The chilly winter season can cause your heating bill to spike and turn your budget upside down for a few months. In areas with more brutal winters, it's common to want to blast your heat and just deal with high heating bills. However, you don’t have to deal with expensive heating bills in the winter if you are comfortable making a few subtle changes.
Make Sure Your Home is Properly Insulated
Consider buying double pane thermal windows to help keep the warmth in and the cold out during the winter months. You can also seal air ducts and make sure they are insulated throughout unused rooms in your home. Also, install weather stripping material around doors and windows to keep the cold air out.
Program Your Thermostat
Programmable thermostats allow you to ‘set it and forget it’ when it comes to controlling the heat in your home. According to Energy.gov, a programmable thermostat can save you an estimated 10 percent a year on heating and cooling costs. To save money on your energy bill in the winter with this type of thermostat, make sure you set different temperatures throughout the day. When you're gone, consider using less heat. When you're sleeping you may actually prefer the room to be cool.
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Delay Turning on Your Heat for as Long as You Can
One of the most efficient ways to keep your heating costs low is to avoid turning on the heat for as long as you can stand it. During the fall months, you should be able to utilize some of these other tips and techniques mentioned to keep your home warm and comfortable for as long as you can.
Wear thick socks, sweaters and hoodies around the house for a few weeks until it gets very cold. Now that it’s December, this may be more difficult to do. You can even invest in an electric blanket to use every now and then. Also, open your blinds during the day to let natural sunlight enter your home and double check to make sure the heat is turned down when you leave your home or when you’re sleep.
The longer you delay turning up the heat, the lower your heating bill.
Check the Settings on Your Water Heater
Check your water heater to see if you could lower the settings by a few degrees to lower your heating bill. Your water heater is usually on 24/7 and odds are you don’t need scalding hot water the entire time. If you could lower the temperature, it may not even be noticeable and it could save you money on your bill each month.
Extra Tips and Tricks
- Cook a lot more in the winter with your oven. If you already cook a lot of meals in the oven, then this won’t be a huge change. Cooking your meals at home will save you lots of money and in turn, using the oven will help heat up your home and allow you to keep your furnace low. I have an electric oven so sometimes in the winter I even leave the oven open after I turn it off while as it cools down.
- Use a space heater. I know that space heaters are not everyone’s favorite, but they are much cheaper to operate if you need to heat a single room or an area of your home that you spend a lot of time in. Be cautious and/or avoid using a space heater if you have a young child who wanders around the house often and could touch it by accident. Many, however, are child safe.
- Check your furnace’s filter and replace it as needed. Filters help keep dust out of your home. If you maintain and replace the furnace filter(s) in your home as needed, you’ll be saving energy by allowing the furnace not to work so hard to heat your home
All of these tips and strategies are fairly easy ways to ensure you continue to have a warm and comfortable winter without subjecting yourself to an extremely high heating bill.
How do you manage your heating bill in the winter? Which one of these tips work best for you?