Winter is coming, and soon it will be time to close the windows and turn up the heat to protect yourself from the chill. Winter means that it’s time to find ways to save on heating costs.
Take Shorter Showers
Taking shorter showers reduces the amount of hot water used and saves money on heating costs. Try using a kitchen timer or a stopwatch to keep yourself to 10 or 15 minute showers. Taking a relaxing bath once a week can also reduce the amount of hot water you use.
Fix Air Leaks
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), “heating and cooling accounts for more than half of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes.” Air leaks from windows, doors, the holes where pipes and wires enter the home, and electrical outlets let in cold outside air and make the heating system work harder and longer. Insulating the attic, under the floors, in the heating ducts, around water pipes, and exterior walls will help reduce air leaks. Use foam inserts, caulk, or weather stripping to seal the air leaks in your home. Installing storm windows and doors or putting up plastic sheeting will also reduce air leaks and save on heating costs.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Make your home energy efficient by upgrading your thermostat to an ENERGY STAR-qualified programmable thermostat. Set the thermostat timer to automatically lower the temperature at bedtime, or while you are at work or on vacation. According to the DOE, creating a home heating schedule with the thermostat timer can help you save five percent or more on heating costs.
Clean the Air Filters
Check your air filter every month, especially during the winter months when you use the heating system the most. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm. Change the filter if it looks dirty, or every three months at minimum. If you have an older home with baseboard heaters or radiators, clean the warm air registers regularly.
Use Natural Heat
A fireplace is a great way to use natural heat. Turn down the thermostat and enjoy a fun family night in front of the fireplace. Make sure to close the vent securely when the fire is out so the cold air won’t get into the house. If you don’t have a fireplace, cuddling with loved ones with a big, warm blanket while watching your favorite movies is another great way to use natural heat.
Use these easy ways to save on heating costs to insulate your budget and enjoy the winter season.
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