As the cold weather hits, your heating bills can often skyrocket. This can put a strain on the family budget if you’re not properly prepared. There are a number of things you can do however to keep your fuel costs down and conserve energy. The following are some helpful tips to help keep your heating expenses to a minimum:
Maintaining your furnace properly can help lower your heating bills. A dirty filter can block the airflow and waste heat. You can begin by changing your filters monthly during the winter months. You can also have your furnace maintained by a reputable company yearly to ensure that it runs efficiently. Keep your heating vents unobstructed and clear from furniture, rugs and other items, so you get full access to the heat supply in each room.
Make sure your blinds or draperies are open during the day when the sun is at its peak. The sun’s rays will provide additional heat and warm your home for free. At the end of the day, close your blinds to ward off the cold and retain the heat that was built up in your home throughout the daytime hours.
Check for Drafts
Drafts or air leaks can cause you to lose precious heat. A great way to check for leaks is to hold a lit candle near lighting fixtures, sockets, doors and windows. If the flame moves horizontal, you have leaks that need to be sealed. Inexpensive caulking or weather stripping will provide an excellent barrier in keeping heat inside of your home. If you have a fireplace, make sure that the damper and glass doors are closed to avoid heat from escaping.
Ceiling fans are an excellent source for retaining heat in your home during the winter. Adjust the fan so that it moves clockwise and pushes the warm air down from the ceiling.
Another great tip to help lower your heating costs is to make sure that your home is properly insulated. The costs could start around $500 for added insulation, but you could save at least 25 percent each month on your heating bill. Extra insulation can also save you extra money in the summer months when you’re trying to keep your air conditioning costs lower.
Lower the Thermostat
One of the simplest and most inexpensive ways to shrink your heating bill is to turn down the thermostat by one degree. Decreasing the temperature when you’re at work during the day and when you sleep at night can also help with additional savings. Installing a programmable thermostat can aid you in maintaining this type of schedule in case you forget. The thermostat can be programmed for a lower setting while you are away or asleep and turned up when you wake up or return from work.
Hot Water Heater
A hot shower is especially welcoming in the winter months, but you probably won’t notice much of a difference by moving it slightly lower. Most hot water heaters are programmed at around 140 degrees. Reducing your setting down to 120 degrees could save you over five percent in heating costs, and you probably won’t even notice a change in temperature.