan and will pay as much as half the cost of the improvements.
The PUD will do the same if you wish to swap single-paned windows for double-paned windows, or metal window frames for vinyl.
Another way to radically cut costs is to install a heat pump. There are two kinds of heat pump, said Mordecai Cook, an energy consultant with the PUD.
One kind connects to the ducts in your house, and that is more expensive.
“The ductless one is just a machine that sits outside your house, and it’s as big as a big suitcase,” he said. “It mounts on the wall, and it’s primarily for small houses of 1,600 square feet or less.”
A heat pump can cut your heating bill over 50%. And the PUD can help you pay for it by soliciting bids from trusted contractors and offering financial incentives for homeowners willing to invest in heat pumps.
Right now, the PUD will pay about $800 of the cost of a ductless heat pump and $1,200 of the cost of a traditional pump, and those subsidies may increase in coming weeks.
But even if you aren’t ready to make an investment of thousands of dollars for home improvements, there is a lot you can do to save on electric bills this winter.
Open the shades
By allowing sun in through south-facing windows during the day, you can save about $100 each winter.
Set the thermostat to 68 when you are home
By dropping the thermostat just two degrees while you are home and awake, you can save $34 this winter. By dropping the thermostat to 55 degrees while you are away or sleeping, you could save another $58.
Save another $25 this season by making sure furniture is not covering your heat vents.
If you have baseboards or other heat sources for individual rooms, turn off the heat and shut the doors to rooms while they are not in use and save $68 this winter.
Replace furnace filters
Check the air filters on your electric furnace monthly and replace those that are clogged to save $52 this winter.
Get an electronic thermostat
The Snohomish County PUD will give you an incentive of up to $50 to replace old thermostats with electronic ones, which can heat your home more efficiently, saving you $58 a year.
Weatherstrip doors and windows
Save big by adding or repairing weatherstripping around doors and windows in your house. It could add $103 to your wallet this winter. Seal your ductwork to save $123 more.