It’s winter outside, sleeting snowflakes all over your roof while you enjoy a cup of coffee, getting comfortable, and staying indoors. Then you realize you need to get a utility bill or schedule a heating oil delivery sooner than expected. Heating a home is usually one of the most important utilities everyone faces as a homeowner. Heat often accounts for more than 40% of our electricity bill.
Don’t let utility bills weigh on your wallet. Luckily, your winter options to avoid paying high utility bills or freezing overnight need only easy-step planning. To reduce your home’s fuel consumption, improve the efficacy of your heating system, and save money, there are things you can do. Here’s how to keep those hard-earned dollars this winter.
Great Tips to Save on Your Heating Bill
Seal those air leaks
One way to reduce your utility bills is to know how to identify and prevent heat loss in your home. Since the house is not sealed, warm air can escape through small cracks and crevices. Cold outside air can sometimes enter your home through those exits. Small openings can lose up to a quarter of your home’s heat.
It’s time to hunt down those pesky air leaks. Check walls, windows, ceilings, doors, lights, outlets, and switches for air leaks. Look for loose holes, crevices, weather stripping falling apart, gaps, etc.
Dress for cold weather
The more clothes you wear in winter, the less you need to heat your home. Whether you change from short sleeves to a sweater or thick pants like denim or wool, depending on your resistance to the cold, there may be a difference in comfort. Add slippers and a hat to complete the warm ensemble. While at it, remember to head up to the kitchen, whip your favorite hot drinks, and you’ll feel warmer.
Design your rooms for warmth
Nothing says money in the bank when it’s cold outside, like a house decorated with warm accessories. About 30% of heat loss in a home occurs through windows. But did you know that thick curtains and blinds can help trap warm air? So, if window drafts bother you, buy a curtain or two. Use flannel sheets on your bed, rugs on the floor, insulated curtains on your windows, and warm blankets on your sofa. Nothing beats a cozy home for cold days.
Use the sun
There may be less sun in winter, but it’s not completely gone. During the day, you can use the warmth of the sun’s rays to heat your home. If you have blinds or curtains, open them on sunny days to take advantage of the warmth of the sunlight. Close the curtains at night to provide another layer of warmth against the windows.
Change your furnace filters regularly
Replacing your furnace filter is more than just cleaning the air. Clogged material can cause equipment to work harder and increase energy costs. Replace your filters and opt for a professional inspection to ensure it’s operating at optimum efficiency. You can even set a reminder on your phone to know when it’s time to change the filter. This way will save you money over time.
Upgrade your heating equipment
If you have an overused furnace, you may use more energy than you need. With electricity prices becoming erratic, now may be the time to prioritize your investments. You may also consider an all-electric heating system powered by solar energy.
Heat pumps switch heat from outside, that’s why they have become more popular as an option for saving heating bills. You may need to invest in installing a solar battery or even electric central heating. It is a good option to avoid keeping up with fluctuating natural gas prices.
Close unused rooms
Do you have rooms that you don’t use often? Close the vents from the furnace. Spaces that don’t need to be heated can be closed to allow heat to escape to the occupied parts of the house.
A quick warning, avoid overcooling rooms that are not in use, especially if water pipes are in the walls. An unused space doesn’t need to be heated to 68 degrees, but it shouldn’t get colder than 40 degrees to prevent the pipes from freezing.
Program your thermostat
Adjusting your thermostat can significantly reduce your heating costs. Turning your thermostat down by up to 10 degrees allows you to save up to 10% on your heating bills annually. Whether it’s at work or on weekends, there’s no point in turning on the heat in an empty house. While you’re out or in bed, a few degrees cooler can make a big difference in your heating bill (and it won’t cost you a sacrifice).
Use ceiling fans in reverse
If you have ceiling fans in one of the rooms in your home, you can use them to distribute warm air during the colder months of the year and reduce your heating costs. In winter, reverse the fan so that the blades rotate clockwise. There is a small switch at the base of the fan.
The clockwise direction of the blades should pull the air up and allow the warm air trapped near the ceiling to flow up the walls and through the room. To check the blades spinning in your desired direction, stand beneath it. There should be no air blowing off you. A low fan speed is best because it gently pushes warm air down without creating an unpleasant draft.
Keeping your home comfortable and warm during winter should not leave you broke. It’s no secret that keeping your entire home warm isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save money on heating costs. To make the most of your energy spending during the colder months, check out the listed small, easy-to-do tweaks around the house above that can help you cut your heating bill in half.