Hate surprises on your heating bills? A big heating bill in the middle of winter can blow a hole straight through your monthly budget and leave you scrambling to fill it. Any household that’s working on paying down debt or saving money can find their plans taking a hit when winter comes around. The average cost of heating fuel in the winter is over $900 and that can vary widely from household to household, depending on energy costs in your state, the local climate, the size and age of your house, and unseasonal, unpredictable weather.
What you need is a plan to save money on your energy bill this winter. These tips should help you keep your costs down.
#1 Make the most of heat you use already
Don’t turn on the ventilation fan when you use the shower and keep the bathroom door open if you don’t have to worry about privacy. The steam will spread out and fill the other rooms, not only warming up the house, but also providing some much-needed moisture in those bone-dry winter months.
#2 Socks and sweaters will save you money
Before you touch that thermostat, make sure you’re dressed appropriately. You don’t have to go around the house in a parka, but if it’s winter, put on a sweater and socks on those especially cold days. It’s an easy way to save money on your heating bill.
#3 Seal your chimney chute when you’re not using it
If you own a fireplace, letting it go unused could be letting a lot of hot air escape your home. Since hot air rises, furnace-generated heat can easily escape up through your fireplace and chimney. Prevent it by closing your chimney chute unless you have a fire burning.
#4 Replace your furnace early
Replacing your furnace can save you money all winter long if you upgrade to a system that’s more efficient. Older furnaces can waste as much as one-fifth of the energy that gets pumped into them, meaning you’re only getting 80% of the heat for 100% of the costs. Not only can you save money, you can also help the environment by reducing your own emissions with an energy-efficient furnace. You should also replace your furnace before it breaks down as that can be a nasty surprise on a cold winter morning. It’s more affordable to replace an aging furnace on your own time than calling for emergency repairs.
#5 Lower your thermostat
When it’s already so cold out, you may think lowering your thermostat is a terrible idea, but the odds are, you won’t notice the difference a few degreeswill make. Keep it in the comfortable room temperature range, but there’s no reason to blast it. Remind yourself how cool you keep your home in the summer with the AC running full blast.
Another smart thing to do is invest in a smart thermostat that automatically lowers the temperature during the day when everyone is out and warms up for the mornings and evenings. Another option that didn’t make the official list is to get a water dispenser for your home. Opening and closing the fridge every time someone is thirsty can add up, believe it or not!
You can save money on heating from major repairs as well as small lifestyle choices. Save money this winter with these tips.