By contributing writer Laura
It’s winter, but are you actually enjoying the weather and walking in a winter wonderland? Maybe you’re like me, preferring to stay warm inside and avoid the harsh elements outside. Regardless of whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or homebody this season, if you’re like most Americans, your heating bill is going up. Here are a few tips to help you save some serious coin on your sizzling heating bill.
Lower Your Thermostat
This tip is pretty simple. If you can bear to lower the temperature in your house by just a few degrees, you can make a dent in your gas or electric bill. For every degree you lower your thermostat, you can save up to 3% on your heating costs. You may need to bundle up or wear layers inside, but if you’re okay with that, you’ll notice a decrease in your heating bill.
Change Your Filter
Replace air filters in your furnace about once every 1-3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow in the house, making your HVAC system work harder to keep you warm — greatly reducing its efficiency, even up to 20%. It’s particularly important to change filters during heavy use periods like winter and summer.
Caulk or Weatherstrip
Examine your windows and doors for air leaks, aka drafts, and use caulk or weatherstrip to prevent heat loss. Caulk is ideal for sealing cracks or gaps that measure 1/4″ or less. A silicone or acrylic latex caulk plus caulk gun can be used to seal cracks or small holes. Weatherstripping is a great way to winterize your windows. You can find many self-sticking weather stripping products available in your local hardware store.
Search Your Basement & Attic
Although you may feel most drafts by your windows or doors, I’ve been told that the most significant air leaks in your home are typically hidden in the attic and/or basement. Look to insulate your basement and attic to prevent these major drafts. You can find some great DIY tips on the EnergyStar website.
Soak up the Sunlight
Let the natural sunlight help warm up your home! Don’t forget to open up your drapes and shades during the day to allow the sunlight in through your windows. Let mother nature do some of the work for you so sun rays can naturally raise the temperature inside your home.
All the tips above will help you save money on your heating bill, and it really boils down to two simple strategies: 1) Find ways to deal with lower temps, and 2) Make your home more energy efficient, which will reduce your energy consumption and result in savings on your heating bill.
What creative ways have you saved on your heating bill during the winter months? Have you heard that gas prices will likely be increasing this upcoming year? It may be even more important for your family to find ways to save on your heating bill, as the costs increase. Be sure to leave a comment and share your own tips and thoughts!
What if I live in an apartment? Is it cheaper to leave the heat on 60 24-7 or on 60 only during the day?