How to Keep Warm in the Winter While Saving Money on Heating
Heating your home during winter can put a serious dent in your finances. The U.S. Energy Information Association expects homes using natural gas will spend $578 heating their homes this winter. People using propane and heating oil are in for much bigger bills of $1,437 and $1,392 this season. After the big Christmas spend, those big heating bills can really bite. However, there are plenty of ways to cut the costs and still enjoy a comfortable home over winter.
Heat Your Home Better
If you’re heating your home with propane or heating oil, you’ve probably noticed how much people who heat with gas are already saving. And experts believe the price gap between gas and oil will continue to widen. The price of natural gas is fairly stable, because it’s an abundant, locally produced resource.
Gas is an affordable home heating solution, but if you’re going to spend the money on a new system, Scientific American suggests springing for a geothermal heat pump instead. While these heating systems are initially expensive, they’re much more affordable and energy efficient to run, so you’ll end up saving money in the long term.
Change Your Furnace Filter
When your furnace filter clogs, its motor works harder and uses more power to warm your home. Research shows changing your gas or electric furnace filter every month of the heating season can slash $60 from your power bills every year. The real savings could be much more than that, as this regular tune-up also makes your furnace last longer.
Lower Your Thermostat
Studies show Americans typically keep their rooms around 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 68 degrees overnight. However, experts insist daytime temperatures should sit at 68 degrees and drop to just 60 degrees overnight. Lowering your thermostat to these recommended temperatures could save $100 on your annual heating bills.
Choose Energy Efficient Heaters
Space heaters allow you to heat a small area rather than your whole house, perfect for those nights in front of the TV or dinner parties with friends. While the Environmental Protection Agency does not give an ENERGY STAR rating to any space heaters, Mother Nature Network details several current models that save energy better than most. You should also make sure your heater is an appropriate size for your room and thermostatically controlled to avoid wasting energy.
A wood stove is another great energy efficient heater. Throw some logs of firewood onto your stove and you can make your room toasty warm without any electricity at all.
Fix Air Leakages
During winter, air leaks will let cold air in and the warm air inside your home escape. These leaks drive your power bills up because they make your heating systems work so much harder. Studies show fixing air leakages can cut your energy bills in half, so it’s well worth rectifying these problems.
Inspect the weather stripping around your doors, and replace it as needed. Then check your windows and caulk any gaps and cracks you find.
Put all these tips into action and you can slash hundreds from your winter heating bill.