Heating costs have risen again this year. According to the the New York Times, heating costs should be down anywhere from 5 – 10% this winter. That makes the average cost to heat a home with natural gas around $649 for the season (much more of course for propane and oil heated homes). Whether you use gas, electric or oil, there are things you can do to help reduce your home heating costs.
1. Turn down the thermostat. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you can save upwards of 3% off of your heating costs. When you are gone for the day, drop the thermostat 10 degrees or more so that you are not heating your home while no one is there. You should also drop the thermostat at bedtime as well. That can really add up to big savings on your heating bill.
One way to do this is to purchase a programmable thermostat, you can set it and forget it. You will be able to program it for each day of the week, including the weekends, to keep those temps where they should be taking into account when you will be home, away for the day or even sleeping.
2. Use your ceiling fan. Toggle the switches on your ceiling fans and force the hot air down into your room. This is an easy way to help push that warm air back down into your room.
3. Caulk your windows and doors. Make sure that you check the caulk while the weather is warm. Adding a new layer and/or removing worn out or cracked caulk can help keep the heat in and the cold out.
4. Winterize your windows. When you know you are done opening your windows for the season, you can purchase plastic film to help seal shut those drafty windows. It may not be the most easy to look through, but this can really keep your room warmer by not allowing drafts.
5. Keep your curtains closed. Curtains can help keep the warm air in your home and not allow the cold air to come in. By keeping curtains shut, you can help keep that heat in your home and lower the frequency your furnace has to run.
6. Keep the vents open and unblocked. Make sure that you do not have furniture and/or blankets in front of your vents. You want to make sure that the air can circulate in the room.
7. Service your furnace or heater. It is important to have an annual service completed on your heating unit not only for safety, but also efficiency. If your unit is not working properly, you can end up paying more in heating your home. Make sure you also clean or replace your filter at this same time!
8. Cover up. If you find you are cold, put on a sweatshirt and/or socks. You can also cover up with a blanket. Of course, you don’t want to be freezing, but rather than up the thermostat, try other things to warm yourself up first.
What things do you do to keep your heating costs down?