5 Ways To Reduce Your Heating Bills This Winter
September 10, 2015
With the low temperature of the winter season comes the high cost of home heating. If you have accepted this as a simple fact of life, then you must also have accepted the reality that you lose thousands of dollars each year on heating costs.
However, you don’t have to surrender your wallet all for the sake of making your home comfortable this winter. There are actually plenty of things you can do to reduce your energy costs.
Here are five clever ways to cut your energy costs this winter.
Appreciate your fans.
Ceiling fan blades turn in a counterclockwise motion to push air downward. This provides you with a refreshingly cool breeze during warm months. For winter, you can reverse the blades’ turning direction to clockwise. This creates an updraft, moving the hot air near the ceiling downward to you.
Train your thermostat.
Adjust your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees cooler when there’s no one home, such as during the eight to ten hours you’re in your office. You can also invest in a programmable thermostat that you can set to automatically lower your home’s temperature when you’re at work, and at night when you’re kept warm under the covers. By having the heat run less, you can save as much as 20 percent on your heating bill.
Make it tight.
Check your home’s weatherstripping—it might have gone worn and torn over the years and may need to be replaced. Worn weatherstripping around windows and doors lets in cold air, prompting you to turn up the heat. Air leaks can also cause you to lose warm air, making your furnace work twice as much to keep you warm. Recent studies calculate that seven to 12 percent of heat loss in the home happens around doors and windows, so make sure you replace your weatherstripping and caulking around windows and doors. And while you’re at it, seal all plumbing, cable, and ductwork holes, too.
Check your paddings and linings.
Insulation not only minimizes the transfer of heat, but also provides ventilation and moisture control. If you have an attic, build an insulation dam around the opening and install an insulated lid over it. Since hot air rises, it can be lost through the roof, so making sure the attic is well-insulated is a big step in the right direction to bringing down heating costs. Bringing the insulation in your attic up to code can save you up to 30 percent off your heating bill.
Let the sunshine in.
Conserve energy by letting the sun warm your house. Pull back the curtains on the side of the house facing direct sunlight to let the warmth in while keeping the shades on the other side drawn. Switch things in the afternoon when the sun changes sides.