How to Reduce Your Heating Bill During Winter
There are several factors that contribute to your high heating bill during the winter months. However, with some home maintenance and lifestyle changes, you can reduce your heating bill significantly. Keep reading to find out how.
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There’s nothing better than staying in on a cold day and getting cozy under a warm blanket with a good book and a mug of steaming hot chocolate.
But then you get your heating bill. And you suddenly want to turn off the heat and shiver under the blankets until summer.
Heat usually takes up more than 40% of your utility bill. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your heating bill during the cold, winter months. I’ve listed some free and inexpensive ways for you to keep that bill down. (And none of them involve turning the heat off!) The more things you do on the list, the lower your bill will be.
Related: How to Lower Your Utility Bills
Why is my heating bill so high during winter?
Several things can cause your electric bill to rise during the winter. These include the condition of your home, the condition of your furnace or HVAC system, and your own habits.
If your home doesn’t have insulation, your house is losing heat. Also, if the doors and windows aren’t sealed correctly, you’ll experience air leaks, which results in heat loss.
The condition of your heating system also plays a role in making your heating bill go up. An older furnace uses more energy than a newer one. Also, if the heating system is not properly taken care of, it may not be running the way it should. This also causes the heating bill to rise.
More than likely you are using more heat than you actually need. For example, if you are wearing shorts and t-shirts in your home during the winter, your home is warmer than the average person, which results in a higher heating bill.
Making a few changes and maintaining your home will help reduce your heating bill significantly.
Ways to Reduce Your Heating Bill to Save Money During Winter
1. Wear cozy socks – If your feet are cold your whole body will feel cold. Winter is the perfect time to stock up on cute cozy socks to wear around the house.
2. Bundle up – Instead of cranking up the heat, bundle up in a sweater or a blanket. Also, consider wearing layers of clothing so if you get warm you can easily remove a layer. Wearing a hat will also keep your body warm.
3. Close the flue – Allowing your chimney flue to remain open when the fireplace isn’t in use is the same as leaving a window open a few inches. Large amounts of warm air is allowed to leave the house, letting cold air in.
4. Circulate the air – Run your ceiling fan in reverse to circulate air up toward the ceiling. Since heat rises, this will force any warm air that’s trapped at the ceiling down into your home.
5. Keep vents clear – Make sure vents are not being blocked by furniture or rugs and there are no large objects in front of radiators. Not only does this allow the warm air to circulate better, but it’s also safer too!
6. Keep vents & radiators clean – Dust builds up on radiators and baseboard heat vents fairly quickly. Make sure to keep them free of dust to allow equal heat distribution throughout the home. It’s also healthier!
7. Let the sunlight in – Around 10-25% of your home’s heat loss can be due to the windows. Open the shades and curtains on south-facing windows during the day to allow the sun to warm your home naturally. Keep the curtains and shades closed at night to keep the cold air out.
8. Shut the doors – If there’s a room in your home that’s not being used, shut the door and close the vent. On the other hand, keeping a door closed when you are in the room can increase the room’s temperature. This is not only due to the heating system, but also any heat produced by electronics or lights and your own body heat.
10. Move your bed – If possible, move your bed away from the window. Glass cools considerably at night which also cools down the inside area near the window. To stay warm at night, move your bed to the other side of the room.
11. Cover the windows – At night and in rooms that don’t get any sunlight, use insulated or heavier window coverings to insulate the room. Or drape a thick blanket that you already have over the curtains to save more money.
12. Cook at home – Winter is the perfect time to cook comfort foods such as soups and stews. It’s also a great time to get some baking done, especially during the holidays. Cooking and baking at home not only save you money on restaurant bills, but it will also reduce your heating bill because the heat from your oven warms up the kitchen.
Tip: When you are finished baking, leave the oven door open slightly and let the warm air escape and heat your kitchen.
1. Seal any leaks – Sealing any leaks in your home will save you between 10-20% on your heating bill. Common areas that leaks are found are around doors, windows, electrical outlets, near the attic, and where wires and cables enter your home. Also be sure to seal any gaps around pipes, vents, or other openings with weather stripping or caulk.
2. Check the filters – Be sure to check the filters in your home’s heating system. Dirty filters will cause heating costs to rise so make sure they are clean. Keeping the filters clean will help reduce your heating bill by reducing strain on your furnace, which will extend its life. And you get cleaner, healthier air, too!
3. Add insulation – Basement insulation is often the most overlooked type of insulation in your home. Adding insulation will keep the hot air in and the cold air out and help reduce your heating bill.
Another place to check for insulation is the heating ducts. If your home has non-insulated heating ducts that travel through unheated spaces (attics, basement, etc.) then you could be losing up to 60% of your heated air!
4. Use a humidifier – Another great way to reduce your heating bill is to start using a humidifier. Moist air holds heat better than dry air, so using a humidifier will help keep the space warmer. Other benefits to using a humidifier include reducing static electricity and dry skin, and it makes breathing easier.
5. Install plastic window film – Plastic window film can reduce the amount of heat that is lost through your windows. If you have single-pane windows, this is a cheap way to keep the heat in and the cold out. Adding plastic window film to your windows can save you up to 10% on your heating bill.
6. Get a programmable thermostat – You can set a programmable thermostat to turn the heat down a few degrees when you’re not home or while you’re sleeping. Sleep experts agree that 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature for sound sleep.
7. Place a thick rug – Hard flooring may be pretty, but it won’t keep you warm. Lay down a thick area rug to help insulate your room and reduce your heating bill. If you have wood or vinyl floors in the bedroom, lay an area rug in there, too. It will keep your feet warm when you get up in the mornings.
8. Get an energy audit – A home energy audit will show you where your home is losing heat. It will also tell you exactly what you need to do to reduce your heating bill. You can conduct an energy audit yourself, however, having a professional do it for you might be a better idea. They have more tools and equipment to check every nook and cranny in your home.
Learn more about energy audits here.
How do you save money on your heating bill? What’s your best tip for reducing your heating bill during winter?
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