Here in Montana, winter is just around the corner. Given today’s economy, many people are trying their best to slash expenses and winter heating bills are no exception. Want to save some money on home heating
bills this winter? Following these twenty tips will help you conserve energy and save more money on winter heating bills.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #1–If you live in an older home and haven’t already done so, contact your utility company to see if they offer free energy audits. Someone from the utility company comes to your home for an inspection. They look for areas of heat loss and provide you with useful tips to conserve energy and save money on your winter heating bills.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #2–Eliminate as much energy loss as possible. Simple weatherization techniques like caulking cracks and putting weather stripping around doors and windows helps reduce unnecessary heat loss and provides significant savings on winter heating bills.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #3–Unless the water heater in your home is a newer tank-less model; make sure it is well-wrapped in a thermal insulation blanket with the thermostat turned down. This saves money all year long, not just during the winter.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #4–Cover all older style single-pane windows with plastic as windows are notoriously prone to major heat loss. Those of you who get frost on the inside of your windows during frigid weather know exactly what I mean. Covering older windows has a significant impact on decreasing your winter heating bills.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #5–Dirty furnace filters are another no-no. Change them regularly if you want to save money on your heating bills. Common sense should tell you the furnace always uses more energy whenever it has to blow warm air through dirty clogged filters.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #6–If you have gas or electric heat, turn the heat down any time you are going to be away. Why pay to heat an empty house while you are at work, away on vacation, or visiting your relatives? If you are going to be gone for any extended length of time, remember to leave heat on high enough to keep water pipes from freezing and any houseplants from dying. This will significantly save money on winter heating bills.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #7–If you haven’t invested in a programmable thermostat, consider doing so. It will enable you to automatically control the temperature while you are both away from home and asleep at night. The thermostat can be programmed to warm up the house shortly before you return from work or get up in the morning. This is both an asset to your personal comfort as well as your wallet and will save on your winter heating bills.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #8–This tip could save $100 if you heat with gas and have an electric water heater and cook stove. Have the gas shut off during the warmer months of the year. The minimum monthly natural gas charge where I live is $16 per month. This means it would cost me almost $100 annually to leave my unused furnace’s pilot light on from April to November. Instead, I call the gas company in April to shut off the gas and again in the fall to turn it back on and relight the furnace pilot light. This service is provided free of charge by my gas company, so why not save the extra money?
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #9–Turn propane-burning furnaces off in the spring and then back on again in the fall. Same principle as tip #8 above.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #10–If you have access to free or cheap firewood; consider using a wood stove as a back-up heating source. No one wants to be cold if the power goes out and many gas furnaces rely on an electric-powered blower to operate. They quit working during an electric power outage.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #11–Use plenty of warm comforters or blankets at night, and make sure the heat is turned way down while you are in bed. If you’re still cold, get another blanket or snuggle up with your sweetie! Body heat radiates lots of warmth and saves money on winter heating bills.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #12--Layer your clothing. Put on a warm sweatshirt or sweater whenever you are cold rather than automatically cranking up the thermostat to save on winter heating bills. Wear socks with house slippers or knitted footsie socks to keep your feet warm while you are in the house.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #13–Long-johns; they were invented for a reason! Wear them when outdoors and indoors, too, if you are cold and want to help save on your winter heating bills.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #14–Sleeping caps were commonplace in centuries past. Some little old ladies and balding gents still say wearing knitted ski-type caps keeps their heads toasty warm at night. Since the greatest percentage of heat loss is from one’s head, this makes perfect sense. This trick helps many elderly on fixed budgets reduce the temperature in their homes at night and save on winter heating bills.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #15–Use cold winter days to take advantage of your oven and help save on your heating bill. Baking several items during a frosty afternoon warms the house as well as the stomach. Leaving the oven door open after you are through baking continues to warm the air. Just be cautious if you have small children or pets in the house.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #16–Eating or drinking something hot helps warm you up inside and out. Hot breakfast cereals, soups, and hot chocolate are perfect cold weather provisions. Other good “warmer-uppers” include hot coffee and tea.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #17--Exercise burns calories and creates a heat energy source. Stay active whenever you feel cold. I often turn on some good music and dance around as I do housework. The extra activity works up a sweat and enables me to keep the temperature down, saving money on my winter heating bills.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #18–Keep the doors to spare rooms closed and heat registers in those rooms shut to eliminate heating unused or empty rooms in your house. This will help save on winter heating bills. You can always open the doors and heat up spare rooms shortly before any overnight guests are due to arrive.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #19--Be prudent with use of space heaters. The oil-filled radiator-style heaters don’t get as hot to touch and are safer around children and pets than older heaters that easily tipped over. Sometimes, a house can have the thermostat set way down and still stay comfortable by using a space heater in the main living area or whatever room you are occupying in the house.
Save on Winter Heating Bills Tip #20–Family time “togetherness.” If you and your spouse watch T.V. together in the evening or the kids want to watch Saturday morning cartoons, why not snuggle up together on the couch underneath a comforter or warm afghan? It works equally great for the kids as it does for mom and dad. It forces a little family closeness and sharing which is often a bit lacking in the rushed lives we so often live.
If you are a homeowner, there are lots of home improvements that will increase a home’s energy efficiency. Insulating the attic, installing new energy efficient low-e windows, and upgrading an old inefficient furnace are common recommendations.
For renters and those on a fixed income struggling with rising home heating costs, be sure to check with your local utility company. Many areas offer special incentive programs and help those living on a low-income deal with rising heating costs–everything from free or low-cost winterization programs to low-income energy assistance programs like LEAP that actually pay heating bills.
Hope you found these winter energy-saving tips useful; Stay warm this winter, everyone!