The cost of heating your home isn’t getting any cheaper, so it makes sense to do what you can to reduce your heating bill. Here are a few things that you can do to stretch your heating-dollar, no matter what fuel you use.
Buy A Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is an inexpensive and effective way to lower your heating costs without sacrificing comfort. These thermostats often cost as little as $25 and they’re simple to program.
According to Energy.gov, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day. Lower the temperature at night or when you’re away and save!
Follow The Sun
Open curtains and blinds facing the sun. Passive solar heat can heat your home for free and can reduce your heating bill substantially.
If you have a smart home, consider wireless shades when it’s time to remodel. You’ll recoup the initial expense within a few years, and spruce up your home with the latest styles and colors.
Less expensive options include insulating curtains, Roman shades, and blinds. They increase the R-value without replacing windows and reduce heating and cooling bills.
Watch Your Hot Water
Energy.gov also states that heating water accounts for 14% to 18% of your heating bill, with an average annual cost of between $400 and $600. They suggest installing low-flow fixtures to reduce hot water use, lowering the hot water heater’s temperature to 120F, and insulating hot water pipes and the heater. These are all low or no-cost ways to reduce your heating bill by as much as 20%!
Inspect Heating Units
Furnaces, fireplaces, and wood stoves all need regular maintenance. A professional inspection pays for itself quickly through greater efficiency and less costly problems.
A tune-up includes inspecting parts and appliance operation, cleaning, changing filters, and checking for leaks. It reduces fire risk and fuel consumption. Many heating appliance companies also require scheduled maintenance for warranty purposes.
Seal Around Windows & Doors
All windows and doors have gaps around their frames. If you can access these gaps, fill them with non-expanding spray foam to seal air leaks. Caulking around doors and windows often deteriorates too, so apply a new bead to keep your home draft-free.
Buy and install inexpensive weatherstripping and save between 5% and 10% on your energy bills. Choose the appropriate type based on your region’s temperature changes and where you’ll use it.
Check under every door to see if you can see daylight beneath it. If it does not have a threshold seal or door sweep, install one. If the door has one, you can adjust it. Most have four or five screws so you can adjust it to eliminate the gap. Check the door operation before you tighten the screws again. You don’t want it to drag or it will wear out quickly.
Draft-Proof Outlets & Switches
Electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls lose heat unless you seal them. You can buy inexpensive foam gaskets to stop big leaks and seal the other holes with acrylic latex caulk or foam sealant.
Seal Pipe, Wire, & Cable Gaps
Every home has electrical wires, pipes, and cables to provide necessary services. They may or may not have caulking around them and if they do, it may be time to give them some TLC. Remove any loose caulking and seal the gaps with expanding foam.
Secure Heating Ducts
Energy Star states that a typical house loses between 20% and 30% of its hot air through holes, leaks, and poor connections. If you can access the ductwork in your home, seal gaps with duct tape or other sealant to reduce heat loss.
Cold winter months strain heating appliances and increase fire risk. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy annually to ensure you have sufficient coverage, seal your home against the elements, and stay safe and warm less expensively.