Whether you live in the mountains of Tennessee or by the Great Lakes in Michigan, winters can be tough, especially on your wallet. Heating your home during the winter is a necessity for most environments, but it is painfully expensive.
If you want to save money this winter, look no further than your heating system. Even if you don't realize it, you can reduce your heating bills so as to save this winter. Though it might be a bit annoying to really focus on your thermostat, you'll be happy once your heating costs go down.
In this article, we provide you with several easy ways to save on heating. All of these tips are efficient and will cut down on your heating costs. Let's get to it.
Tips On How To Save Money Heating Your Home
Check Out The Heating Bill
Before getting started, you need to check out your heating bill. If you can, try to compare it to last year's heating bill. This will help you see how much or little you need to cut down in order to save. Although it may be slightly painful to relive the heating statements of year's past, it can be highly insightful. After all, you can't make any changes if you keep making the same mistakes.
By looking at your heating bill, you may realize that you need a system audit. The system audit will let you know exactly what the problem is for your home and system, as well as what you should do to save money. An audit may be ideal for those who need to save big or who notice a huge difference between the years.
In contrast, you may only detect a slight change or no change at all. This should tell you that your heating system still works effectively, but that you may need to make minor changes to your home.
Either way, be sure to check out previous statements in order to get a full picture of your situations and house needs.
Use Warm Air, Not Hot
I love to jack up my heater as high as it can go (I am talking over 70 degrees, even in the summer). I know most people are not like me in this regard, but if you are like me, then this tip is for you: use warm air, not hot air! Although it can be tempting to get toasty hot in your home, save on heating by taking the temperature down.
Hot air really isn't necessary. Just by turning the thermostat to around 69, you will see so many savings while still providing heat to your home.
Bundle Up And Turn Down The Thermostat
Regardless of whether or not you love hot air like me, you could probably turn down the thermostat by a couple of degrees. Turning down the temperature just one or two degrees can make a world of difference for winter heating.
If you start to heat your home at a lower temperature, bundle up in more clothes or buy a few more blankets. With these items, you can still save money while staying toasty. In fact, this technique can perhaps bring your heat bill down as much as 10 percent.
I recommend keeping blankets in or near every room. That way, you are sure to keep warm, no matter what room you are in.
Check Out Your Window, Door, and Fireplace
A lot of people don't realize that heat loss and air leaks are often to blame for a high heating bill. Make sure that your home is efficient by checking out your windows, doors, and fireplace. Any cracks or openings will allow cold air to enter the home, requiring you to heat up your home more. At the same time, these cracks will allow hot air to escape, hence wasting your warm air.
As mentioned, doors and windows are common places where leaks can occur. You will also want to check out your venting and ductwork too. Remember: heat rises, making your vents a great culprit for escape. Help keep your home warm by making sure your vents connect your central heating to the rest of the home, without the heat escaping on the way.
Weather stripping can be a great addition to your home. By adding it around your doors and windows, you can keep that cold air and water outside your home.
All in all, make sure your home is designed to seal in the heat and keep out the cold. Check the door, window, and fireplace specifically. Not only will this lower your electric bill in the winter, but it will also save you in the summertime as well.
Get A Space Heater
Some days, I just can't knock the chill. When those days come around, I pull out my small energy efficient space heater. No, it will not warm the entire house, but it will heat the room you are staying in, so you don't have to kick your thermostat up. Most space heaters are powerful enough to heat a room, though, making them a great addition to your office or bedroom.
The great part about this tip is that you don't run it all the time. Despite being as cold natured as I am, I never use it for long periods of time. As a result, it is much more cost-effective than kicking up the heating for eight hours or more.
If you have a fireplace, you can use that instead of a space heater. The fireplace will push the heat back into the room. As long as the fireplace is energy-efficient and close to where you'll be staying in the home, it should definitely warm up the house without adding on to the heating cost dramatically.
One of the best ways to save is to simply open your window curtains, especially if it is pretty outside. As even young children know, the sun is really hot. In the winter, you can use the sun as your own personal heating system. By opening the windows, you allow the sun rays to cut through the cold air and warm your home naturally.
Every morning, I recommend opening windows in every room first thing. Doing this will brighten your day and help you save on your home heating. Especially make it a point to open curtains facing windows around where you plan to sit or work. By simply opening your curtains, you heat your rooms with no additional costs.
Simply by opening your curtains in the morning, you can help stay warm in every room. Just close them back at night for privacy!
Turn On Your Fans
This tip may sound a bit backwards but hear me out. Turn on your ceiling fan next time you feel like the heat isn't reaching your toes. The reason for this is that heat rises. By turning on your ceiling fan, it brings the warm air back towards the ground. For this reason, turning on your fan is a great way to save, though it may sound counter intuitive at first.
Opt For A More Efficient Unit
As technology gets more and more progressive, more efficient heating units are coming out. This includes units with a programmable Wi-fi thermostat, energy ratings, and more. If you have extra money this year, you can buy a new, efficient model instead.
Obviously, buying a whole new energy efficient model will cost a pretty penny up front, but it is a great way to have savings next winter. With items like a smart thermostat or Energy Star label, you can use less energy every month, resulting in more savings.
If you don't want to get a whole new unit, you can get a tune-up instead. See if there are any broken parts, for example, in your current unit. Your heat pump may need some maintenance.
Every year, winter comes along, bringing beautiful snow and high electricity bills. This season, find ways to cut down by incorporating these tips into your home. Simple things like opening a curtain, adding a seal to a door or window, or turning on your fan can save you a lot this winter season.
In addition to saving your money, these tips also benefit the environment. By using less energy in your house, you help give back to nature by decreasing your carbon footprint. It really is a win-win, even for those who find themselves freezing often, like me!