SPOKANE, Wash. -- Now that bitter cold winter is upon us, you might be worried about your next heating bill.
If you are at least willing to wear a few extra layers and keep your heat lower than normal, you could save a few bucks. Energy.com says you can save about 10 percent per year on heating and cooling if you lower your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day from your normal setting. Depending on how you heat your home, that adds up to about $83 saved each year.
According to Avista Utilities, the heating season runs from October to February. Your Avista bill includes things like your lights and running appliances, but your heat source makes up 40 to 60 percent of that bill.
To save on energy costs during the winter, Avista says you should set your thermostat at 68 degrees while you are awake, then set it lower when you are asleep or away from home. By setting your thermostat just three degrees lower than your normal setting, Avista says could reduce your bill by 10 percent.
Again, it depends on how you heat your home. The Department of Energy says natural gas is the most common heating fuel in the U.S.
If you want to find out how much the average cost would be to heat your home, you can go to Avista's cost estimator. Be sure to look at the high average amount because that is the typical energy cost during the heating season.