6 Tips for Lowering Your Heating Bill This Winter
You’ve got all your ducks in a row for a warm and cozy winter despite dropping temps – but have you stopped to consider the increased heating bills headed your way? It’s all just part of the frosty winter season, so don’t fret; plan ahead instead! Here are six ways to lower your heating bill as the Fahrenheit readings fall.
Control That Thermostat
Nobody wants to feel a chill in their bones while inside, so it’s tempting to crank up the thermostat and keep it there 24 hours a day. But the truth is that you don’t always need the extra degrees. According to the US Department of Energy, you can lower your heating and cooling bill up to 10 percent a year by turning the thermostat down 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit for eight hours. Do this during the day while everyone is at work and school, or at night when sleeping. Just invest in some extra blankets, and layer your sleep wear as needed.
Clean and Maintain Filters
Like any appliance, your furnace needs a little bit of attention to keep things moving smoothly. Check any replaceable parts at the beginning of the season to ensure there are no malfunctioning pieces, and make sure vents are unblocked. Clean filters every four to six weeks as needed throughout the winter, as this can help lower your heating bill.
Add Low-Cost Foam Stripping
You know that little draft you feel when standing near windows and doors? That’s where your precious dollars are drifting out into the wintry skies. Spend a few bucks instead on weather stripping and caulking for the places where heat escapes around windowsills and door jams. That space at the bottom of your entry door is a major culprit, so plug it up with low-cost, easily applied foam strips that keep cold air outside where it belongs. If you have an adjustable threshold, alter its height to achieve the same effect.
Close Off Unused Rooms
Most homes have seldom-used areas such as extra bedrooms, closets and storage spaces. Shut them down in the winter by simply closing the doors and sealing off heating vents. Alternatively, turn the heat down to the low 60s and raise it only if needed.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
Show your savvy side by using those summer ceiling fans to lower your heating bill in the winter months. It’s all about air flow: Rather than having the blades turn counterclockwise to cool a room in the summer, adjust them to clockwise to trap rising heat and push it back down into the room.
Plug Holes and Use Window Coverings
Plug up heat-sucking holes such as chimneys, drafty electrical boxes, exterior wall holes and air leaks in ductwork. Cover windows and sliding doors with transparent plastic film to block heat loss. During the day, take advantage of natural heat by opening curtains and blinds on south-facing windows, then close them after sunset.
Expenses rise and fall with the seasons, but there’s no reason to endure chilly rooms inside your own four walls. You work hard for your money, so save some of it with these energy-saving tips. Your credit union is always here, so don’t hesitate to let us know how we can help.
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