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As the temps start to drop in the winter, our minds often sink with the thought of how much that gas or electricity bill is going to be. There are, however, ways to save!
But before we get too drastic and cut off the heat in the winter and break out the parkas and gloves inside the house, let’s look at things realistically. There are some other things you can do to to save.
9 Ways to Save on Heating
1. Seal It Up
If you are looking at your door and you can see light all the way around the door coming in, this needs to be fixed (the same with windows).
You can try two things: Weather Stripping and a can of Great Stuff. The weather stripping goes around the door to make a seal around the door when it is shut. The Great Stuff is spray foam that expands and fills holes and gaps that may be in a wall, around pipes coming in and other places.
2. Replace Your Air Filters
Replace your furnace air filters more often. A dirty air filter can make your furnace work a lot harder and use more energy. You should replace the filter every two to three months.
3. Take Care of Your Water Heater
Try insulating your water heaters and pipes. If you cover your water heater with an insulated water heater blanket, it can help retain heat so the unit uses less energy to heat hot water.
You can also save money on your hot water bill by decreasing the temperature of the heater. Most hot water heaters are set by the company to heat at 140 degrees, which is hot enough to scald you! Just set it down to 120 and you will save 3-5% on your water bill. That fix costs you nothing.
4. Think About Insulation
It won’t hurt to make sure your attic space is adequately insulated. You can check out the US Department’s Zip Code Insulation Program to see what the appropriate level of insulation is for your area.
5. Get a Programmable Thermostat
Another thing that can help is getting a programmable thermostat. These start around $20 and will turn the temperature up or down when you aren’t home. Many have a program for each day of the week so you can change settings for weekends and weekdays. If you’re home all the time, at least have it set to turn the air up/down while you sleep.
6. Close Some Air Vents
Look at closing air vents in rooms you don’t use a lot and keeping those doors shut. Remember not to close more than 30% of your vents as it will put too much strain on the system.
7. Install New Windows
Are your windows single-pane? If so, you could save lots by installing new double-pane thermal windows. EnergyStar.gov states that you could save 7-24% on your heating bill if you fix those leaky windows.
8. Seek Some Advice
For more tips, see if your electricity company does in-home assessments. Many offer these free of charge to come through and give you tips on things to fix. You’ll be surprised how many of their tips are easy things you can do yourself. They also give you freebies like new shower heads, electrical outlet insulators and light bulbs.
9. Budget Billing
This won’t save you anything, but it will help you avoid some stress when the bills come. Sign up for budget billing with your electric company and they will average all of your payments from the last year and give you one flat rate to pay each month. If you end up over paying this year (since it was based off last years numbers) then your last bill of the year will be reduced by that amount.
See more frugal living ideas!