Reduce Your Heating Bills With These Simple Steps
With winter on the way, we will be turning off the air conditioning and turning on the heat. Heating your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home — typically making up about 40% of your heating bills.
If you have experienced high heating bills in past years, you may be looking for ways to heat more efficiently and reduce your heating bills.
Here are a few simple home improvement tips you can use to help keep your house warm and your bills under control.
Six Steps To Keep Your House Warmer On A Budget
- For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-70 degree range, you will save up to 5% on heating costs. When you keep your air temperature at a constant temperature, for most people the body temperature will adjust. So, don’t turn the thermostat up, put the sweater on.
- When you rearranged your furniture this summer, did you cover any vents. Covered vents will make your heating system work harder to maintain a constant temperature. Make sure you move all furniture that is blocking your heating vents.
- Drafts from windows and doors will let the cold air in and the heat out. Check all outside doors and your windows for drafts. Door sweeps are simple to install and an inexpensive way to stop drafts from coming through spaces in your doors. For windows, you can buy window insulation kits from a hardware store or online. Kits usually include plastic shrink film that is applied to the inside window frame with double-stick tape, then heated with a hair dryer to shrink the film and remove any wrinkles.
- Sunshine is a great source for heat. Opening shades, blinds and curtains so the sun can shine in will help to heat your rooms. Uncovering windows on the west and south side of your house will allow the sunlight to come in during the day; close the shades at night to keep the heat in.
- Keep your heating system working efficiently. Have your HVAC serviced each year before winter.
- Unless your home was specially constructed for energy efficiency, you can probably reduce your energy bills by adding more insulation. Many older homes have less insulation than homes built today, but even adding insulation to a newer home can pay for itself within a few years.
An energy-efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with recommended insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can save about 30% on your energy bill.