10 Ways to Reduce Heating Bills this Winter
The cold weather is just starting to creep up on us, which means it’s almost time to turn on the furnace. Unfortunately, we hear a lot about the yearly utility bill spike that comes with winter heating.
We’re here to tell you, there are a few things you can do to reduce your heating bill. Here are 10 of our favorite ways to knock a few dollars of the monthly total.
The Most Effective Ways to Reduce Heating Bills:
1. Seal Any Air Leaks
Small cracks in the roof and walls are responsible for nearly 25% to 40% of your energy bill. If you’re like us, you don’t want that money flying out the window.
The best way to take care of this is by doing an investigation into your windows, doors, and light fixtures. On a windy day, hold a piece of paper up to your windows and light fixtures and see if the paper flaps in the breeze. If so, you need to seal the area.
The next step is to look at your doors. Make sure no weather stripping is out of place and check for cracks in the doorframe. Patching any holes will help reduce heating bills.
2. Leave the Curtains Open
During the summer we tell our clients to keep the window shades drawn. This keeps cool air in and warm air out. However, during the winter, you want to let the light in.
Open your curtains during the day to harness the heat transfer of any natural light. Then, when the sun starts to set, close the curtains to seal off anything in your home.
3. Dress for the Season
What are you waiting for? It’s finally sweater weather! Now is the time to pull out all the comfy joggers and hoodies you have stored in the back of your closet.
A great way to actually stay warm in the house is to dress for the season. If you don’t have cozy slippers or a sweater, now is the best time to find them before the chill truly sets in.
This theory also applies to your home decorations. Flannel sheets are great for the winter because they help keep you warm throughout the night. Also make sure to keep a fuzzy blanket on the couch and a rug beneath your feet.
4. Check Your Air Filter
If there’s one piece of advice we could give every homeowner, it’s to routinely check and change or clean your air filter.
If left too long, an air filter can get too full and can’t do any of its jobs. First, an overfull air filter can’t trap dust and other particles. Which will leave your HVAC system and your home dirty.
Another issue with dirty air filters is that they block heated air from coming through. This forces your HVAC system to work twice as hard to make the same amount of air. This extra work can make your utility bills go sky high.
The best way to take care of this is by checking your air filter every month and replacing when necessary. The rate at which you change your air filter will greatly depend on the type of filter you buy and the environment of your home.
5. Close the Doors
A great way to help keep your heating bill down is by closing the door in any unused rooms. Do you have a guest bathroom or guestroom that’s not used too often? Make sure that door stays shut.
Don’t confuse this with closing vents. You’ll want to keep the supply and return vents in the room open, just leave the door closed.
Your HVAC system works to replenish any heat that’s been lost. By closing the door, you’re trapping heat inside the room. This tells the HVAC system to not create more warm air, which will give your system a break and help reduce heating bills.
6. Check Your Insulation
Insulation is a natural way to help keep your home warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Yes, that cotton candy colored fluff in your attic plays a big role in your overall comfort.
While insulation can go a decent amount of time before needing to be replaced, it does have a lifespan. Also, atmospheric elements, like excess moisture, can make your insulation deteriorate at a faster rate.
7. Use the Oven
At Bell Brothers, this is our favorite way to generate heat. There’s nothing better than a warm, hearty meal on a cold night. And you get to keep your home nice and warm at the same time! Win, win situation.
8. Turn Down the Thermostat
Hear us out on this one. We know how tempting it is to just crank up the thermostat when you come home to a cold and empty home, but this will end up costing more money.
What we recommend is to keep your thermostat around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is seemingly low, we know this. However, it’s enough to keep your home comfortable—if you’re dressing for the season—while keeping your utility bill in check.
It’s important to remember that your furnace can only heat a set amount of air at a time. Which means no matter how high you set your thermostat, the length of time it takes to heat your home is about the same.
9. Don’t Forget Your Fireplace
We love a warm fire on a cold night. It really sets the mood and gives a nice spark. It’s important to remember to close your damper after the fire is out.
Warm, treated air from your HVAC system can easily escape through the chimney. And that means you’re literally putting money out of your wallet and into the fire.
10. Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up
Hands down, the best thing you can do for your system, your home, and your wallet is to schedule a yearly furnace tune-up.
During a furnace tune-up, one of Bell Brothers’ expert HVAC technicians will inspect and clean every part of your system. They will look for anything that may need to be fixed soon and let you know so there are no maintenance surprises.
Scheduling regular tune-ups are the best way to maintain your system. We recommend having your system checked twice per year. Once in the spring before it’s time to turn on the AC and once in the fall before furnace season.
Call the number at the top of the screen or click here to book an appointment online.