Cooler weather is arriving in most areas of the country. Fall is here! I welcome the cooler temperatures and crisp morning air. Leaves are gradually changing colors and it’s so refreshing.
Fall usually means that our electric bill will be lower. We don’t need the air conditioning or the heater. It’s a great time of year, even though it’s often short-lived. With winter coming fairly soon, the heating will be turned on and the bill will go up. That’s why I’m offering 29 ways to save on your heating costs.
We all want to keep our homes comfortable, but our frugal side tells us that the bill will be too high if we don’t take steps to prevent it. I’ve created a list of tips that could help you save money this fall and winter. I hope you’ll try them and save on your heating costs.The easiest way to save money in the winter is to turn down our thermostat. If everyone in your home is healthy, turning the thermostat down will not be a problem. You may need to dress a little warmer, though.
If you don’t have one, install a programable thermostat. A programable thermostat is sometimes called a clock thermostat, because you’ll be able to adjust the settings based on specific times of day or night.
Reduce drafts by various means. Often, a draft will be felt around exterior doors. One way that is adopted from our ancestors is to make a draft barrier like this.
It’s a bigger investment, but over time it is well worth it: Install storm windows and doors.
Once winter comes, your furnace will be working hard. Don’t make it worse by having a dirty air filter. Change, or at least check them, once a month. If you have a family member with allergies or asthma, you will want to invest in a more expensive filter that traps more fine particles.
- If you have ceiling fans, you can turn them to reverse and that helps to push the warm air down where you want it.
- When the sun isn’t coming in to naturally warm your room, shut the blinds and use heavy drapes or quilt drapes to keep help insulate the room from cold air. Insulated drapes are available, too.
- Cold air comes in through your shower drain. You can block that air by using a drain cover.
- If you heat with oil, don’t just take your first price. Shop around and find the lowest price for your heating oil. Some areas can join a Fuel Co-Op, which work together to get a better price deal.
- Insulate your home well. Check the attic and see if there is good enough insulation. You can add more there to keep the cold air from coming in.
- Your furnace will run more efficiently if it is in good working order. Have a professional come and do a check-up before you turn on the heat for the first time each winter.
- If you’re going to be away from your home for a while, turn down the heat 10-15% so that you’re not wasting money.
- Don’t just close your windows; lock them.
- Weatherstrip around any exterior doors and windows if you feel a draft. If you see daylight around the door, you need to add weatherstripping. Replace any old torn or brittle weatherstripping, too.
- If you have an unused room in your home, keep the door closed. Don’t shut the vents in that room, because it can be hard on the furnace.
- Basements are good places to check. If there are air leaks in the basement, seal them with caulking or foam.
- Add foam gaskets behind your electrical outlets. They act as a buffer to prevent outside cold air from entering your home.
- You may already have these, but rugs on the floor will keep your floors warm.
- If you have gas logs or a wood-burning fireplace, it’s important to have them inspected before use each year. You need to know that the fireplace is safe and in good working order. This is one way to make sure you get the most heat available from your fireplace.
- If you have a chimney, the flue should be tightly shut when the fireplace is not in use. Cold air will come down the chimney and make your room cold.
- Using a humidifier will keep the air from being too dry. The more moisture that is in the air, the warmer the air will feel.
- Sometimes heating ducts aren’t protected from leaks, so it helps if metal tape is used to stop leaks.
- Dressing in layers will help you to stay warm, even if the room is cooler. Invest in a warm wool sweater and wool socks. Keep lots of soft, warm blankets handy.
- Dress your bed, too. You may prefer a sheet and comforter in the summer, but you can add more layers on your bed in winter.
- Only use the bathroom exhaust when necessary. Using it draws the warm air out of your house.
- Drinking warm drinks will help to keep you warmer, so you won’t be tempted to turn up the heat.
- If you have a window A/C unit, make sure and remove it during the cold months. It’s a little work, but will help keep that room warmer.
- Check with your energy provider to see about having an Energy Audit. Most companies will do this for free. This may show you other ways to save on your heating bill.
- Insulated paint is an idea for insulating your home. Developed with NASA, there aren’t enough conclusive studies. It has shown to improve the home’s insulation by 20% if it’s applied to the exterior of the home (on the side facing the sun).
Do you have any great ideas for saving money on your heating bill? We can try all the methods and it should help our bills to be lower.
@2019, copyright Lisa Ehrman