10 Tips to Save on Home Heating
I broke down last weekend and turned on our furnace for the first time this year. I know, it sucks…not only is it cold outside, now we have to pay to heat our home!
Luckily, by making some simple, easy adjustments in your home you can reduce the cost of the dreaded energy bill.
Here is a list of 10 home heating tips to help you keep your house snug and cozy all season, while saving money on your heating bills.
- Call for a checkup:A furnace that is not working properly can cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your utility bill over time. To keep your furnace running at peak performance, make sure to have it checked for a tune up by a professional at least every other year.
- Change your Filter: Dirty filters can make your furnace work harder, it is best to try and change the filter once a month.Air filters are located right beside the furnace and you should be able to pull them out and take a look to see if they are clean or dirty.You should always have a brand new one for the heating season.
- Check the Vents around your home:Make sure all your vents are open and there are no furniture or other objects blocking the vent in anyway, that way they can all deliver the heat you are paying for.
- Consider a programmable thermostat:If you have one make sure to use it to its full potential if not they cost between $30 and $100, but that money will be well spent as you will save money on heating over the course of the year.The programmable thermostat allows you to adjust the heat to a specific schedule, so you can lower your heat when you are not home.According to Engery.gov by automatically turning down the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day when you are not at home can cut your heating bill by 10 percent or more!
- Run Ceiling fans in reverse:Hot air rises, so running your ceiling fans in reverse will help to bring it back down to floor level and help distribute the heat and save power.
- Close heating vents and doors in rooms that are not used all the time:This will help to circulate more heat into the rooms that are used all the time.
- Insulate outlets and light switches: Electrical boxes in your walls are known for letting in cold air as insulation isn’t always placed behind them correctly.So you want to stop the air from flowing around and through the box.To do this you need to remove the plates and fill in the small gasps around the boxes with acrylic latex caulk or foam sealant for larger gaps.Then place a foam gasket over the outlet or switch and replace the plate.Foam gaskets cost around $1 to $2 for a 2 pack, which is a small investment that will pay off for as long as you live in the house.
- Supplement heating with a portable heater or fireplace: Instead of heating your entire house add a space heater in the most popular rooms or run your fireplace.This will allow you to lower your thermostat and still have comfortable living temperatures.
- Fix Drafty Windows and Doors: Whether you have a new or older house there is a good chance your warm air is leaking outside through your doors and windows. Sealing these leaks will help keep that warm air in and could save you more than 10% on heating bills. You start by caulking or weatherstripping around the windows and doors.You can also pick up indoor window kits at hardware stores that will help for added comfort.
You can even have your utility company do a energy audit where they will come and tell you what the biggest heat loos sources are and identify simple solutions to help.
Don’t let your heating costs go up the chimney: When your fireplace is not in use you want to make sure to keep the damper closed to prevent all that nice warm air from escaping up the chimney. Also when using the fireplace you can reduce heat loss by opening the dampers in the bottom of the firebox and making sure the blower is on so you can get that nice warm air back into the room.If you never use the fireplace you can plug and seal the chimney.
- Take advantage of heat from the sun: Open those blinds and curtains on your south-facing windows during the day and allow that nice warm sunlight to naturally heat your home.Make sure to close them at night to reduce chill
- Turn Down your water heater:According to the Department of Energy, water heaters account for 14 -25% of monthly energy bills.Factory settings for water heaters are 140 degrees Fahrenheit.Try turning down the water temperature to 120 degrees, most of us will be able to still live comfortably and save 6-10% on your water heating costs.
- Minimize the Use of Kitchen and Bathroom Fans: Exhaust fans in your Kitchen and Bath will pull that warm air right out of your house or apartment, so make sure to turn them off when you are done using them.