Four Easy Ways to Save on Your Heating Bills This Winter
The cost of heating your home is always in the spotlight when the cold weather hits, but with rising energy prices this year, it’s more relevant than ever. There are ways around this, and you can cut costs without even shivering and suffering all winter. Here are some ways to reduce your heating bill without getting cold.
Lower the temperature in your home
For starters, the Department of Energy suggests resetting your thermostat, especially when you’re sleeping or away from home. You can save up to 10% a year by lowering your thermostat seven to ten degrees for eight hours a day. The Department of Energy recommends temperatures of 68°F during waking hours and even lower when you sleep. Here’s our guide to keeping your bed as warm as possible .
Electric blankets use up less of your precious energy than whole house heating, so consider using one of these when you first get into bed, but make sure it’s turned off before you fall asleep. While you are doing this, lower the temperature of the water heater as well. Typically, according to Geico , they are set at around 140°F, but really shouldn’t be higher than 120. Your shower will still be warm, but your costs will be lower.
Other smart thermostat options
The Department of Energy makes another good point about the thermostat: for maximum efficiency and less waste, you need to be sure your device isn’t “ghost reading” or making unnecessary cycles. It is needed on an interior wall, away from sunlight, drafts, doorways and windows, and in a place where natural air currents occur. Do not place furniture in front of or under the thermostat, as this will block the currents needed to control the temperature.
Close the vents if you’re not around
Furnace vents in rooms you don’t occupy should be covered, according to Geico, so you don’t heat rooms that aren’t in use. If you plan to use the room, just open the ventilation beforehand. Be sure to keep the doors to unoccupied rooms closed. In fact, for the best possible warmth, you should close your interior doors every time you enter or leave a room in the winter.
Make home repairs
If you’re trying to save money, home renovations may not seem like a cheap solution. However, you can make simple fixes that will help your home stay warmer longer and use less heat.
First, take a look at your attic, according to Geiko. If you don’t have at least 11 inches of insulation, heat will simply escape through the top of the house. Also check for cracks in the attic floor and fix them. It doesn’t have to be a beautiful renovation; no one will see them. But you should not have any gaps through which air can escape, especially if this air is directed to an uninsulated attic.
In fact, cracks and drafts are a problem in any home. Light a candle in any room where you think there might be a draft, and then look at the trail of smoke to see which way it’s blowing. Once you’ve determined where the draft is coming from, seal it off by any means, whether it’s window sealing or homemade draft protection on the door .