The winter season has officially begun, which means temperatures outside will just get colder. With the chillier weather that means keeping the home warm will cost even more.
Outside of paying for the mortgage or rent, utilities are one of the next big ticket expense items each month. Fortunately by following a few tips, you can help reduce energy consumption and your utility bill when it comes to heating.
Tips to Save Energy
Let the sunlight in.
If you want to bring heat into your home without having to pay for it, open the curtains when there’s sunlight to shine through. By night, close the curtains to reduce the cold chill at windows. Adding clear plastic film to cover and seal the window frames can also help reduce cold air from infiltrating.
Rather than turning the heat higher to keep you warm, try putting on an extra sweater or sweatshirt and warm socks. When you go to sleep, use a heavier comforter or layer on additional blankets. By adding an area rug you will also keep the floor insulated.
Adjust the thermostat.
Invest in a programmable thermostat so that you can set the temperature appropriately throughout the day. There’s no need to keep the home at the same temperature when you’re out at work or running errands outside for several hours. By turning the thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours when you are asleep, you can also see savings on your heating bill.
Heat escaping and cold air coming into the home is costing you. Save on energy cost with proper insulation like foam weather stripping around doors and windows.
Service your heating system.
A heating system that does not operate efficiently can mean lost money. Schedule service on your heating system and get furnace filters replaced.
Set up the fireplace.
When the fireplace is not in use remember to keep the damper closed. This will help keep warm air from escaping the chimney.
Change the temperature of the water heater.
A warm setting of 120 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient at the water heater. It will save you energy cost and going higher means there’s the risk for scalding.
Don’t block heating vents.
You want to avoid home furniture from being too close to heating vents for safety concerns as well as to ensure heat sources are running efficiently.
Look into energy savings government program opportunities.
After taking all measures to ensure your home is running most effectively and efficiently on energy for heating, also visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (dsireusa.org) for information on government energy savings opportunities. If you’re a low-income New Yorker, you also want to look into the federally funded program HEAP. Benefits are available to help pay for energy cost as well as to repair or replace primary heating equipment in the home.
Photo by David Lat, via Free Images.