During the winter months it sometimes feels like we face a choice between shivering in the cold or cringing over bloated heating bills.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. There are lots of things you can do to cut down on your heating bill while keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. Below are few ideas.
Turn down the heat at night. Turning the thermostat down just a few degrees at night can save a lot without making you uncomfortable during the day. You could save 10 percent or more on your heating bill. Plus, you might even get better sleep. Experts recommend getting a programmable thermostat to make this easier.
Winterize you windows and doors. Make sure you aren’t paying for more heat than you need by sealing off any cracks or gaps in your windows and doors. Consider using weather stripping to seal your windows and, if you don’t already have them, install storm windows. For added heat retention, install window film to prevent loss through the glass in your windows. For doors install tube-like door snakes for large gaps. For low-tech solutions, use old towels, shirts, or rags to plug any drafty windows or doors.
Use your curtains. Make sure your curtains are open during the day to allow the sun to naturally heat your room. Close them at night to keep that heat trapped in.
Sacrifice unused rooms. If you find that you’re not using that extra bedroom or home office as much, close the door and turn off the vents so you don’t waste money heating them.
Run the ceiling fans in reverse. This might seem strange, but there’s solid logic behind it. Remember that hot air rises. By having your ceiling fan run in reverse, you’ll be pushing all that hot hair back down. Most fans should have a switch that allow you to do this. Put it on a slow speed so you don’t create downdrafts that could counteract its benefits.
Get cooking. Planning to cook on colder days will take some of the load off the furnace without increasing your bills. Leave your oven door open after you’re done to get the full benefit. Just make sure no children or pets are close by.
Close the chimney damper. The fireplace can seem like a great option for getting warm during the winter, but if you leave the damper open afterwards it could backfire. Make a point of closing the damper once it’s safe to do so and consider installing a draft stopper around the fireplace.
Get an emergency audit. It can’t hurt to hire a professional energy auditor to visit your house and pinpoint areas of heat loss. Some utility companies offer the service for free or at a small fee.
Give your furnace some TLC. Start by cleaning your filters on a regular basis. A clogged filter means your furnace has to work that much harder to pump heat into your house, leading to unnecessarily high heating bills. Next, get your furnace tuned up once a year. A technician will make sure it’s working efficiently, leading to potentially big savings on your energy bill.
We hope these tips help you keep warm this winter while also protecting your wallet.