Ways to Lower your Heating Bill

Close off the rooms that are seldom used is the best way to lower your heating bill. Why do you need to heat space no one uses? Seal up all outlets where heat escapes to the outside; and make sure your heating equipment is clean and working properly; turn down the thermostat and when chilly, grab a sweater instead of turning up the heat.  

In addition to the these first initiatives, see that your house is adequately insulated. A thin tin roof attached to a skeletal wood frame will need a layer of insulation to hold in the heat. The same with all other outside walls. Keeping the blinds closed at night and opened to the sunshine will also make for a more comfortable home.

As a start,go through your house room and room and do a careful analysis of ways that need improvement. A little bit of air coming in at odd little places like dryer vent openings, windows off only slightly from fitting in their frame precisely, open chimneys, will add greatly to the heating bill over the winter.

Maybe a better approach is to engage your whole family in this survey and ask for their suggestions. With their involvement they will see it not only your problem, but their problem as well.  Turning off lights, unplugging appliances and making sure furnace vents remain open and are not covered with books, clothes and clutter will be more meaningful to them. These, while lowering the overall bill, will also teach the family about efficient home maintenance.

Where to start your inspection tour? Why not start in the basement, utility room or wherever the furnace is headquartered, and see what can be done there. First of all, don’t just randomly ramble through your house commenting on what to do, but take notes.

 As an example, on the note pad for the  list of what to do, write  clean the furnace. After that make a note about when to change filters. Write these dates on the calendar that is always in full view. It will be easy to forget the filters will need be changed at least every two or three months, or when the manufacturer advices. It is an easy item to overlook. Why is this important? A dirty filter will not not be as efficient and the dirt will clog up the heat outlets.

Lower the temperature on the hot water heater to 120 degrees. Check to make sure the dryer ducts are not leaking and close up any extra space around the outside opening. Make a note to use only cold water in the washer when at all possible. It is heating the hot water for the many laundry loads that add dollars to the cost of energy.

In the living room to get that warm air circulating run the ceiling fan clockwise, keep furnace vents free from clutter and coverups, and keep the thermostat set at 68 for winter time use and dress with heavier clothes to keep warm. For summertime cooling keep the temperature at 78. Whatever, don’t keep turning the temperature up and down, set it and leave it.

Make sure the fireplace flu is closed, unless of course it is being used for axillary heating. The lid may have to be opened or closed dependent on usage. Leaving a chimney open is almost like having a window or door open. Cold air will come on in and will wipe out heating budgets easily.

The unheated garage will do nothing to keep that room above – the one grandma sleeps in when she comes to visit – warm. Insulate the garage and give the rest of the house a boost. And too, keep all appliances unplugged and please, don’t hook up that refrigerator. Dump it. There is no need to keep that extra food stored when the super market is only blocks away. Unless of course, yours is a rural residence and it is necessary to keep lots of food on hand.  

In the bedrooms, and in all rooms with windows, keep blinds closed to help keep the rooms warm in winter and closed to keep them cool in summer. On the warm  sunny days in winter open the southern facing shades and let the sunshine in. In the bathroom, keep all leaks fixed and keep the water temperature adjusted for safety as well for energy conservation. Make every attempt to conserve water by taking shorter showers. Teenagers are prone to overdo showering and they could possibly shave off dollars from the bill by being careful of the water used. At least, if nothing else, exchange the regular shower heads for those with a reduced force.

The above are a few ways heating bills could be lessened. Every home is different and therefore each needs to tailor their heating budget to fit their particular needs. With a little effort, expect to see impressive savings. For more advice on  how to lower heating costs, check out 14 ways to lower your heating bill, an online site.