With winter comes the dreaded heating bill. Whether you budget months ahead of time or pay as you go, there’s no denying that heating bills can be a big portion of your budget. Instead of dreading opening your heating bills, use these 12 easy tips to help save energy and cut your heating expenses significantly.
Install A Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat will let you automatically turn the heat down at night or when you’re not home. You can save $150 to $200 per year by just using a programmable thermostat. For every degree you turn down the heat, you can cut energy use by 6%.
I recommend using Nest. With this thermostat you can adjust the temperature right from your smartphone, whether you’re home or not.
Maintain Your Furnace
Changing furnace filters regularly and having your system cleaned annual is a great way to keep it running efficiently and cut down on fuel usage.
Cover Up Your Bare Floors With Rugs
A rug will instantly increase the warmth in a room by keeping your feet warm. Likewise, wearing slippers or heavy socks will also make you feel warmer and less tempted to turn up the heat.
Plug Drafty Doors And Windows
Using inexpensive materials like weather stripping and caulk to plug drafty doors and windows will keep the warm air in your home. Your furnace will cycle less and you’ll use less energy.
Keep Heating Vents Clear
Heating vents are the most efficient when they are clear of obstructions. Allowing the heat to flow freely throughout your home will keep it from drifting upwards and going into the attic.
Use Your Curtains And Blinds
Open them early in the day to let the sun heat your house, then close them at sunset for an extra layer of insulation.
Use Excess Heat Wisely
If you’re baking desserts or casseroles, leave the oven door open when you’re done to let the extra heat escape into the house. Of course if you have small children that’s not a good idea unless you can keep them out of the kitchen and safe in another room.
Use Space Heaters
Space heaters let you keep the rooms you use warm while you allow the rest of the house to cool off. Look at where you spend your time during the day and place space heaters in that room to keep it warm. Make sure you choose an energy efficient model and you’ll save money over heating the whole house with your regular furnace.
Make Use Of Your Ceiling Fans
By changing the direction of the fan blades, you can direct air in your space. Running the blades clockwise will direct warm air back down into your space. In the summer, running them counterclockwise will force hot air up and out of the room.
Adjust Your Water Heater
Turning the water heater down by just 10 degrees will save you 3 to 5 percent on your fuel costs. The optimal setting is thought to be about 120 degrees, which is hot enough for a good shower, but not hot enough to cause burns. If you have an electric hot water heater, put it on a timer that turns off during the day when nobody is home or during the night when everyone is sleeping.
Use Your Fireplace
A fireplace is a great way to warm your main living space and create an inviting environment during the winter. However, make sure your fireplace is efficient before you use it as a drafty fireplace can make the whole house colder. Close the damper when not in use to prevent warm air from going up the chimney.
Insulation is the most obvious way to keep hot air in your home. The insulation is rated by R value, with higher values being linked to better insulation. Add insulation to your attic, ducts, pipes and even outlets and switches for the best return on your money.