When the temperature begins to fall our heating bills begin to rise. For many families, keeping their home warm in the Winter means paying a high heating bill. Luckily there are a few ways to help reduce those costs and keep a little extra cash for these upcoming holidays, we hope it helps your household!
Don’t be Shady
Even though it may be cold outside, the sun still tries to peak through on occasion. Open curtains and blinds early in the day to let the sun help heat the house, and close them after sunset for extra insulation. If it’s the weekend and you plan to sleep in, open the blinds or shades partway the night before to let some of the sunlight in while still maintaining some privacy.
Hello Fans and Vents
Warm air rises, so you can help deflect it back down to where you want it by running ceiling fans clockwise. Kitchen and bathroom venting fans, on the other hand, draw the warm air out, so use them sparingly. Winter air is dry, so if you’re just venting humidity, do so minimally to keep some moisture in the house.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t currently have a programmable thermostat and you can afford one, it’s worth the money to upgrade. ENERGY STAR estimates that an average-sized home can save $150 to $200 per year by switching from a manual to a programmable thermostat.
Cover Bare Floors
I’ve caught myself turning the heat up just because my feet were cold. If you prefer to walk around the house in bare feet no matter the season, cover your floors with rugs in the areas you walk the most. If you prefer not to wear shoes in the house, wear slippers or heavy socks to keep your feet warm so you won’t be tempted to turn up the heat. Some slipper-socks are designed with traction soles to keep you from slipping on bare floors.
Maintain Your Furnace
Furnace filters should be changed monthly, and even those that are designed to be changed every three months should be changed more frequently if they look dirty. A dirty filter makes your furnace work harder by slowing down the flow of air.
Clear Heating Vents
Move furniture far enough away from heating vents to ensure that you’re heating the room, and not just the furniture. Consider using air deflectors over vents to direct the heat outward instead of letting it drift upward into curtains or drapes. Also, be sure to vacuum the registers and vents on a regular basis to prevent dust buildup.
Use a Space Heater
During the day I keep the house at 66 degrees and heat my daughters play room with a space heater, because we spend the majority of our day in that room, it doesn’t make sense to heat the entire house. However, be sure that your space heater is energy efficient, as some models can use far more electricity than their small size would suggest.
Make Adjustments to Your Water Heater
For every 10 degrees you reduce the thermostat on your water heater, you can save 3% to 5% in operating costs. The optimum setting is considered to be 120 degrees. You can also put your water heater on a timer that turns it off during the day when it’s not being used, or at night when you’re sleeping.
Use Your Fireplace Wisely
An inefficient fireplace generates little heat and can make the rest of the house colder by drawing in outside air through drafty windows. On the other hand, a high-efficiency fireplace can generate enough heat to help warm an entire house. In either case, close the damper when the fireplace is not in use to prevent the warm air heated by your furnace from literally going up the chimney.
Insulate Your Home
An insulated home can use up to 50% less energy than a home without insulation. Insulation is rated by R-value: The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. If you decide to insulate, don’t necessarily stop at your attic. You can also insulate ducts, pipes, and even outlets and switches.
Now you know a few ways to keep your heating costs down, it’s key to note a certain amount of fresh air must be able to flow into the home in order to prevent moisture building up, which would lead into mold during the winter.