U.S. households can expect to spend more money to heat their homes this winter vs. just a year ago. Those relying on natural gas can expect an increase of up to 30% while electric-fueled homes will pay 6% more on average.
So, how do you keep your home cozy and warm without shelling out a fortune to do so? Read on as we share some tried and true ways to reduce the amount of fuel your household uses and improve the efficiency of your heating system all while saving a few bucks in the process.
Get an Energy Audit – Where is your home leaking heat? You can’t fix the problem until you know the source. As such, conduct an energy on your own or hire your utility company or a third-party service company to do the job for you. Undoubtedly the final report will reveal actionable steps that, when implemented, can help save you a substantial sum of money.
Bundle Up – You wouldn’t bundle up in the summer while lowering your AC thermostat to 66 degrees, so why be half-dressed come winter? Dressing in layers and warm fabrics allows you to lower the temp a few degrees without sacrificing comfort. Try a t-shirt under a warm sweater, fleece-lined pants, and wool socks. When relaxing at night, curl up under a blanket to keep warm and consider adding a second blanket on your bed along with flannel sheets to stay cozy while you sleep.
Turn the Thermostat Down – If you’re comfortable at 70 degrees, chances are 68 won’t make much of a difference. Adjusting the thermostat just a few degrees can trim back your heating costs. Better yet, program your thermostat to automatically lower the temp when you leave for work and right before bed.
Keep Heat from Escaping – From leaky ducts to gaps around windows and exterior doors, these are often the biggest sources of heat loss. Seal all cracks, gaps, and air leaks to prevent warm air from seeping out. You’ll reap the rewards come summer as cool conditioned air stays locked inside where you need it.
Use Ceiling Fans – If you have ceiling fans, put them to good use this winter. Running a ceiling fan on low and in reverse (clockwise) helps circulate the warm air that tends to get trapped up toward the ceiling, in turn allowing you to lower the thermostat. Just remember, while you’ll feel warmer, the temperature in the room won’t rise so turn the ceiling fan off if no one is occupying the space.
Rearrange Your Furniture – Play around with furniture placement in your home to freshen up the look of things and improve airflow. Move sofas, beds, and bookcases at least a couple feet away from heating vents so air can travel freely. Add area rugs to bare floors for instant warmth and to help buffer noise.
Change Furnace Filters – If you have a forced-air heating system, this simple act can make a big difference. A filter clogged with dust, pet hair, and other debris makes a furnace work much harder than it should to circulate warm air through a home. Plus, a clean filter is better able to trap airborne particles and improve air quality.
Use Supplemental Sources of Heat – A crackling fire is more than a pretty face. It’s a good way to aid in heating your home while creating a warmer ambient feeling. Just be sure to put the fire out completely before leaving home or heading to bed.
Among your top priorities for saving money should be annual preventive maintenance – the Air Professionals way. One of our expert technicians will give your furnace or electric heating system a thorough going-over to help ensure maximum performance and energy efficiency. Call today to schedule service, especially if it’s been a year or longer since service was last performed.