How To Lower Your Heating Bill
Adjust The Temperature
The experts at energy.gov recommend that you keep your temperature adjusted throughout the day and night to avoid wasting heat. When you're home, you probably want the temperature to be at a slightly higher and more comfortable range. However, keeping it on the lower end will save you money. Make sure that you prepare for this by wearing warm clothing.
When you're sleeping though, you can usually set your temperature a little lower. Turn the thermostat down about 10-15 degrees when you're asleep or out of the house. Just doing this for eight hours a day can save you 10% on your heating and cooling bills. If you want to take the guesswork out of this, then consider a smart or a programmable thermostat.
Service Your Furnace
It's usually much cheaper to prevent a problem than dealing with an emergency. When it comes to lowering your heating bill, you want to ensure that your furnace is working at maximum efficiency. It's a good idea to have a professional come out and inspect the furnace each year.
This can cost up to $200 but you'll find out if you need to make any repairs.
Additionally, make sure that you're replacing the air filter at the beginning of the cold season and at least once during the colder months. You can get a new air filter for a low cost. Not only will these keep the air in your home fresh, they'll also help the unit work efficiently and last longer.
Recognize Alternative Heating Method Benefits & Drawbacks
While you may think that it's a smarter choice to turn off the furnace and use a space heater in just the room you're occupying, this actually can end up costing you more. Space heaters use a huge amount of energy and often don't end up saving you money in the long run.
Additionally, using a furnace can be a fun way to enjoy the evening. However, it's not the most efficient way to heat a home. While you can enjoy the ambience of a fire, make sure that you close the flue and the damper when it's not in use. Have the chimney inspected to ensure that it's sealed properly as well.
Use The Sun
The sun can be one of your best friends in the winter months. You can use its natural heat to help you warm up your house during the daytime.
If you have shades or curtains, open them on sunny days and the sun will naturally warm your home. However, at nighttime, close them tightly and you'll be giving your home another layer of isolation in the windows.
Close Unused Rooms
Depending on the size of your home, you may find that you have rooms which aren't in use. There isn't any need to heat these rooms as they're not going to be occupied. In order to save money no your bill, close the door to any areas that you don't use regularly.
You can even go one step further and close the vents in rooms that you don't use. This will keep the warm air from the ducts traveling to them. The only note of caution to keep in mind is that you don't want the rooms to get overly cold, especially if they contain any water pipes which may freeze. The room should be at least 40 degrees, even when not occupied in order to stay safe.
One other way to lower your heating bill is to have your air ducts cleaned regularly and get a professional dryer vent cleaning at least once every other year. This will minimize the amount of work your HVAC system uses, as well as the dryer. By having clean dryer vents, your dryer will not have to work as hard and clothes will dry faster.
These are a few of the simple but effective methods to lower your heating bill. Depending on your own system, you may also want to consider replacing it with a high-efficiency model, but this is probably only needed if you have an old model.
Regardless of your current system and its function, these tips can help you get the maximum efficiency and avoid running into high heating costs over the colder months.