Money Talks News: Cutting Your Winter Energy Bill

New appliances, updated furnaces, LED light bulbs...all ways to save energy, but they cost a lot to do.

You don't have to spend big bucks to trim your power bill, though. The US Department of Energy says you can save 10 percent on your winter heating bill by turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours a day.

Here are some other free or low-cost ways to save energy:

First, use the sun to your advantage. Open curtains to let the sun warm things up, then close them at night to block the cold. Next: adjust and wrap your water heater.

It costs nothing to adjust the water temperature and you'll prevent scalding. A wrap costs about $25 and keeps the heat in like a winter coat.

Next project: seal the gaps. Caulk is cheap, less than 5 bucks, and can make a big difference in a drafty house. Go around doors and windows.

Then check other places on exterior walls, like electrical outlets or holes where pipes are. You'll keep cold air and critters out.

Next, change your furnace filter every month. It costs a few bucks, takes a few minutes and keeps your system healthy.

You can also insulate the attic door. It's a forgotten place to insulate and one where heat easily escapes.

Finally, seal your windows with film. It's like plastic wrap, installs quickly and keeps cold air out. Take it off in the spring.

Bottom line? You don't have to spend a lot to save a lot of energy. Start now and see a difference in this winter's heating bills.

Want more info and ideas? Go to and search for "energy saving."

For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.