Fall is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about ways to save money on those winter heating bills!! The year the Polar Vortex hit, our family spent twice as much as we normally do on winter heating bills, which was a tremendous drain on the pocketbook. Suffice to say, we’ve been spending the summer looking for ways to make sure that winter doesn’t drain our bank account the way it did back then.
For many homes, winter can be the biggest utility bills of the entire year. This depends on where you live, but if you’re running heat regularly, then it could jump your electric bills right up there.
Here are 3 things you can do, some now and some later, in order to save money on those upcoming winter heating bills.
Have an Energy Audit Done
Most energy providers will, for free or for cheap, come to your home and do an energy audit, helping you to diagnose ways in which your home is losing heat in the winter (or air conditioning in the summer). Those energy audits can help you to find leaks around doors and windows, discover areas with improper insulation and find other issues within your home that may be causing your winter heating bills to be higher than they need to. By diagnosing those heat losing areas, you can put measures in place to make your home more heat-efficient this winter. Contact your local energy provider today to learn about options for energy audits in your home.
Consider Alternative Heating Sources
Does your home have a wood fireplace? Can you install a wood-burning stove? If so, figure out if it’s cost-efficient for your family to use a wood-burning source of heat. Does your home currently have electric heat? Maybe a natural gas furnace would be a better money-saving option. Live in a ground-floor apartment? By moving to the second or third floor, you can have a warmer place to live and cheaper heating bills if you pay for heat. By learning all of the heating options that might be available to you, you can look for heating sources that might be more cost-effective than your current system.
One really easy way to reduce your energy bills is to just heat rooms that you use. Mini-split systems have really picked up popularity because they are quiet, efficient, and don’t cost nearly as much as a full-sized AC/Heater. You can install them and control them room to room, making sure you only spend money heating rooms you use. This is a very effective way to heat your home. We waste electricity every day heating/cooling spaces we’re not using.
I know Grayson uses a mini-heater (electric kind like this) to just heat his baby’s room in the winter. Instead of heating the entire home to a certain temperature, they keep it comfortable for them and just heat one room. It’s effective and really keeps the costs low.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Have your heat set lower when you sleep or when you’re away, and only turn it up when you’re home and awake. Or, simply learn to “buck up and bundle up”. We have two sets of friends (one with younger children) that keep their thermostats at 58 degrees all winter long. Yep, it’s cold in their homes. We always make sure to dress extra warm when we’re visiting. However, they’ve been cutting their energy bills by a good 50% by simply dressing warmer and learning to deal with it. Because of their example, we’re committed to having our heat set lower this winter and to save some money in the process. If you don’t want to go that cold, then purchase a programmable thermostat and come up with a good heating schedule for you.
Reminder: You should turn off your AC when you are away. It does save money.
Start planning now to have a most cost-effective winter heating plan, so that those cold winter months don’t become more unbearable while you deal with unexpectedly high heating bills.
What’s your best tip for saving money on winter heating bills?
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