As cold temperatures and winter weather sets in, it’s time to start thinking about how to keep your home warm. You might be wondering, though, how to save money on heating costs. Energy bills can be downright scary in the middle of winter and take a heavy toll on your pocketbook. According to the Department of Energy, heating a home accounts for over 50% of energy use in the average American home.
On the other hand, there are some strategies you can implement in order to save money on heating costs and reduce your environmental footprint at the same time. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Insulate Your Home as Much as Possible – Before the cold temperatures hit, make sure your house is winter ready by adding insulation and weather proofing. You can begin with your attic by checking that its insulation is up to code. Don’t forget about attic doors, either, because they are one of the worst offenders for letting heat escape. You can also weather-proof your home and keep warm air from escaping by replacing weather stripping around exterior doors, attaching sweeps to interior doors, and filling in gaps around window frames with caulking. Consider installing double-pane thermal windows that are also energy efficient.
- Heat One Room at a Time – If you spend the majority of your time in one room of your house, consider heating only that room and keep it warm with a space heater or heating panels. Then again, if you do use your whole house, heat it with central air. It will cost more to try to heat the entire house with space heaters.
- Turn the Thermostat Down – You can save one to three percent on heating costs for every one degree that you turn your thermostat down. By lowering it as much as 10 to 15 degrees, you can save about 10 percent. It makes sense to lower your thermostat while at work or anytime you’re away from home. You can also turn the heat down at night.
- Find Alternative Ways to Heat Your Home – Besides space heaters, use a fireplace or natural gas to heat your home. There are downsides to using these methods, however. Fireplaces can create other hazards and increase the risk of your home catching on fire.
- Bring on the Blankets – Start piling on the warm clothes and blankets when it gets cold inside. For staying warm at night, consider investing in down blankets and pillows. Down is one of the best natural insulators.
- Don’t Forget Your Ceiling Fan and Drapes – If you can reverse your ceiling fan so it spins clockwise, this device can bring rising heated air back down to where you need it. Close your drapes and blinds at night and open them up during the day.