Heating your home can get expensive, but there are a few easy ways to keep costs down. Winterizing your home, maintaining your heating system, and changing some simple things you do could help in heating your home more efficiently. While some of these things will cost you money upfront, they’ll save you money in the long run.
Winterizing your home
Insulation is a good place to start. Go to www.energy.gov/energysaver/insulation and enter your zip code. This tool will tell you how much insulation you need for efficiently heating your home.
Checking your home for drafts around windows, doors, exhaust fans, and ductwork is another great way to save money. You can seal the cracks around doors that won’t affect their function and put plastic over your windows during winter.
Newer, more efficient doors and windows will really help reduce your heating bill, but you may need to spread that cost out a bit if it’s not in your budget.
Fireplaces are another way hot air escapes. Keep the damper closed when it’s not in use, and build fires during the season as a supplemental way to heat your home.
Close off unused rooms unless they have water pipes in them. Burst pipes from freezing are definitely a cost and headache you want to avoid.
Maintaining your Heat System
The easiest thing you can do for heating your home more efficiently is to change your furnace filter regularly. They are inexpensive and usually easy to access. A filter’s job is to catch dust and dirt. Over time, they become clogged which stifles the airflow and causes your furnace to work harder to reach and maintain the set temperature.
You should also get your ductwork cleaned each year. This will help your air filter, and your lungs, especially if you have environmental allergies.
Turn down your thermostat during the day and open the curtains on any windows that face the sun. The radiant heat from the sun will help warm up your rooms for free. Invest in a programmable thermostat to turn the heat down during the day so you don’t have to remember to do this.
Simple Changes to Make When Heating Your Home
Dress warmer. Dress in layers. It’s cheaper to add a sweater than turn up the thermostat because you’re cold. Store extra throw blankets in your living room. It’s cheaper and cozier to snuggle up under a blanket than add money to your heating bill.
Change the setting on any ceiling fans to reverse their rotation. Since heat rises, this will push warmer air that’s collected near the ceiling back down to you. Be sure to run the fans on low so that the fan doesn’t create a windchill effect that cools you off.
Use a few of these simple but effective steps to save some money heating your home this winter.