Lower Bills With Low-Cost Winter Fixes

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Low Cost Fixes for Winter Energy bills tend to rise while the outside temperature drops, and no one wants to spend more money than they have to. Before there's snow on the ground, check out a few simple ways to lower your expenses in the fall and winter months.

One easy way to warm up a room is to reverse your ceiling fans. In the summer you want your fan to run counterclockwise so it blows down. However, in the colder months, you should reverse the direction of the fan to pull cool air toward the ceiling. Simply flip the toggle switch underneath the fan and put it on a low setting. You should feel the difference in no time.

Another way to save on energy costs is by flushing out your water heater once a year. As sediment and debris build up, they can cause a drop in efficiency or even leaks over time, which will ultimately cost you.

To flush, turn off the water heater and fasten a hose to the faucet at bottom of the tank. Run the other end of the hose outside or to a laundry tub. Open the valve and let the water and residue drain out. Do this yearly and you'll be good to go.

Lowering your monthly bills doesn't have to take too much time and energy. Using these simple tips, you can beat the cold without beating up your budget.

20 Priciest Places To Heat Your Home
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Lower Bills With Low-Cost Winter Fixes -- Savings Experiment
Are you ready to enjoy the fall season of moderate weather and lower energy bills? Not so fast. Colder weather is fast approaching, and with it the high cost of heating.

Based on a Forbes.com study, nowhere will winter's heating bills be felt more than in these 20 places. Click through our gallery to see where.

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Average heating cost: $1,635.94

Combine the cold weather of the Northeast with the nation's highest share of homes that use heating oil, and it's easy to see why Boston tops this list. As the price of oil continues to rise, it's hard to imagine relief coming anytime soon.

' More Boston Heating Stats
Average heating cost: $1,618.27

Winters in Buffalo are cold; there's no way around it. Costs for heating a home in the city are higher than you might expect based on the share of the more energy-efficient, natural gas-heated homes, yet the local price of natural gas is much higher than elsewhere in the country, keeping the city's overall heating bill high.
' More Buffalo Heating Stats
Average heating cost: $1,475.11

Based on projected weather patterns and forecasts, Minneapolis residents are expected to use the most energy of any city measured to heat their homes during the winter. Fortunately, natural gas is relatively cheap and the vast majority of residents use it.

' More Minn. Heating Stats
Average heating cost: $1,461.11

Coming in fourth, despite a score on the heating degree days index that's about half that of Minneapolis, the District has a startlingly high share of homes using electric heat to warm their homes, the least efficient form of heating on a cost basis. Nearby Baltimore suffers the same.
' More DC Heating Stats
Average heating cost: $1,370.12

More of the same for the East Coast. High-priced utilities and a large number of homes that depend on heating oil drive up the price of heating in what can be a very cold city. A high share of natural gas users keeps prices a bit lower than some regional counterparts.
' More Philly Heating Stats
' Priciest Places No. 6 - 20
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