The average American family plans to spend $2,000 this year on home energy, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, with almost half of that going toward heating and cooling the home. With an uncertain economy it’s more important than ever to find ways to save money on your home heating bill. While buying a new energy efficient system is a great idea, there are other less costly ways of heating your home up for less. Here now are the 8 ways to lower your home heating bill.
1. Turn The Thermostat Down
The first tip is the most obvious one, lower your thermostat by a few degrees. The purpose of a heater in your home is to keep you from shivering in the cold winter months. The purpose of a heater isn’t to transform winter into summer. Try to make the temperature inside your home livable, rather than comfortable. If you are still too cold, wear a sweater or a jacket. At night, put on an extra blanket to stay warm.
2. Stop The Air Leaks
You spend good money every month heating your house up during the cold winter months. But the small gaps around your doors and windows are letting the heat out and the cold air in. Plug these leaks up and you can save big on your home heating bill. To find the leaks, hold up a feather near drafty areas. But don’t just concentrate on the doors and windows, look at recessed lighting and electrical outlets too.
3. Heating Up Water
The less warm water you waste the more money you will save on your home heating bill. So a good start is to see what you can do in the home to use less water. The first place to look is the shower. You can take colder showers, you can take shorter showers, but what will really make a difference is installing a low flow shower head. You can buy one for about 20 bucks and rake in the savings for years to come. To further save on your heating (and water) bills, limit your use of warm water when washing dishes, washing your hands or brushing your teeth.
4. Use The Sun
During the day, open up your sun-facing blinds or curtains to let the suns’ bright rays in. Let the sun naturally heat up your home so your heater doesn’t have to do all the work. Close the drapes at night to keep the warmth in through the night.
5. Service Your Furnace
If you want your furnace to treat you right you will need to treat it right. Have your furnace inspected every year or so to ensure that it’s running efficiently. A properly maintained unit running at peak efficiency can save you 5-10% on your heating bill.
6. Heating Ducts
If there are ducts in rooms that you don’t need to heat, close them. There’s no point in heating up rooms that are not used. Force all that warm air inside the rooms that matter. You will also want to ensure that there is nothing obstructing the air flow from the ducts, such as furniture.
7. Ceiling Fan
You typically think of ceiling fans as something you use when it’s already warm and you want to cool down a room. But you can also use a ceiling fan to warm up a room too. Heat rises, so the air around the height of the ceiling fan is warmer than where you’re sitting. So turn on the ceiling fan at the lowest level for a bit and allow it to circulate the warm air around your room. The way you can save money is by lowering the thermostat by a couple of degrees and turning your ceiling fan on.
8. The Fireplace
If you want to warm up your house yet you don’t want to turn on the heater, use your fireplace instead. But the fireplace can be your enemy by allowing warm air to escape. So keep your fireplace damper closed when it’s not in use.