The average American family spends $2,200 per year on their energy bills- with nearly half of that cost going toward heating and cooling. Here are tips for reducing your heating bill during the colder months.
Use Your Fireplace
While feeding a fireplace with wood takes more effort than clicking a few buttons on your thermostat, you could benefit financially by using yours. Often wood in this area is easy to find for free or you can purchase it for very little money. If you have an open-masonry fireplace, you’ll need to be sure to close the damper soon after using it so as not to have heat escape up the chimney while it’s not in use.
If You Don’t Use Your Chimney, Consider Getting it Capped
While fireplaces can be great for heating a home inexpensively, if they’re not used and the chimney’s damper isn’t well sealed, they can be a source of heat loss.
Make Sure Your Vents Aren’t Blocked
It can be easy to place something on top of a vent, not allowing the air to flow into your room efficiently. Do a quick sweep of your house to see if you have any blocked air vents.
Check for Air Leaks
Your house could be leaking expensive heated air. Check around windows (10-25% of your house’s heat loss can be attributed to your windows), doors, near the attic, where cables and wires enter your house, and around electrical outlets.
How to Make Your Windows More Energy Efficient
- Apply window caulk to prevent air seepage. Make sure to check your caulk on an annual basis.
- Add a heftier curtain that keeps the cold out. Insulated draperies can improve energy efficiency in the summer and winter.
- Hang shutters on your home’s exterior. Beyond being an aesthetic addition, shutters, that are installed properly, can help insulate your windows.
Consider the 68/ 55 Strategy
You save 3% on your heating bill for every degree lowered over 24 hours. This is why it’s recommended to keep your heater at 68 degrees (not 70+) during the day and 55 degrees at night.
Wear Socks, Slippers and House Sweaters
Mr. Rogers knew what he was doing when he walked into his house. We turn up the heat when we’re cold. Stop yourself from being cold by finding a cozy pair of slippers and a sweater to wear when you’re at home.
Open the Curtains in the Morning and Close them in the Evening
While we don’t get much sun around here in the fall and winter, you can still benefit from heat coming from the sun throughout the day. Make sure to keep the windows wide open on the south side of your house when the sun is shining and close them as the sun is setting in the evening.
Shut the Doors of Rooms You’re Not Using
There’s no need to heat a room that no one is in. Make a habit of shutting the doors of rooms in your house you won’t be occupying.
Turn your Water Heater Down from 140 to 120 Degrees
The EPA estimates that the average American Family uses 300 gallons of water per day. Heating up that much water costs money. If you turn down your water heater from 140 to 120 degrees, you’ll still get that warm shower you love, but you’ll save money.
Invest in Some More Insulation
Even if you tackle improving the insulation of your house only one step at a time, ensuring you have insulation in the attic, main floor walls, and basement will all help keep your house heated.
Use Your Ceiling Fan
Warm air rises and can sometimes be caught at the ceiling. Using your ceiling fan on low can help that air circulate and more efficiently heat the room.