5 Tips To Lower Your Heating Bill

5 Tips To Lower Your Heating Bill

During those frigid winter months, we try to fight the Polar Vortex without emptying our wallets.  Heat is a necessity for survival, especially in regions prone to extreme cold, but you should be able to comfortably afford this utility.  While most people will tell you to simply put on layers of clothing and “live with it”, here are some other tips to help you lower those heating costs.

Winterize Your Home
Making sure your home is properly protected from the elements will go a long way to keeping the bills reasonable.  Here are several things you should consider doing to your home in order to maximize your heat efficiency.

  • Caulk/Weather Strip Windows and Doors – Caulk around the edge of leaky window or door frames to seal heat from escaping and drafts from coming in.  Weather stripping are spools of sticky foam or rubber insulation that can be applied to the frames of windows or doors.  Both caulk and weather stripping are readily available at your local hardware store.
  • Wrap Windows – Upgrade to double pane windows.  If that is a little out of budget, simply buy the plastic wrap kits and adhere it to your window frame using the double-sided tape.  You can use a hair dryer to stretch the plastic tightly across the window.
  • Seal Cracks – Trusty caulk or spray foam are ideal for sealing any gaps or cracks from where pipes pass through a home or basement.  Even insulate around your water heater.
  • Curtains – While not everyone has curtains in their home, these are a fantastic way to improve heat efficiency because heavy curtains can block drafts.  Be sure to open any south-facing windows in the daylight hours to let in the heat from the sun.  Keep all other curtains consistently closed throughout the winter.
  • Electrical Sockets – Any electrical outlets on exterior walls should be insulated in some way to prevent drafts from slipping through the cracks.  Either install gaskets on these outlets or use spray foam or acrylic caulk.
HVAC Pro Tip
High Efficiency Units
If you can, invest in a new furnace, boiler or heat pump system.  While it may be a bit more costly, it will save you big in the long run.  You will save a ton on your heating bills and you won’t have to worry about repair bills or breakdowns.  Newer units come with warranties so, if something does happen, you don’t have to worry about out-of-pocket expense.
Home Energy Audit
Most utility companies will offer a home energy audit, free of charge.  These audits tell you how much energy your home uses and what steps you can take to increase your efficiency.  An audit is useless if you do not take the steps recommended to improve your situation.  Your energy provider can guide you to professional services which can be as thorough as using blower door tests and infrared cameras for thermal imaging.  This is something you should definitely schedule before winter.
Programmable Thermostats
By installing a programmable thermostat, you can lower your temperature settings at night or when you don’t need as much heat.  Having the thermostat automatically drop temps when you are gone all day or while you sleep can save you hundreds on your heating bill each year.  You can buy a programmable thermostat for $30 and up but it is a small investment to make for a lifetime of savings.
HVAC Pro Tip 2
HVAC Inspection
Regardless of the weather, you want to have your entire heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems checked every year.  HVAC inspections are pretty reasonably priced and the HVAC professional will lubricate moving parts, clean out debris and clogs and make sure your system is running at its greatest efficiency.  A simple check will go a long way to preventing huge repair costs or severe issues from piling up.  Be sure to change your filter monthly as part of HVAC upkeep.

In the end, you have plenty of options available to you in order to increase your heat efficiency and lower your bill.  One of the biggest priorities in your home is your heating and cooling systems so you will want to treat those exceptionally well.  Even if you only do a couple of recommendations listed, you will start to see an improvement in how well your home stores heat in the winter.

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