Heat and energy costs can skyrocket during the winter months, wreaking havoc with the family budget. Keep heating costs in line by conserving heat as much as possible when the weather turns cold.
Consider these 10 tips for saving on heating costs this winter:
1. Cover windows with heavy curtains. Thick draperies or curtains will keep cold air from entering through cracks around the windows and will help hold heat inside. If there’s a sunny day, open your draperies to allow sunlight in, but then close them at night for better insulation.
2. Apply weather-stripping to doors and windows. Air that seeps in around doorways can cause your furnace to work overtime.
3. Turn your thermostat down to a lower temperature. Setting your thermostat even a few degrees cooler can save significant amounts of energy. Try turning down the temperature two degrees for one week and then reduce it a few more degrees the following week, and you’ll quickly acclimate to the lower temperature.
4. Buy a programmable thermostat. If you are out of the house during certain hours every day, program your thermostat to a lower temperature during the time you’re gone and increase the temperature about an hour before you come home.
5. Turn off the heat an hour before you leave the house. If the weather is not below freezing, but just a little chilly, turn off the heat one hour before you leave your home. The house will stay warm during the hour before you leave, and you won’t be heating the space while you’re out.
6. Clean and clear your heating ducts. Heat can escape through heating ducts that have come apart or are blocked with debris. Maintenance your heating ducts on an annual or biannual basis to make sure the ducts are still properly intact and clean.
7. Change furnace filters every three months to keep your furnace running efficiently and heating ducts clear. A furnace that runs well is more energy efficient.
8. Close the fireplace damper or close off the fireplace if you are not going to use the fireplace to heat your home during the winter. Hot air can escape through the fireplace flue, causing your furnace to work overtime.
9. Use the bathroom fan only when needed during winter months. Running the bathroom fan for long periods of time can pull warm air from the inside, up and out of the house.
10. Check the exterior of your home for any visible holes or cracks. Small pockets where air or drafts can enter your home can cause heating losses.
Conserving heat reduces energy costs, saving money for your monthly budget. Just a few small changes can yield significant results in the amount of money you spend heating your home during the winter.