Avista offers tips to avoid a high heating bill during cold wint - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Avista offers tips to avoid a high heating bill during cold winter months

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

With the bitterly cold temperatures, your wallet could take a huge hit next month as your heater use goes into overdrive.

Debbie Simock with Avista Utilities says you’ll always see a larger bill in the winter months than in the summer.

“When it’s minus 4 degrees or one degree, your furnace is still going to come on more frequently and for longer periods of time,” she says.

According to Avista, heating costs usually make up 40 to 60 percent of your bill. So the best way to prevent high costs is by taking some energy efficient steps and close the gaps in your home to keep the cold air outside.

There are several items you can buy at your local hardware store:

  • An indoor window insulating kit – It’s a piece of plastic film that you cut to size and shrink to fit on your window.
  • Switch and Outlet Sealers – It’s a piece of foam that you put in-between the plastic cover and the wall to stop drafts from outlets along exterior walls.
  • Caulk
  • LED Light Bulbs

Make sure you also keep the damper on your fireplace closed because a chimney can draw out 25 percent of heated air from your home. Also, keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower during the day, and lower at night. Just dropping it by three degrees can save you 10 percent on your bill.

Avista also urges people to contact them if they have any questions, especially if you’re having trouble paying the bill because there could be programs that can help.

For more advice, including how you can get energy rebates: https://www.avistautilities.com/savings/pages/default.aspx

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