Looking for a few simple and effective ways to help lower your heating bills this winter? It’s no secret that energy prices are on the rise. In fact, this winter is expected to be a record breaker when it comes to the cost of heating our living spaces.
Although there is little anyone can do to control the price of the fuel needed to heat their home, there are certainly some great methods for helping to control just how much fuel they will need to heat it. And that doesn’t mean having to invest in new windows or whole-house insulation upgrades!
Let’s face it, everything is more expensive right now. Including windows, insulation and the labor to install them. And even though new windows or extra insulation can both significantly improve your home’s energy efficiency, at this point, the price tag is astronomical.
But here is the good news, there are a few simple tasks and measures you can employ now to lower this winter’s heating bills. And even better, they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg to do. In fact, some are completely free – but can save you plenty of cash in savings!
With that in mind, here is a look at five simple ways to cut your home heating bills this winter – without having to break the bank to do it!
5 Simple Ways To Lower Your Heating Bills
Ceiling Fans – How To Lower Your Heating Bills
If you have ceiling fans already in place, this little tip won’t cost a penny – but it can really help keep your house warmer and reduce your heating and air conditioning costs!
Ceiling fans are one of the most underrated and misused weapons for climate control. Nearly all ceiling fans come with a reversible motor. And to get the maximum cooling and heating efficiency, their rotation needs to be switched in the spring and fall.
In the summer, fans should rotate in a counter-clockwise motion. This lifts warm air up and out of the room. If you leave your fans on like this in the winter, it simply takes the heat below and gets rid of it.
But reversing the switch on ceiling fans to a clockwise rotation during the winter months, it will push the warm air rising back down to the room. And they don’t have to be on full force. A simple slow turn can do wonders to push air back down into the room.
Ceiling fans really are a simple way to keep the heat you pay for in the house. Remember, clockwise in winter, counter-clockwise in the summer.
Install A Programmable Thermostat – How To Lower Your Heating Bills
If there is one purchase that makes sense to save big money on your heating bills, it is investing in a programmable thermostat. By simply installing one, you can save 10 to 20 percent on your energy bills this winter. Not only that, it works just as well in the summer to help save on air conditioning costs too!
Programmable thermostats allow you to keep temperatures lower when you are sleeping or are away from home. And keeping heat to a minimum when you don’t need it results in huge savings.
How much? The Department of Energy estimates a savings of 1% for every degree your thermostat is lowered every 8 hours. That can add up to big savings fast! And considering that you can find a wide range of programmable thermostats from $100 – $200, they can pay for themselves in a single month!
Most models allow up to 7 days of repeatable programming. This 7 day cycle allows a family to program for needs during the week and weekends as well. Many even allow you to activate and program them from your smart phone too. Product Link: ecobee Smart Thermostat
And don’t be intimidated by the installation process. Most programmable thermostats install easily by simply removing the wires from the old unit, and attaching them to the new one.
Caulking Window and Door Trim – How To Lower Your Heating Bills
Caulking window and door trim is one of the easiest and yet most under-performed and under-rated chores by homeowners. Gaps and empty spaces around windows and doors are one of the biggest causes of winter drafts and heat loss. And they don’t require a lot of time or money to fix!
Get out there this fall and take a few minutes per window to seal with a fresh bead of caulking. Be sure to seal both the interior and exterior trim for maximum protection. While you are at it, install door sweeps on any door that leads to the outdoors, your wallet will thank you!
Door sweeps install easily on the bottom of doors. Some simply slide or stick on, while others install with just a few screws. Either way, they are an inexpensive solution to keep warm air in and cold air out. They also have the added benefit of keeping floors warmer, and blocking crawling pests from heading indoors too. Product Link : Easy Install Door Sweep
Check That Fireplace – How To Lower Your Heating Bills
Although a fireplace is a source of heat for many, it can also be a huge source of heat loss. Major heat can escape through a fireplace, especially when not in use. In fact, in some cases, if a flue is left open, even partially, it can be the equivalent of having a large window wide-open all winter.
Not only is it an opening for warm air to escape, the chimney actually acts as a draft pulling warm air out even faster. How can you stop this loss? For one, be sure to close the flue securely when the fireplace is not in use. Also, consider adding heat-resistant glass doors to the front of your fireplace as well to keep drafts out.
If you don’t use your fireplace, or it is no longer operational, seal the chimney and flue entirely. This can be done by installing insulation above and below the flue opening. If you do have a fireplace, consider installing a blower that can help force the hot heat out to better heat your home. Even a small fan in front can help push the heat out.
Dress For Winter! How To Lower Your Heating Bills
Last but not least, dress yourself for winter in your home – not summer! Remember when you were growing up and telling your parents you were cold in the house? And their response was to put on another layer? Once again, they were wise beyond their years!
Keeping your home at 70+ degrees might allow you to be in shorts, but it will also skyrocket your heating costs. Remember, every degree you can lower that thermostat, the savings add up quickly.
Here is to saving on your energy usage this winter, and lowering your heating bills. Happy Winter! Jim and Mary.
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