Winter is coming, and that means higher heating bills. But don’t worry, we have some tips for you that will help you save money on your heating bill this winter! Check out our list of 11 ways to be more efficient with your heat and keep your home warm and cozy without breaking the bank.
Heat Your Home More Efficiently this Winter in 11 Ways
Some of these tips are simple and easy to follow, while others may require a little more effort. But following these simple tips will help you keep more money in your pocket!
- Change furnace filters.
It’s a simple step that doesn’t cost a lot. However, it can save you a great deal of money by allowing your furnace to work more efficiently and requiring your furnace to kick on less often throughout the winter. A dirty furnace filter can actually make your furnace work harder, which uses more energy and raises your heating bill. So, make sure you check and replace your furnace filter regularly.
- Install a programmable thermostat.
Not only do programmable thermostats make it easy to adjust the temperature within your home, but they also make it a simple matter to bump the temperature up during the hours when your family is home during the day. The handy device enables you to set the temperature a couple of degrees cooler while the family sleeps or during the workday when no one is home. This slight reduction in temperature can reduce your winter heating costs substantially over the course of an entire winter.
- Lower the set temperature.
This may seem like a no-brainer but setting your thermostat to 68 degrees is the most efficient way to heat your home. Any lower and you’re wasting energy, any higher and you’re not getting any real benefit.
- Have your furnace inspected and tuned.
Annual furnace inspections, maintenance, and tune-ups can ensure that your furnace is operating at optimal levels as winter closes in. Not only can these tune-ups warn you of potential problems before the worst of winter sets in, but they can also help to extend the life of your furnace for years – saving you even more money in the long-term
- Seal leaks and drafts.
The U.S. Department of Energy tells us that we can save up to 20% per year if we seal up leaks and drafts. Typical areas that are sources of drafts are corners, around chimneys, along the foundation, and where wires and pipes exit. Locate these areas and place caulking or weatherstripping to seal out the cold air.
Drafts can cause your heating bill to skyrocket. Make sure your windows are properly sealed and insulated to keep the heat in and the cold out. Window film is a great way to insulate your windows and keep the heat in. You can find window film at most home improvement stores, and it’s easy to install yourself.
- Invest in a whole house humidifier.
Along with the colder weather comes dryer indoor air as we seal off our homes and turn the heat on. Unfortunately, dryer air can contribute to a number of health issues, including dry and itchy skin, sore throats, colds, sinus problems, nose bleeds, and breathing difficulties for those who have breathing or lung disorders. Dry air can also wreak havoc on furniture, wood floors, and cause ceilings and walls to crack.
Dry air can make it feel colder than it actually is, so using a humidifier in your home will help you feel warmer without having to crank up the heat. The solution is an automatic whole house humidifier to increase the relative humidity inside your home.
- Clear the heating vents.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is blocking their vents with furniture. This doesn’t allow the heat to circulate properly and can actually make your home feel colder. So, make sure all your vents are clear and unobstructed.
- Reverse ceiling fan direction.
During the summer months, ceiling fans can be instrumental in drawing warm air up and out of your rooms while pushing cooler air down. But most people don’t know that you can actually use your ceiling fans in the winter to help circulate the heat. In the winter, they can be equally vital by pushing warm air down, to the floor while pulling cooler air up and away from floor level.
All you need to do is reverse the direction fan blades spin. In the winter, your ceiling fans should circulate clockwise, and in the summer they should spin counterclockwise. For instance, in the winter, a rotating clockwise ceiling fan pulls cool air up, which pushes the warm air that rose naturally towards the ceiling down along the walls and floor. Just reverse the direction of the blades and run them on low
- Use a fireplace.
If you have a fireplace, use it! Not only is it cozy, but it can actually help heat your home. Just make sure you’re using proper fire safety precautions. Wood-burning or gas log fireplaces and wood-burning fireplace can provide limited heat for your home during a power outage as can an indoor propane or kerosene heater – just make sure you have an adequate supply of fuel on hand.
Related article: Does a Gas Fireplace Actually Emit Heat?
- Use a space heater.
If you have a room that you don’t often use, like a guest bedroom or home office, close the door and use a space heater on those occasions that that room needs to be warmed up. This will use energy more efficiently and money.
- Hang heavy curtains.
Heavy curtains are another great way to keep the heat in and the cold out. Close them at night to keep help insulate the windows and keep the heat in. Then, open the curtains during the day to take advantage of the sun’s rays and help warm the house.
More Tips for Winterizing Your Home
Winterizing your home is an ideal way to save money on utilities as winter weather closes in. Not only can it help you save money this winter, but it can also help you, your family, and your guests feel warmer, comfier, and cozier all winter long. These are a few things you can do to cut the costs of heating your home this winter.
Cover exposed pipes.
Water pipes on the exterior of your home or along exterior walls inside your home may need additional protection as winter weather sets in. Colder temperatures can cause pipes to burst which will increase your consumption of water and cause damage to walls, floors, and cabinetry in your home.
Clean out your gutters.
Gutters that are filled with leaves, limbs, and other debris are easily stopped up with water that becomes ice when frozen. This creates a hazard that can injure people if the gutters are ripped off the roofline and fall to the ground. It can also cause damage to your home when the gutters break. Stopped up gutters increases your risks of developing ice dams during winter weather outbreaks.
Install insulation in your attached garage.
Garages represent a large unheated room directly adjacent to the walls in your home. Insulating the walls in your garage, as well as your garage door, can help to reduce the amount of freezing air flowing into that room and help to serve as a buffer between the garage and your home.
You can increase your energy efficiency by installing a passive solar heater in your garage as well. These cost little to make and nothing to operate, but can raise the temperature inside your garage which will make it a more comfortable place to gather and take care of chores in winter as well as helping to reduce your heating costs inside your home as well.
Get a backup generator.
A backup generator enables you to keep the power on, including your furnace operating and refrigerator running, no matter how severe and widespread a power outage is. If you already have a standby generator, get a generator inspection to ensure it is properly maintained and will work properly if the power goes out.
Install battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors.
This is especially important if you run appliances, such as standby generators to power your home.
Have a plan for shutting off water valves.
Frozen pipes are a nightmare for homeowners in the winter. So, it’s important to know where your water shut off valves are located and are easily accessible.
Having a plan in place to prepare for winter is the best way to make sure your family is safe and warm this winter without breaking the budget. These tips will help you make your home a comfortable and warm place to be – no matter what Mother Nature has in store.
Related article:Autumn Residential Maintenance Projects.
Following these tips will help you save money on your heating bill this winter. Stay warm and save money!
Schedule Your Furnace and Generator Inspection Today
AQM offers inspections, repairs and maintenance services for generators, for furnaces and other electrical equipment in the Delaware Valley. We also offer a wide selection of gas log fireplaces and whole house humidifiers.
For more information on keeping your home warm, safe, and bright all winter long, schedule your estimate online or give us a call today at (484) 870-9234 to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.