This post was created to provide the readers some common and eccentric ways on how to save on heating costs during the winter time. Some of the ways may not be seen as normal but they do make a difference in lowering the heating bills.
Winter season is here before we know it. Well, right now it feels like it's winter time even when it's just Fall season.
One thing is for sure, that is, it’s cold or getting colder now and, for some, the weather is becoming unbearable. Of course, it’s the Fall/Winter season and that means a lot of people are using heat like crazy in their homes, which also means high electric bills.
No one wants to pay a ton of money in heating even though it’s needed. So, what are the ways to save on heating costs, then?
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8 Ways to Save on Heating Costs
According to the Department of Energy, the average US household spends at least $700 on heating using natural gas and $1700 using heating oil. Sad to say but winter time eats up a lot of money that could go to savings, college education funds, among others.
Having said that, there are a couple of ways to save on heating bill during this season and here they are:
1. Get a home energy audit
Before you start fixing any leaks, it is a good idea to get a home energy audit. While you may think you know where the problems are, you may need a second pair of eyes. You need to do this to make sure you don’t overlook at some potential culprits that can contribute to your heating bill. This is where the professional auditors for home energy can come in handy.
Some electric companies provide home energy auditing services for free. I know I got one for free plus a small supply of LED bulbs. It doesn't hurt to ask and, even if there is cost attached to the service, you may be better off if you get that service than not.
2. Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower
When you are awake, set your thermostat at 68 °F and set it lower when you are away from your home or are sleeping. According to the Department of Energy, this practice can save you 5%-15% per year on heating bill. It further stated that the lower the temperature in your house is, the slower the heat loss.
This means that the lower the temperature in your house is, the more energy is saved and the lower the heating bill.
If you don’t feel comfortable with this scenario, you can always wear light thermal clothing to keep you warm all throughout the day and/or night.
3. Seal the leaks
One of the other ways to save on heating costs is by sealing the leaks. Leaks, when left unsealed, can result in a tremendous loss of heat. Make sure that all the leaks are covered. Look for vents and pipes that go through the ceiling, wall, or floor and seal them properly. Check your windows, doors, and bathrooms for gaps.
Chimney is also one of the places that needs checking. If you checked the chimney and felt the draft, then, you may need to retrofit your chimney or put chimney caps, which are costly and cumbersome to do. Instead of doing such expensive fix, you may need to cover the fireplace with fitted glass doors.
4. Use plastic films for windows
Unless you have those energy-efficient windows, which really cost a lot, you may be off to a good start if you use plastic films. These films only cost between $10-20 but could potentially save you up to $17 a window. If you need more information on how to apply plastic films over windows, visit the Energystar.gov.
5. Clean your furnace
One of the ways to save on heating costs is through cleaning your furnace. If you haven't cleaned your furnace or don’t know when the last time you cleaned it, then, it’s time to gear up and clean it. According to Green Living Online, cleaning the furnace every 2 months can increase its efficiency by 50%.
6. Take advantage of the sun
During the day, it’s a good idea to bring sunlight into your home. Even when it’s freezing outside, the sun’s rays still emit heat. Keep your curtains open in the day especially in the south wing of your house where you there is plenty of sunlight.
You may want to keep the curtains closed during the night as these curtains act as barriers to reduce the dreaded drafts. If you can, try to trim shrubs or trees that block the sunlight. It may be a small step but it may help you reduce your heating bill.
7. Reduce water temperature
If your water heater temperature is constantly above 120 degrees Fahrenheit, then, it’s time to set it to 120 degrees. According to Consumer Energy Center, setting water temp to 120 degrees Fahrenheit can provide 7-11% in savings. Hot water almost always is used for taking a shower and washing the dishes.
There are a couple of ways you can do to save on hot water, some may be clever and some are just downright crazy. But they do work though. Here are some ways that you can do to reduce using hot water:
- Make sure your dishwasher is full before you run it. This will save you on soap and water.
- Use a low-flow shower head, which only requires less water and less heat, in return.
- Turn off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth. Only turn it on when you just started and/or when you are ready to rinse and get done.
- When applicable, don’t shower at home and use the gym shower for that purpose. If you happen to have a gym membership, you may head there for a quick shower before going to work.
- When hand washing dirty dishes and utensils, turn off the faucet until you’re in your washing and rinsing stages.
- Take a shower at the same time with your little kids. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to take a bath together.
- After soaking in the bathtub, don’t drain the water and use the water to flush the toilet. It’ll save you some water though not necessarily hot water.
8. Do these other activities:
- Cleaning the lint filter of your dryer every load. According to Green Living Online, a clogged filter likely increases energy consumption by up to 30%.
- Use energy-saving bulbs like CFLs and LEDs.
- Rotate your ceiling fans. It helps circulate rising heated air.
- Avoid using space heaters to heat your whole house. That's why it's called space not house heaters.
These are the ways to save on heating costs. You can apply the mentioned ways to save money especially when you expect that your heating bill this winter will be flying high. If you have other ways of saving some dollars during the winter time, please share them via the comments below.
Heating costs are brutal. They are expensive and can really put a dent in your pockets. Prepare now and do as much as you can to ensure that your heating cost this cold seasons won't break your bank.
What tips and tricks have you done in the post to not spend a whole lot on heating cost?