Zen Business.com | By Patricia Schaefer | December 1, 2022 | Heating Costs | Shield Home Insurance
Use these low-cost and no-cost ways to lower your heating bill, regardless of your heat source. Read on if you’d like to save 20% or more on your heating bills this winter.
The cost of heating your home — and your home office — could put a huge hole in your budget this winter whether you heat with oil, gas, or electric. Even if you get the best price for heating oil in your area, for instance, you might need to spend more than $5,000 to keep your home warm.
But there are steps you can take to potentially save you 20% or more on heating costs when those penetrating arctic winds start to blow. For those on limited budgets, there are many ways to lower heating bills that don’t cost a dime. There are also weatherization applications that require anywhere from a small to middling investment of cash, yet these applications will subsequently lower both energy consumption and future heating bills. Over time, these investments can be expected to more than pay for themselves.
Cost-Free Ways to Lower Heating Bills
- Lower your thermostat. Try reducing your usual daytime temperature by at least one degree. For each lowered degree, you’ll save one to three percent off those heating bills. At night, turn down the thermostat to 60 degrees. It’s much healthier, you’ll feel better when you awaken, and you’ll save money. If you go away for a weekend or more, lower the thermostat to 55 degrees.
- Run bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans less. Exhaust fans pull warm air out of the house and let in cooler air that will need to be heated. Use fans only when necessary.
- If you have a service contract with a heating provider, it will usually include an annual check and tune-up of your heating system. Don’t rely on the company to contact you about scheduling this service. Be sure it’s performed annually before winter arrives; doing so can save up to 10% on heating bills.
- Close the damper on your fireplace when not in use. If not, your chimney will draw warm air out of the room and create a draft.
- Close off unused spaces (attic, garage, basement, spare bedrooms, storage areas, etc.) or heat only those rooms that you use. If your heating system has vents, close off heating vents in unused rooms.
- If you have ceiling fans, reverse the switch so they blow upward toward the ceiling. The reverse air circulation promotes heating efficiency in the winter.
- Reduce your hot water heater temperature to 115-120 degrees.
- Keep blinds and drapes open on sun-exposed windows during the day. Close these same drapes at night to help impede the escape of heat.
- Dust builds up on radiators and baseboard heating vents, and then reduces the amount of heat that can get into a room. Dust and vacuum these surfaces often.
- Prune branches from trees and bushes that block the sun’s rays into your home.
- If possible, sign up for a budget plan with your heating provider. Although this will not reduce the actual yearly dollar amount, it will make your bill-paying more manageable when spread evenly over a 12-month period.
- When you add energy-efficient items to your home, check for possible tax breaks or discounts on homeowner insurance policies.
- Check with local utility companies for free energy audits. Certain energy-saving devices may also be provided and installed free of charge. Lower-income households typically qualify for these free products and services.