Home heating is one of the biggest expenses for most households during the wintertime. The U.S. Department of Energy says that heating is typically the second-highest energy expense for homes, just behind electricity.
When you have a family to care for and a household budget to maintain, expenses can add up quickly – sometimes faster than you realize until it’s already too late. That’s why it’s so important to find ways to save money where you can to keep more funds in your pocket throughout the year instead of having them go toward unnecessary costs that could be avoided if only, they were cut out at their source.
What are the best ways to save money on home heating costs?
Close off rooms: There’s no reason for you to be heating or cooling rooms that aren’t in use. Keep doors closed between heated/cooled rooms and the unused ones, and make sure vents leading to them are closed as well if possible (if not using a humidifier, there’s no need for it to vent into that room).
Lower the temperature on your thermostat when leaving for more than an hour or two: If you’re leaving for work or even running errands, don’t set the heat on high while you’re away; doing so costs more money and won’t make your home any warmer when you return it may have cooled down a little bit too much during your absence!
Get a programmable thermostat: They cost a little bit of money upfront but can save you hundreds in energy costs over a few months by ensuring that heating/cooling cycles aren’t being wasted during empty hours.
Install weatherstripping on exterior doors to help them better insulate your home: Cheap, easy to use strips of foam or rubber available at any big box store can be squeezed along the bottom of exterior doors for a few minutes to create an airtight seal that will keep heat where it belongs – inside!
Weatherstrip windows too: Going hand-in-hand with weatherstripping exterior doors is weatherstripping the windows. It’s not as difficult as you might imagine and can greatly reduce drafts coming into your home during cold months (and vice versa in warmer weather).
Turn down water heater temperature: A lot of people don’t realize that their water heating system has multiple settings; one for showering/bathing, one for regular faucet use, and another for general house use. Each of these settings is capable of heating water to different temperatures – so lower the one you don’t need to save money!
Replace older windows with energy-efficient units: If your windows are old, drafty, or just not very good at insulating heat in/cold out, this is an easy way to quickly reduce your home’s reliance on furnace power. Installing new ones will pay for itself within a year or less!
Close shades/blinds on east/west-facing windows during morning hours: East and west-facing rooms get the most sun during colder months (depending on the time of sunrise) and this can cause them to heat up rapidly. If you’re looking to take advantage of natural light but don’t need the room that badly, close shades/blinds over windows facing those directions during morning hours (especially around sunrise) to reduce the amount of heat coming into your home.
Insulate your water heater: This can be done relatively cheaply and quickly with products sold at big box stores (or even on Amazon). Doing so will minimize heat loss through said water heating system, meaning it needs to work less to maintain an appropriate temperature for your household’s hot water needs.
Add insulation in unheated/underfloor areas: Heating homes tend to send air upward toward ceilings (and then out through attic vents), which means that any area not under direct heat will remain colder than you’d probably like throughout the winter. Fixing this issue means installing insulation in areas below ceilings and under floors so that cold air is stopped at its source before it has a chance to enter your living space. This reduces heating costs significantly!
Don’t run ovens/dryers during peak hours: Using ovens or dryers during peak times of energy consumption (early mornings, late afternoons, etc.) can contribute to increased electricity bills due to demand on power grids) – reduce the amount of time spent running these appliances during expensive hours for even more savings!
Turn down water heater temperature: Heating water requires major amounts of energy – far more than most homeowners realize. Anywhere from 25%-50% of a home’s total heating costs can come from a single water heater – so it pays to reduce that heater’s workload as much as possible if you’re looking to save money on your utility bill.
Schedule heater tune-up/maintenance: This is an easy way to ensure that your furnace is operating as efficiently as possible while also avoiding dangerous system breakdowns. A yearly heater tune-up and maintenance can help keep things running smoothly throughout the colder months, reducing energy consumption in the process!
There’s a lot that can be done to reduce the amount of money spent on home heating costs throughout the winter. From insulation to weatherstripping, it all helps – and you don’t need to break the bank doing so! If you’re interested in reducing your monthly utility bill while simultaneously lowering your impact on the environment (i.e., global warming) during colder months, make these tips a priority today!