Tips on How to Save on Your Heating Bill
Whether you love or hate cold weather, one thing is certain: It can drive up the price of your electric and/or gas bills quickly. Many people are surprised to see just how much it costs to turn on the heat inside when Mother Nature turns on the AC outside. Fortunately, you don't have to choose between being warm and being broke. Here are some things you can do to save on your heating bills.
Turn Down the Thermostat
This may be the most obvious one, but the higher your thermostat is set, the more your gas bill or electric bill will be. Try turning it down a degree or two at a time to see if you're comfortable with the new temperature. You can also make up the difference by wearing warmer clothing, throwing on some extra socks and a sweater, or using more blankets at night. And unless you have pets or children at home, you should also turn it down when you're at work. You may even consider investing in a programmable thermostat that allows you to schedule the heat to come on an hour or so before you arrive home.
Keep Vents Clear and Clean
The harder your heating system has to work, the more your bills will cost you. You can help it out by rearranging your rooms so that no furniture or other objects block your vents or the circulation of heat. It's also important to keep your vents dust-free, because as dust builds up, it forms a barrier that keeps heat from flowing. If you have rooms you don't use very often, you can close the vents in those spaces and shut the doors.
Use Window Coverings
Many people don't realize that windows can actually drive up your electric bill or gas bill during the winter. During the day when it's sunny out, open your window coverings, like shades and curtains, to allow some natural heat to flow through and warm up your room. At night, when it's dark and colder, close your curtains and shades or put up some makeshift window coverings to help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
Space Heaters and Other Alternatives
Just because you have central heating doesn't mean it has to be the only way to keep your home warm. If you spend most of your time in one room (your living room, for instance), you may want to forego the central heat and use a small space heater instead. If you have a fireplace, you may want to use it to warm up your home. If you do use a fireplace or space heater, just make sure you follow all safety precautions.
Use (or Don't Use) Your Fans
If you have ceiling fans in your home, run them in reverse. This helps to keep the heat from rising. If you have fans in your kitchen or bathroom, don't run them often, as they remove heat from the rooms.