Can you believe Christmas is only 5 days away?! In the words of one of my seasonal favorites “baby, it’s cold outside!”. The winter temperatures are most definitely upon us which means it is time to turn up the heat. What can you do to manage the costs of keeping warm this winter? Is your budget ready to handle the increased bills? I hope today’s blog will help!
One of the best things you can do to keep costs low during the winter months is to address any gaps, cracks, or leaks in your home. Use door sweeps or weatherstripping to treat drafty doors. Find and seal gaps around windows, chimneys, pipes, vents, ducts, fans and electrical fixtures with caulk or expanding foam. If possible, add insulation to the attic, basement or crawl space. It is also important to get your furnace professionally serviced and to check and replace furnace filters on a regular basis. Contact your local Kansas Weatherization Assistance Program (KWAP) service provider to see if you qualify for a comprehensive home assessment.
You can influence costs by controlling temperatures within the home. Select a safe, comfortable temperature and then leave the thermostat alone as much as possible. Use sweatshirts, socks, and blankets for extra warmth as needed. If you have a programmable thermostat, the temperatures can be automatically lowered or raised throughout the day which is convenient and cost-effective. You can also cut costs by lowering the temperature of the hot water heater from 140 degrees to 120 degrees, by setting ceiling fans to slow with the blades moving clockwise, and by keeping blinds, shades, and curtains closed.
Even with your best efforts, the cost of keeping warm can be a financial challenge. Some companies, such as Westar Energy and Kansas Gas Service, offer average payment plans to balance seasonal highs and lows into a more manageable monthly bill. There is also assistance available through programs like Project DESERVE and the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) for eligible households.
If you find yourself struggling to keep up with the cold, please contact your CASH Program Coordinator. We are here to help!
With warm wishes to all, I hope and pray you have a wonderful holiday weekend. Merry Christmas!